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Messages - SconnieQ

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Anything Goes!! / Re: Tony (Divotmaker)?
« on: October 20, 2017, 06:33:46 PM »
I agree. BHamel doesn't seem to participate much anymore in the day-to-day posts, but is available as an administrator, and has been called on by Tony many times to resolve spam and other issues. Lets just keep posting and hope that Tony might return someday. If not, I've found this forum to be as polite, and friendly as ever in his absence, so no action has been required to police it by a new administrator. Some of us might need to STEP UP though to fill the gap of knowledge. Tony's input and enthusiasm will be missed TERRIBLY, if he decides not to return (can't image that he wouldn't at some point)!

Model 2 & 2D - The Middle Kid / Re: Large Brisket
« on: October 18, 2017, 08:18:01 PM »
My first was a bit dry on the flat but it cooked a long time and I struggled to get it up to temp.

John M
What do mean mean when you say "it cooked a long time". How many pounds, how many hours, at what temperature? What do you mean by "you struggled to bring it up to temp". It'll come up to temp. You just have to be patient. There should be no struggle there. Were you in a hurry? Did you try to raise the temp on the cook to rush it. Didn't start early enough and allow 1-2 hours for rest? Did you "push through the stall". You should never push through the stall. That's where the magic happens. Your brisket will be dry if you did not give it the time it needed, at the low temp needed, to break down the connective tissue into gelatin. Also, if you do not allow at least an hour of rest, the moisture will just run out, being very dry. Allow plenty of time. Briskets can rest in a cooler for 6+ hours wrapped in foil and surrounded by towels. Start em plenty early so you are not in that situation where you can't get to temp in time for your guests.

Fish / Re: Hot smoked Salmon, Chilean Sea Bass, Sablefish (Black Cod)
« on: October 18, 2017, 11:51:22 AM »
Kari, where did you get your grates for smoking fish?

Actually, the stainless steel grates you see are the standard racks from the smoker, sitting on a sheet pan. The mesh right beneath the fish are Frogmats, or QMatz are the same thing. You can cut to fit the size of your standard grates. They are non stick, and wash up really easily by hand, or in the dishwasher. Better and cheaper than buying separate seafood shelves.

Basics for a Beginner / Re: Cleaning after using
« on: October 17, 2017, 10:24:07 PM »
I put my rack on my gas grill turned up to high. After it chars, the bits brush off with a grill brush super easy.

That's a great idea. Also, wadded up balls of aluminum foil are good for scrubbing off crud. No need to get it sparkling.

Fish / Hot smoked Salmon, Chilean Sea Bass, Sablefish (Black Cod)
« on: October 17, 2017, 10:16:52 PM »
Did a little variety fish smoking. I used the same cure for all. 4 parts brown sugar to 1 part kosher salt. Generously packed around fish for 12 hours (actually ended up being more like 18 hours). Rinsed and dried on rack in fridge overnight. Probed the thickest salmon filet, and smoked all with Sugar Maple chips until interior temperature of salmon was 133.

Salmon: good as usual. This just turns out good every time. Have done this many times before.

Sablefish (Black Cod): Let's just get one thing straight right off the bat. This is not cod. It is not even remotely related to any species of cod. Black Cod is a nickname given to this fish by fisherman, because it kind of looked like a cod, and it's skin is black. It is properly referred to as Sablefish. That being said, you will often find this on restaurant menus as Black Cod or Butterfish. (Don't even get me started on Butterfish. Butterfish is an entirely different species.) Now that we have that out of the way, Sablefish is in my top two of all-time favorite fish (the other being Chilean Sea Bass). It sets the bar by which all fish should be judged. Fatty, and rich in flavor, with a lightly flaky texture. And the skin is great. Smoked Sablefish is probably the most popular smoked fish in Alaska besides smoked Salmon. I buy my Sablefish filets from Alaska, sent overnight on dry ice. I had a couple tail pieces in the 10 pound order, so I thought they'd be good to smoke. They actually turned out a bit mushy. The taste was great though, fatty, rich, but I probably should have given them a different brine or dry cure recipe and time than the other fish. My cure time might have broken down the flesh too much. Also, I think these could have been smoked/cooked to 140. I ended up cooking them in the oven later, and the texture was much better, but I think I would only cure them for a few hours next time, due to the more delicate texture, flavor, and thinness of the tail sections. The salt/sugar flavor was a bit strong.

Chilean Sea Bass: I have never smoked this. I don't even know if anyone smokes it. I didn't bother to check. I had a bag of frozen filets from Costco, and thought, why not try to smoke a couple pieces? OMG, this is the most unbelievable smoked fish I've ever had! It is so succulent, juicy fat separates every flake! It's like the most tender and juicy fish-bacon you've ever had (but without the chew of bacon). If anything, I could have cooked it just a touch longer. When the salmon was 133, the Chilean Sea Bass, being kind of thick pieces, was probably in the upper 120s, a texture I like, but just slightly shy of flaking all the way to the middle. I think it could have gone to an internal temp of 135 or just a touch more, just to optimize the flake to fat experience. I later cooked it a bit more in the oven, and it was perfect.

What I have learned is that if you are a Costco member, get a bag of the Chilean Sea Bass filets, and try smoking them. Kirkland Signature Wild Chilean Sea Bass is certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

Anything Goes!! / Re: Brisket Serving Size
« on: October 17, 2017, 08:07:22 PM »
Brisket is rich and filling. And it depends on the sides. 6 ounces "cooked" is probably an average hungry person amount. I would plan a minimum of 8-10 ounces per person uncooked. And that's conservative. 1 pound per person gives you some leftovers, along with point portions for burnt ends later.

Basics for a Beginner / Re: Cleaning after using
« on: October 17, 2017, 07:56:15 PM »
Scrape off the loose bits in the box with a plastic scraper or old credit card. Wipe with paper towels. That's it. If you feel the need, every few years you can use oven cleaner, then re-season, but it's really not necessary, unless it would make you happy. If you feel the need to "sterilize" it for some reason, crank it all the way up and let it burn for a several hours and wipe it out. I have a #1, so the racks and rack guides easily fit in the dishwasher. If I had a larger smoker, and the racks and rack guides did not easily fit in the dishwasher, I would totally be more lazy about cleaning those, and probably never clean the guides. I think you have to clean the racks however. You are not sterilizing them by heating over a blazing hot fire like you might for a grill, where you can just brush off the gunk once they are heated. Maybe the 2-4 owners here can give their tips on cleaning the racks. Maybe at the end of the smoke just crank up the smoker and let it burn off?

Everything Else / Re: Question about smoke absorbtion.
« on: October 17, 2017, 12:03:28 AM »
I have some of my best and worst ideas over a coupla beers. :o

Anything Goes!! / Re: Tony (Divotmaker)?
« on: October 16, 2017, 01:36:41 PM »
I have just been really busy with work and out at the lake on weekends. So, just haven't had the time to spend on the board.

Isn't it nice to know you are missed? ;D

Anything Goes!! / Re: Tony (Divotmaker)?
« on: October 16, 2017, 12:37:39 AM »
Gregg is a huge asset to the forum too. Looks like he has been posting about once a month.

Anything Goes!! / Re: Tony (Divotmaker)?
« on: October 15, 2017, 10:15:43 PM »
NDKoze has also been less active this year. Although he does seem to patrol the sausage and charcuterie boards occasionally. I also saw him make mention of being very busy this summer, but trying to keep up on questions in those areas where he has the most expertise.

I've been trying to figure out what the danger actually is for sous vid'ing a steak (ribeye) at 129F for over 2 hours?  Can someone please explain it a little further?

On several occasions, I have cooked Ribeyes at 129 for 3-4 hours.  Mainly because I was waiting on guests to arrive. All of those occasions, they turned out excellent. I've got some friends coming over today and am planning Ribeyes and was thinking I might even cook 4-5 hours in sous vide. But I remembered someone had posted something about it being dangerous for food safety reasons.

If I cook at 131 for an extended time, won't that make the Ribeyes less tender?

How worried should I be if I cook at 129?
I wouldn't worry about cooking at 129 for 4-5 hours. Usually it is recommended to cook ribeyes at 129 for up to 4 hours (so your 3-4 hours is totally within the recommended range). If going longer, increase the temperature to 130-131. You can see from this graph, bacteria will no longer grow at 125. And existing bacteria will start to be killed at 130. Like all meat, Ribeyes will only get more tender the longer you cook them. It's more a matter of texture. Tender cuts like Ribeyes might get a "mushy" texture if cooked and tenderized too long, although I don't think that wouldn't happen until after 10 hours or so.

Beef / Re: Brining Wet-Aged Brisket
« on: October 14, 2017, 03:53:59 AM »
I definitely would not brine a wet-aged brisket. It should have good flavor and texture from the wet-aging. I wouldn't want to mess with that by adding another process without evaluating it on it's own first.

Brines, Marinades & Injections / Re: The Briner
« on: October 14, 2017, 03:50:01 AM »
Everyone that has the Briner seems to love it. It's a great product. I actually use these food-service style containers/lids made by either Rubbermaid or Cambro, and I have a few different sizes and shapes for different food items. You do have to find creative ways to weight down the meat though. The 12-quart square also serves dual purpose for me as a sous vide vessel.

Model 3 & 3D - The Big Brother / Re: NEW TO SMOKERS - ORDERED 3D
« on: October 14, 2017, 03:40:21 AM »
Also purchased the FireBoard with additional probes.  So far all temperatures match within a degree.  I also ordered the 3D enclosed cabinet.
Good choices. Going to have a nice setup.

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