Cooking and Exercising

November 16, 2023

I recently took delivery on a Workhorse Pits 1975 wagon offset smoker. I purchased it almost a year earlier–it takes them a while to build it. Anyways, I sort of view it as the next step in my smoking meats journey. I have been using a Kamado Joe and, while I like it, I can’t realistically cook with anything other than charcoal. Regular seasoned wood gives the best smoke flavor, and an offset smoker is one of the best ways you can cook with wood.

In the same vein, I also bought a Kamado-san donabe rice cooker. It’s basically an earthenware pot that you can use for cooking rice. I don’t really think of myself as a cook but people say that an offset makes the best meat and a donabe-style rice cooker makes the best rice. So I thought I would try it out in my journey to make the best of anything (thinking of Heston Blumenthal’s BBC documentary in search of perfection). A donabe cooker is less fool proof than a rice cooker for sure, similar to how an offset smoker is easier to mess up than an oven that automatically sets the temperature and turns off when it hits the probe temperature (which you can pretty much do with charcoal if you hook up probes to a computer and fan blower).

So as far as cooking goes, I have gone back to more primitive technology. On the other hand, when it comes to exercise, I have gone to newer technology. Last night I did my first Zwift ride. I bought a Zwift hub earlier–a bicycle smart training device. You remove your back wheel and your bike powers a smart flywheel which measures your cadence, power output, and renders you as a rider in a virtual world. I used my phone and casted it to a TV. I used my watch to broadcast my heart-rate to the smart trainer, but will probably try to use my Garmin HRM for more serious numbers. The smart trainer has a remote control smart shifter which gives you around 24 gears to counter the resistance you get when going up virtual hills. The first year of the zwift subscription is free with the trainer, and after that it’s still roughly 4x cheaper than something like the peloton.

So far I’m cautiously hopeful that I’ll be able to add more cycling workouts to my current run-heavy regimen. Generally speaking I don’t like stationary bike workouts, but if it’s gamified enough, I might be able to make an exception. Or at least maybe I’ll be able to use the data to see if my FTP w/kg improves.