Good BBQ sauce will not rescue a poorly cooked (bad) piece of meat, sure it might add a little moisture but it will still be a bad piece of meat.  With that said, good BBQ sauce will complement a well cooked piece of meat nicely and even make a bad piece of meat desirable, if that sauce is just that good.  Face it no one likes to be seen eating BBQ sauce off a spoon, but this sauce is just that good, you could eat it off a spoon with no meat and other than the looking foolish you would be content.

Apple Smoked BBQ SauceUnlike simply squirting BBQ Sauce out of a bottle this sauce took some work.  It started its journey on the stove in the house, but only long enough to thoroughly mix all the ingredients.  From there it was onto the grill with a huge chunk of hickory to further cook down and get that great smokey flavor that really sets this sauce apart.

BBQ Sauce cooking on the grillOne note about the picture above, even though the chunk of hickory is engulfed in flames in the picture, it did not remain that way once the lid was in place, the rush of oxygen upon removing the lid allowed it to burst into flames.  A chunk of wood in flames like that above will not produce nearly enough adequate smoke to flavor the BBQ sauce properly.

1 15oz can of tomato sauce
2 c apple cider
4 cloves of garlic pressed
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (white vinegar would work as well)
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chile powder
1 tbsp thickener (cornstarch, flour, etc)

Start by combining liquid ingredients in a sauce pan (one safe for the grill) on the stove over medium heat and bringing to a boil.  Stir frequently.  Once the liquid is boiling add in everything else except the thickener, stir and boil until the sauce begins to reduce slightly.  It should smell amazing at this point.  Slowly stir in thickener.  At this point prep the grill (fire up the chimney and get the smoking wood ready) and move the pan to the grill when it is ready and place it on the opposite side of the grill from the heat, add smoking wood and leave to cook uncovered.  Stir the sauce every 15-20 minutes, it should be simmering nicely.  Remove the sauce from the grill when it is thickened to the desired consistency.

It is a tangy sweet BBQ sauce and it is so tasty it has boldness and depth that I have no found in a bottled BBQ sauce and it is pretty simple to make, this is going on the list of favorites.  Before cooking the sauce I did wipe the inside of the pan down with a thin film of canola oil to make cleanup simpler, and it helped, the baked on sauce just came off under the faucet and the scrubbing was minimal.  Just be sure to use a pan you can live with being a slightly different color when you are done on the outside.

Tagged with: , , ,

So today I made pulled pork, again.  But it was not nearly as dreadful as I make it sound, as an avid connoisseur of all things smoked, pulled pork is a staple.  Its fairly easy to make, requires a slight flexing of the smoking muscle and is almost impossible to screw up.   Today was no different, I had a ham roast in the freezer that was just begging for some smoker time and as it ends up I also had a rosemary shortage which prohibited me from making my preferred Brown Sugar and Rosemary Rub, so it was back to the drawing board.

BBQ Pulled Pork

In the end I ended up with an excellent stand in using some ready made rubs and and brown sugar.  And a spritz with some molasses, cranberry juice, bbq sauce and seasoning, again we didn’t have any apple juice.  The day was full of improvising. You will find the recipes for the rub and spritz below.

I threw the meat on the smoker about 7:30 AM and it smoked at 225ºF with apple and hickory wood until it reached 165ºF, at which point I wrapped it in foil and threw it back into the heat until it reached an internal temperate of 205ºF.  Then it was, while still wrapped in foil, wrapped in old towels and thrown into the cooler for 2 hours to rest.  I then pulled it, put it on a sandwich and enjoyed.  It was most tasty not quite as tasty as the Brown Sugar and Rosemary Rub but it is certainly still edible, and will likely be the source of lunch room envy tomorrow.

Mix and Match Pork Rub
brown sugar
bad byron’s butt rub

Mix together 2 parts brown sugar to 1 part each bbq3000 and butt rub.  When thoroughly mixed, spread mustard on meat in evenly.  Then rub meat liberally with bbq rub created above.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate over night or cook immediately.

Spritz Recipe
1 tbsp molasses
2 tbsp bbq sauce
1 c cranberry juice
1/4 c white sugar
1 tbsp bbq3000

Combine all ingredients until mixed well.  Mop onto meat every hour until meat reaches 165°F.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Was it beef or was it venison?  I don’t know but it was good.  Some people said it was venison and some beef, and I have to tell you sometimes I wanted it to be venison and sometimes I wanted it to be beef, but it was not labeled and for the life of me I cannot remember whether those were venison or beef steaks I cut up to make jerky.  But whatever they were they got me hooked, jerky is going to be an fascination until I can get it just right, every time in whatever flavor I want.  So there will be more jerky posts, probably even some this weekend.

I started out by cutting my steaks up into about quarter inch this pieces of meat at a 30° angle across the grain of the meat.  This was fairly easy to do and using a larger than necessary knife made it even simpler.

Jerky Rub Ingredients

Once the meat was cut I mixed together a rub as follows.

1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c kosher salt
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground ginger

Blend together all ingredients in a small bowl being sure to get any clumps out of the brown sugar.

Once the rub was mixed together I then rubbed the rub into the meat, this amount of rub is good for about 1 1/2 pounds of meat.

Jerky on the Smoker

I then placed it on the smoker with NO water in the water pan at 155°F for 5 hours over a blend of hickory and mesquite using my PID controlled electric smoker.  Using the propane would have probably been too moist to get good jerky and the charcoal might have been a little tricky to maintain that temperature for such a long period of time.  The electric with the PID controller is just easy.   At this point it was still a little moist in the middle but chewy and very jerky like, it was really good.

Mystery Meat Jerky

Even as mystery meat the reviews have been good, people have liked it, most importantly I liked it so I will be making more jerky and posting about it as I learn new things.

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

This past Saturday was a great day for a smoke, an all day smoke.  We were stripping and polishing up the boat, so why not do it with the tantalizing smell of hickory smoke and cooking meat. That is just what we did.  This was a great smoke because while I enjoy pulled pork bbq, its not one of those things that is like wow, but I made it wow, at least wow to me.  It all started with a good rub, a brown sugar and rosemary rub that gave it great bark and great flavor.

I again used my Slap Chop to chop up the fresh rosemary and speed up that job of making the rub, which like most rubs is not labor intensive. I then mixed the rub thoroughly as I could with a fork, crushing up clumps as they formed.

Rosemary and brown sugar pork rub

Once the rub was ready I slathered my bone-in pork loin with dijon mustard and then rubbed evenly, making sure to get all the surfaces with the rub.

After that is was onto my charcoal Brinkmann Gourmet for a long days cook at anywhere from 225°F to 250°F.  Usually I aim for a more precise temperature but with the wind (15-25 MPH all day) and the Gourmet‘s lack of control this was difficult to do.  Even with the wind and temperature my 5.25 lb loin hit 205°F after about 11 hours, none to soon by our clock, we were hungry.  We let the meat rest for about an hour and then pulled it using a pair of forks.

And then we ate it on a bun with some coleslaw and bbq sauce, the meat on its own was really good especially when you got a good chunk of the bark where you could really taste the rub.  Rosemary and pork go together better than cake and ice cream.  That was yesterday.  Today it made it to its pinnacle, I put some pork and Famous Dave’s bbq sauce in the crock pot this morning and came back a couple of hours later to find, an incredible pot of pulled pork bbq, so again I piled it high on a hoagie bun with some coleslaw and it was awesome.  I later found out this is even better with homemade bbq sauce .

A pulled pork bbq sandwich

After all of that I kinda find myself excited about pulled pork bbq and can’t wait to make it again.  If you want the recipe for the rub I used, a brown sugar and rosemary rub, I have included it below.  In the future I will probably use this rub on some regular smoked or grilled pork as it compliments the pork so well.

Brown Sugar and Rosemary Rub
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 c dark brown sugar
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Prepare meat by washing, drying and evenly coating in dijon mustard.  Rub meat evenly covering every inch with rub.  Grill or smoke low and slow until desired doneness.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Another day, another way to eat chicken, this one a little bit more involved.  Like the turkey breast I had cooked last year I stated off with my standard brine and added some black peppercorns, sage and basil.  I also use garlic cloves in place of garlic powder and I chopped up a couple of onion and added them to the brine.  After an afternoon of hunting and a thorough rub down with cajun spice to throw this bird on the smoker.

Chicken on the smoker

It took about four hours over a combination of hickory, apple and cherry wood to finish out bird.  Although we did baste this bird it probably would have been just fine without, it was the moistest chicken I have ever had.

Carving a Smoked Chicken

Not only was the chicken moist but it was also full of flavor and possibly by far the best chicken I have ever eaten.  We will be eating chicken again this way and next time we might go for more of a barbecued type of thing, just to branch out.  Oh yeah the potatoes were smoked too and not half bad.

Tagged with: , , , ,