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About Randy

  • Birthday 11/14/1955

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  • Gender
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  • Location:
    Silverdale, WA
  • Interests
    Wine, Scotch, Food, Music, Cigars, Homebrewing, Sports
  • Grill

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  1. Eric, very nice bird! Great job!
  2. Thanks for the help with the pictures - I'll figure it out eventually! A few moreprep/ cooking details on the turkey - Prep: Turkey was 16 pounds after removal of the neck and gibblets. Brin was 1 cup kosher salt and 2 pounds of brown sugar to about 3 gallons of water overnight (about 12 hours). Rinsed well and dried while it came up closer to room temp. Trimmed off the wing tips and folded the wings back and tied them under the bird. Coated the exterior in butter and McCormicks Montery chicken seasoning (like Johns video). Stuffed the neck cavity and secured the skin with a couple of large tooth picks. I like the flavor of stuffing cooked in the bird, but stuffing the cavity really lengthens your cooking time and you can dry out your bird getting the interior stuffing to a safe temp, so I settle for the neck cavity since it's very exposed and doesn't add to cooking time but still give you some amount of great flavored stuffing. Left the cavity of the bird open (did add a couple sprigs of fresh sage & thyme). Tied the legs together so they wouldn't droop. Scrapped up the butter and seasoning that fell off the bird and threw it in the cavity. Cooking: Used the 2 layer rake that comes with the vision and placed a foil covered cast iron griddle on the lower rack for indirect and place a drip pan on it under the bird. Added water and another couple of sprigs of sage and thyme to the drip pan. My intention was to catch the drippings so they wouldn't burn and off flavor the bird, plus the added moisture and herbs would help keep things nice and moist while adding additonal flavor. No injection - I go back and forth on this one. This was a fresh bird - had it been frozen i would have injected. Added a handfull of soaked chips to the Wicked coals early and started the bird at 200 and slowly let it ramp up to 325-350 over the course of the next 45 mins. My intention was to lightly smoke the bird early and move directly into the serious cook. Poulty needs a light smoke touch (IMO) and letting the temp ramp while smoking has worked well for me with chickens and the last Turkey I cooked. Just a little shy of 3-1/2 hours, hit my target temp and removed/covered the bird to rest. The meat beautifully moist, had a nice smoke flavor without being overpowering and the herbs were balanced and discernable. This was a repeat of the bird I cooked for thanksgiving and both came out excellent. Up to this point, I'd always thought deep frying produced the best tasting bird, but no longer. These are absolutely the very best turkeys I've ever eaten (to say nothing about cooking them myself). Over the last 30 years or so, I've averaged about 3 turkeys a year - thats about to increase with the kamado!
  3. I'm big stone fan due to a history of success with it. I use it for various breads in addition to pizza. No problem todate with cracking but it is an older stone that I've used for years in the oven before I got a kamado and it is a thick heavy duty thing. I have done various breads in my dutch ovens while camping, but haven't tried doing any bread stuffs on cast iron or regular pizza pans in the kamado yet.
  4. http://i1301.photobucket.com/albums/ag115/4dafun/bth_IMG_0860_zps13a2f53d.jpg[/img] I know the turkey challenge is a thing of the past but wanted to share the white christmas turkey pictures. We don't get much snow in the Seattle area so it was kind of cool to use the kamado on christmas in the snow! As simple salt & brown sugar brine, some fresh thyme and sage in the cavity and drip pan (half full of water). Montery/butter on the exterior, some stuffing in the neck cavity. A touch of apple chips added a nice aroma and flavor that everyone enjoyed and commented on. My 2nd turkey - 1st came out just as good for thanksgiving. Hope I did the photos OK - doesn't look like it came through quite right. dang
  5. This one may be beaten to death, but I've tried most or variations of all the methods discussed and I keep going back to my weber chimney because it lets me use all the little scrap pieces of charcoal that I prefer not to place in my firebox "bed" because they seem to clog the air flow in the cooker to some extent but don't faze the chimney. Once their going, they fall nicely between and around the larger chunk and things move rapidly from there and tend to stay higher in the bed and don't mess the air flow significantly. When I'm doing a hot cook and want to get a full chimney going, I still throw in some of the debris chips because they get the bed chunks going so nicely. I place the chimney right in the fire box (on top of the bed chunks) when lighting and place the grills and deflectors after the dump. The torch is faster but utilizing my debris chunks in this way appeals to my thrifty inclinations.
  6. I don't think you'll regret going for the Vision, I certainly am happy with mine. I was flopping between the Lg BGE and the Vision. After looking obsessively (eyes and hands on) at the details of each kamado, I decided the few things I liked better on the BGE didn't justify the price delta, and there were several aspects of the Vision I actually prefered over the BGE.
  7. If you seal your vent closed, you'll loose the option of being able to scoop/scrap ashed out from under the firebox. Mine doesn't seem all that tight but when the solid vent is shut it helps push it into tighter contact and my shutdowns seem OK so I stopped sweating my bottom vent for a while.
  8. Here's a tip for a "free" seasoning layer I use on my ceramic kamado. When your done with a higher temp cook and temps are coasting down, throw your coated iron in a little before 350 and let it bake. My ceramic seems to cool glacially from 350 downward and I decided to give it a try and I've been happy with the results. Be cautious with going in too hot or you'll just burn your coating.
  9. One kinda cool thing I found with the ceramic heat shield in the bottom (under the firebox) is I can lift out the firebox and 95% of my ash is sitting sweetly on the shield. I simply (and carefully) lift out the shield, dump it, and voila. I find it a lot easier, more effective, and less time consuming than scrapping ashes out the vent hole. I "aggitate" my remaining lump to break away the ash and now no longer even bother to unload the firebox before I lift it out.
  10. Norman, Yea, the shipping costs can be a deal breaker. I'm fortunate to have a local outlet near my home and look for items at their location so I can pick them up and avoid the shipping. Does cut the selection down, but it also yields some good stuff, and in these cases, the shipping works in my favor because it drives out of area bidders to the curb. You might want to check to see if any of the participating outlets are in your vicinity and you might find something that's worth the drive. captndan, I've been chasing vintage iron for quite a while now, and a recurring issues I've encountered with old used/idle cast iron that's being put back in service is that the "seasoning layers" or portions of the layers will frquently start to break loose and kind of de-laminate or chip off during use. Doesn't always happen and sometimes not immediately, but too frequently. I don't know the cause for certain, but suspect that extended non-use and/or extended temp/moisture variations weaken the bonding and the seasoning layers gets brittle and starts to crack and it's downhill from there. It might be an issue only wet climate folks have to deal with or it could be that the seasoning layers actually dries out looses ductility, or maybe one dissimilar layer (my favorite theory), but in any case, once things start to break away, theres no good option except to strip and reseason (which is kind of a different thing than smoothing the base metal, which I've only recently experimented with on newer stuff). I'm no longer shy about taking a surface down to "parade rest" and reseasoning. I love the "hundred years of history" stuff we (me and several of my "iron head" buddies) like to talk about in reference to our old, well seasoned heirlom iron, but honestly, I can't tell much performance difference between something with a handfull of properly applied layers (stressing properly applied) and grandma's griddle with thousands of uses.
  11. Being unhappy with the many as cast (and factory seasoning) high spots on my Bayou Classic 14" griddle/grill, (the worst of which I kept "snagging" on when cooking), I took a 5" flexible disk sander with 80 grit to the griddle side. After about 15 minutes of effort, got a relatively smooth surface. The factory "seasoning" provided a good contrast to identify the numerous high spots/dots and I got down to mostly contiguous base metal without too much effort. Figured I was at the point of diminishing returns and didn't put in the time to remove all the metal required to get down to the little craters - which was fine because they mostly fill-in to the touch following seasoning and won't catch my cooking tools. I'm so much happier with the "out of the shoot" performance of the smoother surface, which will undoubtedly continue to improve with use. Over the years I've used a dremmel to kiss off little individual high cast "dots" but had never gone after the entire surface before. I won't hesitate again, especially if reseasoning is in order. Bottom line; if you prefer the smoother/machined surfaces you find on much of the older vintage cast iron (like I do), you can put a little work into todays rough cast and get very close.
  12. Looks very tasty, another excellent video. I only have one question; How many Pyrex measuring cups do you own dude!
  13. Enjoy your videos. I'd benefit from seeing a turkey or something a little different like a duck or goose, which I hear come out very nicely due to the properties of the darker/high fat content meat.
  14. I go with Cumin, a little ancho chili power or what ever you have, a little garlic powder, onion powder(or minced flakes), oregano. A little smoked paprika if you want to "up" the color. Kinda the same stuff you'd use for spicing your chili.
  15. On the skews, gorgonzola stuffed dates wrapped in bacon. In front, boneless/skinless chicken thighs wrapped around cheese stuffed jalapenos and then wrapped in bacon secured with toothpick. 350F indirect on the kamado until the bacon crisp on the dates and about 45 mins for the thighs. The dates are “bacon candy” and work as appetizers and/or desert. A great meal with a fun variety of flavors! Tip – thin the bacon (push down with flat of knife and run it the length of the bacon and kind of thin and extrude the bacon while you pull on it – double original length – think prosciutto) for the dates so it crisps quickly and the cheese doesn’t extrude from the dates.
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