About Us

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

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cucumber Radish Salad

This recipe is for Cucumber Radish Salad. Not my original recipe but since there are numerous sources available - let's get on with the recipe!

First let me start by saying, I realize the motto for Meat, Inc. is "You don't make friends with salad!" Please send all the nasty e-mails to someone else. You can clearly see that I have bacon wrapped corn and bacon wrapped chicken leg plated with the salad. I might not have even eaten the salad! Alright I did - and it was pretty good! (Don't tell anyone!)

The recipe for this salad is really simple and it takes just a few minutes to prep.

8 cups arugula or baby arugula
2 cucumbers
6-7 medium sized radishes
3 scallions
1/4 cup fresh dill
4 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon season salt

Cut the cucumber lengthwise and then cut into 1/4" pieces.

Dice the scallions - white and green parts.

Quarter the radishes. If you have an extra large radish, cut again.

Finely chop the fresh dill.

If you are using large arugula, coarsely chop. If using baby arugula, the size is fine. Baby arugula is a little less spicy but also more readily available.

Mix all the ingredients into a bowl with the sour cream and the season salt and toss. Serve immediately.

The recipe is so simple, you wouldn't think the flavors would be that complex but the spice of the arugula mixed with the slight heat from the scallions, and the bite of the radish really combine will. The dill and the sour cream cool the salad down and create just enough dressing to make it really easy to eat.

Let's eat!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

BBQ Reviews - Brinkman Smoke 'n Grill

This BBQ review is for the Brinkman Smoke ' Grill.

This grill was purchased at HD for about $40. There were no high expectations on quality, temp control, or cook quality. I was mistaken.

Assembly - the instructions were clear and easy to follow. All parts were in the box. There was no damage to the packaging or contents. Assembly took about 2 beers (or twenty minutes).

The grill comes with a fuel pan, water pan, and a grate surface. The sheet metal construction was very thin - approximately 16 gauge - powder coated. The supports for the fuel pan, water pan, and grate were stepped stamped aluminum. I didn't feel that the construction of the supports were sufficient. I was partially right. There is also a fake temp gauge that only registers Warm, Ideal, and Hot. This is not really any good reference so use a quality oven thermometer to monitor the actual temp at the grate.

The unit comes with a water pan which I did not use. If you were going to smoke something - like a turkey - for a long period of time, I would use the water pan to add some flavor to the meat. Adding apple juice and some citrus will add some flavor to what you are cooking. Otherwise I would avoid putting too much liquid in the water pan - it would require more fuel to heat and maintain the temp of the water and the meat.

Time to light this fire!

It was obvious after a few minutes of lighting the 10 or so lbs of charcoal / lump that the materials of the body and supports were too light weight. As the heat expanded the metal, the fuel pan started to slip sideways. I had to use a set of tongs to recenter the pan on the three supports. I had to do this once more during the cook. It was a high possibility that if left unattended, the fuel pan could have dumped the fuel on the deck causing who knows what kinds of fire hazards. I would add some additional bolts to hang the fuel pan from if I was going to use this grill any more. The water pan and grill grate didn't shift but the supports are so questionable, I would add some bolts to support these parts as well. The water pan fits directly over the fuel pan with very little space. The grill grate fits directly over the water pan. Not the best situation but Brinkman is trying to fit a lot of function into this little grill.

Secondary issue - the grill body was slightly out of round so there was a significant gap between the body and the lid. Some squeezing made the gap smaller. Another issue is the tolerance between the water pan, the fuel pan, and the walls of the body had significant gaps. This leads to any condensation collecting on the walls of the body dripped down and stained the concrete underneath. I would recommend a BBQ mat (non flammable) to place underneath the grill when in use.

I used a combination of charcoal and lump the first time I used the grill. The maximum temp I could get out of the grill was about 325 based on a temp probe. Unfortunately there are no air vents on the body or the lid of the grill so there is no real way of controlling the temp. I did have some success smoking at a temp of about 225 but it must have been based on the amount of fuel and the air available to the fire - or just plain dumb luck. I seemed to hold this temp for about 3 hours.

This fatty was smoked at 225 for about 3 hours. The temp dropped a little in the last hour so I opened the door to let in more air and the temp climbed back up to "ideal". Fatty came out GREAT! I think I got lucky with the temp holding so well but like any grill, once you get used to the grill, you will have more control over the unit.

This unit is called the Smoke AND Grill. So for the grill part - basically they want you to remove the water pan, move the fuel pan up to the water pan level, and put the grate directly on top of the fuel pan. This is a typical set up for a standard charcoal kettle grill. With the lid off so there was plenty of air flow, the grate temp got up to 325 - 350. Plenty hot to cook some sausages or steaks.

Overall - for $40 this is a fantastic purchase. . This is a great way to try out smoking some meats without breaking the bank. You can also use it as a regular charcoal grill. There are not many charcoal grills available for $40 so it is a great value. I know a few people who own this grill and after using it / experimenting with it for 10 - 20 cooks, you can get the hang of it and cook some quality meats. Not too many ways you can spend $40 and get some great experimentation and learn the basics of smoking meat.

Overall opinion - for $40 - well worth it - buy one if you are just getting into smoking and have some patience and are on a budget!

Pros: Low low price. Dual function smoker and grill.

Con: No true control over the temp without experimenting.

BBQ Reviews

The following are reviews on various grills, smokers, and BBQ's. These reviews are purely informative. If you have any additional questions, please ask!

Char Griller Super Pro

Binkman Smoke 'n Grill

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Moink Balls - sorry - MOINK Balls

MOINK Balls - one of the best snacks of all time. Easy - YES! Tasty - YES! Endless possibilities in sauces, and spices used - YES! Let's get busy!

MOINK Balls are a combination of Moo (cow = meatballs) and Oink (pig = bacon) - two tasty animals combined = MOINK Balls. I heard of these little treats for years but for some reason, never got the "balls" to put these together. Well.... long story short, I finally grabbed a pair (of meats) and made it happen!

Credit is due to a fella named Larry who has a blog / web site called The BBQ Grail. It is an awesome site that has tons of great ideas for BBQ, smoking, side dishes, and yes..... even salad (a salad is a bunch of green things tossed into a bowl - whatever). Here is the link to the full story as well as a fun story. See?!?! You can spice / flavor MOINK Balls outta just about anything!

Don't forget - there are only two main ingredients. I have made these with the frozen meatballs as well as making my own fresh. Honestly, I'm a bit lazy and the frozen is the way to go. At Costco you can get a 6lb bag of frozen meatballs and they seem to match up perfectly with 4lbs of bacon.

I cut the strips of bacon in half. If you use high quality bacon (Costco is OK but Farmer John Maple is my favorite) you can stretch the bacon while wrapping around the meatball and when you release, it contracts and sticks to itself. If you have lower quality bacon, make sure the meatballs are partially / completely thawed so you can use a tooth pick to ensure the bacon stays in place.

Sprinkle (heavily) with your favorite dry rub. This is where the personal taste comes in. I used Simply Marvelous Sweet and Spicy Rub. The Pecan Rub also rocks! You can use plain salt and pepper or let your imagination run wild!

I cooked these on my WSM 22.5 but have also cooked them on my Traegers. You could get away with them on a gasser as long as you cook them away from direct flame. Worse case you can cook them in your oven. I cooked these at 300F for about 90 minutes. I have cooked them at 225 - 250F for 120 minutes with no big difference in taste. Basically the bacon will cook the slowest - even if you use raw hamburger hand made meatballs. The frozen meatballs are obviously completely cooked. Make sure the bacon is completely cooked.

Finally put a squeeze of your favorite BBQ Sauce on top and let it drip and glaze over the MOINK Ball. Some people will roll the MOINK Balls around in a pan and completely cover the MOINK Balls in sauce and then put them back on the grate for a final glaze. Your call!

Finally! Let's eat! If I was going to make these for an appetizer for a party - an average person could eat about 4 - 5 if there were no other appetizers. If there were something else - you might get away with 3 - 4 each but don't blame me for any food riots!