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egg in the news again

char buddychar buddy Posts: 562
edited 3:56AM in EggHead Forum
here is an article from today's wsj about grills. FYI.[p] The Last Frontier: Charcoal
Is Reborn With 'Dual Fuel'[p] By POOJA BHATIA
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL[p] Bryant Hixson is nuts about his new stainless-steel Kalamazoo grill,
which came complete with a griddle and a built-in Champagne
bucket. But his favorite feature is even more surprising: He can fire
it up with charcoal briquettes. "It's like an adventure," says the
Hollywood, Fla., advertising executive, who shelled out $6,000 for a
new "dual fuel" model.[p] After more than a decade of pushing ever-fancier gas grills, the $2.9
billion barbecue industry has a new strategy: lumps of coal. To try
to capture the one-third of grillers who still insist on cooking the
old-fashioned way, makers are pushing everything from dual-fuel
grills (the outdoor equivalent of gas/electric ranges) to gas-ignition
charcoal cookers that cut down on the long wait for the coals. Then
there are the special smoker attachments that add a wood-fired
element to gas grills. And to fuel it all, they're pushing "natural
lump" charcoal, boutique wood chips -- even fruitwood planks that
supposedly infuse fish with flavor.[p] For the industry, it's all an attempt to re-ignite grill sales -- sales of
gas grills grew just 3% from 2000 to 2002, one-sixth the rate of the
previous two years. Indeed, while folks have increasingly tricked
out their outdoor kitchens with everything from gas-powered woks
to rotisseries, they're not actually using them that much. Just 33%
of Americans actually use their grills regularly, according to Harry
Balzer, who tracks kitchen and appliance trends for NPD
Foodworld. Backyard grilling is "tapped out," says Mr. Balzer.
With the fancy new charcoal-burning models, makers are "trying to
get the trend back on track again."[p] For Jeff Stikeman, at least, it seems to be working. Through 12
years and four grills, the Boston architect stuck to gas -- and found
himself grilling infrequently. Then a friend started bragging about his
new charcoal grill, a ceramic cooker called the Big Green Egg -- he
even e-mailed pictures of steaks sizzling on it. So Mr. Stikeman
bought his own $700 Egg, which can hit nearly 1,000 degrees and
cook anything from pizza to pork butt. Now he's grilling meat so
often, he says, he feels like he's on the Atkins diet. The one
drawback: It's ugly. "I'm trying to design a table to go around it so
you don't have to see the whole thing."[p] Of course, before the advent of the gas grill in the '60s, charcoal was
pretty much the only way to cook burgers. In the decades since
then, backyard chefs have increasingly chosen the speed and ease of
gas over the mess, hassle -- and fuller flavor -- of charcoal. (Purists
deride gas as "not real grilling.") Gas-grill sales first beat out charcoal
in 1995, and throughout the '90s, their sales grew by as much as
18% a year. But now, with growth down, the charcoal holdouts --
many of them upscale foodies -- have become an increasingly
attractive target market for grill makers. "They have to look for
some new customers somewhere," says Donna Myers,
spokeswoman for the Barbecue Industry Association.[p] Playing Both Sides[p] The only problem: Regular charcoal grills are still pretty cheap.
Indeed, a classic charcoal-fired Weber kettle goes for about $80,
while the company's new Summit gas grills can cost almost $2,000.
That has makers adding on the fancy new features -- and upping the
price. So Char-Broil's new dual-fuel grill comes with push-button
ignition and a condiment basket and costs almost $400, while
Weber's gas-ignition Performer lets owners cook with charcoal, but
get things going quickly with gas -- for five times the cost of a kettle.
"This way, we play both sides of the street," says Mike Kempster,
Weber's executive vice-president of sales and marketing.[p] And, of course, once you've paid that much for a grill you can't just
pour on a heap of Matchlight, which is where the "boutique
charcoal" comes in. Among the most popular: irregularly shaped
"natural" coals that dominated sales before briquettes took off in the
'60s. Sales have almost doubled from 1999 to 91,000 tons last year,
says the Barbecue Industry Association. Meanwhile, the biggest
cooking-wood purveyor in the country, WW Wood, based in
Pleasanton, Texas, says sales have grown by an average 18% for the
past 10 years. Last year, it introduced three new flavors: cherry,
maple and apple.[p] Deven Black, an upstate New York grill owner, uses natural lump
coal whenever he can. The appeal? Because the lumps aren't
perfectly shaped, like briquettes, they produce a "less perfect, but
more interesting heat." Even that isn't good enough for Steve
Maggetti, who last year found a boutique wood purveyor on the
Internet who FedExes him cherrywood planks to grill swordfish,
mesquite for steak and even Cabernet-soaked wood chips for his chicken, though the price tag is steep -- about $1,200 a year. Says
the 30-year-old Irvine, Calif., resident: "I have a passion and I'm willing to spend the money on it."[p] Perhaps, but some folks aren't impressed by the industry's back-to-the-coals plan. Billie Jo Bishop recently got a gas-ignited charcoal
grill as a gift -- and just sold it on eBay. While it cuts down the time it takes to heat up the grill by about half, it still takes 15 minutes
or so to reach prime grilling temperature. The Minnesota business owner wasn't willing to wait that long. "When you have a three
year old, you have to eat when you have to eat," she says.[p] Write to Pooja Bhatia at [p][p][p][p][p][p][p]


  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    char buddy ,
    I didn't say it was 'UGLY', I said it looked a little 'goofy'! I've been misquoted! I'll own that place!
    gonna sue!

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    char buddy ,[p]"The one drawback: It's ugly."[p]I guess the author thinks a webber kettle, with it's gangly legs and tubby cooking area is beautiful. Perhaps they prefer an offset parked in your driveway (while your car is now in the street), or maybe they think a faded out black gasser with soot stained glass windows is pretty. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.[p]Strike claims to have been misquoted. I can easily believe that. I have spoken to reporters a couple times and reading the finial printed version was often so different than what I said it was like a completely different article. [p]Tim
  • Tim M,
    she read me the article over the phone and I winced when she said 'ugly'. Told her all I said was 'goofy', and that in a familial sorta way, chiding.[p]She said 'ugly' was her word, and that she wasn't going to put it in quotes as if from me. [p]To be honest, she sounded pretty interested in the thing (the egg) and just couldn't comprehend these other folks with the massive turbo-gassers.

  • WooDoggiesWooDoggies Posts: 2,390
    <p />stike,[p]It's ok Jeff. Seems misquoting is a trend these days in major newspapers. :~)
    And let's face it...... the shape, color and material of the egg is a bit exotic and unorthodox to the traditional eye..... as the metalheads so often like to point out.[p]Goofy looking? Absolutely..... but what it produces are things of beauty.[p]John

  • Slice009.jpg
    <p />
    My bad..... I meant to post this photo instead.[p]I needs me mo coffee....

  • KennyGKennyG Posts: 949
    stike,[p]I was interviewed for a WSJ article (with pic) a few years ago. The storyline they printed was so twisted and inaccurate, it was hysterical. Not quite what I told them over the phone hehehe[p]K~G

  • char buddy ,[p]"While it cuts down the time it takes to heat up the grill by about half, it still takes 15 minutes or so to reach prime grilling temperature. The Minnesota business owner wasn't willing to wait that long. "When you have a three year old, you have to eat when you have to eat," she says."[p]15 minutes is too long?? Boy I'd love to be that 3 year old and get all that yummy microwaved food! :)[p]
  • FireballFireball Posts: 354
    char buddy ,
    We will never be understood if we can not get correct information into the press. Maybe we won't rule the world. Atleast we all eat very well.

  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    char buddy ,
    Ugly?? No, no, say it ain't so. I bought my Large because I thought it was so cute--only later did I discover the joys of Egging! Really. I glimpsed (for about 2 seconds) the Viking stainless steel version of the Egg on the Today show last Saturday; it reminded me of a cross between Robbie the Robot and a big martini shaker.
    Thanks for posting.

  • QBabeQBabe Posts: 2,275
    WD,[p]Hi Woo, I think I'm gonna try again to see if I can master a brisket cook this weekend....[p]Can you give me any suggestions, tips, etc. and do you have a favorite rub for such....? That pic sure looks great![p]The first one I did was 13.5 lbs and turned out ok but didn't knock my socks off. The second one was just 1.5 lbs, but was as tough as shoe leather. [p]Since I've never had brisket, other than the above two attempts, I don't even know what it is supposed to be like....any help I can get from folks who've been successful would be greatly appreciated.....[p]Have a GREAT weekend!

  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    To all,[p]The article does contain an email address of the author. We might send a few emails regarding the Ugly remark. I will.[p]TNW
    The Naked Whiz
  • MickeyTMickeyT Posts: 607
    WD,[p]What a great shot. Nice smoke ring.[p]Mick

  • The Naked Whiz,[p]I already emailed my letter:
    "Although 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' (I think the egg looks cool!), I find that your research for this article was very poor. A quick look at the manufacturers web site reveals that plans for a table are provided free (no need to design a table), and are even available already built."[p]

  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    Well my comments centered on the fact that she interviewed someone, didn't like his word (goofy) so she substituted here own (ugly) and justifies it by leaving off the quotes. Why ask someone for an interview if you are going to change what they say? Besides she really missed the mark. When people look at an egg for the first time, they don't react by saying it is ugly. They react by saying that it is wierd or goofy or strange. This then sometimes is extended to the owner. I'd be the first to admit that we are all a bit wierd or goofy or strange. Ugly just doesn't describe the egg or people's reactions to it. Calling it ugly was irrelavent to anything important to her story. Maybe we need to send her $6 and some stamps....[p]TNW

    The Naked Whiz
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    The Naked Whiz,
    any press is good press.
    anyway, i bet she'd respond to a nice rib-eye better'n email![p]After all, she's basically mocking the gassers for their attempt to grab the last 'hold-outs', and refers to the superior flavor of lump over gas.[p]anyway, i got the feeling she was in our camp.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • The Naked Whiz,[p]...but why is he "...trying to design a table to go around it so you don't have to see the whole thing."[p]The table is needed to add workable space, not to hide the Egg.[p]BTW, I've decided on buying the medium, but now I have to wait for the dealer to get in the spring-loaded hinges.
  • BordelloBordello Posts: 5,926
    That's one mighty fine picture, I've been trying to cut through my monitor fo last five min., that steak is almost mine. LOL[p]I always thought the egg was cute from the first time I saw it and same with most of my friends. I had emailed my aunt a picture of 3 of them on my patio, she wanted to know what those ugly things were, it really hurt my feelings. Oh well.[p]Cheers,
    New Bob

  • Mac  in NCMac in NC Posts: 287
    QBabe, [p]Maybe we can convince Woodoggies to write a narrative on the preparation of a brisket to add to the legacy of those who came before him. Like TRex's steak method or Elder Ward's pulled pork. Think he would bite at the idea? I, too have tried brisket with mediocre results. To smoke a brisket with a smoke ring like WD's would make my "best cook" list at #1!!![p]Mac

  • WooDoggiesWooDoggies Posts: 2,390
    <p />Mac in NC,[p]I am still the low man on the totem pole when it comes to brisket cooks.
    Growing up in the N Carolina, I just wasn't exposed to this cut of beef and have very little experience compared to the likes of Elder Ward and many of the old timers on this board.
    However, dude, I do appreciate the kind words![p]One thing I do know, it helps a lot starting off with a great cut of beef.
    I have the good fortune of having a prime butcher 2 miles down the road who sells his cuts at a very reasonable price.
    They are always beautifully marbled with this wonderfully aged aroma.[p]Then I simply cook as prescribed by my team mates, Qfan and Nature Boy.
    All I know about brisket is from those two, this board, the Primo board and the serious folks on the BBQ Forum.[p]My setup for that brisket was a raised grill with a drip pan on the main grill, Maple Leaf lump from Canada (hand delivered by Qfan), a couple chunks of hickory and a consistent temp of about 250.[p]Time, mother nature and the bbq gods took care of the rest.[p]Check out the link below...... all of the basics are there.[p]Beers on this Holiday weekend!

    [ul][li]Qfan Talks Brisket[/ul]
  • WooDoggiesWooDoggies Posts: 2,390
    New Bob,[p]My first reaction, when I was stopping into my local fireplace shop and this thing outside chugging an aromatic plume, was..... "What the hell is that?"[p]That visit was on a saturday and I proceeded to visit every saturday after that sampling whatever they had cooking..... chicken, pork chops, wings, kabobs..... until I decided to take the plunge..... the next decision was medium or large.[p]Hey Bob, great to finally see a photo of you..... I love the idea of that thread and getting to match faces with names of this crazy community of ours.
    You're the one in the hat, right? :~)[p]Vodka Tonics!

  • Mac  in NCMac in NC Posts: 287
    WooDoggies,[p]You said "Time, Nature and the BBQ gods took care of the rest." [p]Well brother, they are definitely looking over your shoulders. I too, use Maple Leaf (thanks Jimmy!). Placed grid on the placesetter and filled drip pan with apple juice/seasonings. Let the temp. reach 250 and added the Hickory chunks. Gave it an hour and a half per pound and pulled at approx. 170 internal. Wrapped in foil and towels and let it rest for an hour. The end result was a dry tough piece of meat. Still tasty when saturated in Big Chief sauce from Ken but nothing like I expected. (the brisket I mean, sauce was deelish.) Back into the test kitchen...[p]Oh well, I guess that's why God keeps making cows. [p]Off to the local brewhouse to get "sauced"...[p]Mac [p]

  • WooDoggiesWooDoggies Posts: 2,390
    <p />Mac in NC,[p]I think you may have pulled your brisket off the cooker a little too soon at an internal of 170.... which would probably explain for the toughness.[p]Normally I would start checking for tenderness around 190 internal. [p]Nature Boy showed me a trick that has worked well for me.... when the brisket is up into the 190's, take your polder probe and push it into the meat...... if it slides in and out with no resistence then it's ready to pull, wrap and rest.
    If there is a sight tug of resistence then let it go a little longer..... however, I would not let it go past 200 as many have noted that it will only start dring out after that temp. [p]Different grades of brisket will cook at different rates.... a prime brisket will cook faster than a select. I have also seen this in beef ribs. The prime beef ribs I bbq always cook faster than the lower grades.
    I use those times and temps as just a guideline as every piece of meat seems to have a mind of it's own.[p]For me letting the brisket rest for a couple hours in an insulated cooler helps with the end product..... I've let them rest as long as 4 hours before slicing and they are always still steaming hot and good.
    The only drawback I have found for a long rest is that it will soften the crispy bark.... but I can live with that.[p]Those are all of the tidbits I can think of for now..... I would have gotten back with you sooner but my girlfriend told me I was paying more attention to the forum than her..... what can you do?[p]QBabe, I hope this answers some of your questions as well. :~)[p]Another lovely drizzly day!

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