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Cooking in grass?


adegiulio
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So, this weekend I mowed a lot of grass. Acres of it. I piled it all up next to my compost area, but never mixed it in to the piles. I got out there today to do it, and noticed something I've noticed many times before; the interior of the pile was smoking hot. Anybody who composts (or stores hay for that matter) knows about this bacterial induced heat.

My question is, anybody ever tried cooking in there? I wouldn't think it would be appetizing, but there are worse things out there that people eat. I can see wrapping up some meat or fish, chucking it in the middle of the pile in the morning, then coming back to some slow cooked food...

"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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you have been in the mountains too long ...it's official :biggrin:

T

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

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I have heard of cooking au foin (with hay) with ham or cheese and also using a hay box to insulate and cook already heated food but have never attempted it myself....good luck...why not

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I can see wrapping up some meat or fish, chucking it in the middle of the pile in the morning, then coming back to some slow cooked food...

Er...maybe first check with a thermometer how hot it really is in there? Isn't there a range of warm temperatures that doesn't cook food but encourages the growth of bacteria like, um, salmonella? :blink:

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OMG this is so funny I can not imagine why I had not thought of this!!! oh yeah the bacteria! what about all the vacuum sealed bag folks? you could seal your bags around the food then put it inside the compost heap or pile of heating grass ...

I dont mean to laugh but I have done some crazy cooking ...my solar oven (in the Western WA :raz: )..cooking on a sidewalk in AZ oh yeah I have done a lot of things ....this somehow escaped me!

stick a thermometer in the heap of hot grass...seal your food ..tuck it in there and voila'

compost heap culinaria!

do not tempt me my husband will make me move

Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Seems like it wouldn't get hot enough. If a compost heap gets hot enough for bacteria to start dying out, there wouldn't be anything to contribute additional heat. Thus, if the heap is cool enough for bacteria to reproduce, then the food is probably cool enough for that to happen too.

PS: I am a guy.

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Seems like it wouldn't get hot enough. If a compost heap gets hot enough for bacteria to start dying out, there wouldn't be anything to contribute additional heat. Thus, if the heap is cool enough for bacteria to reproduce, then the food is probably cool enough for that to happen too.

When the heap is really smoking, you can't keep your hand in there for more than a second. It's REALLY hot, and stays like that for a long time, definately longer than it would take to cook meat...

Farmers know to never store fresh hay inside, as it can get hot enough to ignite and burn the place down. If that's possible, I'm sure a little sous vide slow cooking is possible...Not that I am trying it anytime soon. Hot decaying grass doesn't perfume food the way truffles or herbs do... :biggrin:

"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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According to this great website hummingbirdkiss showed me

"The following information is for the highly managed pile and the optimum finished compost in the shortest amount of time. Decomposition occurs most efficiently when the temperature inside the pile is between 104 degrees F and 131 degrees F. Compost thermometers are available at garden shops and nurseries. It is best not to turn the pile while it is between these temperatures, but rather when the temperature is below 104 degrees F or above 131 degrees F. This keeps the pile operating at its peak. Most disease pathogens die when exposed to 131 degrees for 10-15 minutes, though some weed seeds are killed only when they're heated to between 140 degrees and 150 degrees. If weed seeds are a problem, let the pile reach 150 degrees during the first heating period, then drop back down to the original temperature range. Maintaining temperatures above 131 degrees can kill the decomposing microbes."

http://www.compostguide.com/

Edited by takadi (log)
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This isn't exactly "cooking" as such, but I understand that the traditional method of making the Japanese fermented soybean product known as natto involves wrapping cooked mashed soybeans in layers of rice straw. Mainly the straw serves as a source of the bacteria that ferment the soybeans, but I think the straw also helps keep the natto at the right temperature for the fermentation to proceed. Mind you, I am hardly a natto expert--frankly, I have yet to work up the nerve to even taste it. :blush: But there it is, for what it's worth ...

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For S&G, I just went outside with my cellphone and thermapen. I got a reading of 145 degrees, which I think would probably be high enough to cook some sous vide short ribs. I will note that it is still chilly up here AND the pile is probably cooler than it was a couple of days ago...

gallery_10465_5966_68274.jpg

"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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you are making me want to try this you know

I am just seriously not going to tell my husband ..but he hates yard work so it is not like he will even have a clue

but no vacuum sealer ..and I can not imagine putting food in if it was not sealed ..that would be disgusting ...do you think you could seal a bag with one of those cheapo glad sealers tight enough so none of that rot gets into the food?

it is like sous vide?

just put a probe thermometer in it so the alarm goes off if it gets too cool maybe?

how hot does a crockpot go I have no idea?

Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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What are ya waiting for?  Throw something in there.  You don't necessarily have to eat it!

I cant take this peer pressure anymore!! :biggrin:

Maybe I'll throw a piece of salmon or something in there...Heck, I started this stupid thread, I should be the one to try it....

I'll report back when I get some salmon...or short ribs...lamb?

"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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What are ya waiting for?  Throw something in there.  You don't necessarily have to eat it!

I cant take this peer pressure anymore!! :biggrin:

Maybe I'll throw a piece of salmon or something in there...Heck, I started this stupid thread, I should be the one to try it....

I'll report back when I get some salmon...or short ribs...lamb?

I'd probably use some meat, to avoid any false negatives that might come from more delicate and sensitive fish. And nothing expensive!

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What are ya waiting for?  Throw something in there.  You don't necessarily have to eat it!

I cant take this peer pressure anymore!! :biggrin:

Maybe I'll throw a piece of salmon or something in there...Heck, I started this stupid thread, I should be the one to try it....

I'll report back when I get some salmon...or short ribs...lamb?

whatever seal it tightly do not let bacteria in ..and let us (pictures would be great) know I do not want to pick up my grass and make a pile of it ...if this does not work!

Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Also, are there animals that might snoop around in your backyard if they scent food? My brother who lives in suburban-rural Massachusetts once had to chase off a bear in his backyard that was eating the sugar solution in his hummingbird feeder. (I told my brother to take down the d--n feeder, but he wouldn't. He would rather keep the birdies around, & if necessary, go out into his backyard with a machete to chase off a bear.)

Not to be too discouraging or anything. :biggrin: I laud your inventiveness, and bravery.

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Well, I have a vacuum sealer, which should help prevent smells from getting out and bacteria from getting in. Thats not to say that the low cooking temp couldn't foster an explosion of bacteria already present in whatever I am going to cook.

Since I cant get to the store, and will be gone for most of tomorrow, I am going to hold off until my next fresh batch of clippings...

"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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Well, I have a vacuum sealer, which should help prevent smells from getting out and bacteria from getting in. Thats not to say that the low cooking temp couldn't foster an explosion of bacteria already present in whatever I am going to cook.

Since I cant get to the store, and will be gone for most of tomorrow, I am going to hold off until my next fresh batch of clippings...

Aw, C'mon!

As far as the critters, I live out here just outside of Grizzly country, and I promise you I would not sleep with anything vacuum packed inside my tent. But are bears really likely to be a problem for you? And the rotting vegetation may help to keep most animals away from something buried in the middle of the pile.

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