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Old 03-04-2015, 05:55 PM   #81
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Do you put the pizza directly on the tiles or it's just in there as a thermal mass to offload heat once you put a room temp pizza in the oven?
Once up to temperature I place pizza, bread, anything I am cooking in the oven on that shelf, directly on the tiles just like you would with a pizza stone. They are both just tiles. Mine just cost $2 instead of $20. Great for thermal mass too. I never remove them. Been using them for years. I might try placing a few on the rack above to see if the radiant heat from the top changes the cooking characteristics or speeds up the cooking time.

Cheers!
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Old 03-04-2015, 06:22 PM   #82
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Braumeister, or anyone else, can you compare big green egg to old-fashioned weber kettle?
I find that the BGE vs Weber issue tends to be more of a religious disagreement than a scientific one.

However, the BGE has some real superiority in several aspects IMHO.

The big one is that the thermal mass of all that ceramic will hold the heat extremely well, making temperature control far easier. Temperature control is so important. I do my ribs at about 200-220 degrees for 5-6 hours. I do a pizza at 600-650 degrees for a few minutes. I do other things at all temperatures in between. With the Egg, temp control is a no-brainer.

It also means you can use less charcoal, making it more economical. And since most people using Webers will use briquets, the fact that a BGE uses natural lump charcoal means you're not getting any of the additives used in making the briquets -- a big plus both in terms of flavor and possible carcinogens. It also means you can fill it, adjust the temp and go away for 12 hours -- marvelously convenient if you're doing a big butt.
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Old 03-05-2015, 05:11 PM   #83
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audreyh1, I got a Thermapen for my husband for a Christmas gift, and he loves it too. It really is amazing and he has also started using it for cakes and baked goods. I found a (boring) gray one on sale. He does about 95% of the cooking, so he deserves it! We (he) grills quite a bit and is a die-hard charcoal guy.
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Old 03-05-2015, 05:54 PM   #84
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audreyh1, I got a Thermapen for my husband for a Christmas gift, and he loves it too. It really is amazing and he has also started using it for cakes and baked goods. I found a (boring) gray one on sale. He does about 95% of the cooking, so he deserves it! We (he) grills quite a bit and is a die-hard charcoal guy.
Great! DH uses it for his cakes too!
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Old 03-05-2015, 07:41 PM   #85
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I find that the BGE vs Weber issue tends to be more of a religious disagreement than a scientific one.

...

It also means you can use less charcoal, making it more economical. And since most people using Webers will use briquets, the fact that a BGE uses natural lump charcoal means you're not getting any of the additives used in making the briquets -- a big plus both in terms of flavor and possible carcinogens. It also means you can fill it, adjust the temp and go away for 12 hours -- marvelously convenient if you're doing a big butt.
Thanks! I will be looking more into this (and a true smoker) when we retire and have more time to cook.... Had never thought about additives in Briquets--had switched over to lump mesquite (with some apple and cherry thrown in) for flavor.
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Old 03-06-2015, 05:35 AM   #86
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Every real barbeque chef has a number of different grills/smokers.

The Weber 22 1/2" grill when equipped with Grill Grates and a Smokenator (on the side of the grates) makes it as good of a smoker/grill as any on the market.
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OMG! Who needs to go out to eat!
Old 03-07-2015, 08:35 PM   #87
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OMG! Who needs to go out to eat!

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Ha, that's what I get for taking my time to think about it. They are no longer available.

Anything you can be late on, I can be later. (Thermapen)

I don't care, these reports here are so good, I'm getting one anyway. Got charcoal?
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Old 03-07-2015, 10:51 PM   #88
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We only eat out unless it's 4 stars and Michelin restaurants. We cook that well in my house. Can't live up to the high end places though. Our vice in retirement is
Michelin star places! We do enjoy the hole in the walls when it suits us.
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Old 03-08-2015, 09:38 AM   #89
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I have Michelin tires on my car...


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Old 03-08-2015, 10:43 AM   #90
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I must not be up on the finer things in life as I did not know Michelin had restaurants.
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Old 03-08-2015, 11:34 AM   #91
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I've taken this to the next level recently - a cheap sous-vide like method for steaks and a rack-of-lamb (near $0 actually, assuming you have a cooler, and a thermometer with a long wire probe helps, and a blow torch for the final step, but you can use a fry pan). We will be doing more of this soon.

For 1 1/2" thick steaks - Fill a cooler ~ 2/3 of the way with 132F tap water (add a little boiling water if needed). Put the steak in a zip-lock bag with a little olive oil and rosemary and garlic. Dip the bag in the water to push out the air, then seal it. You might want to clip the bag to hold it just above the water. Close the cooler, and cover it with towels (coolers aren't usually insulated well on the top, they are designed for, wait for it.... cool foods, not warm - so the towels provide insulation for the top).

Leave it sit in the water bath for about 90 minutes, you can go longer, up to ~ 3 hours and it makes no difference. Top up with a few cups of boiling water from time to time as needed to keep the temperature at 127-129F (so far, I only need to top up a few times during the first 40 minutes, as the meat absorbs the heat).

Take the steaks out, put them on a rack over a sheet pan, and hit them with the blow torch to sear. I have a MAPP gas torch which gives a hotter flame than propane. Just takes a few minutes to crisp them, and they are cooked to perfection (for us - medium rare) inside. And it makes a LOT LESS smoke than a hot fry-pan sear. Adjust the water bath temperature just a few degrees up/down for your liking.

The steaks and the rack of lamb were awesome (I just broiled the lamb really close to the burner to finish it). Enter 'sous-vide' and DIY or cooler into your favorite search engine, and you'll find tons of info.

This has a lot in common with all-grain beer brewing (except for the torch!), so it seems natural for me. BTW, 'sous-vide' actually means 'under vacuum' (or something like that), as it was common to vacuum seal the food before putting into the water bath. But to me, the water bath is more important than the sealing method, but I guess 'bain-marie' was already taken.

-ERD50

Tried this last night and was well pleased with the result, though it took a bit of forethought. Good tenderness, steaks lost little size in cooking, nice even rareness. Didn't have a torch down here, so just got a pan very hot and seared the steak (sides and edges) to improve the color. Wasn't happy with the deglazed brandy sauce I tried to make, but the meat was great.
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:09 PM   #92
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Have not tried sous vide yet, but I would not be surprised that the sauce comes out lousy. The post-cook meat searing is so short, as it should be, that little fat or juice is released into the pan. So, there's not much to deglaze. I guess that when I do sous vide, I will have to forgo the sauce.

Deglazed sauce always comes out different each time for me anyhow, when cooking the normal way. Sometimes it's great, other times lousy. I think a lot depends on the cut. Or perhaps it's my poor technique. Usually, I augment the sauce with butter at the end, or a bit of creme.
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Old 03-08-2015, 01:20 PM   #93
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We only eat out unless it's 4 stars and Michelin restaurants. We cook that well in my house. Can't live up to the high end places though. Our vice in retirement is
Michelin star places! We do enjoy the hole in the walls when it suits us.
I don't think there are any Michelin rated restaurants within 200 miles of where we live.
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Old 03-08-2015, 01:25 PM   #94
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I don't think there are any Michelin rated restaurants within 200 miles of where we live.
I went to their restaurant site and they tell me the nearest to my zip code is Kielce. Poland. The Wikipedia site says they have some in NYC. Both are too far from WV so I'll pass.
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Old 03-08-2015, 01:29 PM   #95
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I went to their restaurant site and they tell me the nearest to my zip code is Kielce. Poland. The Wikipedia site says they have some in NYC. Both are too far from WV so I'll pass.
Wow - I assumed Houston or Dallas would have some, and maybe San Antonio. That makes it 1000s of miles for us then. We're pretty far from NYC.

Looks like Chicago and San Fransisco Bay Area have some too. Same distance for us - almost 2000 miles. Well - Chicago is 500 miles closer by car than Bay Area or NYC.
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Old 03-08-2015, 03:36 PM   #96
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I'll take a nice hole in the wall over a Michelin restaurant any day of the week. I bet you aren't supposed to wear flip flops and shorts to those fancy restaurants, huh?

In the meantime, we're making empanadas here at Casa FUEGO today. Not quite Buenos Aires good, but also not a 5,000 mile flight away (and we can skip the rioplatense accent!).
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Old 03-12-2015, 05:26 PM   #97
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Here's something I'd rather WHEEE! on: spring is right around the corner, and my Thermapen arrived today
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:42 AM   #98
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Here's something I'd rather WHEEE! on: spring is right around the corner, and my Thermapen arrived today
I hope you get as much enjoyment out of cooking with it as we have!!!
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Old 03-18-2015, 12:48 AM   #99
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I guess I'm a more of a hole-in-the-wall kind of eater.

I checked out the reviews of the 3 star in Chicago, lots of folks like it, but at $350/person for the basic meal with pretty cool looking but very small delicate portions, I'll pass.

Some of menu looks more like science experiments
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:31 AM   #100
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This thread inspired me to get a Thermapen. Got the green one on sale for $75. I've been so frustrated over the years with cheap, cr@ppy meat thermometers. This thing is awesome. We reverse-seared a huge ribeye last night, which was amazing medium rare. I pulled it from the oven at exactly 120 degrees. Then seared for one minute on each side in a dry cast-iron skillet, which was as hot as I could get it.

Thanks to all who posted about the Thermapen.
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