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  • Re: Hot Plate for my BGE Table? question about using granite, need feedback.

    For the price being asked, doesn't seem like you would loose much if it cracked, or a polished surface was marred. Perhaps if the granite was damaged so that water got into it, and froze, you might end up w. broken stone. Still, I have a pizza stone I dropped. It broke clean, I just push the edges together and it still works fine after a couple of years.

    Note, you can get ceramic shelves for kilns in a variety of shapes and sizes for about the same price as the granite. As far as heat goes, they are comparable to what the Egg is made from, or even better. Not as pretty tho'.
  • How an Iron Chef competitor uses and Egg for himself

    For those interested in offal cooking, you have probably heard of Chris Cosentino. Evidently, he uses an Egg too! See here. Not offal, just stuff from the sea. Ahh, to live closer than 900 miles from the briney deep..
  • Re: It's time to do something - But what? I need to loose weight

    robnybbq said:
    I have not been that hungry the past few days (very low carb for 11 days). But trying to eat every 3 hours. Just don't want to eat what I am making. I just Need to learn how to cook.
    Here are a few cooking notions.

    Bitter tastes in food can be decreased w. a small amounts of salt. This allows whatever sweetness there is to come out.

    Acids are said to "brighten" flavors. Just a dash of lemon or lime juice, a splash of balsamic vinegar will really make flavors jump out.

    There has been lots of discussion about the possible negative side effects of MSG. One of those is that it passes directly from the tongue to the brain, and then may trigger some sort of fat aquisition process. But everyone concedes that natural glutamates are the essential component of savory flavor. There are lots of good sources for those. Blue cheeses, parmasan, mushrooms, walnuts, and even celery have higher levels. Mix small quantities of those into other items for an overall improvement in flavor.

    Soy sauce (real good stuff like Lee Kim Kee brand), real Lea & Perrin's Worcestershire sauce have a permanent place on our kitchen table.

    Fresh herbs and freshly ground spices are essential for good flavor.

    Here is something that may strike you as odd, but crushed pork cracklins are a pretty good condiment. Very tasty from the intense maillard reaction chemicals in it, it is also rather high in protein and oleic acid, a "good" fat. Dusty some of that over anything for an bacon effect.

    Likewise, bread crumbs from bread crusts. Not only do the crumbs add a bit of crunch, but the reason the crust browns is also due to maillard reaction.

    And a trick. Ground chicken and turkey can make an OK burger. Bison, tho' expensive is far better. Extremely low in fat, and exceptionally high in protein. The problem is all those tend to cook up dry. Before forming the patties, add a small amount of plain, unflavored gelatin to some water or stock. Add that to the meat mixture, along w. some other flavor items. Make the patties, and let chill for awhile if possible. The gelatin will keep the cooked meat feeling succulent, and provide proteins that are not as easy to find in lean meats.

    Any rate, there are a ton of things that will make foods taste much better without adding too much in the way of calories. Do not avoid all fats, as the omega fats are essential. Those will help carry many of the flavors.

  • Re: Letting charcoal stabilize before adding food?

    And I won't continue anything, but unconverted wood will continue to produce VOCs. Just not very much. Wood decomposition from lower heat creates, among other compounds, acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde auto ignites well below the burning temperature of carbon, so the acetaldehyde will most likely burn off if the lump has reached full heat, but not so much the formaldehyde or toluene, which ignite around the same temperature as carbon. See here: In the case of unconverted wood, the VOCs are produced by further exposure to heat in the burning lump. The amount of residual VOC in unburnt lump is partially due to the fabrication process. It used to be common to just release them when the retort was opened, but I've read that in Missouri, some production facilities are burning methane to destroy the VOCs escaping from freshly made lump. If either process is less than perfect, the remaining charcoal, which is absorptive, will hold some VOCs. I don't know if all the VOCs will dissipate just from exposure to air flow. Nominally, VOCs do off gas at room temperature, but there is lots of variability depending on the compound.
  • Re: My first hog head today

    My recollection is that mine was a little bigger, maybe 10#. Started a little after noon, and finished just before 5. I had the vent settings for around 250, but the dome therm never was above 210. I knew it was cooking well because the rendered fat in the drip pan was simmering. The pig had been "shot" between the eyes, and I waited till there were bubbles and steam coming from the hole.
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