Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving Day [Part 3]

Thanksgiving came and it was a success due to the preparation I had done previously, including my planning and test cook. I was glad I did a test cook trying the spatchcocking and dry brining of the turkey. I was able to adjust a few things and had a great bird and the venison I cooked was great.

We had a great time with family and they all enjoyed the turkey and the venison. All the sides that were brought were tasty and the desserts finished of the meal spectacularly.

I'm cooking a turkey for the local rescue squad this next weekend and will do it the same way I did ours. It came out great

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Preparation - Test Cooking [Part 2]

With Thanksgiving this Thursday I figured it would be a good idea to test a new recipe I want to try before hand. Turkeys are priced to sell this time of year so we usually get a few to have in the freezer for over the next few months. I used one of our smaller birds we purchased for my test cook. I'm glad I did.

I decided I was going to dry brine and spatchcock it. Cook it at 350ยบ with chicken broth under it to add flavor and use for a stock later. butterflying the turkey helps it to cook more evenly and quicker.


Interview: Tommy Houston of the Checkered Pig

Team: Checkered Pig
Location: Martinsville, VA
Website: www.checkeredpig.com
Twitter: @checkeredpig
Facebook: Checkered Pig

I met Tommy Houston of Checkered Pig two years ago at the Grill'n & Chill'n BBQ Cook-Off in Waxhaw, NC. I saw him again this year, in Waxhaw, and asked if he would be willing to do an interview with me for my blog. He graciously said he would. Tommy is a busy guy. He owns a restaurant in Martinsville, VA, caters, and travels around to do BBQ competitions. With all that going on he agreed to do an interview.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Preparing for Thanksgiving [Part 1]

The leaves have changed and the air has gotten colder. Fall has arrived and Thanksgiving is on its way (or past if you're in Canada). It's time to start thinking about giving the family the bird. Wait... that didn't sound right (like so many things in BBQ). Time to start thinking about cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving. I used to roast the bird in the oven, but no more. I now smoke it. Smoked turkey is great. I have had deep fried turkey, but it doesn't have that nice smokey flavor of a bird cooked over hickory and pecan wood. One day I would like to smoke the turkey then fry it to finish it of and get the best of both worlds. 

As Thanksgiving draws closer I start to cook the bird in my head. trying to figure out the best way get the best flavor for the family. I also start to plan my cook so on Thanksgiving Day I will have time to cook it and relax. I'll share a little of what I do to prepare. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

NC BBQ Association

Last year at the Q-City Charlotte BBQ Festival I started to hear rumors of a new BBQ sanctioning committee being born. It was started by a group of competitors, caterers and restauranteurs that is interested in preserving the art of NC BBQ. They came together to form competitions that highlight the best of NC BBQ by focusing on the meat.

In August of 2014 I became a NC BBQ Association member and certified judge. The class wasn't difficult - you get to taste BBQ - and since I am a certified KCBS judge, it helped me understand what is being looked for. The style of judging follows closer to MBN style with a combination of both blind and onsite judging. I like the combination of the two because it gives you a chance to learn from the teams and how they create their particular BBQ magic.