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Well....tonight sucked (on the Egg)

The Cen-Tex SmokerThe Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 10,974
edited July 2012 in EggHead Forum
Tonight was one of those nights. I had it all figured out. I bought some killer Halibut, 2 prime ribeyes some Romaine for a grilled salad. We were just going to stay home, chill, have a few cocktails and eat like romans.............Well, not so fast.

I did the steaks sous vide- they were beautiful. I seared them after on the egg and let them rest with a pat of gourmet fancy ass butter while I did the halibut.

In the end, the steaks were cooked perfectly.........but no flavor. I seasoned with Dizzy Cowlick in the SV and they appeared (and smelled) great out of the SV so I chose not to reseason before the sear. Huge mistake. I knew and verified again tonight that any flavor from a SV cook comes from the finish. You must season and sear after the bath.

Now, for the halibut....what a train wreck. I bought 2lbs of really halibut for $40. I checked, and double checked the halibut with my Thermapen to make sure it was med rare. For whatever reason it was sawdust...total crap. Had to be 50 degrees overcooked. Good times (dog ate well tonight)

Still not sure what happened with that-frankly just decided to drink my way through it.

I guess we live to fight another day

Peace all.

CenTex :)


Comments

  • troutgeektroutgeek Posts: 455
    I just purchased three choice ribeyes and a nice ahi steak for tomorrow's lunch. Hope I have better luck than you did. Thankfully, I stocked up on Moon Man and Spotted Cow to get me through the cook.
    Large BGE - Small BGE - Traeger Lil' Tex Elite - Weber 22.5" One-Touch - Weber Smokey Joe
  • LizzieSampsLizzieSamps Posts: 894
    So sorry, it does suck when it doesn't turn out! Better luck next time,and you won't make the SV mistake again.
  • rustypottsrustypotts Posts: 265
    Cen-Tex........I'm glad you are voicing the failures although it probably wasnt that bad.  My steak on the mini was a scoch too done tonight......but what the hey,,,,I was listening to ""famous blue raincoat"! Life is good!
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,896
    I think you had a better night than me.  On the plus side, Friday evening, cooked NY strip, zucchini and baked potatoes on the egg,  Came out great.  On the down side, I'm embarrased to say that my 20+ year stretch of not cutting myself with a knife ended.  I was chopping green onions for the baked potatoes and went off target right into my left hand and - 8" chefs knife right into two fingers. 

    Put a pressure bandage on and sat down and ate a delicious meal.  Then had to deal with a pretty bad knife wound in one finger, and a minor one in the other.  Fortunately the wife is a nurse, and she has some mad skills and took care of the dressing.  Probably should have gotten a few stitches, but I've had worse. 

    Lesson learned, don't ever let your guard down, even if you're a seasoned cook and haven't had an accident in two decades.  And alcohol wasn't a factor (even though I'd had a couple, ok, maybe it was a little)...
    ;)
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • NightwingXPNightwingXP Posts: 436
    Sorry Cen Tex! That sucks!! Honestly you make me feel good though. If someone who is  as established as you, and gives as much great advice as you, can have a bad night cooking it helps "young uns" like us realize that it can happen to anyone! So I guess in that instance I appreciate your misfortune............sorry! It sounds worse than I mean it too! Heads Up Cen Tex!
    Only 3 things in life matter. Family, Steelers and my BGE!!
  • psalzerpsalzer Posts: 106
    I've had my Egg for 2 years now, and had a couple of less than desirable experiences, but never with steak !! As far as "accidents with sharp objects" I had my first this year. After 50+ years of working with power tools I managed to get my finger tangled up with a table saw!!! Be careful out there!
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,757
    @Cen-Tex-reading your post I can see where the steak flavor failed to appear but your halibut (with the thermapen) has me confused.  Better check the accuracy of the flame throwin' device.  After all, we are all taught to believe our indications unless we have conflicting indicators elsewhere.  Lucky dog...
    Louisville
  • Well I guess it must have been in the air last night because the spatchcock chicken I did turned out dry. It had good flavor but I put two chickens on at the same time (ok no problem) but I put them on my new cast iron grate and that burned the crap out of the underside of the chicken. I had to break out some fire bricks and use the old grate to get the chicken raised up off the cast iron grate. Lesson learned. Sorry to hear about the cook Cen-Tex, it happens to the best of us.
  • @Cen-Tex-reading your post I can see where the steak flavor failed to appear but your halibut (with the thermapen) has me confused.  Better check the accuracy of the flame throwin' device.  After all, we are all taught to believe our indications unless we have conflicting indicators elsewhere.  Lucky dog...



    I don't totally get it either cap. I knew it was done but my thermapen read 98 degrees. I always do fish by touch and it was ready but i kept messing with my thermapen. I'm chalking it up to a bad night. $47 worth of meat down the drain though! OUCH

    Back to doing fish my way and I'll season my steak before the sear from now on.

  • nightwing and rusty- I think it's important to see the good with the bad. I can screw up with the best of them. I guess the main thing is to learn from it so it happens less and less often. I really wish I would have screwed up on $3 per lb burger meat instead of $20 per lb Halibut!

  • EllerEller Posts: 56
    Hardcore cooks do have inherent risks. I've tried to convince myself that my crappy cooks actually taste and present well. I've feed the dog a few times too. Sorry to hear about the halibut and the pierce wounds. I kicked my large while cooking barefooted. Fully excised my big toe nail, proceeded to shout obscenities, then medicated  with 3 glasses of scotch. Glenlevit 21 does taste like chicken.
  • I tend to read a lot around here and not say much, but at the risk of being controversial.  I enjoy reading your posts Cen-Tex and I admire the amount of time you spend spreading around your considerable wisdom and advising the community here in the art of Que, but maybe you are just over tinkering with this one.

    I have to admit that I don't understand the whole SV thing.  Now I am an embedded systems engineer by trade and no one likes buttons, lights and dials more than me, I just don't understand cooking a steak with the water bath process.  I completely understand the benefits of cooking under pressure in a water bath for many applications, but in the case of steak I am not sure what flavor benefits you get from having a piece of meat that is a uniform color from one end to the other - the primary apparent benefit of this process.  Or perhaps it renders an otherwise utility grade piece of cow somehow tender.  But it would seem to me that all of the benefits of the high temp, short cycle searing process in preparation of high quality steaks- the principal benefit of course being the wonderful flavor of the meat imparted by the liquified fat therein - is completely lost with this low temperature long dwell approach.  If you start with a high grade piece of meat - heck Costco sells prime - you won't need a lot of rub or dust or magic elixirs to enjoy a flavor fiesta that is likely worth the cardio vascular risk.  But those SV machines are kind of cool looking and there are obvious benefits to using them in other recipes so I am rather inclined to try one.

    Cooking fish, especially Halibut, is even easier than achieving reasonable results with a good grade of beef.  At the risk of schooling you on what you already know, if you are grilling the fish, do so about 5 inches or so above the coals for 5 or so minutes a side and then press on the fish with your finger - not a fork, or please not the almighty Thermapen.  If the meat flakes cleanly, its done and not dry.  If you want well done, let it flake all the way through, for mid then let it flake from the top but with more resistance towards the middle.

    I am troubled somewhat by the gospel of the Thermapen on BBQ forums when preparing other things meats that are going to be systematically overcooked in the first place.  I own two, along with a number of other temperature sensing and logging gadgets, so I am not a non-believer.  But arm the backyard BBQ chef with a pointed instrument like a Thermapen and you will create untold tons of dry thermic perfection.  Prodding meat repeatedly with any sharp instrument will do nothing but create a low resistance pathway for the flavor bearing fat and other moisture to beat a hasty exit out of the meat and onto the grate or into the fire. This creates a pleasing aroma when cooking, but leads to obvious disappointment on the palate. These little canals are also perfect for further promoting flavor dissipation while resting finished product prior to service. You will be assured of mathematical perfection thermodynamically, but will find yourself far short of any accolades from your guests or family.  Meat products cooked at high temperatures for short periods need to be maintain the structural integrity of the exterior if you want to enjoy a moist interior.

    Just my opinion.  Perhaps I should post more often and get all of this out of my system sooner.
  • Thanks Rusty- Sous vide is unreal on steaks- even prime steaks. It's not about the flavor (as I mentioned above) it's about the texture. I'll stand by sous vide steak until the bitter end.

    As far as the fish goes, I usually cook them by feel as you suggest and I usually get it right. I thought I would change it up because I had 2 different sized pieces and thought I should be more exacting. Big mistake. I'll go back to doing it by touch and should be OK.


  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,080
    Thanks Rusty- Sous vide is unreal on steaks- even prime steaks. It's not about the flavor (as I mentioned above) it's about the texture. I'll stand by sous vide steak until the bitter end. As far as the fish goes, I usually cook them by feel as you suggest and I usually get it right. I thought I would change it up because I had 2 different sized pieces and thought I should be more exacting. Big mistake. I'll go back to doing it by touch and should be OK.
    I have had good luck with halibut in parchment. Sea bass as well. Hate to ruin pricy fish and it may be a crutch but I'll use it

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • bookswbooksw Posts: 212
    Centex- I agree whole heartedly with the others who have thanked you for posting "failures."  It really helps me to keep this all in perspective and take the good with the bad.  Thank you.  

    I cooked on some type of grill for 20 years before buying our BGE and the ceramic cooker experience has been so much better than any I have had before in many many ways.   My husband and boys are wrestlers. We converted our oldest son's room into a wrestling gym.  As you all may know, high school wrestling is a winter sport and often competes with basketball for the best athletes.  Wrestlers have a saying that comes to my mind in regard to a "failure" on the BGE: "It is better to have wrestled and lost than to have played basketball."
    Charleston, SC
  • The reason SV is so good on steaks is that you can cook a steak to perfect doneness from edge to edge. In order to cook a steak on a grill or in a pan to your desired temp, you have to overcook the outside in order to warm the middle to your desired temp (mine is around 132). You end up with a gray ring of well done steak, then another ring of Med steak to get to your center of Med rare steak. With SV you don't have that. It is your perfect internal temp and texture throughout. So it"s not as much as getting a uniform color as uniform texture and taste from edge to edge.

    SV has many other benefits with other types of meats but steaks are one of the easiest and best to realize


  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,403
    Sorry to hear of the "failure" but if you learned something it is always worth it, and being a dog lover, I'm sure you pup is very happy and looking forward to the next "it did not go as planned". 
    RustyBrainPan has it right, the sous-vide cooking technique has been around for at least a couple of hundred years, but it simply one of those things that never caught on in our north American cuisine because it is seldom worth the effort and doesn't really add to the final offering based on the typical entree of choice. 
    That being said, it is always fun to experiment, and once Cen-Tex-Smoker gets it right, and I'm sure he/she will, the real question has to be was it worth it?
    Good luck!
     
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • Sorry to hear of the "failure" but if you learned something it is always worth it, and being a dog lover, I'm sure you pup is very happy and looking forward to the next "it did not go as planned". 
    RustyBrainPan has it right, the sous-vide cooking technique has been around for at least a couple of hundred years, but it simply one of those things that never caught on in our north American cuisine because it is seldom worth the effort and doesn't really add to the final offering based on the typical entree of choice. 
    That being said, it is always fun to experiment, and once Cen-Tex-Smoker gets it right, and I'm sure he/she will, the real question has to be was it worth it?
    Good luck!
     



    Well....it's actually only been around since the 70's and i respectfully disagree that it's a hassle or that it does not add to the final entre of choice. It took under 5 minutes to vac seal the steaks and put them in warm water so no hassle at all. I love my sous vide and it produces unreal results time and time again. These steaks were cooked perfectly, I just didn't season them properly. This was user error on all fronts

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,896
    I would first suspect the quality of the Halibut filets.  They could have gone though more than one freeze/thaw cycle before being sold.  One problem with fish - some species more than others will get mushy if they're frozen slowly - the cells rupture.  Flash freezing solves this problem, but takes special equipment.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • I would first suspect the quality of the Halibut filets.  They could have gone though more than one freeze/thaw cycle before being sold.  One problem with fish - some species more than others will get mushy if they're frozen slowly - the cells rupture.  Flash freezing solves this problem, but takes special equipment.



    Well thanks for trying to bail me out but this was user error. It was good fish

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,896
    Oh well, I tried.

    I'm always noticing the collection of abandoned shopping carts around the returns section of Wal-Mart with frozen fish (and other food) sitting, and thawing....and I wonder where the sense of urgency is to get that food back in the freezer.  And what ultimately happens to it?  I suspect some under-payed, apathetic employee eventually returns the luke-warm food back to the freezer.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • Oh well, I tried.

    I'm always noticing the collection of abandoned shopping carts around the returns section of Wal-Mart with frozen fish (and other food) sitting, and thawing....and I wonder where the sense of urgency is to get that food back in the freezer.  And what ultimately happens to it?  I suspect some under-payed, apathetic employee eventually returns the luke-warm food back to the freezer.



    And I appreciate it. And, Im not buying my halibut at Wally World :))


  • NightwingXPNightwingXP Posts: 436
    nightwing and rusty- I think it's important to see the good with the bad. I can screw up with the best of them. I guess the main thing is to learn from it so it happens less and less often. I really wish I would have screwed up on $3 per lb burger meat instead of $20 per lb Halibut!
    I understand! The universe wanted to make sure you learned a lesson evidently!

    X_X
    Only 3 things in life matter. Family, Steelers and my BGE!!
  • nightwing and rusty- I think it's important to see the good with the bad. I can screw up with the best of them. I guess the main thing is to learn from it so it happens less and less often. I really wish I would have screwed up on $3 per lb burger meat instead of $20 per lb Halibut!


    I understand! The universe wanted to make sure you learned a lesson evidently!


    X_X



    Yep- I was due a "correction" by the egg gods to be sure

  • ribnrunribnrun Posts: 174
    Wally World is not your go to for seafood? I would be suspicious of the Halibut with the "price rollback" sign.
  • Austin  EggheadAustin Egghead Posts: 3,094
    Cen-Tex, where did you find the Halibut.  I have not had any Alaskan Halibut since we left CA.  Sure love that fish, ranks right up there with red snapper and red fish.  Sorry yours didn't come out as expected. 
    Eggin in SW "Keep it Weird" TX
  • At our (yous and mine) HEB in Bee Cave. It was nice fish.

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