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Let's Disco!


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So, on labor day, a friend spent a few hours showing me how to make asado with his disco (I don't know if that's just a regional name or not). Yesterday he surprised me with the gift of one.

It's great. It sounds like a jet engine when you crank it up. I think I could modify the prongs that hold the disc to accept a big wok, which would be more my speed.

So - any ideas how to measure/calculate the BTU's of this thing? Also, I'm having a hard time deciding what I should cook first...

Here it is in the yard...

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Looking down in the burner...

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On the lowest gas setting...

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Sounding like a jet engine (I need to take a picture at night, b/c you really can't see the flame. At one point I had it shooting up about 3.5 feet)

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Boiling water (2 cups to a violent boil in less than 30 seconds from a cold pan)...

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PastaMeshugana

"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."

"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father

My eG Food Blog (2011)

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Sweet! I thought I was the only one who knew what these things are on eGullet.

Around here we use wood rather than gas but your setup looks pretty nice.

I don't have any recipe to share (this being an eyeball thing) but a very basic discada involves a generous amount of lard or bacon, cubed pork, chile poblano, garlic and onion. When the pork is cooked you take it out with a slotted spoon and make refritos with the drippings.

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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Sounds good. I remember the asado we made had several generous scoops of lard added.

I think I'm going to try stir-frying in it tomorrow. The only downside is the (very) considerate amount of heat that pours out the side when it's up high. And the fact it's far too heavy for tossing. I'll have to accomplish that with my spatula and tongs.

I'll get pics if I remember!

PastaMeshugana

"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."

"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father

My eG Food Blog (2011)

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In south Louisiana we used similar things as crab boilers. They were a lot shorter and wider for stability with lots of boiling water and a bushel of crabs in the pot.

Most use propane but some are natural gas fired. Think of a giant Bunsen burner and you've got it.

Dwight

If at first you succeed, try not to act surprised.

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Assuming you're talking about the disco itself and not the burner, it's a Mexican wok.

(semi-serious)

There are gas-burner versions like the one in the OP and wood like the one below.

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The original is alleged to be the worn-out blade from a steel plow ("disco de arado") but this could be made up; I think plow blades would be too shallow and heavy to be practical. "Disco" itself just means "disk." They are usually stamped out of of heavy gauge carbon steel.

A typical meal prepared in a disco is called a discada. Discadas are usually meat (pork and beef are most common but sometimes poultry) cooked in a generous amount of lard, moistened with a flavorful liquid (I favor beer but some people use orange juice, tomato juice etc.) together with garlic, onion and the chile of your choice (or what I like to call "Mexican trinity"). You can also use it as a regular pan for preparing carnitas, making asado or even poaching a fish if you have a lid to fit the disco.

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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So - I finally got around to cooking on my disco. I know I probably should've done discada or asado or something along those lines - but I was craving stir-fry...

Certainly not traditional, but here's what we had: Not counting the chicken (leg & thigh cut in strips), onion, green onion, shitake, elephant garlic, celery, basil, cilantro...

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Frying the chicken. I had it on the lowest setting, and cooked 3 lbs in about 2.5 minutes. Did one batch with just pepper/soy, the other finished with szechuan sauce.

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Frying the veggies. I had my 7 year old handing me the bowls with each ingredient - they were getting done so fast there was no time to enjoy the process - but turned out beautiful.

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And one more shot of the flame...

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I think this would be a great tool for fried chicken - or hot wings...

PastaMeshugana

"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."

"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father

My eG Food Blog (2011)

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Where can I get a Disco?....

Don't know where you're at, but here in SE New Mexico we got ours from a guy who hand makes them and sells them in front of walmart. $100 for the whole thing.

We're headed up into the hills this weekend with some families, I'm gonna make discada for about 20. I'll try to get pics!

PastaMeshugana

"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."

"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father

My eG Food Blog (2011)

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  • 2 years later...

As of yesterday I am the new owner of a plow disc or "disco de arado" as they say in Brazil. My first meal using the disc was rice with panceta, chicken breast and zucchini. Everything cooked with lard. The next meal will be an authentic Brazilian/Gaucho dish called "Arroz Torrecilha" made with pork belly.

Here are some pics from yesterday:

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Cheers!

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so on the gas powered one up there, there seems to be a "snout" or what you want to call it on one side, is that so you can push cooked things on a plate or similar? That would be very handy, compared to my 14 inch wok. I have a wok burner (big kahuna or what it's called) and the wok does not have a long handle. I use two Ove'gloves with it, which works, but a contraption like this would be easier, just push off what's done. Interesting.

Hmmm, a friend of mine is a welding artist....

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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  • 8 months later...

so on the gas powered one up there, there seems to be a "snout" or what you want to call it on one side, is that so you can push cooked things on a plate or similar? That would be very handy, compared to my 14 inch wok. I have a wok burner (big kahuna or what it's called) and the wok does not have a long handle. I use two Ove'gloves with it, which works, but a contraption like this would be easier, just push off what's done. Interesting.

Hmmm, a friend of mine is a welding artist....

Sorry for the very late resurrection/answer to this question:

Yes, that little patch is great for moving the cooked stuff over to. Also, on all but the highest settings, the outer edge of the disc stays cool enough to rest cooked meat.

My go-to recipe:

Fry 1lb of spicy chorizo, move to the side

1lb of chopped bacon (cheap fatty stuff) till crispy, move to the side

2lb of chopped pork (shoulder or boneless chops, whatever is on sale), move to the side

--At this point I've also added chicken if trying to make a bunch of food

You should have a puddle of amazing smelling grease/fat in the middle now, toss your veggies in:

-Chillies, garlic, onions, after a few seconds, scoop all the meat back in and quickly dump a can of coke or other dark cola in (some use beer) and toss it all together, including the already cooked meat you scoop in from the edges. Turn off the heat and serve directly into tortillas. Some good cheese, crema mexicana, and you've got a feast.

This is really fun when everyone is hanging around outside, or camping.

It's a truly sinful dish but super yummy.

PastaMeshugana

"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."

"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father

My eG Food Blog (2011)

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Answering an old question on this thread:

What's the BTU output?

1 gallon of Propane ~= 4.23 lbs ~= 91500 Btus

1 lbs of Propane ~=22000 Btus

20 lb tank of propane holds approx 4 gallons of propane (approx 366000 BTUs)

dcarch

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