The other day I stepped into something over at Seriously Good (look for October 4th 2005′s entry). It seems as though us food bloggers are doing a Show & Tell of our kitchens. I believe it’s a great idea, since what we’re about is food and cooking. Mrs. D over at Belly-Timber started it and I have to say, her kitchen really impressed me. More ways that one, you’ll see what I mean. Go look! If you haven’t already seen my kitchen, come along … (no, I’m not going to say, “walk this way”)
Here’s a repeat of the introduction image. This is my outdoor kitchen sportin’ my main smoker/grill/Dutch Oven cooktop green drum looking thing, dang I missed the smoke stack there on the left, oh well. It’s really cool looking, just so you know. To the right is a quite large Meco grill. I really like the Meco for several reasons, flat even heat, hinged lid, easy ash clean up and the grill is adjustable, goes up and down. Plus, they tend to be really inexpensive if not free (I rarely pay for grills). To the right of that is my outdoor butcher block table. Thanks to Big D, he got that at a garage sale for my birthday a few years back. It’s so heavy, well we got it this far and this is where it stays. Fitting don’t you think? Oh, look back to your left and you’ll see tucked away a pretty red weber, excellent for keeping all my que tools safe & dry. This, and a nice sitting area is all under one of those 10′x20′ steel “car ports” you can buy at your local mega mart for 170 bux. Instead of using the ugly silver tarp that came with it, I covered the peaked roof with reed fencing. Makes nice speckled light for the Outdoor Kitchen area, very relaxing.
Here’s a view of the inside of the smoker. It isn’t as efficient as HJ’s Weber Bullet smoker, but darned close. Look down and to your right, that’s the fire box right there. The incoming air vent is right there down low. This firebox is removable for easy ash cleanup. The cooking grills can be put over this fire box for grilling as well as sliding in to that removable Rib Rack that you see taking up most of the left side of the cooking area there. It holds chicken halfs, pork roasts and sausages JUST FINE. And it allows you to cook at a higher temperature if needed. If not? Then as you can see, there are grills down low which will put you at a steady 200 to 225 degrees with no problem. If you need nothing but grilling space, there’s a large coal try underneath everything there, light your fire and go.
Having the fire box inside the smoker versus an off-set rig (fire box hanging off to the left) tends to be more efficient, the temperature doesn’t drop so far and takes less time to recover when I open up the door. This area is used daily if not weekly, even during the nasty seasons.
Okay, that’s one kitchen, let’s go in the back door right here close.
As we come in the back door, here we look to our right. I call this my command module. From here I can do nearly anything. I have a prep area there on the butcher block and a smaller area to my right on the counters. The old 1952 Wedgewood range is in full working condition, ‘cept for the clock/timer. It’s got a recently replaced oven thermostat, rechromed griddle and I adjusted the flames to max level. They’ll lap around the bottom of my largest stock pot, easy. Up over to the left there are my knives and there are more to the right under the cabinets. Speaking of which, yes I painted those myself. I wanted a loud and engaging kitchen, something that drew you in, made you want to play. I figured Rocket Red would do the trick, I enjoy it. If you turned hard to the right you’d see the sink area and a little more counter space for dirty/clean dishes. There’s a window there that overlooks the BBQ patio area. As far as the size of the kitchen? I’m about 1 to 2 steps from everything. Spin hard to your left now, right now.
Hey, check out that really cool 1972 rotary phone there on the wall, gots a real bell. The bell makes Mama’s head hurt, so I got it down low. I think it’s got a pretty ring. Pots, fry pans, sauce pans are everywhere. Even got the paella pan hanging from the ceiling. There’s a pink Hello Kitty microwave and a pink Hello Kitty rice cooker. The dark hole down there on the bottom rack is the neat Farberware Turbo Convection oven, darned handy for the holidays & parties. The portable dishwasher serves as a dirty dish hiding device, another prep area, and stage for taking pictures, see the covered wagon? To the right is the fridge, freezer on the bottom and the end of the kitchen. Among the cutting boards down there on the floor is my tripod and way up top are the flood lights I use. Aw rats, well I missed it. On the dishwasher top is a knife block I made in 8th grade wood shop and it has my small collection of 90 year old butter knives. Which is pretty much how my taste goes, most all of my knives are old carbon steel rigs (they rust). I only have 1 non-stick pan out of several dozen. These are mostly cast iron & solid copper pans, a few enamel coated cast iron ones. I ain’t hip to that newfangled stainless steel or non-sticken stuff, there’s no love there. It’s small, but one can get a lot done for many people in there. During the holidays I pull out my electric hot plate with 2 burners, this gives me an extra added place to keep goodies warm. Well, there we have it. Meathenge Labs in all it’s glory. I hope you enjoyed your tour, please be kind and close the door on your way out. Good bye.
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