Moist Heat BBQ

A place to post your drippings

Monday, October 30, 2006

Breast In Show

I've been a cooking monster the last 3 days. After creating a delicious Beef Barley Soup (it's moist) on Friday, I spent Saturday smoking a family favorite and Sunday trying something new.
The family favorite was baby back ribs. Last month I found them on sale and literally bought out that section of the meat aisle (12 half racks @ 2.38 per lb). It's nice to have those puppies available when you know your going to be hanging around the house on a Saturday afternoon. The something new for Sunday was a turkey breast. Mrs. T picked up a frozen breast a week or so ago. Even though it was my year to follow my daughter around for Trick-or-Treat, (Last year it rained and I never heard the end of it), I figured I'd volunteer to smoke the breast and have a nice hot meal ready when they returned around six. (Rule #1: A Moist Heat Man Tends His Own Fire)

I rubbed the breast with olive oil, salt, pepper, and some rosemary early Sunday planning for a 2 and 1/2 to 3 hour smoke to start just before 3pm. I decided to use both of my small coal side trays for indirect heat (they only hold about 23 brickettes) and use apple and maple chips for the smoke. With the bottom vent of my kettle grill completely closed, my temperature stayed very steady at 255 degrees. With my daughter jumping around waiting to make her rounds, I put her and my son to work peeling spuds to mash for supper.

The end result was an extremely tender and juicy breast. The most compliments I've gotten next to my ribs. Since my family mostly likes white meat, I'm torn between doing two or three breasts versus a whole turkey this Thanksgiving. If I do a turkey, my grandmother (rest her soul) would insist on using the carcass to make real turkey soup (a hassle in my book).

Any leads on a wood chunk source? Just using chips was a bit of a hassle. They go so quickly. Hickory chunks are easy to come by but I haven't really had any luck finding fruit wood chunks.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


It seemed like it was going to be a good Saturday. Mrs. Be-Wan and I were still mourning the cancellation of our dinner party. We were having our favorite professor from college up for dinner with his 2 kids and the woman he tricked into marrying him. Since we had bought a bunch of pig, we called Mr and Mrs Flamb, but they came up with some lame, english excuse (something like "we have tea and breads, then some telly, then...").

We were still excited b/c I didn't have my normal Saturday morning yoga (SHUT UP- NO COMMENTS- IT HELPS ME FOCUS MY SMOKING SKILLS). Since we didn't have to impress or educate anyone, I riffed and recipe.

I started out with an asian rub from Cook's. I did 1 tablespoon of szechuan peppercors and 1 tablespoon white peppercorns (courtsy of Spice House). I then added salt. I got 2 rack of St. Louis cut spareribs from Sentry, removed the membrane, and rubbed the ribs and tips liberally.

I put the ribs on at 225 with a little oak and hickory (hickory had done well with Chinatown ribs before a la Raichlen).

I then made homemade Teriyaki sauce from Cook's. I did a double recipe, which came out to: 1 cup soy sauce, 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp fresh grated ginger, 2 garlic cloves, a little salt and pepper then brought to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes till it formed a glaze (Andiken- I just got your attention).

I smoked for 3 hours, glazed once, then went another hour. I glazed, then rested them for 45 minutes.

These things were the most moist, sweet ribs I've ever had. The peppercorns (which I ground to a course grind in an old coffee mill) formed a great crust, and the pepper flavor cut the sweetness perfectly. These things were awesome. My son, Troy, ate more than most high school cheerleaders (about 4 1/2 ribs). Absolutely fantastic. Down south, we call it "slap your mama good".

Try it- you won't regret it.

Larry and Flamb Ed- your loss.

Monday, October 09, 2006

An expensive hunk of meat

I had always wanted to try a Prime Rib Roast. You'll hear it called many things, from a standing rib roast, to prime rib, to whole lotta beef. This is basically a prime rib, with the bones still on. I had seen it done many times on BBQ shows and had some recipes, so I finally decided to try it.

We went to Walworth County Farm days, and found a "high quality" butcher out there, so I bought one. VERY expensive. In the end, I think Bunzels' has the best quality and fresher, so I'm sticken' to Bunzels.

Anyway, I riffed a rub of salt, pepper, granulated garlic (available at the Spice House in Tosa- much better than garlic powder). I seasoned this 10 lb monster pretty heavily, as you want a flavorful crust to form. I then rubbed Dijon mustard on it. Now this isn't one of T-Bone's made up recipes, but had found many recipes in my books and on the web the recommended the mustard OVER the rub. Most recommended thyme and rosemary too, but my thyme plant died, and we were using rosemary on the potatoes.

I went about 2.5 hours in my kettle grill, drip pan in the middle, with hickory chunks. My temperature fluctuated pretty widely, so I went from 250 to 300 to 350, where as it should have been reversed. I pulled it off about 5 minutes after the internal temp was 125.

Summary: the crust was awesome- cripsy, salty, lots of hickory flavor, very moist. The only problem was I overcooked it a little. Its supposed to be medium rare and very pink in the middle, and I basically overshot medium a little, especially on one end that was smaller. It wasn't dry though. It was also such a huge hunk of meat, the middle had a little less flavor than the outside.

I will do this again, but I learned the following: Bunzels rocks, and I will continue to get my meat from them, I will pull the meat off as soon as it hits 125, start out at a higher temp and let it drop (like Cooks recommends), and probably do a sauce for the less flavorful portions. Prime rib often comes with a sauce, and Andrew (my preacher who has purchased a backwoods smoker) has done a rib roast with North Alabama White BBQ sauce, and it goes well.

All in all a good first attempt, and worth doing, but only for good friends, given the expense. And who was worthy? Our good friends MBP and Bob, as well as Mr. and Mrs. Flamb. And for the record, we recorded 3 gutteral grunts from Mrs. Flamb, which is better than 4 stars and 2 thumbs up.
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