Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Vertical Roasted Turkey on the Big Green Egg

In preparation for cooking a turkey at Christmas for the family, I wanted to do a trial run of a vertical roasted turkey on the Big Green Egg. Turns out Turkey's were on sale at Byerly's. For an extra 20 cents a pound you could get it pre-brined, so I went that route to make things simpler.

We bought a 14.75 lb turkey pre brined.

For the set-up I bought a Vertical Turkey Roaster similar to the one linked on this page. To keep the mess down as well as keep the turkey from coming into direct contact with the egg I used the 3 legs that came with the egg, put a cake pan on top of it and placed the roaster in the cake plate as show in the picture.

For flavoring: Since the turkey was already brined I wanted to stay low on the added salt. So for a rub, I blended butter, rosemary and targon in the food processor. Once mixed together I carefully used my hand to separate the skin from the turkey and rubbed in the seasoned butter mixture. I also spread what I had left of the butter mixture and covered the outside of the turkey in it. Placed the turkey on the roaster and we were good to go.

I had just recently bought a bag of wicked good charcoal that is known for having a very neutral flavor allowing lighter wood smoke to be added. Fired the egg up to 325, put a couple of chunks of apple wood on the coals. I then used the plate setter leg up, then placed the roaster, cake plate combo directly on top.

The turkey took approx 2.5 hours to reach an internal temperature of 165.

Took the turkey off, let it rest for 20 minutes and it was ready to be carved.

Overall the Turkey came out great.. We are going to do the exact same thing for christmas with the family.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Big Green Egg Gasket Replacement

Boy where has the summer gone.. I've been very lax in posting on here..

A few months ago I replaced the gasket on the green egg. During a pizza bake I managed to bake the gasket as well..

I went with a Nomex Gasket that I purchased on Amazon.

I'd rate this as a fairly easy exercise, but it takes some diligence and patience. Total elapsed time was about an hour.

Some pictures:

Gasket before replacement:

I put down some paper bags to make sure the gunk from the old gasket didn't get everywhere:

I took my time and slowly scraped the old gasket off with a putty knife.. going over it three or four times.

I then cleaned the edges with acetone:

Once the edges of the egg were all dried I cut the new gasket in half. Pulled back and edge and slowly ran it around egg pushing down and peeling the backing off as I went.

Here's a picture with the new gasket installed:

Couldn't have been happier with the results. It performs just as I'd hope, I've done multiple high temp pizzas with no issue.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cedar Plank Salmon on the Big Green Egg

Sockeye Salmon on sale at Byerly's means it's my first attempt with cedar plank salmon on the big green egg.

I let the plank soak overnight in water. I cut the filet into 3 serving sized pieced and used Paul Prudhomme salmon magic on the salmon.

I fired up the BGE to 400 degrees and stabilized the temperature. Put the plank on the egg and let it heat up a little. Once it was on the edge of steaming and smoking I placed the salmon the planks.

Closed the lid and left alone for 15 minutes.

After 15 the salmon was perfect.

Plated and served with a little rice and corn and it was just what I hoped it would be. A little hint of cedar mixed with the salmon.

Next up: Replacing the gasket on the egg

Dinosaur BBQ Chicken and grilled corn on the Big Green Egg

When all else fails and there isn't much around I go to my stand by, grilled chicken breasts with Dinosaur BBQ foreplay rub and Dinosaur BBQ sauce. It just seems to always come out so well on the big green egg.

I also happened on some corn on the cob at the store and I always loved it on the grill, but never tried it on the Big Green Egg.

Very simple recipe with the corn. Corn shocked.. Olive oil, salt and pepper. Just coat the corn in it and throw it on the grill. Keep turning it until it starts to plump up a little and look more golden and juicy. I also coated the chicken in the rub and let sit for a few.

Fired the Big Green Egg up to 400ish, closed down the vents to a sustained temperature. Put the Chicken on, basted the side that was facing up in BBQ sauce. Waited 6 minutes, flipped, coated the other side again. 6 more minutes, flipped the chicken again, 2 more minutes and its done.

Not a lot of lessons learned here. This is an old stand by for me and makes for a quick meal.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ribfest 2011 - Find our favorite rib recipe

Now that I've used the big green egg some more and have a good feeling for how it works, I figured now is as good a time as any to work on finding a go to rib recipe.

The plan was to take 6 different racks of baby back ribs, try 6 different rub / sauce combos and do a blind taste test with a neighbor who also loves BBQ. From there Ribfest was on.

I had the colored rubber bands that are used to keep roasts together. I crated a unique color combo per rib and rubbed each up. Gave each rib a few hours in the rub, pulled out of the fridge to get to room temperature. Using the V-rack I put all 6 ribs in the rack and got ready to warm up the egg.

For Rib fest we tried the following:
Store bought Famous Daves Rub and Sauce
Store bought Dinosaur BBQ Rub and Sauce
Chris Lilly's Memphis BBQ Rib Recipe from his book Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book
The Rib Recipe from the Weber Way to Grill Book
Bourbon Rib Recipe from Smoke and Spice Book
And a recipe from the web

I fired up the egg with some cherry and apple wood chips, let the egg reach 300 degrees and put the ribs in for a 3 hour smoke.

Once the 3 hours were up I took all of the ribs out to baste each in sauce and put back on at full heat in the egg for a good hot seer.

We broke each Rib combo into individual bones and did a blind taste test of all 6 ribs.

We really enjoyed all of them, but in the end the consensus for best taste was the Weber Way to Grill Recipe. I just had the best overall full flavor.

We had a lot of fun trying this eggventure. It wasn't the easiest to make 6 different combos and keep them all separated, but I'm glad we did and can't wait to make an entire batch of the weber recipe.

Up Next: Vacation, we're going to be gone for 2 weeks, so no eggventures for a couple of weeks.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Aged Sirloin Steak Hot Seer

The local Byerly's had a nice sale on dry aged sirloin steaks, so no better time then the present to cook up a couple of steaks.

The thick steaks were weighing in at around 1.75 pounds, so for this exercise I cut them into two before I even started preparing them. I also thought this was as good as time as any to try the new potato rack I recently bought. For the potatoes I just coated them in a little corse salt, placed on the rack and put on the green egg as it was coming up to temperature. Once the Egg reached 400 degrees I stopped it there and cooked the potatoes for 30 minutes.

For the steaks I prepared them with a simple montreal steak rub from McCormicks. I know it's a boring store bought rub, but for simplicity, it delivers a good enough flavor for me.

Once the potatoes were done (30 minutes at 400), I pulled them off and opened up both of the vents on the egg to get it up to 700 plus degrees to get the big green egg nice and hot.

I used the 2-2-2 method of cooking. 2 minutes on one side, flip. 2 minutes on the other side, flip. Turn the egg off and let sit for on the big green egg for 2 minutes. This creates a nice char on both sides and cooks the inside just enough to be medium rare (after a 5 minute rest on the counter as well).

The potatoes and steaks turned out very well. Tasty as usual. The sirloin was cooking just to my likely and had plenty of flavor.

The rack worked well in terms of holding the potatoes. I'm not sure if it delivered much value in terms of helping the potato cook. I'll have to do a side by side sometime with and without the rack to see if there is a noticeable difference.

Lessons Learned: Don't try and pick up a hot potato rack with your heat resistant meat gloves. They are apparently not made for 400 degree plus heat.

Up Next: Ribfest.. 6 racks of ribs, 6 rub/sauce combos. Trying to pick my favorite go to rib sauce/spice rub combo. Will be interesting..

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

First Attempt at Pizza on the Big Green Egg

I decided to buy myself an early birthday present and get a pizza stone for the big green egg from the BGE company.

I've always struggled with making my own pizza dough, so I decided to buy it from Byerly's and use their version. I purchased 3 balls of dough, some sauce, fresh mozzarella and a handful of toppings from the salad bar.

Ingredients we used (not all on one Pizza):
Fresh Mozzarella

I put the plate setter in legs down with the pizza stone on top. And fired up the egg with both vents open all the way.
Once the egg was up to 700 degrees it was time to start making pizza. We made sure to put corn meal down on the pizza peel so the pizza would slide off easier.
After 3 minutes the pizza was ready and nicely crisped.
Round 1 and 2 of the pizza came out really well, but the third one unfortunately was left on a little too long and ended up with a burnt bottom.
With the high heat I may have ruined the gasket, but it's too early to tell. The previously soft felt gasket is now much harder. Being new to the egg, I don't know if I'll have to replace it or if this is just more "seasoning". Only time will tell as I do some form of smoking and see what type of "leakage" I have.

Overall the Pizza stone worked great. On 2 out of 3 pizza's the crust was nice and crisp, yet soft on the inside. I'm chalking it up to user error on the last pizza's burning.

Lessons Learned: With the variability of success with the different rounds of Pizza I learned I need to formally time the pizza's instead of going on feel. In the 700+ degree range the pizza took about 3 minutes. Next time I will have a timer handy. Also learned to be careful with the high heats, it turns out it's pretty easy to do some work on the gaskets. Too early to tell if there is an issue with the gaskets or not, but only time will tell.

Next Up: Dry Aged Sirloin Steaks at a high temperature quick cook.