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Messages - Sum1

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Poultry / Re: Smoked Whole Chicken
« on: May 16, 2017, 12:57:57 AM »
Thanks David, I really appreciate that.

Poultry / Smoked Whole Chicken
« on: May 10, 2017, 01:35:46 PM »
Been testing and improving my Smoked Whole Chicken, trying various brines and rubs, using without and without butter, etc. and I think this is the best so far. It's really delicious, with a nice kick and great balance.

I tried to brine with and without sugar, and I think it works better without. I added 1 tbs sugar to the rub for a bit sweetness.

The only issue I have is that the skin shrinks and rips. Sorry that I don't have a photo. Next time I'll make it I'll post a photo.

I wrote to use a water pan, but now that I think about it, and also reviewing other people's posts, I think there's no need for it. Next time I'll try without it.

If anyone here tries this, I'd be curious to hear your feedback.

Here it is:

Smoked Whole Chicken

Whole chicken
Olive oil

Brine ingredients
1 gallon of cold water (or enough to completely submerge the chicken)
1 cup kosher salt
1 tbs ground black pepper
1 tbs cayenne

Rub ingredients
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp black pepper, coarsely ground
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder or granulated garlic
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp Aleppo chili pepper (or other chili pepper, but Aleppo is better)
tsp dried thyme
tsp dried oregano
tsp crushed red pepper flakes
tsp cayenne pepper

Wood: 2oz apple, cherry or oak

1. Mix the brine ingredients well until the salt is dissolved. Brine for 12-24 hours in the fridge.
2. Remove the chicken from the brine, wash briefly and pat dry. Leave to dry on a rack in the fridge for several hours.
3. Mix all the rub ingredients in a small bowel until well incorporated.
4. Oil the chicken and spread the rub liberally all over the chicken, including the interior of cavity.
5. Place the chicken in the smoker on the lowest rack, along with a dish with 2 cups boiling water.
6. Smoke on 225F, set internal temperature to 145F.
7. When the chicken reaches around 130F, turn oven on to 375F.
8. Once smoking is done, place in oven for 35 min.
9. One the 35 min are up, turn up the heat to 450F. Once it reaches 450F, roast for another 2-3 minutes. This will crisp up the skin.
10. Let it cool for 10-15 min before serving.

Net cooking time (without brining and cooling): around 2.5 hours  

No. Only thing that could die is a fish tank style aerator. Great unit. I love mine. Fill it with chips , light it with a torch, refill chips every couple hours. No MOD necessary for the SI. A couple of cord hooks & a piece of tubing is all that's needed for installation.


Amazon offers on the Big Kahuna a "4 Year Asurion Home Improvement Extended Protection Plan" for $18. "Mechanical and electrical failures are covered after manufacturer warranty expires. If we can't fix it, we will issue you an Amazon Gift Card for full replacement value."

In your experience, is it worth getting?

Gadgets and Gizmos / Re: Favorite Knives
« on: May 05, 2017, 01:54:00 PM »
I think you might want to consider different brands for different knives in your collection, but as an all around recommendation for price and quality, I would say Victorinox with Fibrox handle. Made by Swiss Army. Very reasonably priced. High quality steel blade. 15 degree edge. And even though you should probably never put your cutlery in the dishwasher, at that price I don't feel bad about doing that. If I could say anything negative about Victorinox, is that they are not sexy looking, so you might want to look into purchasing a good knife tray designed for drawer storage. Or buy protective sheaths so you can hide them in a drawer. ;D The handle looks kind of "cheapy", but fact is, it is very well designed, ergonomic, non-slip, and comfortable. Also, the fibrox handle is relatively lightweight, and I tend to like a more balanced weight in the handle like I get with my Henckels and Wusthof, especially for Chef's knives.

My thoughts exactly. There was a period that I was looking to get a good knife regardless of cost - I wasn't happy with my Shun - so I spent many hours reading about countless knives, checking forums, websites, etc etc. I even checked Cut Brooklyn who sells his handmade knives for $750 (didn't care for them, honestly). And in the meantime, I got the Victorinox 8" as a temporary knife... and I never looked back. Ok, true, it's not sexy, but it's a terrific knife, easy to sharpen, feels great in my hand, and does what it needs to do exceptionally well. I also got the Victorinox boning knife, and it's been fantastic too, allowing me to debone a whole chicken very quickly. The Victorinox aren't just great relative to cost; they're great, period.

Thank you all for your comments. You've been a big help.

It seems that the #1 won't have sufficient airflow for the A-MAZE-N, so I'm leaning towards the Big Kahuna.

Is it true that basically all cold smokers require babying? Say I wanted to cold smoke salmon for 12-18 hours, or even 24 hours. How do I do that, esp with the Big Kahuna?

Gadgets and Gizmos / Re: Great rack for jerky/ smaller foods
« on: April 28, 2017, 12:20:45 AM »
This is great.
Would this fit the #1?

Gadgets and Gizmos / Cold smoking - which device would you recommend?
« on: April 28, 2017, 12:15:16 AM »
Hey all.

I'm looking to cold smoke, and I've seen online several items, including the Cold Smoke Plate, Smoke Daddy Big Kahuna, A-MAZE-N and some others, but have yet to figure out which is best for the #1.

Which would you recommend?


Lamb / Re: Help with Lamb Pastrami
« on: February 08, 2017, 12:43:18 AM »
Ok, my verdict is that the rub I made isn't quite there yet. It's too sweet and not spicy enough.

I think I need to half the sugar, and double the cumin and mustard. I'll experiment with just the rub ingredients on their own and see.

But at least it LOOKS good... and tastes not bad.

Lamb / Re: Help with Lamb Pastrami
« on: February 06, 2017, 10:03:09 PM »
I'm pretty sure this time around I got the real info, not only because it actually tastes that way, but also because this is what its chef says in this 2010 article that I found after my last visit there. The guy over the counter told me that their lamb pastrami rub is identical to their beef pastrami rub, only with the added cumin, and that they turn the rub into a paste by adding grapeseed oil. That lead me to search about Dickson's beef rub and other sites. Finally, I found this:

I'll know tomorrow. I didn't have time to steam it yesterday, so it's steaming now and after cooling overnight in the fridge I'll see how it comes out.

Most folks behind the counter in a local deli wouldn't know much about the details of the spices etc. But Dickson's is something else. It's probably the best boutique butcher shop in NY. The staff better know their stuff..

Lamb / Re: Help with Lamb Pastrami
« on: February 05, 2017, 03:14:48 PM »
Here's what I've done today, based on what I was told by the Dickson's crew and Kari and Bob's comments.

2 lamb bellies, totaling 6.6 p.

Brined 3.5 days.

Using the process I outlined above. With the following changes:


4T Whole black pepper
4T Coriander seeds
2T Cumin seeds
3 tsp Yellow mustard seeds
4T Light brown sugar
2T Garlic flakes or granulated

6T oil

- Toast the whole seeds, and grind them coarsely in a spice or coffee grinder. Add the remaining dry ingredients and pulse briefly in the grinder until incorporated.
- Mix in the oil until a paste is formed.

At first, I tried half the seasoning amounts, but the paste is thicker and requires double, and even then most of the seasoning is rolled inside, not on top as Dickson's do it. I ran out of rub paste and I figured that the seanoning inside should suffice.

Now the pastrami is in the smoker (3.5oz oak). After smoking, steaming and cooling, I'll know tomorrow how it came out and whether or not I need to modify things. I do think it'll be better than previous trials, but I'm not sure that it'll match Dickson's. Stay tuned...

What do you think?

Here are today's photos.

Lamb / Re: Help with Lamb Pastrami
« on: February 04, 2017, 12:48:00 PM »
 I went there today and got some more. First off, there's no way that the spices I listed are the spices. When the guy told me that that's the mix, I thought it was strange. But now that I tasted it again, there's no way that those are the spices.  Perhaps he gave me the spaces of one of their sausages. I also spoke to someone else behind the counter, and he gave me a completely different list, which make a lot more sense. I'll just have to experiment more.

Lamb / Re: Help with Lamb Pastrami
« on: February 02, 2017, 03:45:13 PM »
Thanks, I didn't know there was a difference. I rarely use cardamon and in my kitchen I only have old green cardamon pods..

Lamb / Re: Help with Lamb Pastrami
« on: February 02, 2017, 02:33:08 PM »
I didn't think they would tell me either... but I figured it doesn't hurt to ask...

Now I have two bellies in the brine. I'll go there again on Sat, hopefully they'll have some available and then I'll try to figure out the ratios...

Lamb / Re: Help with Lamb Pastrami
« on: February 02, 2017, 01:37:15 PM »
Thanks all for your ideas.

I ended up calling Dickson's directly, asking for the spices they use.

I was told they use the following:

Black pepper
Aleppo pepper

I would have never thought that this is their mix...

Now I'll have to figure out the ratios... :)

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