Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tequila Lime Chicken on the Rotisserie

Just wanted to share my Tequila Lime Chicken recipe. I made this on my Weber Kettle with a rotisserie ring. When it comes to grilling, I'll take my Weber over any $2000.00 gas grill any time!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Southwest Cornbread Recipe on Youtube

I've been having fun posting short videos on Youtube. I did a little how to video on the Southwest Cornbread recipe I posted about a while back.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Cast Iron Grill for Weber Kettle BBQ

Wanted to make a post about a wonderful upgrade I made to my Weber Kettle BBQ. It is a cast iron grill made by a company called Craycort. The grill has a circular framework that fits into the kettle. The framework is divided into four pizza slice sections. The grill fit into these sections independently.

This grill turns the Weber into a super grill. The grill marks it leaves on your meat look like something out of a magazine. Craycort also has accessories that fit into these triangular sections. I bought the "beer can chicken" accessory which fits into one of the sections and keeps the chicken low, so that it does not touch the lid. Works great!

This new grill has breathed new life into my trusty old Weber and I highly recommend checking them out at http://www.cast-iron-grate.com/


Monday, September 28, 2009

How To Smoke A Pork Shoulder (Pulled Pork)


My sister and brother-in-law came down to visit this weekend, so I decided to smoke a 8.5 pound pork shoulder in their honor. Above is a link to the video I shot and posted on Youtube. The cook took 12 3/4 hours and I used hickory, apple and red oak woods.

Turned out great!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tulsa BBQ Experience


My wife, son and I recently went to Tulsa Oklahoma to visit my mom who moved there about six years ago.  While we were there we visited two local barbeque joints that were recommended to me by a fellow member of "The Smoke Ring" barbeque forum.  

My first stop was "The Knotty Pine" which is located at 3301 West 5th Street, in Tulsa.  The restaurant has been there since 1952.  Before that it was a BBQ joint called "OK Barbeque".  I guess that restaurant had been there since the 30's.       

The Knotty Pine is rich with BBQ history.  Some would call it a dive... From the "Beer and Bar B Que" sign that is struggling to stay lit to the creaky floors, it is just the type of place I seek out when I'm visiting states known for good BBQ.  You feel like you're in another time and there are no frills there at all.  The food is served on a sheet of paper placed over a rectangular plastic tray.  I ordered ribs with a side of beens and coleslaw.  The food was great!  Ribs were tender and had a very nice smokey flavor.  My wife had the brisket sandwich and she too was very happy.  The beef was moist and tender with a nice flavorful bark.  

Their menu is broken up into half orders and full orders.  The half orders come with one side, bread pickles, peppers and onions.  Prices range from about six bucks to a little over eight.  The full orders come with two sides and range from about seven bucks to a tad over twelve.

We also ate at "Albert G's" located at 2748 S. Harvard in Tulsa.  The food was great but it didn't have that dive/joint feel to it.  I had the three meat combo and chose brisket, ribs and chicken.  All were cooked to perfection and I had no complaints at all.  My wife had brisket and she was very pleased with her meal.  Prices were about the same as the Knotty Pine, but like I said...  It just didn't have that historical joint feel that I personally love when I'm eating barbeque.  

The photos shown on this post are of the Knotty Pine and my 5 year-old Garrett, enjoying a rib.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

BBQ Rib Cook

Well, the weather was real nice today and I had this urge to barbeque some ribs.  This was totally unplanned, but when you gotta' have ribs, you gotta have ribs!

My wife loves beef ribs, and I lean towards pork, so I decided to keep harmony in the house and did a rack of each.  The little market I bought the meat at didn't have pork spare ribs so I settled for baby backs.  My all time favorite rib is pork spare ribs, trimmed St. Louis style.

Here's how I cooked them:                                                
The first thing that I do is get my cooker warmed up.  I shoot for a temperature between 220 degrees and 240 degrees.  While I'm waiting I prep my ribs.  This includes any trimming, removing the thin membrane (silver skin) which is located on the backside of the ribs.  This is very important as I helps the flavors penetrate the meat more evenly.  All you need to do is get it started on the end or edge with a knife, wiggle a finger underneath and tear it off.  The hardest part is getting it started. 

Now, once my cooker is up to temp, I place the ribs in the cooking chamber bone side down.  I close the lid and add chunk wood to the firebox of my off-set cooker.  Try to avoid huge billowing lofts of smoke from your cooker.  What you want to see is a nice even stream of bluish smoke coming from your smoke stack.  If you have too much smoke, you run the risk of creosote forming which will create a very bitter taste.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For   this cook I'm using apple wood.  My all time favorite woods to cook with are apple, pecan and hickory.  Sometimes I'll mix my woods to add different layers of smoke flavor.  I'm going to smoke this ribs during the first three hours of the cooking process.  The key to a good smoked flavor is to keep the temperature as even as possible.  To master this you just need to practice, practice, practice the air mixture on you smoker.  I keep my stack fully opened and adjust the damper on the firebox.

After three hours, I remove the ribs and place them bone side up on a sheet of aluminum foil.  At this point, I spray the ribs down with apple juice.  The ribs are then tightly wrapped in the foil and placed back in the cooking chamber for another hour.  At this point I am no longer using any smoking wood.  Remember, the meat on ribs is pretty thin and you do not want an overwhelming smoky flavor.

After one hour in the foil, I'm check the tenderness of the ribs.  I'll look to see if the meat is starting to pull away from the bone and pick up one end of the slab with my tongs.  When the slab bends down to a right angle (90 degrees) their pretty tender.  What you DON'T want is the meat falling off of the bone.  When I hear, "The ribs were so tender the meat fell off of the bone" I cringe!  Rib meat should NOT fall off of the bone.  You want the meat tender but there should still be a little "tug" to it.  

Now My ribs have been cooking for about four hours and they are ready to be finished with my sauce.  I remove the ribs from the foil and place them back in the cooking chamber, then generously baste the ribs with my sauce.  If you want more of a glazed finish, you may want to ad a little honey to the sauce.  Don't lose control of your heat during this process.  You don't want to burn the sauce after cooking for four hours!  After about thirty minutes, I'll add more sauce and cook an additional thirty minutes.

After the last thirty minutes you're done!  So, to recap the cooking times...  Three hours of smoking, one hour foiled and one hour finishing with sauce.  



Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Modifications to offset smoker (New Braunfels Black Diamond)

This post is more for the hardcore backyard smoker. I own a New Braunfels Black Diamond smoker and have had great results with it for about fifteen years or so. That being said, there are a few downfalls to this smoker, which can be overcome with a little elbow grease.

After several years, my smoker started to develop some rust, especially around the firebox. I did what most people would do. Gave it a quick sand and sprayed it with high temp paint. That lasted about a month before the rust started up again. The next step for me was take the thing apart and have it sandblasted and coated. I had the whole smoker coated with heat-coat, which is what high-end headers are coated with. I also had the legs coated with a baked on powder-coat. Before re-assembling the smoker I gave it a couple of coats with high-temp paint.

As I put it back together I took care of a couple other issues. I sealed the fire box to the cooking chamber with fire brick mortar to keep smoke from leaking out through the joints. I also used oven gasket to seal off all of the lids. I replaced the wooden handles and tubular brackets with thick steal brackets and spring handles, which I welded on. I did this all about four years ago and the performance has increased and I haven't seen a speck of rust.

Today I started working on more modifications. In order to hold the heat and keep it consistent and I lined the bottom of the cooking chamber with fire with firebrick. The next modifications will be extending the inside portion of the smoke stack closer to the grill (cooking surface) and installing a baffle from the fire box, to the cooking chamber. My goal is the direct the heat and the smoke under the cooking surface. I just started mocking up the baffle and hope to have it finished next week. I've attached some photos of the modifications thus far.

UPDATE: On the above two photos, you can see that since I my last post I have added a Horizon Convection Plate. This is a 1/4" thick plate of steel that has a series of holes which change to a larger size as the progress towards the end of the smoke chamber. This connects at the firebox opening and causes the smoke to go under the meat then rise up evenly. In order to achieve this I also had to add a sheet of aluminum (until I make a permanent fix out of sheet metal). In addition to this, I extended the smoke stack down towards the grill. This changes the draft and again, helps keep the smoke low at the level of the food.