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Paul McMichael

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Everything posted by Paul McMichael

  1. Still going strong - did 50# of venison summer sausage and about 3 times that of various pork sausage this winter. That will get us through the summer.
  2. Two PID controllers responding to the same variable are less stable - this might not be enough of a problem in this application. If you need the extra heat, just set one controller a degree cooler than the other. If extra mixing is what is needed - set one controller at 0 that will solve the power limit.
  3. A beer cooler works for me - I have never had a problem with any tank.
  4. The Waring laboratory blender is expensive, but they have small blender jars (500 ml.) and the semi-micro stainless jar holds about 40 ml. for a full batch.
  5. Thinking about pumps - all you need is mixing. My first try was with a plastic tub sitting on an old magnetic lab stirrer - worked fine until I found a lab circulator on ebay for $30 (needed some leaks fixed.)
  6. Let me add another vote for the NT $99 grinder. I have been using one for several years for venison and pork sausage - works great. Save your money and buy a vertical crank stuffer (5 pounds is a good size.) The $99 NT stuffer is good. They also have regular coupons and sale pricing up tp 20% off.
  7. Check out http://www.sealerbags.com/ they are cheaper and I find that they seal better than original foodsaver bags. Paul
  8. Must agree with Larry. I have been using an original Bradley with PID control for several years. Yesterday we had a gathering of 80 of our closest friends and pulled pork was the star of the day. Rubbed 4 whole butts on Friday - Started smoking with pecan pucks at 7 p.m. Saturday at 210 degrees F.- Wrapped in foil at midnight and dropped temperature to 190 and served at 1 p.m. - Rats - almost no leftovers again. Paul
  9. Don't know about your machine - I use a cuisinart. I use a similar formula and heat the water bath to 178°F and put the base in a quart mason jar. The mix reaches temp in about 30 - 40 minutes. I hold the cream till the end and whip it to soft peaks then fold it into the cooled base. Seems to work like a charm. Nuts and chocolate chunks are added after the mix starts to thicken in the machine. Paul
  10. Just finished putting a large bztch of short ribs into the freezer. Started with 3 hours of smoke at 133°, bagged and then 45 hours at the same temperature in the water bath. Medium rare and fall off the bone tender - cannot ask for anything better. Paul
  11. David, I have not had good results with beef or lamb fat - I can use pork. You might try a soft fat such as duck, that should blend smoothly. Check out Len Poli's site for more ideas. Paul
  12. Far from being overkill, I find it easier to do a custard (defined broadly) by the SV method rather than in the traditional ways on the stove top or in the oven. Wouldn't it be overkill to purchase a thermomix or a new kenwood for this when a SV set up does the job just fine? May I add that SV more generally is not unnecessary, not overkill, not more than is needed to do the job for the simple reason that it is often the best way to do the job. I sv'd custard once for ice cream, and it was the best batch of ice cream I've ever made. Only complaint is how the bag fills with air unless you have a chamber vacuum...what would be handy are bags with one way valves so the air can escape, but I think that'd be overkill Yeap. Certainly not overkill! I have not made ice cream custard base on the stove top in a long time. SV is just ideal. I use the Pulse feature to get more or less a perfect air-free seal using the FoodSaver and I cook at about 82 C per the instructions in Under Pressure. I think my favorite part, in addition to how simple the whole thing is, is that the sealed bag is not pasteurized and can rest in the fridge for quiet some time until I am ready to churn. I was talking more about how the bag fills with air while you SV it...I released it twice, was afraid it wouldn't cook evenly if I didn't since it displaced so much space. I have been using the SV water bath as a heat source for ice cream base for the last few months - works great. I messed with bags just once. I now use a quart jar with a plastic storage cap. Simple and easy. After the custard thickens (about an hour) the jar can go into an ice bath if I am in a hurry or just into the fridge to churn the next day.
  13. I just discovered Mario Batali's carbonara - leaving the yolk whole reallly improves the creamy texture.
  14. There is little doubt that a rice cooker or crock pot with a pid controller works, but there is an advantage to an immersion circulator. My analog circulator normally sits in it's 11 liter bath, which is a great size for a few chops or steaks. When I want to do more, such as a brisket, I can move it to a 50 liter foam cooler - still works fine. I also use it in the cooler set at 4 degrees C. to thaw pork butts or turkeys. The analog controller is OK for most SV functions +/- 0.2 degrees C. It is easy to use. My foodsaver is adequate most of the time - if I were to upgrade something else, a better vacuum sealer would be it.
  15. Bella, Use this part of the address: http://home.pacbell.net/lpoli/ select formulations scroll down to Chorizo Paul
  16. Check out Len Poli's web site - he has a dozen formulations for chorizo. I like his chorizo-res. http://lpoli.50webs.com/index_files/Chorizo-Res.pdf
  17. Not much of a problem with foodsaver bags floating - when it does happen, I use a 1 foot length of stainless steel chain - 5 ounces. cost less than buck at big box home store. Paul
  18. My circulator has fixed settings - no auto tune. But for $30 on ebay, I cannot complain too much. Only my Bradley smoker has full PID control. They make PID controllers that accept parameter inputs from an external computer. With a proper level detector you can build an adaptive controller.
  19. The issue is the effect of time on the tuning parameters of the controller. When I put my 1KW circulator in the regular 10 liter bath, it responds quickly in a 0.4 degree F range. When I mount it in a large poly cooler (~50 liters) it is much slower and reset functions cause greater over and under shoot. There is no problem heating a million liter bath, if your insulation is adequate. Paul
  20. It is all a matter of insulation. I have a 1000 watt circulator ($30 on ebay) that normally sits on a 10 liter tank. Last week, to do some brisket, I clamped it on to a 40 qt colman cooler. works like a charm. Paul
  21. My favorite is to cook spiced apples in a small fry pan then add the pancake batter on top. Pop that in the oven. You can get more apple that way. Paul
  22. Bud, I have not tried the smoke pistol, but it looks a lot like a small smoke generator of the same technology of the Bradley smoker (which is what I use.) The packed wood pellet is about twice the size of a Bradley puck. The Bradley puck lasts about 20 minutes. The smoke pistol claims 3 hours from a pellet. Trying not to get into a math debate - I wonder if there is enough smoke for anything as large as a BGE? On the cod smoke question - if there is enough heat to make smoke, your BGE is well insulated an might be too warm. It could work in a small cardboard box. Paul
  23. I have had good luck with a variation of Len Poli's chorizo http://lpoli.50webs.com/index_files/Chorizo-Mexican.pdf I tend to use a hot paprika with cayenne and ancho. Smoking is also good. Paul
  24. I have had good luck with Len Poli's "Dave's Kielbasa" at http://lpoli.50webs.com/index_files/Kielbasa-dave.pdf I use venison in place of beef. Paul
  25. I used a KA for several years. It was OK for pork -- not very good for anything with much silverskin such as venison. The knife blade does not cut well. About a year ago, I bought a Northern Tool grinder ($89 on sale) and I wornder why I waited so long to upgrade. Larger die for coarser grind and more powerful motor. It is a very good unit. Paul
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