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Christmas at Gog Magog - Big Green Egg Cooking Class

Today’s recipes

All my recipes are either on this site, at www.nicwilliams.com or copied on the Big Green Egg web site.

Setup & temperatures

  • Roast Turkey – Plate setter feet up, stainless steel grid, drip pan, V-Rack – 180°C
  • Mama’s Stuffing – Plate setter feet up, stainless steel grid – 180°C
  • Maple glazed ham – Plate setter feet up, stainless steel grid – 180°C
  • Turkey Curry – Direct on either stainless steel grid or cast iron grid – 200°C
  • Naan bread – Plate setter feet up, stainless steel grid, baking stone – 300°C

Contact Details

Email: nic@meatsmokefire.co.uk
Twitter: @Fatb10ke & @MeatSmokeFire

Miles

Questions and Answers

What temperature should I cook my meat to?

The following chart from AmazingRibs.com is a great reference. Take a look around their site too because it is a wealth of knowledge.
Cooking_temps

Can I cold smoke on my Egg?

Yes you can but you will need to use something like the ProQ Cold Smoke Generator. This has been designed to burn sawdust very slowly and with very little heat, meaning your Egg will stay close to ambient temperature and not cook the product you are trying to smoke.

You can smoke anything from home cured bacon, fish, cheese, butter, right the way through to things like nuts and salts. It’s another whole type of food preparation and really good fun.

My dome isn't aligned to the base, how do I adjust it and is this normal?

If you find that the dome of your Egg isn’t aligning to the base this is usually down to the metal bands not being level on your Egg. Most commonly you’ll find that the dome is slightly set back from the base. Take a look at your Egg and you’ll probably find that the lower band is sitting further down your Egg than it is at the front.

To rectify this you can loosen your two carriage bolts until the bands are just able to be moved, don’t undo them any further than this without first putting on the two white hinge retainers that came with your Egg. On a large, medium, small, MiniMax and Mini Egg, the top of the lower band should sit level with the join between the Egg and the gasket. For an XL the band is designed to sit about 2 mm below the gasket (use the spacers that came with your Egg).

I find the best way to adjust the band is to hand tighten the carriage bolt until you can still move the band but it will stay where you moved it to. Level the bottom band all the way around and then tighten the carriage bolt until is starts to bend (you can’t over tighten these bolts really).

Now repeat with the upper band. It should also be level. Make sure there’s no gap between the upper and lower gasket before you tighten this fully.

The dome and base should now be more closely aligned.

Does my Egg need a gasket?

Yes, the Egg is designed to be used with a gasket. The purpose of the Nomex gasket is to provide a seal for your Egg so you can control temperature. Really slow cooks at 110°C are almost impossible as air (oxygen) is able to get into your Egg through the gasket.

My Egg's not getting up to temperature. Is there anything I can do?

If your Egg can’t get to 180°C in 15 minutes from lighting it can be due to a number of things:

  • Most likely is that the air vents in your firebox and fire grate are blocked with ash or small pieces of charcoal. It’s a good idea to thoroughly clean out your Egg after every 10-15 cooks. By this I mean taking out all the Egg internals and brushing it down with a dustpan and brush. When you take the ceramics out of the Egg be careful with them and always make sure everything is put where you won’t knock it over and break it. I always make a point of laying everything flat.
  • Less likely is that your charcoal has got damp. Always store your charcoal in a dry shed or garage, somewhere where it won’t get covered in condensation/dew.

Great Cookbooks

Pit Cue

Tom Adams developed most of his recipes on the Egg along with Richard Turner who is the Executive Chef at Hawksmoor. Some of the recipes require you to make various component recipes first so if you don’t have much time this one may not be for you. His ‘Mother Sauce’ and ‘House Rub’ are epic. The Pit Cue cookbook celebrates the recipes you can eat in the small Pit Cue restaurant, just off Carnaby Street in London. You can’t book but you may have to wait in line.

Let There Be Meat

Let There Be Meat is from the chefs at Reds True Barbecue, a chain with a few restaurants in the UK. The recipes are easy and really tasty. I love their spiced Red Coleslaw, delicious and so quick and easy.

Food DIY

Food DIY isn’t focused on BBQ, written by local Cambridge restaurateur Tim Hayward, owner of Fitzbillies, it focuses on all sorts of different techniques. I got into smoking and curing after getting this book. My smoked salmon is a direct result of this. I have also made his guancaile and used it in a carbonara that is to die for. Try it.

Recommended equipment

The Super Peel

In my opinion the best pizza peel for putting pizza’s onto the Big Green Egg. You can make several on your work bench and then pick them up one at a time and put them onto the Egg.

I use the Big Green Egg aluminium pizza peel to get the pizza’s off, it’s thin blade gets under the pizzas really easily.

You can buy the Superpeel from Bakerybits.co.uk.

The video on the right shows you how it works.

Pro Q Cold Smoke Generator

Have you ever thought about curing your own bacon, smoking your own cheese or perhaps smoking some salmon or other fish?

The Pro Q Cold smoke generator is an excellent device that allows sawdust to smoulder and the smoke permeate your food. I use it all the time especially for bacon and smoked salmon.

It’s available in the UK from HotSmoked.co.uk and you might be able to use the following code at the checkout to get a 10% discount MP10.

 

Food Syringe with two injection needles

 

This is the syringe I used during the class. It’s cheap and I bought it from Amazon.

Big Green Egg do sell a stainless steel one which works really well and will probably last longer, they call it the Flavour Injector.

Tefal Ingenio Pans

Tefal Ingenio is the range of pans I use on my Big Green Egg. Amazon sell them as do John Lewis. I have a stainless steel set which are really heavy duty and work really well.

 

Maverick 732 Wireless Thermometer

The Maverick 732 is a wireless thermometer with a range of up to 300ft between the base station you leave at your Egg and the receiver you can take with you. There is one probe for your meat and one to clip onto the grid so you can see the temp of your Egg and how your cook is coming along.

Remember with these to run the wires out of your Egg over the plate setter feet so the wires aren’t subject to really high temps that could damage them. Wipe the probes down after use, do not wash them as the water may damage them.

Thermapen

 

The Thermapen is the thermometer of choice of the top chefs to check how well cooked any meat is. You should have one of these or something equivalent in your Egg kit. If you can see what temperature something is at, you will get so much better results.

French Trimmed Rack of Pork

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