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question about slow roasting pork shoulder

I have this experience all the time. Slow roast or smoke a picnic shoulder or boston butt and then when cutting into it, there is always a very concentrated, gamy, porky smell, especially near the bone. I just think it's how pork smells. I spent time on my uncle's farm as a kid, and I used to slop the hogs all the time, and the smell of pigs is indelibly imprinted in my brain. However: a urine-y smell means ammonia, which means the by-products of bacteria. Any raw food that smells like ammonia needs to be rinsed well and cooked to the appropriate temperature. Any cooked food that smells like that? Toss it.

If you're cooking the pork at 250 for like 8 hours, it should be fully cooked. If it's falling apart (fork tender) and most of the fat is rendered, it's cooked. It should be safe to eat! If you have any doubts, you can zap portions in the micro. Beware of leaving food at room temp for too long.

May 02, 2015
guitargirlcbr in Home Cooking

Vitamix vs Immersion blender vs food processor?

I apologize in advance if I'm beating (or blending) a dead horse, but I'd really like to know if I should get a Vitamix. I have an immersion blender that I love, and a food processor that I use often. But my mother had a Vitamix that I used occasionally to make her soups and things and I really liked it. It's expensive, and do I need another appliance?

But nut butters? Can't make those with an immersion blender. The soups in the Vitamix are creamier. I feel like it might open up more possibilities!

Opinions?

May 02, 2015
guitargirlcbr in Cookware

Cut up chicken before or after putting in slow cooker

It all depends on whether the pieces have to be submerged in a sauce type thing. I frequently "roast" a whole 4-5 lb chicken in my 4-qt slow cooker and it comes out great, but it's not part of a bigger recipe. I just put some chopped celery, onions, carrots in the bottom, salt and pepper the bird, and cook it on low for around 5 hours. Then I take the bird out, take all the meat off, and toss the bones back into the pot, add some thyme, a whole unpeeled onion, and fill the slow cooker with water. I leave that on low all night and voila! Chicken stock.

Anyway, if the recipe is basically a braise where the sauce needs to flavor the pieces, it might not work as well with a whole chicken.

Nov 03, 2014
guitargirlcbr in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving!! Two turkeys at once?

That is a GREAT idea. But I have too much to do the day of to tend the BBQ (as much as I would love to spend my T-day in the backyard with some cider, avoiding the chaos in the house...)

Nov 03, 2014
guitargirlcbr in Home Cooking

How long will it take to cook two (2) large turkeys in one oven?

Turkeys that big can take up to 4 1/2-5 hours to roast in a 325 oven. So you'd have to put them in at around 7 am or so.

Nov 03, 2014
guitargirlcbr in Home Cooking
1

Thanksgiving!! Two turkeys at once?

I always make two small (10-12 lb) turkeys for my celebration with 12-15 people.
I dry brine them and make one on Weds and one on Thurs, reheating the first one. This has been very successful. Last year I spatchcocked both birds and they cooked in no time at all. And they were (sort of) flat.

Do you think I'd be able to cook BOTH of them at the same time? On separate racks? I have a Maytag Gemini double oven. I'd roast them in the big bottom oven, as the top one is going to be used for other things.

I'm worried about proper browning and heat circulation.

What do you think? Am I getting too big for my britches?

Nov 02, 2014
guitargirlcbr in Home Cooking

Sous vide - reheating leftover steak in your hotel room via your coffee maker :)

My mom used to bring her own plastic plug-in percolator for coffee on road trips and we used to cook in it all the time. When I was in Haiti after the earthquake in 2010, we used the drip coffee maker to heat up MREs and other various ready-to-eat foodstuffs. I also made soup in the coffee pot once. It came out pretty good!

Jun 01, 2014
guitargirlcbr in Home Cooking

What is this cut of pork?

I've found this as my local Shop Rite in Brooklyn, NY. It's a pork chop, but the cut is listed as a 9-11. It's thin, tasty, and there seem to be random bones in it, and it consists of darker, more tender meat and lighter, more "loin"-like meat. They're really inexpensive (less than $2/lb) and quite tasty! Has anyone ever seen these before? The picture is three on my grill.

Jun 01, 2014
guitargirlcbr in General Topics

Smoked brisket with "deli" spices?

I too have my doubts about that brine. Also, since it's going to be pastrami-like, room temp meat won't be a problem. I'm willing to be patient and start way earlier than I need to. I may try a larger brisket (leftovers are always welcome around here), because larger cuts of meat are more forgiving. So, 1.5 hours per pound at around 200-220? Is that the rule of thumb when it comes to brisket?

Smoked brisket with "deli" spices?

I know! I was thinking the same thing.

Smoked brisket with "deli" spices?

I'm considering doing my first brisket deli-style. I found a recipe that calls for a 4-pound flat cut brined overnight in sugar and pickling spices, rubbed with pepper, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, salt, and garlic, then smoked at 200-220 x 3 hours, wrapping and then cooking for another 1.5-2 hours.

I plan to serve this with creamy coleslaw, pickles, macaroni salad, and a cocktail called the 24th St Spritz, which is a boozy version of Cel-Ray soda.

Tips?
1) best wood for smoker? Apple?
2) finish wrapped in oven or leave wrapped in smoker?
3) is the flat the best cut for this? We like our brisket (and pastrami) on the fattier side.
4) anything I'm missing?

I have a Char Griller with an offset smoker box. I'm pretty experienced with ribs, pork shoulder, poultry, but have never done a brisket. Advice so I don't wreck it?

Can you smoke a corned beef?

I can't believe you just posted this! I came on here looking for a tip or two on smoking a brisket like a pastrami! Thanks for the good advice!

Defrosting meat

No, I don't use any heat. I just put the food in its packaging in the skillet. The cast iron absorbs the cold f rom the meat, diffusing it into the room. You just have to turn the food over a few times. There's an as-seen-on-TV thing called the Miracle Thaw Defrosting Tray that is cast aluminum and is sold just for that purpose. Aluminum works even better than cast iron, but I don't have any aluminum pans.

When do you start planning dinner?

I plan about three meals a week ahead of time, and the rest I make on the fly from what's in the freezer or cupboards etc, and from what's leftover from the planned meals. But I start thinking about it a few hours ahead of time usually, so I know if I need to supplement something.

Jul 26, 2013
guitargirlcbr in General Topics

Defrosting meat

I'm defrosting chicken wings in my cast iron skillet right now. Works great in an hour or so.

Jul 26, 2013
guitargirlcbr in General Topics

Weight Watchers Foodies - It's Too Hot To Eat Anyway Edition - July and August 2013 [OLD]

Wow, so glad to have found this thread. Hubs and I are going back on WW after months of excess (had a fire, had to move out, feeling very sorry for ourselves) but I'm back in my house in my beautiful kitchen and am trying to grill every meal. Tonight is clams on the grill with some olive oil, a tiny bit of butter, but mostly herbs and clam juice. Some bread. A big salad, and watermelon for dessert.

Jul 26, 2013
guitargirlcbr in Home Cooking
1

Baking soda to keep meat moist and tender

Hm. Sounds like the sodium in the NaCo2 did a quick brine. I'm interested to try it!

Jul 26, 2013
guitargirlcbr in Home Cooking

Frozen Tilapia tastes earthy

Any dirt-tasting fish (like catfish or tilapia) will benefit from soaking in buttermilk for about an hour. Eliminates the yucky taste, which is great, because tilapia is a cheap fish.

May 28, 2008
guitargirlcbr in Home Cooking