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

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sweetwater Spice Sliders

Sweetwater Spice Sliders

I found Sweetwater Spice searching through the internet for a product to enhance my competition brisket.  All of the products looked intriguing so I ordered some up from Scott Sapire - the Chief Spice Officer of Sweetwater Spice.

Sweetwater Spice is located in  Austin, TX and if there's one thing Texans know - Brisket!  I started experimenting with their Brisket Brine and it was clear these guys know what they are doing.  I was trying to think outside the box a little for some other uses of their products.  My wife wanted me to cook up some sliders this past weekend and I thought this would be the perfect protein canvas to try out a few different Sweetwater Spice products at the same time!

 I tried to keep this as simple as possible so I could really see what these brines would do to the meat.  I tried out three of their most intriguing flavors (to me):

  • Brisket Bath (Ancho and Chipotle)
  • Tres Chilis Fajita Bath 
  • Pineapple Habenero Jerk

To test their compatibility with other spices I used some Simply Marvelous Cherry Rub and Peppered Cow Rub.

The plan was to make 4 x 1/4 lb sliders - remember they're sliders - they're supposed to be small - and add one dry rub to 2 of the patties, the other dry rub to one more patty and leave one patty blank so I could taste just the meat with the brine.

 I cleverly identified each set of patties with a specific number of toothpicks and then added the dry rub to a specific patty on the grate.  It was pretty obvious which dry rub was on the patty but I'm trying to be scientific here!
 Each 1lb portion of ground beef (12% fat) received 1 1/2 tablespoon of the assigned brine.  This was just enough.  Any more and the ground beef would have become too loose to pack into patties and hold their form.  If you happen to add too much you can always add an egg and / or some breadcrumbs to save the day.
 I smoked these on a pellet smoker using oak pellets at a grate temp of 300F.  Not too high and not too low. 
 After about 15 minutes I flipped the sliders over to finish cooking.

You can see the color is looking really nice.  This happened to be one with Brisket Brine but all the sliders had a very similar color.

At 140F internal temp I added a slice of Gouda  to the sliders that received dry rub.  No cheese for the non-dry rubbed patty.

I let them cook for another 3 - 4 minutes to let the cheese melt a bit and then let them rest on the counter for 5 minutes while I prepared the buns.

 I baked these buns earlier in the day and they were the perfect size for these little sliders. Check out the recipe for these amazing buns on another post in my blog!

The results was amazing!  Each slider's flavor came through and tasted individually wonderful.  I tasted the intentionally unseasoned, no cheese patties first so I could get an idea of the true flavor coming through.  Although each one was different, I think I liked the Pineapple Habanero Jerk the best.  Honestly - all of them were great.  The Peppered Cow dry rub was particularly good with the Brisket Brine and the Cherry Rub was awesome with the heat from the Tres Chilis and the Pineapple Habanero Jerk.

I've tried these versatile brines on other products - maybe more how they were designed but used in this recipe is something I'll do again and again.

You can find all of Sweetwater Spice products on their web site - http://sweetwaterspice.myshopify.com/
On twitter - @sweetwaterspice
On Facebook - Sweetwater Spice

You can check out all of the products from Simply Marvelous on their on line store too!  I recommend all of the Simply Marvelous Products!  http://simplymarvelousbbq.com/store

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Grilled Zucchini

Grilled Zucchini!

I know what you are thinking - this is a Meat, Inc. blog - not a vegetable blog!  I agree but zucchinis are coming into season and occasionally I lose the battle to just put meat on the plate.  I guess the positive of this dish is if seasoned right and cooked correctly - it almost kinda seems like it could taste like meat if you were blindfolded and ear muffed in a Chef Ramsay palate challenge.

There are three basic ingredients for this super simple side dish -
I use the The Rub Co Santa Maria Style Dry Rub because it  is a simple rub consisting mostly of Garlic Powder, Black Pepper, and Salt.  There are some other ingredients too but those are the basics.  I highly recommend any of The Rub Co products!

 I cut the zucchini up two different ways - long wedges or planks.

Here you can see the long wedges.  Smaller zucchinis are perfect for long wedges and those giant zucchinis are great for planks.

I cut the zucchini wedges lengthwise and about 1" thick at the skin.

Here I've cut the zucchini into planks.  I cut the zucchini across the whole vegetable about 1" thick.

Both wedges and planks turn out great and can be used as a meat substitute if you had a vegetarian friend guest person come over to eat.

Generously coat the planks or wedges with olive oil and then give a healthy sprinkle of the Santa Maria Style Dry Rub over all both sides.

 Both planks and long wedges are basically the same way - directly on the grates.

I typically cook these on an indirect fire - either in a smoker or on the indirect side of a charcoal or gas grill.  You don't want to cook these over direct flame or they will char pretty quickly.

I try and cook these at a grate temp of about 225F - 250F for about 5 minutes per side.

Perfect with just about any kind of meat - like this smoked salmon here.  The Santa Maria Dry Rub is perfectly balanced for the vegetable and compliments just about any kind of protein.

Here it's plated up with some potato salad, fingerling potatoes and a stuffed cheese burger.

Those zucchinis aren't going to eat themselves!  Let's eat!