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I love traditional cooking But the money! Oy!

ThinkandDriveThinkandDrive Posts: 84
edited October 2012 in EggHead Forum
In an effort to eat healthy, my wife and I have made a decision to embrace traditional cooking.  This means a LOT of cooking from scratch and sourcing from local farms. The upshot is, for the past month, I have been roasting a weekly chicken on my Large Egg. We use the meat in recipes and make low-and-slow chicken stock from scratch in our crock-pot.  I totally love this!! We've never eaten so well.

My wife, who was a vegetarian for YEARS surprised year or so back and suggested we buy a chest freezer and a quarter cow! We're still eating our way through it. Local, grassfed, organic, and delicious!  Now, she's contemplating a hog! In the long run, these are cheaper.

My question is one of economics. So I completely burn whatever I load the egg with. For a three pound bird, I feel like I'm wasting a lot of charcoal. I have to change the gasket on my Egg.  It's long gone.Yes, I plan on replacing it. But I also have her entertaining buying a smaller Egg for the weekly roast and using the large for entertaining or large smokes.

I prefer to roast my birds on a ceramic vertical roaster my mother gave me a long time ago. (Here's today's bird
) I love this thing. But I'm wondering if a small egg's dome will allow me to fit  the vertical egg in with a small platesetter. How tall is the dome with the grid at the lip level?

Also, I'm planning on a bulk charcoal buy. What's the lowest-sparking (we have a vinyl deck and I don't want cinders to land on it and melt it) charcoal I can get in bulk and from where? I DO have an Amazon Prime account, so I could get a bunch of bags of Cowboy (what I usually get locally) shipped here.  But why not get a pallet if I can find a place to store it? And how to safely store it in a townhome with little space?

Comments

  • Richard FlRichard Fl Posts: 8,239
    Depending on where you live some folks get together and order a pallet of Wicked good or some other popular brand and split the costs.
  • That's a good idea.  Is there a thread for local group buys?

    I've done a group brewing malt buy with some guys in the HomeBrewTalk.com forum before.
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,299
    You are wasting a lot of charcoal if I understand your post. Other than a clean, I have never burned it out. A fire ring fill does at least three chickens direct, maybe four if done indirect, providing the egg is snuffed as you take the bird off. Replace the gasket and maybe your consumption will drop, or buy bulk charcoal. 
    Do you try and snuff it after a cook?
    Delta B.C. - Move over coffee, this is job for alcohol!
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    Try sticking that bird on the other way. Guaranteed.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • You are wasting a lot of charcoal if I understand your post. Other than a clean, I have never burned it out. A fire ring fill does at least three chickens direct, maybe four if done indirect, providing the egg is snuffed as you take the bird off. Replace the gasket and maybe your consumption will drop, or buy bulk charcoal. 
    Do you try and snuff it after a cook?
    I agree.  One load of lump should easily get you anywhere from 3-7 cooks, depending obviously on what you're cooking, how long, and how hot.  At the VERY least you should be able to cook twice on it. 

    Using a load of lump PER cook is enormously inefficient & wasteful, IMHO.
    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,361
    Lump costs about as much per pound as chicken quarters.  I try to make it last.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    I don't have gaskets and don't use the green cap. I still get many cooks out of a load of lump

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,361
    Yep, it'll go out if you close just the lid (obviously) and the bottom damper.

    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • ccpoulin1ccpoulin1 Posts: 390
    Try sticking that bird on the other way. Guaranteed.

    that's what she said!

    "You are who you are when nobody is looking"

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    That was funny! Serious though, I do my chickens inverted on a vertical roaster. Indirect, it puts the dark meat in the hotter part and the fat bastes the white meat. I always get 160 in the breast and 180 to 190 in the dark meat.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,560
    I store my charcoal in the basement.  It's not inherently flammable, so stack it up out of the way.  I would not stack it next to exposed wires or a heat source, but otherwise you'll be fine.   The other option is to find some other eggers near by and split the pallet with them, or at least sell off a few bags.  You'll have less to store if your townhome is tight on storage.
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • For fresh meat and veggies, check put local CSA's. My wife and I are members of one for produce. We pick up our box of veggies weekly. It's all locally grown organic produce. It runs from Mid May through Thanksgiving. It costs around $400 for the season. We love it!
    Mark Annville, PA
  • FanOfFanboysFanOfFanboys Posts: 2,047
    What is a CSA?
    Boom
  • We use the meat in recipes and make low-and-slow chicken stock from scratch in our crock-pot.  I totally love this!! We've never eaten so well.



    We also make chicken stock from the bones of roasted chickens.  We make shrimp stock from the shells and beef stock from beef bones.  We never have enough beef bones so I buy beef knuckles from a butcher (about $1.50/lb).

    It is amazing how much better home made stock is.  If you don't add too much water, the stock will jiggle like jello when cooled.  Try that with store bought stocks.
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious


  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,838
    We use the meat in recipes and make low-and-slow chicken stock from scratch in our crock-pot.  I totally love this!! We've never eaten so well.



    We also make chicken stock from the bones of roasted chickens.  We make shrimp stock from the shells and beef stock from beef bones.  We never have enough beef bones so I buy beef knuckles from a butcher (about $1.50/lb).

    It is amazing how much better home made stock is.  If you don't add too much water, the stock will jiggle like jello when cooled.  Try that with store bought stocks.
    I also want to get a chest freezer, in part to just store the leftover bones for stock. Its ridiculous to spend at least $2 per can/carton (or way more $) in order to buy what is awfully salty water. Last year, I was able to "refresh" my stock every few days. Had enough to start with that i used that as the base for the next batch. Did that 5 times, and ended up w. less than a quart. Actually served the last of it in shot glasses, it had so much flavor.

    I usually do at least one big cook on the weekend. I also have a pretty good vacuum sealer. Between buying and cooking and storing in bulk, I manage to keep my costs lower.

    Also, tho' vertical roast birds are nice, spatch'd bird cook a lot faster, and so save both time and lump.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,746
    the small is a lump miser, it uses way less lump than a large. to use less lump with the large do more rased direct cooks, platesetters and firebricks force the heat back down and not up into the dome, they also absorb heat (a pan will work just as well as an indirect setup as a platesetter for low and slows and normal roasting temps and you will burn less lump with the pan
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