Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Monday's results

Well, I did it. I cooked the menu listed for Monday. Man was it good. In a nutshell, here is what went down. The weather was pretty but boy was is hot. The air temp was at about 88°F but with the heat index it went to 95°F. Note to self: need to build a cover over the smoking area soon. A light southern wind at 5 mph was a well-accepted blessing. I’ll skip all the negative things that happened as I was trying to get the chimney lit. I have been having problems with this one for a while. I have tried everything I know to do and it still will not light. Even placed vegetable oil on the paper wicks this time. Still no go. The only thing I can think of is I might be putting too many coals in and there is not enough room for ventilation. I also have just about decided that there is a Weber Chimney in my immediate future. Possibly two. I placed a chimney of unlit coals in the SFB and when the finally lit chimney was ready I poured them on top of the unlit coals. Placed 4 chucks of hickory in the mix and things were looking good.

While everything was getting hot I had time to get to know my ribs a little better. I have been guilty of not having my own special rub that I use. I have tried store bought. ‘Nuff said. I have tried several variations that I have found online at places like BBQ Forum and Barbecue Bible and others. Everyones tastes are different and I still had not found the one that “hit the spot”. That was before this time.

I made a post the other day about Dr. BBQ’s new book. This one is a keeper. I decided to give his Big Time BBQ Rub and his Thick and Sticky BBQ Sauce a run around the block. I am not a big fan of chili powder (and this rub has 2 TBS) but I think it made the difference in this rub. It not only gave the ribs a deep dark color before they even hit the heat, but it also pushed the taste into the “oh so good” category.

Anyway, with “Ole Smokey” fired up and ready to go, I placed the pan of BBQ beans on the charcoal tray of the CG. Then I placed the ribs over the beans so that the beans would catch all the juices that fell. The temperature gauge was holding steady at 225°F and the smoke smelled real good.

At the 2-hour mark, I removed the beans and gave them a good stir and placed foil over them and stuck them in the oven to hold their heat. I also removed the ribs and checked temp for the first time. Those babies were readying 155°-160° and some of the meat had already started pulling away from the bone. I decided to go ahead and foil them. Due to the already high temp I knew they would not last the remaining 2 hours of my 2-1-1. Because I did not want them to dry out I poured some apple juice in the foil and sealed them up. Placed them back on the grill for about 40 minutes then pulled them again. They were dead on 170°. I removed them from the foil. I took several of the burning coal from the SFB and placed them on the grill side of the smoker. After moving the grates over the coals I placed the ribs over the coals and grilled them for about 10 minutes covering them with the thick and sticky sauce. These dudes were looking good. Add some cornbread casserole and baked sweet potatoes and you have a plateful of “Surely goodness and have mercy”.

All in all this was a good cook. Still fighting a problem getting the coals lit. Still want to make some grill mods to the CG but I am very pleased with my product. Check out the pics and let me know what you think.

1) Ribs and Beans

2) Ribs with Dr. BBQ'a Big Time BBQ rub

3) Ribs on smoker

4) Finished ribs

5) Finished beans

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Good eats on Monday

Just decided what I am gonna fix on Monday. Check out this menu. I will let you know how it goes.

*Ole Smokey's Thick-n-Sticky Baby Back ribs
*BBQ Beans
*Cornbread Casserole
*Ole Smokey's roasted sweet potatoes

Friday, June 24, 2005

Now I'm smokin'

Things are starting to get back to normal around here. After taking care of my father for a few days I finally got to fire up “Ole Smokey” and do some low and slow this past weekend. None of the places where I buy my meat for BBQing have had anything that looked good here of late. The baby-backs have been less than attractive. At over $5 a pound I have to be choosey. I knew I would not have enough time to do a brisket or butt. I did find a good deal on whole chickens and decided I would do the, now famous, Beer Can (or Butt) Chicken.

I picked out my bird and found a recipe that I liked and got started. I did not follow the recipe to the letter. I wanted to experiment and try to stumble onto something better than good. My base recipe was taken from Rick Browne’s Original Beer-Butt Chicken. You can find this basic recipe and many others on Rick’s website at http://www.barbecueamerica.com/. The one part of this recipe that I followed verbatim was Rick’s Basting Sauce. This combination of apple juice, olive oil, warm beer, hot sauce and balsamic vinegar did the trick. Put that concoction in a spray bottle and make you bird happy. After cleaning the bird and getting the smoker ready it was now time to cook. The smoker was cruising at 225-235°F and the smoke from the combination hickory and apple chunks was just right. On went the chicken.

To make a long story short, in about 2 hours I had produced one of the most delectable chickens I have ever eaten. The moisture content was just right. The skin had that dark brown smoke look and I could not restrain myself any longer. I did have to pull the chicken off the smoker a little low on temp due to a thunderstorm that snuck up on me. But I wrapped it in foil and stuck it in the oven. You would never know the difference.

I will be tweaking this one for some time. You know me; I am never completely satisfied. I hope to have some pics up soon.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Hospital Ribs? Surely you jest...

Sorry for not updating this blog sooner. Last Saturday, my father had to be rushed to the ER with chest pains. We later found out that he had a small heart attack but thanfully there it did not damage his heart. He underwent a heart cath and it showed he had an artery that was 95% blocked and another that was 60% blocked. Two stints were inserted into the 95% blockage and the other will be treated with medication.

This series of events prevented me from getting outside and firing up the ole smoker. I have been craving some good wet and sticky backs for quite some time and was hoping to get to sink my teeth into a few of them this past weekend. However, the cafeteria at the hospital broke out some pretty decent ribs on Tuesday for lunch. They were not wet or sticky. They definitely were not baby backs. However, they were eatable and only served to increase my craving for ribs done right.

With my dad home from the hospital now I can try my best to get out to the smoker and get those ribs I have been longing for. I can also get back to updating my blog. Who knows, I might just put my secret rib recipe on here.

You will just have to wait and see.

L8tr g8tr,

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Does Alabama need a BBQ Association.

I am sending this via email to the blog to see if the link works. If you are reading it I guess it works.

I have been thinking lately about starting a BBQ association in my neck of the woods here in Northeast Alabama. To my knowledge there are none in this area. I have emailed several associational presidents to get their input on the matter.

Here in Alabama, as with any other region of the south, we have been saturated with bbq restaurants. If I want to get some bbq I do not have to drive too far to get some. The only things we have more of than bbq joints are car lots and pawn shops. Don't think there is a connection between the car lots and pawnshops.

There are a lot of people in this area who could benefit from an association being created. When I get more information about this I will post it.

Until then, smoke 'em if you got 'em.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Found Me a Book...

I went to my local Books A Million store today to check out their books about BBQ. Several books caught my eye but the one that garnered the most attention was written by Ray Lampe (A.K.A. Dr. BBQ). It is entitled, “Dr. BBQ’s Big Time BBQ Cookbook”. I am such a fan of the good doctor that I just had to sit down and consume the books contents.

For some time now I have been looking for a certain type of book regarding BBQ. My ideal BBQ book covers mostly techniques and tips, stories from the various competition BBQ trails and even reviews from some of the best BBQ joints in the country. So far I have not found what I am looking for. Go into any bookstore and checkout the books about Q. Most all of them have 1 or 2 chapters about techniques and tips and the other 9-10 chapters are nothing but recipes. If you check as many as I do you will soon realize that most of the recipes are the same, from the same people.

But Dr. BBQ’s book was different and it didn’t take me long to realize that. In fact, he covered it on the first page. What he does with this book is simply a work of genius. Or is it just simple? Instead of going into detail about techniques and tips (like I thought I wanted), Lampe used the first pages of the book to cover an ongoing debate over “traditional BBQ”. Good stuff here! He uses the remaining chapters to weave the techniques and tips that I had longed for around the great sounding (and smelling – yes I could smell the ribs and brisket there in the bookstore) recipes of pork, beef and everything you could think of.

Go to the bookstore and buy this book. When you do check out my favorite recipes that I have listed here. Then, find some and make them your favorites.
*Dr. BBQ’s Championship Ribs
*Backyard Championship Ribs
*Fast Freddy’s World Championship Ribs
*Not sure of the name on this one but it covers smoking a brisket in about 6 hours versus 12-15 hours
*Big Time BBQ Rub
*Thick and Sticky BBQ Sauce

I still think there is a book out there that covers what I am looking for. But until I find it, I’ll enjoy this one.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

"Thinking about Q..."

I am sitting at work staring at my workstation doing what I normally do...thinking about BBQ. I have a lot of downtime at work so that allows me to surf the Internet for all kinds of stuff. Still, I can't wait until my next set of off-days so I can get in a good cook. Can't ever get enough practice.

I am not sure what I will be cooking this week. I waited too long to take advantage of the Memorial Day meat sales in my area so the freezer is looking bare. I wanted to smoke some baby backs but the place were I get them was out. I might do some wings and such. I am sure I will find something to do.

Oh, well. So goes the random thoughts of a rambling mind.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Welcome to Ole Smokey BBQ

Let me take this opportunity to welcome all of you to my BBQ Weblog. This is something new for me so I will ask you to be patient as I get all the bugs worked out. Feel free to post and make comments on anything you see or read here. I do ask that all posts be kept clean. If you want to curse and talk trash, go do it on someone elses site.

Please feel free to send me your favorite BBQ recipes to olesmokeybbq@yahoo.com. They will be posted to this site as soon as possible. With that said, let's get to it!!

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