biggreenmatt's Profile

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Is there a place where can I rent a sausage stuffer?

The Kitchen Aid stuffer is terrible. Don't bother.

Can't help with a rental, but if you decide to buy, you can get a very good stuffer at Nella Cutlery- either one should have it, though you want to call ahead if you hit the Queen E store. Also, speaking from experience, spend the extra money on the vertical stuffer, not the horizontal one. Worth every penny to have gravity on your side.

food safety & murdering pathogens

I think I should clarify.

I'm not asking whether or not it's safe to eat a certain product as a result of a certain situation that may or may not exist. This is strictly a question about food science theory. And never mind the smoking and curing- it could be anything.

Put more simply: can something "bad" be made safe, if not palatable, by hitting the magic 160F internal mark?

Sep 16, 2014
biggreenmatt in General Topics

food safety & murdering pathogens

I'm renowned in my circles for asking dumb questions. Here's a dumb question.

I'd like you to imagine a pound of the nicest, most succulent, most delicious sliced Montreal smoked meat, exported from Ile Perrot, Montreal, to Toronto directly from the legend itself, Smoke Meat Pete. An absolute delicacy.

Imagine now that one's darling spouse doesn't tell me that it's here and it gets left out for, oh, say a week. It's vacuum-sealed and cured, of course, but still, there's no question that this treasure of delicacies has been left out inconspicuously, in open exposure to sunlight. The reek inside the sealed bag can only be imagined.

Conventional wisdom would be to throw that shit out. "When in doubt, throw it out!" is the rule on which I grew up when it came to food safety. Enter food science.

Assume I opened that bag and put it in a steamer on the stove- exactly the way that it should be done when it's nice and fresh. Say I steam that gorgeous, if funky meat, so as to ensure that the internal temp of the individual slice is 160F- an easy proposition. IGNORING THE FACT THAT THE TASTE WOULD LIKELY BE AFFECTED BY THE ROT, my question is this: would it be safe to eat? What about a literally rotting piece of meat? Cut off the bad bits (or not), bring it up to 160F internal and ignore the disgusting taste- safe to eat or not?

Inquiring minds, etcetera.

Freezing smoked brisket? Can I? And how?

Absolutely can- I've done it myself on more than a few occasions.

The best bet would be a vacuum sealer (worth the small investment), but next best would be sealing them in ziploc bags after giving it the water displacement treatment. Easy and effective.

Organizing My BBQ Supplies and Cooking Area

Mine too, with the exception that I treated myself to a 4' wide stainless steel worktable from my local restaurant supply store. It replaced the wobbly, not-weatherproof-in-the-slightest Ikea table this year. Bins underneath; covered garbage can of lump right next door.

Maybe it means something that men across the planet tend to treat their barbecue space the same way...

The In and The Out Burger in the Toronto

Yeah, I don't get this.

Why would anyone line up for hours to get an inferior version of Priest?

Orange Flower Water and Rose Water-How do you like to cook with these?


This is a regular staple on my brunch table. Thinly-sliced navel oranges sprinkled with orange blossom water and cinnamon (I don't bother with sugar). No matter how many I make, they always get snarfed down.

Seriously, if you're reading this and you happen to have a bottle of orange blossom water, it's something you desperately need to try. You'll boggle.

Sep 05, 2014
biggreenmatt in Home Cooking

Danforth Pizza House for sale

Sure. IIRC, the entire building, including the business, was up for sale. Given my understanding that the building and business was sold to friends of the family, I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if "an arrangement" was arrived at between Angelo's family and the current owners.

Danforth Pizza House for sale

It's because, I suspect, they now own the building. There's no lease or rent to be paid- plus, as a family business, their labour costs, at least for now, are probably low.

Smoking my first brisket

Eh, take it with a grain of salt.

Yes, I wish I had easy, cheap access to wagyu briskets that competition champs regularly use to make top-tier brisket. No, that's not how it's done in the South.

I mean, think about it. It's a "cuisine" (ha ha) that grew out of the necessity of not having a kitchen and not having access to anything resembling decent cuts of meat. The point (god I love point) is to take something gnarly, tough, and mean, and turn it into something blissfully tender, sweet, and kind. Once you get the technique down (and I've ruined the better part of a half-dozen briskets in the learning process), I can't imagine that you can't make something beautiful out of Costco meat in a pinch!

Big Green Egg? Is it worth it?

Well, in the worst case scenario, you can always try making your own BGE.


Pressure cooked stocks vs sous vide stocks?

Excellent points by takadi and cowboyardee, with which I agree and need not repeat.

To add to their excellent input, I can't imagine any circumstances where I'd use my SV for making stock. I use my gigantic 20L canning pot to make huge batches of stock when I have time and want to fill up my freezer, and I use my pressure cooker if I'm out or need some different kind of stock that I don't stock (pun intended) in my freezer and need on short notice. The low capacity and long time required to cook it sous vide makes it, to my mind, an impractical option when it comes to stock.

Sep 02, 2014
biggreenmatt in Home Cooking

ISO, Kamado grill recipes & techniques

Danforth Pizza House for sale

You can also specify that you want it "well done" or with extra burnt cheese. The nice family who's taken it over are only too happy to oblige.

What's the differences between BBQ sauces...

One stop shopping for taxonomies of all of the major American barbecue sauce styles:

Also, the website is an amazing repository for barbecue information, tips, and advice. Worth checking out.

Green Egg

I own a large BGE, with accessories, that I'm likely getting rid of within the month or so. 3 yrs old, in perfect working condition- getting rid of it to make room for a Primo XL, which is more in line with what it turns out I need.

If you're interested, set out an email where I can get hold of you and I'll give you dibs when I look to get rid of it.

HAMBURGERS! Home Cooking Dish of the Month for August 2014

Sous-vide burger!!! Love sous-vide burgers!!!

I make a sous-vide burger as well; home-ground short rib, salt and pepper. Utterly beautiful, especially when cooked to 123F and it comes out all reddy-pink and dripping juice. If someone's squeamish or concerned, I'll throw the unground meat into a pot of boiling water for about 20 seconds to murder any pathogens that might be lurking on the surface, but otherwise, I just jam it in.

Only issue, which you mention, is searing it up after. I've put in an order for a Searzall, but it's now two months late in shipping. If it ever gets off the ground and, y'know, shipped, it'll be a gamechanger for SV work.

Aug 22, 2014
biggreenmatt in Home Cooking

Sous vide to reheat BBQ?

Ah, but there's the difference- traditional Texas brisket is unsauced. Also: the SV's awesome. :)

HAMBURGERS! Home Cooking Dish of the Month for August 2014

Adore burgers.

My version is made of hand-ground short rib, about 1/3rd lb, salt and pepper only, grilled to 135F internal, served on toasted white bread (strictly a vehicle) with old cheddar and mustard. Pickle on the side.

Classic. Beautiful.

Sous vide to reheat BBQ?

Interesting thread!

Made some beautiful texas brisket a week or two ago; ate lots, froze the rest in roughly 1/2 lb amounts, packed fairly flat into vac-sealed bags.

I'm guessing that per bag, it should go from freezer to completely heated up at about, what, 30 mins at 150F? Only occurred to me today that the SV might be the best reheater on the planet. Good thing that I'm extraordinarily good looking; I'm certainly not the brightest tool in the shed.

Aug 21, 2014
biggreenmatt in Home Cooking

Charcoal Starters - Chimney vs. Electric?

I use a chimney, but there's a second purpose for the damn thing that's virtually unknown.

I've got a BGE in my backyard. Love it, but when I only want to cook one or two things, it's a pain in the ass. I'm not going to use it if I just want a burger or two, or a steak. I mean, really. This, gentle friends is where the chimney comes in handy.

Set up your chimney and let the coals get white-hot. At this point, the coals should be cooking at 800F+. Now throw a grill on top of it and bam, you have an instant super-hot grill at your disposal, awesome for anything that requires just a quick sear- especially steak. Once finished, I toss the coals into the BGE with the vents closed, so that they can be saved for the next job. Easy!

local meat

Do you have a website? Contact info?

I smoked my first brisket on my PK grill today and....

Re: crutch and cooler:

I used to be a purist, too, when it came to the subject of brisket, if only because I'm an immense fan of a good, crusty bark. And fair enough, if there are no time pressures, I'll still do a non-crutch, non-coolered hunk of meat. Smoked at 225F to 203F internal, it's a beautiful piece of meat.

Where the crutch and cooler come in handy is when you're having a meal for a crowd at a certain time, with other jobs for your Q (I smoke on a BGE, which means it's also my grill) before you eat. Frankly, when there are timelines involved, I find that it's invaluable to be able to hurry up the cooking process, finish it 2-3 hours before serving, and then bring it out piping hot. The same technique also means that you can make your meat at home and then transport it reliably to other places or backyards.

Rather than saying "it's done when it's done", the crutch/cooler allows you to aim more generally for a window of time, that allows for a lot of give both on the cook and on the hold- absolutely invaluable when cooking for a hungry crowd who want to know when supper's to be served.

Blood Sausage (boudin noir) Consistency and Fillers.

Suspect "stew-like" is the rough equivalent to "semi-solid slurry".

Thanks for the confirmation. It's one thing to work something out in your head; it's another to have it confirmed by someone who actually did the deed.

Aug 07, 2014
biggreenmatt in Home Cooking

making montreal smoked meat at home

I adore central-Texas brisket, and now I can make it reliably enough to be able to serve it at gatherings and shindigs. Magnificent once you get it right, since it's eminently transportable (the faux cambro was a revelation) and feeds a lot of mouths.

I'm a slicer, of course, and while I only use Dalmatian rub, I'm a sucker for a bit of sauce on the side for dipping purposes, natch.

Will keep all posted on experiments.

making montreal smoked meat at home

Been a while since I've made MSM. In the interim, I've been working on modernist preparations and technique, along with Southern barbecue- most particularly Texas brisket, which is all about the time and temp. Learned about principles of thermodynamics, curing, and how valuable a tool accurate thermometers are.

I think I'd like to revisit the topic, using more scientific principles on the matter. Does the brisket need to be brought to 203F during the smoke, or will it do to bring it to 170 or 190, and then bring it up to 203F during the steam? Dunno about anyone else, but I get unattractive crusty bits on the bottom of my MSM's when I smoke them too long, or alternatively, the entire thing falls apart into little bits, likely from sheer overcooking.

Does it not make sense that smoking the brisket from fridge temp up to the stall point is enough, and then, rather than proceeding on naked on the smoker or using a crutch, putting it in steam would be enough to power through the stall up to 203F without sacrificing taste or texture?

Surely this excellent product can be made more excellent by determining accurate measurements and clarifying the method of its production!

Shall keep all interested posted.

Blood Sausage (boudin noir) Consistency and Fillers.

Resurrecting an old thread.

I'm a fairly experienced sausage maker (as far as home cooks go), very familiar with the Usual Procedures of sausage making and basic charcuterie.

I have a dumb question about boudin noir/blood pud/morcilla, which I've never made before.

In my mind, it's liquid with little bits and pieces in it. Throw it in a stuffer and it'll leak all over the place. But that's not it, is it? Isn't it more of a kind of semi-solid slurry?

Boudin noir (particularly the gorgeous French stuff Steingarten described in "It Takes A Village") has been on my list for a long, long time, and I just haven't been able to wrap my mind around the logistics.

Thoughts from makers?

Aug 01, 2014
biggreenmatt in Home Cooking

Why can't we eat rare chicken?

Nope. But then, I've never tried it.

See where I'm going with this?? :)

Jul 29, 2014
biggreenmatt in General Topics

Why can't we eat rare chicken?

If it's tasty and safe to do so, why would you not want to eat anything?

Jul 29, 2014
biggreenmatt in General Topics

Why can't we eat rare chicken?

Of further interest:

I would suspect - suspect, mind you - that rare chicken would be easier and safer to make at home than eat out at a restaurant. At home, you can be sure of surface sanitization, clean knives, clean everything, really. Moreover, you can buy a bird from a local farmer rather than a supermarket and be (more) assured of an increased measure of quality and treatment of a bird.

An alternative to deep-frying a piece of chicken would be to plunge it in boiling water (212F water will still kill all pathogens instantly upon contact), which would be more gentle than 350F oil.

Or so I reason- any professionals or people with food science and/or safety education or training care to chime in?

Jul 29, 2014
biggreenmatt in General Topics