Saturday, May 26, 2012

How do you like your steak? Rare to Well Done and Back again...

Once you decide how you like it (or take your dinner guests order,) do you know how to cook it that way?

Sure, you can use a meat thermometer, but you're waaaay cooler than that.  Besides, a thermometer pokes a hole in that great sear you worked so hard for on that Porterhouse, letting all the juices run into your grill... where nobody can enjoy them (except maybe Vulcan.)

Watch the pros:

It's all done by feel. They know by touch how done the meat is. Cool huh?  But, how do they know?  Well, experience. They cook 100's of lbs of beef each season, and that calibrates that pro-quality, meat poking digit to know Rare from Medium Rare.

Here's a little trick to get a jump start on that experience.  Calibrate your finger with your own personal steak done-ness meter.  You already own one.. well, two actually.  The fleshy part of your palm right below your thumb is an amazing analog (that's right, analog, look it up) for raw beef.

Lay your relaxed hand in you lap palm up, and press with the opposite index finger.  That's what raw steak feels like.

Touch your index finger to your thumb in a circle (like saying OH-Tay!)
That's Rare.

 Now Middle finger to thumb 
 And so on and so forth...

It's not as accurate as a meat thermometer, but you won't loose all those delicious juices to the fire gods...

And you'll impress you party guests.

Now, get your grill on...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Everything old, is New again...

... there's nothing new under the sun... what goes around comes around...

I found a cool folding ladder on while surfing the web today.

Neat idea for those where space is s premium. I love cutting edge industrial design.

As I do traditional material culture...

And I am amazed when they meet.

The idea for these have been around for hundreds of years.  There is a great example (along with some how to in St. Roy's book Woodwright's Eclectic Workshop. Although his isn't leather upholstered like the example above.

(yes, I'm an Amazon Associate, so if you order a copy through here I get a couple of pesos, but don't let that stop ya from getting a copy.)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Is that bottle Half-empty or Half-full?

How many time have you wondered if you would have enough propane for your grill to finish tonight's meal?

Here's a tip:  At the end of a session at the grill, feel the side of the tank.  It will be cooler near the bottom.  The spot where it switches from cool to warm is the approximate level of the Liquid Propane.  Next time you go to use it, you'll know about how much "gas" you have left.

Can't remember from one grilling session to the next where the level was? No problem, grill out more! Or, do the same trick at the end of your preheat time.  That 5-10 mins will cause enough temperature difference to get an idea of the level, but not as much as at the end of the cooking time.

Need a better indicator? pour a cup of boiling water over the tank while the grill is burning.  This will cause the tank to get hot and the temperature differential will cause condensation near the level line.

Or you could get one of these guys (this one from Lee Valley:)

But it works exactly the same way, right down to the hot water.

WHY does this work? Go ask your Dad (or Yahoo Answers.)