How to Brine a Turkey

Turkey Brine

It is that time of the year.  The time when many people freak out trying to cook a turkey for a large group of people.  When done right, turkey is the most amazing food around.  However, turkey easily dries out and needs to be monitored when cooked.  The easiest way to add flavor and keep … Read moreHow to Brine a Turkey

Where to get Sausage Casings

After Thursday Blog about Jalapeno Cheddar Bratwurst, I recieved a bunch of emails regarding sausage casings and where to get them.  FYI- I started to make my own sausages a couple of months back after receiving the sausage making attachment for my Kitchen Aid Mixer, and also after taking a sausage making class at the … Read moreWhere to get Sausage Casings

Smoked Chicken Drumsticks

The other week the fine people over at RedEnvelope.com contacted me and offered me a chicken drumstick grilling rack to try.  (Update – It is noted that RedEnvelope does not carry the drumstick grilling rack anymore, but it can be purchased from Amazon for around $15) I was only too happy to oblige as I … Read moreSmoked Chicken Drumsticks

Rex’s Steak Rub

When you have a good steak, all you really need is salt and pepper. However, we can’t always have amazing steak lying around. So sometimes you need to season your steak to improve on its natural flavor. So I have been fiddling around with different seasonings and have found a great combinations of spices. The … Read moreRex’s Steak Rub

New Rib Rub

Ribs Ribs and More Ribs

So I have been trying to perfect ribs for a while.  I am always on the lookout for new techniques or tools to make the perfect competition rib.  Well I went back to basics and scored with an amazing rib.  The key was a nice rub and a finely tuned barbecue smoker.  The final ribs were perfectly cooked with a nice flavor.  FYI – Fall off the bone ribs are not perfectly cooked ribs.  You want a rib that has a good bite but gives away from the bone cleanly.  When you bite into the rib, you should be left with a half moon bite mark.  You don’t want all of the meat to fall off.  If the meat falls off, the rib is overcooked.

Ribs Ribs and More Ribs

I served these up Memorial Day Weekend to Dana and her friend Kristy.  Needless to say, they did not last long.

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Sweet and Tangy Memphis Style BBQ Sauce

Memphis Style BBQ Sauce

I am always on the look out for new sauce recipes.  This past weekend I dusted off the smoker and made some pulled pork.  Dana’s family was in town and her Dad said he was a fan of Memphis style sauces.  So I went around the interwebs and found this one.  It was quick and easy to make and I had all of the ingredients.  BTW- When you start barbecuing regularly your pantry starts to run wild.  You start finding yourself stocking 30 different types of vinegar, every spice known to man and a few cases of apple juice (great for basting).  I have also started to buy Mason Jars in bulk.  Who knew.  Back to the sauce, it is sweet, tangy and full of flavor.  Not to mention, it is super simple to make.  It has all powdered spices so no need to blend molten hot sauce.  Basically this is a super tasty and easy sauce to make.

Memphis Style Sauce

This sauce goes great on a pulled pork sandwich, slathered over some ribs or even as the secret ingredient for bbq baked beans.

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Top Grilling Gifts

Grilling the skewers

Every Friday I usually list the events occurring in DC over the weekend.  But with Christmas so close I had to take a break and list the top gadgets and presents for home grillers.  Granted in a majority of the country it is snowing, but if your friends, spouses or children are anything like me, they grill all year long.  So here is my list of must have grilling wares for 2009.

Must Have Grilling Gift Guide 2009 Edition

10. Oxo Good Grips 16-Inch Locking Tongs – $14.99

  • Never underestimate a good set of tongs.  These puppies are 16 inches long.  The perfect size for grilling.  No more singeing your knuckle hair trying to flip that steak on the back part of the grill.  Oxo makes a sturdy and lockable set of tongs.

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BBQ Chicken Potato Skins

I always seem to bbq an extra chicken breast every time that I grill.  I have no idea why there is an extra one, but there is always an extra.  So I decided to come up with a great way to use the leftovers.  On a side note, this use of bbq chicken leftovers is so good, I actually grill chicken to make it.  Yep, it is chicken smothered in bbq sauce and layered with bacon and cheese.  Oh, I forgot the best part.  It is all in a potato bowl.  How awesome does that sound?

BBQ Chicken Potato Skins
BBQ Chicken Potato Skins

Top with a dollop of sour cream and some freshly cut green onions.

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13lb Brisket

The other week I ran into Aaron from Wagshals.  When I was talking to him I found out that they could get a full brisket.  The briskets that you get at a standard market are prepackaged briskets that are pre-trimmed and do not have the deckle or point attached.  The deckle is the top meaty/fatty area on the top of the brisket that helps keep a brisket moist during the smoking process.  So a couple of weeks ago I called Wagshals and ordered a whole brisket.  I was thinking that it was going to be 9-10lbs but when I picked it up, it was a massive 13+ pounds.  Got to love Wagshals.

A whole Brisket - 13+ lbs

 

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Now I am cooking with GAS!!!

Today I woke up and it was beautiful.  I decided that I should grill something.  So I went downstairs to check the grill and see how much charcoal I had.  Come to find out, I was out of charcoal.  So I took a trip to Lowes.  Little did I know that I was going to need to call Jeff for reinforcements.  As I walked in to the grill section I noticed that there really wasn’t that many grills left.  I grabbed a bag of charcoal and as I was walking past the grills, the manager was putting prices on the floor models.  I have had my eye on a nice Weber grill for a while, but they are just too darn expensive.

While they don't have all of the bells and whistles, they are built solid, heat evenly and will last forever.
While they don't have all of the bells and whistles, they are built solid, heat evenly and will last forever.

The three burner base model starts out at $500.  I sat the charcoal down and watched as the manager priced each grill.  I was standing next to the Weber Spirit E-310 – as the manager slashed 60% off the price.  This put the Weber in line with the cheapest grills that are sold at Lowes.  I immediately took it.  Within the next 5 minutes 3 other people tried to buy it, too bad, its mine.   It was all about being at the right place at the right time.

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Butt in a Bag

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed a cookbook by Ardie Davis on barbecuing. In the book he had a recipe for butt in a bag. Due to the name alone I had to make it. Basically you smoke a pork butt like normal, but halfway through you place it in a paper bag. The bag limits the smoke that can penetrate the meat and also keeps the meat moist without basting. There is nothing worse than barbecue that is dried out and has been over-smoked.

This recipe made some of the best pulled pork sandwiches.
This recipe made some of the best pulled pork sandwiches.

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Homemade Barbecue Sauce

I grill and barbecue all of the time, but I usually don’t make my own sauce.  It is quite easy to do, but I never seem to use the right ingredients to make it tasty.  I have done it in the past and it really hasn’t turned out that great.  I usually make the sauce too sweet or too tangy.  I was messing around in the kitchen the other day and I finally got the perfect sauce.  It is thick, tangy, sweet and spicy.  I used tomato paste as the base to make the sauce thicker.  It is amazing.

It takes a few ingredients but it is worth it.
It takes a few ingredients but it is worth it.

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