I'll be smoking a pork butt and maybe a brisket. Anybody else have BBQ plans in the works?
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Not sure yet. I smoked three racks of ribs last weekend. The last time I smoked pork butt I did 16 lbs worth, vacuum sealed the leftovers and threw it in the freezer. Getting low on that so I might BBQ some more. Haven't done a brisket in a long time so that is certainly an option.
You use any interesting glaze on those ribs? I know that you dabble in experimental culinary BBQ'ing.
It's only recently that I've been brave enough to try a brisket... I'd heard horror stories of how temperamental the cut can be. It was great.
I did not use anything fancy this time around. Just some store-bought sauce I had around the house and some rub on the ribs.
I was at the butcher shop recently and he showed me a Wagyu brisket he had in the freezer. It was $100 for a full brisket. Imagine the stress of cooking that one!
That's what gets me! I'm out at least $50 if I mess up a brisket. Pork butt is great because I'm only out $8-$20 if it's terrible, and they're pretty much impossible to screw up.
I'd love to try a Wagyu brisket, but man... that is some serious stress.
Lemme ask you something. Are you the kind of griller that needs the security blanket of only being out $8 if you mess up? A man walked on a wire between the top of the World Trade Center and you are worried about a $50 brisket? Stop talking about grilling brisket and do it.
Ok, so I just stuck with the pork butt. It went really well. Interestingly, I had to cook it over the span of two days, as rain stopped my progress on Saturday. So, I just wrapped it in foil finished it off in the oven on Sunday. Amazingly it's one of the best I've done.
Here's a few pics of the finished product.
And here's the pulled product:
The gloves are some industrial dishwashing gloves (birthday present) that work perfectly for pulling the pork. No more burning my hands or having to use claws or forks. Just grip and rip :)
I also use them to help transfer from the smoker to the tray, as often the meat falls apart if I try using anything other than my hands.
Nice bark! Now I'm hungry.
Thanks for the tip on the gloves. I had never considered that. I have some silicone gloves. They work well but kind of a pain to put on and take off.
I ended up getting the weekend off from cooking. Went to the neighbor's house for dinner and he grilled venison filet mignon, bacon-wrapped dove breast, seasoned zucchini and stuffed poblano peppers. It was delicious.
Man, that spread sounds incredible. I've never had dove before. On the list of things I need to try some day.
FYI, here are the gloves that I use.
Both the doves and the deer were killed by my neighbor last year. Dove is a fairly small breast chunk of dark meat. Not too gamey and very tender if cooked properly. He stuffed them with sausage, wrapped them in bacon and marinated the entire thing in Italian dressing. Quite tasty.
On that note, if anyone has any tried & true, fool-proof marinade recipes (especially for chicken), do tell. We've been experimenting and haven't quite found "the one" yet.
A friend of mine has perfected a tea-brined grilled chicken. I am copying and pasting his instructions below.
Boil 8 cups water, add 3 family-size tea bags.
Steep for 5-10 minutes, then remove tea bags. Color should be pretty dark.
Turn off stove heat, add 1 cup brown sugar and stir in completely. Make sure it tastes sweet enough.
Add 1/4 cup kosher salt.
Add 1 sweet onion, chopped.
Add 1 to 1-1/2 lemons sliced.
Add 4 garlic cloves, chopped.
Add 2 tbsp black pepper.
Add rosemary sprigs to preference.
Allow brine to cool.
Cut 1 or 2 whole chickens into legs, thighs and breasts (Important to leave skin on). Put chicken in gallon ziploc bags and pour brine in each evenly. Place in fridge to chill/brine for 24 hours. By the end of the brine, the chicken will be discolored from the tea, but that's normal. It will change when it cooks.
I DEFINITELY recommend using grill mats over your grates to help avoid flare ups and direct contact between fire and chicken. This chicken recipe will drip a ton. The skin will help protect the chicken from fire and keep moist inside, but the grill mats make all the difference in the world.
Try to get temperature of the grill at 300-350.
If using a charcoal grill, place all coals on one half of the grill and cook the chicken over the unlit half. If using a gas grill, light every other burner (if possible). REMEMBER TO USE GRILL MAT
Place chicken pieces on the grill, skin side down and close the lid for 10 minutes. Turn chicken carefully every 5 minutes or so until chicken hits 165 degrees internal temp. Could be around 30 minutes but I've had it take up to 45, depending on grill temp.
If you are using a gas grill and the temp is just getting too hot or chicken appears to be cooking too fast, light the burners on half of the grill and turn the other half off ...and cook over the unlit half.
Ah, so this is a sweet tea brine... interesting! I'll have to give this a shot.
This sounds amazing. Glen, you should try it out and invite us over when you decide to do this, hint hint, nudge nudge. Sounds like a job for an advanced griller.
I need to lose my 'smoking' cherry one of these days. Sounds like a pork butt is the way to go. Pretty sure the 'mint has plenty of good recipes. Am liking the look of that tea brined chicken too.
Here's essentially what I do for the pulled pork:
I always recommend people start with pork shoulder (which is often referred to as pork butt). It is easy and inexpensive so if you do happen to mess up, you are not out much. I recommend using a fruit wood (apple, cherry, etc.) or pecan. All work really well with pork. Just be prepared to become addicted.
Also, if you have not selected a smoker yet, I recommend a Weber Smoky Mountain. It is perfect for beginners and the price point is good. They start around $199 for the 14" and go up to $399 for the 22". That way you can practice and discover whether you enjoy it before graduating into a more expensive barrel smoker or kamado (ceramic) cooker. The best whole turkey I ever smoked was on the Weber which was my first smoker.
Thanks @Razorback & @Glen. I feel confidence building. That is if i ever get off the 'porknography' site :)
Finally got around to doing it! Smoked a pork butt following guidance from Glen's link above. Great result. Made my wife an instant believer. Thanks for the encouragememt folks
I had a little electric smoker that someone left at my house. I used it for years, until bottom rusted out. Now I am in the process of building a UDS, one day I'll finish it. I need someone better at welding (and has better welder) than I am. I keep blowing holes while trying to attach the Weber lid to the barrel lid ring.
Yes! Losing my smoking virginity this weekend. My girlfriend's vegetarian so it'll be mostly tofu and vegetables, but I'm getting in a fish special. Not sure whether to do anything more adventurous just yet.
Nice! I've never smoked tofu, but fish should be awesome.
Gonna get a big beast from the fishmongers - gotta make it worth it.
Any ideas on whether beech, maple or cedar chips will work best with it?
Sorry for the late reply, I have been on vacation.
I would recommend you stick with the hard woods (apple, cherry, pecan, oak, hickory, etc.). Stay away from soft woods such as cedar, pine, spruce, etc. as they do not burn well and often require more attention during the cooking process. Mesquite is a great (and popular) wood but it is very pungent. I only recommend using it for beef as it seems to overpower poultry and fish.
Fish, like poultry, absorbs smoke quickly. So be careful not to use too much wood or you can oversmoke your food. I prefer to let the initial white smoke from the wood burn off before I put the food on. The wood is still smoking in there but it turns to a clear or blue smoke after the initial ignition. Once i reach that point, I put the food on to help avoid oversmoking.
I would also recommend not using mesquite for your "all purpose" smoking wood. It's fantastic on beef, but pretty potent on anything else.
We cooked up a small feast last night. As in dry-brined, smoked, reverse sear New York strip steaks.
First, I applied salt to the steaks (and some extra chicken we had) an hour or so before the cook started. This creates a dry brine that helps pull unwanted moisture out.
Next, I fired up my Primo XL smoker for an indirect cook, added some chunks of Apple wood for flavor and brought the temp to 225 (at the grate, same place as the food). I let the white smoke burn off and got that awesome blue (clear) smoke rolling.
I then put a digital temp gauge into one of the steaks. 125 degrees (rare) is the temp I am going for and it took about 45-60 minutes to get there. Once ready, I pulled the steaks off for a brief rest and then seared them on high using my brand new GrillGrates I purchased for my gas grill. I sear for one minute on each side, rotating the steak every 30 seconds to get good crosshatch marks for presentation. This high-heat final step brings the meat temp up to 130-135 degrees which is about perfect for medium rare.
For a side, I used quartered baby red potatoes, fresh green beans and mushrooms. I mixed these in a bowl with some olive oil, Cajun seasoning, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. All of this was placed on foil to eventually make a packet. I then cooked two pieces of thick cut bacon about halfway so it could continue inside the packet. I added the bacon (and grease), about a third stick of butter cut into chunks and some parmesan cheese on top. Folded up the packet and cooked it over medium heat on the gas grill for about 15-20 minutes.
For the steaks, we pre-made a Rouquefort butter that consisted of butter, blue cheese, granulated garlic and black pepper. We placed this in the freezer for a short time to give the butter a harder consistency. Once the hot steaks came into the house, we immediately placed a generous dab of the butter on them so it could begin to melt. The steaks were then sliced thinly to achieve maximum melt-in-your-mouth quality.
A small side salad finished off the plate.
It was a lot or prep and took over two hours to do but completely worth it. The steak had a wonderful smoke flavor and all of the juicy tenderness that only a reverse sear can bring. The veggie packet provided a perfect compliment. When I do it again, I will likely wait until we have friends and/or family over to help justify the amount of time it took to prepare.
I did not get any great pics (drank a few beers during the long prep period) but here are a few OK ones:
Sweet Moses, that sounds phenomenal. I'll need to check out the GrillGrates. I'm not very happy with my current setup for searing on the grill.
The Flickr album you posted is saying it doesn't exist, which bummed me out mightily ;)
That's odd. I tested the link on Gentleman and it worked. I wonder if I made the album private by mistake. I will look into it.
I updated the link. Please try again.
Hrm, still broken. I'm wondering if it's a privacy setting you have. I checked out your Flickr Albums, and there's only 1 listed (the "Outdoor Kitchen" album).
New link updated. If this does not work, I am taking the off Flickr and using something else. Sheesh. I should know better than to use anything managed by Yahoo!
Hah, worked! I'll have to give that Rouquefort butter a shot... looks incredible.
Below is the base recipe but as always, adjust to your taste.
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 ounces crumbled blue cheese (about ⅓ cup)
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
I'll be doing another pork shoulder this weekend... running low on pulled pork in the freezer. I'll post pics this time...
Am having a crack at 'Last Meal Ribs' from amazingribs.com this weekend. Great site! Thanks for the reference Glen
Those won't disappoint. The Memphis Dust rub that he references in that recipe is really good too, and can be used on all sorts of pork.
How did the the 'Last Meal Ribs' turn out? I am anxious to try his recipe.
The ribs came out very well. My first time trying to smoke ribs, and was well pleased. I'm using my gas grill with a smoker box for this entree into smoking. Use one burner of the 3 on my grill. After the pork butt and the ribs have got the knack of getting 225F. Had them on for about 6 hours (St Louis cut ribs). As Glen mentioned the Memphis Dust gave a good flavor to the ribs. Here's the finished item Six hours of smoking should give me and the boy a good rib fest tonight #ribfest #smokedmeats #porknography
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