biggreenmatt's Profile

Title Last Reply

Grilling - Closed Or Open Lid?

Yup. Also thinking of the kamados which act as a coal-fueled convection oven and grill, and how the convection effect is lost when the lid is up.

Thomas Keller's simple roast chicken: how to preserve crispiness?

Better than a torch is the Searzall!

I own a sous vide unit and I bought myself a Searzall when it first came out. Indispensable tool, and a million times more effective for practical applications than a propane torch. Seriously- it's a good'un!

about 3 hours ago
biggreenmatt in Home Cooking

Dim Sum King, Dundas Street in Chinatown

FWIW, I like DSK for lunch when I'm in the area. Cheap, friendly, reliable, if not earth-shattering Cantonese dim sum, and you can always get a seat in there.

Dinner... funny, I've never thought of having anything other than dim sum there, so it wouldn't have occurred to me to go at night. :)

about 3 hours ago
biggreenmatt in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Do bbq ribs freeze well after they've been cooked? Once thawed, will they heat up well in foil on a campfire?

Freezing cooked BBQ product isn't ideal, but may be a necessary evil sometimes. Hell, even a brisket lover like my good self isn't going to pound back 8 lbs of fresh product in one sitting. Freezing leftovers is inevitable.

As far as reheating in a foiled packet over open flame goes, I'd be a little concerned about drying out the product even more, having been literally dried out in the freezing process. When I reheat frozen BBQ, I tend to use moist heat, either by steaming in a gentle steamer, or by covering my meat with a damp paper towel and carefully using the microwave. If you've got no other options than a fire pit, make a point of adding some moisture to the foil- and go gentle on the flames. No point in horribly overcooking your beautiful work.

Taste of Lawrence

Man, there was an outstanding Malaysian booth selling these odd (for a non-Malaysian, obvs) stuffed-crepe like things and were extraordinarily tasty. Eat that, pronto.


If you like that, you'll love yourself a board sauce, one of the simplest, most elegant things you can do to any kind of slicing steak.

Advice: wear a helmet when you make it for the first time, since you're going to bang your head against the wall, wondering why the hell you didn't think of the method first.

Jul 03, 2015
biggreenmatt in Home Cooking

Anyone use a temperature contoller on their smoker?

I'm a BGE CyberQ user, too.

Works like a charm for long smokes, made that much more important for BGE users, since the Egg has a tendency to creep up in temp as time goes on. Because of the creep, I tend to use my Guru about 2-3 hours in, after the Egg's had a chance to regulate the temp "manually". Once that happens, it's set it and forget it- but mind the initial set up!

Making Montreal Smoked Meat at Home

When you pulled it off the smoker, did you take the internal temp?

Making Montreal Smoked Meat at Home

Intriguing update.

So one of the things that's bugged me about the procedure is the end texture. Most times I've made it, to a lesser or greater extent, there's been an degree of crumbliness to the meat, which has pissed me off. Damn thing literally falls apart, which doesn't happen when the pros do it.

One of the things that's vaguely never made sense to me is why we smoke the meat past the 4 hour mark (at which point no further smoke will be absorbed, up to north of 190F internal, cool it down, and then steam it still it's well north of 190F. Makes zero sense to break down the fibers twice, especially when the second time involves the moist-heat steaming.

Notably,'s pastrami recipe only smokes the brisket to 160F.

I'm putting a batch down this week. Going to smoke it until it hits the stall and/or 160Fish, see if it doesn't work better, and then report back.

Custom Meat Curing Services?

I suspect that short of knowing someone or having a personal connection in the business, it's going to be impossible to find anyone to provide that kind of service.

From a legal perspective, it's a liability nightmare. What if you cure something improperly and end up in the hospital with food poisoning? What if it just doesn't turn out? What if you forget the meat is there and can't be contacted? What if they throw it out? What if they need the storage space? What if you hurt yourself on their property? Remember that if they want to be insured, these are questions that they (and/or their insurer) is going to ask before settling on a premium.

Respectfully, unless you know someone, I suspect you're going to be out of luck.

Has anyone tried "crazy wings"

For wings in the area, there's a St. Louis just south on Yonge. Not revelatory but better than Puck 'N Wings just up the street.

Funny, I work right at Yonge and Finch, and I've never been to Crazy Wings. Maybe it's because they're also Crazy Sushi, though in retrospect, sushi and wings isn't the most horrible combination I've ever heard of.

I should try wings and sushi one of these days. Thanks for the tip!

Any good Indian restaurants in North Toronto?

Suspect St. Clair Ave. W. might not be what the OP meant by North Toronto. ;)

Indian Kitchen is just north of North Toronto (Yonge and Clark- just a skootch north of Steeles into 905 country), and though I haven't been there in years (and years and years!), I remember it being both tasty and reasonably-priced, considering the locale.

Puddin shots for adults

The Jelly Shot Test Kitchen has both gelatin shots and pudding shots. Fun site.


Jun 17, 2015
biggreenmatt in Home Cooking

Smoked Meat...Now that Goldin's isn't making it anymore...

Short answer, no, not whole briskets.

Slightly longer answer: best Montreal smoke meat in town is, IMO, found at Centre Street Deli (a la Deli Snowdon), up in Thornhill. It's a shlep to get up there, but I'm confident that if you called ahead, they could put X lbs of Old Fashioned in a vac pac, unsliced, that you could steam at home.

Much longer answer: if you're a masochist like some of us, there's always the nuclear option of making it at home, from scratch. I got pissed off years ago at the lack of decent MSM in Toronto (I'm a devotee of Smoke Meat Pete in Montreal), and so set out to learn how to make it myself. To be sure, it's an investment in time, money, and equipment, but the current formulation is dynamite.

Check it out here:

Recommend a BBQ Sauce for Pork Shoulder

To me, pulled pork screams for South Carolina mustard sauce. Yes, yes, the purists just a little north will scream that it don't, that a bit of adulterated vinegar is all you need to let the pork shine through, but seriously, I like my meat with sauce. Sauce to augment, sauce to highlight, sauce to lick off fingers.

This is my go-to when it comes to mustard sauce, from one of the best all-around barbecue websites around:

Making Montreal Smoked Meat at Home

Brilliant job!

Suggestions for next time: unless you like the falling-apart crumbliness, easier on the steam and/or internal temp (I start paying attention to texture at around the 185F internal mark) and be sure to cut against the grain to maximize the product.

But seriously, great job, especially for the first time. It's so awesome to see people knocking this product out at home, rather than figuring it's something you need to eat out at a ridiculous retail price. GREAT JOB!!!

Poaching chicken breasts in oven


I poach breast at a medium-low temp (prolly around 160, 170F, and nowhere near boiling) on the stove and gently bring it up to heat. Once a thermometer reads between 150-155, it's done and I take it off, letting the residual heat finish the cooking.

Moist and tender, every time

Jun 11, 2015
biggreenmatt in Home Cooking

Sous Vide cooking...are you on board?

For an average-sized breast, assuming you're going to give it a sear at the end, what, 150F for about an hour, hour and change?

Jun 09, 2015
biggreenmatt in Home Cooking

Sous Vide cooking...are you on board?

Vegetables, by the way, are outstanding cooked sous vide. While the higher temps will make your green veg look a little off or overdone (chlorophyll breaks down at a lower temp than the fiber in the veg), cooked to the right time and temp, they come out immaculately. They taste more like what they are- broccoli more like broccoli than steamed or boiled. Really, really good.

Again, I likely wouldn't bother on the purchase for strictly vegetables, but I bought myself a SVS a few years ago and I adore it.

Jun 03, 2015
biggreenmatt in Home Cooking

salting tri-tip several days in advance?

Steak or roast? Smoke or grill?

I'll defer to The Experts when it comes to the particulars of salting (can't stand the term "dry-brining"), but I tend to put it on an hour or two beforehand tops, with brisket being the one exception, which gets an overnight salt.

Call me oldy-timey or unenlightened, but I don't understand how a 2-3 day salt wouldn't have the effect of partially curing the meat, and turn it tough- even though you're building a crust, ideally, on the outside. An hour or two or three will get the juices going, and put things in their proper perspective.

Making Montreal Smoked Meat at Home

Agreed re: roots of the product, and it should be fine, too (and I dimly recall using garlic, too, a few times) but there's a simpler, empirical solution. You have two briskets. Cure one with garlic, one without. Taste the difference- and then report back which was superior!

Making Montreal Smoked Meat at Home

Re: salt, just be sure to soak it properly, adding a 4th hour and two more water changes as you like. Ought to be fine, though to be sure, it's a salty, if not SALTY product you're making.

Re: grass fed brisket, I honestly don't know, but I'm sure it'll be fine. Fat content, I suspect, is more important than whether the meat is organic or grass-fed, recalling that the entire raison d'etre of the product is that poor people needed a way to make a poor cut tasty and tender. I'm sure it'll be fine, because after all- you're not taking $140.00 worth of brisket back!

I got flour pockets in my banana bread

Three words: scrape the bowl.

May 28, 2015
biggreenmatt in Home Cooking

Diwan at the Aga Khan Museum

That's my understanding, too.

I suspect it's a crisis of "what are we to be?", between the original vision of being a higher-end, pan-Islamic restaurant (with price to match), versus more of a middle-of-the-road, touristy-attraction, family-friendly kind of place. Certainly the latter will, I think, bring more dollars in to the joint, though it'd be sad to see.

That lunch I had a month or three ago was very good, with lots of potential of being better. Hope they solve their crisis, soon.

Kanpai Snack Bar

I think waiting three months to go to a new venue, so they can iron out the kinks and you can maximize your restaurant dollar, is entirely fair.

FWIW, when I go to a newly-opened joint, I go with a different set of expectations. I go, knowing that I'm taking a chance by going too early, but I look for the potential of a place. What do they do really well? What don't they do well at all? Often, I'll speak to the manager and offer face-to-face feedback, good, bad, or ugly, which they tend to appreciate, provided the room isn't insanely busy.

It just bugs me when people jump all over a new venue before they've really had a chance to get on its feet.

Kanpai Snack Bar

Not to be a pain in the ass, but you're all aware that as of May 11, they've been open for just about two weeks?

I've never heard of a joint getting anything down pat in the first month or two. Certainly sounds like the venue has a lot of work still to do, but let's be fair here. Give them a chance to get on their feet and make some progress on the steep learning curve before panning them and telling people not to go because it sucks.

Listen, it's the internet and it's a free country, so you can do what you want. Still, I can't help but think that CH'rs have an interest in being fair in their assessments and opinions, and can recognize the difference between an established venue doing poorly, versus a beginning venue, which still hasn't had a chance to work out the inevitable kinds out, doing poorly.

What to do with tough skirt steaks

If you don't mind my asking, how did you cook it? How did you slice it?

As it happens, I tend to prefer the slicing steaks to the traditional cuts (skirt, hangar, tri-tip, and flank), but you need a little more finesse in the prep- either sous vide for a day or two, then sear, or a blazing-hot 700F+ sear, following, in either case, by a thin diagonal slice against the grain. Either way, you're looking at some tender meat.

Ooh, also, board sauces are EPIC with these cuts! If you don't know about it, google it, post-haste!

May 11, 2015
biggreenmatt in Home Cooking

Sous Vide Hamburgers

Bang on.

My only slight issue would be in the freezing. You buy the meat from the store and the clock begins to run. You take it home, grind it, throw it in the freezer, more time passes until it freezes. All the while the clock is ticking. Take it out of the freezer later, stick it in the sous vide, it defrosts, the temp raises, and the clock continues to tick. If there's contamination, you've got an issue given the extra time.

I adore SV burgers, and love the creamy, juiciness of them- but I make a point of buying them, grinding fresh, and then putting them immediately into the SVS to reduce risk.

Apr 28, 2015
biggreenmatt in Home Cooking

Granny Smith Apple Juice

Unless you get very lucky, you're going to need to make your own.

Don't need to spend two hundred bones on a juicer you're going to use once. Instead, get a membership to the Kitchen Library and just sign one out.

1st Brisket - Help!

Also, few better resources on brisket (and barbecue, generally) than here:

You're welcome. :)