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Propane Smoker vs budget Kamado Grill?

My propane smoker bit the dust and needs to be replaced. I was going to order another similar grill until I saw this very highly reviewed Kamado grill @ Lowes for $300.00. I would use it initially as a smoker to make ribs & pulled pork etc but I'm sure I'd try chicken and other item once I got familiar with it. I just got a new Weber Genesis so I doubt I'd do much grilling in the Kamado as I am retired and quite lazy. I don't want to spend much more than this so a Big Green Egg or Kamodo Joe are not on my radar. My question is how does a Kamodo oven work as a smoker vs a propane cabinet smoker? I is more difficult to use? How about temperature control? I love the "set it and forget it" convenience of the propane smoker but I bet the end product would be better in the ceramic oven. Are there other inexpensive brands you would recommend? Thanks for sharing your expertise!

http://www.lowes.com/pd_131712-49769-...

11 minutes ago
zackly in Home Cooking

ISO Middle Eastern Meatball Recipies

I wasn't able to access the recipe on the WSJ site without subscribing. I copied & pasted the recipe name in Google and it came up.

1 day ago
zackly in Home Cooking

ISO Middle Eastern Meatball Recipies

Thanks! I like this recipe especially the Cacik Sauce. We love tzatziki and this seems like an amped up version of that sauce.

2 days ago
zackly in Home Cooking

Propane Smoker Advice

My Landmann GOSM propane smoker needs to be replaced. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Great-Outdo...
Wal-Mart has discontinued this model. I called he manufacturer and they have a nearly identical replacement model (#3495 BGw). The biggest difference in this model is the new price, about $100.00 more. I'm looking @ two models, a Masterbuilt from Amazon (I have Prime) and a Smoke Daddy on ebay. I'm familiar with Masterbuilt but not with Smoke Daddy but the Smoke Daddy looks like it's better built with an insulated door although all propane smokers that I've seen in this price range are flimsy. Does anyone want to offer their opinion or suggest another model in the less than $250.00 range? I know I definitely want a propane smoker. Thanks!

http://www.amazon.com/Masterbuilt-200...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/40-Vertical-G...
ay

ISO Middle Eastern Meatball Recipies

Thanks for all your suggestions & recipes. I made beef meatballs with
beef, garlic, onion, carrot, ginger, jalapeno, whole wheat bread, egg, a little cream, cilantro all processed in a food processor then added ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, Baharat spice blend & salt & pepper. I pan fried the meatballs and made a sauce with crushed tomatoes, onions, garlic, soy sauce and many of the spices I used in the meatballs. The meatballs were very good, an 8 out of 10 but the sauce, while OK (7 out of 10), wasn't as complimentary as I would have liked. I won't make a tomato based sauce the next time. If I have some leftover brown sauce/meat gravy I'll start with that.

2 days ago
zackly in Home Cooking

ISO Middle Eastern Meatball Recipies

I made Kofta Kebabs with ground turkey recently which were good albeit a bit dry. I have some ground beef that I want to turn into middle eastern meatballs to be served as an entrée. I can pan fry them or grill on a gas grill but I'm wondering if there are any preparations for browning and braising in a sauce like you would when making Italian meatballs? That might take care of the dryness. It does not necessarily have to be a tomato based sauce, in fact it might be nicer to have a "brown" sauce made with beef stock and soy, etc.. I am a total novice @ cooking middle eastern but I have accumulated a lot of spices & spice blends used in that part of the world. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

Aug 24, 2014
zackly in Home Cooking

Buying a used Vitamix?

Saw this Groupon deal on a factory reconditioned Vitamix 2 Speed. Includes free shipping, 30 day return and five year warranty from the manufacturer.
http://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-vitam...

Aug 24, 2014
zackly in Cookware

Just ate lobster for the first time

Lobster prices increase up until a point (2-2.5#) I forget, then they start to decline because there is less demand in restaurants for the jumbos. Used to be like that anyway.

Aug 21, 2014
zackly in General Topics

Lobster Price Watch for SW CT

Really? How did I miss that? I have been waiting for Shoprite to offer big lobsters on sale, which they do periodically. I've seen the smaller bugs on sale every few weeks but not the 3#+. I'll have to pay better attention to their flyer.

Aug 21, 2014
zackly in Southern New England

Just ate lobster for the first time

Tough, stringy tail meat generally does not happen because of overcooking. I've cooked many thousands of lobsters including a few sous vide and texture is about the lobster not the cooking time or method. This article explains it well:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html...

Aug 21, 2014
zackly in General Topics

Lobster Price Watch for SW CT

I love BIG Y. I wish they had a store closer to Norwalk. When my best friend was married I used to stop @ their store in Monroe on the way to his house.

Aug 21, 2014
zackly in Southern New England

Lobster Price Watch for SW CT

I've read that there is a glut of lobsters in Maine and prices are expected to fall. The lowest I've seen this summer is $5.99 for lobsters up to 1.25lb. Good but not great. If they get real cheap ($3.99)I might have to throw a party. Is anyone seeing better prices?

http://online.wsj.com/articles/lobste...

Aug 21, 2014
zackly in Southern New England

What "typical American Foods" would you serve to foreigners?

Big Ol' American Beefsteak. When my company entertained people visiting from overseas they always wanted to go to high end steak houses like Morton's Bern's & Capital Grille. Most can't get good beef @ home.

Aug 19, 2014
zackly in General Topics

THE BEST SW CT Farmer's Markets

We never made the trip. The farmer's markets that were open on Saturdays mostly closed by 3:00PM and by the time we finished lunch we weren't going to make any on time.

Aug 19, 2014
zackly in Southern New England

Easy Thai/Jerk Grilled Chicken Rub

I had not enough Walkerswood Hot Jerk Seasoning to marinade some chicken thighs I wanted to cook for dinner so I mixed it 50/50 with Mae Ploy Thai Red Curry Paste and little warm water and oil to thin then I marinated the chicken for a couple of hours, unrefrigerated. It came out great but the next time I'll add a little sweetness to it. Very good & easy!

Aug 17, 2014
zackly in Home Cooking

I'm cooking lowfat for my elderly dog, post-pancreatitis and thought I'd share

Before I retired I worked in the frozen seafood industry. I always had a lot of gifted shrimp in my freezer. When it started to get freezer burned I'd cook it up for my dogs. They loved it shell and all!

Aug 17, 2014
zackly in Not About Food

I'm cooking lowfat for my elderly dog, post-pancreatitis and thought I'd share

I feed my dog good kibble & meat. I buy a bunch of boneless & skinless chicken breasts when they are on sale then cook & freeze. She has been scooting a lot lately so I've added fiber to her diet in the form of unflavored psyllium husks (Metamucil) and olive oil. I've also been told canned pumpkin works well too. The olive oil (pure grade) seems to stimulate her appetite

Aug 17, 2014
zackly in Not About Food

Is it insulting to the chef to special order in fine dining?

I have no food allergies so if it’s a fine dining restaurant I generally won’t rock the boat and assume the chef knows how to best “cook” his menu. When I worked as a chef I always tried to accommodate reasonable requests for menu deviations because if you say “no” you’ve probably lost a customer forever. I never felt insulted however. Obviously, some requests are impossible to accommodate during service. There definitely are people whose part of the fine dining experience is “showing off” to their friends how worldly they are by being overly critical, abusing the wait staff or making unreasonable requests. If you have dietary restrictions or have an acute aversion to an ingredient it is best to call ahead and discuss these with the chef or maître d. Most will appreciate your thoughtfulness and go out of their way to accommodate you. If you feel the need to make special requests it is better to go mid-week or whenever it’s slower because @ 9:00 on a Saturday evening there usually isn’t the spare manpower available to make special dishes. Most kitchens are well oiled machines operating @ 100% capacity during crunch time. I worked at a restaurant in Greenwich CT that besides being excellent was “the place to see and be seen”. Tables, especially on weekends, were hard to come by. The maître d was very protective of his staff and any customer who was a P.I.A. or a lousy tipper was relegated to a less desirable seating area known as “Siberia”. I think the customers realized this because they frequently modified their behavior in order to get back in his good graces. It worked both ways too because waiters were threatened (good naturedly) during the week with banishment to “Siberia” for their Saturday night shift if they didn’t behave.

Aug 17, 2014
zackly in Not About Food

Help with turkey sandwiches for twenty Dragon boaters.

If you are using deli turkey I would make some, if not all, with smoked turkey. It's much more flavorful, IMHO

Cheese: Swiss, muenster, white American or provolone

Don't "dress" them with anything that will make them soggy. Offer mustard & mayo either in bowls or in individual packets. Same for lettuce & tomato slices

Aug 17, 2014
zackly in Home Cooking

Low carber avoiding restaurants

I watch my carb intake. I've been cooking & going to Middle Eastern restaurants a lot lately. Hummus, baba ganoush, falafel, kebabs are all fairly good low net carb choices that don't spike my blood sugar too much. Add a nice cucumber salad and you've got a complete meal.

Aug 15, 2014
zackly in Special Diets
1

pasta for a diabetic...?

Yikes! Regular dry pasta has about 40 grams per 2oz serving (dry weight). This might be good for the gluten free crowd but not diabetics.

Aug 12, 2014
zackly in Dallas - Fort Worth
1

pasta for a diabetic...?

Do you know the carb count for this pasta?

Aug 12, 2014
zackly in Dallas - Fort Worth

pasta for a diabetic...?

"The smell rinses off, but the rubber band texture does not."

That's true. They have the texture of canned grossly overcooked spaghetti.

ISO, Low Carb Hot Dog Buns?

Are there any decent low carb hot dog or hamburger buns available in retail stores? I don't want to bake my own. I saw some online that were $1.00 apiece plus shipping! I want a roll not a tortilla or some kind of flatbread. Most hot dog rolls are 25+ grams of carbs per. I'd like to find something at around half of that or less. Can anyone recommend a good brand? I have a Mrs. Greens store not too far away but haven't checked there yet. Thanks!

Aug 12, 2014
zackly in Special Diets

pasta for a diabetic...?

I have not found any wheat pasta substitute than comes close to the real thing. I know I've said nasty things about these tofu noodles in the past but I've gotten to the point where I can enjoy them. Some people complain they are fishy tasting/smelling but if you rinse and dry them per package instructions they are fine.

Cutting board: need some help

I now use a set of three different sized orange plastic cutting boards that I bought @ Costco a few years back similar to these offered @ Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Kitchen-Double-...

They are easy on my knives edges and they aren't stained, even by blood or tomato juice. The best feature is I can easily clean and sanitize them because they all fit in my dishwasher.

Aug 10, 2014
zackly in Cookware

college cookware??

Depending on how much or involved cooking they want to do and off the top of my head:
microwave oven & some Pyrex cookware
toaster oven
portable induction hot plate & induction capable cookware
Single serve coffee/beverage maker
cookbooks http://www.amazon.com/Jailhouse-Cookb...
pot holders or mitt
blender for smoothies and frozen cocktails

Aug 10, 2014
zackly in Cookware

Your Favorite Meat or Protein?

roast prime rib
lobster
Alaskan King Crab-the huge 4-6 count legs

Aug 10, 2014
zackly in General Topics
2

Should I stop baking with pyrex?

Yes, your way is safer.

Aug 10, 2014
zackly in Cookware

frozen hamburger patties??

There was a lot of thread-crapping but few answers to the OP's question. I too am looking for a great tasting frozen hamburger patty. I care little if it's made mostly of teats & testicles and has pink slime additives, I just want it to taste delicious. I buy the Costco Sirloin patties and these are OK but not great. Sometimes they taste a bit "off" to me. I will be cooking these from a frozen state although I have the option of defrosting in the microwave first. I see brands like Bubba Burger & Steak Um in the freezer section of local supermarkets. Can anyone recommend any good national brands? How about Trader Joe's burgers? Thanks!

Aug 10, 2014
zackly in General Topics