Monday, February 05, 2018

Super Bowl Sunday Cook on a Snowy Sunday in Topeka

Snowy Day for Grilling
Snowy Day for Grilling
Sunday night we grilled out again after what was supposed to be flurries fell earlier in the day on Sunday. Cleared the snow off the back patio so could get to the grill without tracking snow in and out of the house. We did boneless turkey breast again (see Cooking in Late January Boneless Chicken and Turkey Breasts) and then also a pork tenderloin. Yes, it was cold, but it was enjoyable grilling. I took a few pictures before, during, and then the final product. Too cold to spend much time out by the grill. Oliver was having fun running around the back yard as I started, so you can see him in the picture to the left.

Fire is Lit and Ready to Grill
Fire is Ready!
We used a seasoning that Carrie got for me for Christmas. Once again, I used the thermometer that I can check remotely with my iPhone. Turned out very nicely!

After the cleanup of the BGE for the cook last week, it started quickly. The temperature got up to about 600 degrees before I started closing vents to bring the temperature down. I cooked right at 350 degrees for both the chicken and pork tenderloin. The chicken breast estimated it will be about fifteen minutes to cook and the tenderloin was about 20. Both took about 30 minutes total to cook. It was not bad though as I was able to watch the Super Bowl during most of the first half. I think I finished about the time half-time was starting, so worked out great!

Picture of Pork Tenderloin and Three Chicken Breasts
Finished Pork Tenderloin and Chicken
Enjoying a glass of Johnny Walker, I managed to stay warm and cook what turned out to be a great meal. The temp was perfect with the meat being juicy and tender. I was happy with the outcome of the meal. The rub we put on also worked out great too. Once again, we made enough to have leftovers throughout the week. I think we will have enough leftovers for three or four additional meals during the week. I am hopeful that Carrie and I can continue to plan and prep so I can continue to grill on the weekends. Looking forward to doing whole turkey, pork butt, or smoke on a mild spring day with the Royals playing on the radio. I cannot wait!

Dinner is Served
Dinner is Served
The meal was good with sweet potato, zucchini and onions, and then sliced pork tenderloin. It was a good evening! Even better later after we finished eating, the Patriots lost. So that was fun and good evening of grilling so we can eat at home and have leftovers for a few nights too.

Have a  great night and I look forward to cooking something new soon!

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Cooking in Late January Boneless Chicken and Turkey Breasts

A little late with the update from cook that I completed on January 28. It had been about a month since the previous grill which was in late December. We decided to grill a few boneless chicken breasts and then a few turkey breasts. It would be our dinner for Sunday evening and then for two more nights later in the week.

Picture of Completed Boneless Chicken Breast off of the Grill
Boneless Chicken Breasts Following
January 28 Cook
I had not cleaned the BGE since I purchased it back in August, so I decided to clean it out. When I cooked back in December, I had difficulty getting the temperature high and following that cook I accounted it to be because it needed to clean it out. Sunday, January 28 was a cold day and my hands were feeling the temperature. I managed to get all of the old lump removed from the BGE so it could be loaded and prepare for the evening cook.

Picture of Turkey Breasts Done off of the Grill
Turkey Breasts Done Following
January 28 Cook
I only took two pictures of the cook on January 28 of the final product. I did use a new thermometer I got for Christmas. It worked great! It syncs bluetooth to my iPhone and then with my new Apple Watch, I am able to see the temperature for up two two separate cuts of meat. Easy to use and worked out great!

Letting the grill get to high heat to start to cook off previous cooks, I brought the temperature back down to around 300 - 350 degrees. Keeping it around that mark throughout the cook. Turning the meet regularly, it took longer than I had anticipated for the meet to finish and reach being cooked. I was using a menu that I found on a Google search that said about eight minutes each side, but I would say it took probably closer to thirty minutes to cook both cuts of meat. I was afraid it was going to burn, but had no issues with the burn marks.

The meat was extremely moist and cooked nicely. There was not any smokey flavor as the temperature was higher than what would allow the smokey flavor to get into the meat. Overall, it was a very enjoyable process and we enjoyed the meal the cooked meat provided for three additional meals.

I will be cooking this evening after a snow storm came through this morning. Tonight will be a pork tenderloin and more chicken breasts, so I will once again be able to utilize the new thermometer and monitor it from inside.

Happy grilling and I will be back on here soon....

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Cook for Start of December was Pork Roast

BGE Getting Ready to Grill
BGE Getting Ready
On Sunday, December 3, we did a pork roast on the grill. First time I tried doing a pork roast. We did two so we could have extras for the week. I did not plan well, so did not start preparing for the cook until mid-afternoon. I put a nice rub we had from the store.

Took a while to get the grill ready, but worked out as I was preparing the pork roast for the grill. I never did get a high heat going with this cook. I have not cleaned out the lump since we bought the grill. The highest the temperature would go was about 300 and that was not until about the end of the cook. I added more lump before I lit the grill, but still could not get a high temp. I need to spend more time in the forums to see what others say. I am guessing that having the lump in there since the start and sitting in the elements is the issue. Granted, it is covered, but probably moisture still gets into the lump. I need to get some containers to hold new lump (instead of keeping in the bags) and then container to remove lump. I saw someone early on in my BGE experience with someone recommending this technique for dealing with new and old lump.

Pork Roast Getting Ready for the Grill
Pork Roast Ready for the Grill
I let the pork roast sit out on the counter for about two hours with the rub before grilling. I found various recipes that talked about brining the meat the day before or at least 5 - 6 hours before grilling. Not having started preparing the meat until a few hours before it was needed on the grill, I was left with doing a quick prep.

The rub we used was Jack's Gourmet Seasoning. We had picked it up at the store prior to planning this cook. The bottle said it was perfect on steaks, seafood, pork, etc., so figured we would try it out. I thought it had good flavor. It went on nicely and did not add olive oil or anything else to make it stick. Even through the cook, the rub remained on the meat. Gave it a nice almost crust to the finished pork roast.

Reading through how long others had cooked the meat, I thought it was going to take about an hour. It ended up taking about and hour and half. Again, I think this was due to the heat not being as high as I had wanted. Others had said they grilled at about 300 - 350, but the highest the heat would get this day of cooking was only about 300 and again it was at the end of the cook. Most of the cook it was about 250 degrees. Even though it took longer to cook, I thought the pork was nice and moist; easy to cut with a knife or fork with good flavor from the rub. Carrie was a little grossed out at first as she was not sure it was done. The color looked odd in a few places, but the internal temperature was well above what was recommended of 140 internal.

Pork Roast Final Product with Picture of Rub in Background
Pork Roast Off of the Grill and Ready to Eat
To the right is the picture of the final product as well as the rub that was used. I think it had nice color inside and the color outside with the rub turned out nicely too. After removing from the grill with internal heat of around 140 degrees, I covered with aluminum foil and let stand for about twenty minutes on the kitchen counter allowing it to cook further.

We served the port roast with a salad although I do not have a picture of the plated pork and salad. It was a good way to start December. I am hoping to do much more grilling before the end of the year.

I still have not cooked a chicken breast, whole turkey, or ribs on the BGE yet. I have so much to learn about cooking and grilling with the BGE... I am having a blast with it so far. No disappointments with anything I have cooked so far on the grill.

Enjoy your weekend and happy grilling!

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Cook from October 29 Cook of Steak Filet and Turkey Steaks

After a busy couple of weeks without any grilling, we finally grilled on Sunday, October 29. The weeks leading up to this day to grill were kept busy by completing a eight class which has ended. Still, posting this the week after, I am not grilling as much as I would like. Hoping to do more grilling over the next couple of weeks before the end of the year.

Steak filet and turkey steaks.
Steak filets and turkey steaks Ready for Grill
It had been a while since I had grilled, so we decided to grill not only for our dinner that night, but to have leftovers to have later in the week too. We went with steak filets for Sunday night and turkey steaks later in the week.

Seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic salt, and Worcestershire sauce. Typical seasoning used that I got from my father-in-law and tastes great with steaks. Usually use soy sauce too, but we were out of soy sauce.

Preparation of the Big Green Egg went much better too. Still takes a little while to get it lit and ready for grilling, but I cannot complain when I have something cold to drink and we are not in a hurry. We had a lazy Sunday afternoon on October 29, so I was able to let the grill reach maximum heat before cleaning and preparing to grill.

Resting steaks after grilling on Big Green Egg
Steak Filet Resting
Grilled the steaks first. Got the Big Green Egg nice and hot to around 700 degrees before reducing slightly to about 500 degrees. Put the steaks on and grilled on each side for about ten minutes. Turned out great!

The steaks had been in the freezer and were from Omaha Steaks that my mom had given me for my birthday. I thought they were really good with good flavor although mom said the ones she got from his batch were not good and would not be ordering again from them. Carrie and I really like steaks from Hy-Vee although I cannot complain about the meat from Omaha Steak either. My dad started getting me steaks and other assorted meats from Omaha Steak before he passed and my mom kept it going the past few years. I think last summer was the last time we got steaks from there when she said she would not do them any more.

Dinner is Served with Steak Filet and Risotto
Steak Filet and Risotto is Served
Carrie made mushroom and pea risotto. Turned out great and went well with the steak. I have not done any vegetables on the Big Green Egg yet, but I plan to do some soon. I cooked on a gas grill the next week at my moms and did steaks then too (no pictures), but we did do veggies on the grill which tasted really good. I need to those on the BGE sometime too. I think the flavor would be really good with the smokey flavor. Usually when we have veggies to cook, we simply do them in the kitchen on the stove, but plan to do then the next time on the grill. The risotto, steak, and a bottle of wine was a perfect night!

Turkey Filet Cooked Same Night for Eating Later in the Week
Turkey Steak for Later in the Week
After the steaks came off the grill, we put on the turkey steaks for us to eat later in the week. Marinated in the same they tasted very good. I believe we ate these on Tuesday or Wednesday of the next week and tasted very good.

I am hoping in the next month or two to be able to post and document how a whole turkey cook goes for me. We did buy a pork butt that was on sale at Hy-Vee last week, but it will be a little while before I have a chance to cook the pork butt. I cannot wait though to spend a weekend cooking. I am happy with the Big Green Egg purchase and have been pleased with how the food comes off the grill.

Have a great week and hope to have another post of my grilling soon!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Boneless Pork Chops Done on the Green Egg

Picture of Boneless Pork Chop from the Grill
Boneless Pork Chop from the Grill
Tonight we did boneless pork chops on the grill. Low and slow was the setup for tonight. Kept the grill between 250 - 300 and cooked them for 90 minutes one on side. After 90 minutes, flipped and started lathering on BBQ sauce for another 30 minutes. All told, did them for about two and half hours. We could have left them on longer and turned down the grill a little more to get it below 250, but we were hungry and decided to take them off.

They turned out great! Not as tender as I was hoping, but good flavor. Carrie was concerned about the BBQ sauce I was using, but she liked it in the end. Happy with how they turned out.

This was the sixth cook from the Big Green Egg. Another low and slow cook with another one planned for Sunday. Planning on doing our first brisket on Sunday, so I will be spending time on the Big Green Egg EGGhead Forum gathering hints and information. I see another person just posted that they were doing a brisket and getting a lot of pointers from others on the forum. I believe that will be about an eight hour cook, but need to research further before Sunday.

Starting the fire tonight went much better. Got the temperature hot within about 30 minutes. Stopped by Patio Pool and Fireside on Saturday to pick up another bag of lump along with a new tool to scrape the grill between cooks. The scrapper I have had few a few years is falling apart and the high temps from a week ago (Fifth Grill Opened up Flame and Cooked Steaks) made it about disintegrate from the heat. Bristles falling out of it and no longer useful.

Looking forward to another cook on Sunday. Until then, I will be working on homework with two forum posts due Friday night and a paper due that night too. A lot to do and instead here I am posting an update on what I cooked tonight.

Have a great week and I plan to post pictures of preparation, cooking, and final product Sunday evening.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Fifth Grill Opened up the Flame and Cooked Steak

Picture of Fifth Grill of Steak
Fifth Grill Steak Cooked to Perfection with Brussels Sprouts
Following the first four grills of keeping the temperature under 350 degrees, we were finally able to open it up and grill steak. We are actually doing our fifth and sixth grills tonight with another pork tenderloin going on here shortly. After getting the grill temperature up to between 600 - 650 degrees, I realize now I should have done the pork tenderloin before the steaks. Taking a long time for the temp of the grill to come down so we can do the pork tenderloin.

At one point while getting the grill ready, the temperature went all the way around the dial which I am estimating was a 950 - 1000 degree temperature. I had gone inside to prepare mushrooms for the steak and came out and realized the temperature continued to climb after I went inside. Hoping that did not cause any damage as I brought it back down closing vents further and the temp dropped to around 650 - 700. Doing additional fine tuning with the top and bottom vents I was able to keep it between 600 - 650 degrees.

Picture of fire starting in grill
Getting Ready
Still taking me a little while, it seems, to get the grill started. I know some people on the EGGhead Forum suggested getting a weed burner to start the grill. I have not done so yet and using fire starters we got from the shop. They work, but it takes about 25 - 30 minutes to get the grill ready to cook.

After finishing the grilling of steak that took two minutes each side, it seemed odd it took longer to get the grill ready than it did to actually cook the food. Although we are doing another cook tonight with the pork, but seemed odd. I am sure I will get the hang of starting the grill and maybe it will get faster.

Using advise I got from the forum, I did leave the lid open until I made sure enough lump was lit. That did seem to make the process better and got the temperature up. I will continue to monitor and fine tune the process of lighting and see if I can increase the time it takes to get started.

Picture of Temperature Gage on Big Green Egg
Kept Temp at 600 - 650
I snapped a picture of the temperature gauge simply because it got so hot. I could not believe how hot it got. I had read descriptions of the heat that Big Green Eggs can get extremely high temperatures. As I mentioned earlier, the temp got so hot that it basically circled around and 950 or 1000. The needle on the gauge was pointing at the 200 mark when I closed vents and started taking the temp back down. Again, hopefully I did not cause any issues for the Egg or the gauge by getting it so hot. The plan was not to get that hot. I thought I had it pegged at the 650 - 700 mark, but it started going up and got very hot. As they warn, I did the burp when opening it which is good as a ring of flame came out each time I opened it. I had an oven mitt on which was good because it was very hot even when I got it down to the temp I wanted to cook at for the steaks. Impressive!

Picture of Pork Tenderloin to Finish the Cooking for the Day
Pork Tenderloin Cooked at 300 - 350
I just took off the pork tenderloin. Took a while to get the temp down so the pork did not burn. Looks like it turned out great! Cooked for 14 minutes each side to start. The temperature was about 150, so left on for another minute or two each side. We will have this over our salad tomorrow night for dinner, so decided to take it off before it got to 160. Leave it juicy and then hopefully will not dry out when we heat it up tomorrow.

Impressive evening of cooking. Had a good day! Got up and went for a run. We went shopping and then came home to study a little bit. Finished my reading for the week, but struggling to get writing done for this weeks posts. Hoping to knock them both out tomorrow.

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day and long weekend. Have a  great rest of the week!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Fourth Grill of the New Big Green Egg

Pork Chops Grilled on Big Green Egg
Pork Chops for dinner with forth grill
A simple night of grilling. Carrie wanted to cook the pork chops in the fry pan, but I told her I could do them on the Big Green Egg instead. After thinking about it for a little bit, she decided that would work.

Took about an hour from lighting the fire, grilling, to plating the finished product. Not too bad!

I used a new technique that I used that someone told me on Big Green Egg EGGhead Forum with their suggestion being that light the brick and leave it open a bit longer until more of the lump lights. Worked a lot better tonight lighting the grill. Temps before I started lowering it got up to around 400 degrees. Actually, at one point it went up to about 500 as I was inside and came back out to close things up and lower it back down to about 300. The temperature was still climbing when it was at 500, so I have no doubt I will be able to reach high temperatures in a few more grills.

Cook pork chops with a stir fry style veggies. Good way to start the week.

Have a great rest of the week and hope to post more grilling pictures soon. I am off to study and work on my class.