First Jambalaya

Discussion in 'General Dutch Oven Information' started by bauchjw, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

    It wasn't a disaster, but not a home run either.
    Seasoned my DO with Flaxseed x 6.
  2. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

    Followed Foams directions, with a few changes:
    White Onion
    Green onion
    Green Pepper
    Sausage (I used pre cooked andouille)
    Crutch(chicken powder)
    Pork: smoked shoulder. I baked 275 for 6 hrs then finished on weber with Apple wood and charcoal. I did creole rub before baking and saved juices for initial cook instead of making bacon.
  3. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

  4. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

    I think I cooked too high, sticky and mushy. Maybe not enough water? What do you all think? Taste is decent though?
  5. hank2000

    hank2000 Smoking Fanatic

    Cooked it to long and needs more water. I simmer mine for about an hour and a half as low as I can get it then cut the heat off let it set for awhile the longer the better.
  6. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

    Thank you Hank. I Used 2 cups water to one cup long grain rice. So do you think 3 cups water to one rice? I'll definately reduce heat next go around.
  7. From the image, it looks like the rice broke down from overcooking. I generally use 2 parts water to 1 part rice in most dishes. The amount of time all depends on the type of rice used.

    Like Hank2000 said, as low of a simmer as your stove/heat source will handle. Cast iron dutch ovens are very efficient at maintaining and distributing heat. I find myself cooking at much lower temperatures with cast iron, than when I use my other pans.
  8. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Lets see what I can say is different first.

    I use raw meat, when it cooks the proteins escape giving you that dark brown crusty stuff sticking to the bottom of the pot. When you remove the meat and add the onion and garlic (Onions and garlic I believe are the only living things with square cells) They will actually help you clear that brown from sticking to the bottom of the pot. I don't know if its because of the square cells but it makes a interesting topic for discussion. BUT.... since you had the pre-cooked andouille it should have jumped in and done the brown (graton) pretty well for you.

    I see the rice in the bowl of water, I have never seen anyone do that. Most coonazz though will rinse their rice. if you ever saw the process from the field to the bag, you'd rinse also. This does though eliminate some of the "rice flour" which is stickie.

    Rice, all rice's are slightly different in cooking. not too much but a little some take a bit more water like long grain because it contains the least gluten, yep you guessed it, the short grain or arboreal less. These are small differences though.

    You put everything together in the pot, bring it to a boil cover and boil 2 or 3 mins. covered allowing the flavors to get in the water. wait for a good boil before adding rice.

    If your rice is sticky and crunch its not cooked enough. Either you boiled out (steam) too much liquid before adding the rice or you cooked with too high a heat or you didn't allow enough time with the lid down or you attempted to stir the rice too long into the boil (and never during the last steam).

    Heres a suggestion. Take a smaller pot and make a cup of rice. Remember its not minute rice.  if you can cook rice alone, you can cook it in jambalaya.

    Remember to keep that lid down, no peeking once you put it on.

    Any of the above the possible problem?

    They are all common errors even with old experience cooks. We forget or try to rush it or don't pay attention. I burnt a pot of rice night before last. I was on the computer and not watching.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
  9. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I forgot to say, Nice looking CI DO, cured beautifully.........
  10. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

    Thank you sfprankster. It was my first cook on CI DO and I will definitely lower it a lot more next go around!
  11. I find it's a learning experience with cast iron, just like smokers. Takes time and trial runs to get the knack of it. Once you do, you'll be turning out dishes like coq coq vin and beef bourguignon like the masters. [​IMG]

    Nice job on the seasoning!!!
  12. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

    Thank you for your time Foam and the great rundown!
    - I'll try starting with the raw meat next time. I'm wondering if using pre cooked shoulder and andouille effects the overall process.
    - I saved the juices from cooking my shoulder (looked like a bowl of rice!) in an attempt to replicate Graton! I think I failed!
    - I didn't boil covered then put in rice! I brought to boil and threw rice in, covered, got distracted and came back to add in more water! Epic fail! I think this is with what Hank and sfprankster said as the key too. I should have done boil 3 min, then reduce to low low low before adding rice!
    - I think I'll practice with the rice first before next go through.
    Thank you again, this helped me focus it in to primary issue and how to fix!

    I'm glad you noticed/liked the DO seasoning! Beyond my daughter not crying after falling off the slide it was my one proud moment of this weekend!
  13. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Two Cups water to one Cup Long Grain White Rice is plenty. From the looks of the finished product, I would guess the pot was Stirred more than Once to incorporate the raw rice and then Once to fluff before eating. Stirring brings out the Starch making the rice creamy/gooey (Risotto) and with long grain, breaks it up. Sorry to disagree but it takes more liquid than 2 to 1 to cause rice to just disintegrate on it's own. Think Chinese Congee where each cup of rice gets 6 cups of liquid, the rice disintegrates over the long simmer time. When rice is cooked over low heat, even with the tightest fitting lid some steam escapes but with a 2 to 1 ratio,  the bulk is absorbed. Too High heat causes the water to cook out faster and the rice will be Al Dente or crunchy. I make quite a bit of rice, we buy 10 pound every two months. It is all on the Stove because my Accountant [​IMG]  won't release the funds for a Cooker...[​IMG]...JJ 
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
  14. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  15. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

    So you're thinking over stirring would be another part? Risotto would be an accurate description. I don't remember how many times I stirred. When I put rice in I left it too high and when I started to smell a burn I panicked, lowered temp drastically and dumped in more water. I think it's a combination of everyone's observations. The insight is reminding me of other fails! Over stirring did create part of the mess, but I remember initial was 2-1, my panic mode introduced more water to further the dissolve issue! Nothing was dente and the food was decent tasting.
    -3 min boil followed with 2-1 water to rice and reduce to low simmer. But ONLY stir in once to reduce release of starch.
    -After very very low simmer (1-1.5) hours only stir once more to fluff?

    Good luck with the cooker! Thank you JJ!
  16. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

    Thank you Foam, I don't think it is anything you missed or mentioned in those threads. I am sure from reading through these responses it's my lack of understanding of how to cook rice and the techniques others do intuitively. I'm an Iowa boy who was raised on basic red meat and potatoes over cooked in a pressure cooker or burned on the grill! That's why this is so much fun to learn!

    What you and the others explained let me reflect on the mistakes I made
    - problem: too much heat evaporated my water rapidly, accelerated by using CI for the first time in this way, I panicked and added more water while rapidly stirring to prevent burning. Combination of high heat, additional water, excessive stirring created gooey texture.
    - solution: reduce to low low simmer after meat, veggies, crutch are at a boil for ~3 min and happy happy. Then I add rice (2-1). Only stir rice in once to reduce starch
    - trust it under the lid at low and slide without peeking for 1hr. Only stir once to "fluff" before serving.
    - I'm not sure if pre cooked meats had anything to do with it, but next one will be done with the raw meats just in case!

    Thanks again for the effort/ help!!!
  17. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Seriously, get a bag of real rice. Whatever type you prefer, I use long grain with jambalaya and med with gumbo simply because its how all the little old ladies did it when I was growing up. Once you have chosen, stick with it, changing brands so makes a difference.

    Make a couple a pots of rice, till you are comfortable. As to thinking you are the exception to the rule by not knowing about cooking real rice, no, no, you are definitely in the norm.

    Remember, when you know how to do a thing its always easy. Its experience that's required to get there. I told ya I still mess up due to lack of focus mostly.

    BTW its no small thing making a great jambalaya, we have 100's of cooks locally enter a competition each year and there is no variances towards ingredients or flavors allowed. Its 100% procedure and knowledge.

    Oh and I have made both jambalaya and gumbo with smoked meats, but normally they are uncooked. I have a turkey breast out to smoke tomorrow, then I'll strip the meat, slice for sandwiches and take the bones and make a gumbo. Its the same as adding smoked or cured meat to veggies

    It does get easier.
  18. hank2000

    hank2000 Smoking Fanatic

    love my rice cooker. Got mine at dirt cheap for $12
  19. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

    Will do Foam! thank you for the the continued mentorship!
    My wife found one at a garage sale for 2 dollars! I just didnt think I could use one for this!

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