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Messages - SconnieQ

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Fish / Re: First Salmon smoke
« on: July 15, 2018, 03:49:25 AM »
It usually only takes about an hour to get to 130-135, with a set temp of 170 or 180. I usually smoke portions that are 4-5 inches wide. Not sure why yours took 3 hours, but if it tasted good, then you are fine. It looks moist. And 131 is a good temp to pull it at.

I have a #1, so it's analog, and the temp is going to overshoot 170 right off the bat by probably 20-30 degrees. Plus any igniting of the chips is also going to raise the box temp, or at least keep the box temp high. It's such a short smoke, that by the time the fish is done, I wonder if the box temp is still well above 170. I'll have to graph my next salmon smoke with the Fireboard. For that reason, I'm guessing that the analog models might cook salmon faster than the digital models. Just a theory.

Sous Vide! / Re: Sous vide weights
« on: July 06, 2018, 12:06:11 AM »
I assume with the glass gems that you would not put them directly in with the food? Like you would vacuum seal them in a second outer bag? I wouldn't want those to come in contact with my food. Who knows if they would crack or flake, and if they are made in China, there could be lead in them. I doubt if they are food safe.

I like the sous vide weights you bought on Amazon better. The stainless coated in silicone seems safer. And you are not dealing with all of the pieces.

Beef / Re: Beef Chuck ribs fail
« on: July 05, 2018, 11:45:02 PM »
They needed a lot more time. Beef ribs are loaded with connective tissue, which is delicious when rendered down to gelatin, but horrible and tough if not. Think brisket. They are going to need to cook more like brisket than pork ribs. They need long low and slow cooking, to break down all that connective tissue and become tender. Depending on the size of the ribs, I could see them taking 6-10 hours. You might consider wrapping in foil halfway through. Also, do a search on this forum for "beef plate ribs". Although plate ribs are probably a slightly different part of the rib than chuck ribs (or short ribs), pretty similar long cook technique. I would not be afraid to wrap the ribs you've already cooked in foil with some liquid, and throw them in a 300 degree oven for a couple hours. They just need more cooking to tenderize.

A longer smoking time should solve all of your problems, with tenderness, bark, and smoke penetration. How much wood did you use? You might have had enough wood for chicken, but beef usually wants more wood/smoke. Many of us like different amounts of smoke. Keep experimenting with the amount of wood until you find what you like. I tend to use a little more wood than what's in the wood chart because I like a little more smoke most of the time. Chicken and beef ribs will never smoke in the same amount of time. 4lb chickens usually only take a couple hours at 250 for me, so you'd want to start your beef ribs at least 4 hours or more before your chickens. And beef ribs can be resting while the chickens are still smoking.

Here's a good post by gregbooras on plate ribs, but there are probably many more.

Sous Vide! / Re: VonShef Premium 8 Liter Sous Vide/Water Oven $40
« on: July 05, 2018, 11:18:18 PM »
I'm not a fan of the dedicated machines. They take a lot of space for a single purpose. I prefer the stick style sous vide devices. They are easy to store, and you have several choices for containers and sizes. Plus, the containers can be multipurpose use, like pots for cooking, or cambro containers you can also use for brining, food prep and storage.

You don't really need a cooler. An insulated container is not needed for the sous vide stick to maintain temperature. It won't struggle, and it's not like you are saving much $$ in electricity by using a cooler. Plus, now you have to store this giant cooler that now only serves a single purpose because you've cut a hole in it. Nothing wrong with repurposing a cooler you are going to throw away though. Not sure how styrofoam would do with higher temps. You can wrap a towel around your cambro container if you feel you need to, but it's not necessary. Here's a link to a neoprene sleeve that might be a more elegant solution than a towel. I just use a cambro container for all sous vide, long and short. Just replenish the water loss every so often if you are doing a long cook for more than 12 hours... or buy a nifty lid to help minimize heat and water loss. I highly recommend buying the lid. Below is the cambro container and lid I use with my Anova.

Cambro 12 qt Container
Same Cambro Container, different price
This is the lid I have
Another nice lid option

You can also find a number of food-safe container/lid combos by Rubbermaid, Everie, Lipavi and probably others. Just make sure the lid is compatible with the container you choose (they are not interchangeable), and the lid is made for the brand of sous vide stick you choose.

Model 1 - The Little Guy!! / Re: Two 10# butts in a Model 1 ?
« on: July 04, 2018, 05:48:01 PM »
Two 10# butts would be pretty crowded in the #1, but it's possible if you can somehow arrange them with some space in between. Depends on the shape. You can always smoke the first butt for 6 or so hours, then wrap it in foil or into a pan tightly covered with foil, with some apple juice or water, then finish in a 225-250 oven to 195-205 internal temp, while you smoke the second butt. Once butts get to about 150-160 internal temp, it has plenty of smoke, and you can finish it in the oven. Your first butt will be done before the second, but you can hold it or reheat it if you need both at the same time.

Model 2 & 2D - The Middle Kid / Re: How much meat can it hold?
« on: July 04, 2018, 05:39:06 PM »
I have not used my WSM (still have it) since I bought my #1. But I have a soft place in my heart for the WSM. It's what introduced me to smoking, so I keep it for sentimental reasons. I enjoy getting some sleep now, and the better quality Q I get from the SI.

Sous Vide! / Re: Can the SI be used as the Sous Vide device?
« on: July 03, 2018, 12:07:04 PM »
When is it useful to adjust temperature by tenths of degrees?

1/2 degree is accurate enough probably 99% of the time. If a recipe calls for 143.7, then I'll set it to that through the app, because I can. but 143.5 or 144 would probably be close enough. Eggs are something where you might want tenths of a degree, but even then, I'm not sure if you need that much accuracy. 1/2 degree is pretty accurate, and the most critical part is that Anova holds it right where you set it.

Sous Vide! / Re: Can the SI be used as the Sous Vide device?
« on: July 02, 2018, 02:39:45 PM »
Most of the time I'm around, so I just start up and set the Anova from the device itself as I'm putting it in the water. The app connects by itself, so it's there if needed. The dial on the Anova only moves the temperature by .5 degrees. If you want to set it to a more accurate temperature, by tenths of a degree, you will need to use the app for that. That's how mine works anyway.

Anything Goes!! / Re: Fast Method to Dry Age
« on: July 01, 2018, 03:25:08 AM »
From my favorite Sous Vide youtube channel, on the koji rice. I think you are supposed to grind the rice into more of a powder, but since it's the fungus that affects the meat, it might not matter so much.

Model 3 & 3D - The Big Brother / Re: First smoke in the 3D WiFi
« on: July 01, 2018, 01:17:48 AM »
Even when lining the bottom with foil, you will still have grease get underneath. It just won't be all crusted and burnt on. The foil catches most of it. Buy the heaviest foil you can find. I just wipe out the bottom with paper towels. No need to wash or get it perfectly clean. I don't clean out my smoker until the next day. I want to enjoy the moment.

I'm not sure if an aluminum pan would be sturdy enough for the drip pan under the smoker. You'd have a mess if it buckled or collapsed.

Model 3 & 3D - The Big Brother / Re: What makes the analog cycle?
« on: June 30, 2018, 11:52:36 PM »
Ok, but under same temp probe position, location on patio, amt/type/precook temp of meat (2 rib racks), weather (hot), dial setting unchanged, etc, etc : one weekend after 30 minutes temp was 225, next weekend 185.  30 minutes later, first weekend 225, next weekend 190

Pretty variable

If doing a large brisket [and perhaps large laod of  food], seems time could vary by many, many hours making it difficult to know when to put brisket on if having company or one wants to eat before midnite

You will drive yourself crazy if you look at your ambient probe every 30 minutes. If you set your dial to 225, your ambient temp is going to zig zag 20-30 degrees or more above and below your set temp at the beginning of your cook. That's normal. The temperature swings will be wider for the first 3-4 hours, then they will start to even out, but they will still swing at least 10-15 degrees to either side of your set temp.

What you are witnessing by staring at your ambient temps 30 minutes in, is just the smoker and its contents starting to heat up. And in some cases, possibly some combustion from your wood causing a spike in your box temp on one smoke, and not the other. The first 30-60 minutes or so is totally unpredictable, and box temp can vary wildly based on meat load, water pan arrangement, wood combustion, outside temperature, etc.

Attached is a pork butt smoke on my #1. You can see how wacky the ambient temp is in the beginning, then it evens out. Toward the end there where it gets a little more erratic I think I was dinking around changing the dial setting, but you can see your smoker will settle into a more even zig zag after a few hours. You are checking your ambient temps far to early. So don't overthink it. It all averages out. And your overall time is going to be the same. Other factors like size of meat, quality and amount of fat in a cut of meat, etc. will affect your total smoking time more than the analog swings.

Every home oven operates this way. And we bake delicate cakes and souffles in our ovens. Your brisket will be fine. :)

Sous Vide! / Re: Can the SI be used as the Sous Vide device?
« on: June 30, 2018, 11:23:00 PM »
You really need the little propeller that circulates the water. Plus an element that can keep the temperature within 1/10th of a degree. I see a lot of gadgets, like the Instant Pot, that claim to do sous vide. They don't. Accuracy plus or minus 10 degrees is not sous vide. Even though the definition of sous vide means "under vacuum", the cooking technique requires precise temperature, achieved by being in a water bath controlled by a precision instrument, where the water is circulating to maintain that precise temperature throughout.

You should just buy the sous vide stick. These things used to be much more expensive, but are very affordable now, and well worth it. Sous vide often pushes the limit of low temperature cooking for very long periods of time, so if you do not have temperature precision, you could be seriously risking food safety.

Anything Goes!! / Re: Fast Method to Dry Age
« on: June 30, 2018, 11:03:58 PM »
Very interesting... I have been experimenting more lately with fermented foods. They are very good for you. I've had my sourdough starter for years now. Recently started brewing my own kombucha, from my own home-grown scoby. Have used the Umai bags for dry-aging, but this is intriguing. I'll be adding the koji rice to my Amazon shopping list. Since you can't dry age individual steaks (only large primal cuts), this is definitely worth a try. Could be quite useful.

Introductions / Re: Hello from Everett, WA
« on: June 30, 2018, 10:39:13 PM »
Congrats on your #1!

Introductions / Re: Hi everyone
« on: June 30, 2018, 12:47:31 AM »
Congrats on your smoker Chris! You can definitely program your smoker to drop to a 140 holding temperature after your meat has reached it's time or internal meat temp setting, but you absolutely must physically open the door and let the box temp drop. These smokers are so well insulated, that the temperature will not drop for several hours on its own, and your meat will become overcooked.

If you are opening the door anyway, I would just double wrap in foil and towels and rest in a cooler. It's a far superior way to rest in my opinion. You can rest brisket and butt as long as 6 hours in this arrangement. Ribs probably 4 hours or more. I did a test with a 9+ pound butt, and it took 6.5 hours for the internal temperature to get to 140 (foil, towels), and that was in a cheap Igloo Playmate cooler. So no need to "keep warm" unless you are going past 6 hours. If you need to keep warm in the smoker, then get the box temp down to 140-145, and add your meat back in. I'd wrap in cling film before the foil, to help keep the moisture in, if I needed to keep warm for more than 6 hours.

My smoker stays "outside", but with a cover, on a covered screen porch, completely protected from the sun, rain and snow, just not the cold. Even though I'm sure it can tolerate more weather, it seems too nice to leave outside all winter.

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