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Learning How to Flavor Your Barbecue with Wood

April 22, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Kevin Bevington

When learning to cook barbecue, the one thing that everyone seems to learn quickly is to use wood, such as wood chips or wood chunks, or wood pellets, to give your barbecue a smoky flavor. What is not learned quickly enough is how much to use and most use too much, creating an over smoked, bitter piece of meat that is not very pleasant to eat.

Wood flavoring has to be considered similarly to a spice.

If you put salt on something, you are careful to add small amounts and taste, until you come up with just the right amount. The same thing applies to smoke flavor, start with a small amount of wood chips, or a wood chunk, and work your way up. You will find out real quick that people have much different opinions to yours, on how much smoke flavor should be there, so starting with a small amount is the best advice to give.
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Learning your Smoker

April 6, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Kevin Bevington

There are many types of smoker you can buy, which include many shapes and sizes. When you’re purchasing a smoker there are only a few things that you really need to keep in mind.

1.            How many people do you need to feed?

2.            How much money do you want to spend?

3.            How much work you want to do?

Just like you see on TV you can actually build a smoker for very little money however, you’re not going to want to use a very low quality smoker to cook for many people. If you plan on cooking professionally as a caterer or as a competitor, you will want to buy a smoker that will allow you to cook a lot of food at one time. If you’re looking to cook in your backyard perhaps for just your family or a few close friends a smaller cooker would be your best bet.

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The Mystery of Controlling Heat

March 22, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Kevin Bevington

This is probably the single biggest obstacle to many beginner bbq’rs, in fact the unfortunate thing is many start out with the cheapest smoker they can buy, and don’t understand that they have just purchased a cheap piece of equipment, loaded with design flaws. However, they are fairly easy to overcome if you understand the basics to controlling heat.

First, heat is produced by fire, whether it is wood, charcoal, or gas (we will talk about electric in a minute). A fire needs air to stay lit, right? Most of us somewhere in life have attempted the experiment of putting a candle in a jar, and watched it go out, as soon as it ran out of air.  The same applies to a smoker. We can now control the size of the fire, with the amount of air. Increase the amount of air, and you can increase the intensity of the fire (assuming you have enough fuel). Decrease the amount of air, and you reduce the intensity of the fire.

Second, you need to have somewhere for the smoke, and heated air to go. If you put an air tube in the jar with the candle, pushing air in, the candle would still eventually go out, suffocating from it’s own smoke. The same applies to a smoker, you need an escape (or vent) for the smoke and heated air.

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Is My Barbecue Ready Yet? – Cooking Pork

June 16, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

porkTo many in Southeast US, the very meaning of barbecue, is pork. Pork is obviously a very generic term, and really could mean anything cooked from a hog. However for most of us, in barbecue, cooking pork means the shoulder, and for most, the desired cut from the shoulder is the Boston Butt, and this is what we will cover in this article.

The selection process I use for this piece of meat, includes finding one has the fat well marbled or dispersed throughout the cut.

Then, I start looking at weight, the higher the weight, the longer the cook, so I like them right in the middle (8-9lbs). You can find very small ones, which in my opinion are normally difficult to get tender (4-6lb), and the very large ones (11-13lb) are difficult to cook evenly.

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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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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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