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  1. rustwood

    Anova Nano --- New

    I think it ticks a lot of boxes for Anova: smaller but still with manual controls, waterproof, and a great price point. I don't think many people will miss the wifi connectivity. I also think the clamp is a bust, but only because having it fixed in one place limits the size of the pot you can use it in. I can't imagine why they wouldn't/couldn't have a sliding/adjustable clamp like their other models. I certainly hope it wasn't just to maintain a slimmer profile (which IMO would be silly).
  2. rustwood

    Cooking on a Big Green Egg

    I think all of the mini BGEs are way overpriced, although I would like to have a mini-max ($599 list). They are big enough to be more useful, but still heat up quickly for a quick grill. Of course there are many other possibilities for that sort of thing and nearly all of them are far more economical.
  3. I agree - only to a certain point though.
  4. An impulse buy of short short ribs led to a fair amount of effort today. I cooked them for 24 hours @ 167 and served them with polenta and a red wine reduction. They were tasty, but I find myself regretting that I bought them (like I always do). I enjoy eating them, but making any type of beef ribs at home always ends up seeming like a lot of work, mess, and expense for relatively meager yield. In my book, that makes them an excellent candidate for ordering out instead of cooking at home. I imagine others will not feel the same though as they seem to be a popular SV cook.
  5. rustwood

    Cooking on a Big Green Egg

    I did some spare ribs the other day and will be doing a brisket tomorrow (rain or shine). The rib cook went a little sideways, but they come out just fine. The ends of the ribs were sticking out beyond the deflector so they were a little dry, but I expect that when I crowd the cooker with ribs. I had planned to cook them at 240, but my kamado overshot to at least 270. After sampling one of the ends, I realized they were quite spicy so I foiled them with brown sugar and honey to even them out a bit - and to prevent them from drying out. I should have known better and pulled them off onto a second tray while I foiled, but instead I worked with the lid open and the fire really got going by the time I was done. I only left them on for another half hour or so for fear of burning the sugar, but by then they were already bending nicely. The brisket will intentionally be a hot and fast cook tomorrow as I don't like risking a brisket (nor any meal for guests) on an unattended overnight cook - especially when there might be rain. If I prep it tonight and start it early tomorrow, I should be able to get it done and properly rested in time for a not too late dinner.
  6. rustwood

    Wegman’s Brand Products

    We routinely purchase many of Wegman's house brand staples and have never been unhappy with them - canned goods, condiments, foil/cling wraps, freezer bags, TP/PT/tissues, trash bags, dish/laundry detergents, and cereal come to mind. They also seem to be a good value - I think usually cheaper than Costco. We rarely buy their prepared foods so I haven't tried any of their fancier refrigerated soups. Speaking of Costco, @MetsFan5 has your husband tried their Manchego? If so I'd be interested in hearing how he thinks it compares to Wegman's. Costco routinely puts it on sale at a great price. I am certainly not a connoisseur, but I enjoy it - when I can find a wedge that isn't huge (not often).
  7. rustwood

    Ramps: The Topic

    Mine are just starting to fade. Unfortunately, they also don't look any bigger than they were 2-3 weeks ago. Hopefully that is a function of how long the bulbs have been growing more so than how much they like the growing conditions. At least the deer haven't been interested in them. It doesn't look like they have even been sampled - even though the azaleas adjacent to them have been getting munched.
  8. rustwood

    New Wegman's near Boston

    I am a big fan of our Wegmans; however, I routinely come home without one or two items because they are out of them - sometimes even basic produce like broccoli. With that said, it is somewhat understandable as our nearby Wegmans is one of their smaller stores (relatively speaking) and it is a very popular location. Our store seems to carry the full array of the prepared fresh foods and the ready to eat stuff - which makes sense since that seems to be their major profit source ($7.50 lb for spiralized zucchini!) . The "reduced" store size seems to primarily impact the selection and available quantity of pantry items. They do try to keep things stocked though - as evidenced by people stocking shelves even during peak times (which otherwise would make no sense at all).
  9. +1. I have one of these and love it: King Kooker 24WC Heavy-Duty 24-Inch Portable Propane Outdoor Cooker with 18-Inch Steel Wok The first time I used it my oil burst into flames. I hadn't even started cooking anything yet so it wasn't from a spill. Lesson learned! I use a more moderate burner setting now and I don't put anything on it until I am 100% ready to cook - all my ingredients at hand, a clear plan for what I need to do, and a vessel for the finished dish (basic wok protocol). I have a kamado, but it takes a while to get the charcoal hot enough for stir fry. My weber chimney gets more than hot enough in a hurry, but as @FeChef said, it gets dangerously hot. I would want to corral it with some sort of fire-safe surround if I were going to wok on it as it is might be too easy to tip it over. I have occasionally used one to do quick sear on steak though.
  10. rustwood

    Ramps: The Topic

    Ramps have appeared in my local Wegmans - I believe they were $16.99 a pound. I didn't notice an origin for them. They had roots on, but were very clean. They had very skinny stems and mostly had no, or almost no, bulb at all. The bulb ends were mostly just a slightly thicker white stem. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were still very tasty. I am wondering if they were skinny because it is early in the season and it has been a cold spring, or if perhaps that is how they are being commercially raised and harvested. Any thoughts? On the plus side, because they were clean and had small bulbs, it only cost $1.50 or so for more than enough to make a delicious egg scramble (butter, eggs, ramps, salt, aleppo pepper, and a bit of mild cheese on top). I had been thinking I might take some from the fledgling patch of ramps in my back yard, but now I won't. I planted them in 3 areas 2 years ago. They came up in 2 of those locations last year, but it looks like only one patch came back this year. They seem healthy so hopefully they will start to thrive in that location. I am still a long way from being able to sustainably harvest more than a taste though.
  11. rustwood

    Behold My Butt! (2007– )

    The food is likely just as good coming off of the Masterbuilt. As long as you have enough room and can hold the temperature you need for long enough, then everything else is gravy. Of course you don't get grilling with a WSM either, but you probably have a grill. I don't know about the Masterbuilt, but the WSMs seem to have a fairly narrow range of temperatures that they like to run at. When I cook on mine, it reminds me that backyard BBQ is more of an art than a science. The cooker is probably the least important element, plus it is nice to just light it and not fuss over the cooker temperature. The meat almost always comes out tasting plenty good.
  12. rustwood

    Behold My Butt! (2007– )

    Clearly there are many points of view when it comes to BBQ. For me, 140 is low for foiling, 190 is low for pulling it and 210 is high (although not unusual). Typically I will wait until at least 160 before foiling - if I foil at all. I will pull when the meat reaches ~200, let out a little steam, wrap it up tight again, put it in a blanket or towel and drop it in a cooker to rest for a couple of hours. Wrapping in foil can affect the bark, but mostly it is just about getting your timing right. If you get a late start, foiling is definitely your friend. I general cook at 250 for "low n slow" and 325 for hot and fast, but I adjust as needed to make the timing work out. I have no problem pushing up to 350 after it has been foiled if I need to speed things up. I generally don't do hot and fast without foiling though. @Smokeydoke weren't you looking at Kamado's? Did you get one? I am just curious as to what type of smoker you are using. With all of this said, I have to admit that I cooked my last 2 butts in a pressure cooker. That's obviously a totally different thing, but it is pretty great to have it come out so nice in just 90 minutes. Works great for recipes that don't go well with smoke.
  13. I thoroughly enjoyed it - informative, but also quite humorous in places. I have to think that was the intention - especially on the question side. It was long, but I think necessarily so. I can't say there was much in there that was new to me, but I was happy to have the current state of things clearly stated and confirmed. I ignore so much nonsense that I sometimes start to wonder if I am missing anything (apparently not).
  14. rustwood

    Spice Storage Ideas

    We have been very happy with these cabinet organizers: We have 3 racks on one cabinet shelf with enough space left over for a line of the bulk spice shakers (e.g Costco red pepper). It is easy to slide them part way out and grab what we need. Not all jars will fit side by side on the bottom, but I can usually make them fit. The top half works well for most of our oddly shaped spice packages.
  15. rustwood

    Non-stick pan suggestions

    Has anyone seen or tried those pebbled ceramic coated skillets? I am not sure what they are called*, but I cooked on one at a vacation home we borrowed and was impressed. I bought a set for my mother and she seems to like them a lot. I wouldn't say she is a cookware connoisseur, but she has owned and used many different pans (including a Griswold 43b that I covet). I was afraid she wouldn't like them and she was skeptical at first, but she has been surprised by how well they work. *update: J. A. Henkels calls this a Ceraforce surface (link to frying pan)