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  1. I've been craving smoked salmon lately, so the last time I was in Sam's Club, I bought a couple of fillets and cooked them last night for my dinner guests. Here is a pic of the fillets fresh from the packaging. I made up a dry brine of brown sugar, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, cinnamon, and all spice. Here are the fillets' covered with the mixture. I covered the dish and put it in the refrigerator for about 15 hours. As you can see a great deal of moisture has been drawn out of the fish fillets. Rinse the fillets and pat them dry. Then set the fillets on a drying rack back in the refrigerator for about 4 - 5 hours. This is what your fillets should look like right before you place them in the cooking grate in your kamado. And it's on to the cooking grate in TheBeast. I smoked these fillets for about 2 hours @ 175F using Alder and Peach chunks. Here is a picture of the fillets right after they were pulled off the cooking grate. You can tell they are dome by the little droplets of the cream colored liquid that you can see on the fillets. Here is a closer picture of the cooked fillets. Finally, here is the plated shot. The fillets were served with KK roasted potatoes and a vinegar based cole slaw, the recipe of which is posted in the recipe section. As you can see, Pete The Salt Pig heartily approves of us eating heart healthy. This is an easy cook and only takes a few minutes prep time in the kitchen. Thanks for looking.
  2. Ok, let's set the record straight. In my previous post, some of you thought I eat like a king or that my definition of "meager" was a little skewed. Yes, I did cook all that food, but I purposefully left out the merely prosaic. Nothing could be further from the truth. How many burger, brats, and dawg cooks can you look at before you doze off. But just to prove a point here are more of the everyday cooks here at ChezChef. So, without further ado, here is my homage to the Merely Meager Cooks here at ChezChef! Some Juicy Lucies Pulled pork on TheBeast Pulled pork It doesn't get any more common that pulled pork and corn chips Here are the burgers, brats, and dawgs Here's something for the waistline More burgers and brats on TheBeast And comfort food ... the humble chicken pot pie Ready to serve See? There really isn't a big production every evening here at ChezChef! :LOL!: Thanks for looking (again).
  3. Howdy Gurus! So as many of you know, I was planning on a Simple 4th of July Cook. I wasn't entertaining a big group of folks as I've done for years. I was just having my brothers over to drink a little beer, grill some dogs, burgers, and sausages, eat a few chips, and watch a little baseball, etc. Well, here is the result of a "Simple 4th of July!" I knew I was in trouble and the best laid plans of mice and CC were shot to hades when I walked out of Sam's Club with over $200 in food and beverage! Here is the table with the appiteasers on it. Here is TheBeast getting loaded up for his time to shine! I spiral cut jalapeño and cheese sausage, and Oscar Mayer hot dogs (what else? ) My brother loves spiral cut ever since I introduced him to them. Next up on the grate was the burgers. Gotta stage this cook ... Here is a money shot that is just a couple of simple dogs, some German potato salad made by my brother who lives just around the corner and an ear of corn. That's all the money shot. However, I guess my house is now known as BBQ Central as all of a sudden, my neighbors show up carrying burgers, buns, and beer, and they just came in and sat down! At the end of it all there were about 30 folks here. It looked like the swarm of locusts of Biblical proportions eating at my table! A great time was had by all. Just a great 4th of July here at ChezChef! I hope your 4th was as much fun as was mine!
  4. Howdy again Gurus! I had a couple of pounds of hamburger that needed to be eaten and I had a couple of friends coming over to just hand out, drink some beer, burn a few burgers, nothing big. I thought rather than burgers, I'd do enchiladas. I had one couple bring black beans, another chips and salsa for nachos, and another bring more beer. I called an audible and switched from burgers to enchiladas. Browned up the meat, onions, peppers, etc. and made a quick great sauce. Here are the enchis rolled and in the pan and on the main grate in TheBeast. Here is the pan just prior to the pull. Here is the closeup view that shows the cheese just the right color of brown for my guests and me. Just an ever so slight crunch there that was quite tasty. And finally the money shot. This was just a simple and quick enchi cook that worked out quite well. We all had our fill of food and beer and had a great time shooting the breeze. Good audible at the line. I hope your weekend was as enjoyable as mine.
  5. Howdy Gurus! So it was a miserable evening to cook last evening. The temperature was only about 95F, but the humidity took the Heat Index to 110F! Just flat dadgummed miserable. It's forecast to be a Heat Index this evening of 115F or better this evening! HOWEVER, ever the trooper, I was not to be deterred (I had a couple or 3 or 4 COLD beers ...). Here is a cook of mini peppers, summer squashes, Vidalia onions, etc. 90/10 hamburger, and cottage cheese. Simple, quick, healthy, and easy! Here are the veggies on the flip side of the Grill Grates. The torpedo burgers on the main grate of TheBeast. And finally a couple of money shots. Here is a money shot with Pete The Salt Pig supervising (as usual!). Thanks for looking! All y'all be safe as temperatures rise. Stay hydrated!
  6. Howdy Gurus! Here it is Tuesday evening and I found a package of NY Strips on sale at Sam's Club today. They followed me home! They were so dadgummed cute! Here is a pic of the NY Strip in its natural state ... Here is the NY Strip After the first turn ... Here is the Money Shot complete with Pete the Salt Pig Supervising ... A Money Shot with just a bit tighter view ... And finally, the aftermath ... These were MONSTER strips ... and I had to wave the white napkin. Oh well, lunch tomorrow will be droolicious! Thanks for looking!
  7. Howdy Gurus! So I've been neglecting posting cooks as of late and I'm fixing that this evening. This is just a simple little cook of breaded chicken breasts, a nice green salad, and an avocado salad made by a friend. She thinks I need some care taking seeing as how I'm a bachelor. I don't tell her otherwise. She's been here many times for parties that I've thrown and she still brings me food. I'm not complaining! Here is the Marketing shot: Here is the money shot: The chicken breasts were most and juicy and the avocado salad was wonderful. Pete, my salt pig that was a gift from a dear friend, approves. He's not too happy with me when I do butts or pork ribs! The breading was really simple: I packet of powdered Spicy Ranch Dressing mixed into Panko breadcrumbs that had been salted and peppered. The breasts were soaked for 30 minutes in buttermilk and then dredged in the breadcrumbs. I personally think it needed more salt, but nobody complained.
  8. So, I get this box delivered to my front door from Blue Apron. It's not mine; the guy screwed up the address and dumped it on my porch. I know the lady, so I march down there a little after 5:00 when I know she'll be home. She smile and invites me in. Offers me beer and begins to open the package. It's a calzone dinner for 4. She's single and asks me if I would like to join her for dinner. I spammed as I have steaks I was going to grill. She doesn't take no for an answer. I tell her that we can use my kitchen, my kamados, and we pack up everything and march down to my house. The box is very well insulated, all the ingredients are well packed and present, and so we dive right in. I've never seen this service before, so I'm intrigued. Here are the instruction sheets, front and back: I'm impressed. These sheets are laminated and written in clear and concise language complete with pictures so that even I can't screw it up. Here are the ingredients packed in the box. All ingredients were fresh and of really good quality. My part of the deal was to just cook the calzones on TheBeast. We also deviated from the instructions by doing bacon wrapped asparagus on Beauty! Here are the calzones already on TheBeast. He was rocking right along at 475. I will say that the dough was hard to work with and get in any kind of shape for calzones. So, I just winged it and it was the best I could do. Here are the calzones right before I pulled them after 15 minutes. And the Money Shot. Finally, here is a shot of the calzone ready for dipping and eating. Total time from "CC, start your Komodo Kamado" to "That's all folks!" was about 90 minutes. So this was my very first experience with Blue Apron. It was really nice having everything sourced for you and at your fingertips. The quality of the food was quite good and I enjoyed everything about this meal. The only down side was the dough. Trying to shape the dough was quite frustrating, but as you can see, we got the job done. All In all, if I weren't wrapped around the axle with my KKs, this is a service I just might subscribe to. Thanks for looking.
  9. Howdy Gurus - I've seen so many really wonderful cooks documented by Wilbur, JackJumper101, ckreef and his bride, Andy Scalzo that I've got to post a few of my meager cooks. I've done all these since I returned from my various trips. I'm not much on verbiage, I'll just let the pics speak for themselves. it may take a few posts to get all this in, but ... Quiche Roasted yard Bird and corn FOGO One HUGE pan of lasagna Lasagna plated Smoked & Stuffed pork chops Stuffed Pork Chops plated Grilled salmon Plated Salmon More to follow soon.
  10. This is a BIG piece even by FOGO standards! That welders' gauntlet you see goes all the way to the elbow. Here is the gauntlet next to an average piece of FOGO.
  11. I finally got around ordering my rotisserie motor from One Grill a company that specializes in rotisserie equipment and it came in today! I've been looking forward to this day since Beauty! arrived with the rotisserie basket for TheBeast. Here are a few pics of the rotisserie motor and one of the basket. Front view: Notice that this specific motor indicated that it can spin 50 pounds of meet at once! This is no light-weight motor. Of course, nothing about TheBeast is light-weight! Here is a side panel that details a one-year warranty: I would have preferred a larger warranty, but the Customer Service rep assured me that if I take care of the motor, i.e. keep it out of the elements and remove it when not in use (no problem either way) that the motor was almost indestructible. He said you can't believe the number of people who leave their units attached to the cooker, rain, snow, sleet, hail or shine, and then wonder why the motor breaks. I'd believe it! Here is a picture of the other side panel. This company wants you to spin meat, even going do far as to suggest a first cook! Here is the back panel that details some features. Note that while the motor is indeed water resistant, it is not water proof! Here is a front view of the motor itself. Here is a view of the motor from the side that will face TheBeast. Note the slides on each side. And finally, here is a picture of the rotisserie itself! This thing is a beast itself. It's about 26" long and is 10" in diameter. At first glance, you go "WTF?" Then you begin thinking like a KK Owner and Dennis Linkletter. The whole basket and it's "Frankensteinian Claws" are actually designed from its inception to securely hold every cook, no matter how large (a big turkey is very doable) and no matter what shape (I"m thinking of spinning a butt and a brisket. You also notice that there is no central spit to hold the cook. That's because forcing a spit through a cook limits what you can cook and it more importantly lets precious juices find a way out of the cook. That means that the cook could conceivably be less juicy than it need be. Finally, everything is held in place by hex nuts. Nothing is going to fall out of this basket! Finally, here is a view looking at the basket end-on. Those 3 points allow you to adjust the center-point of your basket. That is important because if you have a large cook in the basket, it's center of mass may not coincide with a single spot that normally comes with a rotisserie or most certainly a spit. You can actually adjust the point that connects to the kamado and the motor drive unit to more properly center the cook. Properly centered cooks mean that there is less stress on the motor and thus the motor last longer! In essence, it takes less torque to spin the cook. Okay, that's it for now. I'm thinking of spinning a chicken tomorrow. I'll make sure I take plenty of pics and post it in the Showcase. Thanks for taking a look at the KK Rotisserie system.
  12. Howdy Gurus! Well, I was sitting around thinking about Wednesday evening's dinner and thought that I haven't used my Anova Sous Vide in q few weeks. Time to get the hot water to meet the NY Strips. The first thing I did was season the NY Strips with S&P, garlic, rosemary and thyme. Then it was time to seal them in a bag using the Food Saver vacuum packer. Here's a closer view hopefully showing the spices on the meat. Prior to seasoning the NY Strips, I got the Sous Vide controller set up and warming the water to 125F. My Sous Vide is set to keep the water at 125F for 4 hours. Here is a picture of the NY Strips cooking away in the water at 125F. Tonight's sides are brussels sprouts seasoned with a kiss of garlic with a lite cheese sauce and sweet potatoes, Here they are in the belly of TheBeast. It's worth noting at this point that sweet potatoes are really a dense food. They need MUCH more time to cook at temp than brussels sprouts. Make certain you take that into account whenever you cook sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes do not bake at the same rate as regular white potatoes. Sweets are really more dense and take quite a bit longer. Our cooking temp this evening is 400F. As you can see my temp control skills are slipping. I just hate it when I do that! LOL!! Next comes the cheese sauce. it's nothing more than a blonde roux (just cook the raw dough taste out of the flour), spices, 1 cup of COLD milk, and a couple of cups of sharp cheddar. No big deal. A roux is a basic sauce and dead simple to make and then it serves as the basis for so many sauces. Dead simple ... that's what I like! Here is a plated shot of the final product when everything came together. I like my cheese sauce spicier than does SWMBOI, so I did the cayenne and black pepper workup on mine. We topped the Strips with a nice goat cheese with basil crumbles and the sweet potatoes just got kissed with butter, salt, and pepper. Couldn't be simpler and couldn't be tastier! In fact, it was so tasty, I almost forgot to show the inside of the steak was cooked to a perfect medium rare. Sorry I don't have a shot of the steaks searing in TheBeast. As the NY Strips were already at 125F, it was throw the steaks on TheBeast, wait a few seconds, turn, wait a few more, flip, and repeat. The Strips came out at a perfect 135F. Here's a picture of the steak cut open. I hope you can see the color of a perfectly done medium rare. Were it not for SWMBOI, this shot wouldn't have happened. This steak was so delicious, I literally forgot about taking pics! Sous Vide makes cooking steaks so easy. Just set the temp of the water bath just just below where you want to final temp to be (medium rare is 130-135F). The longer you cook at temp, the more tender the cut of meat will generally be. You also want to save the juices in the Sous Vide bag as they are simply wonderful poured over the steak. So this was a quick and simple cook. Steak were just to our liking and couldn't have been better! Thanks for looking in.
  13. Howdy Again Gurus! Last night SWMBOI and I were tired at the end of the day. I was looking for something quick, easy, and light. We have a favorite restaurant very near our home here in OKC, Charleston's, and they do a killer flat bread pizza. SWMBOI has been after me to duplicate it and I had the materials on hand, so, what the heck, why not? So here we go. Lit a fire in the belly of TheBeast and got him up to about 425. A little corn meal on the pizza peel ... The sweet Italian sausage hand made from the local grocery ... I bought some Momma Mary's thin and crispy pizza flats at the store. Here it is on the peel ... I whipped up some pesto in the food processor and spread it on the pizza flat ... Added some mozzarella cheese and Roma tomatoes sliced so thin they only had one side ... Then the sweet Italian sausage went on top to complete the flat bread pizza pie ... And into the belly of TheBeast who had heat soaked for about an hour ... Total time to cook was only about 9 minutes at 425F and here's the finished pesto flat bread pizza with sweet Italian sausage ... A view of the finished crust ... And a plated shot of a couple of slices sitting on my best china ... And finally the aftermath ... As you can see, this was a very formal dinner where I use my best china and stemware! When all was said and done, this was a wonderful cook. Next time, I think I would add a few sliced ripe olives. You can also use chicken, beef, etc. I'm also going to add a few jalapeños to the next pie. This was a simple, easy and delicious cook that took very little time and was wonderfully tasty without much work at all. Thanks for looking in.
  14. Well, todays was supposed to be the day that I spun some meat. However, technical difficulties prevented spinning meat until further notice. Rather than sulk, I decided to make this evening's consolation prize worth truly enjoying. My motto has always been when life gives you lemons, grab a bottle of vodka and make some LeninAde! Tonight's menu consists of NY Strips, Baby Dutch Golden Potatoes, and Fresh Asparagus! SWMBOI and I had bacon and scrambled eggs with sautéed peppers and onion done on the griddle this morning in the belly of TheBeast. So we had bacon grease left over; yes, we collect bacon grease and use it for cooking! Pork fat rules! Thank you Emeril! So I grab the griddle and I use the bacon fat to coat the potatoes. I love rubbing up potatoes with bacon grease. It's one of the small things that takes me back to my youth learn how to cook in my Mother's kitchen. Here are the small baby golds rubbed up, salted, peppered, dusted with granulated garlic, rosemary and thyme, and sprinkled with some parmesan cheese. They are ready for the belly of TheBeast. Next comes the asparagus. It too gets rubbed with s slight coating of bacon grease, salt and pepper. It's in a tray and ready to sit next to the potatoes. TheBeast hit about 375F and it's time for the potatoes to hit the heat. I've got half the heat deflector in the belly of TheBeast; that just right for roasting potatoes and cooking some asparagus. And dadgummit, I don't have a single pic of the potatoes roasting in TheBeast! The potatoes take about an hour at 375F packed as they are. Here are the NY Strips seasoned with S&P, granulated garlic, and some chipotle pepper. Here is the asparagus on the indirect side and the NY Strips on the direct side. Temp on the direct side for this quick sear was 550F. Here is the end result of the cook before we jumped in with knife and fork. My dear friend, Pete the Salt Pig looks on approvingly as not pigs were involved in dinner tonight! The steaks were seared to a wonderfully delicious medium rare. And here is the end result about 30 minutes later! While I'm disappointed I didn't get to spin some meat today for this evening's dinner, this was a really nice consolation prize that was quick, easy, and very tasty. I'll spin that meat soon, but as long as can entertain SWMBOI with a meal this good, I'm doing okay! Thanks for looking in!
  15. Howdy Gurus! Well, the Ladies, soon to be granddaughters come over last night and wanted me to cook some Mac-N-Cheese to go with the feta and spinach stuffed chicken breasts I told them I was cooking. I said let's go the the store and get the fixin's for the MNC. So we dash to the store, I'm buying cheese like a madman, and we head to checkout. They ask me about the MNC. I don't get it. Then it dawns on me that they have never had scratch MNC and that the only thing they know if from a blue box! LOL!! So I say "Trust Me" and I get The Look! Evidently it runs in the family ... I get the same look from their grandmother, SWMBOI! Here is a pic of the ingredients right before the cook ... mies en plas. Again, The Look. What, Am I speaking a foreign language here? So I have to teach them how to make a roux, the basis for just about every sauce (bosceaux - its the basis for gumbo, ettouffe, etc.) and all they can say is "This better be good!" They are skeptical especially when I added rosemary, thyme, cayenne, Dijon mustard, and nutmeg to the roux! Here is a pic of the MNC just on the grill. "ON THE GRILL?" they asked even more skeptically! Yes my dears, on the grill. And another. As I mentioned, we had chicken breast stuffed with sautéed spinach and garlic, and feta cheese. The Ladies have never heard of feta! I slit the breasts, put in the stuffing mixture, sealed with toothpicks, did a quick egg wash and then rolled in breadcrumbs seasoned with a package of spicy Hidden Valley Ranch dressing. Simple, easy, and delicious! Here's a pic of the breasts on the grill next to the MNC. Cooked at 375F until the breasts were at 155F internal. And here is the finished product. Sorry, no money shot, but every morsel of chicken was gone, plates licked, and the leftover MNC packed off to their home for lunch today! The girls loved the MNC, but to my mind next time I will use much more sharp cheddar and no mozzarella and no jack cheese. They are just too mild and added nothing to the flavor profile for me. The Ladies raved about the MNC, but I've done much better. Also, I had forgotten how much baby spinach reduces. I only use a 6 ounce bag and that was much too little an amount. Use a full pound of spinach. I used fresh baby spinach this time and frankly, it was a waste of money. Use a box of frozen spinach ... it works out just as well and costs much less! So all in all, an okay cook. The Ladies LOVE really MNC and discovered that feta cheese is really tasty! Tally one up in the Win Column for CC and Score on for The Team! Thanks for looking in. Y'all have a great weekend with the Family and your friends!
  16. Gurus! People who see a KK are oft times taken aback by the shear size of even the smaller units. I know that when my next door neighbor heard I was getting a smaller 19" KK, he said he couldn't wait to see it. He's beyond impressed with TheBeast and he has cooked on him a couple of times. He just shakes his head. So when my neighbor saw Beauty!, my new 19" Hi-Cap KK, he said "I thought you said it was small!" I told him compared to TheBeast Beauty was svelte and petite! He just laughed! My neighbor wanted to help me get Beauty! in her cradle. Like g.michael here on the Kamado Guru site, he quickly figured out it wasn't a 2 man job. He then offered his pickup to go get an Engine Hoist from a friend of his who owned a garage! An Engine Hoist! My neighbor said you just don't get a feel for these grills even by looking at them. His son was over this past weekend. The son is a really big BGE fan. His sone took one look at Beauty! and said it was bigger than his Large BGE. Then he looked at TheBeast and said it's the biggest F'ing cooker he had ever seen. That night I ran across Wilbur's famous hot dog picture, you know the one, with 4 hotdogs on the grill. That triggered an idea! I had some hot dogsI I could create a Hot Dawg Scale to give you an idea of how these grills compare in size. Hotdogs are pretty standard in size, so it's perfect for comparison. Wilbur's picture has 4 dogs in it. What I'm about to show only has one because the cats here got the other 3. Don't even go there! Here are the 32, 23, and 19 in sequence: Here they are all 3 sidebar side by side: I hope that gives you an idea of the size differentials using my standard measurement tool, the HOT DAWG SCALE!
  17. Howdy Gurus! in a recent conversation with Dennis Linkletter he was extolling the virtues of sous vide cooking. HE told me that the ANOVA Sous Vide controller was now under $200 on Amazon. I've never really been interested in sous vide cooking, but for that price, I'll try just about anything. I mean when you're shelling out the money for a KK, what's a couple of Franklins here or there, right?! LOL!! So I get an ANOVA and today I decided to do a Tri Tip I've had in the refrigerator for almost too long. SWMBOI really loves Tri Tip and so I'm bound and determined to baptize this Tri Tip and the ANOVA at the same time. Let's unpack the ANOVA and see what we have. Here it is as it was delivered. The ANOVA unit itself came very well packed. Here is the ANOVA unit out of the box and on the table. This unit is quite substantial and is very solidly built. Good quality. Now on to the Guest of Honor and the means whereby we will stay hydrated for the duration of this cook! Here is the Guest of Honor oiled up with good olive oil and wearing a nice coating of my Embarrassed Zebra all purpose rub. And now it's into the Belly of TheBeast at 500F for about 3 minutes per side. Now we have to pull the Guest of Honor and seal it using the Food Saver. I added a few springs of rosemary. No big deal. The results of that look like this ... Now it's into the Anova Sous Vide Bath. And here is what the ANOVA Sous Vide until looks like as it operates. The temperature of the bath is 111F on its way to 131F (perfect medium rare) and it'll cook for 44 hours. More to come in a couple of days! I think this is going to be the ULTIMATE tease cook!
  18. HOWDY GURUS!!! I've seen a lot of meatball cooks lately, so I decided to give mine a little twist that may prove interesting. As many of you know, I LOVE hamburgers, especially the Juicy Lucy. For those of you how may not know, a Juicy Lucy is a hamburger with cheese cooked into the middle. They originated in Minneapolis years ago at one of two places. I find them to be a real treat. I don't have a recipe to give you. At this point in life after cooking for 40+ years, I just put in a touch of this. a dab of that, and a bit of the rest. I apologize in advance for being so lax. So I started with about 2.5 lbs. 90/10 hamburger and about 1 lb. of breakfast sausage with a couple of beaten eggs, some garlic powder, plain Panko, S&P, some creme fraiche, and Italian spice mix that I mix up on occasion. The cheese I'll be using is cubed mild cheddar which SWMBOI likes. Here is a look at the ingredients well mixed : In the upper right hand corner of the picture you can see my little trick for making uniform meatballs ... a nice sized ice cream scoop! Here it is in action: Now we add the cheese. Just press it right in the middle of the raw meatball mixture while it is in the scoop. Meatball mixture will raise up around the edges. That's okay as you'll just close that around the cheese: Squeeze the edges up around the cheese and eject the meatball indoor your other hand and roll it gently to make certain everything is nice and closed up and you have a nice round meatball. It should look something like this: Here is a nice picture of a dozen meatball in a special utensil with holes drilled in the bottom of each cup that allows the grease to drain while cooking. I got this idea from JackJumper101 and this pan is available on Amazon. Stupid me I only ordered 1 and I should have gotten two! We're trying to eat healthier you know! Here's a shot of the meatball going into the Belly of TheBeast! I put a drip pan under the special meatball pan that allows grease to drain. A clean Beast is a happy Beast! And here is a shot of the finished product being inspected by Pete The Salt Pig and his minions. Here is a shot of the Juicy Lucy Meatballs on the plate prior to being topped with a simply homemade Sugo. Here is the finished plate. A coleslaw and Cherub Tomato salad, LeSuer Peas, and a couple of Juicy lucy Meatballs topped with Sugo. Pete looks on approvingly. And finally here is a cutaway view of the Juicy Luck Meatball showing the melted cheese. Next time I think I'll use 4 cubes of cheese per Juicy Lucy Meatball! I cooked these Juicy Lucy Meatballs for about 50 minutes at 325F. You can cook to an IT of about 165F or until you see a little bit of cheese seep out. This recipe made 21 Juicy Lucy Meatballs as you can see in this picture of the finish cook in the Belly of TheBeast. Don't forget to spray your meatball tin with Pam or some other nonstick cooking spray. I forgot to spray the tin on the left holding the 9 meatballs one stuck inside. I had to pry it out. It came out in pieces and of course, I HAD to eat it! Thanks for looking at yet another meatball cook, albeit with a little twist. I've got a fair number of meatballs left over. My BBQ Mooch Brother failed to show up with his bag of chips ... the wind was out of the North and he lives North of me! Y'all have a great week!
  19. Okay all you small and mini Kamado cooking Gurus, I'm throwing myself on your mercy here so please be nice to this old broken down Okie! I can't get a good feel for the rules of this place. None seem to exist. As many of you know, I'm getting a decidedly smaller KK to keep TheBeast company out back on the patio. Her name is Beauty! and compared to TheBeast, she is a dainty little flower. She is 19" across. Now the 19" High Cap Beauty! is the second smallest of the KK line of products. Her little bother is a 16.5" little guy. Here is my quandary. Beauty!, while quite small and delicate, is larger than the basic Large BGE, Classic KJ, the Vision, the Akorn, the Primo Oval junior, and just about every other point of entry in a line of mass market kamados. That point is generally 18" in diameter. Beauty! is 19" os called a High Cap for a couple of reasons. First is that lid's design is based on that lid of TheBeast. Secondly, because of that lid, Beauty has a very high capacity for cooking a great deal of butts, chickens, turkeys, etc. Can I post her cooks here in this thread? After all, Beauty! is small in relation to every other KK save her little brother, the 16.5" She is certainly small compared to TheBeast. And I'll prove it with pictures when Beauty! arrives here in OKC. I don't want to barge in and crash the party, but Beauty! wants to know where she'll be showcased. As she so succinctly put it, "A girl can never be too prepared!"
  20. So today is a nice cool day here in OKC and after Jerri smoked cheese right after Thanksgiving and my ne'er do well Brother gigged me to smoke some cheese for him, I decided to do some smoked Tillamok Medium Cheddar Cheese today in TheBeast. This is my first attempt at smoking cheese in the belly of TheBeast, so we're into unknown territory. So, we shall see what we shall see. Open up both manifold wide open to get plenty of airflow to make certain the A-Maz-N-Tube Smoker performs as designed. Here's a pic of the A-Maz-N-Tube 6" smoker resting on my lower grate in the beast. It's been lit and has been burning for 10 minutes. Blew out the fire as per instructions and it's now smoking away. We're using hickory pellets today for our smoke component. Here is the Tillamok Cheddar cut into slabs for better smoke adsorption. I used a veggie tray since the holes will allow for good smoke contact on all sides of the cheddar slabs. You probably can't tell from the picture, but I have the upper cooking grate to get the cheese high in the dome of TheBeast. The upper cooking grate is sitting on the main grate which is above the lower grate. So we have the lower grate holding the Tube Smoker, the main grate, and the upper cooking grate holding the cheese for smoking. Here's a picture of the top vent. I've opened this more for this smoke than it's ever been open for a cook, even high temp pizza cooks. The reason for this is that Tube Smokers are notorious for not staying lit in kamado cookers. This isn't going to happen to me today! TheBeast's top vent is 3 full turns open at this point! If you look right under the top vent in the lower right hand quadrant you can see the gasket. Here is the cheese after 2 hours on smoke. The cheese doesn't look as if it has adsorbed much smoke, but believe me it has! You should have been in the kitchen 5 minutes after I brought it in .... smelled like a BBQ joint! Go figure! After a trip to the Food Saver, here's what you get ... Note that Pete The Pink Salt Pig approves! Also note that I've put the date I smoked this cheese on the bag. It'll be ready for consumption in 3 weeks, just in time for Xmas hors d'oeuvres! The reason the bag is so dadgummed crinkled is because I got distracted by Skippy, the Sous Chef cat! I"ll let y'all know in 3 weeks how this turns out!
  21. Howdy Gurus! It's finally time to say goodbye to the holidays. The 12 Days of Christmas are about gone and the Holiday Season is over. I figured it was time to move on and I pulled a turkey roast that I cooked for Thanksgiving out of the freezer. Some of you may remember this cook .... here is a picture of a turkey and the turkey roast from that cook. The roast is on the far right of the picture. So I asked SWMBO, my brother the BBQ Mooch, and my neighbors if they would like some smoked turkey enchiladas. The resounding answer: YES! So I'm presenting a dish of the smoked turkey enchies I made this past weekend. Here is a look at the turkey roast in a solo shot. The paring knife is for a size reference. These roasts have elastic netting to keep the preformed turkey roast in its formed shape. Here is a shot of that netting cut off the turkey roast. Here is a shot of the turkey roast right after shredding it. It's really a lot of turkey! For an idea of how much turkey this is, here is a shot with a blue latex glove for a size comparison. The pile of turkey is about 1.5" high. Now we got to the enchie assembly. First a layer of spinach and a finely diced sweet onion ... Next we add a goodly portion of the shredded smoked turkey roast ... And now we're going to used some smoked cheddar cheese I smoked back in early December along with some of the enchie sauce ... Repeat 4 more times for this particular dish and pour the remainder of the enchie sauce on top of the enchies in the dish ... Now top with cheese and a couple of different types of peppers, diced Hatch papers and roasted poblanos, and it's ready to go to the belly of TheBeast ... Here are the enchies right after getting on the grate ... Here is the dish of enchies after 75 minutes at 325F ... And finally, for your viewing pleasure, here is the money shot with Pete The Salt Pig and his new Pig Minions supervising ... So, stick a fork in the Holidays, they are done for the next 11 months or so! I hope your Holiday Season was as good as mine and that you enjoyed the show here. Now it's onward and upward for 2015!
  22. Well Gurus, yesterday I was bored. Stark. Staring. Bored! I had a couple of slabs of St. Louis Style Ribs I picked up at Sams Neighborhood market on deal that I had prepped and rubbed and were in the fridge. I also had 2 pork tenderloins that I dropped in marinade at the same time. Had to get 'em cooked but I was bored. I went out and had a chat with TheBeast. Always cheers me up and it happened again as soon as I lit the lump with the MAPP torch. I"m not so thrilled that I'm doing the Spunky Monkey, AllyCat, but there was a spring in my step. Here is the marinade I used on the pork loins. Got it at Sams' on a friend's recommendation. And here are the two pork loins before and after hitting the marinade/ As you can see, Pete the Pink Salt Pig is nonplussed to see some brethren on the business end of a cook! Here are the ribs in situ and after the prep. Notice the "Chef's Portion" separated from the ribs. That's MINE! So let's go get TheBeast ready to do his duty and earn his keep. [Many people have asked how I arrange TheBeast for a cook similar to this, so please bear with me here.] First thing I do is completely fill the basket with lump and light him up. I only lit one spot and you can see it to the right of the picture. I then bring TheBeast up to temp; in this case about 250 since I'm getting a late start. Then its on with the smoke component; in this case hickory. Now let's add the deflector plates ... ... the drip pan is next ... And then the main grate and the ribs. So we button up TheBeast and in 10 minutes, I check the temp. Rock Solid. With about 45 minutes left in the rib cook, it's time for the pork loins to hit the grate for a reverse sear. On they went and I forgot the pic! BUT WAIT! The Chef's Portion is done and Bubba, my BBQ Moochin' Brother, is here and wanting to know "What're we eating!" Bubba declared the ribs Delicious Edible! 30 minutes later, the ribs are done! One rack dry, on the left, and one sauces, on the right. The ribs were foiled, wrapped and in the cooler. Here is a pic of the two pork loins as they came off the reverse sear at 135IT (Bubba likes his pork more done than do I, but he is a guest, albeit a mooching guest, but a guest nonetheless! Here is a shot of the sauced ribs and following the dry ribs. I didn't catch a shot of the pork loin being sliced, but you see it on Bubba's plate. Here's Bubba's plate right before he went Animal on it! He said this rib cook was top 5 in his life and he's eaten BBQ all over the US! I asked what were the other 4 places he'd had better ribs and he said "The last 4 times you've cooked ribs!" Its nice to get impartial feedback! The ribs were very good ... they had a nice medium both to them. The marinaded pork loin was pretty good. I'm not much on sweet marinades, but SWMBOI and Bubba sure ate the heck out of it. SWMBOI took some to her friends' house for a luncheon they were having and Bubba took a mess of ribs home with him. So much for leftovers! Happy New Year's to all my Good Guru Friends!
  23. Well, TheBeast finally got his own formal wear and he couldn't be happier! Made by Sunbrella, the workmanship of this cover beats anything I've ever seen on any kind of patio get. Heavy duty treated canvas, all seams are incredibly well sewn. The cover is designed to fit like a glove and it does. And like everything KK, this manufacturer has passed muster with Dennis Linkletter. It's also passed muster with all kinds of KK Owners. All I did was hop on the train as it passed by. Of course, the color is black! After all, this is formal wear for TheBeast!
  24. So I have new neighbors that moved into the house just east of me. Unpacking is such a pain in the gluteus maximus, Been there and done that. So Pat and her husband Kerwin are directing the unpacking of the moving van and we get to know each other. Lovely couple who are 75 and 79 respectively. I ask if they like BBQ and Kerwin looks at me as if I've lost my mind! He says "Young man, what part of YES, HE!! YES don't you understand!" I know immediately I'm gonna like these folks! So I tell Pat and Kerwin I'm fixing them a pulled pork dinner with all the fixin's. After protesting I tell them I'm bigger than both of them and I don't want to hear any more about it. So I buy a couple of butts and and rub 'em up with olive oil and my Embarrassed Zebra rub and stow 'em in the refrigerator over night for 24 hours. I pull the butts about 6 pm and rub 'em up again and back into the cooler. I fire up TheBeast about 8:00 pm and heat soak him at 225F until 10 pm when the butts go on the grill. We're using apple chunks for our smoke component. Here are the butts just on the main grate. So I shut the lid and it's off to bed. I told TheBeast this was for our new neighbors and to behave himself over night. No shenanigans whatsoever! So I wake up the next morning and this is what greets my eyes ... Here's how my neighbor's butts look about half way through the cook ... So it seems that TheBeast and his guests of honor are playing nice together! Flash forward to about 5:00 pm and I check my neighbor's butts again. Probed like soft butt and the ThermaPen showed and IT of 200F for off the butts came! Here's a pic of one of the butts right before wrapping and being stuck in the cooler for about an hour. At 6:00 pm I started pulling the pork and here is a pic of what went next door. I don't have any pics of the plated sammies, cole slaw, and homemade chips, but let's just say Pat came over about 7:30 pm and told me Kerwin was on his 3rd helping of everything! BINGO! As an aside, Kerwin came over the next day to get a proper introduction to TheBeast. I showed him TheBeast and he started asking questions. Kerwin WAS thinking of buying a BGE but has changed his mind. His family is eaten up with BGEs. Pat told me he's spent the last 2 days reading the Komodo Kamado website and has decided he's going to can his BGE purchase and go with a KK 23" Ultimate! Y'all have the very Merriest and most Blessed of Christmases!
  25. So I'm out putzing around Saturday morning before the OU/osu butt kicking that turned south in a BIG dadgummed hurry, and I duck into the local BBQ Emporium just to waste some time. Out of the corner of my eye I see a huge BGE. I have heard that BGE has a really HUGE model out, so I mosey over to take a look. After looking and kicking the tires, I come to the conclusion that the XXL is stunning in its mediocrity! I'm talking that in my estimation, the XXL BGE is simply taking advantage of the loyal BGE crew. Lets not beat around the bush ... the XXL BGE carries a very hefty price tag ... $5,600 for 672 Sq. In. of cooking area! There is no second tier grate available, even from 3rd parties! That is $8.33 per sq. in. of cooking surface. A plate setter/heat deflector is included in the price. So are 2 side shelves that are so cheaply made as to be absolutely useless. Rickety is the only word that comes to mind. Base price is $5,000, you get a cheap cover for $200, deliver at $200, and setup is another $200. That's it! Period. And these things are backordered to beat the band! My KK BB 32" base price was $6,100. My heat deflectors cost about $100 each and I have two. My cover cost about $400. So the landed price of TheBeast to me in OKC was about $6,700 in an apples to apples comparison. Now I know that $6,700 >> than $5,600 by almost 20% using the XXL BGE as the basis. But if you consider that the KK BB 32" costs $6700 and has 1,826 sq. in. of grill space that works out to $3.67 per sq. in.! Remember that the XXL BGE costs $8.33 per sq. in. or the XXL BGE costs 226% MORE per sq. in of cooking surface area! The KK 23" Ultimate has a cooking grid area of 978 sq. in. Now compare that to the XXL BGE. The KK 23" Ultimate has 45% more grill surface area using the BGE as the basis. Let's suppose that you order the most expensive KK 23", the Bronze Metallic Tile at $4,480 and again you purchase a heat deflector at $70, and a cover for $250 and the landed cost of a KK 23' Ultimate is $4,800! That's $800 LESS than the XXL BGE! Now just looking at price is a sad way to analyze why you should purchase the KK. The difference in construction quality is striking! The hinge on every KK is built into the spine and is rcok solid. The hinge on the BGE is simply pathetic in comparison. The lid actually will wobble as you raise it! Yeppers, you have to raise the lid on the XXLBGE by hand. All of us KK owners know all you have to do is unlatch a very solid latch and the lid rises slowly and gracefully of its won volition. The cradle you are required to purchase with the XXL BGE is external to the unit itself. It's ugly. That the only thing I can say about it. There isn't a single dimension of the kamaod that KK doesn't put all other kamado manufacturers to shame. Not one single dimensions ... air control mechanisms, rollers/wheels, firebox, wall thickness, insulating capabilities, etc. KK Kookers, I could go on and on, but we know we have the finest Kooker on the planet. Over engineered and uncompromising quality often get taken for granted until you see what passes for quality and engineering on the competition! Taken all together, I'd put the KK line of kookers up against any other manufacturer of kamados in the world. It's VALUE, not price, that counts! TheBeast!
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