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May 22nd Orion Cook Day


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#1 deadheadskier

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 04:34 AM

Never done Beef Short Ribs in the Orion nor have I heard of others doing so.....

Beef Short Ribs indeed are fantastic in the Orion. I searched the intetrons to see if other Orion Cooker fans have done them, but couldn't find a trip report for guidance. So, I winged it. So glad I did. Also fired off a whole chicken, couple of chicken legs I had in the freezer and some homemade Kielbasa that I stuffed last night. Used Cherrywood chips and a bottle of Otter Creek Copper Ale for the drip/steam pan.

Homemade Kielbasa ready to go

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All three luscious meats ready to go

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Sausages for the Top Rack. Cooked for 45 minutes, first out of the Orion.

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Close up on the chicken. Yes the wings are missing. I always remove the wings from whole birds, no matter what I'm doing with the chicken. Save em' in the freezer and have a wing night later once I've got a dozen or so saved up. Chicken wings are meant to be deep fried. No other cooking method for wings is acceptable IMO. Anyways...

Nothing too adventurous for a rub, just a 50/50 blend of McCormick Chicken Rub and McCormick Applewood Rub. Chicken went on the middle rack, middle length cook time.

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Short Ribs. Again, nothing adventurous for a rub. Though they were rubbed the night prior and left uncovered in the fridge. Just a 50/50 blend of McCormick Applewood Rub and Montreal Steak Seasoning. I seared them on the grill before putting them in the botton rack of the Orion as they have the longest cook time.

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Cooker aflame. Set it and forget it.

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Sausages pulled after 45 minutes. Finished a couple on the grill, saving the rest for Memorial Day weekend festivities. This is really the only place I feel a traditional smoker is better than the Orion. Sausages and I'm sure homemade bacon, really do require a long, slow, low temp smoking. The sausages are great, but the casing really prevents 45 minutes worth of smoking to fully penetrate the meat.

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Whole Chicken and legs pulled at an hour and twenty minutes, perfectly cooked.

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Short Ribs Pulled at 2:30 minutes. They were great, but I should've let them go another 45 minutes. The meat was tender, perfectly cooked and incredible, but Short Ribs have a lot of collagen inside them that don't start to melt until you hit an internal temp of 175 or so. At that point they need to go for another 45 minutes. Perfect meat, but still a bit too much unmelted blubbery fats. Another 45 and that fat would melt off and soak up into the beef making them even more incredible.

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Mopped down with Sauce and onto the grill bone side down for 10 minutes with the lid closed. Grilled off some Zuccinni while doing this.

Nothing crazy with sauce, another cheater. I took a 1/2 of a cup of Sweet Baby Rays Hickory Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce and 1/2 Cup of beef broth made from Better than Bouillon jarred base. Better than Bouillon is a really good product. Far better than any canned broth products you'll find at the market. I've used most of them, the chicken, the beef, the clam, lobster and they are all quite good when you don't have the time to roast bones and make your own stock. Only thing I'd suggest is getting the low sodium versions and doubling the amount you mix in. 2 teaspoons per cup of water instead of one teaspoon. Simmered that on the stove with 2 tablespoons of dijon mustard mixed in.

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Finished product:

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Pretty darn incredible. The flavor of the Short Ribs was amazing. Different than traditional braised short ribs with a pan sauce, but better in a lot of ways. The char from the grill on the outside, the smoke, the beefy and spicy bbq sauce, not just straight tangy like what I'd have gotten if I just used straight up Sweet Baby Rays. Only complaint would be to let them cook for 45 minutes longer to melt up the Collagen fully. Other than that, incredible.

Stay Hungry My Friends!!!!!

#2 mylightning2

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 04:50 AM

Yo, that does look badass! I don't understand the cooker by looking at it, but I am kinda numb.

Yo, you stuff the sausages with the meat grinder and some attachment or an electric machine? Lamb casings?

I have never made sausages, made bulk breakfast sausage to fry up in patties, but never had a machine to stuff casings, patience, or reputable resource for the casings.

Looks killer Ryan!

#3 deadheadskier

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 05:00 AM

I'll snap some photos of the inside of the Orion so you get a better idea.

Essentially there is a drip pan on the inside on the bottom that you fill with whatever you want the steam flavor to be. There is room around the edges of the drip pan to put wood ships. The heat from the outside charcoal burns the chips to create smoke. Then you have three grill racks going up the interior of the cooker that you can cook different things on. There is no venting in the cooking chamber, pretty close to air tight. The Charcoal on the outside at the bottom and on the top creates convection.

So, you've got three types of cooking occurring at once, convection, steam and smoke, all under pressure, so the cooking speed is 2-3 times faster than what you'd normally cook things at.

As for the Sausages, just hog casings. I have an old fashioned hand crank meat grinder that has a tube attachment for stuffing sausages. It's far from ideal as it doesn't effectively push the meat into the casings like I'd like it to, lacks oomph no matter how hard you crank it. So, I normally just grind my own meats and make patties. When you've got the time though, it's pretty fun.

#4 Depends

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 05:58 PM

Looks awesome. Highly recommend?

#5 deadheadskier

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:01 PM

Seeing how you already have a smoker, getting an Orion would be kind of redundant.

Unless your looking to have a piece of equipment that takes half the time to do ribs and the like with zero attention. The speed is pretty astonishing. You can whip out a 20# turkey in 2.5 hours. 6 racks of ribs in under 90 minutes.

I love it. The only reason I would feel the need to get a traditional smoker is for something like bacon and get a bit more smoke on things like sausage. Other than, the thing kills it for Ribs, Butts, Briskets, Shoulders and Shortribs. You'd never be able to tell the difference between those items being cooked in an Orion or in a traditional smoker.

#6 jme

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 08:02 PM

good shit, mang :Phishfolk:

i love me some short ribs, and those look great.

#7 Depends

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 12:16 AM

Seeing how you already have a smoker, getting an Orion would be kind of redundant.

Unless your looking to have a piece of equipment that takes half the time to do ribs and the like with zero attention. The speed is pretty astonishing. You can whip out a 20# turkey in 2.5 hours. 6 racks of ribs in under 90 minutes.

I love it. The only reason I would feel the need to get a traditional smoker is for something like bacon and get a bit more smoke on things like sausage. Other than, the thing kills it for Ribs, Butts, Briskets, Shoulders and Shortribs. You'd never be able to tell the difference between those items being cooked in an Orion or in a traditional smoker.


I like my smoker, but it is a full day committment. I wouldn't mind having ribs in 3 hours... They taste as good as smoked? Fall off the bone goodness?

#8 Ginger Snap

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 03:11 AM

oh my god :drool:

#9 deadheadskier

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 03:27 AM

I like my smoker, but it is a full day committment. I wouldn't mind having ribs in 3 hours... They taste as good as smoked? Fall off the bone goodness?


If you get home from work at 5:30, you can have perfectly smoked fall off the bone baby back ribs on the dinner table by 7:30.

Rub em the night before
10 minutes to fuel up the cooker.
1:20 for one rack, 1:30 for multiples. You light it and walk away
10 minutes on the grill for some char at the end, sauce optional
Done

Pork Butts and Briskets take 3-5 hours. The Beef shorties I did probably would've been best at 3.5, but were still amazing. As long as it's not windy, you fuel it once and walk away til it's done. Only real complaint is it takes a fair amount of fuel, pretty much 12# of charcoal. That's why when I use it, I cut a whole bunch of stuff at a time.


I'd wait to the late fall to buy one. Got mine for $44 on clearance from Home Depot. Right now they're priced around $120, which is kinda silly for a stainless steel barrel basically.

#10 Depends

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 12:37 PM

he said Rub it the night before:funny1: