WHAT’S COOKING IN COURT

June 24, 2010 § 3 Comments

Once a month the Clarke County Chancery Clerk’s office puts on a feed that is beyond rational.  There are finger foods, chips, dips, salads, sanwiches, desserts in quantities that could feed Paraguay for a week.  The Chancellor who is there at the time gets the benefit of the largesse.

This month the feed is scheduled for June 24, and Shirley and I will be there! I volunteered to bring a Boston butt, and it’s cooking on my Orion Cooker as I write this.

It was Henry Palmer (Head Chef Emeritus of the Lauderdale County Bar) who introduced me to the Orion. Henry is not one for contraptions for the sake of contraptions, so I was impressed at how he extolled the cooker in extravagant terms. I paid the tariff to purchase my very own, and have been so satisfied that I have one at my home in Meridian and one at my place in Oxford. I would have three, but I’ve run out of additional locations.  I have been so pleased with my Orions that I have talked no less than a dozen others into buying one.  I deserve some sort of commission from the company.

My Orion-cooked baby back ribs, butts, chicken, turkey and wings have gotten raves at tailgates, family get-togethers, and cookouts.  The bthing is fast: 3 racks of ribs in 1 hr 15 mins; boston butt in 3 hrs 30 minutes; turkey, 7 mins per pound.  Since it’s a completely closed system, the meat stays moist and tender.  You light it and leave it. No fiddling with it.  I haven’t cooked salmon or brisket, but those are definitely in my Orion future.

Henry has cooked combinations of meats at the same time on the different rack levels, experimenting with the upper meats basting the lower ones with their juices, and he assures me that the results have been excellent.

The Orion is not a traditional smoker or grilling cooker.  It’s more of a convection cooker.  For sheer flavor and tenderness, you can’t top it.

To prepare the butt to cook tonight, I rubbed it generously with white vinegar and then rubbed in my favorite seasoning.  The butt sat in the refrigerator all day enjoying the vinegar and seasoning bath.  Then, around 4:45, I put the butt on the bottom rack in the Orion, dropped in some hickory chips, and put on the cover.

Looks ghastly in the photo, but it'll end up delicious

Fill the lower and upper rings with ready-light charcoal, and VOILA.  Come back in 3 and 1/2 hours and it will be done.

Tomorrow we’ll have some pics of some happy eaters.

Orion loaded with butt, coaled up and ready for ignition

Starting to cook. Leave it alone for 3 1/2 hours

Cooked and ready to pull after 3/2 hours

Pulled pork ready for Quitman

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