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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 08-25-2013, 10:56 PM   #1
caseydog
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Default Recipe vs shoot from the hip...

I had a really nice USDA Choice Chuck roast, and smoked it today. I wanted to have sliced beef sandwiches and potato salad for my meal today. I did a simple salt and pepper rub on the Chucky, and let it cook. It was awesome, but that is somewhat beside the point of this post.

Yesterday, I made my potato salad. You have to make your potato salad at least a day early, IMO. It has to have that time for the flavors to combine.

Here is where the question of this thread matters. I'm being long-winded, but try to stay with me.

Potato salad is really easy, IMO. There are a small handful of ingredients in common, and from there, every cook has their own twist. I made a potato salad yesterday with NO recipe. It came out very good. Seriously good. I used boiled red potatoes, diced onions, mayo, apple cider vinegar, some herbs, and salt and pepper. I can't tell you how much of anything, because I didn't measure. I mixed all the stuff together before I poured it on the potatoes, and tasted and added stuff until it tasted right.

So, what is the point of this thread?

Well, I'd like to know where the brethren balance recipes with seat-of-the-pants cooking. I am not good at following recipes, which is why I don't do much baking.

So, brethren, are you more of a "follows instructions" cooker, or more of a "fly by the seat of your pants" cooker.

I finally got to the point.

So, what say yee, brethren?

CD
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Unread 08-25-2013, 11:06 PM   #2
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A little from Column A, a little from Column B. It all depends on what it is for me.
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Unread 08-25-2013, 11:11 PM   #3
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On most things, I fly by the extra large seat of my pants when I am cooking something I have had before. And like you, no two are ever alike. About the only thing I make by a recipe is my bar b que sauce, and most baked goods such as breads etc.

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Unread 08-25-2013, 11:17 PM   #4
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I'm mostly a "fly by the seat of my pants" kinda cook with the exception of baking. I have been writing down a lot of MY recipes in the last year or so. Funny thing is, I don't even follow my own recipes most of the time. I will from time to time follow a recipe, and then adjust it to my liking from there.

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Unread 08-25-2013, 11:19 PM   #5
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If its something that I haven't cooked before I tend to stick with the recipe. Once I am more comfortable with the dish I wing it. The problem with that is duplicating the dish if everyone loves it
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Unread 08-25-2013, 11:20 PM   #6
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And this is why I don't bake! I hate measuring! I'll look at a recipe and get the jist of it .....and then I'm off and running. That being said I did follow wolf man's recipe pretty close on roadside chicken this weekend and couldn't be happier with the results! So I guess I'm a little bit of both camps.
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Unread 08-25-2013, 11:28 PM   #7
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Fly by the seat of my pants but I do write it down when I really like it so I can replicate it. I write my sauce down and rub and I even write down a few dishes I like for myself. I find most bbq books are well garbage and just aren't what I am looking for. So forget them. I break the rules of BBQ alot. Soaked wood chips forget it no thanks. I like to throw them on dry and let them burn with the charcoal. I think it enables the wood to smoke more even though it is faster and really gives the meat a much nicer smoke ring. Also I throw wood chips right in the water pan as well. It seems to work very well and you really get that kettle smoking. I am weber one touch kettle addict. It really cooks well for someone like me who wants to fly by the seat of their pants.
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Unread 08-25-2013, 11:40 PM   #8
Al Czervik
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I go both ways...
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Unread 08-25-2013, 11:45 PM   #9
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I'm more of a "I just pulled it outta my arse!" kinda guy. I don't follow recipes unless it's something I've never tried and want to see what it's like going by the recipe. I usually adjust it from there.
As Ron mentioned, it's hard to reproduce a good dish later on when there's no recipe. I try to and it comes out a bit different the next time around.
Kinda funny, but I try to put the ingredients and flavor profiles in my mind, so to speak as I go. If I think they go well together, I go with them.

Interested is reading what others say!

Bob
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Unread 08-25-2013, 11:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Czervik View Post
I go both ways...
I figured that...

I couldn't follow a recipe if held the end of the leash and dragged me. I even make bread without measuring. Except for the blog, where I make and list stuff.
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Unread 08-25-2013, 11:46 PM   #11
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I never measure crap! But man I wish my Grandpa would have!!! His made from scratch bisquits were the best ever!!! And I don't feel like I even get close!!! Maybe its cause he's been gone so long....but man I wish he would have measured just once for me? Miss that guy bad!! Caseydog...don't want to hijack...but maybe we should measure our kids favorites so they can replicate?
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Unread 08-25-2013, 11:50 PM   #12
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If I am working with a new recipe, I'll follow it as religiously as I can. For the most part, I just wing it.
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Unread 08-26-2013, 12:02 AM   #13
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This brings up a good point. I've been cooking ever since I was a kid, and whether it was learned from my grandma, my dad, or something I saw on TV/online, I have almost nothing written down. It's all in my head, which means every cook of a particular recipe is usually ever so different.

I've actually had this on my list of things to do for a few years, but I really want to sit down and write down the 50 or so "recipes" that are in my head and get them on paper. Maybe not so much for me since over the years they have almost become second nature to me, but maybe for my kids or something.

Either way, other than a few very specific recipes I follow for a few rubs, sauces, and some bread, almost everything I cook is just based off of some vague memory in my head, and then adjusted to taste through the cooking process. But I know the older I get, the more I'm going to forget, so I really should at least put the framework of these recipes down on paper.
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Unread 08-26-2013, 12:07 AM   #14
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I wing it after getting the idea from a recipe usually except for Some of my sausages.
I learnt to write them down after going so far away from any recipe,
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Unread 08-26-2013, 12:37 AM   #15
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I wing it and guestimate. Measuring is tedious.
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