Posts by Narm Naleg

    I just remembered a classic fail of mine: some years ago I had one of those coolabah upright gas smokers. It leaked so much smoke that I thought I'd be clever and add a seal around the door.

    One day I was using it and noticed the temperature dropping. I opened the door to find the gas had gone out (obviously due to the seal depriving the burner of oxygen). Without thinking or hesitation I went and clicked the ignition and received a nice fireball on my face. Fortunately I was far enough that I still had eye lashes and brows, albeit a little shorter.

    I cancelled my manicure and smelled well done for the rest of the day.

    Sometimes (rarely) accidents and several mistakes lead to wonderful outcomes.

    I've been working very long days from home for a while, so I try to think ahead with some quick and simple meal preparations.


    On Wednesday I quickly marinated a leg of lamb:

    - Mirin

    - black sesame oil

    - soy sauce

    - cooking sake

    - a little rice vinegar

    - sage

    - rosemary

    - garlic

    - ginger

    - salt

    In the nutribullet and then on the scored meat. Back in the fridge for a planned Thursday meal of lamb and potatoes.


    Thursday came and went and I didn't have any break to get the meal started. So I was forced to delay till Friday.


    Friday was looking dicey as I had back to back commitments, but I really didn't want to keep it in the fridge, so in the morning (7.30am) I put the lamb on the pellet grill. Added some water to the marinade as it would become the sauce. Low and slow temp (105c) because I wasn't sure when I'd be able to check on it. Pellet hopper was 3/4 full.



    I managed to get a very quick look at 1.30pm.

    It looked done, but the bottom half had no crust, so I took the photo below, removed the stainless raiser, and placed the lamb upside down in the sauce.



    Next time I managed to get to it was at around 5.30pm. I thought it would go in the bbq fails section, but I was surprised to find it in very good shape. Pellets had run out and the bbq was on 45c, potatoes were not started and I had more work to do. So I turned my indoor oven on, warmed up to 120c, turned it off and placed the lamb tray in there.

    Opened the bag of potatoes to find they had all sprouted. Had little time, so I peeled them by cutting away 2/3 of the potatoes. My 5kg went down to less than 2. Wanted it done in a hurry, so placed them to parboil and went back to work. Big mistake. Forgot about them with the lid on. Came back about 1 hour later to find a potato puree in the pot. Just a little water left in it and a mess on the stove.

    So my oven potatoes idea pivoted to mashed.

    I added salt, pepper, a little garlic powder, and started mixing. I opened the fridge and found no cream. Barely enough milk and it was one day over the use by. It still smelled alright, so in it went. In the rush to complete the meal I forgot to add butter, but I did add lots of parmisan and a bit of tasty cheese.


    I've not heard such complimentary words for one of my meals for a long time. Several members moaned with approval with every bite. I was surprised to find that it came out like the type of dish you might get in a fairly high end restaurant. Stuffed if I know how to repeat it!

    It was soft, but with a great texture. So tasty! The sauce was fantastic and the mash the best I've had in years.


    I've had many wins over the years, nicely balanced by many wastes of money and rip-offs.

    Probably one that will stay with me was (not bbq) about 10 years ago, at the beginning of the transformers craze. My son got into it and for Christmas wanted a fairly large and expensive bumblebee model. I was looking around for it in November and realised that this darned toy was hard to find! Let my fingers do the walking and found a single unit at a particular toysrus. When I got there I found it reduced to half price and 3 more units on the unreachable shelf. As hard as it was to get service, I'm glad I waited. I bought all 4, sold 3 on ebay. Made a $200 profit and got my son's present for free.


    A more recent one: in January 2020 I bought myself a new home gym. My old one cost me around $200 a few years earlier. Due to laziness it ended up being in everyone's way for a few months as I procrastinated selling it.

    Then covid hit, gyms closed and the great exercise equipment shortage of 2020 began.

    I checked ebay and found that my old $200 gym was now selling for $899 with an up to 3 month wait on delivery. Second hand were selling quickly for $800!

    Having used the gym, I knew it wasn't worth that kind of money and couldn't bring myself to rip off the next owner to that degree. I placed it on ebay for $375, expecting some questions to come through. By the time I hit the submit button, got up from my desk and went to tell my wife I'd finally listed the gym, I received the notification that it had sold and I'd received an instant payment. Literally in 1 minute.

    I haven't looked at this one in detail, but based on the comments it sounds like an interesting proposition to me.


    Kamados are great because their insulation reduces the amount of fuel needed and in turn the airflow and related moisture loss. Where this can cause some issues is in cooking overly moist food. For example the difficulty in achieving pork crackling in comparison to a kettle.

    This one potentially allows you to cook more like a kettle, but with the addition of a well designed thermal blanket could also cook like a kamado.

    Costco will also refund your membership if you don't like it. Or at least they used to.


    Imo they have the best pork ribs for the money $18-20 per kg.

    Excellent ossobuco for $14 per kg (although grain fed).

    They also sometimes have special items, such as the 10 quail pack I bought yesterday:


    A couple of focaccias from last night. Cooked with rosemary branches, then removed the branches and topped with chorizo, cacciatore salami for the last minute and the second with sliced pancetta.

    Came out super fluffy and airy.