Friday, October 28, 2011

This is BBQ

A friend shared this and it was too good not to share.

How to: Smoking a Turkey 101

In 2009 a friend gave me an old smoker he never used. This was the start of a beautiful thing at my house. It was a couple weeks before Thanksgiving and I was trying to figure out what to make on it first.
The first cooker.
My wife and I talked about it and decided we would try smoked turkey. I had never smoked anything by myself. It was going to be an adventure. My wife bought two turkeys. I asked, “Why?” Her reply was, “I’ll roast one incase the smoked one doesn’t turn out.” "OK," I thought, "Play it safe so we don’t go hungry on Thanksgiving Day."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pigs with wings? (Bacon Wrapped Wings)

I was trying to figure out what to make for supper and looked in the freezer to see what I had. I had some chicken breast, wings and bacon. So I figured I would grill some chicken and wings. As I was thinking about how to season the chicken I thought, "Bacon wrapped chicken wings would be good." Here's how I made the wings.

Chicken wings - I made 12
Bacon - 12 pieces to wrap the wings
Rub - I recommend something that has a bit of sweet to it.
BBQ sauce - I use a homemade one similar to Sweet Baby Rays

When ever I grill I start my coals before I start to prep the food. Coals take longer to to heat up then gas so you need to plan ahead. You can cook these on either gas or coals.
Lighting the charcoal.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bacon Wrapped Fiesta Burger

A couple weeks ago I got the idea to make something like a bacon explosion. A bacon explosion will put you into a meat coma if not consumed carefully. My idea was for a bacon wrapped fiesta burger. 

@1.5lbs ground beef
1 onion
1 egg
Worcestershire sauce
1 pack of bacon
1 can of blackbeans
1 can of tomatoes

I started by cutting up the onion and chopping it up fine. I mixed the onion in with the ground beef, egg, some Worcestershire sauce and rub. Once that was mixed up I set it aside to marry the flavors together. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Review: NY Butcher Shop, Charlotte, NC

Name: New York Butcher Shoppe
Location: Charlotte, NC
Hours: Monday - Saturday, 10am - 7pm; Sunday, Noon - 7pm

I was talking to a judge at a BBQ competition and found out about a butcher shop in Charlotte. I had also heard about tri-tip, This is a standard BBQ meat in California and I had never tried it. I have search around the Charlotte area for it but could never find it. I emailed the butcher shop and found out they carried tri-tip and during the summer they would fire up a Big Green Egg to cook samples of that and other BBQ meats for customers. I had to go.

I decided I would get a tri-tip and a pork butt to see how this shop stacked up. I had visions of a huge walk-in fridge in the back that had meat hanging from hooks (cool) and a counter man with a white blood stained apron (not cool). I looked them up online and it looked like a neighborhood deli. I was still hoping for the walk-in fridge with the meat hanging.

My family came with me and we pulled up to a nice shopping center with a few nice shops around the butcher shop. We entered and were greeted with a prompt and friendly hello. The shop was clean, the people behind the counter had no blood stains on their aprons and they were very friendly. They let us look around for a bit, finished helping a customer and then asked if they could help us.

We talked for a bit about the different meat they carried. Much of it is vacuumed packed and shipped in as larger cuts and they cut it down. Due to federal regulations they can't have the whole animals hanging in the freezer to cut the meat off of. Which is sad but they do get larger cuts in and break them down.

They do have box specials where you can get a bunch of meat for a great price. I almost went with one of those but none had tri-tip and was looking forward to trying that cut.
Pork butt.
We settled on a Boston butt (they sell them boneless) and a Tri-tip. Both cuts of meat had good color and they vacuum seal them at the store after they are broken down. The butt had great marbling in the money muscle (the money muscle is like the fillet of pork butt) and nice marbling throughout the meat. The tri-tip looked to be a nice cut of beef with good marbling also. I decided to smoke both pieces of meat.
The money muscle. 
Pork butt ready to be rubbed.
Tri-tip ready to be rubbed.
I prepared the butt, as I usually do, the night before; honey mustard slather and rub. The tri-tip I rubbed about 4 hours before I was ready to put it on the cooker.

I heated the smoker up to 250° and put the butt on. The butt takes about 8 hours where the tri-tip only takes about 2. Being I had never done a tri-tip I read up on cooking it. They can be either grilled or smoked. I went with the smoke method.
Pork butt ready to go on the cooker.
I rubbed the tri-tip about 4 hours before I was ready to put it on and returned it to the fridge. About an hour before cook time I pulled it out of the fridge and let it warm up to room temperature. When I put it on the grill I put it on fat cap up (the fat cap is a layer of fat on top of the meat.
Fat cap on the tri-tip.
I like to cook it with the cap up as it helps to keep in moisture and as it renders it drips down I to the meat creating a basting action.
The meat cooking. 
After the tri-tip had cooked for an hour I flipped it over to help the bark on the nonfat side form. All the sites I researched on recommended cooking the tri-tip to 135°. After an hour and a half of cooking I started to check the temperature every 30 minutes. I didn't want to overcook the meat. The tri-tip had cooked for two and a half hours and reached 138° so I took it off and foiled it. I put it along with the pork butt into a cooler to keep it warm until time to serve.
Tri-tip ready to be carved.
Tri-tip carved and ready to serve. 
Both the butt and the tri-tip came out awesome. The pork butt was one of the best one I have cooked. The meat was tender, moist and very tasty.

I do recommend the New York Butcher Shoppe. The staff is helpful,friendly and fun. They know their meat and make great recommendations for what to cook and how to cook it. The quality of the meat is good and the service great. On the Gibbs' Ribs* scale I give them a full rack of ribs. I look forward to going back and trying some other cuts they have.

*When I do reviews, books or otherwise, I 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.

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