My first Fatty...
So I had never heard of a "fatty" in the BBQ world before I started poking around on this forum... but after meandering from here to Cowgirl's blog page, I became interested... so last weekend I decided to make one. I started with some relatively conservative ingredients as it was a first effort, but it came out beautifully:
1) I started with a couple white potatoes, a white onion, and some red pepper, all diced up:
2) Put those into a frying pan all together along with some butter and "Pinky Powder" (my best friend's secret signature spice mixture that he's used in his restaurant for close to 25 years now):
3) Cooked until the potatoes were softened and delicious:
4) After it cooled in the pan, I added some shredded cheddar and stuffed it all into my version of the Fatty Piston (details on that to follow, but thanks to Cowgirl again for the idea). You can see in the background of this pic the canning funnel that I tried to use initially (miserable failure). It turned out that a rolled up (cheapo) plain paper plate made an excellent funnel (it's amazing how many uses these cheap paper plates have that don't include serving food... and if you're recycling conscious, you can always use them to help light your charcoal in the chimney starter which is what I did with the one I used for this). I placed that into my fridge vertically for about an hour to cool:
5) Next I rolled out 1.5 lbs of "home made" pork sausage from my local butcher using Cowgirl's "gallon zip top bag" technique. This went into the fridge to cool for about 45 mins or so. This pic shows the "post chill" step where I have cut the bag open and added some "Pinky Powder" to it:
6) Meanwhile I created a bacon weave out of some "homemade" bacon from a local butcher and covered that in plastic and set it into the fridge to cool for about 30 minutes:
7) After an hour chilling, the fatty piston and sausage wrap came out of the fridge:
8) All rolled up and ends tucked, snug as a bug in a rug:
9) And onto the bacon weave on the bias:
10) Wrapped up all cozy and then cinched down in plastic wrap nice and tight for another approximately 30 minute chill in the fridge. Note that even though the pics don't show it, I offset the "seams" of the sausage and bacon layers - don't want two seams to line right up with each other.:
11) Then onto the Weber kettle all set up for smoking, bacon seam side down. Note that you can see the effects of having this wrapped tightly in plastic and chilled again has had on the overall shape and form of the fatty - see how the bacon is all nice and flat and smooth relative to how it was when I just finished wrapping it - this is a technique I will try to describe later as well for any who might not be aware of how to do it - you veterans will be well familiar I am sure:
12) Here we are at about an hour in, smoking steadily between 230 and 240 degrees F (the foil things in the background are just wrapped chunks of hickory, not sure about this technique but it seemed like the smart thing to do so that I don't have wild fluctuations in temperature by letting the hickory chunks burst into flame... could use some advice and/or more experience there):
13) Here it is after about a 5 hour smoke, and maybe 20 mnutes' rest. The internal temp is 165 F, not too shabby. I must say, I am very pleased with the look of this:
14) I wanted to let it rest more because when I poked it with the thermometer to check internal temp, it was leaking juices a bit more than I wanted, so I made a sandwich for dinner and let this cool on the counter for another hour before putting it into the refrigerator for the night. This pic is of the slices I cut the next day for dinner. The "bacon weave" seam is directly on the bottom, note the offset seam of the sausage layer that is plainly visible in this pic:
15) Here it is on the plate after nuking the slices a bit in the microwave. For some reason I felt the need to have a huge salad with this... but even then, couldn't resist adding some shredded cheese to my greens along with some julienned carrot and the last of my home grown tomatoes:
Washed all this down with an ice cold IPA and it was deeeelicious!
Next time I'll use a bit less sausage, probably 1 to 1.25 lbs rather than a full 1.5 lbs and I'll also taper the ends of the sausage layer where it overlaps so the end product is more uniform.
This makes an absurdly delicious breakfast by the way too... I've enjoyed a slice of it warmed up and placed on a lightly toasted kaiser roll with a fried egg on top... mmmmmmm! No pics of that I'm afraid, I gobbled it down too quickly.
Here's my own slight variant of the Fatty Piston that I saw on Cowgirl's blog. You veterans will be quite familiar with all of this, so please bear with me. I am including it for other newbs like myself and also for general comment if anyone feels so inclined.
Anyway... it starts with the following components all schedule 40 PVC (whatever that means):
On top is a 10" length of 2 inch PVC (cut from an original 2 foot length which is one of the ways Lowes sells it) I actually cut two molds from that length.
Immediately below that is a 12 inch length of half inch PVC (had to buy a 5 foot length of that, but it was like $1.50)
Below that are two half inch end caps
Below those from left to right are two 2" knockout plugs and a 1.5" end plug (I forget the exact name)
Assembled it looks like this:
The knockout plug with the flange on it is used to cap the bottom of the 2 inch mold - fits well but is not air or water tight. The end caps go on the 1/2" pipe, one end to push food down, the other end so it is more comfortable in your hand). I chose this size for the "tamper" because it was much narrower than the inside of the mold... this was important in my mind to avoid air bubbles in the filling... air bubbles are bad news for this and if you tamped it down with a full width tamper, the air might not be able to readily escape if it had been accidentally introduced into the column of food in the mold...
I took one of the knockout plugs and used a Dremel to take off the flange part so it looks like this and slips quite snugly over the end of the 1.5" end plug (you could use a file or sandpaper if you have no Dremel):
That makes a very close fitting "piston" for the mold... and will let you push food out of it and not leave anything but a little liquid along the inner walls of the mold.
All parts "friction fit" together without any glue... this was important to me for several reasons, first, no PVC glue and associated fumes to worry about, second, no concerns about things being sealed or glue melting in a dishwasher, and thirdly and perhaps most importantly, for sanitary reasons... it can be completely disassembled and thoroughly cleaned in a dishwasher or by hand with each use. If you want to clean it by hand, you can use a bottle brush of the proper diameter or just use the half inch rod to shove a cleaning sponge or cloth down the mold... these parts all came out of the dishwasher clean as a whistle for me after shoving my dish sponge through the 2" tube a couple times. I did buy a few extra knockout plugs in case I screwed one up or in case fitting it over the end plug causes it to crack and break over time (which you can see it has started to do in the one picture above if you look closely)... so I have backups.
I don't know about BPA with this stuff or anything like that... the food doesn't go into the PVC hot and doesn't sit in it for very long, and I made sure that everything was thoroughly cleaned before I used it for the food.
I am sure that there would be a suitable device of this nature available from kitchen supply stores, but I found the idea for this pretty handily and it took me 15 minutes in Lowes to gather the parts and another 15 minutes to assemble it with a hacksaw to cut the tubes to length, and a Dremel tool to clean up the ends of all the cuts and to cut the flange off the one knockout plug.
Here's the illustration of the technique used to cinch plastic around a semi-squishy food product to help with keeping the shape of it nice and uniform and solid. Again, most of you folks with significant food preparation experience will be familiar with this technique, but I am including it for those who may not and because in my opinion, this technique is an important part of making a wrapped fatty like this or many other similar food products stay together while cooking.
Pretend the PVC tube is your food roll, spread out a long length of plastic wrap that is wider than the food... use two pieces laid side by side with at least a 3" overlap if you need to and put the food roll on it like so:
Then fold one end of the plastic wrap over the food like so:
Slide the edge of a thin cutting board or cookie sheet or sheet pan over both layers of plastic and between the work surface and the food roll at an angle like so:
Then tug gently on the bottom (longer) end of the plastic wrap, keeping the board on or very close to the work surface and even pushing in the opposite direction with the board while you pull on the plastic wrap. The board/sheet pan will hold the top layer of plastic from slipping as long as you don't pull too hard and the bottom layer will slide against it, snugging the plastic wrap nicely around the food roll. Then when the plastic wrap is tight enough around the food, just gently drag with the edge of your board or sheet pan towards yourself to stick the plastic wrap layers to each other so the wrapping won't slip and stays snug. Then roll the plastic wrap the rest of the way around the food. This helps it to retain its shape for the cooling periods between steps and before cooking. You COULD use a piece of plastic that is much wider than the food roll and just roll the food up and twist the ends of plastic that are hanging over like taffy and sung it up that way, but in this particular case, that would have been a much more difficult task given the fact that I don't have "restaurant size" plastic wrap and given the size of the fatty, than using the board as I have shown here.
One heck of a 3rd post :thumb:
And great write up all the way around
Good looking fatty.
Next time you do one, also throw on a naked fatty...
dang i want some of that this morning. Instead I'm stuck with a donut and a cup of coffee while i'm here at work.
Great looking fatty and very in depth post.
Great post, with great information.
You really nailed your first fatty, I love fattys! :hungry:
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