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BBQ SAUCE by R Mailey

July 5, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

 
BBQ SAUCE by R Mailey
BBQ Sauce
 
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1/8 Cup Red Onion finely chopped
1/4 Cup Cider Vinegar
1/4 Cup Yellow Mustard
3/4 Cup Ketchup
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 tbsp Lemon Juice
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp Cumin 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Liquid Smoke-Hickory

BBQ BEEF SHORT RIBS

July 5, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

 
A recipe for Beef Short Ribs
BBQ Beef Short Ribs
 
 
1/4 cup brown mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs chopped parsley
1/2 Tsp garlic powder
4 lbs beef short ribsMix all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl. Liberally coat ribs with the wet rub mixture. Let marinate for a minimum of 4 hours (best overnight). Place in smoker (or indirect on grill)at 240 degrees for approximately 2 hours. Wrap in aluminum foil and cook for an additional 1 hour or until ribs are tender.

What is the best “1st” smoker?

July 5, 2008 by · 3 Comments 

wsmWell, you have been grilling for years. But, you want to make some of that great pulled pork like your buddy does with his smoker. And, maybe a smoked turkey for the holidays would be nice.

So, what is the best smoker to buy to get started?

There is no perfect answer except, “It Depends”.

You must ask and answer the following questions to start your search for that perfect smoker for you.

  1. How many people to you intend to feed, both routinely and on those special occasions?
  2. Would you like an “easy to use” approach to smoking? Or, are you interested in the ancient art of fire tending and long nights around the smoker?
  3. Finally, the big question. What is your budget?

Let me take you through a brief tour of the different types of smokers on the market today.  There is plenty of variety and you should find one that is best for you. For each type, I will list the most commonly discussed “Pros and Cons” for each genre.

I will be using a term throughout this discussion that needs to be defined now. A “charcoal basket” is a simple box, normally made of expanded metal or something similar. This basket holds a good supply of charcoal and wood chunks. A small amount of charcoal is lit and then spreads slowly through the supply. The burn rate is controlled by restricting the airflow.

With that out of the way, let’s proceed through the smoker types.

“OFFSET FIREBOX” SMOKERS

These are the “traditional” smokers with a separate chamber for the fire and one for the smoking area. The fire can be pure logs (sticks) or may be charcoal in a basket. Sizes and prices run the gamut from the inexpensive sheet metal ones found at the big-box stores through custom trailer rigs that cost many thousands of dollars.

PROS

Offsets are “sexy” and traditional. If you say “BBQ Smoker”, most people have a mental image of an offset firebox design.

Offsets have produced fantastic BBQ for decades. Lots of smoke flavor and the legendary “smoke ring” are common.

Offsets are dependable and relatively low maintenance. No electricity required and no real moving parts unless it is a rotisserie unit. Normally, keeping the smoker rust free, clean, and lubricated is about all the routine care required.

Offsets require the highest level of fire management skills. Many cooks consider this a badge of distinction as a “Pitmaster”. Maintaining a relatively constant cooking temp is an art form requiring frequent attention throughout the cooking cycle. This may be considered a great time to just “enjoy friends and life”, and maybe enjoy a few adult beverages.

CONS

Offsets require the highest level of fire management skills. Sound familiar?  The learning curve for fire management can be steep and long, depending on the smoker used. I personally started with a “Bandera”. It is an offset with a vertical smoke chamber made of sheet metal. I had excellent guidance on fire management, but it still was a trick to learn. I loved my Bandera, but grew weary of tending the fire every 45 minutes or so. I built a basket and that helped.

Offsets, small horizontal ones in particular, have a “hot spot” by the firebox end. Temps can be 50+ degrees hotter there. Some cooks build a baffle to even out the heat. Some cooks learn to use the difference to their advantage. But, the hot end can significantly reduce the usable cooking area in many cases. As the smoke chamber grows larger, the influence of the hot area diminishes, but the purchase price goes up exponentially. 

CABINET STYLE SMOKERS

These are the smokers that just look like a box with one or more doors on the front. The fire or heat source is located below the meat and is normally charcoal. However, the heat source may be propane or electric with small pieces of wood used for flavor. All heat sources work fine and produce excellent BBQ.

PROS

Cabinet Style units normally have relatively even heat distribution throughout the smoke box. Not perfect, but pretty even on most units.

Cabinet Style units normally enjoy long burn times at relatively constant temperatures. The ones that burn charcoal normally use some form of a basket or a gravity feed system to control the burn and keep the temperatures even for a few hours up to “many” hours of unattended smoking.

 CONS

Cabinet Style units work best if they are insulated. This means that this style with insulation may cost more that the lowest priced Offsets and some other styles.

 BULLET STYLE SMOKERS

These are the “cute” little smokers that look like R2D2 from Star Wars. They produce heat and smoke similar to Cabinet Style cookers, bur are round. Many, many cooks started with one of these. The “major player” in this genre is the Weber Smokey Mountain. I proudly owned one of these for over 2 years. I miss it sometimes.

The Pros and Cons are similar to the Cabinet style except they tend to be a single layer of steel and much more affordable. The WSM is easily the most commonly recommended smoker for a new cook.

 PELLET SMOKERS and GRILLS
These can be cabinet type or resemble an offset cooker; I made them a separate genre because they use a unique fuel—compressed wood pellets. These cookers may be complex with a timing device or a computer to control the pellet feed. Also, they normally have a combustion fan to keep the pellets burning cleanly.

PROS

 

 

Rock solid heat control.

Long burn times of over 20 hours if needed with little or no attention required.

The flavors and types of wood pellets make it easy and relatively inexpensive to create the exact smoke flavor desired. I spend approximately $.50 per hour for pellets in my FEC 100.

Pellets burn very cleanly and it is considered difficult to “over smoke” the product.

CONS

Pellet smokers require electricity to operate the controller and the fans.

Pellet smokers have electrical and mechanical parts that are subject to failure. They have an excellent service history, but most owners keep a few basic repair parts like “drive pins” available.

Pellet smokers are expensive.

 So, this completes my tour of the various types of smokers on the market.

Remember those three questions?

Evaluate your needs first and then start shopping.

Once you determine your needs, feel free to ask here for more information on specific brands.

 Happy smoking.

Better Barbecue with Aluminum Foil

July 3, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Aluminum foil is a valuable tool for preparing bbq ribs, pork butts, and brisket. When used correctly, it helps improve consistency and predictability in barbecue preparation.

Some might call it a “crutch”, but for me using aluminum foil is a common sense approach to preparing good barbecue. I’m not currently aware of any bbq contest winners that do not use it in abundance. I’m not saying you can’t win without it, but I’d wager that 95% of all bbq contest champions are using it when they prepare their contest meats.

Here are some examples of how I use it:

For ribs…..I slow cook my baby backs for 2 1/2 hours at 225 degrees. Then I wrap them in a double thickness of foil with the meat side down with three ounces of apple juice or grape juice or a mixture of both, for 1 1/2 hours cooking at 250 degrees. After an hour, I remove the foil, brush on my favorite sauce, and cook for 30 or 40 minutes until the meat starts to pull away gently from the bones.

For pork butts or brisket…I slow cook the pork butts and briskets for 5 hours at 225 degrees and wrap in a double thickness of aluminum foil. I cook them until the internal meat temperature reaches 198 degrees as measured with a meat thermometer.

Using a double thickness of foil prevents the rib bones from puncturing the foil and the juice running out. When cooking bigger pieces of meat like briskets and pork butts, there is a lot of juice and aus jous that collects in the foil. A double thickness helps prevent leakage and preserves the juice for basting the meat later on, if desired.

Aluminum foil is also used as an aid to accelerate the cooking process. A pork butt or brisket cooked without using aluminum foil can take two or three hours longer to cook. It also makes a good disposable surface for preparing meats. At contests when water isn’t readily available at my cooksite, I sometimes spread a sheet of foil over my cutting board when injecting the larger cuts of meats. When finished, I simply fold up the foil and throw it away.

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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The Renowned Mr Brown

June 20, 2008 by · 1 Comment 

Leonard Heuberger

In old Southern Slang, Mr Brown is the dark, smoky outside part of the barbequed pork, usually the shoulder. This is the traditional cooking style, perfected by generations of pitmasters to give Mr. Brown his deserved renown.

Southern Succor Rub
1/4 cup ground black pepper
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne

6 pound to 8 pound Boston butt

Southern Sop (optional)
Remaining Southern Succor Rub
2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup water
3 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cayenne

Serves 8 to 10

The night before you plan to barbecue, combine the rub ingredients in a small bowl. Massage the pork well with about half of the rub. Transfer the pork to a plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.

Before you begin to barbecue, remove the pork from the refridgerator. Pat down the butt with another coating of rub. Let the pork sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes.

Prepare the smoker for barbecuing, bringing the temperature to 200 degrees F to 220 degrees F.

If you plan to baste the pork, stir any remaining rub together with the mop ingredients in a saucepan and warm the mixture over low heat.

Transfer the pork to the smoker and cook it for about 1 1/2 hours per pound, or internal temperature reaches 170 degrees to 180 degrees.Mop the pork about once an hour in wood-burning pit, or as appropriate for your style smoker.

remove the pork from the smoker and let it sit for about 15 minutes, until cool enough to handle.Pull of chunks of the meat, and either shred or chop them as you wish. Make sure each serving has some of the darker chewier Mr. Brown along with the lighter interior meat. If you wish, serve the pork with Golden Mustard Barbeque Sauce, Carolina Red, or Vaunted Vinegar Sauce.

HomeBBQ.com Beer Butt Chicken

June 20, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

HomeBBQ.com
This recipe uses HomeBBQ.com Black Jack Rub & Grill

Ingredients needed:
1 – 4 to 5 lb whole chicken
1 – Beer Can (Tall can preferably)
1/2 – Cup Butter
1- tblsp Garlic Salt
1 – Jar of HomeBBQ.com Black Jack Rub & Grill

Directions

Preheat grill or smoker to approximately 250 to 275 degrees.
In a small sauce pan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Mix in 1 tblsp garlic salt, 2 tblsp of Black Jack Rub & Grill. Discard (or drink) 1/2 the beer, leaving the remainder in the can. Add butter, garlic salt, and Black Jack rub to beer can (reserve 1/8th cup).

Place can on a disposable baking sheet.

Set chicken on can, inserting can into the cavity of the chicken.

Brush chicken with Butter, garlic salt, and Black Jack Rub mixture.

Then season liberally with Black Jack Rub & Grill.

Place baking sheet with beer and chicken on the grill. Cook for about 2 to 3 hours, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. Internal temp of breast 160 to 165 degrees.

Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes

Carve, serve, and enjoy!

Our New Website

June 18, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

site-bigWelcome to our new website, it has certainly been a challenge, getting this together. I apologize for the re-register and realize it has just been 2 1/2 years since we did this before, but this was something that needed to be done to keep up with the times.

The cut-over to the new site was premature, do due several sql injection attacks on my site. However we will be working while your using the new site.

Many new features here, that I think you will enjoy. We have multiple authors which is spelled out in the News article a little clearer.

This web site is now capable of all the new blogging and social craze going on with the web. I hope you enjoy the new site!

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