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El_Norteno60

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    133
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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
  • Interests
    Music, espresso-based coffee, exceptional whisky, languages, travel, great food
  • Grill
    Kamado Joe

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  1. El_Norteno60

    Smoked Nachos: A New Favourite!

    No problem, @Smokey Sam. I covered the bottom and iverlapped the chips enough to have the “cheese meltover” flow onto neighboring chips, instead of dripping through to the bottom of the pan. Sure, a little still got through here and there, but paella pans clean really easily.
  2. El_Norteno60

    Kamado Outide Round vs Brisket

    That's actually an excellent question, especially considering the price...
  3. El_Norteno60

    brisket is challenging

    @just4fn, that looks delicious! I have only been kamado cooking for just over a year myself, but brisket is my family’s absolute favourite kamado food. I have always been happy with my brisket cooks, but recently I’ve adopted a few principles that give me what I want consistently: 1. Get the kamado stable at 220-250 max before starting the cook. 2. Use generous amounts of wood, but let the smoke go from white or grey to just barely visible before putting on the meat. 3. Cook the meat in the dome, not on the grill. I use an extender for this. 4. Put a pan with a small amount of water between the meat and the grill. This is not/not for humidity, but to catch fat as it renders and keep it from hitting the deflectors and creating acrid smoke as it burns. 5. Use a remote thermometer to track dome and meat temps, and check the meat for doneness at 197F. DON’T cook a brisket to temp; use the temp to tell you when to start testing it for consistency, then ditch the remote thermometer. The meat’s ready when a sharp object like a cake tester or a toothpick slide in and out of it like a hot knife through butter. 6. I plan 1.25 hours per pound for my cooks, but go with the flow, ‘cause briskets have minds of their own and are completely unpredictable. You need to have an estimate to start your cook, though, so you can plan your meal. 7. Pull the brisket at 197F, wrap it in two layers of tin foil, then two bath towels, and let it sit in a cooler for one to four hours before carving. Finally, one key I learned just recently is, don’t cut back too much fat. You have to trim it, for sure, but leaving more on than you want to eat allows it to baste itself as it renders, and the meat is much juicier and flavourful. More experienced cooks will have their own guiding principles, and you appear to be doing just fine already; just sharing what works for me. Keep cooking; it looks great!
  4. Greetings, Gurus: My daughter gave me a smoking book for my birthday, and one idea struck me as worth trying: smoked nachos. It had not ocurred to me before seeing it in that book, but it sounded good; after all, if I like nachos and I like smoked foods, I’ve gotta like smoked nachos, right? I lined.an 18” paella pan with nachos, topped that with shredded jalapeño Monterrey jack, and sprinkled on some small diced green pepper pieces. That’s it: 20 minutes later (at 225 F), this emerged: ...and disappeared in under two minutes! You can obviously create endless variations, but the concept of smoking these munchies is wonderful. Cheers, All!
  5. El_Norteno60

    Kamado Outide Round vs Brisket

    Greetings, all. I can now tell the end of the tale... I defrosted the huge piece and split it into two, which I cooked together — one on my extender in brisket fashion, and the second underneath, at grill level, as a dark beer and Parisian potato stew: The results for both were disappointing. They were smoked and edible, but the consensus was that “it was no brisket.” :-) I think my main issue with this cut is what everyone warned me about; it’s essentially a very lean, relatively fast cooking roast beef, and my family tends to like its meat weller done than you can reasonably expect to cook this and have it turn out well. I’m glad I tried it, but once was enough. Anyone out there who enjoys their meat medium ir less will likely find this cut a nice, faster, more economical alternative to brisket.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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)!
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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 :-)
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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!
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