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Question about quality of food

jimbo83jimbo83 Posts: 4
edited January 2012 in Root
I've been cooking chicken on gas and a weber charcoal and it always comes out dry sometimes it is better than others. The chicken breast dishes are awesome at the steakhouse chains, and I can never cook as good as say longhorn or outback's chicken. Will the green egg cook better than the restaurants can? If not I cannot justify the cost.

I do not quite understand the obsession that some of you have with the bge, how could you be obsessed it is just a grill, is it because you have no other hobbies? No offense. Thanks

Comments

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,739

    Hahaha,

    I guess it would seem kinda obsessive. Yes the egg will cook chicken better than the outback.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Jimbo, ceramic charcoal cookers are far more than just grills.  They smoke, they bake, they cold smoke, they sear, etc. etc. etc.  The thing that I found to be great about ceramic cookers is that when you get bored of cooking one thing, there are thousands more things to try.  Of course, some say they can do anything on their metal cookers that you can do on a ceramic cooker, and that may be true with enough effort.  But I argue it is so much easier to do with a ceramic cooker. 

    As for justifying the cost, also keep in mind that you will never need to replace a ceramic cooker vs. how many times you many need to replace a metal cooker.  I don't know if you can cook "better than a restaurant".  That depends a lot on the cook in addition to the cooker.  But as far as chicken breasts go, I've never cooked a dry one on a ceramic charcoal cooker.
    The Naked Whiz
  • Mighty_QuinnMighty_Quinn Posts: 1,878
    Sounds like more of a problem with the cook than the cooking equipment.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,258
    get an egg, get a thermapen, get whole/double breast chicken, makes a huge difference. if your shooting for the outback flavor, get a bix box of salt
    :D

    image

    image
  • cshamcsham Posts: 3
    I think that you will find it worth the money. I have only had my BGE for a little over a week and have cooked on it everyday since getting it. Made chicken twice and the wife and daughter said it was the best they have ever had. Everything that I have made I would not be afraid the serve it in a nice restaurant. I have always loved to cook and grill but the BGE is just so easy. It lights quick and is easy to maintain a constant temp. Something as simple as baked potatoes are even better. I wash the potatoes, rub a little olive oil and just salt and pepper the outside. Throw them on with whatever I am cooking. We eat the whole potatoes. They are great and I am not even a big potato eater. It is just a grill/smoker/oven but when you are able to cook something and have great results each time it just makes you want to cook more and try new things on it.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited January 2012
    no grill, oven, utensil, or cooking style can dry out meat.  salt cannot dry out meat.  even dry aging meat for weeks on end cannot dry out meat.

    the only thing (ONLY) thing that dries out meat is overcooking it.

    chain restaurants use 'solution-added' meats most likely, (factory brining, in a sense) to preserve what moisture they can when they overcook (as they are required to do) their chicken.  but even then, they are only taking it to 165 or so.

    most of us (well, myself for sure) never paid attention when cooking on a gasser.  you toss it on, flip flip flip, poke prod flip, and maybe slice it to check if it is 'done'.  damn, a little dry this time. ah well.

    but when you drop 1000 on a grill (or fancy infrared, or six-burner gas range, etc.) you start to think more critically about your food, and you start to pay attention.  and that includes taking the temperature of what you cook, and removing it from the heat when it is just BELOW your ideal desired temp.  it cooks a little as it rests on the plate.

    it's never the fault of (or a credit to) the device cooking the meat, but our own understanding which hurts or improves our cooking.

    deciding to buy a BGE (or any other pricey bit of equipment) usually comes around the same time when you decide to focus more on how/why you do stuff.

    sure, the BGE helps (it can retain moisture in overcooked food a little better than a gasser), but it is really the person running the spatula that makes the biggest difference
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • The chicken always comes out juicy on the Egg. And I am the worst cook.  My GF used to laugh at my attempts to cook.  Now she begs me to cook whole chicken on the Egg, which I do....when it is -14 degrees celsius outside.  Comes out perfect every time.  She was skeptical when I told her how much the Egg cost.  Now, she is saying it is the best investment I ever made.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,739
    Have you tried an inverted bird yet?

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • I loved my Weber for 15 years, but I'm infatuated with my Egg.

    Just buy it...and use it. 

    I have it but a month but I have not discovered the limiting factor yet.
  • The biggest difference is that chef's, like many eggers cook to temp while many backyard grillers cook to appearance. When you cook to appearance you usually have gone way past the done point by the time you take it off the grill.
  • @Tweev,

    To a point. I never cooked to temp on a grill before I got a BGE. However, I do believe the design of the egg plays a big part in its effectiveness. In a normal metal grill whether it be gas or charcoal you are basically cooking on one side because of the heat loss on top because of the metal lid. So you can end up chasing heat within the meat. But the ceramic dome on the BGE retains a lot of heat above what you are cooking so you are in essence baking the top of the meat while grilling the bottom. If you open it while cooking the lid heats the air back up almost immediately when you close it. That's why I don't buy into the theory that if you open it a few times you'll affect your cooking time. I think generated heat below and retained heat above makes for shorter cooking times thus moister meat.

    I also believe that not only cooking to temp helps but also cooking at a designated temp makes a big difference. How many people around here have we heard about bad cooks because their temp gauge isn't calibrated or they thought it was ok to cook something at 450 degrees that called for 400. So education does play a part too.

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    but even that is "to a point".  a person can certainly cook without a dome thermometer. 
    it comes down to watching the meat. whether that's by touch, eye, thermapen, etc., if you take it off at the correct internal temp, you will find it moist.

    we've heard a number of hypotheses as to whether the egg itself helps retain moisture (or not) , but when all else fails, take the internal temp.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,739
    In fact, the egg creates a moist cooking environment much like a clay baker, dutch oven, brasier or tajines do. This is affected by how much moisture is in the environment obviously but there is no question that it will produce a more moist product than a dry heat environment like an oven or conventional grill.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    a moist environment provides gentler heat, but it doesn't necessarily preserve moisture.

    you can boil a chicken breast until it is overcooked and dry, and that's a 100% humid environment.

    but if you check the breast as the water is boiling, and yank it out when it's at the desired temp, it'll be moist.


    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,739
    The analogy is true but not in terms of what pro's call dry and moist heat

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,258
    @stike

    would less air flow effect the drying effect. a metal cooker moves alot of air over the food when its cold out to keep it hot, almost like placing a fan on the food compared to the lower air speed in an egg
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    @fishless: that's the rationale i always hear for the egg.  makes sense.  higher airflow of the metal cookers to maintain the same heat (because the lid radiates most of the heat away from the cooker) tends to dry it out.

    @littlesteven:  "pros"?  where's your Cordon Bleu, eh? hahaha

    you may be right, but i am just advocating that there's ain't nuthin you can do that has a greater impact on whether you overcook than just keeping an eye on the food.  and i think that when we each make the decision to drop a grand on a BGE, we're at some point in our cooking education that we start thinking, "maybe i should pay a little more attention".  that was the case for me anyway
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,739
    I agree totally. My point is that if two identical pieces of meat were cooked at the same temp, one on in ceramic and one in a gasser or oven to the same temperature, the ceramic would be more moist.  

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    @littlesteven:  i think that might be the case, but i wonder if it really is....

    i threw out my gasser
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,739
    Yeah, me too.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,258
    lots of little details change when going from a gas grill or weber to an egg. paying attention to temps, temp of the grill, internal temps of the meat, prep, researching the cook, types of meat, thickness of the cuts, the ceramic grill forums as a reference guide, the desire to be better at it and the tools to be better at it. just knowing you spent all that money on it. going to butchershops instead of local supermarkets, how many eggers buy 3/4 inch bottom sirloin steaks or round steaks. i know i can cook a whole chicken breast better than a split, so i buy the whole ones. some of us even go so far as to find better hot dogs to cook
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