Sunday Brisket Log

8:30am Start Fire

9:15 apply rub

9:45 brisket on

Baby Backs and Chicken Legs

7/4/12 – Happy birthday America!

DC is under a heat advisory today but I gotta practice ribs.  Here’s the BBQ log for today’s cook.

Did Chicken legs and babybacks.  Used the same rub on both

  • 3 Slabs of Baby Back ribs
  • 5 chicken legs
  • 1 Cup Big Time Rub
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar in the Raw

Remove underside skin from the ribs.

  • 1:15pm – mix sugar with the rub – rubbed both chicken and ribs – cut slabs in half, 3 whole slabs won’t fit on the Big Green Egg.
  • 1:30pm start fire – be sure to clean out old ash
  • 1:40 pm prepare a foil packet for Apple chips about 2 cups of chips, soak 1 cup in water leave to other dry.
  • 1:50pm fire at 300 still need to burn off charcoal smoke –  daisy wheel small holes only / close down bottom draft 1/4″ of the screen exposed. (Burn off the charcoal smoke BEFORE adding wood – Do not let the temp get to high, takes a long time to cool down.)
  • 2:05pm Charcoal smoke nearly burned off – temp is a little too high still (300 need to get down to about 275)
  • 2:05 pm clean grill don’t leave the lid open any longer than needed
  • 2:11pm fire down to 270, open bottom draft only slightly
  • 2:15 fire took off, up to 350
  • 2:20 fire down to 300 – added 4 chunks of hickory and 4 chunks of apple and the foil packet inserted plate setter after that, the fire now down to 225
  • 2:50 ribs and legs on fire down to 220 open bottom draft full, try to get to 275 ribs meaty side up
  • 3:30 temp up to 275 close the bottom draft halfway
  • 4:00 legs hit 150
  • 4:50 bones up and chicken at 160
  • 5:30 Legs 170 and off
  • 5:45 foil wrap honey and brown sugar granny smith apple wedges
  • 6:00 return foil wrapped to grill at about 300
  • 7:45 off the grill

The legs came out a touch over smoked, but still moist.

Ribs went a little over, falling off the bone, next time only about an 1:15 in foil. Maybe just a touch too much smoke.

Chrome Wheels and Offset Smokers

A 1965 Chevy pickup, manual transmission, white over red. Other than our old gray Ford tractor, that is the vehicle my dad used to teach me to drive. That old pickup kind of looked like this, but without the fancy wheels.

Just like the pickup my dad used to teach me driving lessons.

Oh sure, we had another car — automatic transmission and all — he could have used for the driving lesson, but my dad’s main idea was this; if you could learn to drive a crappy old truck with a four-on-the-floor manual transmission, you could pretty much drive anything after that.

A couple of years ago, when the mere thought of trying to smoke meat scared the living bejeebers out of me, I wanted to make sure I could tackle this new pastime without ruining too much meat in the process. I know, I know, our fine farm and ranch families will produce more…but stilll. I also did not want to make a big investment in equipment, just in case smoking meat did not turn out to be my weekend calling.

So…I started out small. You have likely seen my Charcoal Chucker posts about my cheapo offset smoker($89 at Walmart).

Charbroil American Gourmet smoker, aka the cheapo offset firebox smoker.

It served me well for about three years. The price was certainly right. And it

Two pork butts on the cheapo.

Two pork butts on the cheapo.

allowed me to try my luck at the art of meat smoking without making a big investment. Well, the cheapo finally started rusting and I wanted something that could hold heat better, and something that perhaps I would not have to reload with charcoal every two or three hours.

Well, my Charcoal Chucker brothers certainly would recommend to me that I go whole hog and purchase one of the coveted Big Green Egg ceramic cookers. Truth be told, I would have loved to have been able to do this, but I am but a simple Kansas farm boy (with three kids in college to boot) and I just could not get over the mental hurdle of plunking down a stack of greenbacks for a smoker that would leave me unable to buy meat for such a nice smoker (I exaggerate).

So…in the process of scouting out a possible replacement smoker, I was checking out the stock at our local Lowe’s store. A very nice new Char Griller offset firebox smoker caught my eye in the $299 price range. Nice. Very nice. Metal was much thicker than the cheapo and the cooking area was nearly double the size.

The grill of my dreams…well, kind of.

It was almost love at first sight. Almost.

Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw a wink. I did. Off to the side sat a flirty little number that looked very much like the coveted Big Green Egg of my dreams. I strolled up nonchalantly and said in a deep manly voice. “Is your Dad an astronaut? Because someone took the stars from the sky and put them in your eyes.” I fumbled as I reached for her price tag, thinking she was very much out of my league and expecting very bad news. Then, BOOM, a cascade of fireworks. My eyes could not believe what I was seeing. $299. Holy cow. This had the earmarks of a long, lasting relationship. (OK, that’s enough of the creepy old man stuff.)

So…after a bit of research (mainly from John Setzer).  He has a number of videos and blogs devoted to the Char Griller Akorn. I also sought out other feedback, but mostly after my mind was made up. Not long after, I brought her home to meet the family.

Her maiden voyage…after a quick 400 degree heat-up to cure the grate, was two slabs of pork spare ribs and two chickens. I wasn’t sure it was all going to fit, but it did due to the warming basket, which can double as a second tier cooking basket during low-and-slow smoking.

I would have to conclude that overall, the results were very good.

The maiden voyage of the Char Griller Akorn Kooker. Chicken and pork spare ribs.

And judging by the reactions of the consumers of the first yield off the iron grate kamado, this could turn into a great decision. I am so pleased that I have exited the offset firebox highway for a turn down the road toward kamado-style cooking.  And my Charcoal Chucker brothers have led me down that path. the only difference is that I will continue to truck down the road in a triple layer steel and porcelain smoker instead of a ceramic one.  But since I learned how to drive with an offset firebox smoker, I feel like I am riding in style. But you know that if I could find a 1965 white over red, four speed Chevy pickup today, and if I could afford it, I would add some of those fancy chrome wheels to go with it.

High Heat Turkey

I tried chef Marc Vogel’s recipe for high heat turkey last Thanksgiving & Christmas they both turned out great.  I know this blog is for grilling & BBQ but if you have a ceramic cooker you’ll be able to maintain the temperature.  Now with that being said I did cook them in the oven because I didn’t have access to my grill.  I promise I’ll keep you updated when I try this method on my ceramic cooker.  Below is the recipe.

High Heat Turkey

Directions for Chef Marc’s Easy High Heat Turkey

Dry a 16 to 18 lb. turkey inside and out with paper towels.

Oil the turkey inside and out with any kind of vegetable oil (olive, canola, etc.) using your hands.

Cut away any excess skin around the opening of the cavity and wedge a fork inside the cavity to open it further. Leave the fork in.

Why? Heat cooks. Opening the cavity will allow the heat to cook the bird from the inside as well as the outside.

Rub spices, herbs, or just pepper all over the bird with your oily fingers.

Why? Herbs and spices create a crust on the skin that seals in the flavor and juices.

Place the turkey, breast side down on a rack in a large metal roasting pan.

Why? The rack keeps the turkey from steaming on the bottom of the pan.
Why metal? It conducts heat better than glass or ceramic.

Cover the top of the turkey, including legs and wings with greased foil.

Why? High heat can cook too well. Loosely covering the top of the turkey will keep it from burning.

Pour ¾-inch of chicken or turkey broth in the bottom of the pan. As the turkey cooks, check the liquid every 45 minutes and ad more in case it evaporates.

Why? To catch the juices and fat as they drip from the turkey so that they will not burn from the high heat of the oven and stick on the bottom of the pan. You will be able to use this liquid as a base for your gravy.

Cook the turkey at 500° to 525° for 2 hours.

Remove foil, stuff the turkey with cooked stuffing and return it to the rack breast side up.

How? Use Chef Marc’s easy method: Using oven mitts, place the turkey, cavity up, into a five-gallon plastic container. Then spoon the stuffing in.

Cook the turkey 30 to 45 minutes longer until an instant-read thermometer stuck deep in the thigh reads 175°.

Let the turkey rest at least 20 minutes.

Why? Resting allows the meat to reabsorb its juices.

5 rules for the perfect high heat turkey:

1. DON’T SALT or use seasoned salt or any spice blend containing salt on the turkey before cooking.

2. DON’T LET THE BIRD TOUCH THE PAN
You want to roast the turkey, not stew it. When the turkey sits on the bottom of the pan, instead of on a rack, or is squeezed into a too-small pan, the hot air is unable to envelop the turkey causing it to cook in its juices rather than in high heat roast.

3. DON’T BASTE THE TURKEY
It will break the caramelization, slow down cooking, and use up the great pan juices that have accumulated in the pan.

4. DON’T USE A FORK TO TURN OR CHECK THE TURKEY
Piercing the meat will allow the flavorful meat juices to escape.

5. DON’T COVER THE TURKEY WITH CHEESECLOTH
I don’t care what Martha says…covering the bird with cheesecloth will prevent browning. It will make a mighty tasty cheesecloth, though…if you are into that kind of thing….

Bacon Bomb

Just what the doctor didn’t order!!!!!

My  friend turned me on to this and use it as an appetizer  because a little  goes a long way .  Creativity is a plus!!!  follow the steps in the video and fill it with what ever you wish and enjoy!!!!  Cook indirect at about 300 degrees.  Take the Bacon Bomb off when the internal temp reaches 160 degrees and let it rest.  You can slice and serve & enjoy!!

 

Pig Roast

I was asked to do a pig roast for my brother-inlaw’s birthday being that I never cooked a whole pig before I said no problem!!!   I started out by making about 5lbs of my special rub and a couple of gallons of BBQ sauce.  We picked up the pig & the roaster and the following day  my buddy Kurt & I went to work.  Once we had the pig on I started my mopping sauce and we mopped the pig every hour until it was done.  It was a lot of work but it was so much fun!!!  If you’ve never cooked a whole pig try it & let us know how it went!!!

Here’s a couple of side notes:

When ordering the pig figure on a pound per person remember there’s a lot of waste and you do want some leftovers for later.  This is a 2 person job so get your friends to help.  Keep in mind the pig should take about an hour per 10 lbs to cook.  Have the roaster temp about 250 degrees for the first 2 hrs  then bring it up to about 300 to 325 degrees until finished.  I had our roaster a little to high in temp & it made the skin a little dark but it sealed in the juices which worked for us.  Just add some foil to the skin if you want to keep it from burning.  Internal temp for the pig should be 160 to 165 degrees and let it rest before the picking starts.  We used gloves because the even after 45 minutes of resting it was still hot.  Kurt & I picked it apart while my uncle & cousin had 2 cutting stations so all in all it took about 45 minutes to pick a part.

 

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