Friday, December 6, 2013

Pepper Stout Beef and Turkey

Beef and Bell Peppers

Beef chuck roasts were on sale ($3.69/lb) so I picked up two for a little more than four pounds total. They're steaks about 2" thick rather than one big chunk-O-beef. Bell peppers were on sale as well so I picked up two meaty ones and some jalapeƱos. Already have some stout and garlic. Once again I'm following the Wolfe Pit recipe.

But wait! There's more! I'm also going to cook a 20 lb turkey provided by Alice Hanes for First Friday. I plan to do it on the rotisserie (hoping to learn from previous results.) I will time it to finish about the time we are ready to head out and then carve at the party. (Scroll past the PSB entry to find this one.)

Weather is chilly at 16°F with light clouds and wind light reported at 10 mph. We may not get any warmer through the day.

Beef was rubbed liberally with cracked black pepper and Kosher salt. The remaining flavors will go on in the Dutch oven.

This is being cooked on the 14" WSM (Weber Smokey Mountain.) This cooker seems to work best with lump charcoal so I used the remainder of a bag of Cowboy Lump and topped it up with some Royal Oak lump. I mixed in a few small chunks mesquite and hickory for flavor and made sure the wood and charcoal was fairly tightly packed for a better burn. I', starting with the three bottom vents about half open and will adjust as necessary. An ideal cooker temperature would be 275°-325°F. Temperature is measured using the ET-73 with the meat probe in the upper piece of meat and the cooker probe kind of wedged into the upper grate.

timetemp comment
10:00 AM°Beef on!
10:14215°/226°/73° (lid/grate/meat)
Still heating up.
10:52215°/226°/126°Seems low but the meat is moving so no changes will be made.
11:24285°/284°/142°Temperature came up w/out intervention.
12:19250°/262°/156°Opened the door and stirred the coals.
1:19225°/279°/163°Time to pot up with the pepper and stout. Unusual lid thermometer reading.
1:40210°/259°Time to open the bottom vents, stir the coals and let 'er rip!
2:47205°/261°Need to bring in and finish in the oven.
5:00350° (Oven temperature)Uncovered beef - it is starting to fall apart.
6:00350° Covered, left in oven and oven turned off.

Results: Flavor great! It could have been cooked a wee bit more as the chunks took a little encouragement to break up. Flavor balance and heat were perfect.

What to do differently next time. Nothing, really.

Another rotisserie turkey!

(Same weather as above.)

The bird is injected so I'm not brining. I will rub with oil and stuff with fresh herbs and onion, orange, garlic and celery. I'll probably make some gravy too.

I'll set the rotisserie on my Performer and cook with lump charcoal. I'll probably go with apple an cherry for smoking wood though I'm thinking of adding a little mesquite and hickory as well. Temperature is via lid thermometer and a probe poked tenuously through the slot for the spit rod.

timetemp comment
2:20 PM
Bird on! Bottom vent about half open and top full. Temp is climbing fast! But that's supposed to be good for starting the bird so I'll let it ride.
2:45421°/280° (remote/lid)
3:30293°/170°Threw more lump, apple and cherry on the fire. Bird looking good!
4:20300°+-/170°No more remote reading. It was winding up around the spit. Good thing I checked it before it ran out of cable! I need a better way to do that, probably using a hole in the ring. I had the cooker open so I could put a thermometer in the thigh so I can measure meat temperature.
Coals almost gone and temp is dripping. Thigh probes at 165 and thigh at 157. Time to prepare to hold the bird. Threw a few more coals on.
Bird off and in the pre-warmed cooler.

Results: Turkey came out barely done. I suppose this is a good thing. The leg joints were just starting to loosen. The result was moist meat. And the stitching job held and contents of the body cavity remained in place. 

What to do differently next time: I need to work on the flavor profile. I have to plan some sort of further seasoning either under the skin or on it.

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