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  • Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
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    Music, espresso-based coffee, exceptional whisky, languages, travel, great food
  • Grill
    Kamado Joe

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  1. El_Norteno60

    Paella Time

    Hey, @MasterBaster, I use an 18" on my Big Joe, and it fits perfectly, no room leftover, no hassle closing the lid. I believe the measurements exclude the handles, but I originally bought the 18", because that's the largest size that will also fit inside a conventional oven. A 22" would be killer, but you'd likely have to get one of those open burner setups that they use in Spain to cook on it.
  2. El_Norteno60

    Cold Smoked Salmon - I'm In Love!

    Greetings, @Xavery Ptak! Disappointing; it appears they've taken down one of my favourite YouTube spots. My setup is incredibly simple, but i don't have a picture of it at the moment. I use a KJ Big Joe, and I pipe the smoke from a tin can filled with hickory chips with a single smoldering lump of coal on top of that, all covered by a length of flexible aluminum dryer piping. Basically, I light the coal, put it on top of the wood chips in the can, put that on a stone or brick base, lower the drying piping over that and bend the top of the pipe into the lower vent of my Big Joe. I then let is smoke for about two hours. I check the chips once or so during the process, to ensure I don't need to top it up. Cheers!
  3. El_Norteno60

    Cold Smoked Salmon - I'm In Love!

    May 2018 update: I surprised myself this winter. My kamados kept me inspired enough to cook year-round, and this winter was a particularly hard one. I knew I was hooked when I had to re-jig a major brisket smoke in early January... outside, on my snow-cleared deck, puttering with my kamado at -31C at 3:30 a.m. It doesn't get much more addicted than that, folks (the brisket turned out amazing, folks)!
  4. El_Norteno60

    Kamado Outide Round vs Brisket

    Thanks, @TKOBBQ; interesting process splitting it into two cooking stages. I don’t care for Coke or sweet sauces, but I bet that foiling technique would work a charm with a savoury sauce based on dark beer. I do a Crockpot stew that way, and it’s consistently delicious with fall apart beef pieces. Thanks again for sharing that.
  5. El_Norteno60

    Kamado Outide Round vs Brisket

    Thanks, @SmoovD. In fact, the guy at the meat counter told me that this was a "lower grade" of meat than a brisket, that it was a pretty tough cut that is more commonly used for stewing. Again... that sounded like brisket, to me... not the easiest cut to cook conventionally, but if one has a kamado and the patience to smoke it low and slow for many hours, the payoff is well worth it.
  6. I am appealing once again to the collective wisdom and experience of all my kamado friends out there... While food shopping yesterday, I came across a large (~15 lb.) cut of "outside round" beef. It looks in many ways similar to a brisket: large, flat on one end, a "tip" or bulge at the other, lots of fat on one side, etc., etc. The price was so good (under C$6/lb), that I bought it. I have searched this site (all content) for "outside round," but come up with just one article that cooked it sous vide for 30 hours, but I want to do it 100% on the kamado. So I'm wondering whether anyone has any experience they'd like to share on smoking an outside round cut. Should I assume that it needs to be smoked low and slow for many hours, as high away from the flame (and indirect) as possible? Should I also assume that it'll be a marathon cook (20+ hours)? My admittedly limited experience with briskets has shown me that cook time is totally unpredictable: my fastest cook was ~30 mins./lb., my longest ~2 hours under the exact same conditions... Does outside round cook this unpredictably, as well? Any help on this will be greatly appreciated.
  7. El_Norteno60

    Steak Marinade/Wet Rub

    This is the only way I do smoked brisket. Warning: may incite kitchen brawling over the heavily barked ends before it gets out to the serving table :-)
  8. El_Norteno60

    Happy Holidays and Kamado On!

    Looks even better smoked than it did going in I'm still learning how to do a proper brisket, but I can't seem to get it to come out juicy like yours. It's always delicious, but it's either undercooked and a bit chewy or overcooked and dry. Practice makes perfect, but what is your sign that it's ready to remove? I use my Smoke for the internal temp, and when it gets to about 197F, I start using my Thermopop and/or toothpicks every 30 minutes or so to check for that butter-like softness everyone talks about. Any advice you can share? BTW, we live at opposite ends of the city; I'm in Orleans, so Lavergne Western Meat on Navan Road is my go-to. No cast iron decorations, but consistent superior quality at a fair price, and they do phone orders.
  9. El_Norteno60

    Happy Holidays and Kamado On!

    Hey @bluayeddvl, where's the photo of the finished masterpiece? That's a gorgeous piece of meat. BTW, as a fellow Ottawan, you may appreciate that I recently discovered Loblaws/Great Canadian Superstore sometimes has smaller briskets (just the tip, and around 2.2- 2.5 kgs.) fresh in the meat section. Great for smaller crowds, but oddly enough, I find that they take almost as long to cook as the larger ones! All the best for 2018.
  10. Just wanted to put out a general greeting to the entire community. Here's hoping that 2018 brings us all more of what we're after and less of what we don't want so much . For my part, my kamados have changed both the way I cook and my enjoyment of the creative process, even in spite of the weather. The weather might not seem like a big deal to my friends far to the south in the southern States, but we've been experiencing fairly consistent temperatures of about -20C to -25C with the windchill factor up in the Great White North (that's -4F to -13F). Normally, that would have me hibernating inside and cooking in a nice, warm kitchen, but this year, I'm outside on my back porch with my big red babies, smokin' away as if it were still summer (well, almost). Here's my first batch of winter wings from last night: A big thanks to Kamado Joe for creating the grills I love so much and for such wonderful support (they're gracefully handled a number of issues). And huge thanks to everyone here for sharing your knowledge, experience and opinions as my learning curve gradually flattens out. Once again, best wishes to all for the coming year!
  11. El_Norteno60

    Going to try wings this weekend...

    @mike echo, glad your wings came out to your satisfaction; good thinking on adjusting cook time for wing size. @just4fn, I like doing them indirect, and the temp and time above are set for that. However, you can turn down the heat and play with the time a bit, if you prefer to do them direct... I've read about this, but never tried it, because I love the way they turn out for me this way
  12. El_Norteno60

    Advice on Smoking a Pork Sirloin

    My verdict is that this was a mild success. It wasn't terrible, but I don't think I'd do it again, mostly because I've discovered that I'm not crazy about pork loin. I ended up cutting the big piece into two long, thinner pieces in order to be able to wrap the bacon around it, as it was way too big right out of the package. This was after about 24 hours of marinating in a combination of bourbon, orange juice, a touch of dijon mustard and a pile of fresh cut herbs - rosemary, thyme and oregano. Here's how it looked as I was bringing the Big Joe up to temp: At this size and weight, they were done in just under two hours, smoking high up above the coals and on indirect heat at 220F. At that point, I wanted the bacon cooked a bit more, so I removed the deflectors, opened the vents up and seared the meat for a few minutes on all sides: Finally, it was done way too early, so I pulled the meat, double foiled it and put it in the oven at 170F for about an hour and a half. When I pulled it out and sliced it, it looked pretty good to me: So the short story is that, as long as your pork loin is in this weight and size range (2-4 lbs.), low and slow doesn't seem to make that much difference in terms of timing. Our guests seemed to enjoy it and came back for repeat servings, which is the best way to judge how successful a cook has been, I think. Cheers all, and thanks again to everyone who contributed opinions and advice; much appreciated.
  13. El_Norteno60

    Advice on Smoking a Pork Sirloin

    @shuley, I appreciate the added insights; thanks. I'll definitely try another one of these babies at a higher temp at some later time, but a few people have commented that there's not much risk; it's just not the norm. Since that pretty much describes me (not the norm), I'm good with that . Having said that, both you and Panchango have suggested a nice sear to finish it off, and that sounds pretty tasty to me; I'll try it. I'm going to try the bacon on the outside for two reasons: first, for the added fat to flavour and moisten the meat as it cooks, and second, who doesn't like bacon in any context? Again, thanks; really looking forward to this!
  14. El_Norteno60

    Advice on Smoking a Pork Sirloin

    @Bgosnell no worries about offending me; I appreciate the help. In fact, I found myself editing my response very carefully so as not to sound snarky in my reply; the dangers of written communication, where we can easily misread tone and intent . Aside from that, thanks so much to everyone for weighing in, and especially for explaining the difference in cooking time due to a leaner cut; that makes a lot of sense. I have nothing but admiration for Panchango's cooking techniques; I'll have to try your method at some point. I really love the effect of the low and slow smoke on all the meats I've tried so far, though, so I am planning my first pork loin at an indirect, smoky, lower temp. The bourbon marinade is going to be something I just throw together; I'm a whisky buff, and I love accenting marinades and sauces with a touch of whisky. I figure a lighter tasting meat like pork should be nicely complemented with a sweeter whisky, hence the bourbon. My rule of thumb with alcohol is, if I like to drink it, I'll probably like it in cooking. I'm therefore using one of my favourite bourbons, a Knob Creek Kentucky straight bourbon. Other than that, it'll be mostly herbs and very few spices, and I'll wrap it in bacon, just to keep it really interesting. Given all your comments, I'm going to put it onto the grill at around 2:00 p.m. for an anticipated dinnertime of 6:00 p.m. If worse comes to worst and it's done sooner, I can always foil it and put it aside 'til we're ready for it. Thanks again, all. I'm marinating tonight, cooking tomorrow; I'll let you know how it goes.
  15. El_Norteno60

    Advice on Smoking a Pork Sirloin

    Hi, Bgosnell. I guess I didn't express myself very well above, because you missed my point . I have both a Thermoworks Smoke and a Thermopop, both of which I use regularly (and love). My question is why one thick cut of pork would on average take a fraction of the time to cook under the same circumstances as another thick cut of pork. The reason I ask is because I am cooking for guests, and I want to estimate the time it will likely take to smoke my meat (to 145F IT). There is a huge difference if I need to plan a 9-hour cook vs. a 2-hour one! I agree completely that it is not an exact science; it's done when the IT says it's done, but you need to be able to at least estimate when it is LIKELY to be done, else it may be done way before you need it (e.g., my earlier post about the lightning brisket that should have taken about 14-18 hours but was done in 7-8 and lived in my cooler for 7 more hours) or hours after you wanted to serve it (and pick your starving guests up off the floor)! Breaking it down to its most basic question, is it normal for a pork loin to average ~20 mins./lb. (because a Boston butt averages about 1.5 hours/lb.)? Isn't pork pork, when we're talking about two thick cuts? I'm not comparing a pork butt with a pork chop.