Thursday, September 20, 2012

Correction on my Galaxy S3 dock

I turns out you CAN charge the phone in the dock while keeping the case on, you just have to slide out the plate that comes already attached. Leave it to the wife to read the instructions. I am very happy with it now.

It also looks like a copy of it is available on Amazon as (Desktop Docking Station for Samsung Galaxy S III) now for a bit less than what I paid for mine and you will not have to wait on the slow boat from China.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Why did I wait to buy an instant read thermometer?

I have a variety of probe and stick thermometers that go in to oil, candy, and meats. I saw these years ago but was thinking, "I am not paying $90 for a freaking thermometer I can buy for $20!"

A few weeks back when I was at the BBQ competition I noticed many of the "pros" had them. I got talking to one guy and he was saying how he has had about every thermometer made in the last few years and nothing beats these things. He said he has dropped it a few times and it has not broken but, if it did break, he would run out and buy another one.

O.K. you talked me in to it.

Just got mine in today and happen to have country style ribs on the smoker. Not my usual thing but they were on sale and why not. Right?

Since I had not cooked these type of ribs before, in beef format anyway, I was a "bit" concerned and really wanted to know how far along I was. Wholly cow! How awesome it was to get the temp of each one of the ribs and close the smoker in less than 30 seconds (because you get an accurate reading in < 3 seconds).

If you have the need or want don't hesitate.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

New skinning knife

I picked up a new Gerber hunting knife (gut hook) today and I have sworn by the Gerber brand for at least 15 years. Every Gerber I have had has been bullet-proof and I have even received compliments on my older model of the Gerber Covert FAST 22 pocket knife because it is slick and butter smooth but, when I got my new knife I was kind of bummed to see "Made in China" on the packaging. Looking in to it I see that now even Swiss Army knives are made in China now. Sad. Quality still seems to be there I mean it is a fine knife for a mere $20 and it is titanium coated but just sad.

The knife felt sharp but I prefer to put my own edge on them. With all my kitchen knives I use an electric Chef's Choice 1520 Diamond Sharpener but for knives that need a special angle or are odd shaped nothing beats the old tried and true Lansky System. I know knife sharping purest cringe at the thought of using an electric sharpener but honestly when I have to sharpen 15 knives to a 20* angle I can do it in minutes and the knife will be about as sharp as the Lansky can make it.

The blade was in between 25 and 30 degrees of sharp but now it is dead on 25 degrees and ready to slice open what ever animal I happen to be working on. I did a test stoke here in the office on a few sheets of stacked paper. LOVE IT!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Smoked Turkey Legs


Made a quick and dirty brine:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon crushed dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried savory
  • 8-10 peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper for fun
  • -----------------------------------------------
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 2+ cups ice

Bring top section of ingredients a boil and turn off to let the spices release their full potential. Let cool 10 mins. Then drop the temperature with the ice and vegetable broth and threw in the onion. Make sure the brine covers the legs then let sit for 12-18 hours. Rinse the legs off when you pull them from the brine. Pat dry. Sprinkle with you favorite seasoning

Smoked at 200* for 4+ hours till internal temperature reached 165*. Pulled and wrapped (3) or them. Could not wait for the 4th one. A little cottage cheese and micro greens to make the beer healthy.

Smoke was a bit strong since I used Hickory. Should have cut it with some Apple wood but, I am out! Still very good. WAY better than the last one I had at the state fair. Self grade: A- for too much smoke flavor. I think next time I am going to cut the skin back too. Not cut all the skin off, just less of it. That is the thing about BBQ, it is "not crispy" so the skin is kind of rubbery. I suppose the other option would be bring them to 160* then finish them on the grill to crisp it up.

iPhone 5

LOL people are such tools sometimes. OHHHH shiny!

First off I would like to say I am a Mac bigot. I LOVE my Macbook and PowerMac not only do they run near flawlessly they are built like no other PC. Plus, if worst comes to worst I can boot Windows 7 stand alone or with a Virtual Machine (so Windows runs as a task on my Mac or I can run individual Windows programs)

I just can't get on the iPhone bandwagon. Now granted it would make my digital like easier. I have to sync my music and things to my Android S3 with a program called iSyncr for Mac but they make iSyncr for PC too. But the new iPhone has 5 rows and can use 4G? Oh boy... Something Android has been doing for over a year.

What else can't an iPhone do?

So look folks if you love your iPhone I understand but i think I would be a bit pissed off if I had bought a iPhone charger, camera holder, or a BMW with a built in dock and now with the iPhone 5 I need an adapter for ALL my iPhone gear? F that!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

First Tri Tip beef smoke

Ready to startSmoked till 125*

I smoked my first tri tip today I did a modified Santa Maria rub but I converted it to a marinade as I added olive oil, dijon mustard, and red wine vinegar. The butcher had already trimmed all the fat and I was concerned about drying the meat out. It sat in the marinade for 12 hours. Results: The added oil was unneeded as if anything it was too juicy.

I suspect the oil rub down transferred the heat a lot faster than it should have. As it hit 120* in about 1 hour 10 mins or so at 250*. Next time I am going to try a lower temp with more wood as the smoky flavor did not penetrate like I would have expected. NO OIL until I go for the sear.

I have some Susie Q rub and real California Red Oak in the mail so I can make a "traditional" Tri Tip in the near future.

I think my technique is solid just need to alter the temps a bit. It was tasty and I did eat half of it trying to decide how much I liked it. I give myself a B- as a grade "pretty good could be better"

Started classes today


The wife talked me in to going to classes to be a Virginia Master Naturalist. Basically after you are trained and certified you are an official unpaid employee of the state of Virginia concerned with wilderness, wildlife, and water. Upon completion of the class you could do anything from taking samples or counts of species and uploading them in to the states database to giving classes to students on a hike in a state park. I personally am not sure I would like to do either of those things but being able to recognized tree and flora native to Virginia and helping eradicate invasive species sounded more up my alley.

I have always loved Virginia as it has all (4) seasons, usually in equal parts, and Virginia has everything from oceanfront, to bays, to large rivers, to mountain ranges with almost 16 million square miles of forest. I have always loved being in the woods and the current house sits in the middle of 20 acres of woods so almost everything I learn could be beneficial to me on my own property.

I was not too stoked going in to the class but after seeing we are going to be working with the top experts in the field (a different one every week) along with in-class field trips it is sounding pretty interesting, Stay tuned.