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The Best Barbecue Starts with Food Safety

April 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Cooking barbecue, or grilling has become a year round activity, according to HPBA more than 56% of Americans say they are cooking outdoors year round. So it’s important to follow food safety guidelines to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying and causing food borne illness. Use these simple guidelines from the USDA for cooking food safely.

From the Store: Go Home first

When shopping, buy cold food like meat and poultry last, just before your ready to checkout.  Separate meat and poultry from other food in your shopping cart. To prevent cross-contamination (this can happen when raw meat or poultry juices drip on other food), put packages of raw meat and poultry into plastic bags.

Load meat and poultry into the coolest part of your vehicle, and take your groceries straight home. If your drive is more than 30-minutes away, bring a cooler with ice and place perishable food in it for the trip.
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Is My Barbecue Ready Yet? Cooking Beef Brisket

July 25, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

brisketBy Kevin Bevington
Now that we have our rub, the right equipment, and we are able to control a consistent temperature, we are ready to attempt the toughest meat to cook, Beef Brisket. Lets first discuss how to select the meat you are about to cook. Beef Brisket can typically be sold in 3 different size cuts.

First, is the whole packer cut, this whole cut includes the 2 very distinctly different muscles that make up the entire cut, you have the flat which would be considered the flat long piece of meat, the point, which includes the nose end, and the meat layer underneath the flat, which is separated by a layer of fat which is also known as a deckle layer. The whole packer cut is the most desirable cut to cook in your smoker, the main reason being, the tremendous amount of fat that can be left on this cut to give it plenty of moisture to draw from while cooking.

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BBQ Tips

June 29, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

If you’re a new barbecue cook or new to bbq contests, here are a few BBQ tips to shorten your learning curve. When I was starting these tips were shared with me and I share them with new cooks every chance I get.

How to keep BBQ hot if you’re not quite ready to eat it…use an ice chest/ice cooler. Put some hot water in an empty ice chest, close the lid and let it set for 3 or 4 minutes. Drain the hot water and you’ve got yourself a portable BBQ warmer. We’ve kept pork butts warm this way for 6 or 7 hours.

How to keep your hands clean when cooking BBQ…use powder free latex gloves. They come in packs of 100 at the local Sam’s Club and will keep your hands clean. You’ll maintain good sanitary practices too. Many bbq sanctioning bodies require the use of gloves when preparing contest entries.

How to keep your spouse interested in the BBQ hobby…get him/her involved in it with you. It’s a lot of fun. You meet nice people and it’s something you can do together.

How to keep your BBQ expenses in line with your budget…research all your purchases thoroughly. Make sure your purchase will do what you want it to do BEFORE you purchase it. For example, if you want to learn to cook whole hogs, you probably need to consider a big cooker or if you want to cook 10-15 racks spare ribs every weekend you’re going to need something bigger than a WSM.

How to continually improve your BBQ recipes…keep records of your cooking efforts including cook times, prepping techniques used and especially measurements for sauces or rubs and spices used. When you tweak the recipe for taste, only change one thing at a time–change the cook time, change the rub, change the sauce, but try to avoid completely changing everything all at once. Small changes to your technique and recipes will help you focus on the effects better and you’ll be able to fine tune the product quality more efficiently.

Is My Barbecue Ready Yet? – Cooking Ribs

June 26, 2008 by · 1 Comment 

ribsBy Kevin Bevington

There are different ways to cook, and determine doneness in your BBQ ribs, and we are going to break those down into the 2 types.

St Louis Spare Ribs – St Louis Spare Ribs can be one of the most difficult meats to cook and to get done accurately. Many of the ways you would determine doneness, take some time and experience to identify and master. But first, we will cover a good process to use, which will take you real close to being done, and then you can apply a couple of simple techniques to determine doneness.

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Is My Barbecue Ready Yet? – Part 2

June 22, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

smallfire

By Kevin Bevington

Ok, we made our rub. Now that we have our barbecue tasting good, we want to make sure we are cooking it properly. BBQ that is cooked properly will actually stand out better than BBQ that may actually have better tasting seasoning and sauce. This is where a lot of new barbecue competition teams miss the boat, and especially those in the backyard trying to cook bbq for their friends and family.

Let’s start with the tools you will need to bring you closer to your tender barbecue goal. First, let’s talk about your cooker, or bbq smoker. Let’s face it, you can cook barbecue on anything, bullet style smoker, offset fire box smoker, ceramic smoker, electric smoker, pellet grill, charcoal grill, and even a gas grill.
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All BBQ Needs Is A Good Rub!

June 18, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

herbs-spices

By Kevin Bevington

As the masses begin to uncover their bbq grills and smokers for the season of barbecue and Grilling, many wonder what will set theirs apart from the rest. The answer? A good rub can make a world of difference. Sure, a good barbecue sauce is still a good thing to have to compliment your meal, but the seasoning is the key.

A bbq rub, is commonly referred to as a dry marinade, many times, it can actually bring more flavor to your barbecue than a liquid marinade, especially when used in a similar fashion.
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