Men in the Kitchen

This groups if for those men who love to cook. It's a place to discuss techniques, recipes and suggestions. Bon apetit!

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Welcome to Men in The Kitchen!

Welcome to Men in The Kitchen, a place to discuss the latest and greatest in culinary experiences by men who enjoy cooking.

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Comment by Francisco Velazquez on March 25, 2014 at 10:55pm
The orange glaze for the duck sounds awesome especially since the duck is somewhat greasy and the acidity from the orange really cuts through that and should have enough punch for penetrating the duck meat. I've never brine the chicken before but I'm definitely going to try it. Thanks
Comment by Francisco Velazquez on March 25, 2014 at 10:52pm
Thanks Robert that's a good tip.
Comment by J. D. on March 25, 2014 at 10:46pm

I'm not sure when I'll get around to smoke-roasting that duck.  Much of what intimidates me about it is that it's a whole duck and I really suck at carving poultry.  It would be a different matter if I could get fresh ducks ((rather than frozen) and have the butcher butterfly it for me.  The other issue is that I want some kind of a sauce or glaze to brush on during the last few minutes of cooking.  I made a fantastic recipe this past Sunday for chicken wings that had an orange marmolade and Hoisin glaze on them, so I'm wondering if that same glaze might work on a smoked duck.  When I do eventually smoke it, I'll post the results here.  As far as your chicken goes, I strongly suggest you brine it the day before if you can.  The brine I use is 1 quart water to 1 cup kosher salt (or  half a cup table salt if you must) to about a quarter cup sugar.  Heat it all in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until the salt dissolves, then remove from the heat and add 2 pounds of ice for a total of 2 quarts of water.  Brine your chicken, preferrably butterflied, for 2 to 3 hours in the fridge, then, if you can, let it dry out a bit on a sheet pan or large plate.  The brining step isn't strictly necessary, but it will make for a more flavorful bird and keep the meat more moist should you happen to go a few degrees above the usual 165 degrees in the breast meat.

Comment by Robert G on March 25, 2014 at 9:45pm
I used to throw all of my extra paper in a storage bin with my charcoal and chimney and keep it all under the grill. It was very handy to have all of it right there when you needed it. Best of luck to both guys on your smoking projects!
Comment by Francisco Velazquez on March 25, 2014 at 8:12pm
Not so well the wife threw away the newspaper and did not let me burn note book paper haha I figured that's the closest thing to it. But this week I have the newspaper set aside. I'm going to smoke some chicken. Along with soaking the wood chunks. When are you smoking the duck?
Comment by J. D. on March 25, 2014 at 7:54pm

Francisco, how did your efforts pan out this last weekend?

Comment by Francisco Velazquez on March 22, 2014 at 5:12pm
I'm going to try your method tonight. Let's see how it goes.
Comment by J. D. on March 22, 2014 at 9:57am

Stuff cooked over a fire that was started with lighter fluid just seams to have an odd taste to it, even if it's something that only needs a few minutes to cook like hotdogs or burgers.  I just don't like the stuff.  I have no experience at all with electric fire starters, but Alton Brown says that he is OK with them in one of his books, so I'm OK with that.  My preferred fire-starting method is to get myself a large chimney starter, gather a few sheets of newspaper, lightly soak them with vegetable oil, then crumple them up and place them under the starter.  The charcoal goes in the main top area of the starter, then simply light the paper.  The oil on the paper helps it to burn longer and does a great job of lighting the coals, and within about 15 minutes, I've got hot coals ready to go.  And as I said before, I much prefer lump charcoal, especially above the fast-lighting bricketts....back to that whole avoiding chemicals thing. 

Comment by Francisco Velazquez on March 21, 2014 at 11:49pm
Can you taste the difference of lighter fluid as to the electric fire starter or is there another way?
Comment by J. D. on March 21, 2014 at 11:43pm

I think it's far better to soak the wood chunks in something because it makes more smoke and less combustion, which is the idea.  The lump hardwood charcoal should provide all the heat you need.  I have only soaked my wood chunks in water, but it would be fun to try soaking in some other liquid just to see if I can tell a difference.  I've also heard of guys throwing fresh rosemary sprigs on the fire as well, and since I like rosemary, I'll try that some time and see how I like it.  There's also the option, at least with my smoker, of using the water pan on the rack just below the food where a liquid can be placed to give off steam as the food cooks.  I don't remember actually using it for that purpose though.One of my big DON'T's is to never, ever use lighter fluid to start the fire or to keep it going.  I just don't like the idea of a chemical anywhere near my food.


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