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Best French Fry Cutter For 2020 [Our Reviews and Comparisons]

Written by admin on . Posted in Tools & Gadgets

best french fry cutter

With the air fryer now a popular home appliance, it is easy to prepare the foods you love in a healthier way. Now it is possible to make delicious french fries, sweet potato fries, zucchini fries, and even eggplant fries that have a fraction of the fat and calories of traditional fries.

But who has time and energy for all that cutting?

A french fry cutter (or potato chipper) can save you precious time and effort in your quest to make delicious and healthy dishes for yourself and your loved ones.

By inserting your potato into the cutting mechanism, you either pull the lever or use the push plate to pass the potato through the blades, cutting a whole potato in one swoop.

You might think a regular knife would do the job just fine, but a french fry cutter offers several advantages:

  • It is much faster to use a cutter. Depending on the size of your blade attachment, you can cut 15-30 fries in one push. Using a knife would require multiple cuts and rearrangements to get the same output.
  • And because it is faster, you’re significantly reducing your prep time, so you can make a healthy and delicious meal in less time, even after a long day at work. And less prep time means more quality time with your loved ones and leisure activities.
  • And because it is faster, you’re significantly reducing your prep time, so you can make a healthy and delicious meal in less time, even after a long day at work. And less prep time means more quality time with your loved ones and leisure activities.
  • Uniformity is another benefit of a french fry cutter because it ensures even cooking. Maybe you’ve had the experience of hand-cutting different sized potatoes, and the thin ones burn and the thicker ones aren’t cooked yet. Because the french fry cutter cuts evenly, you won’t have to throw out food that isn’t properly cooked.

Please note that the items reviewed below are potato cutters; they don’t cook your fries. Once you use the cutter to slice your fries, you can use an air fryer, deep fryer, or bake in the oven on a sheet pan.

A french fry cutter can also slice vegetables for a stew prepared in your dutch oven or slow cooker. You can also use a french fry cutter to prepare raw foods, such as crudites for a beautiful dip platter of colorful veggies for a salad.

Comparison Table

PRODUCTFEATURESLATEST PRICE
1. New Star Food Service Commercial Restaurant French Fry Cutter
  • Restaurant quality
  • Uniform cut
  • Durable
Check Price
2. Fullstar Vegetable Chopper
  • Sharp blades
  • Versatile
  • Time saver
Check Price
3. Sopito Professional Potato Cutter
  • Time saver
  • Saves space
  • High capacity
Check Price
4. POP AirFry Mate
  • FUniform fries
  • Skinny or thick options
  • Less effort than hand cutting
Check Price
5. Wosweet Stainless Steel Homemade Potato Chipper
  • Sharp blades
  • Two size options
  • Lightweight
Check Price
6. Westmark Multipurpose French Fry Cutter
  • Versatile
  • Easy to make healthy fries
  • Uniform output
Check Price
7. New Star Foodservice Extra Heavy Duty French Fry Cutter
  • Easy to clean
  • Makes great fries
  • Easy to clean
Check Price
8. Crinkle Cutting Tool French Fry Slicer
  • Buy one, give one
  • Space saver
  • Comfortable handle
Check Price
9. Geedel Manual French Fry Cutter
  • Double-sided blade
  • Cuts potatoes and more
  • Long handle for easy grip
Check Price
10. Kitchen Craft Potato Chipper
  • Suction base to hold in place
  • Two blade sizes
  • Works fast
Check Price

Our Best French Fry Cutter Reviews and Comparisons

1. New Star Food Service Commercial Restaurant French Fry Cutter

Product Highlights

The New Star Food Service Commercial Restaurant French Fry Cutter offers restaurant-quality fries at home. After you slice your fries with the heavy-duty blades, you can prepare your fries with your favorite method: oven bake, air fryer, or deep fryer.

This fry cutter is mountable to the counter or the wall, making it a space saver for the kitchen, or maybe in that new food truck you’re planning.

This unit comes with a ½ inch cutter blade, but other sizes can be ordered.

The time the cutter saves makes it an efficient way to prep french fries, zucchini fries, and sweet potato fries quickly.

The short-throw handle gives you the leverage you need for smooth, easy cutting.
The New Star French Fry Cutter should be hand washed.

Features

  • Durable cast iron, aluminum, and stainless steel
  • Short handle = easy cutting
  • Wall or countertop mount
  • Suction feet

What We Like About New Star Food Service Commercial Restaurant French Fry Cutter

The New Star French Fry Cutter is a commercial-grade product suitable to be used in restaurants, so it should be able to handle anything you would encounter at home.

Made of stainless steel and cast iron, the New Star French Fry Cutter cuts potatoes that are about 6 inches long and with the various blades, you can achieve fries that mimic your favorite fast-food fries.

We love that you can make high-quality fries quickly and easily, but you get the choice of how you want to cook those fries. At a restaurant, you’re limited to a deep fryer, but at home, you can oven bake or use an air fryer for a healthier treat.

Pro tip: the ½ inch screen is best for sweet potatoes.

What We Don’t Like About New Star Food Service Commercial Restaurant French Fry Cutter

It is difficult to take apart to clean, and it takes a lot of effort to push the potato through the blades.

PROS

  • Time saver
  • Restaurant quality
  • Uniform cut
  • Durable

CONS

  • FBlade shavings in food
  • FHard to clean

2. Fullstar Vegetable Chopper

Product Highlights

The Fullstar Vegetable Chopper is marketed as an all-purpose vegetable chopper, but it still handles a potato with ease.

The Fullstar Chopper comes with four blades, so in addition to slicing fries, it also has the capability of chopping and julienning.

You will find the soft-grip handle comfortable to hold and easy on your hand. The stainless steel blades resist rust and the blades easily snap in and out.

The Fullstar unit is the only product we’re reviewing that is top-shelf dishwasher safe.

Dimensions: 10.63”L x 4.72”H x 4.48”W.

Features

  • Non-skid base
  • Top shelf dishwasher safe
  • Four blade choices
  • Catch tray

What We Like About Fullstar Vegetable Chopper

The Fullstar Vegetable Chopper is really versatile and handles potatoes as well as other vegetables. In addition to making great healthier fries, you can spiralize vegetables for healthy pasta.

You may have to cut the potatoes before you put them in the slicer if the potato is larger, but they will come out in uniform size, so when you put them in your air fryer or deep fryer, they’ll cook evenly.

This is a great tool for busy home cooks who really need a time saver.

What We Don’t Like About Fullstar Vegetable Choppe

Pieces of plastic shave off into the food you’re cutting. The blades bend even with softer vegetables.

PROS

  • Sharp blades
  • Versatile
  • Time saver

CONS

  • Shaves plastic into the food
  • Not durable

3. Sopito Professional Potato Cutter

Product Highlights

The Sopito Professional Potato Cutter saves time and energy, reducing both your prep time and the effort you have to exert to slice potatoes and other vegetables.

The ergonomic handle is comfortable and doesn’t require as much muscle to push the potatoes through – just pull the lever down.

The Sopito Professional Potato Cutter has a large capacity, so you won’t have to cut your potatoes in half before you can even put them in the slicer.

Once you slice your potatoes, you can prepare them however you choose: deep fryer, air fryer, or oven. Or if you don’t feel like cooking, slice your favorite fruits or raw veggies for crudites.

Features

  • Restaurant grade blade
  • Cuts potatoes quickly and easily
  • Large enough to handle a whole potato
  • Ergonomic handle

What We Like About Sopito Professional Potato Cutter

The Sopito Professional Potato Cutter is durable and well built. It saves so much time prepping meals; not only does it make loads of fries easily, but it also slices veggies for stews and crudites.

This unit comes with a ½ inch blade, and if you want a little more variety, you can order the ⅜ inch blade (sold separately).

We also like the quality of the stainless steel blade – it is a product that will last in your kitchen.

What We Don’t Like About Sopito Professional Potato Cutter

The push plate doesn’t align well, causing plastic shavings in the potatoes from the cutter head banging on the blade.

PROS

  • Time saver
  • Handles hard veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes
  • Saves space
  • High capacity

CONS

  • Need a lot of elbow grease to push the potato through the blade
  • Push plate not aligned well

4. POP AirFry Mate

Product Highlights

The POP AirFry Mate preps potatoes and other vegetables for great fries at home. it is compact, so it won’t take up too much room in your kitchen, but creates uniform fries that you can then cook into restaurant-quality fries.

With two size options, you can make thin ⅜ inch or thick ½ inch fries with a variety of vegetables (not recommended for sweet potatoes).

The pulldown handle is durable and presses potatoes through whichever stainless steel blade you choose. The suction cup holds the unit in place on the counter so that you get a uniform cut.

The POP AirFry Mate is easy to clean and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Features

  • Creates 3-inch long fries
  • Space saver
  • Suction cup hold unit in place
  • Uniform cut

What We Like About POP AirFry Mate

Some potatoes work better than others in the POP AirFry Mate, but by microwaving in water for 1-2 minutes, even the hardest potatoes go through.

We like that you can make skinny or thick fries, depending on your preference. In fact, you could do a batch with both to satisfy your whole family. Once these go through the POP slicer, you can drop them in your air fryer or another favorite cooking method.

What We Don’t Like About POP AirFry Mate

This product doesn’t do a good job of cutting sweet potatoes and other hard vegetables; it squishes them and bends the blades.

PROS

  • Works best with golden potatoes
  • FUniform fries
  • Skinny or thick options
  • Less effort than hand cutting

CONS

  • FDoesn’t slice sweet potatoes
  • FBlades bend

5. Wosweet Stainless Steel Homemade Potato Chipper

Product Highlights

The Wosweet Stainless Steel Homemade Potato Chipper allows you to make fresh homemade fries and vegetables for your family, increasing the healthy options for your loved ones.

The ergonomic 16.7-inch handle is comfortable to use and the unit comes with two different sized blades so you can offer beautiful presentations and more variety with 3/8″ and 7/16″ options.

The Wosweet potato chipper is made from BPA free materials and the stainless steel construction resists rust. The suction base prevents slipping while you’re cutting potatoes, zucchini, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, apples, or whatever delight you’re preparing.

Once sliced, your vegetables are ready for your favorite cooking method.

Pro tip: Sweet potatoes and yams take more effort; try microwaving them for one minute before slicing

Features

  • Ergonomic design
  • Anti-rust stainless steel and BPA free
  • FErgonomic design
  • Large suction base

What We Like About Wosweet Stainless Steel Homemade Potato Chipper

The Wosweet Stainless Steel Homemade Potato Chipper handles full-size potatoes, so you don’t have to cut them before putting them in the machine, and you can get yummy long fries.

This unit also works great on other vegetables, and we know kids are more likely to eat veggies if they look like fries.

The Wosweet Potato Chipper is a good option for people who have arthritis or difficulty holding their hands steady – it does the work for you and then is ready for your preferred cooking method.

What We Don’t Like About Wosweet Stainless Steel Homemade Potato Chipper

The design is lacking on this unit; it is not sturdy. The suction is ineffective and it doesn’t handle harder vegetables.

PROS

  • Sharp blades
  • Two size options
  • Comfortable to use
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • Doesn’t work well with sweet potatoes
  • Doesn’t cut larger potatoes

6. Westmark Multipurpose French Fry Cutter

Product Highlights

The Westmark Multipurpose French Fry Cutter offers three blade sizes: 9mm x 9mm, 10mm x 10 mm, and 12mm x 12mm; the smaller the blade, the larger the fry.

You can just pop the size of your choice into the base and slice – you will soon have fries to cook or crudite platters to build.

In addition to stainless steel blades, this unit has a non-slip suction pad on the bottom to prevent slippage.

Features

  • Stainless steel blades
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Cuts a variety of fruits and vegetables
  • Easy hand wash
  • 5-year warranty

What We Like About Westmark Multipurpose French Fry Cutter

it is great to be able to make food that is all-natural and looks great, too, and the Westmark french fry cutter facilitates both.

It provides an easy way to cut a mess of vegetables so you can prepare them yourself. It also cuts them uniformly so you can feel happy about the professional presentation of your food.

We like that the three blade sizes allow us to prepare a variety of looks for our fries and crudites.

What We Don’t Like About Westmark Multipurpose French Fry Cutter

You have to cut the end off the potato and also use smaller potatoes in order to get the unit to work properly. The suction is not strong and the unit moves on the counter.

PROS

  • Versatile
  • Easy to make healthy fries
  • Uniform output

CONS

  • Only takes small potatoes
  • Suction not firm

7. New Star Foodservice Extra Heavy Duty French Fry Cutter

Product Highlights

This foodservice grade fry cutter is made of cast iron, aluminum, and stainless steel. It has a short handle so the user exerts less effort and doesn’t tire as easily.

This unit can be mounted on the counter or on the wall. The wall mount option saves space and allows room for cut veggies to land directly in a storage container. It also eliminates the user’s need to bend over while cutting.

Expert tip: The unit comes with a wall mount bracket, but you will have to supply your own screws.

The New Star Foodservice Extra Heavy Duty French Fry Cutter should be hand washed.

This unit produces 3/8″ fries and is suitable for restaurant and food truck use.

Features

  • Space-saving wall mount
  • Durable Construction
  • Rust-resistant stainless steel blades
  • Cuts copious amounts of veggies with ease

What We Like About New Star Foodservice Extra Heavy Duty French Fry Cutter

This is a heavy-duty cutter that’s suitable for restaurants, so it is surely durable for home use.

We love that this product can be mounted either on the counter (horizontally) or on the wall (vertically), which saves space and also lets you operate at an ergonomic height.

The blade and push block easily come apart for cleaning.

What We Don’t Like About New Star Foodservice Extra Heavy Duty French Fry Cutter

It makes great fries, but it is very difficult to get the potato through the blade. It requires a lot of force.

PROS

  • Easy to clean
  • Makes great fries
  • Easy to clean
  • Professional grade

CONS

  • Requires a lot of effort to get the potato through
  • Expensive

8. Crinkle Cutting Tool French Fry Slicer

Product Highlights

The wooden handle on the Crinkle Cutter offers a comfortable grip and the stainless steel blade is sharp and sturdy.

The Crinkle Cutter is good for potatoes, fruit, vegetables, and pickling cucumbers. You can even make waffle fries.

Dimensions: Blade is 7.3” long and 5.1” wide. The set comes with two individually-wrapped crinkle knives, so you can gift one, or keep it for yourself and get help from your family!

Features

  • Makes fancy edges and livens up your dishes
  • Easy to clean
  • Durable, strong blade
  • Easy storage

What We Like About Crinkle Cutting Tool French Fry Slicer

Crinkle-cut fries and veggies are so aesthetically pleasing and professional looking. Whether you’re making traditional fries, sweet potato fries, or a platter of fresh veggies, the crinkled shape really takes it up a notch.

The handle is wide and comfortable to hold, and if you don’t have a lot of space in your kitchen, it is nice to be able to store this in a drawer rather than having it take up space on the counter.

What We Don’t Like About Crinkle Cutting Tool French Fry Slicer

his is basically a knife with a crinkle cutter shape, so you’re still exerting the effort for cutting.

PROS

  • Easily makes crinkle-cut fries and vegetables
  • Buy one, give one
  • Space saver
  • Comfortable handle

CONS

  • Flimsy
  • Manual operation

9. Geedel Manual French Fry Cutter

Product Highlights

The Geedel Manual French Fry Cutter is made of stainless steel, so it won’t rust. It makes 3/8″ fries, and can also cut other vegetables for alternate fries or crudite platters.

With a longer handle and rubber tips to hold it in place, the Geedel Manual French Fry Cutter offers a fast and easy fry cutting experience that doesn’t require extra effort.

The blade is double-sided so it is super effective, and because it is made of BPA free, non-toxic materials, it is safe for your family and also easy to hand wash.

Pro tip: If you want to make sweet potato fries, microwave the sweet potato for one minute before putting in the slicer.

Features

  • Screwcap for blade stabilization
  • Extended handle
  • Blade detaches
  • Efficient and durable
  • Won’t slip

What We Like About Geedel Manual French Fry Cutter

The Geedel French Fry Cutter is easy to use and takes the effort out of cutting enough potatoes to feed your whole family. After using the Geedel cutter, you can prepare your fries however you usually do: air fryer, deep fryer, or oven.

What We Don’t Like About Geedel Manual French Fry Cutter

It is hard to keep the blade in place for cutting, and harder potatoes and vegetables don’t cut well.

PROS

  • Rubber feet hold the cutter in place
  • Double-sided blade
  • Cuts potatoes and more
  • Long handle for easy grip

CONS

  • The blade doesn’t stay in place
  • Requires some setup

10. Kitchen Craft Potato Chipper

Product Highlights

Easily and painlessly cut potatoes into fries and cut alternate fries and even veggies for crudite dishes. After you peel the potato (or other vegetables), just place it in the chipper and pull the handle down.

If you have trouble keeping your hands steady with a knife, this tool might be just what you need.

This chipper comes with 10mm and 13 mm stainless blades, depending on what size fries you want.

Once you have your fries cut, you can cook in your air fryer, in the oven on a baking sheet, or in a deep fryer.

Hand washable and easy to remove parts for cleaning. The Kitchen Craft Potato Chipper comes with a one-year guarantee.

Features

  • FTwo sizes of blades: 10 mm and 13 mm
  • Makes fries (chips) and other vegetables
  • Pull-down handle
  • Simple to use and clean

What We Like About Kitchen Craft Potato Chipper

This french fry cutter does a great job on potatoes and also alternate fries, like sweet potato and eggplant. We like that you can make two sizes of fries, or chips, depending on where you’re from. This chipper also works on cold vegetables for crudites if you’re serving veggies with dip.

What We Don’t Like About Kitchen Craft Potato Chipper

The blades are steel, but the rest of the machine is plastic. Blades may fall out.

PROS

  • Suction base to hold in place
  • Two blade sizes
  • Works fast

CONS

  • Not heavy duty
  • Plastic

Final Verdict

Our top pick for best french fry cutter is the New Star Food Service Commercial Restaurant French Fry Cutter, which is powerful enough for business but affordable and compact enough for home use.

Imagine being able to get restaurant-quality fries at home: the New Star fry cutter has you covered. All you have to do is insert your potatoes into the push block and pull down the lever.

In no time, and with little effort, your fries are ready for your favorite cooking method, whether that be oven baking, the traditional deep fryer, or the now popular air fryer.

Suction feet hold this unit to the counter without slippage, but if you prefer, you can permanently mount the New Star Food Service Commercial Restaurant French Fry Cutter on the counter or to the wall for either a horizontal or vertical setup.

If you mount it to the wall, it is a space saver, and will also prevent you from having to bend while you’re cutting.

Speaking of comfort, the New Star has a short throw handle that gives you leverage to cut potatoes with less effort so you can avoid fatigue, and you won’t finish your tasks with pain in your hands and wrists.

The New Star Food Service Commercial Restaurant French Fry Cutter comes with a ½ inch cutter blade, but you can order a ¼ inch blade, and you can also order a model that comes with the ½ inch and ⅜ inch blades included.

Are you a small business owner running a restaurant, food truck, or concession stand? The New Star system is powerful enough to meet your needs. Whether you’re making french fries, zucchini fries, or sweet potato fries, your work will be done quickly, easily, and uniformly.

By the way, if sweet potato fries are your jam, the ½ inch blade is your best choice for this harder potato.
In terms of durability, the New Star French Fry Cutter offers construction of stainless steel, aluminum, and cast iron, so you can feel confident it will last for years to come.

New Star cuts 6-inch long fries, so you can be sure your plate presentation is professional and aesthetically pleasing.

BUYER’S GUIDE

Some things to consider when choosing a french fry cutter:

Blade size. Most french fry cutters offer either a ¼ inch, ⅜ inch, or ½ inch blade, or some combination. The smaller the screen, the more cuts you will have.

The ¼ inch blade screen will give you more of a thinner shoestring fry (like In-N-Out or McDonald’s); the ⅜ inch results in a thicker fry (like Wendy’s or Burger King), and the ½ inch gives you more of a steak-cut fry. For harder potatoes like sweet potatoes or russets, you will have the best result with the ½ inch blade.

What are you cutting? If you’re looking for a versatile machine that will cut, chop, julienne, and spiralize, there are vegetable cutters out there that will meet all those needs. They may not, however, be strong enough to handle a sweet potato or russet.

If you know that you’re going to be making lots of sweet potato fries or russets, or cutting lots of carrots, you might choose a unit that’s dedicated to potatoes. Slicing other vegetables and fruits is, of course, still possible with a potato-specific cutter.

If you’re looking to go from slicing to chopping in the same meal prep, a vegetable cutter might suit your needs better.

How big are your potatoes? Depending on where you live, the size of potatoes available to you varies. If your garden or local store produces smaller potatoes, you should be good with any of the machines advertised.

But if the potatoes you have access to are larger, be aware that some of the vegetable choppers on our list don’t have the capacity to handle a bigger potato; you may have to cut it before placing it in the slicer.

A restaurant grade french fry cutter is more likely to handle a larger potato (these are usually advertised with a 6-inch long fry feature.)

FAQ Section

Can I cut sweet potatoes in a french fry cutter?

Some of the models reviewed can handle the harder, more fibrous sweet potato or yam. The reviews indicate which models are suited to sweet potatoes and other harder vegetables and tubers.

Slicing sweet potatoes in your french fry cutter does require more effort. You might have more success microwaving your tuber for 1-2 minutes before putting it in the slicer to push it through more easily. But don’t overcook, or you will have mashed sweet potatoes.

How can I clean my french fry cutter?

The majority of the units we reviewed are hand wash only, with the exception of one whose pieces are top-rack dishwasher safe.

The restaurant-grade models require the removal of screws to separate the different pieces for thorough cleaning. Some screws are removable by hand, and some require a screwdriver.

Use warm, soapy water to wash your french fry cutter and a soft sponge or cloth. Most of the units we reviewed have rust-resistant stainless steel blades, but you should still avoid harsh abrasives that aren’t necessary for keeping your cutter clean and sanitized.

Take care when cleaning your french fry cutter, as the blades are sharp!

Reviews of Pit Boss Grills and Smokers

Written by admin on . Posted in BBQ & Outdoor

pit boss reviews

So you’re ready to get your grill on. But with so many choices, shopping for the right outdoor barbeque that best suits your needs can be challenging. Pit Boss offers the perfect combination of a known name you can trust and a variety of products to ensure you’ll find your perfect match.

Pit Boss is an established name in the grilling/smoking community, respected by home cooks, amateur barbeque crafters, and professional grillers and smokers. Established in 1999, Pit Boss (a part of Danson’s, Inc.) produces quality products at a reasonable price so that anyone can be the Grill Master of their barbeque kingdom.

Whether you’re looking for a smaller portable grill, a vertical smoker, or a pellet grill, Pit Boss brings the heat so that your meats can shine. Below we offer reviews on some of Pit Boss’s most popular units.

Before we dive into the specific units, let’s discuss some general barbeque terms for the beginner. For the seasoned Pit Boss, feel free to jump to the individual product reviews.

Grilling. Cooking food by exposing it to high and direct heat is known as grilling. A traditional backyard picnic or Fourth of July celebration involves grilling: throwing some hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, and corn on the grill is a delight most of us are familiar with.

Charcoal, wood, and gas are used to create the grill, and the flavor varies depending on what you use. Pit Boss uses either gas or wood pellets for their grills; the wood will result in a smokier flavor.

Smoking. Smoking has quickly become the preferred method of outdoor meat preparation. The process of smoking is converse to the process of grilling: meat is smoked by exposing it to low and indirect heat.

Pit Boss has both gas and pellet smokers, depending on your preference.

Wood pellets. Pit Boss grills and smokers don’t use charcoal; in fact, charcoal won’t fit in the pellet grill or smoker. Made from 100% all-natural hardwood, the pellets are made from dried hardwood sawdust that is heated at extreme heat and pressurized to form small pellets.

The lignin from the wood coats the pellets and holds them together. Pit Boss wood pellets have plentiful flavor with less than 1% ash. Pellets are one of the easiest fuels to use.

Here we will review the popular Pit Boss grills:

75275 Stainless Steel Two-Burner Portable Grill

The 75275 Stainless Steel Two-Burner Portable Grill is, as the name suggests, portable and easy to carry, making it a good choice for a camping trip, a day at the beach, or tailgating before your favorite game.

The two-burner model has a latch hood and folding legs to ensure easy carrying and weighs in at only 23 pounds. To make your cooking experience smooth and easy, it has a dome thermometer in the lid and a push-and-turn ignition. One great feature of this Pit Boss is that it doesn’t have any hot spots, so it cooks your food evenly.

The 75275 portable grill is durable. The grid is constructed of 304-grade stainless steel; the body and lid made out of 430-grade stainless steel. Cooking is a breeze with perfect heat delivery for searing and grilling, and the two-burner design features 10,000 BTU. With a cooking surface of 276 square inches, you will have sufficient room to cook for four people.

This portable grill runs on propane gas and operates on a 20-pound cylinder, but you can get an adapter if you want to hook it up to a smaller tank.

Easy to clean this grill has sloped panels under that drain into a grease tray that’s removable. Make sure to keep the grill level so that it drains where it’s supposed to.

There’s little assembly required, so you’ll be cooking in no time. Beware that this portable grill unit has some sharp edges, particularly in the legs, and the legs don’t lock.

With two burners, the Pit Boss portable is going to consume more propane than a single-burner unit. Its features outweigh its shortcomings, and it’s a good value.

Dimensions: 23″ W x 16″ T x 19.5″ D

Features

  • Light and easy to transport
  • Portable design features folding legs and latching hood for easy carry
  • Durable stainless steel construction
  • Two burners 10,000 BTU
  • A push-and-turn ignition
  • Dome thermometer

PB100P1 Pit Stop Single-Burner Portable Tabletop Grill

Next up is the PB100P1 Pit Stop Single-Burner Portable Tabletop Grill, the second of the portable grills we’re reviewing. With one U-shaped burner, this unit is smaller than the 75275, with a 205-square inch cooking area and a 100-square inch warming rack.

Like its two-burner counterpart, the body and hood are stainless steel, and the dome thermometer is enclosed in the latching hood.

The one-burner 10,000 BTU unit runs on a 1-pound propane tank (sold separately). The left side of the burner runs hotter than the right, so you can cook on the left side and warm on the right.

This easy-to-transport unit is great for a campsite, the beach, or a tailgate but also sturdy for home use. The Pit Stop ignites with a push-button and has a side-access grease tray for simple cooking and cleanup.

With two racks and 263 inches of cooking space, you’ll never want to use your inside oven again.

The Pit Stop has sharp edges so be careful when you open the legs. We like that the Pit Stop comes assembled, so you’re ready to start cooking as soon as it’s out of the box.

Features

  • Lightweight unit with folding legs
  • 205 sq. inch stainless steel main cooking area with 100 sq. inch warming rack
  • Stainless steel body and hood
  • Dome thermometer encased in latching hood
  • 10,000 BTU U-shaped burner
  • Easy access grease tray
  • Push-button ignition

PB440TG Portable Wood Folding Pellet Grill

The PB440TG Portable Wood Folding Pellet Grill doubles as a grill and a smoker. It is a full-size grill, but still portable; with the legs off, you can use this grill from the back of your truck.

The Pit Boss PB440TG cooks with pellets rather than propane gas, so it will produce a smokier flavor to your meats, even when you’re using the grilling function.

This model boasts 440 square inches of cooking surface and a flame broiler for cooking with direct flame. With the dial-in temperature control, you can set your desired between 180 and 550 degrees Fahrenheit and the grill’s exhaust convection system maintains the temperature you choose.

There is no confusion about the temperature because the digital control center is equipped with an LED display, but sometimes the actual temperature differs from where you set it.

This pellet grill has folding legs with wheels, so you can easily transport it and set it up wherever you want, although it should be noted that this grill weighs more than 100 pounds, which might limit its transportability.

The Pit Boss 440TG has a 5-pound hopper capacity; this will last 4-5 hours. There’s no notification when the hopper is getting low, so keep an eye out.

Other features include an auto-start hot rod for a quickfire up. Pitmasters should note, though, that the 440TG needs a 120v power source, so you’ll need to be near electricity. A 12v vehicle power source might work if you have a converter.

Of the units we’ve looked at so far, this one requires the most assembly. The directions are not super clear, however.

The ability to both grill and smoke, as well as the wheels to move it, are top features of the Pit Boss PB440TG.

Features

  • 5-pound capacity hopper
  • Combination grill and smoker
  • 440 square inches cooking space
  • Collapsible legs and wheels for rolling
  • Direct flame cooking
  • 180-550 degree temperature range
  • Operates on electricity

Now we are going to review some popular Pit Boss smokers:

77435 Vertical LP Gas Smoker

The 77435 Vertical LP Gas Smoker has a low and slow focus, with a lower temperature range of 100-350 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll love the stylish red exterior of this gas smoker, and the inside offers 3 removable porcelain-coated removable racks.

The dual burner/dual valve system provides heat to 800 square inches of cooking surface, with stainless steel burners that offer 12,500 total BTU.

The temperature is fairly consistent, so you won’t have to constantly monitor the progress of your meat treats and worry about the smoker getting too hot. The temperature control knob can be difficult to operate, and this unit certainly works better at a lower temperature preferred for a low and slow smoke.

One of the great features of the Vertical LP gas smoker is the viewing window in the front of the unit, which allows you full visual access to the progress of the food inside the smoker.

Also, because it has a vertical design, it’s easy to get the trays in and out. Other external features are a handle and wheels for the seamless moving of the smoker.

You can access the grease tray and the wood chip drawer from the outside. When the drawer is filled, the wood pellets should last an hour to an hour and a half.

It may be hard to get the smoke tray out when it expands when heated.

Note that although this unit operates on propane gas, you’ll have to purchase the propane tank separately. This red Vertical LP gas smoker does require full assembly, which should take less than two hours.

Features

  • Dual valve/dual burner system
  • Large viewing window
  • Stainless steel 12,500 BTU burners
  • 100-350 degree Fahrenheit temperature range
  • Three porcelain-coated cooking grids
  • Cooking space 800 square inches
  • Outside access to wood chip drawer and grease tray

Pit Boss PBV3P1 Vertical Pellet Smoker

The Pit Boss PBV3P1 Vertical Pellet Smoker offers slightly more cooking space than the Vertical LP gas smoker, with 901 square inches of cooking space across four cooking racks.

The hopper, which is a top loader, is nestled in the back of the smoker. With a 40-plus pound capacity, this unit will smoke for at least 24 hours.

Fully digital, the LED readout and meat probe will monitor internal temperatures for you. The porcelain-coated cooking grids deflect heat and water to ensure the indirect heat necessary for smoking meat.

This smoker is programmable from 150-450 degrees Fahrenheit. For a low and slow smoke, you’ll want to set it around the 200-250 degree range.

The PBV3P1 Vertical Pellet Smoker has blanket insulation that will keep your smoking meats warm even when it’s freezing outside. And with an auto-start 300-watt igniter with auto shut-off, your smoker can start without you.

In terms of size, you can fit 8 pork butts at once into this spacious smoker, but with the larger quantity, you might want to add a wider catch pan to handle all the drippings.

If you keep this smoker at the lower end of the temperature range, you’re less likely to have issues with the pellet dust backing up in the hopper. If that does happen, you can clear it out with a broom handle.

The temperature control is somewhat unpredictable, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on what you’re smoking.
Beware of spattered grease catching fire when trying to clean the grease tray, especially since the tray is behind the electronic control panel.

Features

  • Digital LED readout and meat probe
  • Auto-start with auto shut-off
  • 901 square inches of cooking space
  • 150-450 degree temperature range
  • Four porcelain-coated cooking racks
  • 40lb+ hopper capacity for 24+ hours of use.

Pit Boss 77550 5.5 Pellet Smoker

The Pit Boss 77550 5.5 Pellet Smoker offers 5 porcelain-coated cooking racks and 1,830-square inches of cooking surface.
The Pellet Smoker also has a digital LED display and adds a meat probe so that you can monitor internal temperatures while your meat is smoking. This unit can be programmed from temperatures of 150-450 degrees Fahrenheit.

There is some inconsistency with the temperature control, so you do have to check throughout the cooking cycle. But as long as you are smoking low and slow while maintaining a lower temperature, the Pellet Smoker should work fine. The higher temperature used for grilling is not as effective with this unit.

The hopper on this model, with a 40 pound+ capacity, can keep you smoking for more than 24 hours. Not only that, but the hopper offers a pellet purge, although sometimes the sawdust gets stuck in the bottom.

It’s important to keep the pellets out of humidity, as that’s what causes the sticking.

Smoking is a long process, but the Pit Boss vertical smoker has an auto-start 300-watt ignite mechanism with auto shut-off, so you can set the smoker to heat up before you get up and smoke low and slow.

This model has a blanket insulation construction, so it will maintain the temperature you set even if it’s cold outside.

The porcelain-coated cooking grids ensure stable heat distribution so that you get the results you want – a nice bark outside, and super tender inside.
Looking to smoke some oh-so-delicious ribs? This model will fit 3-4 racks of ribs.

Remember this is a dedicated smoker and doesn’t offer the direct heat needed for grilling, but with 5 racks, you can have a real fiesta of smoked brisket, chicken, ribs, sausage, and/or pork butt.

You can remove racks if you need more room for taller cuts of meat. Because the racks come out, you can load the racks up inside before putting them in the smoker.

Features

  • Digital LED readout and meat probe
  • Cooking area of 1830 square inches
  • Fully programmable with auto-start igniter/auto shut-off
  • Temperature range of 150-450 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 40-pound hopper capacity for 24-hour use
  • Four porcelain-coated cooking grids

Accessories

Need some pellets to go along with your grill or smoker? You can feel good about the quality and performance of Pit Boss wood pellets:

  • 100% natural hardwood
  • Free of chemicals, glue, spray scents, and artificial flavors
  • Burn hotter and cleaner
  • Easy to use
  • All-natural and great taste from natural juices in the wood
  • Raw wood sourced across North America
  • No mess: 40-pound creates 1/2 cup ash

Pit Boss offers three main varieties:

Apple BBQ Wood Pellets, 40 lb

  • A mild, sweet taste
  • Ideal for pork, poultry, vegetables, and baking products
  • All-natural

Hickory BBQ Wood Pellets, 40 lb


  • The strong, smoky taste
  • Best for beef, pork, poultry, and vegetables
  • Chemical-free

Competition Blend BBQ Wood Pellets, 40 lb

  • The complex taste made with a select blend
  • Versatile flavor for use with all foods
  • No artificial flavors

No matter what your needs, priorities, or preferences, Pit Boss has a grill or smoker for you. Offering:

  • portable and stationary models
  • grills, smokers, and grill/smoker combination units
  • propane gas or wood pellet cooking methods,

Pit Boss maintains a variety of products that all share the trusted Pit Boss name and durable quality.

You can rely on Pit Boss to help you create delicious meat that will satisfy your hungry crew and crown you Pit Boss.

FAQ

Can you use the Pit Boss wood pellets in other branded grills and smokers?
Yes, Pit Boss wood pellets are compatible with any pellet grill or smoker

How long will a 20-pound propane tank last?
A 20-pound propane tank should last 18-20 hours on a grill and approximately 40 hours on a smoker.

Should I choose an electric smoker or a propane smoker?
That’s a great question. It depends on your setup at home and your preferences, but here are a few things to consider.

Electric Smoker

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Good temperature control at low heat
  • nexpensive fuel cost
  • Less monitoring

CONS

  • Can’t use it in the rain (it’s electric!)
  • Electrical system inconsistent in a greasy, hot environment
  • The flavor may not have the traditional grill taste you’re seeking
  • Cords might be unsightly and in the way

Propane Smoker

PROS

  • Achieve the traditional flavor of wood cooking
  • Can be used in a power outage
  • No safety concerns in wet weathert
  • More reliable

CONS

  • CNeed to monitor and adjust heat more often, although Pit Boss smokers have a temperature control built-in
  • May experience temperature inconsistencies in inclement weather
  • More difficult to control temperature, especially at lower ranges
  • Need to maintain a backup propane tank

What are the different cooking methods I can use with my Pit Boss grill?
Pit Boss calls their grills 8-in-1 products. You can use eight different cooking styles: in addition to the obvious grilling and smoking, you can also barbeque, sear, roast, char, braise, and even bake.

How does the temperature control operate on a Pit Boss?
Pit Boss grills combine a digital control board with meat probes and an auger (the auger feeds the pellets into the burn plate). This combination allows the grill to achieve and sustain your desired temperature.

As long as your hopper has pellets, your grill should have a consistent temperature

Do Pit Boss grills come with a warranty?
Yes. All Pit Boss grills come with a 5-year warranty.

What does Pit Boss mean when they say it’s a “set it and forget it” grill?
The wood pellets in the Pit Boss operate much like an oven, creating a stable temperature so that once you set it to the desired temperature, you can leave it to go do other things.

A gas grill requires more supervision due to the fact that gas grills lose heat. So if you choose one of the pellet grills/smokers from our list, you should be able to “set it and forget it.”

Does the Pit Boss operate with natural gas?
No. The Pit Boss gas models run on propane (LP) fuel. A natural gas conversion kit is not included.

Can I use a smaller one-pound propane tank for the portable grill?
Yes, but you’ll need to purchase an adapter to connect the one-pound tank.

How can I achieve a more intense flavor with my smoker?
Immediately after putting your food on the smoker, try switching to a low, smoke temperature range. This will intensify the smoky flavor because the smoke seeps into the pores of the meat before they close (about 120 degrees F).

How to Thicken Alfredo Sauce

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how to thicken alfredo sauce

Alfredo sauce is one of those sauces that is just SO much better homemade. Even in the rare situation when I come home from the store with a premade jar, I always feel the need to doctor it up. But let’s get real – my family always knows when it’s not full-on homemade.

Since homemade Alfredo sauce is just superior to store-bought, it’s so worth it to take the time to learn to make it right. If the Alfredo is too thin, it’s drippy and doesn’t grab the pasta as you want it to.

And if it’s too thick, it can taste goopy–no one wants to bite into a juicy bit of pasta and find out it is the actually congealed sauce! The best Alfredo sauce is velvety thick and smooth. But even with practice, Alfredo sauce (which has only three basic ingredients) sometimes doesn’t cooperate and deliver the desired consistency.

Not to fear: there are myriad ways to thicken your Alfredo sauce. You can experiment with some different methods to see what works best for you. I would look at two main considerations:

  • Dietary preferences or restrictions: if you’re avoiding gluten, you won’t want to use the flour option. If you’re avoiding dairy, why are you reading this article? Just kidding! There are lots of delicious dairy-free recipes for Alfredo sauce. Most use cashews and nutritional yeast to make comfort food that vegans can happily enjoy.
  • What you have in your pantry: it’s more convenient and cost-effective to use what you already have in your cupboard. For one thing, you usually don’t know you need to thicken your sauce until you need to thicken your sauce NOW.

    In addition, you don’t want to spend extra money on a specialty thickening agent that you won’t be using regularly. That expensive specialty ingredient will sit in your cabinet well past its expiration date until you let go of the guilt of throwing it out. Go ahead.

Before we get to the nitty-gritty of thickening, let’s go over a basic Alfredo sauce.

Alfredo sauce has three main ingredients:

  • Butter
  • Heavy cream
  • Parmesan cheese

Really, that’s it? You’re now wondering how your favorite Italian restaurant gets away with charging so much for pasta topped with a three-ingredient sauce. Ambiance. And they take care of the thickening and the cleanup.

For a pound of pasta, you’ll want to start with a stick of butter (½ cup), 1 cup (8 ounces) of heavy cream, and 1 cup (4 ounces) of Parmesan cheese*. You can season with some minced garlic or black pepper if you want.

* Note: You can use any kind of Parmesan, but freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano creates a superior sauce and is definitely worth the extra pennies.

Basically, you melt the butter, add in the cooked pasta, add the heavy cream and Parmesan, and toss until the pasta is coated with delicious goodness.

Pro Tip: If I serve my husband a plate of Fettuccine Alfredo and it doesn’t have a healthy portion of more grated Parmesan on top, he looks at me as if I have just arrived from another planet, so don’t be shy about adding more Parm.

Butter, heavy cream, Parmesan–calories, fat, calories, fat, calories, fat. YUM. If you happen to be counting calories or fat grams and you don’t want a whole army of them, you can definitely use lower-fat versions of the ingredients and still get a delicious sauce. It won’t be as thick and rich, but your pants will still fasten.

Thickening Methods

You’ll want to start with your sauce hot to successfully incorporate any of these thickening methods. Please be aware that unlike some sauces, Alfredo is not one that you can walk away from. Cream sauces need extra care, attention, and stirring to produce the result you want.

Add more heavy cream. This is a good option because it allows you to keep the integrity of the base ingredients. Whisk a little more heavy cream into the sauce (medium heat – you don’t want to scald the cream and wreck your sauce). Bring it to a simmer and it will slowly thicken.

It can take a lot of heavy creams to thicken a sauce, and since you’ve already used a cup, you’ll want to check your flavor to make sure the cream hasn’t masked the butter and cheese flavor.

Add more Parmesan. Again staying true to the original Alfredo recipe, adding more Parmesan will thicken the sauce and maintain the classic Alfredo flavor. As I mentioned before, Parmigiano-Reggiano is the only Parmesan I’ll use.

My family likes it on top of just about anything. Bonus: The heel of the cheese can be frozen and added to crushed tomatoes when you’re making a homemade red sauce (gravy!). My Italian grandmother taught me that trick.

Anyway, liberally grate some more Parm into the Alfredo to thicken it. The only caveat is that if you add too much, it will alter the consistency and may turn out stringy rather than creamy.

Reduce the Sauce. The third method that doesn’t add foreign ingredients (or any ingredients!) is reducing the sauce to make it thicker.

Watch your sauce carefully as you simmer it. Don’t let it boil and stir it regularly to keep it from burning or sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.

As water evaporates, the sauce becomes more concentrated and thicker. Keep in mind that a sauce reduction will intensify the flavors and you may need to adjust your seasonings.

Add a different kind of grating cheese. You can grate some mozzarella or white cheddar cheese into your too-thin Alfredo sauce that is simmering over medium heat. Toss to incorporate the cheese and give it some time to thicken.

Considerations with this method include:

  • The possibility of stringy texture rather than the smooth and creamy one expected from an Alfredo sauce
  • A taste alteration. Mozzarella has a mild flavor so it should blend satisfactorily with the Parmesan. White cheddar won’t change the appearance of your sauce, but even a mild cheddar will affect the palate of the plate.
  • Add cream cheese. Cut a cream cheese brick into cubes and let it soften (it’s much easier to cube it before softening). Whisk cubes into the heated Alfredo sauce one or two at a time until you achieve the consistency you’re looking for. Go slow, it can take some time to thicken.

    As with the other cheese additions, add only as much as you need. Cream cheese has a distinctive flavor and it will change the taste of the sauce.

    Create a roux. A roux is a basic kitchen go-to and serves as the base for many sauces and gravies. A roux is super easy to make. Melt butter in a saucepan and
    And then whisk in flour at a 1:1 ratio until smooth.

    To thicken Alfredo sauce, whisk a little of the completed roux into the simmering sauce and incorporate it to get the desired consistency.

    Make a starch slurry. A starch slurry is a common method for thickening alfredo sauce. You can use cornstarch, flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, rice flour, or arrowroot flour, depending on what you have in your pantry and whether you have gluten sensitivities.

    Mix a little of your chosen starch with some cold water until you attain a smooth mixture. Then slowly whisk your slurry into the Alfredo sauce (which, as usual, is simmering at medium heat).

    Be patient when whisking into the sauce; if you add too quickly, you may over thicken the Alfredo. You’re adding a pure starch (albeit cut with water), and the starch will swell into a gel-like thickening agent when it’s heated.

    Add starch directly. Flour, cornstarch, arrowroot, potato starch, or even instant potato flakes can be added to the simmering Alfredo a tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

    Smooth and slow addition is the key to this thickening method. If you’re not mixing the starch with water before adding it to the sauce, you risk lumps. With any starch addition, you may notice a flavor change.

    Add food gums. Xanthan gum and agar are popular food gums added as thickeners. The big benefit of the food gums is that they don’t affect the appearance or flavor of your sauce.

    You only need a small amount to thicken. Xanthan gum can be mixed directly into the simmering Alfredo, while agar should be mixed with liquid before adding it to the sauce.

    If you’re using xanthan gum, use .01-1% of the weight of your liquid. So if you have 16 ounces of sauce, use no more than one ounce of xanthan gum. Start with less and add until you get the desired thickness. The xanthan gum needs some elbow grease in the whisking.

    If you’re using agar flakes, use one tablespoon for each cup of liquid; if you’re using agar powder, use one teaspoon for each cup of liquid.

    Boil the agar into four tablespoons of liquid for 5-10 minutes and mix into the Alfredo sauce.

    Add egg yolks. Egg yolks are tricky because you have to cook them carefully. Remember that your Alfredo sauce is hot and eggs cook quickly. If you don’t whisk constantly, you’ll end up with scrambled eggs.

    Before you add the yolk, put it in a bowl and add a little bit of the hot Alfredo sauce into the bowl with the yolk, whisking until the eggs are warm in the bowl. Then you can incorporate the yolk/sauce mixture into the sauce.

    Think of how you get used to the water by putting your legs in first, rather than jumping into a cold pool – you want to introduce the heat change gradually.

    Purée vegetables. Puréed vegetables are also a great thickener. A white vegetable like cauliflower won’t alter the color of your Alfredo sauce. You could also try jicama (although it’s pretty watery for thickening), parsnips, turnips, or even white carrots. The mild flavor of cauliflower will offer the least amount of taste alteration. Just mix it into your simmering Alfredo sauce.

    Make Beurre Manié. Beurre manié translates from French to kneaded butter. In this method, the butter and flour are kneaded together before adding to the Alfredo sauce.

    Knead equal parts flour and butter with your fingers or a fork until you get a smooth dough or paste.

    Make teaspoon-sized balls and add one by one to thicken the Alfredo sauce. Give the sauce time to thicken before adding another ball to avoid over thickening. Add more balls until your sauce is the perfect thickness.

What Does Foie Gras Taste Like?

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what does foie gras taste like

Foie gras, which means fat liver in French, is a controversial delicacy in French cuisine and is enjoyed around the world. The liver used in foie gras is duck or goose liver.

Foie gras is a popular splurge dish due to its unique taste and texture. It’s controversial because of ethical concerns

Flavor

Many people describe foie gras tasting like meat-flavored butter. Despite its rich, buttery taste, foie gras still feels delicate. Flooding your gustatory and tactile senses, foie gras is a multisensory experience.

The high-fat content of foie gras produces the buttery sensation inside your mouth. The texture is almost like a cross between butter and whipped cream.

Holding the tension of opposites, foie gras also offers a strong umami flavor. Umami is the Japanese term for meatiness; it is known as the fifth taste, along with bitter, salty, sweet, and tart.

Foie gras does have a liver taste, but it’s milder than the traditional liver you’re used to. Foie gras is smoother — it almost melts in your mouth — while the chicken liver is drier and has a grainy texture.

Variations in taste and texture

Preparation

Foie gras entier, cru refers to the whole (entier), raw (cru) duck or goose liver. You wouldn’t find foie gras entier, cru, at a restaurant. In this form, you will have to prepare it yourself, which involves removing the vein (careful because if you don’t do it correctly, you could ruin the liver), as well as cooking or curing it.

Foie gras mi-cuit is the typical delicacy you see served at restaurants. Mi-cuit means half-cooked; You’ll only find this in a restaurant (unless you make it at home from foie gras entier, cru) because the foie gras mi-cult is not preserved.

The foie gras mi-cuit is one of the milder liver tastes.

Foie gras entier is a whole liver or part of a liver that is sold in jars or tins. Foie gras entier is cooked in the container after being seasoned, usually with salt and pepper and cognac.

Bloc de foie gras avec morceaux is a pâté made with minced bits of intact liver. Morceaux actually means bits. It may have other ingredients added, but the percentage of foie gras is indicated on the container.

The higher the foie gras percentage, the more expensive the bloc de foie gras avec morceaux. And of course, the lower the foie gras percentage, the more the flavor will depart from a pure foie gras.

As you can imagine, the taste of a 98% bloc de foie gras avec morceaux will differ significantly from a 50% bloc de foie gras avec morceaux.

Bloc de foie gras is the lowest grade of foie gras, but still more decadent than your basic pâté because of course, it contains the sought after foie gras; in this iteration, it is just in paste form with no solid bits.

Even if you get the bloc de foie gras or another pâté de foie gras, remember that you don’t want to spread it. It’s meant to be enjoyed in small pieces and usually served with small pieces of bread or crackers and enjoyed in bites.

Foie gras is also prepared as a mousse, or parfait. In these preparations, a mold is made of the morceaux de foie gras and may have other flavors, such as truffles or wine, added.

As you can see from the wide variety of cooking and serving methods, the flavor and the texture of foie gras can vary greatly depending on the preparation.

Duck, duck, goose

Taste and texture will be different depending on whether you’re eating duck foie gras or goose foie gras. The duck foie gras has a lower fat content and a stronger taste, while the goose foie gras has a milder but more sophisticated taste and a higher fat content.

It’s difficult to find goose foie gras outside of France; most of the foie gras available is from duck throughout Europe and the United States.

Cooking method

If you sear, sauté, or fry foie gras, it changes the texture once again, as well as the flavor. These cooking methods result in a foie gras that resembles the taste and texture of the fatty part of the steak.

If you’re trying these cooking methods at home, be careful, with the high-fat content of foie gras, it won’t take much to melt the costly foie gras.

Starter or main?

Sometimes you’ll see foie gras as the main dish, but more often you’ll see it on a restaurant’s appetizer menu. At times, it’s added as a luxurious addition to steak, for velvety richness on top of meaty richness.

Because the taste of foie gras is unique, surrounding it with subdued flavors elevates and spotlights the foie gras.

Pairings

Bread, toast, or baguette is a great vehicle for foie gras. Dried fruit, jam, or grapes are also suitable accompaniments for foie gras.

It also goes well with salad, as long as the dressing doesn’t contain too much vinegar or bitter taste; foie gras needs a mild partner so it can be the star of the show.

If you’re looking for a wine pairing, choose a sweet wine, nice champagne, or a complex and fruity red. As with the salad, you should avoid a bitter wine or one that is too light. A treat as special as foie gras deserves a complex partner.

Pâté or not to pâté

Pâté is a general term referring to a dish with a variety of ingredients, one of which is traditionally some kind of liver. But it’s not necessarily made with foie gras. In fact, pâté simply means paste in French. Of late, the pâté preparation has expanded to showcase vegetables, seafood, and herbs.

You could make a pâté out of foie gras. A pâté must have at least 50% foie gras in order to be called pâté de foie gras.

Ethical concerns

The controversy around foie gras stems from the manner in which the delicacy is achieved.

The unique texture and flavor of foie gras come from the high-fat content of the liver. However, in order to achieve the desired fat content, ducks and geese are force-fed in a process known as gavage. Two to three times per day, the ducks and geese have a tube inserted in their throat and fed corn which has been boiled in fat.

As a result, enormous amounts of fat are deposited on the fowl’s liver, creating the fat content necessary for sensory reaction in your mouth.

Fatty liver is not a diagnosis you want to receive from your doctor, and it’s not healthy for ducks and geese, either. To achieve the desired fat content, ducks are force-fed for about 12 days, and slaughtered after 100 days; geese are force-fed for approximately 17 days and slaughter after 112 days.

Amazingly, the duck and goose liver created by gavaging results in a liver that is enlarged 6-10 times its normal size.

Animal rights activists have three main concerns with the foie gras production process:

  • Cruelty in force-feeding
  • Close quarters for ducks and geese, preventing free movement
  • Intentional diseasing of ducks and geese

Some countries have stopped the practice of gavaging and feed the fowl naturally and humanely; this more humane process, however, also affects the end result of the liver.

Due to the animal welfare concerns, a number of countries have banned the production and sale of gavaged foie gras. In Europe, only Belgium, Bulgaria, France, and Spain are permitted to gavage.

In the United States, California has a law banning the gavage method of force-feeding and also restricts foie gras from fowl raised with this method from being sold. New York is also close to banning this method.

Advocates of the traditional foie gras production maintain that because ducks and geese have no gag reflex, the force-feeding is not cruelty, and the fowl are unstressed and happy.

These advocates maintain that the treatment of geese and ducks is far better than other poultry and cattle, and that foie gras is an easy target because the industry is so much smaller and doesn’t affect the economy as much.

With these considerations, you might choose to consume foie gras that was produced in an ethical and humane manner without the image of a duck or goose being force-fed.

Summary

If you’re looking for a unique taste that duck or goose foie gras delivers. If you enjoy a gamey, flavor wrapped in a delicate casing, you’ll probably love foie gras. There are few culinary treats that can balance a velvety texture and complex umami flavor; it’s a party for your taste buds.

You have a number of texture choices for your duck or goose foie gras:

  • slices of the liver
  • tiny bits of the liver pressed into a mold
  • pâté paste of the liver

Whatever preparation you choose, foie gras is meant to be savored. For some, full enjoyment is possible only when ethical concerns have been addressed.

How Much Brisket Per Person?

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how much brisket per person person

Brisket is both an old standby and the latest trend. The traditional brisket served at holidays and family gatherings is a braised bundle of slow-cooked deliciousness.

Smoking a brisket outside over low heat has grown in popularity, as amateur barbecuers are producing smoky, sought after slices of beef with a crusty bark outside and tender joy on the inside. A well-smoked brisket is about as close as you can get to meat candy.

What is Brisket exactly?

Brisket is one of the tougher cuts of meat, coming from the pectoral muscles of a cow. If you think about your own pectoral muscles, you know that they connect the chest to the arm and shoulder.

Therefore, it shouldn’t surprise you to find out that the brisket has tons of connective tissue, explaining both the tough nature of this cut of beef and the long, low cooking time required for tender and juicy perfection.

Two cuts of Brisket

A whole brisket can weigh anywhere from 10-16 pounds and is referred to as the Packer’s cut. But brisket is often split and sold as two different cuts.

The first is the flat cut, which is what is usually used for the braised brisket; it is a leaner cut. This cut is also called the first cut.

The second is the pointcut (also known as the second cut or deckle cut), which is thicker and fattier, and what usually goes in your smoker or on the grill.

How much brisket is an appropriate serving size per person?

Well, how much brisket you need per person depends on which cut you’re using. For the flat cut brisket to be braised, butchers recommend about a half a pound per person.

The seminal cookbook Joy of Cooking gives a little more variance, with braised brisket recipes calling for 3 to 3 ½ pound cuts to serve 6-8 people or between ¼ -½ pound per person.

For the pointcut or the whole Packer’s cut that goes on the grill or in your smoker, you need to increase the amount of meat per person, as the fattier cut will shrink more as you cook it. In fact, with a Packet’s cut, you can expect to lose up to 50% of the meat’s volume during cooking, although 40% is probably an average loss.

The Joy of Cooking suggests a 4-5 pound roast for 10-12 servings or ¼ -½ pound per person. Topping off at ½ pound per person might be underestimating a bit, especially considering how delicious your brisket is going to be.

Most recipes call for an 8-10 pound brisket for 14-16 servings, or between a ½ -¾ pound per person. Barbeque aficionados aim even higher, recommending 1 pound of uncooked meat per person to allow for a 1/2 pound of cooked meat.

Remember, too, that overestimating the amount of meat (whether you’re braising or smoking) will hopefully leave you with some leftovers for sandwiches the next day.

Other Things to Consider

On the other hand, if you’re catering, ⅓ pound of cooked meat per person is a good plan. The guest list is set, you don’t need leftovers, and your business cost is a consideration.

Who’s eating? Again, if you’re feeding family members and close friends, you probably have an idea of who has a healthy appetite. You can adjust your amounts based on your guest list. Good eaters may need ½ -¾ pound of cooked meat per person.

Just remember that you want to double your calculation of uncooked to cooked meat to allow for the up to 50% shrinkage from the fat you’ll trim off and the moisture loss during the smoking process.

Also factor in any children that might be at your event. They will typically eat about half as much as an adult (note that for the purposes of calculating meat portions, teenagers count as adults.)

Are you serving any vegetarians? If so, you can adjust the amount of brisket you’ll need accordingly. You’ll also have to think of an alternative dish to serve them. Jackfruit and portobello mushrooms grilled up nicely and other plant-based meats have come a long way in recent years. You could also make veggie skewers.

Make sure to avoid cross-contaminating for your meatless friends. Scrub the grill before cooking for vegetarians, cook the meatless treats before the meat, and use a disposable grill topper.

What else are you serving? If you have appetizers, sides, salad, and/or bread, your guests will likely need less meat, especially if your sides are heavier, like potato salad, beans, or a mess of macaroni and cheese. Corn on the cob and watermelon slices also fill up a plate and a stomach.

If you have generous sides, you could get away with ¼ pound serving per person.

And if you’re serving a braised brisket with root vegetables and mashed potatoes, your guests will fill up fast enough that they will be satisfied with a smaller portion of meat.

If you have charcuterie platters, a warm spinach dip, or queso for an appetizer, guests probably won’t be starving by the time the brisket is served.

You may have something else planned as a main course. If you’re barbecuing, you might have a variety of meats: brisket, ribs, chicken, pulled pork, and sausage. Such an assortment would necessitate a different calculation – 1 ¼-1 ½ pounds per person total would allow for the bones in ribs and chicken.

And how about after the meal? What are you planning for dessert? If you have a rich or heavier dessert on the menu, or a dessert table, you’ll probably need less meat to satisfy your guests.

However, if that’s the case, you should consider displaying the desserts before serving the meal so that guests know to leave some room for sweet treats.

Alcohol: People tend to eat more when they drink, so if you’re tailgating, smoking at a campsite, or spending the day or evening on the patio with adult beverages, you may want to plan for larger meat portions.

Additionally, when guests are drinking, you’re probably talking about a longer party where people continue to snack on meat candy after they’ve digested and gotten a second wind.

When are you eating? At a luncheon, people tend to eat lighter, so you’ll need smaller portions per person than you would at dinner. But if you’re having a longer event in the afternoon, guests may snack throughout the day.

Therefore, you’ll need to consider the time of the meal as well as the length of the event.

What type of event are you having? If you’re having a formal sit down dinner, it’s easier to control portions and you can serve smaller portions per person.

If it’s an informal event and people are serving themselves, you should plan for larger portions of meat per person.

Cost. Brisket, which used to be one of the cheaper cuts of meat because it is such tough meat, is now one of the more expensive cuts of meat, all due to the growing popularity around meat smoking. Therefore, if you’re on a budget, you might consider going with smaller per-person portions and adding more sides.

Some hosts like to smoke up less expensive pork belly as the crispy burnt ends are delicious to snack on and can reduce how much brisket people serve themselves. Supplementing with other meats, like chicken, ribs, sausage, and pulled pork is another way to keep costs down. Cutting these meats into smaller pieces will encourage guests to sample all the offerings rather than settling in on one choice.

Time. Smoking a brisket is an investment of time and love. Depending on the size of your brisket, it will take anywhere from 12-20 hours to cook it, and if you’re bringing beforehand, factor in another 2-12 hours.

That’s a big commitment. So if you can manage it, cook some extra as it’s not a dish you can whip up any day of the week. You’ll be surprised by how versatile the leftover smoked goodness is: brisket tacos, brisket hash, warm brisket sandwich, brisket chili… and if you still have leftovers, you can freeze the brisket for up to 3 months.

There’s a lot to consider when deciding how much brisket you’ll need for each person you’re serving. So remember the equation is you will get ½ pound of cooked meat from roughly 1 pound of raw meat.

Keep in mind that depending on the circumstances, as we discussed above, you might end up needing anywhere between as little as ¼-¾ pound of cooked meat per person.

Whether you’re braising a traditional flat cut or smoking a whole Packer’s cut, you can feel confident that your family and guests will leave your table satisfied.

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