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  1. Steve_A (Tatoosh)


    I love my Vortex, though I went for the original OEM version and bought it from OwensBBQ. I know the owners and wanted to throw business their way. I have a couple of future projects with the Vortex in the plans. I want to try it with my Cajun Bandit rotisserie, spreading the coals around the...
  2. Steve_A (Tatoosh)

    Sausage Making for Beginners: e-Course + PDF

    A very handy guide indeed. My only negative is the Spicy Italian Sausage doesn't contain fennel, but the recipe for Sweet Italian Sausage does. I pretty sure it isn't "Italian Sausage" without either some fennel or anise, at least in the USA. The Bacon Cheeseburger sausage is on my "To Do"...
  3. Steve_A (Tatoosh)

    Nitrate free bacon

    More nitrites in carrots, cabbage, celery, and spinach. Please advise your wife to be very careful of those when feeding her children. Making bacon should be done with Prague Powder #1 aka Instacure #1, Pink Salt #1 - NOT #2 which does contain nitrates and is intended for making air dried...
  4. Steve_A (Tatoosh)

    My First Bacon

    Craig, once you start making your own, you'll never go back! I've done it as a brine, a pre-mix cure, and EQ curing (just starting the latter). I hot smoked it, then moved to warm smoking, and now I cold smoke my bacon. But I still heat finish it to 150F in an oven with a pan to catch the...
  5. Steve_A (Tatoosh)

    Thinking of making some fresh sausages.

    Which Kitchen Aid are you using to power your grinder? Some advice on that - freeze your meat first - or get it close to freezing - definitely colder than just in the refrigerator. I use a Pro 600 Kitchen Aid to grind 5 to 10 kilos of pork or beef (12 to 23 pounds) every month or two. Do not...
  6. Steve_A (Tatoosh)

    My First Bacon

    Looking great there! I do brine for pork chops and trying it on pastrami now. Most of my bacon is done a dry cure (rub) and I've just started to switch from a premix cure to Equilibrium Curing, but the EQ approach takes longer. Regardless of which approach you take, your bacon will be much...
  7. Steve_A (Tatoosh)

    All Beef Hot Dog Recipe?

    I want to do a good All Beef hotdog but my first try was pretty so-so. i ended up losing most of the fat when cooked and it was just a "hunk of meat" not great flavor or texture. I need to go through the steps carefully and figure out how to maintain temperature control to ensure I get a juicy...
  8. Steve_A (Tatoosh)

    SWMBO ordered me a half pork belly!

    That is fantastic looking bacon and it is just how we do it except I make my own cure instead of using TenderQuick. We flip the belly daily and then drain and rinse at the end of 7 to 8 days. We soak our bacon in fresh water to help remove some of the saltiness. I ended up soaking for half an...
  9. Steve_A (Tatoosh)

    Three Questions for Bacon Makin'

    Wow! That is some great looking bacon there! And I very much appreciate the various ideas. I'm tempted to buy some of the meat glue to adhere the cracked pepper on the exterior. But Todd's approach sounds interesting. I make my own cure mixture - very simple - and do a dry cure approach, as...
  10. Steve_A (Tatoosh)

    Quick Sausage Making Questions

    Stone - I think he is talking about a modified Minion method - lay the charcoal out in circle or C shape (so you can start one end). This lets you have lower temps and a longer burn. Often used with wood chunks placed every few inches so they will smoke and by the time one chunk is consumed...
  11. Steve_A (Tatoosh)

    Quick Sausage Making Questions

    This sounds similar to my bacon making technique. I think they are looking at the 150F to be extra sure of killing any bacteria without rendering out too much fat. But you will lose some even at 150F. Since the sausage is made with pink salt (#1?) you are not quite so vulnerable to the safety...
  12. Steve_A (Tatoosh)

    Three Questions for Bacon Makin'

    I am pretty happy with the bacon we have been curing and smoking. I use my own rub that Martin helped me work out. The cure is basically maple sugar, salt, and pink salt #1. We add some flavorings when curing but often just do a straight cure and a hickory smoke. But I am curious about...
  13. Steve_A (Tatoosh)

    Bacon Saltiness Questions

    Good thread - and I do understand that removing salt seems counter-intuitive after using it. I do soak my bacon - about 30 minutes to lower the saltiness. I figured the salt was part of the process of curing, particularly since I use a dry cure, not a brine. I cure of 7 to 9 days, then rinse...
  14. Steve_A (Tatoosh)

    almost ready to try my first batch

    I use MartinF's cure recipe for mine - but I use maple sugar in it. Turns out a very nice bacon. I almost always add pepper, sometimes red pepper flakes or even a bit of cayenne if I want a bit of heat to go with the sweet. But the maple sugar is an all time thing for me now.
  15. Steve_A (Tatoosh)

    Is OTG For Me?

    Laura gave a very good assessment of the Weber charcoal grills. I have the OTG and the Smokey Joe. Both are great, but for limited use and for only two people, I'd go with the Smokey Joe. Considering how much I use my OTG, I'm a bit surprised to hear myself say that, but it is great for a...
  16. Steve_A (Tatoosh)

    Which gourmet BBQ system accessory would you buy?

    I'm gonna go against the stream here. If I wanted to sear, I'd be looking at either the Craycort system or even Grill Grates that would let me do a 2 zone fire. It looks much harder to do with the Weber Sear Insert since it is dead center in the unit. The Korean BBQ looks very very...
  17. Steve_A (Tatoosh)

    PizzaKettle - Wood Fired Pizza on the Weber

    Nice pizzas and the tray method seems to be working great for you! I didn't have much luck using a tray. Maybe a different dough recipe or ingredients? Whatever, never argue with success! I love the look of the bottom photo. That, my friend, is what is all about! Congrats!
  18. Steve_A (Tatoosh)

    Weber Charcoal Pizza Oven

    For pizza on a grill, that is a pretty good numbers. Pop a couple of 1 inch sticks of hardwood and you'll likely kick the temps up quite a bit more and the cooking time down some. I love pizza stones, have two of them here in the Philippines which I got sent over from the States. That said...
  19. Steve_A (Tatoosh)

    PizzaKettle - Wood Fired Pizza on the Weber

    They are similar, but a 20 percent drop in height. I think the opening is the same. They wanted to bring the dome closer to the cooking level for more temperature hitting the toppings. See JReyes link above to the links at Serious Eats that have looked at the various designs and modifications...
  20. Steve_A (Tatoosh)

    PizzaKettle - Wood Fired Pizza on the Weber

    Considering how high those bricks sit in your oven door, you might want to try putting your grate on the Weber, not the wing nuts of the insert. Then your bricks and check your floor height. If it is at all below the bottom of the opening of the insert, you don't want the grate there. But if...