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Posts posted by marinade

  1. Jeffrey Steingarten is a complete ass. He should have spent some of his precious time learning to cook over fire rather than hating Weber grills because they lack an adjustable grate. At least the genius figured out that he could raise the cooking temp by dumping in more charcoal.

    And what does Jeffrey Steingarten have to do with any of this?

  2. I don't know if this is the sign of the times but Assouline & Ting is no longer. I remember when they first started out at 12th and Hunting Park. They subsequently moved to Brown Street with a retail outlet (with others in the city and at the airport. After they moved to a warehouse on Richmond Ave, Joel Assouline left the business and got involved in real estate in NYC. The business stayed put for a while and the assets were finally sold to B&K Food Distributors near the airport.

  3. These are some comments about the Weber roti I made on Amazon. A typical Weber lid has a rolled lip that covers the kettle much like a lid for take-out coffee. The rotisserie collar or ring sits on the edge of the kettle using four brackets with part of collar inserting a few inches down. Now here lies the "rub" and not the kind you use on your BBQ. There is an air gap between the collar of the fit of the rotisserie and the Weber kettle that spikes the temperature. More oxygen on fuel, the hotter and faster it burns. I tested the temps using Maverick remote and a Trend thermometer with the same amount of charcoal on my two Weber 22-1/2 and the heat difference was dramatic. I also contacted Weber and asked if there were any cooking charts for times and cuts of food. Here's their answer:

    "Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, we do not have any recipes for charcoal rotisserie. When using the Charcoal rotisserie you follow the same recipe cooking times as grill."

    Nope, not even close. The kettle rotisserie is a great idea but with this model you need to stuff the air gaps with alum foil, adapt your cooking times over trial and error, or you could check out these guys who seem to get it right:

    C&C Grilling CompanyI highly recommend them.

    To clarify the thermometer placement. I used the Trend in the kettle lid vent while the probe of the Maverick dangled to the top of the rim of the kettle. Neither therm touched the grate. Coals were banked on either side of Weber in charcoal baskets. I also used Weber drip pans in the middle. The temp in the Weber Rotisserie burned hotter and consequently used more fuel.

    I had a grilling party for 20 or so friends on Mem Day weekend and we were doing Greek street food as a theme. I stuffed and rolled about 12 pounds of butterflied leg of lamb to put into home made pitas while the guests brought mezze to smear on it as well as sides and snacks. I put the meat on the spit and I wanted to maintain a convection temperature of 325oF. I did not want high heat grilling, did not want low and slow, I wanted a roast. I stuffed the side of the rotisserie collar with aluminum foil and made a sleeve of coiled aluminum for inside the kettle where the roti collar inserts. Now the only source of air was from the bottom and top vents. The temperature was controllable and I was able to maintain 325oF over a 2-1/2 hour roast. But it worked with a "work-around". If you take the time and head over to the Weber discussion forum you'll see the same issues come up with the rotisserie and even additional workarounds and adjustments are used as well as folks using it as is. There have also been some complaints the some of the brackets welded on the Weber rotisserie were out of alignment and caused the collar to rock. That's poor quality control.

    I'll take this even a few steps further. I acquired a rotisserie attachment rig from C& C Grilling. Both the Weber and the C&C unit's motors have a 20 lb capacity. The C&C Grilling unit has an AC or battery powered option while the Weber is AC only. The battery option is sweet, especially if you want to take the kettle out of AC range. The C&C collar is stainless steel with a rolled lip that fits snuggly over the kettle, just like the Weber lid. The only source of air is through the bottom and top vents which is the basis of the Weber convection concept and design. Now you probably know what's coming next but I'll tell you anyway. I took two range free chickens with in the same weight range and set them up on the two rotis, using the same amount of fuel and cooked them side by side. The Weber roti burned hotter without the alum insulation workaround.

    Now here's my bottom line. I want to start out by saying that I think the world of Weber as a company. They, in my opinion, have changed the way people go about outdoor cooking. Before they came onto the scene there were hibachis, hub caps on legs with a grate, and brick bbq grills that came with the house. But we all don't always get it right all the time whether it's offshore drilling or outdoor grilling. For $149, the Weber roti should be an extension of Weber's convection system, not something one has to either adapt to or figure a "workaround". A small company like C& C Grilling figured it out at the same price. If Weber followed their own logical thinking and produced a unit with a rolled lip instead of the bracket system they would have a 5-star product worth raving about.

    One final point, outdoor rotisserie cooking is the bomb, even with the workarounds, the after market items – just get one.

  4. I would not say that you can easily cold-smoke in a ceramic grill. You can easily do low and slow BBQ (temperatures between 200*-250*) which is probably even easier with an electronic assistant like the BBQ Guru.

    I read it on the naked whiz page where they test the new DIGIQ II from BBQ guru:


    Cold Smoking

    The DigiQ II can control your cooker down to a temperature of 32 degrees. Therefore, there is no need anymore for the foil-wrapped-probe-in-ramp-mode trick that you could use on the original Competitor get it to control the cooker at temperatures below 175 degrees. Just remember, though, that in order for the DigiQ II to control the cooker at lower temperatures a good seal on your cooker is very important. Too much ambient airflow will prevent the DigiQ II from keeping the fire low enough to maintain a low temperature.


    and as far as I can tell, it seems to work very well. Not a cheap gadget, not something one needs to run out and buy, I won't be cold smoking anything for a while, but the option seems to be there. No extra firebox or pipes etc to pull cold smoke over there.

    Your Primo looks nice too, how much is it? Can't find price info on their somewhat antiquated site. What are the dimensions of the grilling surface?

    Don't know if the bbq guru thing also works with your model. Oval is an interesting idea with the divider.

    Ack, why are there a gazillion choices! How's one to make up one's mind?

    From an earlier post above I mentioned that I have a BBQ Guru Tall Boy and Pro-Com module (for over two years) similar in range to the Digi Qll. What's true is that it will "READ" and thus control air flow to 32o. But it is incapable of making/cooling down to 32o if the out side/ambient temperature is above that mark. Sigh, just whan salmon are running the temp is in the 80-90o on the East Coast. All the Guru 'Cues can do is contol air flow by shutting off the fan when the probes hit a certain temperature mark. Same holds true going the opposite direction. The modules don't increase heat on their own but regulate air flow that increases or chokes it.

    What it will do is give you a consistant temperature point based on your settings and will also ramp down the temperature for what ever finished temp your "product" requires. Another advantage is the choice of wood or fuel is entirely up to you.


  5. Shanty,

    Any glaze would work during last five to ten minutes of roasting. I'd look to build up some nice crackling on the wings first. As far as as adding a rub - go for it, use it as a spice mix if you're adding it to a glaze. I've make a quicky glaze with a 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup pomegrante molasses, and 1/3 cup olive oil. Flip it into a blender. It lends itself to add-ons like citrus zest, rubs, curries, hot sauces, etc...

    Even if you're using a fruit based glaze like raspberry or mango, you can have some fun by spiking it with rubs.


  6. This works on pork and chicken, but its highest and best use is as follows:

    1. Brine chicken wings (1/2 C Diamond Crystal Kosher salt to one quart water) for two-three hours.

    2. Remove wings from brine, pat dry, and allow to air-dry on racks for two hours.

    3. Cold-smoke the wings over fruitwood for three hours. Remove from smoker and sprinkle generously with rub.

    4. Roast wings at 250F for 45 minutes.

    5. Increase oven temperature to 375 F. Once you reach temperature, roast for 15 more minutes, or until skin is brown and brittle.

    have a question about this method, a variation, will it work?

    (i dont have access to smoke these)

    alton Brown recommends par-steaming wings before air drying, then roasting, then typical "buffalo" sauce, my wife likes this because the skin comes out nice and crisped...

    if i

    1)brine and or marinade (i was thinking jerk style)


    2) par-steam....


    3) air dry in the 'fridge

    4) roast

    5) glaze/coat when done with an appropriate sauce (i want a sweet/hot/sticky wing)

    will this work? i.e. flavorful meat, with nice crisped skin, with a coating of sauce

    I am concerned that par-steaming after the brine/marinade may be a problem by diluting the spice/flavor, but i am not sure.

    thanks for any input


    A couple of things that you may be fighting mostly due to penetration. When you’re dealing with wings your dealing with skin. It’s a protective covering. Not that a marinade has that much penetration to begin with (1/8” to 3/16” at the most) on porous surface like a skinless breast, I’m thinking that you’d be rinsing it off on the par steam. Check the run off (color) after you’ve steamed them and you’ll see what’s left. I’m also thinking that steaming will break the marinade’s emulsion.

    Having never brined wings with food coloring or weighing them afterwards for a percentage of “water” retention I really can’t predict what you’d get flavor wise.

    You’re better off with a glaze after the fact.


  7. Matt Levin left the helm at Lacroix and 24 yr old Jason Cichonski is now in charge of the kitchen.  He worked under Matt as sous chef.

    It just so happens that we are slated to dine there next Saturday (for now) and was curious if anyone knows anything about this new chef and - perhaps - even been there since the changeover?


    We're going for brunch on Sunday to celebrate a birthday. I have a current copy of their menu and we did brunch during the Lacroix era. I'll report back (I don't do pix). Any idea where Matt Levin landed?


  8. Seeing how you're messing with sumac, try this:

    Lemon Sumac Rub

    Makes about 1/4 cup

    Timetable: Swordfish steaks, shrimp, chicken breasts or kabobs, beef kabobs, or lamb kabobs: 1 to 2 hours

    This Casbah-style rub is a double dose of pucker. The lemon zest and sumac provide a nice complement to the fennel. You can also use this as a spice mix in ground meat kabobs. And yes you can scale it up.

    2 teaspoons dried lemon zest (I've used fresh lemon zest and it works nicely)

    1 teaspoon hot paprika

    2 teaspoons fennel seeds, toasted

    1-1/2 tablespoons sumac

    1 teaspoon dried mint

    1 teaspoon freshly cracked black peppercorns

    1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

    Combine the lemon zest, paprika, fennel seeds, sumac, mint, peppercorns, and salt in a spice mill or a blender and grind to a coarse powder. Stored in a clean, airtight container, this will keep in the freezer for 3 to 4 months.


  9. Interesting enougth one of the the original studies was conceived by FEMA who initially went after belt-way restaurants around the DC area. They then passed it on to the Livermore National Labratory. This is a talk from one of the researchers who worked on the project. It's a pretty easy read.

  10. Hi Andrew,

    I've been going through the same thing on quest for fire. I was doing a signing and a sitting in on a jam session at Freds Music and BBQ Supply and I had asked Fred Bolardo about going on a skid of mixed woods. The issue I'm hearing from him and a lot of BBQ teams is that the fuel itself (for the smoker) is not expensive, but what's driving the pricing is the fuel to get it there. I have about 1/4 cord of oak that I've been seasoning since last year that I got from a landscraper.

    At one point, Sweet Lucy's had a source for hickory logs that was available for sharing a cord. I'm definitly in with that if anyone want's to go in dibs on that.

    Other than that, the stuff is getting as pricy as the food.


  11. We've experimented with temp as so far I've been able to get it as low as 140 and holding without ice.  I don't know what cold smoking temps are since I haven't yet done any cold smoking, but I figured that was a good test.  we've been able to hold the temp easily at 220 for the ribs and the butt.

    What was the outside temperature when you were able to hold 140*F? 220*F for 12 hours is a piece of cake in the WSM, lower is more difficult -- I just duct the smoke from the WSM to my grill when I want a colder smoking temp.

    TheCaldera Tall Boy that I'm using get's down to 100*F but can't get lower than the outside ambient temperature. With an unlit fire box with the fan going I'm able to do jerky using a ceramic heater I got from Lowes. And it does hold a constant 220*F (if that's where you set it) for hours.


  12. When I'm feeling lethargic, I like to splash some tuna with a little soy and then hit it with a combo of Togarashi and wasabi powder. I also use some rubs as spice mixes (which they really are) to flavor glazes and brines. My house rub for meat is an Orange Chipotle Rub and I’m also using a sumac base rub for seafood, chicken, and lamb. BTW, how are y’all storing your rubs –refrigerated or unrefrigerated? Have any of you tried vacuum sealing rubs or spices after they’ve been ground? Do you make them in bulk? Have any of you experienced leveling and sharpening of your rubs that is when certain flavors recede over time and heighten others like capsicum?

  13. Philadining is correct.  Whatever tipping/wage arrangement they have with their staff is fine as long as everyone is on the same page.  I've seen plenty of strange arrangements, believe me.  I'd even give the owner the benefit of the doubt and say that perhaps this is a cultural issue/misunderstanding because he comes from a place/culture where waitstaff makes a living wage and tips aren't the majority of service staff income.  But the wife is American, local no less, and even if she has never been a waitress, surely knows someone who has, grew up in this culture where tipping significant percentage is the norm, etc.  She does know better.  The lack of honesty to the customers is inexcuseable.  She knows the guests think their tips are going to the waitstaff.  That's not cool. It's deceptive in the best light and undoubtedly self-serving. No excuse.

    Oscar (one of the owners) was a former waiter at Fellini's Cafe in Ardmore. Wonder if he kept his tips?

    If you want to try their food, fine but tip the waitstaff directly and tell the owners why.

  14. That's pretty ambitous of you Carole. I've gone as far as to roast veal bones and make a nice veal stock, reducing half for demi glace at times but never further than that. As the demi glace is so rich I can't imagine what demi glace de viande would be like. How long do you reduce the demi glace to get this?

    Here's the whole process I use. I first roast the veal bones at 450 for around 1 1/2 hours in two half-sheet pans (around 15 pounds of bones total) and turn them halfway through. Then I add some cut-up carrots and onions (a pound or so of each) and roast another 1/2 hour. Move everything to two 16-quart pots, deglace the sheets, add more water and simmer for a good 10 hours. It usually ends up cooking overnight and I start in the morning so I end up simmering for a lot longer, I think this time it was around 16 - maybe more. Strain it all and put back into one of the pots and boil it down to around 3 quarts or so. Then it goes into the garage to cool overnight so I can remove most of the fat from the top the next day.


    Nice to know there's a local source for bones. The last time we had a really good meat source was when Marc Prevert was cutting meat and making charcuterie. He started in Ardemore Farmer's Market (old site) and then moved to Havertown. Last I heard he was in Aspen.

    One of the things I do with my stock is reduce it in the oven at around 250o F after it comes from the stove. The oven provides a nice even heat that circulates atound the pot. I even do large quantities of soup that way. No burning ever.


  15. Alright I'm trying to plan a Belgian bar crawl for some of my friends, and I think I've settled on the following places: Monk's, Ludwig's, Eulogy, and maybe Beneluxx.  This will let us work our way across town in a fairly linear path and we'll wind up in Old City if anybody wants to go anywhere else by the time we're done. No hard and fast rules for this trip, we just want to keep it fairly simple, have a few beers at each place and have a good time. Beneluxx seems like an obvious place to finish because of the tasting room aspect, but I haven't been there and wonder if they'd be able to accommodate anywhere from 8 to 14 people who will probably be lit up by the time they get there. Is that place more of a bar or restaurant?  I'd like to keep the trip more bar-oriented.  Any and all suggestions are welcome.

    ZOT @ Front & Lombard

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