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Syldavir's Achievements

  1. Went back to RD with a friend yesterday. Didn't buy too much of note, a new cutting board (my old wooden one warped badly in the last 2 months) 3 racks of spare ribs, and notably, lump charcoal. It's Mesquite Charcoal from Mexico and is basically no brand name--generic. It does say on either side in smaller print "Consumer Commodity." Haven't opened it yet, will do that probably sometime this week as I've got a chicken in the fridge and the ribs too (have a little bit of my Lazzari charcoal left to finish first). Most of the bags felt like there was quite a bit of small/broken pieces in the bottom but, here's the kicker for me, at <$15 for 40 pounds, some loss is not a big deal. I'll report back when I open it up and use it.
  2. No pics but a quick update. Made 5lbs of sausage last night with some pork shoulder I bought two days ago (15 pounds of pork shoulder was butchered into strips for the grinder and frozen for future sausage-making with a friend). I spent about 3 hours start to done with cleanup making Andouille. It took so long because I was using the KitchenAid stuffer attachment and it was my first time. I think in the future I can cut at least 30 minutes off that. The andouille turned out well; I cooked one in a pan last night for a snack for Mrs. and I. She really enjoyed it but I thought it was "meh." So today for early supper I threw five of them on the Akorn with a BUNCH of hickory chips and cooked over direct heat. They were set on the grill at ~200* and removed near 300* with heavy smoke the whole time. I was aiming for nearer that 300* temperature but put them on earlier because I wanted more time exposed to smoke. After the smoker they were absolutely delicious. Can't wait to make a bunch more sausages with a friend and smoke some too. I also got to use my foodsaver for the first time. I sealed up 3 5LB packs of the [home] butchered pork shoulders as well as 2/3 of my andouille. Great little machine and it will be getting lots of use.
  3. To get them for $1.09/LB you do. I only bought a single pack (2 shoulders @ 21.5lbs) at it cost $1.29/LB. And yea, great deal! And you can do this as often as you like, while you maintain your KCBS membership? It looks like it. The coupon says: "Any issues, contact store manager. All KCBS members are allowed to shop at Restaurant Depot." I guess the one caveat is that it also says RD accepts cash or credit for the day pass. Which I guess means no checks or debit? I don't know, I used cash but I'd prefer to use credit in the future for the points. But no big deal.
  4. Once you're a KCBS member you can print out a coupon for a day pass. You show that coupon and your membership card at the customer service desk and they give your a day pass. Easy-peasy. The case of pork butts here was $1.09/LB but until I move and but a separate freezer, I've got no room for a case. :-(
  5. Ooooh! I didn't even think to look for charcoal! I didn't go up and down every aisle but I went down most of them. I'll look out a little better next time I go in (could be soon!) to see what they have. I'm on a 2 month leave from work that started this week so I'm hoping to do lots of cooking on the Kamado so more charcoal will be a must.
  6. I joined KCBS and therefore now how day-passes to Restaurant Depot. I went a couple weeks ago to look around briefly and went back today to actually buy some stuff and get prices on more. There is a lot I'd like to buy there from maple syrup to coffee to a carving knife, cheese, etc and of course, meat. For reference, this is in San Jose, CA. I got boneless pork butt for $1.29/lb (21.5lbs pack) that I'll be turning into sausages and smoking I think. (Pork shoulder at Costco here is $1.79/lb. I'm really impressed by prices there on a lot of things but most noteworthy to me was the brisket price: $3.62/lb for Prime, Halal full packers. Consider that at Costco here a Choice flat is $4.79/lb. So I'll be buying one of those in the not-too-distant future too. Prime tri-tip was also reasonably priced but I don't remember exactly what is was ($5.79/lb at Costco though). Pork belly was supposed to be on sale for ~$2.50/lb but I couldn't find it. Rib prices looked reasonable: ~$2.29/lb IIRC for spare ribs (baby back were similarly priced I think) but I'm honestly not sure what I've been paying for them at Costco. All in all, I'm excited to find the selection and prices at Restaurant Depot. I do recommend.
  7. What do you mean vacuum seal chamber vs suck and seal? We just ordered a basic FoodSaver (2200 I think) I thought this would work for sous vide?
  8. I'm curious why you when with these two particular sizes? The 32" has twice as much grilling area or so but I would have thought that with that size coming, one might order a much smaller one than the 23". I've had my Akorn for almost 2 months and am in love with it. I've discussed the KK with my wife and she knows I want one so maybe in 5-10 years after we sell our condo and buy a house with a yard it could be on the menu. Or at least that's my desired timeline. =) Great looking grills! EDIT: originally thought you had 18" & 23". 23" & 32" makes a lot more sense. But still, 23 is a big grill. That seems like two big-boys to me. Still curious as to the decision process here.
  9. Going to echo CeramicChef again and also suggest that even your 19 degree differential between the two up top is probably an acceptable amount of variance at ~6%. Because you checked them at boiling and they were withing 1° of each other, one of them may have a scaling issue on the top end. If you want to get really neurotic about it, set the grill to what you think is 200°, 300°, 400°, 500°, 600°, 700° and check the difference between the two instruments at each temperature point. If one of them starts walking away from the other, you know it's the less reliable and poorly calibrated or has a scaling issue. If the deviation between the two stays static, you've got an accuracy problem (although I suspect this is not the case because of the similarity at boiling). Or you could, yknow, not worry about it too much because that's a pretty small amount of deviation from the real value and each thermometer although "instant read" could be dampened differently or more susceptible to minor variations due to air movement. Or one could be averaging the last couple reads or who knows what. I haven't used either of those two in particular. TL;DR: get really anal about it or chill out, it's NBD.
  10. Reasoning for 200° as opposed to higher? Because of the high fat content?
  11. This exactly. Boiling is the closest I could get to cooking temperature for a standardized check of my thermometers. A zero cal is silly for instruments with such a large scale unless you're actually calibrating. Essentially, what most of us are doing is a verification of the accuracy & precision of our thermometers. As this is the case, target a known value as close to the normal temperature ranged at which you would use the thermometer.
  12. I haven't bought a rub in several years. I like to make my own mixtures/ratios. If I do brine I think I'll do a lighter than called for amount of salt in the recipe AND lighten the salt in the rub. Let's see more pics of that belly!
  13. The shoulder came out alright. Wife put it in the oven about 1100 then and checked the temp at 1400. I was only 135° so she bumped up to 275°; checked again near 1500 at it came up about 30° so she went to 300 or 350 until near 1600 (don't remember exactly, I was working). Then she pulled it, added the drippings/onions/apple juice mix with some apple cider vinegar and brought it to the party with some dutch crunch rolls, some BBQ sauce and some pickles. I think everyone enjoy it and it tasted good but wan't quite right to me. I think because it needed tougher bark maybe? Not certain. Either way, I'm having some for lunch at work today and brought some to my assistant who loved my first smoked shoulder. So it's definitely edible! EDIT: Just ate my pulled pork lunch at it was actually very tasty. Don't know if I was just highly critical last night or it tasted better after an overnight in the fridge. Either way freakin' good.
  14. We bought the sliced pork belly from Costco a couple months ago and cooked it in the oven (before I bought a kamado) with the Momofuku recipe. It was delicious but too salty. I'm curious how yours comes out. I've only brined 2 chickens and both times they have been too salty so I'm hesitant to brine things. Your recipe sounds delicious though! I spoke with a buddy last night about going halfsies on a pork belly with me because I don't want that much pork belly. He was totally down so hopefully I'll be doing something similar to this in the not-too-distant future.
  15. Last night ended up turning into two cooks. The first was some veggies and burgers. Broccoli on the grill and halved potatoes on skewers with a little S&P. Very simple cook excepting that the temp was a little low when I threw the burgers on--~350° dome temp. Everything still came out delicious and it was a great dinner. The second cook was supposed to have started this morning at about 0530 then my wife was going to watch it and pull it while I was a work. It's a pork shoulder for pulled pork for a friend's birthday tonight. But at dinner last night I realized I could throw it on the Akorn after dinner for a couple hours then just refrigerate it and she could warm up and bring it when she picks me up to go to the party. I extinguished the Akorn and let it cool then restarted it with some of my new Lazzari charcoal. It sparks and pops a lot but I like the smell a bit more than Cowboy and the chunks and nice and big. At around 2115 I put the shoulder on over indirect heat and over a tray of apple juice and onions. Went to bed around 2230 and set my alarm for 0215. At 0215 the grill temp had dropped to about 210° from the 260° I had it set at when I went to bed and the shoulder was probing only ~160°. Regardless, I pulled it, wrapped it in foil and my wife will put it in the oven around 1130 this morning to be served at 530. The tray of onions and apple juice worked very well this time! I put a lot more juice in than previous attempts. The onions smell caramelized and delicious. Because the pork wasn't done and I'm paranoid, I poured it all into a sauce pan to be brought to a boil today just in case before the vinegar is added and spread over the meat. Really excited about this one. I changed my rub a little for the pork and eliminated the cinnamon and cocoa powder that went into the last rub. This rub tasted very good before I put it on so I'm hopeful! I forgot to get a pic of the burgers either on or cooked but here is the vegetables: And the shoulder!
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