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How To… Light the Big Green Egg

Howdy,

As with everything with the Big Green Egg there are different ways to go about doing everything… including lighting your lump charcoal.

The one thing that you should NEVER EVER do is use charcoal lighter fluid in your Egg. The chemicals will absorb into the ceramics and you will not get rid of that taste of lighter fluid.

To see the official corporate spiel on how to light your Big Green Egg, check out this link.

They suggest you use the official Big Green Egg starter cubes.

Big Green Egg Charcoal Starter Cubes

These are safe to use in your Egg as they contain no chemicals and are basically sawdust and wax. I have used these before, but I find them incredible slow to get your Egg going. I know we’re talking about barbecue and it SHOULD be slow… but sometimes on a weeknight you want to eat dinner before it’s time for your kids to go to bed. They aren’t cheap either and you need to use multiple starters depending on the size of Egg you have. They will work in the rain, once you get them lit… just close the lid and let them go.

If you choose this method, I generally break the starter cubs into 4 or 5 pieces (to make them go farther) and then light them in a star shape in the Egg so you are lighting your lump in 4 or 5 places. Now this will vary depending on the size of Egg you are lighting. If I light the Mini with these, I would just put them in the centre of the lump, if I light the XL, I am going to spread them out more.

Another option is to use the classic charcoal chimney starter.

Chimney Starter

I started out using these starters back before I got my Eggs. You stuff some newspaper in the bottom, dump some charcoal in the top and light it and wait till you coals are glowing to start cooking. Although this method works just fine, I find that with the Big Green Egg, it actually lights better with the charcoal in the Egg and not in the chimney. The Egg creates a natural airflow that works much better than this thing. The other problems I’ve had with it, sometimes the charcoal doesn’t light straight away, so you need to do more than one attempt at getting the coals to light. I find if it is really windy that this can be particular challenge as it blows the paper out the bottom. And if it’s raining, forget it! On the upside, they are cheap, less than $15 and other than newspapers (or all that irritating junk mail) you don’t need anything special to light it.

If you use this method (and I have) what I found worked best was to load the Egg with MOST of the lump but reserve some for the chimney. Then light the Chimney and when it is good and hot, dump these coals on the lump in your Egg and open your air vents wide so the hot lump lights the dry lump in the Egg. It just takes too long to do this and I think I only used this method for about a week before moving on.

My next leap went to the Electric Coil Starter. These are classic. It is basically a heating element that gets super hot and lights the coals.

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I used this cheap one for a brief while, but the starter burned out within about 4 months. Big Green Egg makes an official one:

Big Green Egg Electric Starter

But it isn’t cheap. You can get no name brand ones for $15-$20 at most hardware or home stores. These things are faster than the chimney or the starter cubes, but their durability is an issue. I figured I would go through 3-4 of these things in a year. Another thing I didn’t like was that they are electric and using them in the rain is not something I was fond of.

If you are going to use the Electric Coil, just place it in the centre of the lump and light it there, then pull it out, open the air vents and close the Egg lid and let the Egg come up to to temperature. This method worked great for me for about 4 months until the coil burned out.

It was the middle of February when my coil burned out and as I was looking for a new way to light the Egg, I came across the Looftlighter.

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Effectively it is a big hair dryer… (never point it at yourself, instant 4th degree burns!!!) there is a heating element in it and it blows super hot air. This thing worked great!!! I loved my Looftlighter. You just point it at the coals and press the button and it would light them up super fast because in addition to the heat it was blowing air and stoking the fire as it lit.

My problem with it was that again it is electric, so you are always fussing around with extension cords and then there is the pesky rain issue again (yes I do lots of Egging in the rain, that’s what umbrellas are for!!!). My other issue was the price, at $90 it wasn’t cheap and it only lasted me about 6 months. HOWEVER mine did not die by my hand, I was away on a business trip and my friends that were staying with us at the time didn’t know how to use it and when I got home it was ruined. The tip had all melted. I suspect they stuck it into the coals to light them instead of hovering above them.

If you are going to use a Looftligher, I would light in 4 or 5 spots in a star shape around the Lump for my Large and XL Eggs and right in the middle of the lump for the Mini.

So with a wrecked Looftlighter my friends bought me what I now use and have come love, a MAPP Torch. Nothing says “light my Egg” more than the brute force approach of using a torch! I use a Bernzomatic MAPP Torch that they bought me from Home Depot.

Bernzomatic MAPP Torch

The upside of this torch is that it lights the Egg very quickly (although the Looftlighter was still faster because of the combo of heat and air), you can use it in the rain, you don’t have to drag around extension cords and you can use it for other torchy things around the house other than just lighting your Barbecue. The down side is the price, it isn’t cheap, but the upside is the gas canisters last a VERY long time if all you use it for is lighting the Egg. I have been using this to light my Eggs since September 2012 and am only on my second canister. I think the first one lasted me about 15 months.

Again, like the Looftligher, light the bigger Eggs in a star pattern and the smaller Eggs in the centre.

So to summarize, I’ve made this handy dandy table…

Method Advantages Disadvantages
Wax Starters Can be used in Rain Expensive, not reusable, VERY slow!!!
Charcoal Chimney Reusable, inexpensive Slow, can’t be used in the rain
Electric Coil Reusable, inexpensive, quick light Shouldn’t use in the rain, need a power outlet, cords are a pain
Looftligher Reusable, fastest light Shouldn’t use in the rain, need a power outlet, cords are a pain, expensive!
MAPP Torch Pretty quick light, portable, no power cords, use in any weather Expensive, occasionally need gas refills

 

So there you have it. Choose whichever method works best for you and do be afraid to dry different methods.

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Apple Smoked Turkey

Howdy,

In my family it seems turkey was only ever cooked around the big holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas & Easter. It really is such a shame too, because turkey is awesome! With that in mind, I thought I would go back in time, into the WinnipEGGheads archives and dig out some pictures of a turkey I cooked on September 18, 2011. Why do I remember that date? Well, simply because it was my 1 week EGGiversary of getting my first Big Green Egg and to celebrate I wanted to do something big… like a turkey :-) Also, I’m ana… um… organized and file all my pictures by date.

I have never cooked a turkey like this since, because after that I discovered the joys of making a Spatchcock turkey, which does not involve the stuffing. However, with another turkey in my immediate future, I have decided to cook it this way again.

So let’s take a trip down memory lane and I will tell you about the first turkey I ever cooked on the Egg and what I learned from it.

I started with a fairly large bird, don’t remember the exact size, but over 16 pounds. I had read online that if you ice the breast meat it will keep the breasts from overcooking while the dark meat cooks. This is the one and only time I have done this… why? Well, yes it did work, but I find if you brine your birds (which I do now and didn’t do for this one) you don’t need to ice it. But go ahead and try it sometime if you don’t have time to brine. I think it did work.

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Other ingredients are:

  • 1 apple
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 of a large onion
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • fresh poultry blend spices (thyme, sage, parsley)
  • dried poultry seasoning
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • vegetable oil (not pictured)
  • wood chips for smoking (I used apple)

If I recall, I iced the breasts for about an hour in the fridge while I prepped everything, then kept the ice pack on it when I pulled the bird out for the picture.

I then stuffed the bird with the garlic, lemon, apple and fresh herbs and rubbed the outside down with some olive oil and then sprinkled on some dry poultry seasoning and fresh cracked pepper.

I also used about 3-4 cups of apple wood. In hindsight it could be argued it was way too much… but that depends. See I found that the bird was excessively smokey when it come off the Egg and we had it for dinner that night. HOWEVER!!!! If you are smoking a bird to make lunch meat out of it, well hells yeah this was good! The smoke was much more tamed down the next day and the leftovers were so much better!!!

My advice… if you plan to eat the bird the night of… cut way back on the smoke… you won’t need a lot to give it that smokey goodness. I might use 1 cup of woodchips next time. But if you want to smoke it for lunch meat, then go for it. The smoke will ease up the next day.

I can’t remember what I pre-heated my Egg to, I think it was in around 375F to 400F. I set it up indirectly by using the plate setter, then the grill, then a drip pan that I put wine and chicken stock into and then I sat the bird on an inverted V rack.

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I tossed the wood chips in right before I put the bird on and this thing started smoking up a storm for the first hour or so. These were the only pictures I got where I got a nice break in the smoke.

After an hour I started to baste it about every 40 minutes to an hour until the meat thermometer in the breast said 165F.

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When the white meat was 165F the dark meat in the legs was well above 175F. I cooked it to temperature, not to time. Overall, I think it took about 3 hours, but I don’t recall.

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Other than this thing coming out over smoked I thought I did a killer job on it for my first attempt at cooking something big on the Big Green Egg!

What I learned was:

  • Brine the bird (it’s just better!)
  • To Ice or Not to Ice (your call)
  • Cut back on the smoke
  • As always, cook to temperature, not to time. 165F in the breast is safe

Happy Egging!
Brian

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Brisket (fail) #6

Howdy,

I debated about posting this one… but they can’t all be winners and this was another mediocre brisket attempt.

I do partly blame this one on the questionable cut of meat that I used. When I made Brisket #5 I picked up the brisket from Kelmar Meats, a local butcher who’s beef is always top notch! However, this one had in my freezer for a while and I got it from a different butcher shop in town that I have not had a lot of beef success with. Their other products have been great but as for beef, I am not sure where they get it, but in my personal experience, none of their beef cuts have been great. This one included. Since I am not out slag anyone, I am not going to say where I got this. Maybe I just have had bad luck.

Anyway, it started out with this over-trimmed hunk of brisket that I seasoned up with a BBQ rub and then let it sit in the fridge overnight.

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This was only a 6 and half pound brisket, so by most calculations, 12 hours should be about the most it would need. I got up at 5 in the morning and got my XL Big Green Egg lit and stabilized at 225F using my DigiQ Pit Controller. I had also soaked some hickory chunks and Mesquite & Whisky Barrel wood chips in water overnight. I made a smoke pouch of the wood chips and put the chunks directly on the coals. I did this JUST before I was ready to put the brisket on. I have found that using a foil pouch for chips makes them last longer than putting chip directly on the coals. The chunks can go on directly though.

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The thing I learned from Brisket #5 is that the radiant heat from the bottom of the plate setter had dried out the bottom of the last brisket, even though the rest of it was moist and tender, so this time I set the Egg up indirectly using the Plate Setter and then by putting a foil tray with some water directly under the meat to make a moisture barrier.

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When the Egg was ready (about 6am) the brisket went on…

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At about 3pm, I started to mop the brisket with a mop I made by bringing to a boil then simmering the following:

  • 1 bottle of beer (I used Anchor Brekle’s Brown Ale)
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp of dry rub
  • 2 tbsp of Worcestershire
  • 1 tbsp of Tabasco

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I mopped the brisket about every 90 minutes after this to help keep it from drying out.

However this brisket was the craziest thing… I thought it had hit a plateau at about 165F because it then dropped in temperature to about 158F and then proceeded to bounce around between 163F and 168F for hours!!!! By 7pm and 13 hours it wasn’t even close, I think, about 175F and we needed 195F!!!

At this point I was fed up with it, I put it in another foil pan, dumped in one beer and covered it in foil. I then disconnected the DigiQ (except for the meat thermometer) and then I opened up the Egg to about 350F and let it braise in the beer for about 90 more minutes.

At this point I took it out and it was cooked but on the dry side. Definitely not my best!!!

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So the lesson once again… if you are going to do brisket… make sure you get a quality cut of meat. In hindsight if we didn’t have company over, I would have just chopped this thing up and made chili out of it!

On the bright side, the mop was tasty!

Happy Egging!
Brian

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Buffalo Chicken Wings

Forget going out to a restaurant for Buffalo Wings! Once you’ve done them on the Big Green Egg, you will never want to have those over-cooked, deep-fried abominations ever again! Nothing like taking the time to do them over charcoal. For an added kick feel free to toss in a handful of wood chips to give them a nice smokey flavour!

You will need:

  • 1/3 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • Chicken Wings (go figure… :-) )
  • Your favorite Spice Rub
  • Your favorite Vegetable Oil

First up, get a pack of wings, dry them off with some paper towels and leave them in the fridge uncovered for a few hours so that they can air chill and evaporate some of the moisture. You will get crispier wings if you do that.

Fire up your Big Green Egg and while it heats up, coat the wings with a little oil and your favourite spice rub! You can do that in advance if you have time, so the wings have more time to get happy in the rub.

Then put them on the Egg, raised grid indirect at about 350F-400F. I used my Plate Setter with the feet up, then put the grill on. I put all the drummies on the bottom layer and the flatties on raised grid. I just thought the drummies would take the radiant heat from the Plate Setter better.

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Now leave them to do their thing… don’t worry if they are indirect and your temperature is stable, they won’t burn, just let them cook. After maybe 15 minutes, open up the Egg and then rotate them around a little to make sure they are cooking evenly.

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Let them keep cooking, check on them periodically but not too often. When they are in 175F range they are ready to come off.

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I gave people a taste of them naked before I tossed them in the Buffalo Sauce… but that is the cook’s prerogative!

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To make the Buffalo sauce for dipping or tossing combine butter, honey and Franks Red Hot on the stove. You can get more creative and add other herbs and spices and flavours too it, but that is Buffalo sauce in a nutshell.

Then just give them a toss and serve!

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Happy Egging!
Brian

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Big Green Egg Plate Setter Review

So I was just on the official Big Green Egg site and it appears they have now decided to rename the Plate Setter to the convEGGtor™, assuming its because it effectively turns your Egg into a convection oven instead of a grilling machine.

This is the official image from the Big Green Egg website. You can see it here.
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Regardless of what they are calling this thing now, that is exactly what it does… it blocks the direct heat from the coal and redirects it up the sides of the Egg and back onto the food, cooking indirectly.

There are other third party devices that accomplish this as well and they definitely have their fans, however because shipping to Canada would make these things in the multitudes of hundreds of dollars, $65 for a Large Plate Setter seems like a deal!

I can’t remember what I paid for my XL and Mini Plate Setters, but I use ALL of them, on many of my cooks. Here are a bunch of examples…

Every time I smoke something, on the Large or XL, I use the Plate Setter.
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For most of my Spatchcock birds I use a plate setter
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When I make I high heat pizza, I flip it over, so the feet are facing down to get the pizza stone higher in the dome, but I use the Plate Setter.

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Anytime I roast a hunk of meat or reverse sear a steak, I use the Plate Setter

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Anytime I braise, make a stew or a soup I use it…

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Really, anytime you want the heat without searing the bottom of your pan (indirect cooking) you want some method of diffusing the heat and the Plate Setter does that. For the best results, (especially for braising, stewing, ect) don’t cook directly ON the Plate Setter. If you leave an air gap by placing something (I use extra Big Green Egg feet) then the heat will diffuse better. If you look all my pictures above have the feet under the roaster to prevent the bottom of the pan from searing.

Anyway, I would say that probably aside from my Grid Lifter & Ash Tool that I use for cleaning my Egg out, this is probably my MOST used EGGcessory that I own. I love my Plate Setters and I have one for each of my Big Green Eggs! If it gets gummed up with dirt and grease, just flip it over and cook a pizza or 2! You clean it by doing a high heat cook and it just burns all the crud away!

My only complaint is they need to be a bit more sturdy. My first Plate Setter only lasted 2 year before it split in half and I needed to buy a new one. But even then, for all the cooking I did with it, I’d say I got my money’s worth out of it.

I give the Plate Setter 5 Eggs out of 5!

Brian

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Sundried Tomato & Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms

Howdy,

April 3 and its STILL snowing!!! I guess they don’t call it the Great White North because we are famous for our palm trees. Regardless, it was warm enough for shorts even though it was snowing. It helps to think of it as fluffy rain!

These mushrooms would have been better with fresh basil, but its hard to come by quality basil this time of year in Winnipeg and I didn’t have time run around looking for some, so I used dried Italian seasoning instead.

Anyway, we made these up as our main course, but these would be a great appetizer, which is why I have put them in the Appetizer section.

You will need:

  • 15 Stuffer Mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup of Quina
  • 1 cup of Vegetable Stock
  • 1 oz of Asiago Cheese
  • 1 oz of Grana Padano Cheese
  • 1 oz of Diced Sundried Tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of Toasted Pine Nuts
  • 1/4 cup of Panko Bread Crumbs
  • Your favorite Italian Seasoning to taste… or better yet fresh basil

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Cook the Quinoa in the Vegetable Broth in advance or chill after cooking in an ice bath.

Mix the Quinoa, Grana Padano, toasted pine nuts, sundried tomatoes, Italian Seasoning (or fresh herbs) and salt and pepper to taste.

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Stuff the mushrooms… I had enough mixture left over to do probably another 6 mushrooms. When I cook Quinoa I always tend cook too much…

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Then I mixed the panko crumbs, Asiago cheese and more Italian seasoning and topped the mushrooms with it.

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I pre-heated the Large Big Green Egg and stabilized it at 350F. I had set the Egg up for an indirect cook by using the plate setter.

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There was nothing scientific about how long I let these cook, it was about 35 minutes or about the same time that it took to cook some sweet potatoes in oven… but when they were done they looked like this:

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The panko and Asiago toasted up nicely!

We plated these up with sweet potatoes and a spinach, apple & pecan salad.

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Who says cooking on the Big Green Egg can’t be healthy!

Happy Egging!!!
Brian

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Just working out the kinks…

Howdy,

As you can see I have been busy updating the WinnipEGGheads blog to have a new look and feel. The most obvious change is that I changed the WordPress theme from Twenty-Ten to Twenty-Fourteen. I really like the look and feel of this new theme, especially the “Featured Image” thing. Now I just need to go back and add a featured image to ALL my posts… eventually.

I also built the new menu system on the header.

We have the following Menu Items…

About – Just a bit about WinnipEGGheads, you know, the usual jazz.

Events – Will be posts related to EggFests or other back yard pot lucks we host. We may not always have recipes, but the food is great and we will try to get lots of food pictures.

Recipes – I have built a whole new recipes section based on the now streamlined categories on the right side of the blog. The Recipes sub pages will have everything we have posted in an alphabetical-ish order. If you click on the categories on the right, you will see all the posts that belong to that category in order of when they were posted. I am still working out some bugs on the categories side bar… and may end up getting rid of it entirely and just rely on the menu. I have removed the Archives widget as I felt it was now pretty useless.

How To… – Is not all about cooking, but also stuff like building Egg tables. The cooking posts I do have are not necessarily about a recipe, but about a cooking technique or process, such as how to… make pulled pork.

Eggcessories – Is all about reviews of the various Egging accessories I use or have used. I have a TON of reviews to write, so this will be a growing section.

Egg Maintenance – What you need to do to keep your Big Green Egg running tip top!

These are the menu items I have so far, I might move some of my links up there as well, I haven’t decided. It is still a bit of a work in progress.

In the meantime, I was cleaning up unattached images and deleted a bunch of pictures that were “unattached” but we actually in use… stupid!!! Now I have to back and add a bunch again.

I may also add, change or move some of the widgets around… we’ll try some stuff out and see how it works. It can always be changed back.

Anyway, you may run across some missing images, broken links and so forth, but I am working on cleaning it up, it really is a work in progress!

I hope you enjoy the new look and feel of WinnipEGGheads!

Happy Egging!
Brian

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How To… Make Baby Back Ribs on the Big Green Egg

Howdy,

If there are 1000s of ways to make pulled pork, there are probably 1000 times that many ways of making ribs!!! But as an amateur, back yard chef, this is what I have learned over the last few years of cooking ribs, so hopefully it helps you out. Again, think of this as a starting point for ONE method of cooking ribs, (one that I like) and go from there and make it your own.

Over the years I have tried a ton of different methods to cooking ribs on the BBQ one way or another. I have tried boiling then grilling, braising then grilling, even nuking then grilling (the worst ribs ever!!!). I have tried straight up gas grilling, slow smoking indirectly on gas and finally various ways of cooking them indirectly on my Big Green Egg. In all of my different variations and experiments, I feel that this method gives me the results I am looking for!

Although these steps may still apply to side ribs, I don’t like side ribs, they are too fatty for me so when I make ribs I ONLY make Baby Backs. I know there are a bajillion people out there who will disagree with that… but it’s my personal taste. So it should be noted all of the following instructions as based on back ribs!

Step 1: Make the Brine

The first step to making killer ribs is planning ahead mixing up a brine ahead of time so that you have it nice and cold and ready to go.

One of my favorites is based on Myron Mixon’s cookbook Everyday Barbecue

It included Apple Juice, white vinegar, salt and sugar. I am not going to give the exact recipe as it is copyrighted in his book but I will tell you it makes my ribs extra special. Go check out his book. I gave you the Amazon link above! The man has won so many barbecue contests, don’t take my word on it, take his!!!

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Anyway I slowly dissolved the salt and sugar in the brine on the stove, heating it up. I had already failed the first step, (plan ahead) the first time I made these so I had to cool the brine back down in an ice bath in the sink before it would be ready to use on the ribs. Remember, make the brine the night before…

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Step 2: Remove the Membrane

The next step in making killer ribs is to take the membrane off the back.

It should be noted that there is a great debate (of course there is ;-) ) about whether you should take the membrane off or leave it on. I am in the camp that says you should take it off. I feel it makes for a less chewy end product. You can see that glistening membrane on the back of the ribs…

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It is really easy to get this thing off once you get the hang of it. Just take a butter knife and along one of the rib bones, slide it between the bone and the membrane to gently separate it.

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Once you have made a big enough cavity, use your fingers to separate more of the membrane. Your fingers are less likely to rip the membrane than the knife is.

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I usually then pull the membrane off the shorter side of the rib first, and then using a paper towel (for grip) you just pull the rest of it off the long side and most of the time it comes off in one big long strip.

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Then voila!!! You can see the 2 ribs, one has the membrane still on, the other does not.

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Step 3: Into the Brine for 4-6 Hours

Once you have all this membrane stuff off, the next step is to brine these babies for at least 4-6 hours! No one said this was going to be fast! Remember what I said about the Pulled Pork and the Brisket? You can’t rush Low & Slow. Think of it this way, you now have 4-6 hours to spend working on side dishes and a few cold ones!

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Step 4: Rinse off the Brine and Dry

About 4 hours later I took the ribs out of the brine and rinsed them off so they wouldn’t be too salty and patted them dry with some paper towels.

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Step 5: Apply Your Favorite Seasonings

My standard for ribs and butts is to use a low salt rub. I am not a huge salt fan and it’s personal taste, but I like to let people control their own salt at the table rather than me being heavy handed with it in the cooking. Also, there is some residual salt from the brine so a low salt rub work great for me. Pick whatever rub you like best, make your own or even blend some of your favorite rubs together. Do it however you like them!!!

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If you have the time, let these set up in the fridge for another hour or 2 while you get the Egg set up and ready to go.

Step 6: Set Up the Big Green Egg for an Indirect Cook

When doing a big multi-hour low and slow cook, I always clean it out real good before I get started so I don’t end up with fire control issues. I then preheat my XL Big Green Egg to 250F, along with my Plate Setter so it is the same temperature as the Egg when it’s time to put the Ribs on.

I soaked some hickory chips and made a foil pouch of wet chips that I put down on the coals along with some loose dry chips for instant smoke. I found this technique worked the best for getting a longer sustained smoke. I have found that putting the chips directly on the coals causes them all to flame out too quickly, even if they are wet. I also added some soaked wood chunks because they also tend to last longer than chips alone. I don’t put the wood on until RIGHT BEFORE I am going to put the meat on.

As for the TYPE of wood to use for smoking, play around and change it up as it will change the flavour.

Some of the wood chips I have used:

    Hickory – Classic! Not too strong, great flavour! I love to blend this with Maple.
    Maple – I love the sweet smoke this makes.
    Pecan – Another sweet wood, but different from maple. Also blends well with Hickory.
    Alder – A little more intense, but takes to soaking in other liquids well (wine or beer)
    Mesquite – A bit strong for pork on its own, use in a small amounts for some kick.
    Whisky Barrel – Same as Mesquite, I like to blend this.

I then put the plate setter on, a drip pan with some left over brine and water and then my ribs.

I managed to get a couple pictures here before the smoke really started…

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Step 7: Stabilize the Egg & Cook for 3 hours

Always important, even when using a Pit Controller is to watch your Egg, especially in the first hour to make sure everything stabilizes exactly where you want it. If you don’t you could be ordering in!

For this cook, I had some trouble with the XL running hot, I had the grill thermometer on the DigiQ in a bad place, too close to the meat, which was giving it an artificially low temperature. So the dome temperature was creeping up about 100 degrees hotter than what the grill and DigiQ were saying. Once I adjusted the location of the thermometer, the rest was clockwork.

At 3 hours in I checked them again and they were looking awesome!!!

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Step 8: Foil, Liquid, Bump Up the Temp to 300F

After 3 hours I took them off and put them into a clean foil tray, drizzled some apple juice in the pan (beer, wine, whisky all work great too!) and then sealed them back up with foil and this time I raised the temp to 300F on purpose :-)

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Step 9: Remove from Foil, then Grill for 5 & Baste for 10

After about 45 minutes in the foil tray I took them out and let them set up on the grill for about 5 minutes before started basting them with my favorite BBQ Sauce for about 10 minutes total.

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I sauced both sides, about 5 minutes apart and the did the tops one last time before I took them off.

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Step 10: Serve ‘em Up!!!

The last step was to serve them up…

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These had the perfect flex, they would bend but didn’t break, they were moist and juicy tender and they weren’t mush and over cooked but firm, with texture.

As I said, there are 1000s of ways that you can cook ribs and get a great result. This is just what I do. I have been working on finding the best way to cook ribs for more than a decade, trying different methods. The Big Green Egg has finally given me the results I have been looking for!

So to summarize in 10 easy steps:

    Step 1: Make the Brine
    Step 2: Remove the Membrane
    Step 3: Into the Brine for 4-6 Hours
    Step 4: Rinse off the Brine and Dry
    Step 5: Apply Your Favorite Seasonings
    Step 6: Set Up the Big Green Egg for an Indirect Cook
    Step 7: Watch the Egg for a Stable Temperature, Cook for 3 hours
    Step 8: Foil, Liquid, Bump Up the Temp to 300 for about 45 minutes
    Step 9: Remove from Foil, then Grill for 5 & Baste for 10
    Step 10: Serve ‘em Up!!!

Happy Egging!
Brian

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Marsala Creamed Mushrooms

Now I didn’t cook this on the Big Green Egg but this was the main side dish and sauce that I cooked to go with the Dijon Whole Beef Tenderloin. I did the prep work for this while the tenderloin was getting happy in the marinade in the fridge. And just because I didn’t cook it on the Egg, doesn’t mean you couldn’t! I probably would have if it was summer time.

I did not come up with the recipe on my own, it came from the finecooking.com website here:
http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/porcini-cremini-mushroom-ragout-sauce.aspx

Of course I never follow a recipe exactly, so this is what I did…

I started out with about 2 and a half pounds of button, cremini & shitake mushrooms, which I browned until caramelized in butter and olive oil.

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I also used 2 packs of dried porcini mushrooms (1oz) that I re-hydrated (and saved the liquid after straining it through a cheese cloth), some fresh thyme, butter, shallots, dry marsala and heavy whipping cream.

I never said this was good for you!!!

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When the shrooms were nice and caramelized I added all the ingredients and let the sauce reduce until it thickened up.

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I was supposed to garnish with flat leaf parsley, but was in a rush when I did the shopping and grabbed cilantro instead!!! Ooops!!! I blame the store for keeping both herbs side by side like that :-)

Anyway, a little green garnish would have been nice on the eyes, but they were still fantastic!!!

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Happy Egging!
Brian

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Roasted Dijon Whole Beef Tenderloin

Howdy,

I ordered a 6-8 pound whole beef tenderloin and my butcher Steve tied this beauty up perfect for me!!! He had it all cleaned and trimmed and trussed together so that the thin part of the tenderloin would cook with the thicker part and the whole thing would cook nice and even!!!

I made a rub for the this with grainy Dijon mustard, fresh thyme and rosemary, fresh cracked pepper, about 4 big cloves of garlic and some EVOO to give it a nice paste-like texture.

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I spread it all over the roast and then put it in the fridge to set up for about a few hours.

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When it was about 5pm I decided to put it on the Egg. I wasn’t entirely sure how long it would take to cook. I had debated about searing it off first, like I do with steaks, but then in the end decided that I didn’t want to burn the mustard rub and I would cook it gently. So I set the XL Big Green Egg up to cook indirectly at about 375F.

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I did not open the lid until the meat probe I had stuck in it hit 120F. I did not move this thing around at all, I just let it sit there and do it’s thing and get happy. I pulled it off when my Thermapen read 125F in the center. All said it took about an hour and 40 minutes to get there.

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I then let it rest probably another 30 minutes, lightly tented while I finsished the other sides.

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In the end, it was a perfect beauty of a roast, so moist and tender!!! Everyone agreed, this was the best roast I have ever cooked! It was like butter it was so soft and juicy!

Winnipeg Loves the Big Green Egg!

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