Archive for the ‘smoker’ Tag

Brisket for Easter Sunday on the Big Green Egg   Leave a comment

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I made a brisket for the first time a few weeks ago. I followed the directions in Steve Raichlen’s BBQ University (“Smokelahoma” Brisket), and used my large Big Green Egg.

But, there was a casualty — there was a fire in my cooker and table, discovered this the morning after my cooking was done.

I think the gasket failed. I have a picture of what looks like a “blow-out” the gasket is actually curved / curled outwards. I believe this happened because the outer shell was cracked – remember I dropped it when it was new? It finally gave out.

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It is also interesting to see how it changed when I moved it outside to store. It used to be inside the garage. I noticed the shell would sweat – water would come out of the ceramic shell when cooking with it. So there’s expansion and contraction. All contribute to the fire.

So, I think this is the scenario, CSI style:
The fire box was over-loaded. I did not want to re-fuel during my cook (9 Lb brisket). Filled it too high. Lit the fire, temp was about 200 degrees to 225, low and slow. Cooked for 6 or 7 hrs.

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After it was done, I did my usual “sterilization burn” — open all the vents fully open and closed the lid to clean everything.

The crust was sugary and so added an element of catalyst to the fire, along with the grease.

By this time it was very dark outside, I had to use a flashlight to check the temp and the meat. I thought I saw the thermometer pegged all the way, so it was more than 700 or 800 degrees.

I didn’t think anything about that, since I always burn the crud off. Went to bed. . . Next morning, I saw this:

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I wish I could have seen the fire! Easter Sunday morning, I looked outside – and saw the table. No smell, no fire, I think there was early AM dew. So the fire was out. Notice the table stopped burning by itself. Lucky.

I guess the good news is — I get to buy a new one!

The timing of the So Cal Eggfest is great, I can make it to this on on June 11 – This is a great way to see these cookers in action and meet the crazy fans of this interesting smoker – grill – oven – outdoor stove.

 

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Ono Ono Chicken Thighs on the Big Green Egg   Leave a comment

I made some “shoyu chicken” a while ago.

(ONO ONO means – VERY delicious.) It starts with a simple marinade, the ingredients look like this . . . .

Marinade ingredients for the Ono Ono Chicken

I decided I wanted to try trimming the thighs “competition style.” I need more practice, but this is what I did. It took a long time to do all this surgery, but it was worth it, since there is a lot of un-needed fat that you can throw away.

Thighs from the supermarket had this weird flap of extra skin. Yeah, I do love eating that stuff, but I decided to trim it off.

Chicken thigh from the local supermarket – all kinds of extra skin.

After trimming the excess, pull the skin away from the meat. If this process bothers you, you may want to think of this as a biology lab session. All this surgery is not for the faint of heart – and stomach.

Pull the skin away from the meat, and scrape the pasty fat away.

I used a spoon and a paring knife to scrape the fat from the inside surface of the skin.

Use various tools to scrape the fat away.

Keep scraping, but try to avoid damage to the skin.

 

Once the excess is scraped off, stretch and wrap the skin back on the thigh meat. I removed about a tablespoon or so of this excess stuff from each thigh. This is what it looked like. The guy performing the demonstration made his thighs look like little pillows, almost like a perfect, puffy rounded rectangle. Amazing.

Chicken thigh after trimming and de-fatting.

Prep Work Done – On to the Grill!

The marinade has a lot of sugar, so indirect grilling is used to prevent nasty flare-ups. (Big Green Egg Platesetter legs up, under the grill grate.)

Ono Ono Chicken on the Big Green Egg

Isn’t the color amazing? Cook until the safety zone is reached, about 160 to 170 degrees F.

Get ready to eat.

 

Here we go —

Ono Ono Chicken ready to eat.

 

I posted the recipe on the Green Egg – EGGhead Forum in 2011.

 

Rewind: A BBQ Summer   Leave a comment

Getting the Big Green Egg up to temperature (250 degrees F). Hickory chips were added.

Getting the Big Green Egg up to temperature (250 degrees F). Hickory chips were added.

A recap of my first few cooks with a Big Green Egg ceramic cooker. Click the link >>>>  A Barbecue Summer

Thanksgiving 2012: Type 65 Coupe Progress and Some BBQ Meats   Leave a comment

The front steering arms came in the day before Thanksgiving. That meant that I could continue building the front suspension. These little cast iron parts were the things holding my progress:

I installed the steering arms without too much drama. Installing the front hubs onto the spindles was another matter. The instruction manual says something about them being a tight fit, and that is true. I did not want to damage anything, so I used a PVC pipe elbow (remember the body dolly? This was a left-over part from that…) to protect the hub, and I used a plastic hammer to pound the hub into place. A few whacks and it slid right in. I hope that I won’t have to remove them someday – they are stuck on really tight.

And yes, a coupler or a T would have made a better anvil, but all I had on-hand was this elbow. Anyway – the hubs are now mounted to the spindles.

Torque spec for the hubs is 225 to 250 lbs/ft. This is a lot. The nut takes a 36mm socket and I bought one earlier (Coin Star money) just for this step. It took a lot of cranking on my 1/2-inch torque wrench to meet that 250 lb mark. I thought I was going to lift the chassis off the jack stands!

Thanksgiving Ribs

Meanwhile, I prepared some Kansas City Style pork spare ribs for Thanksgiving dinner at my sister’s house. I was in a hurry, and forgot to completely trim the ribs (the cartilaginous tips). I did, however, remember to remove the pleura – the silver skin on the back of the ribs.

If you don’t know about removing the skin from spare ribs, then I am sure you may have experienced eating that stuff somewhere. The pleura is the tough membrane that you might see on the back of the ribs. If left on, it blocks the spices and will never get soft after cooking – it is sort of like chewing gum, and ruins the eating experience….

Anyway, they were still very tasty, although I was out of paprika. No one else noticed it missing – but I sure did.

Ribs with a dry rub. I made two racks for Thanksgiving this year.

Smoky goodness.

After Thanksgiving Turkey

Per my tradition, the day after Thanksgiving, I went to the local grocery store and found a good deal on a fresh 12-lb turkey. I decided to try a recipe from Steven Raichlen’s Primal Grill TV show – see Orange Brined Turkey.

Strangely, both the book and the website say this is for turkey breasts. On the DVD, Steven smokes a whole 12-lb turkey. At any rate, I salivated over this since last year, and finally got to try it. Take a look at my version The bird is a hen, just over 12 pounds . . .

Orange brine for the turkey.

I need a bigger bucket or something for brining the turkey. I turned her (it’s a hen) over in the middle of the night.

Back to Work on the Coupe

Since the turkey had to soak over-night, I went back to the Coupe project. I started to assemble the front disc brakes, when another delay came along: No “supplied grease” for the disc brake slider pins. So I went onto the Factory Five forums and searched on what sort of special grease this might be. I almost skipped this step, but I am glad I did not. Lots of bad things can happen if the brake calipers stopped sliding on the slider pins.

Turns out the grease is special – the grease must be silicone-based, high temperature and must not affect rubber. So I did some more research and found this stuff: Permatex Ultra Disc Brake Caliper Lube Silicone Formula Item #24115. High temperature, silicone based and intended for brake caliper use.

There are some little spring clips that go into the brake housing, and some rubber boots that fit onto the caliper slider pins. The pictures are not too clear and I had to do some fiddling with the parts to make things look right. Here are some pictures that may help other builders. . .

This is the clip that goes into the long slot in the middle of the housing. If you are struggling to get it in, it is probably backwards. Hold it like this and insert it into the housing from the inside. It will just pop into place with a little bit of pressure.

The caliper slider pin boot is easier to install if you “un-curl” it first, like this.

Then you can push the little lip into the shallow groove in the pin. . .

. . . to make it look like this.

Since I was at the car parts store, I also bought a box of disposable gloves and some adhesive for the aluminum panels. There’s a ton of postings on what adhesive to use on the Factory Five Racing car projects. Many different adhesives are mentioned. But there was one build gallery that I found, and I am going to use the product they used – it is Permatex Ultra Black RTV silicone gasket maker, Item #24105. This is what Kirkham Motorsports uses in their projects, so I figure it would be acceptable in my Coupe build. Kirkham has an online assembly manual posted, it basically follows David Kirkham building one of his cars: Kirkham Motorsports Assembly Manual.

What Good is a Sale on Something When It’s Out of Stock?

Since I was running about getting the grease and other stuff, I decided to go tool shopping. A local hardware store chain had a 50 percent off sale on Makita and Milwaukee power tools this weekend – I thought this was the perfect time to go get that right angle drill I wanted. I got to the store, only to find no Makita or Milwaukee right angle drills available. I went to two stores and wasted half of my day looking for the thing. I decided to look for an alternative to the right angle drill – how about a right angle drive attachment? I did not find one of those, either. So I left the hardware store empty-handed – I think this was the first time that ever happened!

Back to the Turkey

After an overnight soak, the turkey is ready for the smoker.

Getting the Big Green Egg up to temperature (250 degrees F). Hickory chips were added.

I can never resist peeking. Orange brined turkey, after the first hour.

After the 2nd hour. I rubbed the turkey with butter and continued to smoke.

After 4 hours. Almost done.

Total time in the smoker: About 5 hours. Temperature in the thigh 170 degrees F. After a 15 minute rest, time to carve!

Yes, this is as tender and juicy as it looks. The mayo-mustard-triple sec dressing that is part of this recipe is very good. I think I will try this with lemons next time.

So not much work completed on the Coupe today, but the holiday weekend is not quite over. I hope to complete the front end tomorrow.