Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Grill Roasted Potatoes and Stupid Rice Tricks

When you see condensation on the inside of an electronic device like this, it's a bad sign, isn't it?

I left one of my remote probe thermometers out on my grill table Sunday night and despite being under a canopy, on Monday gusty winds and horizontal rain managed to soak it. In addition to the condensation, you could see water pooled up in the corners. Time to throw it out, right?

Hold on a second. Try this tip first. Rice is a natural desiccant, drawing water from it's environment. I put the thermometer in a jar of rice and sealed it up for 24 hours. (Picture for example, I covered it to the top before putting the lid on.)

The result 24 hours later? Success!

This won't work every time and with every type of equipment but it's at least worth a try.

These bins of rice are also great for storing the die and parts to a meat grinder or other items susceptible to rusting in storage.

Roasted Potatoes - Partial fail / Partial win

If you had served me these roasted potatoes, I would have said that they were "good roasted potatoes" and been happy with them.

However, I was disappointed because they only tasted like "good roasted potatoes". They lacked the POW of flavor that I had anticipated considering the ingredients that went into it. I expected more.

I used baby Vidalia spring onions and fresh potatoes from a small market and a vinaigrette made with fresh orange juice, orange zest, cilantro, oregano, orange liqueur, and S & P. I mixed it all up and was expecting something exciting.

On the bright side, the cooking set up worked perfectly for cooking bone in thighs and potatoes together at the same time. The set up for a Big Green Egg was 375f with the plate setter "legs up" (indirect heat) and a preheated stoneware dish on a raised rack like this:

I was curious how the thighs would cook since they had radiant heat coming from the plate setter below and the stoneware dish above. Turns out it all cooked perfectly at 375f for one hour, finishing at the same time.

You could do the same thing using indirect heat on any other type of grill or even in an oven.

Like I said, the technique was perfect but I didn't write this up as a recipe because the extra ingredients didn't add anything to the dish. The orange flavor wasn't even strong enough to be called subtle, it was entirely absent. They were "good roasted potatoes" but that's all.


  1. Wow, that's a very cool technique! Sorry the dish didn't come out exactly how you wanted, so it's worth another try.

  2. Thanks for the rice tip. I'm guessing it has to be regular rice and not the quick kind, right?

  3. Great thinking in regards to the thermometer and the rice!
    I'm loving those vidalia spring onions. I've never seen those before. That marinade sounds like it would be absolutely fantastic, but I hear what you're saying. Maybe if you added more orange zest??

  4. Great idea on the rice - would have never thought to try that. Taters may not have met expectations but they look good from here.

  5. Chris, I would be happy with your potatoes whether they spoke to me or not. But I understand what you mean. Things happen. I guess that's what cooking is. I would have been more upset about wasting the orange liqueur.

    My husband left our instant read thermometer in the turkey when he put it back in the oven. Ouch.

    That is a terrific tip about rice and so glad it fixed your thermometer. I'm making a note of it.

  6. Rice worked for my son's cell phone once! Would not think in all cases, but hey...

    Not sure Chris if you have ever studied about potatoes, but there is a reason why some are for baking and some for boiling, some soak up water, and others do not. So not sure what you used, but if you had warmed up the marinade, let them sit out for an hour and then over night like I did my ginger tators, you would get a better result.

    I got a new camera today!!! My other one just could not take it any more. Three hard years of snap snap snap from the food paparazzi hands- got the Nikon, just before the SLR, but two up from a point and click, with a great zoom. Now a new light box like yours, and a blog troll had better stay under his bridge! Cause I am on fire, shooting by like Speedy Gonzales!

  7. Your potatoes look great - maybe you should've used your baked "fries" recipe you posted awhile back. I've made those twice and we practically lick the pan. Gooooood stuff!

    I have dropped my camera in the lake twice. (so far, so good - thank you, Canon) I'm glad to hear rice will speed along the drying process!

  8. Roasted potatoes don't need to be fancy schmancy to make me smile... I think they look tasty.

    Thanks for showing us the cool rice trick.

  9. Well, good roasted potatoes are well, good! And cool trick, who knew?!

  10. Rice and potatoes handled in 2 very different ways! But I gotta mention those spring onions! Un-cured and so young. I can just imagine how sweet they are. Because the were not left to cure they did not develop that papery skin and also they probably had a very high water content making them very sweet, huh? See what I learned at CampBlogaway. Make sure you let the Onionista know that I am spreading the onion gospel! You'll like her too, she's fun. http://onions-usa.org/onionista/?m=201005 GREG

  11. Wet electronic devices (even my cell phone that went through the washing machine!) are always worth saving...a blow dryer can work miracles, too!

  12. Every dish looks excellent. Thanks for sharing your cooking talent.

  13. That's a neat trick with the rice! And these roasted potatoes really do sound like something special. Sorry they didn't live up to your expectations!

    (To get my tortillas to stand up I used some expertly placed toothpicks.)

  14. Rice - wow - way to go McGuyver!

    I know what you mean about POW and seasonings - there are times I season the *&$! out of something, and all I taste is blah. But then my tastebuds are nearly singed off. Looks good though!

  15. Chris, I am totally impressed with yoru simple rice trick-that's cool.

    Personally, i thought the ingredients in teh potatoes would make it go "POW"...hey, but, they were still good roasted potatoes and probably betetr than most of your friends roasted potatoes,right?

  16. Sometimes all you really want is GOOD ROASTED POTATOES. At least sometimes that's all that I want...

    I love your rice idea. So simple. And yet so genius. You should patent it and make money every time some dope who drops his cell phone in the toilet tries it. Seriously.

  17. the potatoes look better than good :) I dried a cell phone one time on the dash of my closed up car..in August...yeah, it almost melted but it worked again!

  18. In my younger days, I knew many a girl who saved her cell phone with this trick after it took a plunge into the toilet in a bar bathroom after a night of drinking reduced hand-eye-pants coordination to zero.

    I'm thinking that might border on TMI, but I spent all that time typing it, so I'm gonna go with it ;)

    I've never had orangy potatoes, but I'm going to suggest at doubling the orange juice and maybe the liquer, then reducing by at least half on the stove to concentrate the flavors beforehand. That might add some oomf!


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