Another beer…

Chocolate Stout

I really meant to get another post up on food but I guess that didn’t happen. Instead, I brewed a chocolate stout. I wasn’t 100% on how it would turn out, so I opted to brew another 1 gallon batch instead of the normal 5 gallon batch most homebrewers do. Who wants 5 gallons of something they don’t want to drink?

My home made cooler mash tun

My home made cooler mash tun

 

Mrs G was already complaining about the smell from the mash in the tun and since it was so nice out, I did my boil outside.

My outdoor setup including Duke's pot of sand and shovel

My outdoor setup including Duke’s pot of sand and shovel

 

The chocolate flavor comes from the addition of 85 g of Hershey’s Cocoa powder at flameout.

 A little over 1.064 OG

A little over 1.064 OG

Into the one gallon fermenter

You can kinda see me in the reflection if you look hard enough

You can kinda see me in the reflection if you look hard enough…and our messy kitchen. Actually, don’t look hard.

 

Fingers crossed that the yeast will do its thing and time will smooth it out, otherwise based on an initial testing I’ll be stuck with a chocolatey, hoppy, bitter mess. I’m sure it will be fine…I hope.

And the obligatory phot of Lil Griffin taken recently at a photo shoot.

And the obligatory photo of Lil Griff taken recently at a photo shoot.

Ruh Rho, Shaggie!!

The other week, I took out all the insides of my Egg to give it a good cleaning. Get rid of all that ash that builds up between the firebowl and the base. That’s when I noticed this crack along the bottom on the inside….

That's not that bad...

That’s not that bad…

So I looked at the outside..

Well that's not good!

Well that’s not good!

One of the reasons I got a Big Green Egg and not another Kamado style cooker was their lifetime warranty on all ceramic parts. When I was looking to get one, the only other really big name brand out there was Kamado Joe, if I recall correctly, and their warranty at the time was only 5 years. Had I gone with them, I’d be in trouble now as my Egg is older than 5 years.

So I called up Bruce at BGE (I’ve got his number around here somewhere if anybody needs it, but I’m not going to post it here) and he was very nice and he worked with me to get a replacement. I was worried because I now live in Dallas and my Egg was purchased in another town over 8 hours away. That was not a problem though as Bruce told me I could work with whatever vendor I preferred in the DFW metroplex. I chose to use Elliot’s in Plano and they got me hooked up in no time.

First thing you want to do when replacing the base is to lock the hinges. This is done by putting those white plastic thingees back on that came with your Egg? Wait…you don’t have them? After two moves, neither do I. Or if I do, I have no idea where they are. I just used a bunch of zip ties to ensure that the springs wouldn’t open up the metal bands once I removed the top. Maybe I should have taken some pictures of that step.

Step two, unscrew the bolt on the bottom band and remove the top.

Top removed.

Top removed.

Now you are left with just the base.

Top removed

Top removed. You can always tell when somebody has a toddler because there are always toys laying around.

 

Remove the base from the nest, replace it with the new base, align the top back on and you are almost done. Tighten the bolt back up and cut off the zip ties (or take off those plastic pieces if you happened to still have them) and you are ready to cook.

Ready to go

Man…that is way to clean. I need to break it in ASAP!

It didn’t take long and although I did it by myself, the job would be much easier with two people. Although there wasn’t much my lil partner could have done to help, he was preoccupied.

What is it about kids and boxes?

What is it about kids and boxes?

I didn’t have a chance to break it in last night as Mrs. G wanted to try a new recipe out for King Ranch chicken, but I will tonight with some burgers. I’m excited to cook on an Egg with a gasket again after burning mine off years ago.

Now what to do with this? I'm thinking it might make a great planter.

Now what to do with this? I’m thinking it might make a great planter.

Bavarian Hefeweizen

Beer. Cuz sometimes you don’t feel like grilling.

Had a few hours to myself yesterday for a change and decided to brew 2 gallons of Bavarian Hefeweizen. Weather was nice, sunny and around 65F so perfect for brewing some beer outside.

My outdoor brewing set up yesterday

My outdoor brewing set up yesterday

Got the wort cooled and into 2 1gallon carboys and pitched the yeast.

Into the carboys

Into the carboys

I know I’ve been real bad about posting anything lately. Life changes and priorities change. Amazing what a kid can do to your life. That, and we’ve not been doing anything fancy lately. Steaks, burgers and simple cuts of meat. I need to do better, but am not going to make any promises, although I do have a few things I’ve got planned so we’ll see.

Duke's showing some interest in grilling already.

Duke’s showing some interest in grilling already.

 

Alabama White Wings

Geez…it’s been a long time. I s’pose I could give you a dozen reasons why I haven’t done a blog post in a while, but I’m not that kinda guy, this isn’t that type of blog and you probably don’t care. So I’ll just give you one…

Meet Duke

Meet Duke

I’m sure you don’t want to see a ton of baby pics. Nobody does unless they are family or close friends, but let me say he’s already made a pilgrimage to Lockhart. And while he didn’t get to try the brisket (come on, he only had two teeth at the time), I know he’s looking forward to it.

Duke's first trip to Black's BBQ in Lockhart, Texas

Duke’s first trip to Black’s BBQ in Lockhart, Texas

OK. On to the real reason you are here. BBQ. You know my obsession with wings. My fifth food group. Love just about any type of wing out there. I’ll try any kind and I’m always searching for new recipes. So why did it never occur to me to add Alabama white sauce? No clue, but when Mrs. G showed me the recipe in her latest Southern Living, I knew it was on.

Now, I’m no expert on Alabama sauce. Never been there. Never eaten it out at a BBQ joint. I’ve made it once, but I have no idea how authentic that, or this recipe, was, but I was willing to try it. For you guys. ‘Cause that’s the kinda guy I am.

As I mentioned, this recipe came from Southern Living. June 2015 issue, page 118. I did make one change to the recipe. It called for Creole Mustard. I didn’t have any, so I used Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard. Didn’t feel like going to the store and I figured it was close enough. Oh, and I didn’t oil my wings and toss with salt and pepper. I skipped the oil and used John Henry’s Texas Chicken Tickler rub, although any good bbq or chicken rub would work.

Alabama White Sauce

  • 1/3 cup Mayo (We use Duke’s)
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1 Tbsp prepared horseradish
  • 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Creole mustard (or spicy brown)
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 finely grated garlic clove

Makes about 2/3 cup which will be plenty for about 3 lbs of wings

Whisk together all the ingredients a coupla hours ahead of time, or overnight if you have the time, and park it in the fridge until you are ready to use

I’m not going to get into how to grill wings again. I’ve done it plenty of times. In fact, I don’t even do them the same way twice anymore. Get your grill somewhere around 400-450F indirect, cook turning every so often until temp reaches 175-180F. Thirty, forty minutes or so. Or a coupla beers. I don’t know. I wasn’t paying attention. Just enjoying the evening You really can’t overdo wings like you can a chicken breast, and that higher temp gets you a crispy skin.

Grill chicken wings indirect

Grill chicken wings indirect

When the wings are done, place them in a large bowl and pour the sauce over and toss to coat.

Getting happy

Getting happy in the sauce

Once the wings are nice and coated, grab a roll of paper towels, or a real towel, dig in and enjoy.

Dinner is served

Dinner is served

I really wanted to have some tater tots on the side, but I remembered I didn’t have what you would call a healthy lunch, so I opted for a salad instead.

I thought the wings were pretty good. Interesting for sure. Creamy and tangy. And messy…like all wings should be. Mrs. G used the words “Unique” and “Different” and “Tangy”. Not my favorite wing ever, but not bad. I’d probably do them again. Maybe even try it with some half chickens or chicken pieces.

Like I said before, I have no idea if the sauce is authentic, so please don’t come cursing me and saying that this isn’t real Alabama sauce. And that no self respecting Alabaman (is that right?) would make it that way. I’m just a guy following a recipe.

I’m gonna try and start writing some more posts again. I’m not gonna promise one a week, or every other week. I don’t want to lie to you or myself. Hell, I might not make one a month. I’ve got other things that are demanding my attention, but when I get time and when I stumble on a good recipes worth sharing, I’ll try to get them up here for you. For now, I’ll leave you with one final parting shot…

Is there anything cuter than a sleeping baby on your lap? Goodnight.

Is there anything cuter than a sleeping baby on your lap? Goodnight.

Soy Vay Island Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

Picked up some pork tenderloins the other day at Sams’s. 3 went in the freezer and one took a 24 hour bath in this stuff.

image

First time trying it out, sounded interesting. For this cook, I decided to use the Mini since it’s been sitting dormant for a while. Went and ahead and hooked up the new Flame Boss 100 to see how it would work on the Mini and a direct cook. Set it for 400.

image

Tenderloins sure do take up a lot of room on the Mini. Almost done.

image

Took about 30 minutes or so to hit 145, I was shooting for 140. Don’t tell anybody.

image

You  noticed the tooth picks sticking out of one end? I like to fold over the skinny end of a tenderloin and secure it in place. I find that if left alone, that skinny end will end up being way overdone. I’ve tried using butcher’s twine, but the skinny end tends to slip out when the tenderloin is flipped. Toothpicks just seem to work better for me.
As always with large proteins, I let it rest about 10 minutes before slicing.

image

Look at all that juice!! We served it up on a bed of rice and drizzled on some of the reserved marinade. When using marinade that has touched raw meat, I boil it for 10 minutes and then let simmer until it reduced and thickened up a bit. I don’t know if that is technically “safe” and might not be restaurant approved, so do it at your own risk. I’ve never gotten sick, nor has anybody I’ve ever served, but I’m throwing out a little warning there for you to heed or not.

image

I was actually a bit surprised. It came out really good. Not really like your average teriyaki at all. Not overly salty, but had a sweetness to it that was very interesting. Even though I overshot the temp I was gonna pull it at by 5 degrees, it was still plenty juicy and oh so tender.  The leftovers are gonna make some great sliders served up on some King’s Hawaiian rolls. 😀 I just wish I had made some kind of slaw and/or caramelized onions to go along with it.  Will definitely use this marinade again in the future.

 

Brisket, ABTs and the New Flame Boss 100

Flame Boss 100 Trial 1

Flame Boss 100 Trial 1

This is the follow up post on the new Flame Boss 100. For its trial run, I figured go big or go home and nothing tops brisket! I had a 13 pound brisket all trimmed up. I rubbed it down with mustard and a mix of Fiesta Brisket Seasoning and Dizzy Pig Cow Lick. Normally, I just use a 50/50 mix of salt and freshly ground black pepper by weight for brisket, but after realizing just how many spices and rubs I have during our move, I thought it was time to clear some out. No more Fiesta. Started the Egg around 10:30 Friday night to allow plenty of time for the Egg to get dialed in with the new controller. I wasn’t sure how long it would take to get up to temp and didn’t want to mess up the finishing time on the brisket. Nothing worse than having a horde of starving masses at your house and you don’t want them filling up on chips and dips and such.

Brisket on the Egg

Brisket on the Egg at 235F

Played with the temps a bit between 10 and 12 and it did a really good job responding. Brisket went on at midnight with B&B oak lump and mesquite (both chips and chunks scattered in the lump) for smoke. Temp set at 235F. Went to bed around 1:30 and all looked good. Not sure what time I got up, but the Egg was steady at 236. 1 degree difference. I think I can live with that.

What a sight to greet you first thing in the morning!

What a sight to greet you first thing in the morning!

I’m pretty sure I pulled it at 1PM (13 hours or so) when the temp had hit around 200F in most places and the probe went in like “buttah”. Forgot to take a pic. Sorry, totally gotten out of the habit of writing posts and documenting the cook with pictures. The brisket was wrapped in foil and placed in a cooler (FTC or foil, towel, cooler) to rest for a few hours as it wasn’t time to eat just then. Then it was time to bump the temp to 250F the ABTs on.

ABTs, poppers, ass burners (new one to me)...whatever you want to call them.

ABTs, poppers, ass burners (new one to me, JB Smith)…whatever you want to call them.

Yes, there were 3 nekid, vegan ones for my cousin. How a Griffin became a vegetarian? I blame it on living in California for a few years. 😕

Just in time for the Baylor game!

Just in time for the Baylor game!

The brisket was so tender after sitting in a cooler for a few hours. I was able to separate the point and the flat with the back of a knife. Here’s the flat. For some reason I can never get a smoke ring on a brisket on the Egg. Not that effects taste, just cosmetic.

The flat

The flat

Some people really like the flat or the “lean” portion of the brisket. Not me.

Look at that!

Look at that!

I could cook a whole brisket, toss the flat and just eat the point or “fatty” portion of the brisket and be totally happy. A little bend test. Fork tender.

Yep. That's bendy and tender and juicy!

Yep. That’s bendy and tender and juicy!

After pulling the ABTs, I raised the temp from 250 to 375 so my cousin could cook his vegan patties. The Flame Boss had no trouble bringing it up to temp in less than 15 minutes. No pictures of that cuz well they  were frozen vegan patties. Who cares?

So what are my thoughts? I did notice when installing the Flame Boss, that the new fan does not have those two bendy wires that attach it to the adapter. Kinda freaked me out finding that at first after having a few drinks. I thought mine must have been defective.  Turns out it has a new lip design that keeps it attached. Forgot to take pics of that.

Old fan. You can see the 2 bendy wires?

Old fan. You can see the 2 bendy wires?

Do you need a pit controller to take care of your Egg? Absolutely not. Is it nice not having to worry about the possibility of your fire going out overnight? You betcha!! Is it nice to just light you egg, plug it in, walk away and know that it will hit your desired temp and not overshoot while you’re prepping your meal? Or watching tv? Or having a cold beverage? You’re darn tooting!

As far as performance, I’m totally happy. Works like a champ. Besides the way it attaches, the new design of the controller itself (the most obvious change and appears to be just cosmetic) and new wires that I have no info on, it works just like the original…perfect IMHO. Quickly brought the egg up to temp, held it there for over 13 hours then quickly brought it up to a higher temp to direct grill some burgers. The “Open Dome” function works just as it should, stopping the fan from coming on when you are checking your meat.

No it doesn’t have internet or wi-fi. No it won’t keep track of your temps and graph them. No it won’t tie your shoes or open your beer, but then again I don’t want or need a pit controller that does all those things. If you do, hey, that’s your thing and this one isn’t for you. No biggie. Different strokes and all. Actually, if it could open my beer…

If you want a controller that just controls your pit and that’s all without all the fancy bells and whistles, this one deserves looking at. Obviously, I’ve only used it once, but I’ll keep testing it to see how it does over time and how durable it is. So far, I am pleased with it. In fact, I’d love to try it out again this coming weekend but I’ve already got plans on Saturday. Maybe there will be some time for ribs on Sunday…

 

**Edit – since I wrote this, I was asked on the Egghead Forum by a fellow named BRushOO “Here’s the bottom line of the Flame Boss 100 as I see it:  If this flame boss was stolen/broke/you were no longer it’s owner….. would you buy another one at retail cost?” I thought about it and quite honestly I would say that yes, I would. I would not hesitate to buy one. Unless, I opted to check out the DigiQ just for sake of change and in order to do review a different brand.

The New Flame Boss 100

The new Flame Boss 100

The new Flame Boss 100

Hey guys, remember me? Yeah, sorry I haven’t been very active lately. I’d love to say that the reason I haven’t been posting is that we, and by we, I mean Mrs. G, is in her third trimester, but that’s not it. I’d love to say that it’s because we moved into a new house, but we stopped posting long before that. I’d love to say that it’s because lately I’ve been super busy at work, which I have, but it’s not that either.

I think  what it really boils down to that I got burnt out. Burnt out on posting. Burnt out on cooking. Burnt out on food. I think since August, I’ve really only been eating to survive, not caring what it was. Mrs. G would ask what I wanted for dinner and I’d tell her that honestly I didn’t care. It didn’t make any difference to me. So we’ve just been eating a lot of plain Jane normal stuff. Cheeseburgers, tacos, spaghetti, maybe a steak of two. Honestly, just your quick throw it together dinners. Hell, we’ve been in our new house 3 weeks and I’ve only fired up the Egg 3 times!! The crockpot has gotten more love than the Egg.😦

But I think I’m finally snapping out of that. Getting a little creative spark back. I’d love to dive back in here, full throttle, but I think I’d burn out again. I’d love to say that I’m gonna try and post at least once a week, but let’s try and just ease back in. Say two posts a month? That doesn’t seem like to hard a goal to meet. Hell, there might not be anybody out there anymore paying any attention to this blog for all I know. Let’s just see how it goes, shall we?

That’s not what this is about, though. What this is about today is the new Flame Boss 100. I received this a few weeks back to try out. The owner said that since I was the first person to really write about the original, he thought he’d send me the new version to try out.

What comes with the new Flame Boss 100. Hey, you like the new granite counter tops?

What comes with the new Flame Boss 100. Hey, you like the new granite counter tops?

I don’t have all the details on what all changed from the original to the 100, so I’ll just share with you my observations. The most obvious is the pit controller itself. It’s got a fancy new makeover. We’ll get to that in a moment. The fan has also been changed. It no longer has the two metal wires that slide into the adaptor and lock it into place. Instead, it has a lip on the edge that locks it into place. You’ll notice that it also has two adaptors. They claim that it will fit on any size Egg. I believe them, but can only vouch that it will fit on the Large and the Mini. They also say that it will fit all size Kamado Joes, Primo Grills, Grill Dome, Char-Griller Akorn, and others. There is another version that will fit the Weber Smokey Mountain, offset smokers and other smokers. I can only speak for performance on the Large BGE, however. The meat probe and pit probe have also changed in, but whether that is in appearance or if some of the specs have changed, I have no idea. I do like the “plastic-ey” wires on them. No more metal wires that can get bent or crimped. We’ll have to see how they hold up in the long run.

The Pit Controller

The Pit Controller

I really should have taken a side by side pic of the new controller and the old one, but it didn’t cross my mind at the time. If you want to see the old one, click HERE. The new version looks more sleek, more modern to me. No clicky, push buttons. The display looks the same. The biggest thing is the mounting bracket that comes with it allowing you to mount the controller on a table or wall or anything near your smoker.

New Mounting Bracket

New Mounting Bracket

I didn’t mount mine yet as I’m still getting used to the new location and I’m not sure I’ve got my grilling station set up just how I want it. Once I do, I will mount it for sure.

Easily pivots for viewability.

Easily pivots for viewability.

The new mounting bracket will allow you to mount it to any horizontal or vertical surface and then pivot to give you an easy to ready screen.

Testing it out

Testing it out

While everybody else was Trick or Treating, going to costume parties, or haunted houses, we stayed in and played with our new toy. Here it is in action. I’ll let you know what we cooked and how it performed in our next post, but I will say for now that I am impressed so far.

Again, sorry for our absence and I hope y’all are still out there. I promise I’ll work harder to get some more posts up and some new recipes soon. Thanks for still tuning in.

**Disclaimer – I was not paid to promote this item nor compensated in any way. I do not work for Flame Boss, nor have any affiliation with anybody in the company. This controller was sent to me for free as a gift and I was not asked to review it or give my opinions one way or another. And any and all other legal mumbo jumbo that should be noted here.

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