To celebrate Independence Day, we served pulled pork–as tacos.

Here are the recipes, and some notes…


Pork Shoulder

This was a much smaller piece of meat than I’ve cooked in the past–about 4.5 pounds and boneless. I followed the same instructions from past cooks, for the most part. I didn’t inject, and I forgot to add more rub before cooking. It was tasty, but I think the larger, bone-in ones were slightly moister and more flavorful. Not sure if this is because they are larger, or they have the bone, or both. The cooking temperature was very steady around 250º for the entire time, and it took about 9 hours to get to 195º internal temperature. I’m going to up my timing calculation to 2 hours per pound next time, to be safe.

Sides etc.

Roberto Santibañez’s Truly Mexican is the go-to book for Mexican cooking around here, and provided these delicous recipes

The Smashed Potato Salad with Chorizo, Aioli, and Scallions was a winner.

I also over grilled some zucchini, not a winner.


Nectarine and Blackberry Cobbler

Ribeye Steak
Reverse searing steaks produces great results. I think they are superior to sous vide when it comes to flavor, especially when cooking indirectly with charcoal.

With Kenji’s reverse sear method as a (very detailed) guideline, here is what I do on the Green Egg:

  • Get the butcher to cut a steak at about 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 inches (most of the precut ones seem to be an inch or less, these tend to overcook before developing a good char)
  • Set up for an indirect cook and preheat to a relatively stable temperature between 200 – 250º
  • Put a thermometer in the center of the steak and place on the grate
  • Cook to 115º internal temperature (for medium rare, see Kenji’s guide for other temperatures), keep the dome temperature under 250º. This will take around 20 to 30 minutes.
  • When steak reaches desired temperature, remove steak and the plate setter. Put the grate back in the egg and get the dome temperature up to about 600º. Getting the egg to temperature might take 10 minutes or so.
  • Once the fire is blazing, cook the steak for 45 seconds on each side to develop a nice crust. Check the internal temperature, I’m looking for 125 – 130º (for medium rare)
  • Cut, if needed, and serve

This process take a bit more time than just grilling the steak, but it’s worth it.

 Gochujang Ribs on Green EggI’ve cooked these gochujang ribs couple times. They’ve always been delicious, but I’m really trying to nail down the technique here.

The recipe is from the NY Times. As before, I went light on the rub. I might try tweaking that recipe next time by reducing the salt. I don’t have enough rub on these to create any sort of crust. The ribs were left overnight in the fridge. An hour or so before they went on, I put them in the freezer to cool them more in an effort to encourage a smoke ring.

The heat was indirect and I made a custom drip pan out of tin foil to keep the grease from dripping into the fire. For smoke, two large and three little chunks of cherry wood were used. The lid was closed for two hours so that the ribs have some time to get smoke on them. After that, I glazed them every hour. There was no glaze immediately before serving as they had a nice lacquer. I also skipped the peanut and scallion garnish, it looks nice, but I don’t think those extra flavors are needed.

The results were very flavorful and tender. The smoke ring was one of the better ones I’ve produced on the Green Egg. In the future, I think it would be good to let these rest for 10 or 20 minutes before serving. They seem to be more tender and the smoke flavor comes through after they’ve cooled a bit.

Gochujang Ribs

Photos by Angela Lin

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Gai Yang

This weekend is Eggiversary here–one year since the Green Egg arrived! To celebrate, we are cooking delicious foods. Last night was Thai-Style Grilled Chicken.

We used Milk Street’s Chiang Mai Chicken recipe for the marinade together with Serious Eats Thai-Style Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce. There were a couple minor modifications to the dipping sauce. We substituted serrano peppers as there were no red Thai bird chilies available, and we reduced the sugar to 1/4 cup. Do not over marinate this one, 1 1/2 hours was great, more than 2 hours would be overpowering.

The last time we cooked this, it was directly over the coals. The skin side was cooked for about 15 minutes, then the bird was flipped and cooked until done. This time, we decided to cook it the more (traditional?) way with indirect heat. It was skin side up, indirect at a temperature of between 425º and 450º. Initially the legs were closer to the hot spot, but I turned it around towards the end since the breasts needed a bit more cooking.

The verdict? Delicious.

Notes for next time: Use the same indirect cooking method, but keep the temperature closer to 400º, especially if it’s a larger bird. This should give it some more time to cook through without over-browning the skin.

Photo by Angela Lin

We’ve had a Big Green Egg for a year now. Several people have asked whether I like it or not (yes, I like it) and have expressed interest in having their own, but are hesitant, probably due to the price tag. Here, I attempt to summarize why I like it, and why you might too.

In short, if you’re thinking about buying one, and you grill/smoke more than a few times a year, just buy it.

At our place, the gas grill has been sidelined for fast, direct grilling. It has only been used two or three times in the past 12 months–mostly for extra grill space for a group. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, the flavor is much better over charcoal. There’s little debate about that, but gas grills usually win on account of convenience. They are ready to go in 15 minutes. However, the Green Egg really shines here too. It is ready to grill in about the same amount of time. Plus, since it is efficient with charcoal, I usually don’t have to add any more coals for a quick cook. I can also get the Egg up to higher temperatures than my gas grill if needed.

The Egg not only works well for grilling, but also indirect cooking and smoking. While it isn’t an ideal smoker–offset barrel smokers are probably better–I and others have produced excellent results. If you, like me, don’t have room for a separate smoker, the Egg is just fine. By the way, I’ve had better results with hardwood chunks rather than chips, I don’t soak them, and I don’t put the meat in until the billowy smoke has subsided.

There are other kamado cookers out there. I’ve heard second-hand that the Kamado Joe (the red one) produces the same results and is built with a bit more attention to detail. It is also little less expensive as it comes with most of the accessories that are extras with the Green Egg. There are lower cost options available at the Lowe’s and Home Depots. I would imagine that the quality of food coming out of them is similar to that of the more expensive Green Egg or Kamado Joe but might not last as long, at least that’s been my experience with low cost gas grills.

So, as you may have gathered by now, I’m happy with the Egg. My only regret is that I didn’t buy it earlier.