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Chris Hennes

eG Foodblog: Chris Hennes - Pork and chocolate, together at last!

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Chris, incredible blog -- you are a model for us all.

I see over on Dinner that there are some dishes you make when your wife is away -- are there any favorites she requests you make?


Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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Chris, when you have a minute (!), could you please better describe your cold smoker? What's that on top of the hot smoker? What's in the rubbermaid tote?

Oh, and just how were those tomatoes on the BLT?


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Chris,

Just wanted to add my "Great Blog" to everyone else's! I have so enjoyed it and am still enjoying it.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Couldn't help but chime in, too -- those PB&Js are GORGEOUS!

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Sorry if I missed it, Chris, but did you mention where all those PB&Js are destined for?

They had no particular purpose, I just like making things. I usually send them into my wife's office. Today at the BBQ people ate their way through about half of them, so only about 70 left :smile: .

Chris, along with the food itself, I'm also really taken with the grid montages.  How are you doing these?

I am just sizing the images on my computer so they are small (250 pixels wide) and the using the IMG tags with no spaces between the end of one and the beginning of the other. This just kinda lines them up.

I see over on Dinner that there are some dishes you make when your wife is away -- are there any favorites she requests you make?

I make a few stir-fry type things that she really likes, and tacos are a perennial favorite. that's what comes to mind at the moment...

Chris, when you have a minute (!), could you please better describe your cold smoker?  What's that on top of the hot smoker?  What's in the rubbermaid tote?

Oh, and just how were those tomatoes on the BLT?

OK, the deal is this: I built a new lid for the hot smoker that pipes the smoke over into the rubbermaid box. So the rubbermaid only gets the smoke in it, none of the heat, and is the "cold smoking chamber," if you will. And the tomatoes were pretty mediocre, though I doctored them up as best I could. Oh well... summer is just around the corner.

My last guests just departed: the BBQ was a tremendous success, and the pork and PB&Js were a hit. Pork and chocolate, together at last :wub: . I guess it's time to start posting the remaining photos before my blog comes to a close. Thank you all for your kind words and supporting comments. I hope to see you all at next week's foodblog! :smile:


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Wait, wait!!  Aren't you going to post pictures of the finished pork??  I need to see that bbq, Chris - please!

Have no fear, it's coming... but first, the last sausage post: the cold-smoked Hungarian Paprika sausages were finished off in the cold smoker while the pork was smoking in the hot chamber.

gallery_28660_5872_4050.jpggallery_28660_5872_441.jpggallery_28660_5872_3937.jpg

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Technically these aren't quite done yet: they need to age for three days first, but here is the nearly-finished sausage, after four hours in the cold smoker:

gallery_28660_5872_23170.jpg


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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And the final food items of the foodblog (there will undoubtedly be a nightcap, of course)...

First, finishing off the cole slaw:

gallery_28660_5872_14366.jpggallery_28660_5872_18067.jpg

gallery_28660_5872_80825.jpg

I also made a French potato salad: these are the leftovers (I didn't get an image while it was fresh, but I swear those herbs were green at one time!)

gallery_28660_5872_6269.jpg

And finally, last but certainly not least, the pork, beginning with the sauces...

Next, a vinegar and mustard-based sauce that might be found in mid-South Carolina:

gallery_28660_5872_8022.jpggallery_28660_5872_13253.jpg

A vinegar and ketchup-based sauce based on what might be found in Western South Carolina:

gallery_28660_5872_16453.jpggallery_28660_5872_3189.jpg

Unfortunately, I was surrounded by a pack of rabid graduate students at the time the butt came out of the smoker, so I did not get an image of it. This is what was left after the onslaught subsided and the hordes were sated:

gallery_28660_5872_133281.jpg

I was, however, able to scrape together just enough leftovers to get two shots of the finished pulled-pork sandwiches:

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Everyone raved about the BBQ. I was a little nervous when one of them said she was from North Carolina, right after I finished explaining that I was doing a "Carolina-style" BBQ. I've never even been there, so Cook's Illustrated better not fail me! She would see right through my sham "BBQ"! Alas, she said that it was "just like what they had at home." High praise, I would say :smile: . Thanks, CI: you came through for me again :biggrin: .


Edited by Chris Hennes (log)

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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And you came through for all of us, Chris. Many thanks for the outstanding efforts. My computer, however, may not have appreciated my efforts to grabbing one of those pulled pork sandwiches.

I think those two sauce shots (or captions) may be reversed, I wasn't going to say anything but I didn't want you to think I wasn't paying attention to every detail you've posted all week. :wub:


Edited by hsm (log)

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I think those two sauce shots (or captions) may be reversed, I wasn't going to say anything but I didn't want you to think I wasn't paying attention to every detail you've posted all week. :wub:

lol, thanks for the catch. Fixed now.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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At what temp did you smoke your butt? At what temp did it stall (OK, I have a pre-teen son, and they find this talk absolutely beyond hilarious -- my mom's butt is stalled; her butt has a big bone; her butt is really fatty;) What kind of thermometer set-up are you using? I use a regular old fashioned oven thermometer for the grill (trusty Weber Kettle) and a regular old fashioned meat thermometer for my butt (no comment, please!).


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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chris, what a wonderful blog...and am i the only one who noticed the sausage casing shot in the midst of the blt montage? i thought to myself..."i know he's going to smoke his own bacon, but do you stuff it in casings first?" :raz:

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At what temp did you smoke your butt? At what temp did it stall (OK, I have a pre-teen son, and they find this talk absolutely beyond hilarious -- my mom's butt is stalled; her butt has a big bone; her butt is really fatty;)  What kind of thermometer set-up are you using?  I use a regular old fashioned oven thermometer for the grill (trusty Weber Kettle) and a regular old fashioned meat thermometer for my butt (no comment, please!).

The smoker I am using has no temperature control, but when last I measured it it was at about 250 F. It was a little cool today, so it was probably a few degrees below that. Once I started getting reliable results out of the thing I stopped measuring the temperature of the smoker, and just used a probe thermometer in the meat. I brought the meat up to 160 F in the smoker over 6 hours, then finished it wrapped in foil in a 350 degree oven to keep things moist. I brought it up to 200 degrees F before serving. I generally prefer 204 F but I was getting impatient (I had timed things wrong---the butt was a little larger than I usually do).


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Thank you, Chris, and MY Chris thanks you, too. He seldom reads one of these blogs (not that he gets much chance with me glued to the screen), but just mention smoke or butts or barbecue ( or just whisper the word Weberrrrr in his direction, and he levitates over to see what's going on).

I love all your organized cabinets---my shopping gene got left out at birth, but I got TWO Storage genes. And the PB&J---I cannot tell you. Like jewelry.

But I think my favorite of all the pictures is this sparkle of ingenuity:

gallery_56799_5311_186699.jpg

We've admired it, speculated on all its parts and usage, marveled at how CLEAN it looks to deal with all that smoke and grease, and agree that tomorrow, when I show it to our eight-month-old granddaughter, she'll take a happy look and say, "Noo-Noo!!"

It's been great fun, and thanks again.

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Wait, wait!!  Aren't you going to post pictures of the finished pork??  I need to see that bbq, Chris - please!

Have no fear, it's coming... but first, the last sausage post: the cold-smoked Hungarian Paprika sausages were finished off in the cold smoker while the pork was smoking in the hot chamber.

(most photos deleted)

Is the patty you cooked (presumably for yourself) midway through the process a quality control step?

Technically these aren't quite done yet: they need to age for three days first, but here is the nearly-finished sausage, after four hours in the cold smoker:

gallery_28660_5872_23170.jpg

I've recently started patronizing a sausage maker in Port Richmond, a neighborhood in lower northeast Philadelphia with a sizable Polish population, which makes and smokes its own sausages on the premises. The only thing better than the smell of the smoke coming from the smoke room at this place is the taste of their kielbasa and breakfast sausage. They built their rep on kielbasa, but the breakfast sausage is the best I've had anywhere, period. I haven't eaten cold-smoked sausage (that I'm aware of); what besides the method and need to cook it distinguishes cold-smoked from hot-smoked sausage? Is there a difference in flavor? (The place in Port Richmond sells both fresh and smoked kielbasa, btw.)

Thank you, Chris, and MY Chris thanks you, too.  He seldom reads one of these blogs (not that he gets much chance with me glued to the screen), but just mention smoke or butts or barbecue ( or just whisper the word Weberrrrr in his direction, and he levitates over to see what's going on).

Your husband and I would get along famously. I love everything about the place I live except the absence of suitable outdoor space in which to barbecue.

Chris: In Kansas City, the sauces are also tomato-based. Spareribs and burnt ends (the charred ends of a side of beef or pork) are the local specialties. You owe it to yourself to pay a visit and check out Oklahoma Joe's (best meat in town), Gates' (best sauce IMO and legendary greeting as you enter) and Arthur Bryant's (for the legend, period).

This has been a fantastic blog! Of course, you will look us up when you return to Philly?


Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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We've admired it, speculated on all its parts and usage, marveled at how CLEAN it looks to deal with all that smoke and grease, and agree that tomorrow, when I show it to our eight-month-old granddaughter, she'll take a happy look and say, "Noo-Noo!!"

Ah, sorry to mislead! That is a "stock" photo of the device as originally assembled... it is not quite so clean anymore! And alas, I cannot claim the ingenuity for myself: I saw something similar on the internet somewhere and was inspired.

Is the patty you cooked (presumably for yourself) midway through the process a quality control step?

<snip>

what besides the method and need to cook it distinguishes cold-smoked from hot-smoked sausage? Is there a difference in flavor?  (The place in Port Richmond sells both fresh and smoked kielbasa, btw.)

<snip>

Of course, you will look us up when you return to Philly?

First, the patty is to check the seasoning before you stuff it (obviously once stuffed you're stuck with it). You can sorta check flavor, but since the smoke changes everything, it is mostly just to make sure the salt is right. Regarding hot versus cold smoking, there are two main differences: cold-smoked foods can be smoked for much longer since there is no danger in overcooking them. For example, a cold-smoke Andouille sausage could be smoked for 24-48 hours: they are heavily, heavily smoke-flavored. The second is texture: it is not so much that the texture changes due to the cold-smoking, but that cold-smoked sausage is usually denser, although I suppose this is not universally true. And naturally, next time I am in Philly I will probably make my way to Chick's... :smile:

On that note, I present my last set of photos: a nightcap, and a pleasant end to a fun week. A Negroni:

gallery_28660_5872_101938.jpg

Cheers!

gallery_28660_5872_55764.jpg


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Chris:

Thanks so much for treating us to this high caliber blog. It's been a real treat to watch you cooking, smoking and shaking. :biggrin: I'll be anxiously awaiting your next trip to Chick's. I promise I'll try and have something wonderful for you when you arrive.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Chris, I am so glad that this blog is still open. Like the others, we would like to thank you for such a wonderful, informative not to mention jaw-dropping blog. You have set a high standard for the next blogs and we can only strive to capture the color, clarity and composition of your pics. Thank you so much and please don't forget to mail those luscious PB&J candies to Korea. :wub:


Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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Really enjoyed your blog, Chris. Many thanks!


Jan

Seattle, WA

"But there's tacos, Randy. You know how I feel about tacos. It's the only food shaped like a smile....A beef smile."

--Earl (Jason Lee), from "My Name is Earl", Episode: South of the Border Part Uno, Season 2

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Thank you Chris! I am in awe of your seemingly boundless energy.. I could never do what you do (and yes I know this was not a normal week for you, but even a charcuterie project one week and chocolate the next would be too much for me.. and I´m not even writing a dissertation :wink: )

Very inspiring to see someone apply themselves to new and complicated tasks. Thanks for showing us your work!

oh and how do you keep your counters so spotless.. I´m in a constant battle with mine and I lose every day...


Edited by Chufi (log)

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Way to go Chris. A wonderful blog. Pennsylvania produces great blogs. Chris, Katie, Sandy, Lori have been great PA bloggers. And I was happy to share one with Marlene and Susan.

However, we need more from PA. Fellow PA EG posters please contact the head blogger, Susan, and offer your services.

Chris set a high bar, but there are lots of stories out there to be told


Edited by lancastermike (log)

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Just incredible. Hard to say anything impressed me more than the pbjs, but I think the food pics themselves were my favorite part.

Thanks for letting us all share.

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Great blog, Chris! Many thanks for sharing. I'm about to move into a new house, and I think I'm going to have to get smoker setup like yours.


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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