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gander2112

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location:
    San Jose, CA
  • Interests
    Guitars, bicycles, baking
  • Grill
    Kamado Joe

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  1. My arteries clogged just looking at these pics. Great job!
  2. A couple weeks ago, on a lark, I bought one of those Jennie-O frozen turkey breasts, with the intent to cook it on the Kamado. I freely admit that I am not really a fan of the big bird. This is largely due to a confluence of a few factors. The first being that my mother - may her soul rest in peace - cooked a turkey drier than a Monument Valley August afternoon. Bone dry would have been a juicier bird. The second factor is the time that I spent working at Marie Callendars and the obscene pie production for the Thanksgiving holiday. Something about cooking 30K + Pumpkin pies has permanently turned me off of the Thanksgiving holiday. The Brine Nothing too fancy, it is a 1/2 cup of salt, 1/4 cup sugar, some aromatic herbs (dried, I really do need to start growing the common herbs) and probably 1 gallon of water. Since it is just a 4# breast, it was brined 8 hours before tossing it on the grill. After removing it from the brining tub, I washed and patted the breast dry, and then applied a thin coat of EVOO, and sprinkled some Costco Mesquite Seasoning on as a rub. I like this because unlike many other rubs, it isn't drowning in salt, and int his case left a subtle yet savory flavor. The Cook It was a pretty boring cook, set the grill up for indirect cooking and got the temperature to between 375F and 400F (400 in the dome, 375 at the grill) and put the breast on. NO smoking wood, as we were a bit above the smoking range, so I relied on the charcoal for the flavoring. It took about 90 minutes to get to an internal temperature of 165F, and was removed and covered in foil for about 30 minutes to rest. The results Delish. Moist, flavorful, and tender. Perhaps I won't immediately dismiss cooking the big bird in the future.
  3. My deepest condolences on your loss. (and that is a LOT of meat...)
  4. I think I paid $200 or so for the 5 knife set when I bought them. Apparently Watanabe-san has figured out that his knives are awesome, and the world will pay more. His website is much more sophisticated than it was in 2008 too.
  5. Nice. I have a set from a small Japanese knife maker (bought them probably 15 years ago) and without a doubt, they are my daily go to knives. This is the maker: Watanabe Prices were good, and the quality is excellent
  6. My days of being able to solve the 3d diffusion equation to model and map heat distribution and the radiative heat from the materials are long gone (I did pull my degree in physics), but looking at the heat conductivity of the two materials is not too difficult to get at. I presume that the ceramics of a pizza stone are probably lowish thermal conductivity, and that their benefit is in the mass of the stone being a reservoir of heat. Add to that the porosity, and moisture is wicked out of the dough when it is first placed on the hot stone, leading to a "drier" bottom crust. (note: this is the same thermal properties as refractory bricks, hence the presumption of the pizza stone as a modest conductor of thermal energy.) The steel is a much better conductor of heat, and it weights considerably more than my pizza stone. (note I only have a large rectangular pizza stone, so I have no experience with it in my kamado) The tables I checked showed that an Alumina ceramic (and since I assume that pizza stones are similar in composition to refractory bricks, or about 30% alumina) is about 1/4 the thermal conductivity of steel. One of the challenges in cooking in my ordinary oven is that even with the stone, opening the door, and placing the pizza on the stone, there is a significant drop in oven temperature. The stone helps with this but it is still a factor. The much more massive steel will hold more heat, and then impart it onto the pie when it is placed. Additionally, since the heat conduction is tied to the mobility of free electrons in the metal, the steel will impart more of its heat to the dough. Side note: I was asked once how come those stove top griddles don't make pancakes as good as you get at Denny's or IHOP. The truth is two fold. First the batter is different, it is made in larger batches, and can rest. Home cooks don't have that luxury. But the real reason is the commercial griddle with 1.5" (or greater) thick steel that has a huge amount of BTU's pumped into it, and a well seasoned surface. Can't compete with that. What I do need is an IR temperature gauge so that I can tell what the surface temperature of the steel is before I slide the pie on it. I guess a trip to the local Harbor Freight is in store for me.
  7. I got a bonus at work (a lot more than I expected, woot!) and I ordered me a Baking Steel. It is about 1/4" thick plate steel, and it is supposed to be great for making pizza. Tonight I put it to the test. Grill: Kamado Joe Classic III Charcoal: Lazzari Fuel Lump Mesquite (I used to use this when I was a professional chef, cooks clean and HOT) Dough: Ken Forbish's Overnight Pizza, from Flour, Water, Salt and Yeast. Sauce: fresh Maranzano tomatoes, some EVOO, with salt, pepper, and some basil and oregano. Topping - Pizza 1: Whole Milk Mozz, Sausage and Pepperoni Topping - Pizza 2: Buffalo Mozz, Proscuitto Cook temp 650F The first pizza burnt a bit on the bottom. The steel cooks hotter than a pizza stone, so I am chastised. As a pro, I used to cook in a pizza oven at 625, but it was a standard pizza oven with a refractory brick baking surface. Not ruined, but not perfect. The second pizza was perfect. After a minute or two on the grill, I added a pizza pan under it to prevent the heat of the steel burning the bottom. Both pizza's: The crust was chewy, with great open crumb. Cheese melty and delicious, and awesome. Dinner: Success.
  8. Probably not, but once in my life I want to achieve it
  9. Yesterday was cook #5 with my Kamado Joe Classic III. My second attempt of Pork Spareribs. A quick trip to Costco yesterday got me my ribs (three nice racks in the vacuum pack,) and grabbed another sack of lump charcoal. I used a simple rub with granulated garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, powdered onion, and a dash of cayenne pepper for some zing. I set up the KJ with the Slo-roller, and added a couple of pieces of applewood for smoke, and got the temp stable at ~275F. I anticipated the first phase of the cook to take about 3 hours, at which time I tested the tenderness, and then wrapped the ribs in foil with a little sauce and apple juice. Two more hours on the grill, and then an hour of rest to finish. While the ribs were resting, I prepared a smoked Macaroni and Cheese side (I used the recipe by @John Setzler I found on the KJ site). Raised the temperature to 350F and cooked it for about 45 minutes with an excursion to 425F to brown it up. Meanwhile, I will be baking a couple loaves of a tangy sourdough bread. The ribs were spectacular. A bit over cooked by competition standards, but fall off the bone tender, juicy, great smoke ring, and abundantly flavorful. The Mac and Cheese was a hit as well. Could have used a little more cheddar, but it was bold, flavorful, and creamy. I still tend to over cook the ribs (a bit of a fear of them being chewy and tough is my guess) so they weren't competition quality, but they had a great smoke ring, and the finger smacking goodness that is appreciated by the family. 3 racks of ribs on the Classic is a tight squeeze without a grill extender. Doable, but not comfortable.
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