Curtos appliances blog - the appliance dude - outdoor kitchens and grills - Westchester County - NY - NJ - CT
Posted on December 1, 2016
Memphis Pellet Grill Review
For some this is the apex of bbq.
For others its a challenging cook that can easily go sideways and morph into leather.
So who ya gonna call to guide you on the safe, smoky path to ensure your brisket cook doesn't go south? Enter the Memphis Wood Fire Grill!
Back in August I smoked a 13-14 lb full packer brisket for 15 hours. I thought it came out ok but this time I wanted to change things up (and have a shorter cook) so I opted for a first-cut brisket which weighed about 7 lbs. This style of brisket removes the deckle and a fair portion of the fat cap, so when I smoked it I opted to drape some bacon strips over it for more “lube”. It was a beautiful cut of beef but I am ashamed to admit that I paid $12.99 per pound for it. Yes, I know, flog me! This is from the same guy who charges $20 for a 4 lb chicken...and people pay it. Amazing. Suffice to say I’ve found a new butcher and I will only go here for specialty cuts or out of pure convenience moving forward. Nevertheless, the brisket was beautiful, a nice reddish hue and well marbled for being just the flat portion of the muscle.
I decided to take a simpler approach to this cook compared to the big brisket in August. For the full packer I coated it with a mustard base and then applied a rub among other seasonings.
This time it would real simple, Texas-style:
Coarse kosher salt.
Cracked black pepper.
A pinch of coffee rub.
Temp set at 250°.
Indirect heat plate
Brisket was placed on bottom rack in an aluminium roasting pan. Draped about 6 pieces of organic Applewood bacon on her. What was left of the fat cap and the bacon were topside. Filled a small (Weber?) roasting pan with beer (I think it was Lone Star, maintaining the Texan theme) and placed it on the top rack. Pellet choice was good ole’ Texan Mesquite. I knew that Mesquite has the potential to be overbearing but it’s the indigenous flavor of Texas and that’s how we rolled during this cook.
The brisket cooked for 7 hours then I pulled it at 200°. It had that beautiful jello-like jiggle which made me think I nailed it but we still had the rest for optimal results.
After the 7 hour cook I wrapped the brisket in butcher paper a la Aaron Franklin and set it in a cooler with towels above it. I then let it rest for one hour (may have been slightly longer). The butcher paper is definitely the way to go. While foil has been used for the Texas crutch for years I recall reading that Steve Raichlen felt that the brisket took on a pot-roasty consistency due to the inability for the brisket to breath. All that moisture will build up and things will get stewy. No good. Butcher paper (unlined!) is the way to go. I even cooked the brisket in the butcher paper for a few hours during my big brisket cook in August, but I don’t think that’s imperative.
Time to Eat
I took the brisket out of the butcher paper, laid it on the cutting board and proceeded to slice. The bark was so dark and coarse to touch. But the knife literally went through without effort. . The smoke ring was so pronounced. The knife cleaved through the brisket like it was butter. And the juice, the JUICE!. It was literally pouring out every time I sliced back and forth. You couldn’t get any tender this.
While the aesthetics were great , the real story was the taste. My family raved about it and the leftovers, which were used for sandwiches the following day were arguably better! I didn’t have tremendously high hopes bc this was a first cut brisket, but even without the deckle and all that fat, it didn’t really matter. I had exceeded expectations and cooked a tastier brisket than the one in August.
Conclusion: The Memphis Grill Rocks
The Memphis was truly the hero of this cook. The ease of use and delivery of such quality is truly a testament of how incredible this product is. I love the fact that the Memphis grill doesn’t overly saturate the food with smoke (even at a lower temperature). It seems to just deliver enough to give a nice smoke bath that will perfume the food with smoke, all while allowing you to work with it while avoiding getting your clothes hair and skin covered in smoke (which happens with my ceramic smoker).
Even though I cooked during the day, I would have no qualms about letting the Memphis ride overnight, even in the winter, as I know it’s going to hold the prescribed temperature accurately. While it probably makes sense for me to make the next brisket on the ceramic smoker so I can compare and contrast on the blog, I just may in fact default back to the Memphis...I’m addicted to this thing!
Posted on October 6, 2016
Fact: The Traeger Pro series 34 is one hell of a grill. Here's why...
I am a Traeger convert.
Find me a grill that cooks like this, at this price point ($799 for the Pro 22, $999 for the Pro 34).
Can't be done folks.
Any questions I may have had re: Traeger (which were the result of me being spoiled silly as a Memphis Grill owner) were put to rest after we started cooking on our Traeger Pro 34 TFB88PZB. Look at these results...
First up, a Tri Tip Steak, The pride and joy of Santa Maria, California, but us Yankees can smoke a tri-tip justice with the right tool...a Traeger!
Second, we have the boring London Broil. Usually tough, not very flavorful due to low marbelization. However after being "Traegerized", this cut has been transformed!
Traeger Pro Series grills are simply incredible values. Whether you are a seasoned Texas pit master who needs a simple
pit for his house, or a novice just starting their smoking journey, the Traeger delivers the goods.
Posted on October 1, 2016
October has arrived and that means Grilltoberfest is rocking at Curto's. All grills are on sale this month...lowest prices of the year!
We'll kick off Grilltoberfest with a focus on a great Memphis pellet grill promotion we have running through 10/31 (as if they needed a promotion to sell this incredible product!)
For the rest of October you will be eligible for a free starter kit with the purchase of a Memphis Wood-Fired pellet grill. The starter kit includes:
- grill glove
- grill basket
- a copy of Steve Raichlen's "Project Smoke" cookbook (an incredible read...I bought one when it came out last May).
To say I love the Memphis pellet grill is an understatement. It's easily my favorite product in the showroom and to think that now you will receive free product with it...on top of the free genie tool, wifi, direct flame insert and a bag of pellets that are shipping with the new grills as it is...this is crazy...jump on this deal!
For more info on Memphis Wood-fired grills, please call us at 1-800-966-2878 or visit our Memphis Grills online store
Posted on September 14, 2016
What should I use to smoke my first brisket, aka "The Mt. Everest of BBQ"
The Memphis Wood-Fired Pellet Grill.
Selecting the Memphis for this arduous voyage (a 15 hour cook!) was pretty simple. I wanted a dependable grill that would inculcate the brisket with sheets of fragrant smoke, all the while maintaining a low temperature through the overnight hours. Brisket is a most unforgiving cut, so I knew I needed a grill partner that would protect me from turning the brisket into a horse saddle.
The "set it and forget it" style of the Memphis was tailor-made for my needs. And you know what? For a first-timer, the brisket came out pretty damn good...people were asking for seconds!
Posted on December 8, 2015
Folks, I have 5 grills sitting in my yard and which one am I using the most?
My Memphis Wood Fired Pro Grill. It is simply amazing.
Aside from the incredible taste that wood pellets impart on the food, this grill brings such amazing versatility to the proverbial table - I can sear, grill, smoke...can probably even roast in it since it basically operates like an oven!
Please call us or visit the showroom and we'll answer any questions you may have about the Memphis Grill lineup.
Here's a list of 9 reasons as to why you should buy a Memphis grill:
“Double-wall constructed, hood liner, and sealed gasket”
A design that seals up the firebox which benefits - Fuel consumption, 1lbs. per hour at 350 degrees. Temperature control. No big fluctuation in temperature from differing ambient conditions.
5/16” 304 stainless steel grates
Pretty much indestructible. Unless someone drives their truck over your grates, you’ll never need to buy a replacement set.
Unvaried venting across the top/back of the grill (Pro/Elite) Balances thermo-dynamics providing consistent temperature control from the left to right side of the grill.
In competition, there’s strategy to mix different wood to get custom blend of flavors. I.e. Hickory and Apple, or Oak, and Cherry etc. The divider does that automatically for you.
Fuel to Fire separated with an air gap
We designed the air gap to prevent the heat of the firebox from being too close to the hopper. We also designed the feed system to drop pellets down a ramp vs. a steady feed system from the burn pot to the hopper.
Stainless steel construction – Down to the rivets
We know stainless last longer than carbon steel, we know that stainless is a better conductor of heat than carbon steel.We know that stainless looks classier than carbon powder coat, we know power coat on a hot surface flakes of over time. 5/32 stainless rivets don’t losen or rust like bolts do overtime. Quality USA made product with many many years of use.
Grease management overall clean-up
Extremely easy. Standard foil cake pans collect grease and ash from below. Drip Edges that keep water out of the hopper and away from the firebox.
Offset Igniter Design
We designed the igniter channel with longevity in mind. We designed our igniters to sit offset of the burn pot. Not directly in the burn pot.
2 Convection Fans
Instead of one combustion Fan (that you would find a cheaper pellet smokers), the Pro & Elite get 2. This not only aides in surefire ignition in -20 degree cold climates, but circulates the air evenly through the cooking chamber – Get the same cooking result by cooking up on the top rack as you do on the bottom, to left or right.