Monday, November 26, 2018

Two Turkey Cook for Thanksgiving and then Lots of Leftovers

Hard to believe it has been so many months since my last update. So much has happened. Grilled a few times and got out of the habit of taking pictures, posting, etc. I am still having a lot of fun with my Big Green Egg. Still have not cooked a lot of items I was hoping to cook by this time, but we have done a lot of cooks. Still have plans for doing pizza, wings, and some of type of stew, but hopefully that will come this next year.

We decided to do turkey on the grill this year. First time we had done turkey although I had been talking about wanting to do so since we got our grill. Carrie and I decided to get turkey breasts without the extras for this cook. Overall, I was happy with how it turned out.

Grill Preped and Ready to Cook
Grill Prepped and Ready to Cook
I got up early Thanksgiving Day to get started. We discussed cooking Wednesday night, but I think it worked out better to do so Thursday morning. I will get into how long it took a little later, but this was the start of the process. I cleaned out all the old lump that had been used previously. It was pretty well broken up as I had done a few cooks since last cleaning it out. I wanted to make sure that I had fresh lump for this cook. I used an old cooler to clean out from inside the BGE and then scoop out ash from the bottom. Using the old cooler worked much better than trying to use plastic bags to get the old lump and ash into. Although, I still need to get some plastic gloves or something as my hands get filthy removing the old lump by hand. I have a shovel, but I found that using my hands works better.

Turkey Breasts Finishing up on the Grill
Turkey Breasts Almost Done
We did a salt and pepper on the two turkey breasts. We let them thaw for about two days prior. They were 8.5 lbs each and I set the grill for 400 and put the birds on the grill. I used my Weber iGrill temp meter to monitor the birds while they cooked.

I placed the birds on the grill front to back. I think that was a mistake in terms of grilling as the back bird cooked really fast. I estimated it was going to take about 3 - 4 hours to cook, but the turkey toward the back of the grill cooked in about two hours. Target temperature of 165 degrees and the back turkey came off the grill almost two hours exactly. The turkey toward the front took a full three hours to cook. The next time we do turkey, I will put them on side to side instead of toward the back. I know that it burns hotter toward the back of the BGE so I will make sure to not do that again in the future.

Turkey is Done and Ready to Eat
Turkey is Done and Ready to Eat
The first turkey came off and we let it rest for 15 - 30 minutes before craving. Taking a few nibbles, it was nice and juicy. I was really happy with how it turned out and very juicy meat. The second turkey cooked another hour and finally removed it from the grill, let it rest, and then carved it up. It too was moist and good flavor. I was concerned that cooking another hour it was going to be dry, but it turned out great.

We wanted to cook enough turkey to have leftovers long after Thanksgiving Day and we accomplished that task. We had turkey with dressing, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Oh so good! For lunch a few days, we had turkey sandwiches which were also very good.

Happy with the cook and the process. I look forward to cooking turkey again next year.

I trust you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and time with your family. We had an extra day off here in Topeka with a winter storm that came through causing blizzard conditions. Tomorrow, it is back to work and back to eating food other than turkey meat. I do hope to start posting more often and not have a long gap between this and my next post. I know Eunice will be happy to see I am finally posting after a long time off. Or, at least she will stop giving my brief in our fantasy football league about not posting.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Pork Shoulder (Butt) Six and Half Hour Cook Turned Out Great!

Almost Time to Start
Prepping the Grill
I have been looking forward to this day since we bought the grill last August. A day of cooking all day long. OK, I am also excited that it is March Madness and college basketball is on all day long.

Up to this point with the grill, I have only done cooking that takes a few minutes or tops an hour. I have done a few of those (see grilling) and those are fun and good, but I have wanted to do an all day cook from the start.

A short video below to show lighting of the grill. My technique which while it takes a little longer works well. Basically, I let the wood fire starters burn which then lights the rest of it on fire too. Take about 30 minutes for it to become completely lit. When I first got the BGE, I was trying to figure out how to make this light time go faster, but now I realize that is not necessary... I just have to make sure if we need to eat at a certain time, I need to start lighting the fire earlier.

Wood Chips Added
Fire Lit and Wood Chips Added

Cleaned up the leftover lump from previous cooks. Removed ash and then added more lump to the fill line. I did not let the fire get really hot as I did not want to have to battle getting it back down to target temperature of 250 for the days cook. I let it get up to about 350 - 400 before I started closing vents and taking it back down. Once the fire caught, I added wood chips that had been soaking in water for about thirty minutes. Finally, added on the ConvEGGtor along with drip pan.

I let the fire go for a while before adding the meat. This was mainly done as I was trying to keep the temp right around 250. Adjusting the vents the temp went up to 300 and had issues getting it back down. Finally shut all vents and finally got it back down to 250. Once vents were opened and the temp stabilized at 250, I cleaned the grill grate and we were ready to put on the meat.

Pork Butt 5.67 lb
Pork Butt 5.67 lb with Mustard
and Rub Ready for the Grill
The meat is a 5.67 lb Pork Shoulder (Butt) that we purchased at Hy-Vee back in December. It had spent the past few months in our freezer until last night we decided we would cook all day today.

We started thawing it yesterday afternoon and by this morning it was ready to start preparation. We did a covering of mustard and then applied two different seasonings that we had in the cupboard. While we were preparing the meat, the grill was getting ready. Finally put the meat on the grill about noon.

A few pictures early in the cook and then one at about two hours into the cook.

Two Hours into the Cook
Almost Two Hours into the Cook
Almost Four Hours into Cook
Almost Four Hours into the Cook

We continue to wait at this point. As of 5:26 pm, the internal temp of the pork butt is 185. The temperature of the grill is about 340 degrees.... about 40 degrees higher than I want it to be, but the temperature of the meat started moving again. For the fourth hour, it was stuck at about 180. It just started to move again as we approach 5 hours and 30 minutes of cooking.

Picture of me removing the Pork Butt from the Grill
Removal from BGE
Finally took it off the grill after 6 hours and 27 minutes. Now, we let it rest for an hour before we start pulling it apart. It smells so good!

I am happy to report that it turned out great! The bone came right out with a little wiggle. Meat fell off of the bone just as I read it should after a good cook. Turned out perfect!

Very happy with the whole day. At the end when I was taking final temperature readings of the meat, I had the thermometer in at one spot where the temp got to 202... I took out the probe and put into a different location and the reading was about 185. So, I let it cook for a while longer until the temperature in that location got back up to about 195. By that time, Carrie and I were checking forums to see if multiple locations should be read; we found a discussion saying to take the average of different locations. In the end, we pulled it off, wrapped it in foil, and let  it sit for an hour.

Picture of Pulled Pork, Sweet Potato Fries, and Green Beans
Dinner is Served
We ate the pulled pork with sweet potato fries and green beans. It was perfection! We have a  lot leftover, but happy to report that the first try and an all day cook went very well!

Enjoyable day of grilling. I could not be happier with how it turned out. Granted, I did have to cook a little past the start of the Seton Hall vs. Kansas game, but that too turned out OK as Kansas moved on to the Sweet 16... so it was a great day!

Until next time, have a great week and happy BBQing...

I forgot to add a closeup picture of the final cook off of the grill, so, here you go....

Picture of the Pork Butt with Nice Crust... It was good!
Pork Butt From the Grill with Nice Bark

Monday, March 12, 2018

March Madness 2018 Tournament Challenge

ESPN Tournament Challenge Picture

Hard to believe it is that time of year again. Short write up with information on accessing the ESPN Tourney Challenge. Same name as last year and hopefully you will share with family, friends, and co-workers so we can get a lot of people in this group. Directions for joining are listed below.
  1. Visit the link to ESPN which will take you directly to the March Madness Hopefuls.
  2. If you are already signed into the ESPN web site, you can immediately create your bracket. If not signed into the site, you will need to sign in first.
  3. Join the group and use the password: haverty
  4. Repeat the above process to create additional brackets. In the March Madness Hopefuls bracket, you can have three entries.
Be sure to submit your entries by 10:00 am CST Thursday, March 15. This will make sure you get your entries submitted and have time to get them submitted. First game tips at 11:15 am on Thursday.

If you have any questions or problems, please post a comment to this post.

Good luck and enjoy March Madness!

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!