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About MickeyRat

  • Birthday 08/08/1956

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  • Location:
    Hickory, NC
  • Grill

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  1. I'm a little crazy. I built my own sous vide device. I use a PID temperature controller with an immersible thermocouple, an aquarium aerator for circulation and a crock pot for heat. Doing it this way didn't save me a lot of money but, it's been an interesting project. Besides if something gives out, it's all generic parts. So far I've done eggs both soft and hard boiled, boneless chicken breast, chuck roast, top sirloin, flat iron steak, bottom round roast and ribeye steak. The eggs were good and it's the first time I managed to do soft boiled eggs. I generally don't like chicken breast, I'm a dark meat guy but, it was moist and flavorful. Chuck roast was not as succulent as prime rib but, had a similar texture. Top sirloin didn't gain much being cooked this way. Flat iron steak was good but, I don't have a point of reference to tell me whether it was better. Bottom round roast came out like deli roast beef. The ribeye steak was WONDERFUL!!! It was the first steak I've ever had that I couldn't use steak sauce on. I tried it on a bite and it ruined it. I'm not sure I can bring myself to cook a steak any other way now. Anything else a newby should try?
  2. I'm not that new with the foodsaver. I've had it for about 6 months and I do love it. This is the third time I've done one of these cooking marathons. One thing I really like about it that I didn't expect is how you can vacuum seal portions of a block of cheese. No more cutting the mold off later. It's something I should have bought years ago. Funny you mention meat. I bought it because there's a food overstock place here and they had whole New York strips. I bought one for $85 and got a foodsaver on the way home. I got 16 steaks out of the deal. What I saved came close to paying for the foodsaver.
  3. The main advantage to doing it on a larger scale is that if I happen to be busy on a weekend, I have more flexibility. She's doing okay but, it's likely to be a while. OTOH she sees the advantage of what I'm doing. I have a feeling that this is going to be part of our lives going forward. Being a relatively new, as in not having had one for years foodsaver owner, I'll give you some advice. The rolls are more flexible but, the pre-made bags are a lot more convenient. The foodsaver brand bags are crazy expensive. The other brand bags are fine. Just make sure they are at least 4 mil. I've had problems with 3.5 mill bags.
  4. Oddly enough, I just posted about it. I grilled for the month.
  5. I thought I'd share something I've been doing lately with you guys. My wife doesn't work so typically she would cook the meals during the week. We'd eat on them a couple days and any leftovers would be frozen in tupperware type containers for my lunches. Unfortunately starting a few months ago, she had to go on a very limited diet for medical reasons. This left me with several problems. I couldn't very well ask her to cook for me when she couldn't eat it. While I can cook, I don't particularly want to come home from work, cook my dinner and have a messy kitchen to clean up. Where was I supposed to get my lunches? Luckily for an everyday type meal I just need a meat and a vegetable. I want some variety but, I can handle a little repetition. So, my solution was grilling for the month. Now there are better ways to cook and eat all of what I cook here but, I'm going for a cheap convenient way to have good food available for a long period. I'm not necessarily going for the absolutely best of anything here. To do this you'll need to have a freezer, a vacuum sealer and a pile of tupperware type containers. The cooking is a one day affair. I did this Friday. Every thing came from Sam's except the chicken leg quarters which can be found at any grocery store. Here's what I cooked: 10 lb bag of chicken leg quarters (I prefer dark meat) A four pack of Hillshire Farms smoked beef sausage Family pack of pork chops Two top round roasts for london broil - This amounts to 4 london broils Everything cooks at 350 deg. F but, you'll be opening the grill fairly frequently. So, keeping an even temperature is difficult. You need to adjust cooking times to take that into account. You'll also need to know how to do this, if you have an Akorn like I do. You can do that with the meat on the grill. I'm not sure how effective smoking wood is in this situation but, pecan is a good neutral one to use. I use it. The night before, prepare the lamb. It comes in netting and it has a lot of fat on the outside that needs to be trimmed. I use a Rapala filet knife for that. Next sprinkle kosher salt inside and out. I rub the inside with rosemary and mustard. Then tie it back with butcher's twine, wrap with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator till morning. In the morning rub the outside of the lamp with mustard and rosemary and heat the grill to 350 deg. F. While it's heating is a good time to skin and dismember the chicken leg quarters. Once it's heated up, put the lamb and smoked sausage on. You want the sausage skin a little darkened but, not bursting. It takes between 15 and 20 minutes. Here's a pic I snapped getting the sausage off. The lamb stays on. I have no idea how other states do it but, if you aren't from Texas, you might not know the proper way to slice sausage. You do it diagonally. They don't seem to know that in North Carolina. The four pack of sausage gave me 10 servings. I like lamb cooked to an internal temperature of 145 deg. F. It takes between 2 and 2 1/2 hours. Unfortunately, I got distracted and overshot a bit this time. While the lamb was cooking, I got the chicken prepared. I skin and dismember the leg quarters and sprinkle them with Adobo and lemon pepper. Time to put it on. After about 40 minutes, I check the chicken with a handheld thermometer. I look for an internal temperature of around 180 deg. F. While the chicken was cooking, I got the pork chops ready. I sprinkled them with kosher salt and Durkee's Six Pepper blend. Sorry but, I missed a pic of the porkchops done. You want a temp of around 160 deg. F. Start checking them at 25 mins. I just spot check the largest ones at different places on the grill. I wouldn't go below 150. You might have to do two rounds of the pork chops. It depends on how many of those large mutant chops (I like those) are in the package hidden under the nice looking ones on top. While the pork chops are cooking, I get the london broils ready. I sprinkle them with kosher salt fresh ground pepper and chili powder. I like these cooked to 135 Deg. F. However, I have to confess that it's tricky to get it right because they vary in size. Depending on the thickness, I start checking at 20 mins. These get sliced crosswise for lunches and dinners. I've covered everything but, how I use these. For lunches a serving of meat goes in a tupperware type container with a half can of veggies. I prefer frozen to canned but, for this, the canned is just too convenient. They get heated in the microwave at work. One interesting thing is my lunches seem to taste better. I think that's because previously, we ate on what was in my lunches for a day or two before the food was put into lunches. These get frozen shortly after cooking. For dinner the meat gets vacuum sealed and frozen. To use it, if it's pork or poultry I use a steamer with the vacuum sealed meat in the bottom with frozen veggies on top. Just cover it, bring to a boil and let simmer for 15 or 20 mins. For beef or lamb, I want to avoid cooking it further. So, I use separate pans and try not to boil the meat. For this day of cooking I got 50 servings of meat. That was made into 27 lunches and 23 vacuum sealed servings for dinner. I usually just use these during the week. So, weekend cooking will stretch that to about 6 weeks. I hope you found this interesting. Please reply if you have any suggestions.
  6. I had to do a turkey yesterday to take to my daughter's house and a turkey today for my wife's family. The one yesterday tasted great. I haven't eaten the one today. It's in the cooler waiting for people to arrive. I did learn a few things on the first one. The one today looks better. Hope it tastes as good as the first one. Yesterday's turkey. Today's turkey.
  7. I need to clarify. I held the ends of the probes in boiling water while reading the temperature as a test. I did not immerse them in the water. Water boils at a known temperature (100C / 212F can vary with altitude). So, it's a good test to see if a thermometer is reading properly. I only did this after getting the crazy readings because I needed to determine whether it was the probes or the unit. Glad to hear this isn't typical. I might have been sloppy around water with the old probes. They've never been above 450F. I'll keep the alcohol wipes in mind. Thanks
  8. I love my Maverick ET-733. However, I just had something happen that surprised me a bit. Today I was cooking some chicken and all of a sudden I started getting crazy temp readings. I ended up finishing the chicken using a hand thermometer. It turned out fine, thanks. I actually have some replacement 6' probes but, I've been using the probes that came with it. I did the boiling water test and both of the probes that came with the Maverick were bad. The replacement probes seem to work fine. I've only had the Maverick for a little less than two months. Is this normal? Should I expect about the same lifespan from the replacements?
  9. For you not fans of brussel sprouts, a lot of it has to do with how they are cooked and whether they are frozen. My Mom bought frozen brussel sprouts and boiled them. I HATED them. OTOH my wife cooks them in the oven with a little oil and parmesan cheese. I swore I wouldn't eat them but, one day I tried one. Not bad at all. I'm willing to bet they'd be good grilled.
  10. I've only done one turkey. It turned out good but, I wouldn't call it the Holy Grail. The best info I've found on grilling turkeys is here: http://amazingribs.com/recipes/chicken_turkey_duck/ultimate_smoked_turkey.html
  11. I'm the same way. Just spray the grill with canola based cooking spray before and after I cook. If you use it frequently, that should be enough. If you're the type that puts it up for the winter, it might be a good idea to clean the grill, oil it with some canola and run it to 400 for a couple hours before you stop cooking on it.
  12. This was inspired by CheeseMcGee's great thread: http://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/23488-smoked-italian-beef-sandwich/?hl=italian I ate it on wraps with shredded mozerella and sriracha mayonaise sauce....GOOD!!!
  13. Two things. First spatchcock. Second 400 is good for chicken. I'd do 350 for turkey. The one time I've done one, I spatchcocked the turkey too. There's a lot of good advice for turkey at this link: http://amazingribs.com/recipes/chicken_turkey_duck/ultimate_smoked_turkey.html I'll admit I didn't do everything they recommend but, it was still good. One thing I read in a post on here I haven't tried yet is to make sure the skin is dry and dust with cornstarch for crispy skin. If you try that, let me know how it works.
  14. Though the shipping is free if you have Amazon Prime. Actually if you take standard shipping, it's free for most purchases over $35. Prime gives you free 2 day shipping. For the few times a year that I pay for 2-day shipping, I can't justify $99 for prime. My video needs are taken care of other ways. I just collect things in my wish list till I've accumulated $35 and place my order.
  15. I must admit that i'more than a bit surprised that their shipping charges vary as much as they do. That said, a little work with a calculator would show that it's still a better deal for a lot of people. If I see something that looks like a good deal from here in the future, I'll be certain to mention that shipping charges vary. Right you are. I'm a bit surprised because I'm further away from Florida than you are but, from Amazon you'd be paying $97.96. You can get the same 2 bags from these guys for $81.48. Thanks CC. I'll let you know what I think of it.
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