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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cheeseburgers

Well Folks: Lets talk about one of the most popular meats to grill, and still a favorite when done correctly. The burger has a lot of the same problems the chicken breast has when I see folks grilling them. That's the backyard cooks overcook  them. Ground Beef needs to be cooked until the internal temperature  has reached 160 degrees for safety. After the burger has reached 160 degrees anything over that is overcooking and reduces the flavor. The other problem I see is folks want to squeeze all the juices out of the burger, every time they turn the burger they just have to use the spatula to push down on the patties and all the juices  go flowing out, instead of staying in the meat and providing great flavor.

So today lets grill up some tasty Cheeseburgers. Start with some good ground beef, I like Ground Chuck but you can use whatever you like just make sure it has some fat, 80/20 grind is fine. After forming into patties' season them up on both sides with at least some salt and pepper. I like using Montreal Steaks seasoning on mine.

After forming the patties push down in the center to make a small dent in the patty this will help with having a even cook though out the patty.

Now that you have the patties prepared you will fire up the grill. For burgers I like using the gas grill to get a hot fire quickly, or set up the charcoal for indirect grilling. Put the patties on the grill and  close the lid . If you are using charcoal  you can start by putting the patties directly over the coals. After about  7 to 8 minutes you will want to turn the patties, don't push down on the patties with the spatula, and re close the lid. Cook for a additional 7 to 8 minutes  and turn the patties again. If using charcoal at this time move the burgers to the cooler side of the grill to finish the cook. This is when you need to get a internal temp to gauge how much longer they will need on the grill. Depending on the thickness on the patties and how hot your grill is will determine how long you have to continue to grill these tasty burgers.  Now since I said we were cooking cheeseburger you will want to add cheese to finish them, add the cheese when the internal temp is at 145 degrees. When the internal temp reaches 155 degrees remove the burger from the grill they will finish cooking as they rest and the juices will flow back though the entire patty as it rest.

All that's left is putting these on some good buns and adding some, lettuce, tomato's and pickles, and what ever else you like on your Cheeseburger.

Tomorrow: Lets grill some potato wedges, Asparagus Spears, and maybe some slices of onion to go with these Cheeseburgers.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Eggs On the Grill

Well Folks: Today I thought I would talk about doing something on the grill, that most of you wouldn't consider cooking on the grill. That would be eggs. Yes, you can cook eggs on the grill it is really pretty easy and they come out great. All I have done is a hard boiled style but by cutting the cooking time  you could do a soft boil style, it would just take a few tries to get the timing down. I'm also going to tell you how to do  a Cadbury Chocolate Egg wrapped in BACON that will have all your friends talking.

So lets grill some hard boiled eggs. First take the egg carton and lay it on it's side for about 2 hours . That will center the yolk. With the grill set up for indirect cooking  and get the temperature up to about 275 to 300 degrees,place the eggs on the cool side,and close the lid. After about 15 minutes remove the eggs and let them cool.  After cooling, peel the shell and  you should have a nicely done hard boil egg. You should try this in the beginning with only one or two eggs and see if you have the timing down right. Adjust the time on the grill after doing a couple of eggs. If you leave them on too long or if the fire is too hot you can blow the egg up. But its a cooked egg so you really won't have too much of a mess. Kids will think that's cool.

Now lets do something that's fun and Damn tasty. That's a BACON wrapped Cadbury Chocolate Egg. To do this, the first thing you need to do is freeze the egg. After a few hours in the freezer it's time to wrap the egg with thin sliced BACON. Wrap the egg side to side and end to end you want to encase the egg in BACON. With the grill set up for indirect cooking place the eggs on the cooler side . Let the eggs cook until the BACON has crisped up. You will have to turn the eggs during the cook to get the BACON cooked on all sides. To answer the question YES the Chocolate will melt that's why you freeze the eggs before cooking to slow the melting down while the BACON gets crisp. These are SUPER RICH one per person is plenty.

Now before you say that doesn't sound good try it. BACON and Chocolate  how can you not at least try it. Let me know what you think.

Tomorrow, Cheeseburgers



Monday, February 27, 2012

St Louis getting it's MOJO ON!!!!

Well Folks: I wrote Friday that today I would have some exciting news. I am  happy to say I have been able to secure the ability to distribute MOJO Bricks in the St Louis and Missouri market. I have joined with Inventory Sales Company in St Louis to warehouse the product, and I will be selling the product to local retailers.

MOJO Bricks are a Eco friendly product that uses sawdust and wood shavings formed into a cube that burns hotter and longer than natural wood chunks. There are no filler or binders in the cubes, it is held together using the woods natural polymers. They produce a very intense smoke that requires less product than natural wood. They are available in Oak, Hickory, and Cherry.

I have been using MOJO Bricks for the last month when I BBQ and I have found they do everything that they proclaim to do. It is a GREAT product and I'm sure once you try them you will agree, and understand why some major Competition BBQ teams are using them to produce award winning BBQ.

So where do you get them?  By the end of the week you will find them at Ozark Pool and Spa  at 5220 HWY 100 Washington MO and, Scheer Lawn and Landscape at 477 WW Industrial Park Dr, Washington Mo. They will also be at St. Louis Home Fires at 15053 Manchester Rd. Ballwin Mo.

I need you to ask for them at the store where you buy your BBQ supplies and tell them to call me at 314-306-4899 so they can be selling this new and exciting product. If all else fails, call me direct and I will call on them so they can carry MOJO Bricks on their shelves. So give them a try and I'm sure you too will be a fan. If you aren't in the St Louis area call me direct at 314-306-4899 and I will make sure you get some of this exciting product.

Take a look at www.mojobricks.com to learn more about why you should be using MOJO Bricks when you BBQ.


Tomorrow, Lets talk "EGGS" that right eggs on the grill.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Meat Loaf "Footnote"

Well Folks: I was looking at the post that I did yesterday and realized that some of you may not want everything I listed in my recipe. So I want you to know you can cut back or eliminate any of the vegetables you  may not care for in your Meat Loaf. That's what  is nice about Meat Loaf, you can adjust the ingredients to make it your own. The smoking method will work no matter what you use to make your Meat Loaf.

Talk to you Monday.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Smoked Meat Loaf

Well Folks: Today I will tell you how I make a Meat Loaf on the grill. It isn't the easiest thing you will every do, but it is worth the effort. Every time I make this there isn't very much left over, which is a shame  because one of my favorites for lunch is a meat loaf sandwich. There are some things you will need to grill the meat loaf, one of them is a closed wire mesh tray. They make these for grilling fish and vegetables. The other thing you will need is a heavy duty spatula. With both of these tools you will be able to grill a meat loaf. For the meat loaf you will need.

1 Lb Ground Beef
1 Lb Pork Sausage
1 Lb Ground Chicken
1 1/2 Cups Seasoned Bread Crumbs
2 Eggs
3 Tbs of Mrs Dash Original seasoning
3 Tbs A-1 sauce
3 Tbs Mustard
3Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
3Tbs Minced Garlic
1 Cup Chopped Onion
1 Cup Chopped Celery
1 Cup Green Pepper
1/2 Cup Carrots

Start by sauteing the Onions,Garlic, Celery, Green Peppers and the Carrots in 2  to 3 Tbs of Olive Oil. After the veggies have gotten soft take them off the heat and allow to cool. Now you will put all 3 meats in a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients  and the now cool veggies. Now you get to get a little messy,you need to mix everything together and the best way to do this with your hands. After every thing is well mixed form these into 2 or 3 loafs  the smaller the loafs the easier to  handle on the grill.

Speaking of the grill you need to set it up for indirect cooking, I like using Hickory for the smoke for the meat loaf.  Now put the loafs on the mesh tray. Coat the tray with cooking spray to help prevent sticking.Place the loafs directly over the hot coals. Let the meat stay over the hot coals for about 7 to 10 minutes don't worry about some flames kicking up and burning the meat loaf you want a nice crust. Now comes the hardest part, after about 7  minutes or so it time to turn the meat loafs.This is when you will need that Heavy Duty spatula because you want to turn the loafs over to get the same crust on the other side. After turning and let the second side cook over the hot coals for the same 7 to 10 minutes. After you have the same crust on this side, it is time to move these loaf to the cooler side of the grill.

With the meat loafs on the cooler side, close the lid and allow them just to cook until they reach a internal Temp. of 180 degrees. This is when  a remote thermometer comes in handy, just put the probe into the center of the loaf and sit down for a cold beer. Depending on how large you make the meat loafs will determine how long this will take. When they get up to temp I like to top them will some BBQ sauce and cook for about 10 minutes or so to set the sauce.. Let the finished Meat loaf rest for 10 to 15 minutes and slice into serving portions. Nothing better than meat loaf and Mash Potato's and Green Beans  and you have a meal fit for a King.

That's it for this week, you will want to check with me on Monday. I got some exciting News,well maybe not that exciting but it is news and it's exciting to me.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bob's Cole Slaw

Well Folks: Today we will talk about one of my favorite side dishes for BBQ. That's a vinegar based Cole Slaw, to me nothing goes better with  BBQ than a good Vinegar base Cole Slaw. I like topping a Pulled Pork sandwich with Cole Slaw, just adds a nice flavor to the sandwich. Slaw also goes well with any BBQ meal you will make, and a good Slaw recipe is always nice to have.

My recipe comes from a guy that I use to sell cars with at a Ford dealership, Bob Kleen. We sometime would have a Pot Luck meal for lunch on Saturday, and he made this, and I asked him for the recipe, I thought it was that good. So that's why I call it Bob's Cole Slaw, it's his recipe.  To make this you will need.

2 bags Pre Cut Cabbage
1 Med Onion thinly sliced
1 Cup Vinegar
3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp Dry Mustard
1 tsp Celery Seed
1 cup sugar

Bring the mixture less the Cabbage and Onion and the cup of sugar to a boil, allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute
Layer the Cabbage and onion in a bowl, pour the cup of sugar over the cabbage mixture followed by the vinegar mixture. Cover and refrigerate over night.
Next day stir to mix the entire mixture.

Hope you enjoy this, if you have your own Cole Slaw recipe that you really like please pass it along. I really enjoy a good Cole Slaw.

Tomorrow,  Meat Loaf on the grill

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Smoked Pinto Beans

Well Folks: Today we will  smoke some Pinto Beans. If you have never done this you will be surprised at the added flavor this will give to a simple meal like beans,and how everyone will rave about how great your beans taste compared to everyone else's.

I'm going use Pinto beans for this recipe but you can use Navy or Great Northern if you want. To do this you will need a pound of dry beans soaked overnight. You can also use canned beans just use about 4 to 5 cans and rinse them. You will have to have a metal colander so you can put the beans on the smoker. To smoke the beans you need to set up your smoker for indirect cooking you really don't need a big fire because we aren't cooking the beans we just want to give them the smoke flavor. If you have Weber Smoky Mountain or a Ugly drum this a great way to smoke the beans. I use Hickory to smoke my beans  just use a chunk or 2 of Hickory  and  place the metal colander on the cooler side of the grill. After a 1/2 hour  you will want to stir the beans to get the smoke flavor throughout the beans. Let the beans smoke for about 2 hours stirring every half hour. Remember keep the heat down below 225 we are just wanting smoke.

After 2 hour bring the beans inside to finish the cook. for this you will need.
1 Cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons minced Garlic
2 Bay leaves
1/2 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp Cayenne
1 tsp dried thyme
4 to 6 ham hocks
8 to 10 cups chicken stock

In a stock pot,Saute the onions,celery, and garlic for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the Bay leaves Black Pepper, Thyme.Cayenne, and saute for 2 -3 minutes. Add the Chicken Stock,Ham Hocks and the Beans. Bring up to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook the Beans for 2 hours or till the Beans are tender. Remove the Ham hocks and remove the meat off the bones  returning the meat back to the Beans.

These Beans can be a meal by them self with some corn bread, or just some crusty  bread. They also are a great side dish with some Pulled Pork, Pork Steaks or  Beef Brisket.

Hope you will try this, and enjoy them as much as we do. I just find everything is a little bit better with some smoke flavor.

Tomorrow, Lets talk Cole Slaw

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast

Well Folks: Today I'll do a short take on how I grill Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast. Chicken Breast is a favorite because it is low in fat and in today's health crazed days, it has become a popular  entree to grill .  The chicken breast is also  popular because it can be grilled and on the plate very quickly. In today's hurried lifestyle meals in a hurry can be very important. So I'll give you a run down on how I grill chicken breast  when we need a fast meal.

Yesterday I mentioned that the biggest mistake I see most folk making when they grill chicken breast, is that they overcook them. This is when a good quick reading thermometer comes into play. Chicken is done at 165 degrees and since chicken breast has very little fat, if you go past this temp, you will begin drying out the meat. Dry chicken breast is not very flavorful and becomes tough and chewy.

So what I do to prevent this I use a knife to make a fillet cut into the thicker part of the breast  and lay it over so the whole breast is the same thickness. This will help in achieving a even cook and preventing drying out the breast. After getting the breast to a even thickness, I give them a  light coat of seasoning such as Country Bob's seasoning or my stand by Plowboy's Yardbird. After getting your grill up to medium high temperature  put the chicken on the grill, and close the lid. After about 5 minutes turn the chicken and at this time I like to get a temperature reading. This way I know where I'm at and can estimate how much longer I will need to cook the breast.  Once you have that info close the lid and after about 5 minutes turn the breast and take another temperature reading and finish the cook. When the breast is at 160 degrees take them off the grill and let them rest for about 10 minutes. They will finish cooking and be ready to eat. Also by resting, the juices will redistribute  though the breast so you won't lose all that great flavor.

Now these make a very good sandwich as they are or if you want to add some BBQ sauce you can start  brushing with sauce when the breast are at about 150 degrees and still take them off the grill when they reach 160 and let them rest to finish. They continue to cook after you remove them from the grill. They also go well with some Wild Rice or some potato salad.

If you follow this method I'm sure you will get very good results and dry chewy chicken breast will no longer be a problem.

That's it for today, be sure to pass this along to your friends.

Tomorrow, Lets smoke some pinto beans.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Spices and Rubs

Well Folks: Today I'll talk about something that I'm still trying to get a grip on myself. That's Spices, Rubs, and Marinades. All these will add layers of flavors to your BBQ. Sometimes all a good steak needs is some salt and pepper and grill it on a nice hot grill to Med Rare, and you will have a perfect meal. There are other meats that will require some time in a marinade overnight, then rubbed down with a flavorful rub, before you put them on a smoker for hours over hot coals and wood chunks to achieve that same perfect meal.

 Then there Chicken and Fish, these need just a little seasoning and some time on medium heat,  and you can have a super flavorful meal. I find with Poultry and fish the most important rule is being sure not to overcook and dry them out. Poultry can really benefit from brineing and marinades. Something as simple as a  marinade of Italian salad dressing can make a chicken breast a meal to remember.

So I guess what I'm saying is as we travel this road trying to create Great BBQ. I will be describing each Rub and Seasoning  combo's I use when I BBQ. I will tell you the brand of seasoning  and the rubs that I use, not so much to promote them,but I want you to be able to do the same thing in your backyard.. Now if there is some spice company  reading this, I'll be glad to try your spice or rub and promote them for a small fee. :)

So get ready, I'll be doing some cooks in the future that we will use, Marinades, Brines, and Rubs. Sometimes they will produce great BBQ, and I'm sure I'll try something and produce something less than perfect BBQ. I just  promise, as I learn so will you. So saddle up, the weather is getting better and it will be easier to get outside and cook  up some Great BBQ.

As always thanks for reading my blog, and pass it along to your friends. And send me any questions  you might have.

Tomorrow,Chicken Breast


Friday, February 17, 2012

Smoked Mac and Cheese

Well Folks, Today I'll talk about one of the most common side dishes, Mac and Cheese. This is a real staple in our family meals, and my Mother in-law always makes her special recipe when the whole family gets together. When asked for a recipe,  she says there is no real recipe she just puts it together and each time it may be different. I'm not believing that, I think she's holding out, and wants the Mac and Cheese to be her special dish. Fair enough, so I have went out looking for my own Mac and Cheese recipe that I can use with my BBQ gear to make a dish that will rival hers.

So I went to the BBQ Brethren Forum and started looking for a recipes. I have found many, but one was just real simple and sounded pretty good. This recipe is from J.M. Setzler from Valdese, NC. I always want to give credit to whoever I get a recipe from, even if I adjust  or add something to make it my own. So lets get started and smoke some Mac and Cheese. To make this you will need.

1- 16oz box Macaroni
2 cans Campbell Cheddar cheese soup
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup Shredded Parmesan  Cheese
2 cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
6 Strips Cooked Bacon

Boil the Macaroni per package  instructions, after draining well, put the drained Macaroni in a bowl and add the Cheddar Cheese soup with the Milk and Parmesan Cheese, also crumble the bacon and add to the mixture. After mixing put the mixture in a half a lasagna aluminum pan, topping with the Shredded Cheddar Cheese.

Now put this on your grill that is at 250 to 275 degrees and cook for 1 hour. The grill should be set up for indirect cooking , for this I like to to put my coals on each side with the pan placed in between the banks of coals. I use a chunk of Hickory for the smoke flavor.

I have used Pork Shanks instead of Bacon with good results and one day I'm going to do this with Lobster. Heck I guess you could leave the meat out all together, I just doubt I'll every leave meat out of anything, if I have a choice.

That's it for this week, I think we'll start next week, talking spices. Remember to pass this Blog on to your friends and leave a commit if you have any questions.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Spatchcock Chicken

Well Folks: Writing a Blog is new to me, and I'm learning as I go. For some of you that read my post yesterday at the end, I said today would be about Pork Steaks. The problem with that is,I have already written about Pork Steaks just a few days ago. Once I realized that, I edited the post to say today would be about Spatchcock Chicken.

So lets talk Spatchcock Chicken , I know for some of you this may be a term you haven't heard before. Fear not, we aren't going to do anything Illegal  with a chicken. Spatchcocking a chicken is just removing the back bone, and flatting the bird out. This is really pretty easy to do, and allows you to speed up the cooking time and also allows you to easily season both the outside and the inside of the Chicken. You can do this with a Turkey if you want. I'm talking chicken today because that's what I have a picture to show.

 Now to do this, the easiest way is to use some poultry  shears and cut down both sides of the back bone to remove it. Then flatten the bird out like a book. You will see this is easy once you take the leap and give it a try. Remember this isn't hard,it just cooking.

Now after getting the bird flat it's time to season it up. I like Plow Boys Yardbird seasoning , but you can use whatever seasoning you like. This is why BBQ is so much about personal taste, it's okay to use a seasoning that I haven't mentioned if you and your family likes it. Just be sure to share what you used that tasted good so we all can try it.

After the bird is seasoned it's time to put on the grill. As you know by now I cook almost everything indirect.   You want to get the grill  at about 275 to 300 degrees and I like to use either Apple or Cherry wood for smoke flavor. Place the bird on the grill with the thigh and legs closest to the coals with the breast meat further from the hot coals to prevent drying out the breast meat.

With a fast reading thermometer you want to remove the chicken from the grill at about 170 degrees and let it rest for about 15 minutes before cutting into pieces. Depending on your grill temp. and the size of the chicken this should take about a hour. Don't be afraid to turn the bird to get a even cook. If you got a Weber Smoky Mountain Cooker or a Ugly Drum this is a great way to smoke a chicken. This is also a great time to have a remote thermometer to watch the temps. with out removing the lid.

Hope this was helpful and gives you another way to cook chicken. Try it and see how it works for you, and let me know what you think.

Tomorrow, Smoked Mac and Cheese.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Places I go to Learn

Well Folks: I was trying to think of something to write about today. I was having a hard time to come up with something because it's been raining and cold all day. Not real good weather to be outside and firing up the grill. The cold I can handle, but when you mix in the rain, it's just seem like the best move is stay inside, and wait for better weather.

So I'll tell you about the web sites I go to when I'm looking to learn something new about BBQ. I have found  that no matter how much I think I know about BBQ, I learn something new almost every week. Most of the time it's something small that someone is doing that is different than what I have been doing. That one thing may be the difference that will make my BBQ a little better, add to my flavor profile, so the judges will score me better. The differences  between winning and finishing out of the money can be less than a point. So you can never quit looking and practicing to get your BBQ better. I tell people Ozzie Smith took ground balls every day, even when he was the best shortstop in baseball. You can always work at your game and try to get better.

One  of the sites I like to visit is "The BBQ Brethren Forum". This site has lots of info. and you will find them very willing to share their knowledge. Another great site is "Major League Grilling" this is my BBQ buddy Arthur's site and he's  like me in that  we both use backyard  BBQ grills and do  pretty well cooking in contest against the guys with the Thousand dollar smokers. Also Arthur takes better pictures than I do and is good with explaining his recipes. A lot of his grilling has a Mexican flair.  Then there "Patiodaddiobbq" this site is the work of John Dawson from Idaho, and I got my recipe for Rattle Snake Tails from here. The Rattle Snakes Tails are responsible for my first win in a contest. Check it out, lots of recipes and reviews all well presented.

Now that I told you about these sites, don't go and forget to keep coming back here and check out what I'm doing. I'll keep cooking and passing along everything I learn in my journey in becoming a better Pit Master. Feel free to pass along anything you're doing that works or ask me a question. Together we all can learn along the way.

Tomorrow, Spatchcock Chicken

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Berry Easy Dessert

Well Folks: Today I'll show you how to make a very simple dessert using the the grill. The truth is you could also do this using the oven, or even using the microwave oven. But the name of this Blog is, "Don and His Grill"so I'll be using my grill.

To make this dessert you will need,
 4 oz Ramekins
 One bag of frozen mixed berries
 One Chocolate Bar
 One bag of Marshmallows

 Start by thawing  the berries, then divide them evenly into the ramekins, next add a square of the chocolate bar, and finish by topping with the marshmallows.
 Place the ramekins on the grill and heat till the marshmallows have gotten soft and gooey. This will take about 10 minutes on a Med Hot Grill. Remove and serve, being very careful these will be HOT!!.

When you mix the melted marshmallow with the hot berries and melted chocolate you've got some good eating. This is so easy to make, and you can make them ahead and just put them on the grill after everyone has eaten, and are ready for something sweet. Like I said, very simple, and very tasty.

Tomorrow is Valentines Day, So I'll be taking care of my Lady. You are on your own.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Temperature Control

Well Folks: Today we will talk about  what  may be the most important parts of making Great BBQ. That is Temperature control. That is because controlling the temperature of your pit and knowing the temperature of the meat on the pit will determine the outcome of your cook. So I'll tell you what I think is the bare minimum you will need to have to insure a good outcome.

The first thing you need is a oven thermometer to tell you what the temperature is at grill level. These are cheap and you can find them at any big box store. The other option is a remote thermometer that you can put on the grill and monitor from inside the house. These are nice when you're smoking a large piece of meat like a pork butt, or a beef brisket. These too are available at big box stores, and can cost anywhere from $16.00 and up. Some of these even have two probes so you can monitor the grill temp. and the temp. of your meat.

The other thermometer you need is a fast reading thermometer to check the temperature of your meat.This is very important  because at different temps, different thing will happen to the meat, and at certain temps. you will want to perform different task to give the meat the most flavor and make it the most tender. Again these are available at big box stores and vary on price and how quickly they respond. I got lucky and won a Thermopen  thermometer. These are super fast giving you a reading in as little as 3 seconds. If you can afford one,they are well worth the money and last years.

No matter how much you spend,its important to check the thermometer  to make sure it is accurate. The easiest way to do this by boiling a pot water. Water boils at 212 degrees so bring a pot of water to a boil and insert the probe into the water making sure not touch the side of the pot and see what the thermometer reads. It should read 212 or very close, if not you will either have to adjust if it has a adjustment, or return it and get a new one.

Just a quick note about controlling the temperature of the pit. I do this by always leaving the top vent wide open and by controlling the air flow to the hot coals by opening and closing the inlet at the bottom of the smoker.

Well I'll stop talking now. Just know in the future I will be talking Temperature and, what to do at different Temperatures. You  having a good thermometer will insure you will also have a good result.

That's it for this week. Monday I'll start with a super easy dessert.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Ribs Post,Final Comments

Well Folks: The Ribs have been smoked, and my hope is that when you followed the write up I have shared with you, that you will love these ribs as much as my family and I do. There are few things I can tell you that you may want to try that  I didn't include in the write up. I wanted to make it as simple as I could, and with ingredients that everyone should already have in the pantry at home. One thing you may want to use is my Rib Spritz. I got this from Myron Mixon's  cook book, for those who don't know who Myron is, he's the winnings man in BBQ so it is worth taking the time to read his cook book.

His Ribs spritz is easy to make and works well with Ribs, Pork Steaks and Pork Butt. So with all the credit going to Myron here is his Spritz recipe.
3 Cups apple juice
2 Cups white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons liquid imitation butter

In a large spray bottle combine all the ingredients. Shake well to blend.

Now this make 5 cups of spritz so I have cut it in half so I don't have  a large bottle sitting in the fridge.

Now, if you prefer Baby Back ribs for your BBQ. No Problem just know that removing the membrane can be a little harder and sometimes it will have already been removed. I have sometimes just scored the membrane in a X pattern and haven't had a problem. Scoring allows the seasoning and spritz to penetrate the ribs.

Also Baby backs will require less time to cook . So instead of using the 2-1-1 timing method . You will reduce each stage,I reduce the time to, 1 1/2 -hour smoking then 45 minutes foiled, and finish with 45 minutes for firming up and saucing. This is a starting point, Part of the art of BBQ is being able to adjust to how the meat is reacting to the heat and smoke. Experience is really the best teacher but every thing I have told you is a starting point, and as you BBQ more you will develop your own style.

Now last I will touch on the sauce. Right now I found a new sauce that I'm going to try and see what the judges in the St Louis area think of it, I really like the flavor. hopefully the judges will too. That sauce is Drapers BBQ sauce. They are out of Kentucky, and only available on the internet. If you order some be sure to tell Shane that I told you about the sauce. Next choice of sauce is the one that I have been using, and that's Blue's Hog Regular and also their Tennessee Red style. I'm mixing both flavors in a 50/50 combo. Blues Hog Reg. is a very sweet sauce and the Tennessee Red is a spicier sauce with a lot of pepper in the mix. By combining them I have gotten a nice flavor combo. Last but not least a St Louis staple Maull's. My wife likes when I combine Maull's KC style with a bottle of Sweet Baby Rays.

So when it come to sauce's try different brands  try mixing different styles and flavors in combinations to get your own unique flavor profile. You can also get real ambitious and make your own sauce. There's
 even some contest that include a sauce category.

That's enough for today.Thanks for reading and please feel free to share this blog with your friends and if you have any questions, leave a comment, or send me a email.

Tomorrow  I'll talk about Temperature control.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Step #2, Let's Smoke some Ribs

Well Folks: Let cook some Rib's today, There is two schools of thought when it comes to BBQ. Low and Slow and Hot and Fast. The low and slow method is when you keep the pit at 225 degrees or less and cook your meat  for a long slow period over smoking wood. The other method is called Hot and Fast, that is when you run  the cooker above 275 up to 300 degrees again with some smoking wood. I cook using the Hot and Fast method. I find I get just as good results and I get to eat faster. So today I will describe  how I smoke my Ribs using  the Hot and Fast Method.


So for the Hot and Fast method I will use what is called the 2-1-1 cook. That's 2 hours in the smoke 1 hour in foil, then finished with sauce. On a grill set up to cook indirect with top vent wide open and closing the bottom vent to maintain a temperature at between 275 and 300 degrees,adding some cherry wood chunks or the wood that you prefer, some of you may prefer apple or even Hickory. Be careful with the hickory you don't want to over smoke.Now put your seasoned ribs on the cool side of the grill, meat side up,and close the lid. After a 1/2 hour turn your ribs and and spritz the ribs with some apple juice and close the lid. You want to do this as quickly as you can with the lid off, so you don't lose too much heat. Remembering if your looking you ain't cook'n. Turn every half hour and spritz each time for a total of two hours.

Now for the next stage you will want to have some heavy duty aluminum foil ready,with enough foil to wrap each slabs of ribs. Laying the ribs on the Aluminum foil with about a 1/4 cup of apple juice for liquid. If you are doing competition  ribs this is when you would top the ribs with some Brown sugar and some honey and some more BBQ rub. Wrap the rack tightly and return to the grill still on the cool side. If you are doing these in the back yard you can add a little more rub if you want,skipping adding the Brown sugar and the honey. This is where you will have to experiment, and find the way you and the family like their ribs. Leaving the lid closed for the next hour.

After an hour you will take the Ribs off the grill and remove them from the foil. These ribs now have 2 hours of smoke and now after foiling for  hour they should be very tender, and have a nice pull back from the bone. Return the ribs to the grill and they will start to firm back up again, at this time you may want to add a dusting of rub and close the lid for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes brush the ribs with your favorite BBQ sauce and close the lid, after 15 minutes turn the ribs and add some sauce to the other side. Repeat one more time adding a light coat of sauce each time.

What you have now, are ribs that are tender and have a nice smoked flavor and a tasty layer of sauce.
Let these rest for about 15 minutes then slicing between the bones serve these up to the family. Watch out for flying bones as these will soon disappear as the family keep reaching for more.

Tomorrow a little more about sauces and the rib spritz, and how Baby Backs ribs are cooked a little bit different.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ribs Step One

Well Folks : Today I will start to tell you how I make my Ribs, both Contest Ribs and backyard Ribs. This going to be a very detailed post so rather than bore you with a super long post. I will divide this into two different post finishing up tomorrow.

When go to buy the Ribs you are looking for a rack that has bones that are running straight, with some fat  on the rack.  The straight bones are more important if you are in a contest than if you are cooking in the backyard. If you are entered in a contest get picky about your selection of Ribs. Appearance counts, and can make the differences between getting a call and a check, or going home empty handed

Most of the time I use Spare Ribs cut St Louis Style so that is what we will talk about today. St Louis style is Reg. Spare ribs cut square by finding the longest rib and slicing straight down the length of the slab to square up the slab so basically the ribs are all the same length. You can buy the ribs already cut this style but I have taught myself how to make the Reg. Spares  St Louis Style so I can save some money. I use the trimmed piece as the Pit Masters treats, or to season my Baked Beans.

Now no matter the style of ribs you use the first thing you need to do is remove the membrane off the back of the slab. With a little practice you can do this rather easily with a butter knife to loosen the membrane and pulling off with a paper towel. You can ask your butcher to do this if you have too, also get your butcher to show you how you can do this yourself.( Side note: If your butcher won't do this and teach you how to do this yourself, FIND A DIFFERENT BUTCHER)  Now after the membrane has been removed it's time to season the ribs. Time to get some Yellow Mustard and slather yellow mustard on both side of the slab. The mustard does two things, the vinegar in the mustard starts to break down the meat and it also acts as a binder to hold the rub on the ribs. Trust me you won't taste the mustard in the final product. After applying the mustard it's time to rub the ribs with your favorite BBQ Rub. I'm using Plow Boys Yardbird, or Dizzy Pigs "Dizzy Dust" you can also make your own rub, or buy a rub that you like the flavor profile . Rubs are a personal choice to each Pit Master, so find something you like and don't be afraid to try something different.

That's enough for today, tomorrow we'll get these rib on the grill and finish them up to Tender, Bone Sucking Goodness.

Monday, February 6, 2012

RIBS

Well Folks: I said this week we would talk about RIBS. This is my favorite thing to BBQ, and it's why I got into making BBQ many years ago. When ribs are done right there is nothing better than sitting down and eating some tender fall off the bone, perfectly smoked ribs, and looking at a plate of bare bones saying "DAMN THOSE WERE GOOD!"

So let me start by telling you a few things I have learned over the years, and what I have learned by cooking in BBQ contests. The first thing is competition Ribs are different than what most people make in their backyard, and even what you will get at a BBQ restaurant. Competition Ribs are made to WOW the judges with only one bite. Truth is, most competitive BBQ Pit Masters don't like the ribs they turn in to the judges, and when they cook for them self they will cook them differently. That is because the Ribs at a contest are seasoned and sometime sweetened so much that if you ate more than a bite or two you would get sick. They are so rich, kind of like fudge, a small piece is fine, but you don't want to eat a pan full, or you will have a belly ache. I'll tell what is popular on the BBQ circuit, and how to take it down a notch so you can enjoy a plate full of tender bone sucking ribs in your back yard.

So this week I will go into how I make my Ribs, and the different cuts of Ribs, from Baby Backs, to Spare Ribs, and how to make your own St Louis style Ribs and save some money. Heck we may even talk about Country Style Ribs and how to make them one of your families favorite.

So come on back tomorrow and we will start with Spare Ribs / St Louis Style Ribs.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Appetizers #4 and #5

Well Folks: It's Friday and the Super Bowl is only 2 days away. So it's time to give you my final recipes for the buffet table at your Super Bowl Party. I'm going with the classics, with my take on Buffalo Wings, and Atomic Buffalo Turds, better known as ABT'S. I will also give you my pick on who will win the game. So lets get started.

The wings are a classic, and there are many different ways to cook them, and as many different sauces  you can make to coat your wings. This is my  recipe and we like them  a lot.
 Since the name of this page is Don and his Grill. I grill my wings till crispy. Some of you may fry them or cook your wings in the oven. I think the grill adds a nice layer of flavor, any way you cook them is fine as long as you cook them till they are crispy.

I take about 5  pounds of wings and split them and remove the tips
Next, I season  the wings with Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning, adding as much you like,remembering the more you use the spicier the wings.
Set the grill up for indirect cooking and start to grill the wings. I like to add a little cherry wood to add some smoke flavor to the  wings. Turn the wings and cook till they are crispy. You can move the wings over the hot coals to help crisp the skin. Be careful when you do this, as the fat in the skin can cause a flare up and you can burn up the wings if you are not paying attention.

Now the sauce;
1 Cup Franks Hot sauce
1 stick butter melted
2 TBS Sweet and Hot Mustard
2 TBS A-1 Sauce
2 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
2 TBS Country Bob's Sauce
1/4 cup Brown Sugar

In a pan melt the butter, then add all the liquid ingredients,and stir to mix.
After the  liquid ingredients are well mixed, add the Brown Sugar and mix over medium heat till the sugar has dissolved.

After the wings are nice and crispy put them in a large bowl with the sauce and mix well to coat.

Serve with Ranch or Blue Cheese Dressing, and celery sticks.

Now for the ABT's These are sure to please anyone that likes a little kick in their appetizers.

You will need:
12 Jalapeno Peppers cut in half with seeds and veins removed
Cream Cheese
Little Smokies Sausages
Thin sliced Bacon
Brown Sugar

After preparing the Jalapeno's  fill the half boats with Cream Cheese, adding a Sausage into the cheese
 Next take a half strip of Bacon and wrap around the pepper and sausage securing with a toothpick.
Lightly dust with Brown Sugar.

 Now on to the grill,  again set up for indirect cooking,cook the peppers till the Bacon is nice and crispy.

 Serve warm. These are always a hit, and if you want to remove some of the heat from the peppers, marinate them overnight in Sprite soda after removing the seeds and veins.

 You can use the left over sprite soda as a spritz, to kick up your Pork Steaks or Pork Butt at your next smoke/ BBQ.

Finally, my pick for the the game. A lot of thought has went into this pick, and since my son is picking the New England Patriots. I have to take the New York Giants, just so one us will have bragging rights.
New York wins by a score of  24 to 21.

Hope some of these recipes gave you something new to try at your Super Bowl Party, and you find them worth adding to your Buffet.

Have a  Great Weekend and enjoy the Game.

Next week.... RIBS

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Recipe #3,Not your Grandma's Apple Pie

Well Folks: I told you today would be a recipe that wasn't your Grandma's Apple Pie. Since Super Bowl Parties are about food and drinks, today it's all about drinks. Standard fare is normally some cold beer and a bottle of Vodka, Bourbon, and maybe Captain Morgan Rum. Nothing wrong with that, in fact all of you that know me, have seen me with a beer in my hand and I'm always happy with a silly grin on my face.

But Sunday is the Super Bowl, and it demands something special. So let's make a Apple Pie!!

You will need
1/2 gallon Apple Juice
1 gallon Apple Cider
1 Cup White Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
6 Cinnamon sticks
750 MIL Grain alcohol, like Everclear

You'll need a stock pot large enough to hold all of the liquid.
In the stock pot add the apple juice, and the apple cider, over Medium heat.
Now add the White and Brown sugars and the 6 cinnamon sticks.
Bring the mixture to a boil, and stir to ensure that all the sugar is dissolved

After the sugar is dissolved take off the heat, and let cool to room temperature.
Now add the 750 Mil of Everclear.

 If you want you can serve in some small Mason Jars.

BE CAREFUL!! This stuff will make you Howl at the Moon. You drink to much of this, chances are you won't know the final score of the game.

Also NEVER Drink and Drive,  Call a Cab or sleep on the floor.

Tomorrow, I may have 2 recipes and I'll give you my pick of who will win the game.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Super Bowl Appetizers #2

Well Folks, Here is my second appetizer for your Super Bowl party buffet.Stuffed Bacon wrapped Dill Pickles. This is also very easy to make and will be a hit with all the dill pickle lovers at the party.

To get started, you will need at least a jar of Claussen Dill Pickle halves.
Thin sliced BACON
A bag of little smokies sausages
Shredded   Sharp Cheddar Cheese
BBQ Rub

Take the pickle halves and with a spoon remove the seed portion of the pickle to make a boat.
 Take the little smokies and finely dice them and mix them with the cheddar cheese to make the stuffing.
Now put the stuffing in the Pickle boat you have made. Next wrap the pickle with a strip of bacon.
After wrapping as many as you need for your Party buffet. Season all of the pickles with your favorite BBQ seasoning.

Set the grill up for indirect grilling and put the pickles on the cool side of grill. Grill the pickles until the Bacon is crispy, and the stuffing has melted into a gooey goodness. Theses will be a hit with anyone that loves pickles and the stuffing just adds to the flavor profile.

 Give these a try. They will surprise you, and your guest.

Tomorrow...... Not your Grandma's Apple Pie