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Found 12 results

  1. I have a Santa Maria grill on the way. I’ve watched a few video recipes but find them lacking the detail I require for my first few cooks. Where can I find a primer to provide an introduction to Santa Maria grilling? I’m interested in– Do I grill over flame or glowing coals? What should the grate temperature be for searing? (A function of fire size and grate elevation.) What should the grate temperature be for grilling? Anything additional that a novice should know. For me, a non-intuitive cook, ideal instructions would be something like, “To sear your steak, raise or lower the grate until it registers XXX°. After searing, adjust the grate until it registers YYY° for continued grilling.”
  2. Hello All!!! Grilling spatchcock chicken with John Henry's Texas Chicken Tickler!!!!
  3. Hey all, My name is Will, I WILL be a new Kamado Joe Big Joe owner in the next few days. Looking forward to some great smokes and grill outs! I also do a lot of All grain home brew beer for fun, because well, I like it better. And last but not least, I am ridiculously crazy about lawn care... anyway, im glad to be a part of the forum and reading through all the info. I do have one question though, (and I hope this isn't already covered, and if it is, I apologize) but I can either get a grill from a somewhat local grill store (45 mins away) or from Costco. The guy from Costco will only be there till Sunday April 15, 2018 and I was curious if any y'all could help me out on this; Costco price and local grill store price is about the same but I was curious more about the taxes. I live in Texas, and I know regardless of any company's offer, Texas wants their cut, which is fine, but I read somewhere that Costco roadshow is tax free, has anyone else heard of that? if so it would be worth the extra $150 or so... plus Costco is closer.
  4. Make a big batch of Korean Chicken Skewers last night. The family loved them (great flavor, although they were a little hot). The baste is light brown sugar, rice vinegar, Asian hot chili paste, fish sauce, Sriracha and grated ginger.
  5. I just purchased my Akorn off Amazon the other day and will be putting it together this weekend. I've been cooking on webers/gassers for years and wanted to change it up for some low-n-slow smoking and this forum made me pull the trigger. It will be my only current grill, so I was trying to figure out the best way to cook a reverse sear/2-zone steak or similar. It's the best way to cook a steak IMO and I see many varying ways to do it. What you you guys consider the best? The main thread on this site showing the custom bent wire basket or something no longer shows pictures so I had a tough time trying to understand how that process all worked. I've seen split diffusers online, the adjustable CharGriller rack, searing directly on the weber grate...etc. Has anyone been able to replicate a true 2-zone cooking process where I can bring a steak up to 105 in 45 min or so, then sear it quick up to 125?
  6. Hi All, I have been peaking through this site for years, but never took the time to join up...Better late than ever, right? The main reason I have been peaking through is that as an avid steak enthusiast and (self called) grill master, I had been looking for a way to dry-age steaks in my home and not have to deal with the mail away steak ordeal. That said, we designed our own and wanted to post it here to get some feed back and thoughts on what we believe is a great way for all beef lovers to have steak house quality steaks at home for less! I attached our Kickstater page to provide more information on how we are achieving our results. I look forward to your feedback! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/776705379/the-beef-box-enjoy-premium-aged-steaks-at-home?ref=nav_search TP
  7. Does anyone have experience with GrillGrates (https://www.mygrillgrate.com/articles.asp?ID=254)? The concept looks very interesting, but a bit pricey. I'd like to try the surface but I don't want to get suckered. Anyone?
  8. I recently replaced my 20 year-old rinky dinky Brinkman horizontal smoker/grill with a Char-Griller Akorn komado. I bought it primarily for slow smoking. Knocked out some incredible pulled pork shoulder and brisket last weekend! I love the design of the Akorn (it's my first komado) for slow smoking. But I prefer to have just one grill/smoker and am concerned about how well it will work for standard grilling, such as hamburgers, steaks, pork chops, fish, etc. My concern is the distance between the fire and the grate. The grate isn't adjustable, and it's raised up pretty high.I'm not sure I could sear meat, for instance, and I'm not sure I could cook a steak quickly enough to turn out a perfect medium rare. What are your experiences? And advice? I hoped to find a secondary grate online that would sit on the diffuser (pizza stone) holders, but no luck. All anecdotes and advice are highly appreciated! jb
  9. Howdy Gurus! I've always been meaning to ask how you good people got so good at the craft of Kamado Kooking! There are some truly inspired Kooks here who produce some world class cuisine. I honestly think that the Gurus here could rival any Culinary Institute of America grads. Nobody is born knowing how to cook. Tell us your story, the twists, the turns, the successes, the failures. I think it would make for some compelling reading and would really help new new kamado owners who are going through the frustrations of temperature control, first cooks, etc. see that the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a freight train headed at them! This ought to be good!
  10. Well here is another great article from TexasBBQ Rub. As always I hope it helps someone. All credit goes to Texas BBQ Rub: http://www.texasbbqrub.com http://facebook.com/texasbbqrub "Texas BBQ Rub's Guide to Kick Your BBQ to the Next Level" Article 7 (Part 1 of 2) Smoking and Grilling Chicken June 27, 2014 This is the 7th Article in the Series of Articles I have been doing. I know many of you sent me emails about the last Article and I numbered it wrong (guess that is what happens at 1:30 am). The Article on the Beef Ribs was number 6 in the series sorry about any confusion. Since I got so many questions in our recent survey about smoking and grilling chicken I have decided to split this discussion on smoking and grilling chicken into 2 separate emails (Part 2 will be sent out in a couple of days on Sunday). Trying to get everything into one email was just not going to work as I wanted to cover the main questions concerning cooking chickens. So be looking for Part 2 of smoking and grilling chicken on Sunday. I am trying to get you all the information you will need for the upcoming 4th of July long weekend which is only 1 week away. Here are the main questions we received in the survey and when they will be covered for you: 1. How to get flavor deep inside of a piece of chicken? (Today's email) 2. How to keep my chicken from drying out during the smoking process? (Today's email) 3. Times and temperatures for smoking a chicken? (Both emails will cover this) 4. How to get crispy skin on the chickens I am smoking? (Sunday's email) 5. If I am grilling chicken breast what is the best method of doing it so I don't dry out the chicken? (Sunday's email) 6. Should I brine the chicken and for how long? (Both emails will cover this) 7. What is a good brine recipe? (Today's email) 8. Should I add a BBQ sauce on the chicken and if so when do I apply it and how much? (Both emails will cover this) CHICKEN - The Yard Bird - The Secret Meat for the Smoker Chicken has become one of the mainstays for all of us. The reason is chicken are lower in fat and cholesterol than most other meats. The fact is the marketing folks for the poultry industry are doing one fantastic job promoting their products to us. And we cook chicken in such a wide variety of ways, we can eat it all of the time and always change the looks and taste of the chicken. Chicken is really one meat that we can cook almost in any manner and it comes out great. It can be smoked, grilled, fried, and baked. It is great in salads and in casseroles. Two kinds of meat - dark and light Chicken is generally thought of as having two distinct kinds of meat: dark and light. The dark meat comes from the leg and thigh portions of the chicken. The dark meat contains more connective tissues and fat and thus requires a longer cooking time. But the dark meat of the chicken when cooked right is juicier due to the fat content of the dark meat. The light (white) meat comes from the breast and wing of the chicken. The light meat contains less connective tissue and fat and therefore cooks quicker than does the dark meat. But it is easier to dry out the white meats much easier than the dark meats of a chicken. Chicken and Safety Because chickens spoil easily, there are some serious safety concerns that need to be noted. Most of the things about preparing chicken and cooking them are techniques we practice as a rule of thumb; but it goes without saying every now and then we need to be reminded. Just about every article or cookbook will have some mention of chicken safety issues. That's okay, they are written to help keep us and our guests from getting sick so I've included a few chicken safety reminders. " When working with raw chickens, you need to constantly wash your hands in order to prevent cross contamination. Also be sure to clean any surface with soap and hot water or better yet with a bacteria killing cleaner after you have prepared the bird. " When thawing chicken keep it in the refrigerator. A whole chicken will take approx. 12 hours to thaw depending on size. If you need a quick thaw use your microwave. " There is nothing in chicken recipes that call for Rare to Medium Rare Chickens, They need to be thoroughly cooked to the bone. There are various ways to tell when a chicken is done - clear juices, joints that move easily and of course the use of a meat / poultry thermometer. Avoid "Burnt Cinder" Chicken - It is Easy to Avoid Have you ever been to a barbecue and had what I call "burnt cinder" chicken. "Burnt cinder" chicken is black, crusty, dried out and taste terrible. It is the end product of high heat and applying barbecue sauce to the meat during the entire cooking process at the high hears... You are going to learn how to avoid the "burnt cinder" chicken doldrums. Most people tend to grill (temperatures of 450 to 600 degrees) skinless chicken breasts. However, most people are drying out the chicken breast in the process by overcooking the chicken in these high heats. Try slow smoking chicken using indirect heat. Lower the temperature of the grill or pit to 225 to 250 degrees. And sit back and get ready to enjoy the finest chicken you have ever sunk your teeth into. We will talk about cooking a chicken at 300 to 325 degrees in the email on Sunday. This one will get you a crispier skin. The secret to grilling or smoking great tasting barbecued chicken is to keep the temperature of the fire low and leave any barbecue sauce you might be putting on the bird until the last few minutes on the pit. As with all meats, cooking at lower temperatures will produce tender, better tasting, and juicier meats. High heat will cook the meat quicker all right, but it will dry out a piece of chicken in a hurry. So lower the heat and have a couple of your favorite beverages while the chicken cooks. All of the flavor added to the chicken will come from the rub that has been applied to the bird from the beginning of the cook and from the smoke flavor of the fire. Both of these tastes will penetrate the meat during cooking and add flavor to your chicken. Smoked Chicken - This One is Hard to Beat and is Simple (no brining for this recipe) One of the most flavorful things you can smoke is chicken. Smoke takes to chicken like a duck to water. The key to successful smoking chicken is to cook low and slow, use a great rub, add a little oil before the cook, add some wood flavor to the fire, and leave the dang old chicken skin on the bird during smoking. I know you are getting tired of me saying this, low and slow cooking on the pit. Yes, even the dang old yard bird needs to be cooked low and slow. Use a great rub. Texas BBQ Rub (and any of our great rubs will work) works great on chicken adding flavor and some sweetness to the chicken. Add a little oil to the chicken before cooking. I use Italian dressing as a base before placing the chicken on the pit. First I baste the chicken with Italian dressing and then apply Texas BBQ Rub. This combination works fantastic and the Italian dressing adds some flavor as well as some oil. Some folks use butter for their oil and butter works well also. See the recipe below for some tips on this. Add some wood flavor to your fire. If you are cooking with charcoal add some chunks of wood for the smoked wood flavor. The two biggest things adding flavor to the chicken are the wood flavor and the rub. As I said, low and slow is the key to keeping the bird from drying out. Cook at 225 to 250 degrees. Cooking time for 225 is approximately 4 to 5 hours and cooking times for 250 degrees is approximately 3 to 4 hours. Cook the chicken until the juices of the chicken run clear, 165 to 170 degrees internal temperature. If you are using an internal thermometer do not let it hit the bone of the chicken, as you will get a false reading. Test the temperature at the thickest part of the chicken thigh if you are cooking a whole or a half chicken. I prefer to use a whole chicken and cut it in half for cooking on the pit. I like to lay the chicken down with the breast side up on the pit and all you have to do is let it sit there and cook. You can cook whole non split chickens if you like, but add a little more time for cooking. Money-saving TIP: One thing you can certainly use in smoking and grilling are chicken quarters. This is simply the leg and thigh cut of meat off of the chicken and you can find these at your nearby Super Store or at many super markets, in 10 pound bags for like 69 cents a pound. These are great to smoke or grill and they can be smoked in about 2 hours at 250 degrees. Smoked chicken will stay good in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days. It is fantastic to make chicken salad with and it is great in salads. Smoked chicken will freeze nicely if you have a vacuum packer or you can wrap the chicken really good to protect it in the freezer. Below is my recipe for "Bill's Simple Chicken". Give it a try. This little bird has won a few trophies. RECIPE: BILL'S EASY SMOKED CHICKEN (the skin on this smoked bird will not be real crisp, we will cover that method in a couple of days) What you will need: 1-Whole chicken ( I usually cut mine in half) or as an alternative you can use chicken breasts or cut up whole chicken or the money saving chicken quarters ¼ cup of TEXAS BBQ RUB (reserve half of the rub for sprinkling on the skin of the pit) ½ cup of Italian dressing (any brand will do but I like Zesty Italian) Take the Italian dressing and pour that into a glass dish. Add ½ of the rub and mix together. You will end up with a brownish colored liquid that you are going to put under the skin of the chicken using this important tip. Very Important Tip: Use your finger and starting on the backbone side of the chicken to create a cavity under the skin by moving your finger around under the skin. Make sure you get up to the leg. Now take liquid you just made and push some of it under the skin. Get as much in there as it will hold. You can attach the skin you pulled up with a toothpick if you wish or just let it sit as it is. Now sprinkle the other ½ of Texas BBQ Rub on the top of the chicken. Place the chicken on the pit with the breast up and the bone side of the half chicken down on the cooking grate. Examples of your cooking times are as follows: 225 degrees - about 4 to 5 hours 250 degrees - about 3 to 4 hours You really don't need to move the chicken once it is on the pit as the juices will run out of the chicken. If you need to move the chicken use a spatula and be careful not to spill too much of the liquid that is under the skin. Cook the chicken until the juices of the chicken run clear if you punch a hole in the side of the chicken or to 165 degrees internal temperature. If you are adding a BBQ sauce to your chicken add it the last 15 minutes of the cooking time. You are going to need it on the chicken long enough for it to set. That is it. These chickens turn out to be moist and have a great taste. Tip: By the way, if you are new to smoking meats you can practice your smoking techniques using chickens. The techniques are the same and it is a much quicker cooking period and the costs for chickens is less than other meats. Use chicken to learn a new pit or practice with the taste of different woods. RECIPE: BEER CAN CHICKEN (OR BEER BUTT CHICKEN) What you will need: " A whole chicken. " One can of your favorite beer (or your favorite soda) " About ¼ cup of Texas BBQ Rub " About ¼ cup of Italian Dressing All you need to do is simply: Take a few sips of the beer or soda you are using. If you are using a beer you can add about 1 tablespoon of Texas BBQ Rub to the beer. Get the Italian dressing with Texas BBQ Rub mixed with it under the skin of the bird. Stick the can up in the cavity of the chicken and carefully balance the can on your pit. Cook for approximately 4 to 5 hours at 225 degrees. It's great! By the way there have been concerns and studies regarding whether or not there's any harmful emissions from the beer can or it's labeling. To date there is no official indication of a safety hazard. This is because the heat is not high enough to affect the characteristics of the metal can. SMOKING SKINLESS/BONELESS CHICKEN BREASTS It seems we are all watching our weight because the doctor told us to lose some weight. He also tells us to watch the amount of fat that we are eating so we don't clog up our veins. I know that I am always looking for something really good and tasty with that spark of smoke flavor in it to add to the never ending blah tasting foods that we have to eat while we are trying to lose a few pounds. Most of us will turn to chicken and to be more exact we turn to the good old boneless-skinless chicken breast because it just does not have any fat in it to speak of. So this is the perfect piece of meat and if it is cooked right it is good and tasty and you can use it in salads, casseroles, to make a great sandwich, or just eat along side of some great vegetables and you have a nice meal that is low in carbs and fat. It does not get much better than that in this diet world we live in. So I am going to focus on this one particular piece of meat and tell you a simple yet yummy way to fix it so it breaks up that same old blah tasting chicken that we seem to get to often. This piece of meat is actually great to brine and it will infuse some flavor into the meat as well as help keep it moist during cooking. So we are going to tell you a really simple brine recipe that will work on this or any chicken you are going to be cooking. But we are also going to cover how to cook this piece of meat without brining it as well. To Brine the Chicken - Brine Recipe and Method OK let's start with the brine. Depends on how much chicken you are going to be cooking so this is enough brine to do about 5 chicken breasts or 2 whole chickens: 1 quart of water 1/2 cup of Texas BBQ Rub Original Rub ½ cup of sea salt ½ cup of sugar ¼ cup of orange juice (or other juices your choice) (by the way 1-5oz jar of Texas Pepper Jelly works great as well Heat the water to a boil. Add all of the other ingredients to your pan and return to a slow boil. Then remove from stove and let cool completely and this is very important. This does take some time and it needs to cool all the way down before you add the chicken to it. But the heating of the ingredients allows for all of the flavors to blend together nicely. You can put this in the refrigerator to cool down faster. Next we will take our chicken and I like to use a gallon size zip lock bag and place the chicken breasts in the bag and then add the brine and seal. Make sure you cover the bird completely and during the brining process you need to flip the bag over a couple of times to ensure that all the meat is exposed. We are going to brine the bird for 4 to 5 hours in the frig or in an ice chest. Make sure the bird stays cold. If you are going to place the zip lock bag in the frig I would put it in a bowl or pan just in case it leaks out during the brining process. You can place the zip lock in an aluminum pan but DO NOT brine in an aluminum pan. Stainless is fine but preferably use the bag or Tupperware or something like that. Remember to flip the bag over about every one or two hours... OK after 4 to 5 hours of the brining process remove the chicken from the brine and rinse the chicken off completely in fresh water and then pat each piece dry with a paper towel. Discard the brine. IMPORTANT: You have to wash the bird off after it has been in the brine or it will be too salty. And if you use regular iodized salt cut the salt for the brine in half. Sea Salt is just better for brining. This smoked chicken is great the next day in a salad or on some bread. So cook up several of these chicken breasts for the next day. If you need to order some Texas BBQ Rub you can go to http://www.texasbbqrub.com/shopping.html NO Brine Boneless-Skinless Chicken Breasts If you don't want to do the brine thing on the chicken cause of time limits then just take your chicken breasts and follow the simple method below. What you will need: 1/2 cup of Italian dressing (If you are worried about fats and carbs then use a fat free Italian dressing) ¼ cup of Texas BBQ Rub Original Rub (or try the Grand Champion Rub) TIP: To ensure a nice even cook of the chicken breast it is great to butterfly the breast and have two equally thick pieces of meat to cook. Just take a good sharp knife and cut the breast into 2 pieces that will be about ½ to ¾ of an inch thick. Mix the two ingredients in a bowl. You will see the Italian dressing turn a brownish color when you add the rub. Just place each chicken breast in the Italian dressing solution and then place on your BBQ pit or smoker. (If you want to marinate them for a couple of hours that is great too). Sprinkle the top of the chicken breast with just a little Texas BBQ Rub and smoke until the internal temp is 160 degrees. I like to cook this unbrined version of the chicken breast at 225 degrees for about 1 to 1½ hours. No need to turn it over or anything just let it cook. What are you waiting for; this is simple and good eating. In the next couple of days you will get another email that will teach you how to smoke or grill a chicken at a higher temperature so that you will get a crispier skin. Get out there and cook some chicken. Bill PS: The 4th of July is only 7 short days away and since you are going be cooking some great BBQ for your family and friends get yourself some Texas BBQ Rub. I guarantee you will love it and so will everyone else that eats your barbecue. Do it right now before you forget! We are going to mailing rub today and Saturday so you will have it in plenty of time for the long 4th of July weekend. Here is the link to get you some http://www.texasbbqrub.com/shopping.html PPS: You can now follow us on Facebook. Here is the link to our Facebook fans page. We are posting up some great pictures and recipes every week. So come on over and give us a Like. http://facebook.com/texasbbqrub Contact Information: Bill Cannon BBQ Made Simple Real Texas BBQ Rub, Inc. 157 FM 359 Rd Richmond, Texas 77406 Phone - 281-344-1076 Email addresses: bill@texasbbqrub.com You can contact us at bill@texasbbqrub.com if you should have any questions or comments. Copyright 2014 all Rights Reserved Real Texas BBQ Rub, Inc.
  11. Sorry for the duplicate posts. The forum was giving me SQL errors and I did not know my post actually got posted. Hopefully the Mods will delete the other posts. I received another informative email from www.texasbbqrub.com. ALL credit is to them. I hope this helps someone out that wanted to cook ribs better or had questions. Texas BBQ Rub's Guide to Kick Your BBQ to the Next Level Article 4 Pork Ribs In the world of BBQ cooking perhaps the most cooked of all the meats are pork ribs and that is what you are going to learn how to do in this article. We are going to cover pork spare ribs, pork St. Louis Cut ribs, Baby Back ribs, and then Country Style pork ribs. This is the 4th Article in this series of 8 to 10 BBQ guides. People love ribs that is a fact; but they like them in a variety of ways such as no sauce on them at all just a great rub, sauced lightly, covered in BBQ sauce, some like to eat the meat off the bone without the entire rib meat coming off with their first bite, and some like the fall off the bone ribs. But the two common things they all seem to want are a great tasting rib and a rib full of natural juices. There are a few big questions you may be asking yourself and trying to find the answers for. 1. Do I need to remove the membranes from the ribs before I cook them? 2. What is the easiest way to remove the membrane from the ribs? 3. Do I need to wrap the ribs? And if so when do I do it? 4. What is the simple 3-2-1 method talked about for cooking ribs? 5. How do I know when the ribs are done? 6. When do I add the sauce if I want to add some to the ribs? 7. How tender do I need to cook the ribs and how do I do that? The answer to these questions and others will be covered in depth in this article. OH! THOSE WONDERFUL PORK RIBS From Kansas City, to North Carolina, back to Memphis and down to Texas one thing that all barbecue fanatics seem to agree on is ribs are made for barbecuing. Now that is all they can agree on because the way they are cooked, the sauce (if any) used on the ribs while cooking or eating, and the type of rib to use for the best outcome seem to all have a fierce debate going on all of the time. But, in all reality, ribs are a wonderful piece of meat to cook on the grill and they are even better (my opinion) on a smoker. But let's get down to cooking some ribs and licking our fingers. The styles are different, the ribs may be different but one thing remains the same, ribs are great for smoking and grilling. Whether you like your ribs wet, dry, with sauce, without sauce, baby backs, spares, country style: we all seem to love ribs. There is just not another piece of meat you get to grab with your hands and eat right off of the bone. OK the basics. First, we all know that you don't use a fork to eat a rib. This piece of meat was made to be picked up and eaten with your hands. So it is not the typical meat to cook for a sit down, black tie affair. This is getting your hands nasty and licking them clean kind of eating. You know the kind of fun when the kids eat they have stuff all over their smiling faces. The fun begins. But you are standing in the store with all of those ribs in packages and really don't know which packages of ribs to pick up and take home and cook. Well there are three basic things you will need to look for in a pork rib to help you decide which ones deserves your cooking. 1. The amount of meat on the rib (you want to have some meat on them so look at them carefully to decide which ones have the most meat on them. And it is best to find ribs that are fairly uniform in thickness across the rib). If they are frozen look at the thickness of the package cause you really can't feel the meat. If they are not frozen you can feel the meat above a bone and feel just how much meat there is on that rib. You are looking for a nice even thickness with a good amount of meat. 2. Then you are going to look at the amount of fat on the rib itself. In spare ribs or St Louis spare ribs you are looking for a nice feathering of fat across the rib. You don't want a rib that all of the fat is clumped in one side of the rib. For baby back ribs you want the same but these ribs are typically feathered with a nice amount of fat so look for a rack that has just a nice amount of fat across the rib. In other words no large fat cap covering the entire rib surface. 3. You could stop right here and have some great ribs to cook on the pit or grill. But there is one more thing that makes serving the ribs once they are cooked easier to present to everyone. Flip the rib over and look at the bones of the rib. Try to find a rack that the bones are fairly straight across the rib. Usually you see a couple of straight bones and then all of a sudden the bones start curving. This is not a deal killer on the ribs it is just easier if the rib bones are straight when it come to cutting them for your guests. When I talk about ribs, I usually talk about spare ribs and it's trimmed up sister the St Louis cut spare rib. But there are many of you who enjoy cooking and eating baby backs (loin back) and then there are those that enjoy cooking and eating Country Style Ribs. So, we are going to spend some time and talk about each of the three "ribs" I have mentioned above. Keep in mind that Country Style Ribs are not really ribs at all…but more on that later. But first…….the single question asked most when it comes to cooking ribs….. DO YOU NEED TO REMOVE THE MEMBRANE ON THE RIB OR NOT? The big question or debate among rib cookers is whether or not the membrane should be removed from the ribs prior to cooking or do you cook with the membrane on the ribs. Ask 100 people and it seems you will get 50 that say remove the membrane and 50 that say leave it on there. OK for those of you that don't know the membrane is a very thin piece of cartilage that is on the bone side of the rack of ribs. You can remove the membrane by peeling it off. Use a sharp knife and slip it under the membrane at one end of the rack of ribs and peal back enough to get a good grip on the membrane. Some suggest using a screwdriver to pry under the membrane instead of a knife, it is much safer. Try gripping the membrane with a paper towel or pliers and then peeling it off the rack. This takes some practice so just keep working at it. Adds time to your preparation so plan extra time to get these off if you so desire. Tip: The best thing that I have seen used for removing the membranes from ribs is a catfish skin remover (not sure that is the correct name) but what it is it looks like a pair of pliers except the end is about 2 inches wide and you can grip the membrane with it and work it off the rib. You should be able to find one of these pretty easy at a good outdoor supply store. My personal preference and the way I cook all of my ribs is to leave the membrane on the ribs when you cook them. That being said, I'm sure there are plenty of you out there that remove the membrane and I have no problem with that either. I just think it is a waste of time if you are going to cook the ribs over low and slow conditions. If you are grilling the ribs, then I might have a tendency to agree with you to take off the membrane. A Big Advantage of leaving the membrane on the ribs is……... TIP: The juices of the ribs are actually held in the meat by the membrane as the ribs cook: so they hold much more of their natural juices. And as a note you can always remove the membrane after you cook the ribs if that is the way you prefer to serve them. Some argue that spices and smoke cannot penetrate the membrane so you lose some of the flavor you are trying to get into the meat. Not true in the case of low and slow smoking. After a period of time of cooking at say 220 to 225 degrees the membrane will actually start to tear apart and can actually disappear as the rib cooks over a long time. It no longer is in its single piece stage and does not change or hamper any of the smoke flavor or rub flavor you are trying to get into the meat. If you are grilling ribs, then perhaps the best way to get the ribs to their most tender and best tasting stage is to remove the membrane because the ribs you are grilling are not going to be exposed to the long periods of low heat but rather higher heat for a shorter period of time. I can see the benefit in removing the membrane for grilling purposes only. So, this decision rests with you. Try it both ways and find out which way you prefer the ribs. Membrane off or membrane on. Now let's get into the discussion of the different types of ribs. SPARE RIBS The Spare Rib comes from the side of the pig, right next to the belly. You ever heard the term "side of ribs" well it comes from talking about spare ribs and where they come from. You usually buy spare ribs in the whole "rack". There are 13 bones in a full rack of ribs. Try to find racks of ribs that are "5 and under" referring to the weight of the rack. There are two distinct sides to the rack of ribs, a bone side (covered by the membrane) and a meat side. The rack will be a little curved. You can buy spares with either the skirt (a extra flap of meat attached to the rack) on or the skirt off. Most of the wholesale and supermarkets sell their spares with the skirt on. Just leave it on there and cook it and enjoy. Spare ribs are a little meatier than baby backs and they are fattier cause of their size. But they usually cost 2/3 as much as baby backs. I don't cook baby backs as much as I cook spare ribs. I personally think the flavor of spares just can't be beat and they are the perfect finger food. Some folks cut the spare rib rack into what many will call St. Louis cut spareribs. Basically, they cut the bottom of the ribs off right above the knuckle and square up the rack. Hey folks cook what you enjoy cooking because people will eat any rib you cook if it done correctly. If you do like to cook the whole rack of untrimmed spare ribs there is some of the best tasting meat down in the knuckles of the rib. So enjoy them. An Interesting Note You see restaurants advertising ribs on their menus either as a whole rack or half rack. These can be any number of ribs that the restaurant wishes to call a rack or a half rack. So a half rack can be 3 ribs and a full rack can be 6 ribs. Not exactly a full rack of ribs, as we know them. BABY BACK RIBS The Baby Back ribs are sometimes referred to as "back" ribs or Loin Back ribs. The baby in baby back actually comes from the size of the ribs themselves. They are much smaller in nature than the spare ribs, as the rack on baby backs will weight only 1½ pounds to 31/2 pounds. They are thicker than a rack of spare ribs with a little less fat. The meat from the baby backs comes from the loin (the back part of the pig, where the better cuts of meat on the pig are located). Remember you are looking for a nice amount of meat on this rib. Even now you will find some baby back ribs that say extra meaty on them as they will tend to have more meat on them than the typical baby back rib and they sell for a premium price. Baby backs are generally the most versatile of the ribs to cook. You can grill them or smoke them. They are, in my opinion, the best rib to grill as they are smaller and leaner and will cook in a shorter period of time than spares they are more geared to the high temperatures that grilling is all about. Because of their size they will cook quicker than spare ribs. If you were grilling baby backs then I would recommend removal of the membrane prior to cooking. They are not going to be exposed to the smoke and fire long enough to break down the membrane by cooking. So spend some time and remove the membrane. COUNTRY STYLE RIBS So-called country style ribs are not ribs at all. Now don't get mad because these little gems are cut to look like a rib but they come from the blade side of the loin or in many cases they are a pork butt cut into strips. They resemble fatty pork chops cut into pieces that resemble a rib. These you can get for under a $1 a pound when you find them on sale and they make great BBQ. Nothing wrong with them they just are not a real rib. The have no membrane and are usually cut in about 1 inch thick pieces about 3 to 5 inches in length. Recommended cooking of these is low and slow. But they can be grilled as well. COOKING RIBS - EASY AS 1-2-3 Simply rub down the rack of ribs you are cooking with Worcestershire sauce and apply Texas BBQ Rub to the ribs. On spare ribs about ¾ cup on the meat side of the rack of ribs. For baby backs it will be about 2/3 as much rub to cover the rib rack. For country style ribs you will have to do each "rib" separately by adding just a little rub to the "rib" after you cover with Worcestershire sauce. Place the ribs on the grill or pit with the bone side down. For country style ribs just lay them on the cooking grate. For indirect smoking/cooking (no wrapping), cook at 220-225 degrees for about 5 to 6 hours for whole untrimmed spare ribs, 3 to 4 hours for baby backs, about 4 to 5 hours for the St. Louis cut spare ribs and about 3 to 4 hours for the country style ribs. No need to turn them over they will be fine and you don't want to loose any rub by flipping them over during cooking. You will notice during cooking that the ribs will look like they are drying out. This is part of the cooking process and they will not dry out unless your cooking temp is too high. As the ribs get close to being done you will see them glaze back over. This is the rub working its magic on the ribs and they will soon be done. No sauce needed let Texas BBQ Rub take over on the cooking and just keep the fire at the right temp. How do you determine when the ribs are done? Tear Test The best way for you to determine if the ribs are done is to use your hands. Pick them up with gloves on your hands and twist the ribs at the top of the rib to see if you see the meat start tearing away from the bone. When done the rib meat will tear away from the bone cleanly. If they are tough to tear then leave them on the smoker for more cooking. You should feel the ribs give in the middle if you hold the rack by the two ends. You will see the give in the rack of ribs when they are done. Once you see the meat cleanly pull away from the bone take them off the pit and enjoy. If you don't have a good pair of gloves that can handle the heat, the grease, and holding or moving the meat then we have those on our site so order a pair of those gloves with your rub order and you won't need another tool around the pit for moving or holding the meats you are cooking. Toothpick Method Tooth picks are great around the smoker to do things like hold stuffed meat together but they are great when it comes time to test the meat for doneness. You can use a toothpick to determine if the ribs are done by simply running a toothpick between two bones and see if it passes thru the meat easily. If you feel resistance then the meat is not as tender as you may prefer it to be so let the ribs cook a bit longer. You can also use a toothpick on a brisket to determine when it is really tender. Bones of the ribs are exposed (this does not always happen to a rack of ribs) You will sometimes see the meat pull down the bone of the rib. This is fine and I usually see it on pork spareribs and not so much on baby back ribs (usually on the baby backs a few of the bones will become exposed as the meat pulls down but they are hard to see do to the curve of the baby back can hide that on your grill). This is just an indication that the meat is shrinking and it is not the best way to determine if the ribs are cooked to your liking. They are pretty when the bone is exposed but do not use this as a measure of the doneness of the rib. You will notice also that ribs that are wrapped in foil for a hour or so that the rib bone is often more exposed than ribs that are cooked without wrapping. For grilling you can cook either baby backs or spares over direct heat. Prepare the ribs the same way as before except this time you will be cooking directly over a very hot fire. Add some smoke flavor to the ribs by adding some wood to your fire. See our website at www.texasbbqrub.com for a discussion on adding smoke to the gas or charcoal fire. If you are grilling your ribs and you start to see a heavy char forming on the bottom of the rib just place a piece of aluminum foil under the rib and that will knock the direct heat coming from under the rib off of the rib. Watch the ribs carefully as to not burn the coating of rub or sauce you have on the ribs. Rubs and sauces all have some sugar in them and sugar will burn at a little over 300 degrees so use the aluminum foil to keep the ribs from getting burned or too heavily charred. Cooking time for the baby back ribs on the grill (try to stay in the 300 degree range on the grill) will be about 1 to 1½ hours and for spares about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours. If you want to finish off the ribs will a BBQ sauce add the sauce the last 15 minutes of the cooking time. This will keep the sauce from burning. You can even add the sauce to the rib after it has finished cooking and you are getting ready to slice the ribs. WRAPPING RIBS IN FOIL I have had hundreds of questions about wrapping ribs. Here are my thoughts. There are a lot of smokers that prefer to wrap their ribs during the cooking process to shorten the cooking time and to also make the ribs fall of the bone tender. I prefer not to wrap my ribs but if you would like to wrap your ribs during the cooking process then there are a couple of rules of thought on this. I would like to tell you that when you wrap the ribs the meat texture will begin to change. They can get mushy if you leave them wrapped too long so be careful with the wrapping of ribs. I hate to change the wonderful texture of ribs so I stay away from wrapping except in competition where the judges think the meat has to be falling off the bone. I personally like to pick up the rib bone and eat the meat off of it. You decide and try both methods. Spare ribs: If you are cooking on a pit (low and slow 225 to 235 degrees) then the general rule of thought is to do the ribs using the 3-2-1 method. That is the method that says 3 hours uncovered on the pit, then wrap for 2 hours, and then take them out of the foil and put them back on the pit for another hour to tighten the ribs back up. I find that wrapping the ribs for 2 hours the ribs are overcooked so use the same method and do the ribs 3 hours on the pit unwrapped then 1 ½ hours wrapped then another ½ hour unwrapped back on the pit to tighten up the ribs. Pour or spray some liquid over the top of the ribs to give it some moisture when you wrap the ribs. You can use apple juice, or the best I think is some spray margarine and spray the top of the ribs real well. You can add some honey or brown sugar or both to give a much sweeter taste to the rib. Baby Back ribs: For the smoker, use the same method but cut your time to say 2 hours on the smoker unwrapped, 1 hour wrapped, and then 15 to 30 minutes back on the smoker uncovered to tighten the ribs back up. Again, add some liquid to the ribs that you are wrapping like apple juice, honey, butter, or spray margarine. This will give the ribs some moisture to work with inside the wrapping. If you are cooking baby backs on the grill then use a 1 hour on the grill, 45 minutes wrapped and then 15 minutes to tighten the ribs back up. Cutting the Ribs First, fresh cut ribs straight out of the pit are the most wonderful tasting ribs you will ever pick up. Dripping with natural juices and full of flavor it just does not get any better than a rib coming off the pit and cut while it is hot and then eaten immediately. Ribs should be cut off the full rack when you are ready to serve them and you should not cut them in advance as the rib will dry out as the air hits the meat. So try and cut the ribs right when you need them and cut just enough for everyone to enjoy and then cut more for the second round of eating. And there will be a round 2 and maybe a round 3. The best way to cut your ribs is to lay the rib on a cutting board with the bone side of the ribs facing you. You are going to want to cut between the bones where the meat is. You can take a sharp knife and just place it between the rib bones starting at the top of the rib and work it down between the rib bones. Once you get pretty good at this and for some great show to your friends you can stand the rib on end and with a really sharp knife and nice cooked ribs take the knife, starting at the top between the bones run the knife down the rib letting the knife naturally follow the rib bone. Makes a nice show and it will impress the friends. And then once they eat your ribs you will be the rib king. What I just Did on the Pit I just finished cooking 2 racks of baby back ribs. I did this while I was writing this article so that I could cover all of the thoughts that I had while cooking. I cooked the baby back ribs at 225 to 235 degrees for 3 ½ hours. I did not remove the membrane. I just applied some worchestershire sauce and then Texas BBQ Rub (the simple 1-2-3 method) and placed the ribs on the pit bone side down for 3 ½ hours and they were dripping with juice fabulous tasting ribs. I couldn't resist eating a couple of the ribs. I could not tell the membrane was there at all. I took some home to my wife and she loved them. I don't cook many baby back ribs so she asked all about them. It is nice to make your wife happy with some good eating ribs. Hope you enjoyed this Article and we will be getting Article 5 out to you in about a week and next up will be pork butts and pork shoulders. Thanks for being one of our great subscribers. We do appreciate all of you. And we love to hear from you. Go cook some great ribs this weekend! It's Father's Day and why not treat yourself and your family to some of your great ribs. And to all the Dad's out there have a wonderful Father's Day with your family. So get out there and cook some ribs because with practice you will just get better. Bill Cannon President Texas BBQ Rub 157 FM 359 Rd Richmond, TX 77406 bill@texasbbqrub.com 281-344-1076 PS: If you need some Texas BBQ Rub for Father's Day this weekend you better order today so we can get your order shipped out immediately so you will have it for your ribs. Here is the link to get ya' some right now. Texas BBQ Rub will save you time around the pit and will move your BBQ up a notch or two. http://www.texasbbqrub.com/shopping.html PPS: Pass this on to your friends and neighbors so they can also learn about cooking great ribs. They will love the fact that you thought of them while learning about ribs. Copyright 2014 by Real Texas BBQ Rub, Inc. all rights reserved.
  12. Hey Grillers, I just found this wickedly cool BBQ Bible made by a company in Brazil. Only a few of them were made for master Barbecue chefs and a simpler version will be available in Brazilian stores only. There's a link to the video on my blog http://www.gratefulgriller.com/2014/05/08/the-bbq-bible-is-here/ I am soooo hoping they make this available outside Brazil! Feed your fires! G
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