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Posts by Pete

Hopefully the OP will return and let us know how things turned out.  While I understand the stall (pork shoulder is one of my favorite things to barbecue) I do think that 7 hours is a little long for 3 1/2 pound cut.  I usually do full pork butts in 8-10 hours and those range in size from about 8 to 12 pounds.  Depending on how it was cut I would have planned on 4-6 hours max.  The good news is that pork shoulder holds really well, wrapped in foil and held in a 150-170°F...
 Midlife, there is a lot to unpack in your questions.  I'll see if I can help.  Smoking is not a "cooking method".  It is a preservation method, or at least was way back before refrigeration.  It's end goal back then was not to "cook" the food but to preserve through the use of smoke, which does have preservative qualities to it as well as by drying it out which helps preserve food. This is in addition to the preservation already achieved through the curing process which...
  Sorry, but I have to disagree. I do agree that braising lends itself to cooking large pieces of tough meat and that it what it is often used for, but that doesn't have to be the case.  According to Wayne Gisslen in "Professional Cooking" a braise  means (1) To cook covered in a small amount of liquid, usually after preliminary browning. (2) To cook (certain vegetables) slowly in a small amount of liquid without preliminary browining. Julia Child agrees in "Mastering the...
 Technically it is a braise.  All good braises should start out with the meat being browned via frying or sautéing.
I agree with everyone here; don't use a starch thickener.  Either reduce it more or add some more tomato paste to get to your desired consistency.
It's been years since I worked in a place with a wood fired grilled.  In my time though, I worked in a number of places that had wood-fired grills.  As a cook, I was always partial to the Aztecs, although I can't vouch for their longevity.  I felt that I could control my heat better and that I didn't have to feed it as often to keep good heat going.  It was a fixed grate grill, as opposed to an adjustable grate, and I actually preferred that as I would build my bed of...
Are you set on cast iron?  While I love all my cast iron (and I have quite a few pieces) it does have its limitations.  Also, as far as cookware goes, it is some of the least expensive to purchase, in general, not counting some of the really good enameled stuff.  What you might want to do is pick up a piece, or two, from Lodge (all my stuff is Lodge, except for some really, really old pieces that I'm not sure about) and then pick up a nicer, higher-end aluminum or...
Sorry, I missed the macaroni "cooked to order" part.  Too many cocktails last night!!!! I would pre-cook the macaroni and portion.  Heat the pasta with the sauce.  Won't take much time at all.
Does anyone else add egg to their Mac & Cheese?  I have 2 types of recipes (both of which I vary quite a bit, but they are somewhat distinct).  One type is for a stove top version which is basically macaroni stirred into some variation on a Mornay sauce which then might get topped with some type of crumbs and quickly broiled or it might not.  The other is a baked version.  Again noodles stirred into some variation on Mornay, but with an egg or 2 added.  It is then topped...
It's what I would do.  One question though about your chicken; you say bring it to cold room temperature.  I don't understand this term.  Room temperature should be around 65-70°F.  Your chicken should be cooled to 40°F or lower and stored at that temp.
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