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Maiden Voyage (First Cook)

Ellen aka GormayEllen aka Gormay Posts: 63
edited 9:23AM in EggHead Forum
Last night after consulting the manual, BBQ cookbooks, BGE forum posts and BGE related web sites, I broke in my new Egg. I tried "Easy Smokey Roasted Chicken" from the BGE submitted recipe's list. The bird was rubbed with olive oil and sprinkled with a lemon pepper spice mixture and smoked with alder chips. I watched my dome and polder temps like a hawk and had to fiddle with the vent and daisy wheel quite a bit especially after opening the dome to put in the chicken and a second time to add more chips. I assume that with time, I will fiddle less as I get the hang of Egg cookery. The chicken was done in less than 2 hours and emerged with a mahogany colored skin similar to the color achieved by Ravnhaus's cornish hens. While the meat did not fall off the bone, it was tender and especially moist with a very pleasing smokey flavor. My husband and I deemed the Egg a success![p]I have some questions, however:
I used 2 Weber starters placed apart, but in the center of the lump. When I looked at what was left today, I noticed the whole inner area of lump was grey ash with a large outer area of pristine looking lump. Is this normal? Am I doing something wrong? Should I rake the intact lump towards the center for my next cook and place my starter cubes differently?
Secondly, I am a bit fuzzy on how to create indirect heat. I have ordered the new large plate setter. In it's inverted position, as displayed in the "what's new" link, will it provide an indirect heat setup?
Lastly, my next adventure will be to cook a one inch thick piece of top sirloin. I know that the leaness of this cut of beef makes it less desirable to be barbecued. With that in mind, does anyone have any suggestions on how it can be prepared and cooked?[p]TIA for any and all responses and for the info, advice, drama and humor this site has provided for me in the last 2 weeks.[p]Ellen aka Gormay


  • ravnhausravnhaus Posts: 311
    Ellen aka Gormay,
    It sounds like your first cook was quite successful. Don't worry too much about heat rising and falling when you open up to deal with the food. It will settle down on it's own.
    The egg is very efficient with it's fuel consumption which is why only the center of your fuel was burned. Stir it up for the next cook, maybe add a little bit (better too much than too little) and light it up.
    For a sirloin I would get some good hot coals going, cook a couple of minutes each side and you are good to go. Sirloin is a grilling cut and would not BBQ (low and slow) very well.
    I have never used the plate holder but I am sure someone here will enlighten you to it's use. I use fire bricks on the grill to indirect cook on my egg. Check out link for pic.
    You will love the egg!

    [ul][li]Indirect setup[/ul]
  • sdbeltsdbelt Posts: 267
    Ellen aka Gormay,[p]Judging by your IP address (Tucson area), we have another Arizona Egger. That's great. Gonna catch any D-Backs spring training?[p]I'm glad your first cook was to your liking. Some have suggested to throw away that cook book, and I'd agree several recipes in it are a bit suspicious.[p]Anyway, back to your questions. I've never had the center burn down, but I've read this is typically the result of not loading up the Egg with enough lump. The level of the lump should be equal to the top of the fire box, or to the bottom of the fire ring. The fire ring is the donut piece of ceramic that the grill grate is sitting on. Also, using larger pieces of lump may help in eliminating that problem. I'm a fan of Hasty-Bake, which can now be found at BBQ's Galore. On subsequent cooks, you can safely reuse any unburnt lump, and then just load up enough to again reach the top of the fire box. The ash tool does a good job of giving the old lump a stir to knock of the ash, and then re-level the lump before the reload.[p]You can achieve indirect cooking with the plate setter inverter, as you note. That does a pretty good job for me. I've also used firebricks and two grill grates to get the job done. I place 3 firebricks flat on the lower grate (in it's standard position), and the I flat those 3 firebricks with 2 firebricks that are on their side. These 2 firebricks support a second grill grate above the first one. You can find firebricks at a brick house (like Phoenix Brick in Phoenix).[p]For the steaks, I'd cook them hot and fast. A dome temp above 700 for a few minutes on each side, and then if they still aren't cooked, dwell them for a couple of minutes (that's done by completely closing the upper and lower vents). It should take in total no longer than 10 minutes. Be careful all the way through this cook for flashbacks. I've had flashbacks with completely wide open vents top and bottom, when using small lump (BBQ Galore brand).[p]Enjoy![p]--sdb

  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    Ellen aka Gormay,
    Welcome to the Forum! Here's how I get an even burn with my lump charcoal. I have a metal chimney-type starter. I load the firebox about half way, then load the chimney starter. Instead of balling up newspapers in the bottom of the chimney, I put a Weber cube on the top of the charcoal in the fire box, light it, and set the chimney starter directly on the cube. I have the lower vent and the dome open. In only 10 to 15 minutes, the charcoal in the chimney starter is burning nicely and I dump it over the bed of charcoal. I use the rake and spread it around, close the dome (leaving the top wide open), and wait until the desired temperature is reached. Then I add the daisy wheel and adjust the lower vent depending on what I'm cooking. This is foolproof, IMHO, and it does away with the problem you described.[p]Have a GREAT time with your Egg. I know you'll love it.[p]Cheers,
    Gretl (who lived in Phoenix many, many years ago!!)

  • Ellen aka Gormay,[p]Well, howdy Ms. Gormay. Was that Ms. Gourmet back in the old country? [p]Welcome aboard. [p]If you want the chick to "fall off the bone" use a good, fast read thermometer or, - as long as you are sure the temp in the EGG is gonna stay below 350º - put a polder probe into the chick's thigh. At 180º or higher (in the thigh), the chick will fall off the bone, but still be pretty moist in the breast. If you want to increase your chances of keeping the meat moist at fall off the bone temps, try brining the chick, or use that goopy stuff King Of Coals peddles. To do enough goop for a 3.5 lb chicken fryer (let's assume),mix a couple of tablespoons of you favorite dry seasonings for the chick into 8 or 9 tablespoons of really cheap mustard (French's, for example). Mix the mustard with probably 2 cups of buttermilk (or enough buttermilk to cover the chick in a ziplock bag). Let it sit overnight, and your worries are over.[p]However, you choose to plate setter, as long the plate setter is between your chick (on a v-rack in a drip pan, or a chicken sitter in drip pan) and the grill, you will be doing indirect cook. All indirect cook means is that you introduced a barrier between your meat and the flames. A ceramic barrier is nice because it holds heat as nicely as the EGG itself.[p]CB

  • char buddy,[p]Very cute, Mr. Buddy. Years ago, I dubbed myself a "gourmaniac", because of my fascination with the world of food, its history and its preparation. My first ISP, AOL, would not accept that name or any of the other combinations, I thought up, except for Gormay as a user name. Since that time, I have been known as Gormay to many and Ellen to a few. And now, you know....[p]My dome temp fluctuated between 300 and 400 degrees, but was maintained at my target temp of 350 most of the time by opening and closing vent and wheel. My polder indicated an internal meat temp of 185 and that is when I removed the bird.I may not have rested the bird enough after cooking (we were hungry :-(....). I am a big fan of brining as it seasons your fowl inside and out, but I am more than willing to make a goopy mess.[p]Thanks for the tip,[p]Ellen
  • Ellen aka Gormay,[p]Interesting results. Next time, maybe let the chick stay on grill till it hits 190,or even 195 in the thigh. As long you've brined, or used the goop, that can't hurt.[p]I'm doing a coupla of chicks like that this week. Our yard man (ok, landscaper) has gotten addicted to whole birds done on the egg. I'm doing one for his family and one for mine. [p]mr. Buddy
  • char buddy,[p]Alton Brown (Of FoodTV's Good Eats)recommends you use low fat buttermilk for soaking, since it has a higher viscosity and the acids can do their job better. Just FYI.[p]-Skooter
  • PujPuj Posts: 615
    Ellen aka Gormay![p]Glad to read that you have Egg on land. Welcome aboard.[p]Puj
  • ShelbyShelby Posts: 803
    Ellen aka Gormay,
    Looks like most of your questions have been answered already. Just wanted to welcome you and say be sure to visit often.

  • PujPuj Posts: 615
    Shelby,[p]I've traded a couple of emails with Ellen and they've been great exchanges. I have complete confidence that she'll get up to speed with utilizing the Egg for baked breads and other eats in no time. She'll be a solid addition to the bread baking crowd.[p]Puj
  • Puj,[p]I thank you and everyone else that has extended a warm welcome. Although bread baking was the catalyst in my getting an Egg, I look forward to trying things I have long heard of, but never have had the opportunity to try like pulled pork and Texas style brisket. This may have been my maiden voyage, but I hope to become a frequent flyer :-)[p]Ellen
  • PujPuj Posts: 615
    Ellen aka Gormay,[p]I have no doubt that you'll be into all sorts of "trouble" with your new toy. Many, many happy experiences and experiments.[p]Click on the link and enjoy some turkey some time. :)[p]Puj
    [ul][li]PDK Bird[/ul]
  • Puj,[p]Thanks Puj. Turkey is definitely on the to do list![p]Ellen
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