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brine & temp for smoked turkey breast

Hi, all. I ended up using a variation of the Alton Brown brine- it worked magnificently. Super-moist and super tasty.

Only issue was one of my own making- I misjudged the time it would take to get up to 160F, and I was three hours early. Fortunately, I remember an old cowboy trick that saved the day. Took the whole breasts, wrapped them in foil, wrapped those in side towels and threw them both in a cooler. 3 hours later, they were still nice and hot and ready to be sliced. Can't remember where I picked the trick up from, but to whoever was the brilliant soul who first figured it out: thanks!

1 day ago
biggreenmatt in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

Big Green Egg? Is it worth it?

I adore my BGE. Live in Toronto and use it year round.

No issues with cracking in the Winter- only issue is that the gasket freezes and you need to very carefully jimmy it open if you don't wedge it with something between uses.

Apr 10, 2014
biggreenmatt in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

brine & temp for smoked turkey breast

Yesss, I've considered it, but rather than just pluck a saline percentage out of the air, I'm looking for first-hand experience from someone who's done what I'm looking to do so I have a better idea on my end.

Now that I think of it, I should probably ask my butcher if the breast isn't pre-brined. Dammit.

Apr 08, 2014
biggreenmatt in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

brine & temp for smoked turkey breast

Hey all!

With Passover just around the bend, I'm looking to do something a little lighter this year- a full turkey breast is the first thing that comes to mind.

Now I've smoked turkey breast before. Typically, I brine a full double-breast (i.e.: 10+ lbs) using Ruhlman's ratios, at oh, 325F for however long it takes to get to 160F internal, usually with a fruit wood. Call it 2 hrs, 2 hrs and change.

The results I get are usually pretty good- some of the end pieces are a little dry, but the real problem is the salt level- it's always too salty, almost unpalatably so.

I'm going to go a little lower and slower this time around- say 275F, but what I'm really interested in is the brine. I'm looking for a brine recipe that'll get my big hunk of meat beautifully moist, but not ridiculously salty. If you've got a suggestion, I'm all ears- and if it makes a difference, I'll be smoking on a Big Green Egg.

Thanks!

Apr 08, 2014
biggreenmatt in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

Where can I go for a good hot dog tonight?

How about a street hot dog vendor?

Whasserface, just south of College/University, on the west side, is probably the best of the bunch. Not just the Big 4 of forcemeats, but she carries hunter sausage, baked potatoes, and other different kinds of street food.

Best of all, afterwards, you can work off the dog by walking west and hit Little Italy for a nightcap.

Apr 03, 2014
biggreenmatt in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Attempting gefilte fish at home for the first time, advice please!

Best advice I might possibly give: buy yourself an induction or otherwise portable burner and make it outside. The stench that making gefilte fish emits while cooking is horrifying.

Do your house a favour: make it outside.

Apr 02, 2014
biggreenmatt in Home Cooking

outdoor refrigerators- Toronto area

Mm. From the look of it, I think I'm going to have to pony up some bills to get the thing properly kitted out.

Bah. Oh well. Thanks, all.

Mar 31, 2014
biggreenmatt in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

outdoor refrigerators- Toronto area

Sigh.

You'll be pleased to hear that along with festooning my soon-to-be-constructed back deck with an outdoor fridge (my place doesn't have a door direct from the kitchen to the backyard, making the putting of a fridge back there pretty convenient from a cooking/hosting perspective), I'm also looking to get a crappy POS old clunker of a fridge for my garage, pull the sucker apart and turn it into a curing chamber.

Bought Ruhlman's Salume a while back, put it down for months, and now I'm looking at it again, enviously. Dry-curing is my next logical kitchen progression, and I'll tell ya- can't wait to start.

Mar 28, 2014
biggreenmatt in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Tip on chopping a large block of chocolate

A pointed oyster knife might be just the thing you're looking for, and the nice thing is that once you're done with the chocolate, you can still use it for, y'know, shucking oysters.

Loathe having single-use obscure utensils in my kitchen ever since The Great Kitchen Purge of 2009. Loathe.

Mar 28, 2014
biggreenmatt in Home Cooking

outdoor refrigerators- Toronto area

Quite so, BP. Quite so.

Mar 28, 2014
biggreenmatt in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

outdoor refrigerators- Toronto area

I googled outdoor refrigerator Toronto and came up with nothing.

But that's kinda what I was looking for. Ideally, it wouldn't have the marble top (I think the modulars look like ass and are far too snooty for my plebian tastes), but it's a good start. Thanks, PB.

Mar 28, 2014
biggreenmatt in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

outdoor refrigerators- Toronto area

You'd think in this modern age of petroleum automobiles and television dinners and, y'know, Google, that it'd be easy to track down a place to buy a small, outdoor-rated fridge to go on one's back deck.

Not Costco, not Canadian Tire, not Nella- can't find nothing.

Any of you Smart People in The Magical Land of Teh Intrawebs know where I might be able to pick up something suited to my needs?

Mar 27, 2014
biggreenmatt in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Authentic southern BBQ spots in TO?

+1 on Hogtown Smokehouse.

Phenomenally good barbecue. Pricey, but really excellent.

Mar 27, 2014
biggreenmatt in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

It's nothing to be ashamed of but.......

Great thread!

I'm pretty sure I've never smoked a little something-something, gotten the munchies and eaten, slice by meticulous slice, an entire pound-and-change of homemade corned beef in one prolonged sitting.

Naah. Couldn't have been me.

On the other hand, dipping into the sour cream with a tablespoon and eating it on its own? Guilty as charged.

Mar 20, 2014
biggreenmatt in Not About Food
1

making montreal smoked meat at home

Hey Mike!

Uh, really, no idea. Typically, I coat the meat loosely with cure, lightly pressing into the meat, and use as much cure as needed to coat the thing before chucking it into the ziploc.

If it's coming out salty, it sounds like you might need a bit more soak time and/or to go lighter on the cure.

Good luck with the next one!

Mar 19, 2014
biggreenmatt in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

Corned Beef in the oven @ 215* for 8 hours....Very Tender

I was hoping someone would mention the PC! 100%!

I ain't waiting 8 hours for a piece of meat when I can get the job done in 1! Well spoken!

Mar 19, 2014
biggreenmatt in Home Cooking

Where to Buy Lox Trimmings in the GTA?

Kiva's at their Bath/Steeles location certainly sells it. Grew up on the stuff.

While we're on the topic, I'd need to beat myself up if I didn't mention how bloody easy and inexpensive it is to make lox at home.

Mar 19, 2014
biggreenmatt in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Rachel's Corned Beef Brisket

SV followed by the ol BGE treatment, eh? Gotta say, gentlemen: I like the cut of your particular jib!

I have patience when it comes to certain things: 72 hours underwater at 123F for shortribs, 12 hours of indirect smoke at 220F for pulled pork? No problem.

I have neither the time nor the patience for corned beef.

Into the pressure cooker it goes with a bit of water and more pickling spices and garlic, throw it on the stove, and wham, bam, thank you ma'am, it's done in an hour.

Righteous.

Mar 18, 2014
biggreenmatt in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Hogtown Smoke - brick and mortar location

I happened on to Hogtown Smoke this weekend at their Queen East location.

Outstanding. Magnificent. Superlative.

Shared the pulled pork, the brisket and sideribs. The brisket was shockingly good- moist where it needed to be, charred where it needed to be, juicy and smoky and tremendously good. The pulled pork was beautifully moist and the ribs were just perfect. Their squirt-on sauces were fantastic (though I'd have killed for a mustard sauce for the pork... I mean, Carolina, right?). Sides were good but ultimately unnecessary since they only took up room that would otherwise be reserved for the meat.

I don't like food trucks and waiting in line for hours just so I can overpay for a tiny take-away box, which means I've never tried the food truck, and likely never will. But their brick-and-mortar location is beyond good, just short of what I'd consider "championship" Southern barbecue, but leaps and bounds over anything else I've had in Toronto, with very few exceptions.

Guys from Hogtown, if you're reading this: you're awesome and your product is good enough to be worshiped. Great, great, great job, FWIW, I'd recommend you any time, any place, to any one.

Kudos!

Mar 18, 2014
biggreenmatt in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Litmus paper to test the PH of a sourdough yeast culture

Cheap as chips at the U of T med school book store.

Fun little place. Replaced my conventional Pyrex measuring cups and pitchers with kick-ass Pyrex sciencey beakers!

Mar 13, 2014
biggreenmatt in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

Danforth Pizza House for sale

Agreed.

Not exactly the same, but it can't be exactly the same. Still a good hunk of fat, carb and protein to stick into yer pie hole.

Mar 13, 2014
biggreenmatt in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
2

Danforth Pizza House for sale

No. Just differences in the crust. Very slight, but the difference between an A and an A+.

The nice thing is that they accommodate requests for lots of burnt cheese, which was one of the main draws for me.

Mar 13, 2014
biggreenmatt in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Danforth Pizza House for sale

Very good- but not quite as good.

It's the crust. Missing the same beautiful, just-shy-of-burnt char on the bottom. But in fairness, Angelo was making pizzas the better part of 50 years. Dude could make the perfect pizza by sound.

Mar 12, 2014
biggreenmatt in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Modernist Cuisine at Home

I've made the soup easily a dozen times. It's magnificent. One of the best things I make.

Mar 03, 2014
biggreenmatt in Home Cooking

The Toronto Guilty Pleasures

HOLY CRAP!

What about ordering a Big Mac-i-fied Filet O' Fish??? Two fish patties, three buns, cheese, lettuce, pickles, onion and tartar sauce!!!

GAME CHANGER!!!

Feb 28, 2014
biggreenmatt in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

The Toronto Guilty Pleasures

I'm amazed that the secret is out about the double Filet O' Fish. I thought it was just me!

But, if you really think about it, it's not really a "guilty" pleasure.

Fish is fish. Fish, breaded and deep fried, is delicious, virtually no matter who makes it. Filet o' Fish is deep fried, breaded fish. Adding another filet on top is extra protein (and that's it, amirite???) and more deliciousness, insofar as adding another poached chicken breast on to your salad is extra protein and more deliciousness. Not really much to be guilty about. :)

Feb 28, 2014
biggreenmatt in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Toronto Guilty Pleasures

Scotch, dear Milly, is not, and can never be, a guilty pleasure. In the immortal words of David Daiches:

"The proper drinking of Scotch whisky is more than indulgence: it is a toast to civilization, a tribute to the continuity of culture, a manifesto of man’s determination to use the resources of nature to refresh mind and body and enjoy to the full the senses with which he has been endowed."

Feb 28, 2014
biggreenmatt in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

The Toronto Guilty Pleasures

NO! But OH MY GOD, YES!!!

Know what you've done today, Pete? You've changed a life. That's what you've done today, Pete: changed a life.

Feb 28, 2014
biggreenmatt in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

Modernist Cuisine at Home

Congrats! It's a wonderful cookbook.

Piece of advice: you absolutely need to make the burger (though in fairness, I use 100% shortrib). A patty between two slices of white bread, garnished with mustard, pickle and chopped onion is a thing of exquisite beauty; the kind of a simple sandwich that would be at home at any turn-of-the-century drug store counter. Beyond wonderful.

You need to properly thank your husband for the gift; you'll be amazed.

Feb 28, 2014
biggreenmatt in Home Cooking

The Toronto Guilty Pleasures

Sausage McMuffin with Egg and a hash brown- but not just any hash brown. A fresh-out-of-the-fryer, too-hot-to-eat-at-the-moment hash brown.

I will actually sit there and wait five minutes for a fresh hash brown, rather than eat a lukewarm hash brown.

God I love hash browns.

Feb 28, 2014
biggreenmatt in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1