Sunday, March 29, 2015

Barbecue Training Day

It has been a while since I set aside a day for smoking, but this was a special occasion.  My brother in law just got back from a deployment and has been itching to fire up the smoker I gave him right before he left.

I wanted to do a project that was fun, with meats that are easy to do as an introduction to the process. I started by walking him through how to set up the smoker and start a fire without lighter fluid using charcoal and almond wood.  I always use the minion method and find that I can get away without having to constantly fiddle with the fire to get and keep it going.

Once the coals were hot and the smoke was rolling I closed the lid to let the temp come up to 225 prior to loading it up with meat.  While the smoker was warming up I walked him through prepping the ribs (removing the membrane, trimming straggling bits for uniform ribs), I bought 2 racks of St. Louis style ribs so I didn't have to do much.  As for the rub, I brought my "secret" blend and showed him how to coat the ribs prior to putting them on the smoker.

We went through the same process with the tritip, which was cool because it was something he has never tried before.  Tritip is awesome because whether you want to grill it or smoke it, it comes out amazing.  I typically smoke my tritip for about 2 hours at 225 to get max smoke without over cooking the meat.

The bologna and Braunschweiger were easy,  we cut the chubs into one pound chunks, and gave them a good rub.  For Ron's we did a coat of sriracha prior to adding the dry rub from some extra heat. I have never smoked a braunschweiger before, but it looked interesting, so I said what the heck and threw it on with the rest of the meat...

Before I opened the lid to put in the meat I went over the load plan with him so he understood how to set up the meat without having the lid open for a long time.  The ribs went in first furthest from the fire box, the tritip went on the main rack next to the fire box, and the rest went on the top rack.  The beast was loaded to the max!

Now that the lid was closed I taught him the most important rule, DON'T PEEK....  If you are lookin' you ain't cookin'...  The heat loss from opening and closing the lid causes the temperature to fluctuate and extends the cooking time.

After the first 2 hours I pulled the bologna, braunschweiger, and tritip off of the smoker.  After the third I wrapped the ribs in foil with some brown sugar, and put them back on for another 2 hours.  I usually follow the 3-2-1 method for ribs, but these things were perfect after 5 so I pulled them and added a light glaze of bbq sauce before serving them up to the family.

This was an exceptional training day smoke for Ron, and we both came out with a load of meat to keep us going for a couple of weeks..  I think I will take him through a pork shoulder next time before stepping up to brisket.  12 hours can be a long time for a beginner to be patient with the smoker and the meat.
Cheers, happy smokin'!!

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