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2 disappointing cooks - steak and salmon

So far with my egg I've done indirect, low and slow.  Saturday night (yesterday) I finally did a direct cook, steaks.  I got the egg to about 400 and then put the steaks on.  It was very hard to grill (the heat was tough on my arms), because the grill is so close to the charcoal.  I managed to keep them to just slightly charred and about medium rare, but I could have done a better job on my gas Weber.  Okay, I've been holding off buying an AR, but tomorrow I'm getting the combo!  I definitely see the advantage of grilling direct at or above the felt line.  I'm also going to get the half pizza stone (will that  fit in the AR?) as it would have been nice to move the steaks to indirect after getting the initial sear.

Today I did smoked salmon.  I did a simple brine of 2 quarts of water + 1/2 cup salt + 1/2 cup sugar.  I think the brine is important to keep the fish moist while in the egg.  I brined the fish (about 2.5 pounds of filets) for a few hours, then washed the fish with water, patted them dry and shacked on salt and pepper.  I had the egg at about 250 and it took about 1.5 hours indirect to get the fish to about 145 degrees.  The fish came out moist, but it was too salty!  Ugh!  Okay, now I know to not salt the fish after brining in a salt solution.  Also, I think next time I'll pull the fish at about 140 degrees and then cover with foil for a few minutes. Live and learn ...


Comments

  • ScottborasjrScottborasjr Posts: 1,936
    Don't worry, pretty soon the heat on your arms problem will be a distant memory.  Every cook is a learning experience no matter how long you have been cooking with the egg. Soon there will be many more successes then failures, I promise.
    I raise my kids, cook and golf.  When work gets in the way I'm pissed, I'm pissed off 48 weeks a year.
    Inbetween Iowa and Colorado, not close to anything remotely entertaining outside of football season. 
  • n2wdwn2wdw Posts: 47
    Thanks -- yep, I'm learning more each time
  • Try skipping the brine on the salmon. One of the great things about the Egg is how moist it keeps your food. Try it once without the brine. If it still isn't moist enough for you, brine away!
  • KennyLeeKennyLee Posts: 541
    Why was it tough on your arm with the steaks?  I do mine around 600* for two minutes a side, then flip again and shut everything down (top and bottom vent) and let them sit for another 2-4 minutes depending on wanted doneness. This method has turned out the best steaks we've ever made.

    LBGE

    Cedar table w/granite top

    Ceramic Grillworks two-tier swing rack

    Perpetual cooler of ice-cold beer

  • tyenic1tyenic1 Posts: 147
    I agree with the other poster, no need to brine salmon on the egg. As far as the steaks go, get some long welding gloves and show those steaks whose the boss.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,178
    Brining fish makes it taste better.  That's why it's so commonly done.  I think the biggest improvement the average person can do to improve their fish isn't brining, it's not overcooking.  Fish is done at 130-135.  People regularly cook it past 160F.   Brining helps keeps it most if you overcook it, but the main reason is it makes the meat more tender and helps keep the muscle from denaturing and loosing moisture as it cooks.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • n2wdwn2wdw Posts: 47
    KennyLee said:
    Why was it tough on your arm with the steaks?  I do mine around 600* for two minutes a side, then flip again and shut everything down (top and bottom vent) and let them sit for another 2-4 minutes depending on wanted doneness. This method has turned out the best steaks we've ever made.

    because the steaks were so close to the coals, there were flare ups.  I had to move the steaks to get out of the fire and that's when it got very hot on my arm.  how do you deal with flare ups.
  • WolfpackWolfpack Posts: 994
    Try reverse searing for the steaks- also some longer tongs will help with the heat issue. Good luck you will figure it out soon
    Greensboro, NC
  • burr_baby33burr_baby33 Posts: 501
    I cook a lot of salmon. I don't brine. You said smoked salmon. If that meant salmon for dinner with smoke flavor here is a good way to try. Cook on a hotter fire, 300 or 350 with a chunk of alder wood. It will be done in approx 15 minutes with a nice flavor. I usually use DP raging river with a little maple syrup. When you see that milky white ooze on top it will be done.
  • JaredMDJaredMD Posts: 59
    I've had tremendous success with salmon direct cooking at ~375 on cedar planks with a dusting of raging river.. if you get frustrated experimenting with slow smoking the salmon give the planks a try.. it's a weekly meal for my family and they love it!
    XL BGE - Baltimore, MD
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,178
    Brining also keeps the albumen from leaking out of the fish (the "white stuff").
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • CantonDawgCantonDawg Posts: 36
    Hang in there @n2wdw I feel your pain.  I absolutely ruined 2 perfectly good steaks for Father's Day. Therefore, any steak guidance I would provide is useless.  However, my wife says Salmon is far and away the best thing I have done on the Egg.  For me raised direct, at 400* on a cedar plank is almost foolproof.

    I simply rub the salmon with kosher salt and pepper.  About 25 minutes and it has turned out really well on three occassions.
  • Gooey1Gooey1 Posts: 71
    I ruined two steaks a few weeks back after doing several other cooks.  I am going to try the reverse sear next and will let you know how it goes. 
    "Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes............. Well, he eats you"
  • DredgerDredger Posts: 179
    I second KennyLee's advice. Been doing ours that way since 1998 and never had a fail.
    Large BGE
    Greenville, SC
  • KennyLeeKennyLee Posts: 541
    n2wdw said:
    KennyLee said:
    Why was it tough on your arm with the steaks?  I do mine around 600* for two minutes a side, then flip again and shut everything down (top and bottom vent) and let them sit for another 2-4 minutes depending on wanted doneness. This method has turned out the best steaks we've ever made.

    because the steaks were so close to the coals, there were flare ups.  I had to move the steaks to get out of the fire and that's when it got very hot on my arm.  how do you deal with flare ups.
    I don't....just get it to around 600*, shut the lid and let it sear for two minutes a side as I described.  Maybe use tongs next time to keep your arms from over the fire. 

    LBGE

    Cedar table w/granite top

    Ceramic Grillworks two-tier swing rack

    Perpetual cooler of ice-cold beer

  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 4,872
    Flare ups usually only happen when the dome is open, and often when you are flipping or moving the steaks and the grease hits the fire.  So, it's sort of a loosing battle to try to move them away from the fire. Just try to be quick about flipping them and don't worry about the flare up, and get the dome closed as quickly as possible.  You can see a nice flare up in my avatar :).  That steak actually turned out with very little char...I was a little disappointed I didn't get better grill marks! 

    Long tongs or a BBQ glove definitely help in this situation :)


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg wing. 
    2014 Wing King's Apprentice
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,178
    Yes, as SmokeyPitt says, flare-ups mostly occur when the lid is open.  Namely, your dampers are limiting the fire, when you open the lid, you let in an abundance of air.  However, if you have the dampers fully open and fuel is limiting your fire, not air, you can get flare-ups with the lid closed.  It's all about having what we chemists call a "reducing" fire - one where the oxygen is limiting the fire, not the fuel.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • n2wdwn2wdw Posts: 47
    "flare ups only happen when the dome is open" ... which is exactly how I had it, as I was treating the egg like a grill ... okay, I've got alot to learn

    still, I'm ordering the AR combo ... more toys to play with
  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,261

    With Salmon:

    Wash,

    salt&pepper

    brush with EEVO ( non skin side only)

    Sprinkle liberally with Paprika, sprinkle with garlic powder, litely with dill weed.

    Direct raised grid ( to the felt line) 350-400.

    Non skin side down - 5-7 minutes until grill marks and browning occurs.

    Flip, finish with skin side down.  I watch for the foamy stuff to start coming out, and for the piece to start to separate when pushed on with spatula.  If the skin sticks a little bit, no biggy.

    Always works, very simple and fast.   I don't see a need to brine, this will be moist enough that juice is running on your plate.

     

    imageimageimage
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    Cookin in Texas
  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,261

    One more thing - sometimes I put cheddar flavored popcorn salt on instead of regular salt.

    Cookin in Texas
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