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How long does it take you to cook a midweek meal?

I want to throw this question out there because I'm genuinely interested in your workflow. Some of my curiosity stems from the concern some folks have for how "long" it takes to fire up an egg.

I'll take last night's meal as an example:
I wanted to grill some sausage I had in the freezer, cook a new potato recipe, and serve some sauerkraut from the fridge.
Of course I only decided what to eat about 3:00PM so the sausage was frozen.

As soon as I got home I set the sausage out on the counter to thaw (a small package with 4 - 4" links).
I needed to par boil the potatoes for about 10 minutes so I put a pot of water on to heat up.
Went outside and lit the egg with a rutland starter cube. I open the top and bottom vent and set my phone timer for 15 minutes.
Go back inside and add the potatoes to the pot... After they boil for 10 minutes I drain them and set them aside to cool a bit. I make the marinade for the potatoes while they are cooling.
During this time the egg comes up to about 300 degrees. I set the vents to settle in at about 350 degrees.
Go back inside and slice the potatoes, then marinate for grilling.
Once everything is prepped I grill the sausage and potatoes - that takes 20 minutes.
Eat...
 
The details are less important than some time  "segments" if you will that seem repetitive for me. Segment #1 is prep time. It generally takes me 20-30 minutes to gather everything together, cut up the food, etc. In that time the egg comes up to temp.
Segment #2 cook the meal. For a midweek meal that's a 1/2 hour more or less.
Segment #3 eat 20 minutes
Segment #4 cleanup. That takes 20 minutes.

So total time start to finish is generally 1 - 2 hours from the time I start until I'm done and moving on to something else. Am I just slow or does this sound about right? Given the time I spend prepping protein or vegetables I don't see the concern about whether the egg takes 15 minutes or 30 minutes to crank up. It's usually ready when I am if I start it early in the process.
Do you plan ahead better? That might save some time. Do you prepare protein and veggies at another time? The total time might still be the same - just allocated to different times of the day.

What say you? I'm curious.

Coleman, Texas
Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven. LSG 24” cabinet offset smoker. There are a few paella pans and a Patagonia cross in the barn. A curing chamber for bacterial transformation of meats...
"Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
                                                                                                                      YukonRon
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Comments

  • In my mind, I thought it would take longer to get the BGE up to where I needed it to be and I think that is one of the reasons I held off so long in buying one.  Now that I see how well it holds lump and how quickly I can get it ready, I realize that what you just posted is very realistic.  I actually tried to do this the other night.  The only problem was I didn't set myself a timer on my phone to remind myself to check on the egg and I over-shot my temp a bit.  Wasn't that big of a deal, but I will definitely steal your idea of a phone timer for next time.
  • I cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts last night. Walked out on porch and lit egg. Went inside and seasoned chicken. Waited about ten minutes then adjusted vents. Waited another ten minutes cuz family wasnt home yet. Chicken took ten minutes. So lighting to eating was about 45 minutes by time I got sides ready and chicken cooled off a bit. Thats about my normal with burgers, chops, steaks, etc if I've worked all day. 

    Little Rock, AR

  • DoubleEggerDoubleEgger Posts: 16,849
    With the medium I'm usually 15 mins +/- up to temp. I do my prep work while the egg is heating up. Cook times vary between 5 minutes and an hour. 15 minutes or so to eat and maybe 5 to clean up. I cook a lot of sides on the egg or in the food steamer so cleanup is pretty easy. On average I'd say one hour total time. 

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 24,953
    You are taking advantage of running in parallel and that compresses the total time.  You are in the range that I see (largely depending on the protein).  I enjoy the pace of the BGE cooks. 
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • THEBuckeyeTHEBuckeye Posts: 4,229
    It takes me as long as it takes depending what I am cooking. 
    New Albany, Ohio 

  • DoubleEggerDoubleEgger Posts: 16,849
    Spoken like retired folks...
  • That seems like a lot of fuss.  My weekday suppers are just about ready when I come home from work.  
    Flint, Michigan
  • GulfcoastguyGulfcoastguy Posts: 4,734
    I usually light the Egg then start seasoning the meat. A lot of the time I might start a load of clothes if it is a pork loin or something else that takes a bit of time. I often take advantage of the residual heat at the end to bake regular or sweet potatoes at the end, just put the wrapped potatoes in and close of the vent
  • blastingblasting Posts: 6,262

    Weekday cooks are generally quicker.  Sous vide had really changed things for me.  There are always sealed / marinated / frozen protein ready to go.  Same thing with veggies.  Combined with a rice cooker weekdays are pretty tasty, and dont take much time.
    Phoenix 
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 28,561
    i crack open a beer, done =) i eat breakfast and lunch mid week, breakfast and dinner on weekends.  with the mini i can squeak out a steak, or porkchops, or sauasage in 35 to 40 minutes and that includes driving time from and to work, light, cook, eat. today was a porkchop and reheated homemade beans from easter
    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • EoinEoin Posts: 4,116
    This evening I did bone in chicken breasts, 1 hour from arriving home to eating.
  • LegumeLegume Posts: 12,009
    massive weedburner lets me light everything on fire quickly, then I can set my vents and go inside - 5 minutes and I don't have to check the egg until I'm ready to cook.  I definitely overlight the charcoal, but then shut it down w/vents quickly.

    prep takes me the longest because I rarely have anything thawed or thought out.  sometimes it's a game of chicken with my wife to see who is going to blink first and cook, other nights I know I want to.  depends on work that day.
  • McStewMcStew Posts: 965
    Grubhub seems to be delivering in about 55 min these days it sucks they have been taking so long.  
    Hermosa Beach CA 
  • GrillSgtGrillSgt Posts: 2,507
    @ 1hr. If grilling during the week I usually use the Weber kettle. 
  • SciAggieSciAggie Posts: 6,477
    blasting said:

    Weekday cooks are generally quicker.  Sous vide had really changed things for me.  There are always sealed / marinated / frozen protein ready to go.  Same thing with veggies.  Combined with a rice cooker weekdays are pretty tasty, and dont take much time.
    How do you make that work? In my very limited experience with SV (which I'm a fan) it requires long cook times. Do you allow the SV to run when you're not home or do you cook the SV phase ahead and then sear or whatever when you get home? I'm just polling the collective to get ideas...
    Coleman, Texas
    Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven. LSG 24” cabinet offset smoker. There are a few paella pans and a Patagonia cross in the barn. A curing chamber for bacterial transformation of meats...
    "Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
                                                                                                                          YukonRon
  • For me, most of my cooks have been low 'n slow on the large. I haven't really gotten into the weeknight meal cooks yet. That is the main reason I want to get the MiniMax.

    I work from a home office so I am never far from the Egg or the kitchen and when I cook using the stove I do bits and pieces of the meal throughout the day. Going to have to come up with a workflow that works for me if I want to do more than use the MM like a green grill.

    Marshall in Beautiful Fruit Cove, FL.
    MiniMax 04/17
    Unofficial BGE MiniMax Evangelist
    Facebook Big Green Egg MiniMax Owners Group


  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 14,831
    It takes me as long as it takes depending what I am cooking. 
    This. And what I'm cooking it ON. Last night I cooked a couple of chicken thighs in my air fryer. Veggies on the stovetop. I was finished eating in the time it would have taken to get the egg up to temp. Easier too. =)

    Time varies a lot though. The other day, I spatched a whole chicken on the egg. 45 minutes? I forget. Anyway, I got seven meals out of that bird. All I had to do for meals 2-7 was reheat (or not), and serve. Putting a meal like that on the table takes 10 minutes or less. Turn on the toaster oven to heat the chicken while the veggies are on the stovetop. Done.

    I don't really pay that much attention to time. As already suggested, time matters less if you're retired and the kids are gone.

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • YEMTreyYEMTrey Posts: 6,814
    I'm usually doing food prep and yard work while the Egg is coming up to temp.  I'd say about an hour on average. 
    Steve 
    XL, Mini Max, and a 22" Blackstone in Cincinnati, Ohio

  • blastingblasting Posts: 6,262
    SciAggie said:
    blasting said:

    Weekday cooks are generally quicker.  Sous vide had really changed things for me.  There are always sealed / marinated / frozen protein ready to go.  Same thing with veggies.  Combined with a rice cooker weekdays are pretty tasty, and dont take much time.
    How do you make that work? In my very limited experience with SV (which I'm a fan) it requires long cook times. Do you allow the SV to run when you're not home or do you cook the SV phase ahead and then sear or whatever when you get home? I'm just polling the collective to get ideas...

    Some stuff takes long.  Pork chops and chicken breasts only an hour or two, same with veggies.  If it's seasoned and marinated, i can call my kid and have her drop it into the pot if I think of it.  I often sear right on the chimney starter, so that's pretty quick as well.

    As to the SV running when I'm not home - that doesn't bother me.   It's in a metal pot, not much to go wrong.

    Good thread idea by the way.
    Phoenix 
  • AcnAcn Posts: 3,835
    I don't do a ton of egging during the week, I tend to do more on the weekend to prep things for the week.  Lots of protein for topping salads or rice bowls; or for being used in tacos or as chicken salad.  We'll also roast a bunch of sweet potatoes that can be reheated in the microwave.  

    Between when I pick the kid up from school, various after school errands or activities, and when my wife gets home from the office and wants to eat so we can do something as a family after dinner, I've usually got 25-30 minutes to get dinner together, so if I grill it is on the Genesis because that's at 700 degrees in 5 minutes.

    LBGE

    Pikesville, MD

  • Austin  EggheadAustin Egghead Posts: 3,966
    SciAggie last nights took less than 90 minutes from fridge to egg to table.  
    http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1205134/simple-cooks-are-the-best/p1?new=1
    Large, small and mini now Egging in Rowlett Tx
  • SciAggieSciAggie Posts: 6,477
    edited April 2017
    @Austin Egghead  So that's in line with how long it takes me. Nice cook by the way.
    Coleman, Texas
    Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven. LSG 24” cabinet offset smoker. There are a few paella pans and a Patagonia cross in the barn. A curing chamber for bacterial transformation of meats...
    "Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
                                                                                                                          YukonRon
  • SciAggieSciAggie Posts: 6,477
    blasting said:
    SciAggie said:
    blasting said:

    Weekday cooks are generally quicker.  Sous vide had really changed things for me.  There are always sealed / marinated / frozen protein ready to go.  Same thing with veggies.  Combined with a rice cooker weekdays are pretty tasty, and dont take much time.
    How do you make that work? In my very limited experience with SV (which I'm a fan) it requires long cook times. Do you allow the SV to run when you're not home or do you cook the SV phase ahead and then sear or whatever when you get home? I'm just polling the collective to get ideas...

    Some stuff takes long.  Pork chops and chicken breasts only an hour or two, same with veggies.  If it's seasoned and marinated, i can call my kid and have her drop it into the pot if I think of it.  I often sear right on the chimney starter, so that's pretty quick as well.

    As to the SV running when I'm not home - that doesn't bother me.   It's in a metal pot, not much to go wrong.

    Good thread idea by the way.
    This helps with what I'm trying to drill down into. You still have time invested in the SV. It may just be another family member taking care of it or you have it cooking while you're working. Either way it takes time.
    I like the idea of sealing with a marinade ahead of time. I need to do some of that.
    Coleman, Texas
    Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven. LSG 24” cabinet offset smoker. There are a few paella pans and a Patagonia cross in the barn. A curing chamber for bacterial transformation of meats...
    "Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
                                                                                                                          YukonRon
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 28,561
    edited April 2017
    some things are just quick if you plan ahead. put rub on thin chops, freeze individually. when ready get egg up to 500, drop frozen chop on ;) three weeks later take a couple frozen chops out, put them on a hot egg ;)  you said your working at home, put ribs in the egg at noon, take them out at 6, thats 10 minutes
    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • SciAggieSciAggie Posts: 6,477
    some things are just quick if you plan ahead. put rub on thin chops, freeze individually. when ready get egg up to 500, drop frozen chop on ;) three weeks later take a couple frozen chops out, put them on a hot egg ;)  you said your working at home, put them in the egg at noon, take them out at 6, thats 10 minutes
    Fair enough. That's what I'm curious about - what other folks do. What do you have for sides with a quick meal like that?
    Coleman, Texas
    Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven. LSG 24” cabinet offset smoker. There are a few paella pans and a Patagonia cross in the barn. A curing chamber for bacterial transformation of meats...
    "Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
                                                                                                                          YukonRon
  • blastingblasting Posts: 6,262
    edited April 2017

    @SciAggie   over the years the food saver has become one of my favorite gadgets.  Now the addition of the SV is pure gold.  I understand that the SV takes time to do it's thing, but that's not active time spent for me.  Even once it's done, there isn't any urgency for me to finish it off.

    I don't believe I've gone out to eat, even for something quick in over 6 months.  There is always plenty ready to go and pre seasoned in the freezer.  I'm also inclined to do everything larger scale.  This morning I portioned out 24 servings of soup - ready to go.  Below is a seasoned chop, two different seasoned chicken breasts, carrots with brown sugar and butter.


    Phoenix 
  • HntnhrdHntnhrd Posts: 713
    However long it takes to get from the microphone to the first window! 


    weeknights the blackstone gets the nod most of the time. Last night turned it on, went inside cubed up chicken breast chopped onions and peppers and within 20 minutes we had chicken cheese steaks
  • DobieDobie Posts: 3,082
    Start to eat is measured in beer intervals so it varies  =)
    Jacksonville FL
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 28,561
    SciAggie said:
    some things are just quick if you plan ahead. put rub on thin chops, freeze individually. when ready get egg up to 500, drop frozen chop on ;) three weeks later take a couple frozen chops out, put them on a hot egg ;)  you said your working at home, put them in the egg at noon, take them out at 6, thats 10 minutes
    Fair enough. That's what I'm curious about - what other folks do. What do you have for sides with a quick meal like that?
    i make a pound to a pound and a half of beans every weekend so theres always beens available til wed/thu.  im for simple salads during the week, no lettuce, just tomatoes cukes,onion, maybe some olives and pickles mixed in. summer i make coleslaws on the weekend so theres always some for the week. made pho for the first time last week, will be planning on freezing broth, thats pretty quick to make once the broth is done.  if you have the blackstone, it takes as long to roll a 2 inch meatball as it takes to flatten it and cook it. 
    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • GulfcoastguyGulfcoastguy Posts: 4,734
    A lot of time I will cook half a turkey or a pork loin and turn the immediate left overs into soups, stews or chiles. You freezes the left over turkey or pork and whack off chunks to go into the slow cooker. Tonight I am going to try to improvise a "lasagna" with turkey, jarred pasta sauce, mushrooms, onions, mandolined zucchini, and cheese. If it doesn't work out, I'll just eat the evidence. This is going into the over though since the casserole dish is pyrex.
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