Thursday, February 24, 2011

Book Review: Dr. BBQ's Big Time Barbecue Cookbook

Dr. BBQ's Big-time Barbecue Cookbook
By Ray Lampe, aka Dr. BBQ

The Dr. is in and he has the prescription to cure your hunger.

This is the first BBQ cook book I owned. I was given it as a gift along with my first cooker and it started me on my way to finding the flavors I love.

As cookbooks go it didn't read like any other cookbook I have read. As I started to read it, it was like sitting down with Dr. BBQ and listening to him talk about something he loves with a passion. He talks about what BBQ is and what it isn't. Places he has found good barbecue and what made it good. He takes you on a quick journey through the history of BBQ and helps to understand the process behind it. Dr. BBQ also touches on some of the great controversies of BBQ like wood vs pellets vs gas.

That is like the appetizer of the book. Then he gets into the prescriptions to cure your cravings. The scripts cover sauces, mops, appetizers, main courses, side dishes, desserts, using left over Q and other delights you can make on a cooker. I have not made all the recipes in the book but the ones I have cured my family's and friend's hunger and cravings.

The sauce recipe I use now is his mustard base sauce but with some tweaks that I accidentally discovered. I also use his smoked pork recipe that my family and friends love so much.

Often when asked by friends who want to start cooking BBQ what cookbook to get, this is the one I recommend. It is a great resource and easy to read. It is not in full color, which makes the food pictures not quite as appetizing, but that makes it feel unpretentious like the BBQ recipes it contains.

Over all I would give Dr. BBQ's Big-time Barbecue Cookbook a full rack of ribs.*

*When I do reviews, books or otherwise, I will rate the items with ribs (they are my favorite BBQ dish). A full rack is great and a single rib is poor. I will tend to stick to a full rack, half rack or one rib.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Beer Can Chicken & Ribs

A couple days ago we had some friends over for supper and I made smoked beer-can-chicken and ribs. Once again they were awesome.

After the first beer-can-chicken I made I started to experiment using different beers. Each beer adds a different flavor to the chicken. I have used Modelo, an oatmeal stout and a Hefeweizen. This time I used a Serria Nevada Pale Ale. I really liked the flavor of it over the others I have done. Before I put the rub on I painted the chicken with a mustard base BBQ sauce to help the rub hold. I then stuff the cavity with onions and garlic to add additional flavor to the meat as it cooks.

You might notice that the pale ale is in a bottle which doesn't work to well when cooking. I take and empty soda can and rinse it out and then fill it half way with which ever beer I'm using.

I smoked the chicken and the ribs at about 225°. I did the ribs using a 2-1-1 method. This means I put the ribs on the Cooker for two hours uncovered, then wrapped the ribs in tinfoil with some Woodchuck Apple Cider in it to add moisture for an hour, after that hour I unwrapped the ribs and glazed them with a BBQ sauce and cooked them for another hour.

The finished ribs.

The finished chicken.

It was all really good and I wished we had more ribs.

Smoked Chicken

A couple weekends ago I smoked a whole chicken. I usually smoke legs, thighs or wings so this was a first for me. It turned out great and the family loved it.

I took the whole chicken and marinated it over night in a vinegar BBQ sauce. About an hour before I put it on the cooker I butterflied it and then put rub on it and let it rest.

After the cooker warmed up to 250° I set the chicken on it and let it cook.

After about an hour and a half I checked the temp of the chicken and then every half hour after that until it reached between 170°-180° in the breast. The meat on the legs should be pulling back by then.

Once it was off and cooled for about half an hour and then I pulled it apart and and plated it. It didn't last too long and the family loved it.