About Us

Joined by our passion for meat, beer, cards and meat, we created a compitition bbq team to partake in just that.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Easy Pulled Pork

Easy Pulled Pork.

I call this easy pulled pork because there isn't a lot of fancy stuff going on. No injection, no brining, no soaking - just mix a few common spices together, pop it in the smoker (or oven, or offset on the cool side of a Weber kettle). I've never cooked a piece of meat this large in a gas grill but I imagine if the gas grill was a monster you could cook it on the offset (no burner on) side!?!

Overall cook time is typically between 9 and 10 hours (at 225 - 250F grate temp)

There are a lot of spices listed so I'll list the necessary spices and then the optional spices. This recipe is for one butt - average weight is about 8lbs.

Brown Sugar - 2 cups packed
Season Salt - 1/4 cup
Garlic Powder - 1/4 cup
Black Pepper - 1/8 Cup
Chili Powder - 1/8 cup

Optional Spices (Add to the above)
Cumin - 2 tblspn
Ground Mustard - 2 tblspn
Granulated Onions - 2 tblspn
Paprika - 1 tblspn

Additional Option - I like to slather the butt with yellow mustard - it gets the spices to really stick to the butt. It isn't necessary but some people like it.

Mix up all the spices and get ready to dry rub your meat! Completely coat the meat - making sure you get into all the cracks and crevasses.

The butts are put on the smoker - grate temp is at 225 - 250F.

This is after about 6 hours and right before the butts are crutched. Once the internal temp of the butt reaches 165F, place the butt in a disposable half pan with about 1 cup of apple juice and then foil tightly and place back onto the smoker. Depending on when you want the meat to be finished, you can turn the smoker up or down 25 - 50 degrees.

Now the butts are crutched. This term is used loosely in the BBQ world and basically translates to the meat is wrapped in foil or placed in a pan and covered in foil. This traps any additional fat that is rendered out of the meat and also gives you the opportunity to add some juice to the pan / foil to increase the juiciness of the finished meat. Keep in mind that when you crutch meat, it increases the speed at which the meat cooks. Keep a close eye on the meat after it is crutched so you don't over cook. You can see I am using a Stoker to monitor the cook. At the end of this post you can see the graphical display from the Stoker. This allows me to closely monitor the meat during the cook and alarm me via my lap top or cell phone when any set alarm points are reached. I know - super geeky but the final product comes out great when it is properly cooked. It also provides some peace of mind when you don't have to check the meat every 5 minutes. There are some other simpler / less costly methods such as a temp monitor with alarms like this one - but you can't look at it on your lap top or get the super cool graphical display of the cook!

OK - now the meat has reached an internal temp of 202 - 205F. Make sure you are probing the meat in several places. If the butt is bone in - make sure the probe is NOT touching the bone. The probe should also slide in and out of the meat like a hot knife through butter. Temp is a great indicator but after you cook a few butts you will have a great idea if the meat is done by the resistance when you probe (let the jokes begin).

You can see there is a significant amount of juice in the bottom of the pan - pour out about half of the juice. The rest will be included when you pull the pork. I don't add any sauce to my pulled pork - usually people don't even notice because the juice keeps the meat super moist.

You can use forks or tongs or those weird really big combo spoon forks (sporks?) that your grandma has for family style meals. Me? I use wolverine claws. There are also some light weight but very useful things called bear paws. I recommend them. As you are pulling the pork, pull out any large pieces of fat. Shred the pork to the desired size. It should pull apart easily.

Now place onto a roll or bun, top with some cole slaw, sauce, or nothing! Let's eat!
Here is the view of my Stoker Log during this cook. You can see how the meat cooked (internal temp) in Black Graph lines v. time - Red Graph Lines. The Red Graph Lines or Grate Temp seem to fluctuate quite a bit until I changed the pit temp to "smoke" setting. I have to adjust the digital controller on my pit. This is not something you really want to see in a bbq / smoker. In this case I was using my newer Traeger 075 - a smoker I highly recommend.
You can also see that after I crutched the meat, it dropped in temp a few degrees but the internal temp ramped up quickly after it was crutched. Large pieces of meat like pork butt or brisket are also susceptible to a phenomenon called "getting stuck". It usually happens around 145F internal temp but it can happen all the way to 165F. I never get too nervous unless it stays "stuck" - no temp change more than 5 degrees in 2 hours. If the meat gets "stuck" you can temporarily increase the grate temp by 25 - 50F for a short time until the meat gets "unstuck" and then decrease the grate temp back to the cooking temp. It seems to happen to me about 15% of the time. As long as you are paying attention you can still get your meat done on time.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Atomic Shrimp Boats

Most people have now heard of Atomic Buffalo Turds - here's a link in case you forgot. Another twist is the Atomic Shrimp Boat or ABT! Just as easy and just as tasty!

Simple ingredients:
  • Quality Bacon
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Cream Cheese
  • Medium size uncooked, tail / head off, peeled shrimp. I used 71 - 90 size (whatever that is).

Cut the jalapeno peppers in half and scoop out the seeds.

Spoon cream cheese into the peppers.

Cut the bacon strips in half. Place a still frozen shrimp on top of the cream cheese. I used still frozen shrimp because the cooking time is about 1 - 1 1/2 hours. I figured that if the shrimp were thawed, they might get over cooked. The frozen shrimp cooked up great and didn't taste over cooked or chewy using this method.

Wrap the cream cheese and shrimp stuffed peppers in a half slice of bacon. If you use quality bacon and stretch the piece when wrapping the pepper, the bacon will stick to itself when it contracts after you let go and you won't have to use tooth picks to keep the bacon in place. If your bacon won't stick to itself, feel free to use tooth picks to hold it in place.

Place on the smoker or grill at 250F grate temp. If you are using a gas grill or charcoal grill, make sure the heat is on one side of the grill and place the peppers on the opposite side - on indirect heat.

I cooked these for 90 minutes or until the bacon was completely cooked.

Atomic Shrimp Boats ready to eat!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dessert Pizza

Dessert Pizza is an all ages crowd favorite. You can use the kind of candy / candy bars that each person likes, it is an inexpensive item to cook, EVERYONE likes it (even my crumb-snatchers), it's quick, and it can be made on a smoker, a gas grill (indirect heat), or the oven.

Simple ingredients - canned pizza dough and candy.

I use classic or thin crust pre-made pizza dough - usually right by the biscuits in a can in the refrigerated section of your local grocery store. You can use the bulk dough or frozen dough or get dough from your local pizza shop but the canned dough is so convenient and really really easy to use.

Get your favorite candy, candy bars, some small marsh mellows, chocolate syrup, and a few graham crackers.

Dice up the candy bars. I usually have each person chop up their own and get it ready on a paper plate with the marsh mellows. You can also add diced strawberries or other fruit too.

I spread out the dough from one can and form the dough to a single piece about 9" x 16" and then cut it into 8 or so pieces. Put the pieces on the grate - I usually have the grate temp at about 350 F - making sure they are stretched out. Cook them for about 5 minutes or until the bottom is getting brown and a little crispy.

Flip them over and add some chocolate sauce. This step is not mandatory but it can't hurt.

Sprinkle on the prepared toppings - don't be shy!

Now sprinkle on the crushed graham cracker over the top.

Cook for another 5 minutes or until the candy starts to melt. You don't want it to completely melt but the candy will be softer than it looks. Set it on the counter for a few minutes so you don't burn the roof of your mouth with molten chocolate (don't ask how I know this) and EAT!

Fantastic Dessert Pizza!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pork Tenderloin

  • Pork Loin is a great cut of meat to cook on the smoker, offset side of a gas grill and even in the oven. It is easy to cook and this recipe can be modified to satisfy just about every taste profile. The cut of meat is juicy and hard to screw up as long as you pull it at the correct temp and let it rest for a little while!

    Pork Loins usually come cryovac'd in a two pack so this recipe is for TWO. Cut it in half if you are only cooking one tenderloin.

    Season Salt - 1 tblspn
    Chili Powder - 2 1/2 tblspn
    Onion Powder - 1 tblspn
    Garlic Powder - 1 tblspn
    Black Pepper - 1 1/2 tblspn

    Sweet Mesquite Seasoning - shake very liberally over entire tenderloin after all other spices have been rubbed in.

    Rinse off the tenderloins in cool water and let air dry for a few minutes. Generously cover the tenderloin with the dry rub recipe until completely covered.

    Shake the Sweet Mesquite Seasoning over the tenderloins until well coated.

    Smoke the tenderloins as low and slow as possible - usually around 225 - 250F grate temp. Flip over after about 45 minutes. Pull and rest the tenderloins when internal temp is about 140F internal temp.

    Rest the tenderloin by wrapping in a few layers of foil and then wrap in an old towel and place in a clean dry cooler for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

    Cut into medallions and serve with your favorite side dish!

    Some other ideas -

    Some people like to brine their tenderloin - to do this mix 2 tblsns of salt into a pot of water large enough to submerge the two tenderloins. Submerge in the brine mix for 2 - 4 hours. Rinse well and then refrigerate until you are ready to cook.

    Some people like to brown the tenderloin in a hot skillet. This is to seer the juices inside and to create a "crust" or "bark" on the outside. The amount of spices I added to the dry rub recipe will add a pretty thick bark and if the tenderloin is cooked at 225 - 250 F grate temp AND you rest the meat before slicing, you shouldn't have any issue with juiciness. If you are cooking on a gas grill, you can help by putting a disposable 1/2 pan filled a few inches with water and some more of the same spices in the dry rub recipe to increase the moisture at the grate which will also help with tenderness.

    Some people like to add a 1/2 cup of brown sugar to increase the sweetness and the thickness of the bark. This is a great idea.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pig Candy

Smoked Pig Candy is a BBQ favorite of mine. This recipe can be used as an appetizer, side dish, dessert, or a midnight snack. It is easy to cook, hard to mess up, and tastes FANTASTIC! You can cook this on a smoker, gas grill or even in the oven. I show how to cook this two ways - one directly on the smoker grate and one in a pan made from heavy duty foil. Bacon renders a lot of fat as it cooks and the grease dripping on an open flame is a recipe for disaster and will cause a fire in your grill. Even on an indirect smoker, the pooled grease can catch fire so I would recommend cooking in the foil pan the first few times unless you really want to keep a close eye on it.

The ingredients are really basic:

Thick Cut Bacon - cheap thin cut bacon also works fine but doesn't seem to hold its' shape as well.
Granulated Onion / Onion Powder
Smoked Chipotle Powder
Brown Sugar (Lots of it)

Lay the bacon out on a cutting board or flat surface and sprinkled the onion powder and the smoked chipotle powder on lightly. I don't measure for this recipe so it may take you a few times to perfect the amount to your liking.

Heavily shake the brown sugar on - don't be shy!

Below you can see the bacon cooking directly on the grate. Be careful of flare ups and the grease catching on fire! You should constantly tend the grill when using this method. I find that cooking directly on the grate cooks a little faster and makes the bacon crisper.

Pictured below is the bacon cooking in a pan made out of heavy duty foil. Make the foil pan big enough so the bacon is only 2 layers thick. Turn the bacon in the pan often so the brown sugar crystallizes evenly.

After the bacon is cooked most of the way - stretch it out flat and finish cooking it until it is crisp.

Here's the finished Pig Candy as a side dish to a close relative - Smoked Sausage!

Happy eating!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Smoked Potato "Chips"

Smoked Potato "Chips" are easy to make and the variations are endless. This can be served as an appetizer or a side at your next BBQ.

Please note that they do take a while to cook in the smoker or oven. You can reduce the cooking time by pre-baking the potatoes the day before.

I use regular potatoes and sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes are a little chewier but still really good! Both are prepared the same basic way...

Cut the potato in 1/4" thick slices.
Drizzle olive oil over the slices and then add salt, pepper, mesquite rub, or whatever spices you like over the chips. Be careful not to add too much salt!
You can flip the slices over and add more spices but it usually isn't necessary.

I put these on the smoker at 250F - 300F depending on what else you are cooking. If the potatoes are pre-baked the cook time should be around 1 to 1 1/2 hours. If the potatoes are not pre-cooked then the cook time is 1 1/2 hours - 2 hours.
When done, they should be a bit crispy.
Smoked Potato "Chips"!