Friday, October 21, 2011

An Easy Way To Do Biscuits With Propane

How To Cook Biscuits On The Volcano Using Propane 

We decided to see what was the best way to cook biscuits on the Volcano in a regular pan. After a quick run to Wally World to get a suitable pan.. We got out our trusty Volcano, set it up for propane, lit the flame, turned it as low as we could, put the biscuits in a pan.. Covered them with the lid.. in less than 3 minutes FAIL. The burned smell permeated the entire warehouse (we were outside at the time)

Hmm.. Round Two.. Same set up.. flame as low as we could get it.. Made sure the hole was wide open in the top of the Lid, Temperature climbed to 250.. 260.. stayed there.. and: Fail. Burned them again. This did not bode well. 

Round 3: Same setup, used two diffuser plates to cut down the amount of air (and thus heat from the burner) turned the top diffuser plate to cover most of the open air. Fail. they burned too. 

Round 4. Same setup, made sure the two diffuser plates covered as much air as they could.. Fail. 

We scratched our heads.. What could we do? We thought of a variety of things.. but we wanted to start with the simplest. Being both geniuses and cheap... We covered the diffuser plate with aluminum foil. (this pic was taken after they were done)
We also got a cheap meat thermometer and put it in the hole in the lid so that we could keep track of the temperature.  
During the cook, the temperature got up to 400 degrees, we adjusted the flame and kept the temp between 325 and 350 for 15-17 minutes. (note: we took the lid off twice, your cook time could be faster if you do not)

This is what the top side looked like:
And this is what the bottom looked like:
These were the exact right consistency in the middle. Next time, Ill spray more butter on the top to make them even more brown. 

Round five was a raging success.. So, we suggest that in order to get the best heat for baking when using propane and the lid, we suggest aluminum foil on the diffuser plate.

Mark Infanger Utah

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Lovely Day In the Canyon

Here in Utah, it is a pretty safe bet that October means "So Long Summer! Hello snow, ice, bad traffic and salt on my car. Ughh!
Not wanting to think about that prospect, my wife and I decided that a trip up the canyon was in order. 

The Premise: How long would it take to cook a great steak with 15 briquettes and no lid. (This might have been about the lid had I remembered to bring it) 

We decided on a very simple menu:

Fruit Salad
Potato Chips (Insisted upon at the last moment while we were at the Texaco)
Crystal lite (I can't drink soda until the end of the year, Im betting with someone) 

My personal Volcano lives in my jeep. I don't often cook with Propane and left the burner home. In that space, I keep a baggie with about 15 Match Light Briquettes,(be sure to get them mostly white or youll get lighter fluid flavor)  matches, couple of pair of surgical gloves,  and a few other things. This way, Find Coolers, fill with stuff, leave. Way less complicated
I dumped out all of the briquettes on top of the diffuser plate. This is the best way to grill with the volcano. I made the lovely mound you see.. 

And with one match, got the show on the road.
I arranged the potatoes around the edge of the diffuser plate, made sure they weren't touching the coals, and proceeded to go. I gave the potatoes a head start of about 15 minutes.
I added the steaks, salt and pepper. I cooked 9 minutes on one side, 9 on the other and about 5 to finish. I had the draft ring 100% open all the time. This made the steaks medium.

We decided that to pass the time we would watch a movie on my iPad. Not that great. The Ipad screen washed out, even in the shade, and with the river nearby, hearing was impossible. Happily it was  a foreign film.. so it was sub-titled. 
I smashed the potato with a plastic fork.. It was pretty tender and very delicious... I would rate it excellent!