I Hate My NuWave Again

My family began arriving at twelve thirty today for our Easter celebration. My job was to make a ham and theirs was to bring side dishes. What a great chance to retry my Nu-Wave cooker to make a spiral ham. The last time I did this I set the ham so the bone was horizontal and the cuts were vertical. The ham fanned out like a deck of cards, and the individual slices were roasted to ham chips. The thing was crunchy to eat, flavorful, but crunchy. This time I decided to set the ham vertically so the slices were horizontal and they wouldn’t fan. I will be vindicated I told myself, I will show this group of skeptical children that I am the Master of the Nu-Wave. Wrong! The ham didn’t fan, but the edges got crispy. It was also over done. Once again the cooker I love so much became the cooker I hate with a vengeance. The tip of the meat nearest the heat element was charcoal broiled and so tough my electric knife wouldn’t cut through it.

In order to save my self esteem after Grace I announced that three years ago I retired from hosting the big holiday dinners. I told my kids it was time for me to pass the baton to them, and to remind them of why I retired, “I present you with a burnt offering.”

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I Hate My Nu-Wave

It wasn’t long ago when I posted a short piece titled “I Love My Nu-Wave” about how great my Nu-Wave infrared cooker is. Oh how I gave it lauds. It is a great cooker, but on Easter Sunday, I learned its limit. We invited the family for dinner. Grandma Peggy and I decided to put a ham on the table. I decided to use the Nu-Wave. I have never cooked a ham this way before, but the cooker works so good on everything else I’ve tried why not use it on the ham?

The cooking chart instructed to give it fifteen minutes per pound. The ham we bought was ten pounds. That translates into one hundred and fifty minutes, or two and a half hours. Not bad for a chunk of meat that large. We asked our guests to arrive in time for a four o’clock dinner. I made a note to start the ham at one o’clock.

Everything was going on schedule and as planned. Then it happened. What? I’ve left out the part about this being a spiral  cut ham.  I placed the ham into the cooker with the bone horizontal. The traditional way. I placed the cooking dome over the ham and set the timer.

An hour later the aroma of fresh-baked ham filled the house. I love the smell of freshly baked ham. Something told me to check things out. I stopped the machine and lifted the dome. There was the ham with the spiral slices fanned out like a blooming onion. The outer one inch of the edges were dark red, no, they were black. When the ham fanned, the individual slices exposed themselves to the heater and cooked rapidly. Thank God, a section in the center was still pink, and edible.

I checked the internal temperature.  It was ready after one hour, and the guests don’t arrive for another hour and a half. I tore off a piece of the dark red outer edge and popped it into my mouth. Yep, it was crunchy, but still tasty. Grandma Peggy got on the phone and called our guests and explained. She asked them to come earlier if they could. Since the guests were all of our children, they did us the favor.

Instead of serving at four, we served at three. I explained my error in cooking and presented the ham on a platter. I suggested that they eat the pink parts only. To my surprise several of the kids loved the crunchy outer pork chips. The company politely said nothing and ate the burnt offering. Actually, many feasted on the sides.

After the party ended, it occurred to me that I should have stood the ham on end.  Oh well, next time.

I Love My Nu-Wave

I Love My Nu-Wave Cooker

Cooking is something that eluded me until I was forced into it. Then, I wanted to be Emiril overnight. I began watching cooking shows on TV to learn. Between the Food Channel with Emiril, Rachel, Mario, Bobby, Paula, Julia, Martha (yes I confess I watched Martha), and the memories of watching my mother in the kitchen I learned the basics.

Hunger is the mother of all cooking, and it became necessary to reinvent myself as a chef to satisfy that basic drive.

Over the past ten years, my appreciation for cooking gadgets has become overwhelming. First it was a proper knife and cutting board, then a whisk, a thermometer, a timer, and a salad spinner. I learned to use olive oil to saute (fry). Peggy showed me a vertical rotisserie for roasting meat, and a electric roaster oven.

The challenge was to use them all to cook, not just good, but great meals. The rotisserie was the first adventure with a whole chicken. Man did it turn out juicy. The success with the chicken led me to try a beef roast; it became another juicy success.

Thanksgiving turned into a challenge. We invited the entire family; all twenty-four of us. The volume of items being brought to the house in combination with the turkey and stuffing put a strain on our oven. That’s when we broke out the roaster oven and used it to make the turkey.

Among the best cooking gadgets ever invented is the George Foreman Grill. What a great way to heat meat evenly. Our first Foreman grill is worn out. It still works, but the Teflon is gone. During our winter hiatus to Arizona, we missed the Foreman so much we bought a new one.  We used it daily. The new one has removable plates and is easier to clean.

Two years ago, we visited friends in Georgia. I chronicled the trip in a post called Needed Downtime. Our hosts, Lou and Lori made us a huge breakfast of bacon and eggs. They cooked a pound of bacon to perfection in a record time without a mess.

“How did you do that,” we asked?

“We used our Nu-Wave cooker,” said Lori.

“What is that?”

That started them raving about this really cool gadget. They told story after story of how they use this thing to cook chicken, steaks, and even vegetables. Of course, we got a demonstration on how easy it is to use, and to clean.

“I’ve got to get me one of those,” I told them.

Fast forward one year.

Peggy and I are tourist shopping in Branson, Missouri. I should restate that, Peggy was shopping, I was gawking at the young ladies behind the counter and trying not to look conspicuous. The next thing I see Peggy walking toward me with a huge box.
“I bought you a Nu-Wave.”

My reaction was that of a normal husband, “you did what?”

“I bought you a Nu-Wave cooker.”

“How much was it?”

“Never mind, just take it, this box is heavy.”

So began my love affair with the Nu-Wave. We’ve had it nearly one year, and I have used it to grill steaks, chicken, pork chops, pork roast, turkey breast, sirloin-tip roast, potatoes, and fish. The feature I love best is the cooking card that gives me cooking times for both defrosted and frozen items.

Very often, we make our menu decision on the spur of the moment. We can take rock-hard frozen pork chops and put them on the Nu-Wave. I set the timer for ten minutes, then turn them over for another ten minutes, and wallah, we have tasty tender pork chops. While the chops are grilling, we microwave a couple of small potatoes, and some broccoli.  In twenty minutes, we went from freezer to table and made a meal fit for a king.

Here are some photos of a whole 5.5 pound chicken fully defrosted and the Nu-Wave. The cooking time is 15 minutes per pound. In seventy-five minutes the meat temperature is right on.

My Nu-Wave is now the favored appliance in the kitchen. At Thanksgiving, the turkey is in the roaster oven and a turkey breast is in the Nu-Wave.

We still use the grillerator, but steaks, roasts, and whole chickens are better on the Nu-Wave.

ANALOG Model Nu-Wave Infrared Cooler

 

Fully Defrosted Chicken

Chicken Rubbed in Season Salt and Emiril's Essence

Chicken Rubbed With Season Salt and Emiril's Essence in NuWave

NuWave Cooking Chart

Cook Times for Poultry

Control Panel With the Power Locked on FULL, and the Timer Setting

Fully Roasted Chicken With the Meat Thermometer

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