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It's a BGE Kinda Week - Here's Your Checklist For SUCCESS!!

Greetings friends - 

I figured listing a few things I sometimes overlook might help the new BGE family members, and maybe remind some old timers of things we let slide from time to time...

1 - CALIBRATE YOUR THERMOMETERS!

Dome thermo, Mavericks, Thermopens, Gurus, whatever - boil water in the microwave and insert your thermometer.  Depending on your altitude, boiling is ~212* F.  To adjust the dome thermo, wrench the bolt on the backside of the body until the needle meets 212*.  For other thermometers, get a baseline of what they read.  I think this link is the easiest to determine your specific boiling point:  http://www.thermoworks.com/software/bpcalc.html


2 - CLEAN AND FILL YOUR FIREBOXES!

There are posts all over where people think their cooks would finish earlier and had to reload lump.  Just fill that firebox up from the beginning.  If you do it into a cleaned Egg, then I guarantee you won't have ventilation issues.  You can easily reuse that lump on the next cook. Kinda helps bring around the next tip:

3 - IF THE SMOKE SMELLS GOOD, IT WILL TASTE GOOD!

Volotile Organic Compounds (VOCs) give a checmical taste to food which ruins meals and peoples' feelings about the BGE.  Let your lump burn at least 15 minutes at your target temperature before adding any food.  Concerned the smoke isn't clean yet?  Smell it - if it smells good, it probably tastes good.  It's also possible that the more white acrid looking smoke can tell you VOCs are still present, so using your eyeballs as well as your nose isn't a bad idea.

4 - USE THE RIGHT WOOD FOR THE JOB!

You may have your favourite, but mesquite with turkey is sometimes too much for most palates.  Here's a conventient chart on which woods pair best with which foods.  http://www.deejayssmokepit.net/Downloads_files/SmokingFlavorChart.pdf  There are a lot of woods I have yet to try!  Stepping outside those lines is fun and sometimes yields GREAT results.  I don't play when it comes to family eating my Thanksgiving turkey, though...

5 - KNOW YOUR TARGET TEMPERATURES!

Medium rare?  I think I know what that is..  Here's a temperature guide to confer against as you cook, should you forget.  Like me.  http://www.forfoodsmokers.co.uk/acatalog/Smoking_Temperature_Chart.jpg

6 - FOOD SAFETY KNOWLEDGE!

There are a million opinions out there, and some pretty firm ones, at that.  Here's a metric truckload of what the USDA has to say on the issue:  http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/safe-food-handling

7 - BURP YOUR EGGS!

I am struggling for more ideas for my list, but this one usually only takes forgetting once..

8 - FTC (Foil Towel Cooler) TO HOLD THE COOK!

I double wrap my finished meat in Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil (HDAF), and then wrap it in Towels that have been heating in the dryer, and then set it in a Cooler that is then topped with heated towels to take up the extra space.  I do this for ALL meats (with some exceptions) for at least an hour, to redistribute the juices.  It really makes a huge difference.  Since I have used this method, I've been able to keep meat hot and outside the danger zone (40*-140* for 2 hours) for more than six hours.  Travelling with food is no longer an issue.  AND - I don't have a Yeti (yet)!

9 - PICS OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN!

Please - this time of year we should ALL be sharing our successes and failures.  We all learn fro each other.

10 - BE SAFE, HAVE FUN!

Thanks for reading - feel free to add to or correct anything I may have missed.

Happy holidays everyone!
8-Damien

Large BGE and Medium BGE
36" Blackstone - Greensboro!


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