Spinalis Steaks

Originally at: http://howtobbqright.com/2018/09/20/spinalis-steaks/

Spinalis Steaks

Spinalis Steaks

For a while now I’ve been on a search for Spinalis Steaks – also know as the Ribeye Cap Steak. So when I found a pack of Spinalis Steaks when I was shopping at Costco last week, I got pretty excited.

These Spinalis Steaks are the cap of the Ribeye. It’s the most flavorful, most marbled and most tender part of a ribeye steak. The butcher will cut the entire cap from a whole Ribeye, roll it, tie it and then slice them into steaks.

They are an amazing steak – but the only issue is they are a little hard to find. If you ever come across some, I strongly suggest picking up a couple and throwing them on your grill.

To cook these Spinalis Steaks I used my same method for cooking ribeyes.

There isn’t much prep work needed for these Spinalis Steaks. They were already tied and there wasn’t any trimming needed. I just seasoned them with a good coat of my Killer Hogs AP Rub and then topped them with a light coat of Killer Hogs Hot Rub for some heat and color.

Once the Spinalis Steaks were seasoned, I let them sit out and come up to room temp while I fired up my grill. I used my PK 360 for this cook, but any direct grill will work. You just want a good bed of hot coals (I used B&B briquette charcoal) and open both the intake and exhaust 100% so you can get those temps up in the 500-600 degree range for searing.

When I cook steaks, I always use a set of GrillGrates on top of my factory grate. GrillGrates keeps the heat even, reduces flare-ups and gives you competition style grill marks.

One the grill is up to temp, it’s time to cook! I placed the Spinalis Steak directly on the grate and gave it a little press to ensure good contact with the grates. Then I closed the lid and set a timer for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, I gave my steaks a 90-degree twist. 2 more minutes I flipped the steaks over and topped them with a pat of my Roasted Garlic Butter to really make them rich and decadent.

Roasted Garlic Steak Butter

1 Stick Butter (softened at room temp)
½ Shallot minced
4-5 Cloves Roasted Garlic minced
2 teaspoons Killer Hogs Steak Rub

Combine softened butter, shallot, garlic, and steak rub in a small bowl. Spread mixture onto plastic wrap and form into log shape. Wrap plastic wrap around butter and store in refrigerator for a couple hours until firm. Slice into 1 Tablespoon portions.

After the steaks had been on for a total of 6 minutes, I gave them one final 90-degree twist and started watching my internal temps. If you are cooking steaks, you really have to have a good internal thermometer. I like to use Thermoworks Thermapen – aside from my grills it’s my #1 must-have BBQ accessory. But you can use any probe thermometer – you just want to keep a close eye on the steak and make sure you don’t over-cook it (and always account for the carryover).

My basic “rule of thumb” for when to pull your steak:

Rare – 120°F (will carry over to 125°F in the rest)
Medium Rare – 125°F (will carry over to 130°F in the rest)
Medium – 135°F (will carry over to 140°F in the rest)
Medium Well – 145°F (will carry over to 150°F in the rest)

Once the steaks hit 122-123 internal and the butter was melted, I pulled them off and let them rest for about 10 minutes. Then I couldn’t wait anymore!

This really is a rich, delicious steak. I mean it’s a whole steak make out of nothing but the best part of the ribeye! How could it be bad?

If you are a sucker for a juicy, well-marbled ribeye steak then you have to try the Spinalis Steaks next time you see one!

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Author: Malcom Reed

Spinalis Steaks

Ingredients

2 Ribeye Cap “Spinalis” Steaks (16oz each)

2 Tablespoons Killer Hogs AP Rub

2 Tablespoons Killer Hogs Hot Rub

Roasted Garlic Steak Butter

1 Stick Butter (softened at room temp)

½ Shallot minced

4-5 Cloves Roasted Garlic minced

2 teaspoons Killer Hogs Steak Rub

Combine softened butter, shallot, garlic, and steak rub in a small bowl. Spread mixture onto plastic wrap and form into log shape. Wrap plastic wrap around butter and store in refrigerator for a couple hours until firm. Slice into 1 Tablespoon portions.

Instructions

Prepare charcoal grill for direct grilling over hot coals.

Season each cap steak with AP Rub and Hot Rub.

Place each steak on hot grill grates (550-600⁰) for 4 minutes. Twist each steak 90⁰ to create even grill marks.

Flip steak over and top each one with 1 Tablespoon of Steak Butter *recipe to follow

Continue to cook steaks until internal temperature reaches 125⁰ on an instant read thermometer. (or continue to cook for your desired doneness)

Rest each steak for 5-10 minutes before serving.

4.31

Copyright of Malcom Reed and HowToBBQRight.com

Malcom Reed
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Spinalis Steaks is a post from How to BBQ Right.

Courage! First Timer’s Brisket

Originally at: http://barbecuebible.com/2018/09/18/first-timers-brisket/

What? It couldn’t possibly be 5:00 a.m. already, could it? (I’d gone to bed around 1 a.m.) But my phone alarm affirmed it was time to face one of the biggest challenges of my barbecue life: cooking not one, but three whole packer briskets for the finale of a week-long family reunion.

And if I’ve learned anything from being Steven Raichlen’s assistant for many years, it’s this: When smoking, allow more time than you think you’ll need. Especially if tender, juicy brisket with a badge-worthy smoke ring and crusty bark is your goal. Oh, and don’t underestimate the amount of meat you’ll need.

Weeks earlier, I’d ordered two briskets totaling 27 pounds from a local butcher shop. They came Cryovaced in their own juices, so were essentially wet-aged. When I learned our reunion numbers had swelled to 39, I panicked, and was fortunately able to pick up a third brisket from a local supermarket. (This is unusual as most supermarkets only carry brisket flats—the lean part of the brisket, sans the luscious, fatty point, sometimes called the deckle.)

Going into this mission, I was definitely an armchair quarterback. I’d spent the spring and summer immersed in copy for Steven’s latest book, The Brisket Chronicles, which is scheduled for release in May. And I had a few brisket flats in my wake, not to mention experiences at BBQ University and on the set of Steven’s shows. But I’d never tackled a whole brisket by myself before.

Adding to my anxiety was the fact that I wasn’t on my home turf using familiar equipment. I had access to a Weber Smoky Mountain, but the grill grate (14.5 inches) was too small to accommodate these huge hunks of meat. So as the morning sky was lightening, I dragged my mom’s off-brand kettle grill out of the garage and lit a half chimney of coals. As Steven often says, “Sometimes, you have to go to war with the army you have—not the army you wish you had.”

Happily, my youngest brother, who lives hours away, had dropped off his electric Masterbuilt smoker with its digitally-controlled temperature read-out. (Believe me, seeing those little blue numbers approach 250 degrees in the predawn hours was a comfort!)

By 6 a.m., nearly 40 pounds of meat was bathing in wood smoke. I used soaked and drained hickory chips for both the charcoal grill and the electric smoker.

Whew! Time for some coffee, which had a dual purpose: I needed the caffeine, but I also wanted it for a mop sauce that I improvised from coffee, beef broth, and Worcestershire sauce. (I bought a food-safe spray bottle for this purpose. Though you could use an actual mop, such as the one in Steven’s Best of Barbecue line).

But we have to backtrack a bit. You can’t just throw a whole packer brisket on the grill or smoker and hope for the best.

For starters, there’s a lot of trimming to be done pre-cook. Steven offers concise instructions on how to do it in The Brisket Chronicles (they will be accompanied by photos), but to get a visual, I watched a video of brisket god Aaron Franklin of Austin’s Franklin Barbecue trimming a whole packer brisket before attempting it myself. He doesn’t like sharp edges on his brisket as he says they impede the flow of smoke. So I trimmed my briskets as if I was shaping the leading edges of airplane wings.

This admittedly resulted in some waste. In hindsight, I was overzealous, having too much fun with the incredibly sharp knife I’d bought at a discount store. (Traveling with my own knives could have added $100 to the cost of the trip.) In any case, I ended up with 12 pounds of brisket trim, which adds up when you’ve spent several dollars per pound. I saved the trim in a jumbo-sized resealable plastic bag and froze it as you can render the fat or use the meat for stock. (The Brisket Chronicles details lots of uses.)

I also made a rub of equal parts of coarse salt and pepper, which I applied the night before the cook. The salt draws out some of the moisture, giving the meat better bark. (I added garlic powder before rubbing the third brisket.)

So, back to the cook. I quit adding wood chips after the first 4 hours, though I periodically sprayed the briskets with the aforementioned mop sauce. I also transferred the supermarket brisket from the kettle grill to the electric smoker, where the other two were hanging out, which absolved me from having to light half chimneys of charcoal every 45 minutes. Now all three briskets were in one place.

After 7 hours, the meat hit the “stall,” that place where the juices, like perspiration, accumulate on the surface and slow down heat absorption. It happens between 150 and 165 degrees. Now is the time to wrap the brisket in butcher paper. Foil can be used, too, but the permeability of unlined butcher paper makes it a favorite among pit masters. Note: Food-safe insulated rubber gloves are extraordinarily useful at all stages of the brisket process.

Once the brisket is wrapped, you can almost relax. Almost. You still have to monitor the temperature of the meat. I would have loved to have had a remote thermometer. But I didn’t. (See army comment above.) So I simply stuck the probe of a cooking thermometer into the thickest part of the meat—the point, aka deckle—to monitor the temperature. The goal was 205 degrees.

At 5 p.m.—12 hours after I started the smoking session—I packed the briskets, still in their now fat-soaked butcher paper, in a large cooler for the 20-minute drive to the lake house the family had rented. The briskets stayed there for another 2 hours, hanging out and getting even more luscious. (This resting in a cooler is an important step.)

While the brisket was languishing, I made Steven’s “Three Hots Horseradish Sauce.” I caught my cousin, a trained chef, making a layered brisket sundae of brisket, the sauce, and maybe baked beans. He slinked off before I could check.

I dutifully took photos of the entire process on my phone’s camera until . . . all of a sudden . . . everyone wanted to eat! I regret that I didn’t get a shot of the whole finished briskets, but what would you do if the peasants were at the door, brandishing torches and pitchforks? Ya, it was like that. All I had to defend myself with was an electric knife, which incidentally, works great for slicing brisket. Pay close attention to the grain; always slice against it.

At the end of the day there was less than 2 pounds of finished meat left. The family devoured it. Steven and I figure on 1 pound of raw brisket per person. But I had a couple of vegetarians in this group, and two children under the age of five. So I think our rule-of-thumb number is spot-on.

Here is a summary of takeaways from my first whole brisket experience:

Allow more time than you think you’ll need.
Restaurant-quality aluminum sheet pans work great for handling or transporting large cuts of meat. The ones I bought came with foil lids.
The meat will shrink by as much as 40 percent; figure on 1 pound of raw meat per person.
Order in advance, then make sure you have room in your refrigerator to store these big hunks of meat.
Familiarize yourself with the anatomy of brisket, and how to trim it for grilling. Leave at least 1/4 inch of fat on the surface to keep the meat moisturized during the long cook.
If using a charcoal grill or wood-fired smoker, plan on devoting your entire day (and part of the night) to maintaining a constant temperature. You’ll be looking for 225 to 250 degrees.
Don’t “over-smoke” your brisket. Exposure to wood smoke for 3 to 4 hours adds flavor without being overwhelming.
Do mop with a thin mop sauce to keep your brisket moist.
Don’t panic when your brisket hits the “stall,” which generally occurs between 150 and 165 degrees. Resist the impulse to crank up the temperature.
Do season the brisket with your favorite rub the night before your cook for the crustiest bark.
Allow 1 to 2 hours for the brisket to rest in an insulated cooler.
Always slice against the grain. (It changes between the flat and the point.)
Use an electric, serrated, or a special brisket knife to slice your brisket.

Have any first-time brisket tips? Tell us about it in the comments or on Facebook, Twitter, or the Barbecue Board.

The post Courage! First Timer’s Brisket appeared first on Barbecuebible.com.

Sirloin Picanha

Originally at: http://howtobbqright.com/2018/09/13/sirloin-picanha/

Sirloin Picanha

Sirloin Picanha

Sirloin Picanha or “sirloin cap roast” is a delicious cut of beef found on the top of the sirloin. It’s typically served in Brazilian steakhouses where it’s cooked on a rodizio grill and served right off the skewer.

Picanha should have a ¼” of fat cap over the meat. This fat renders as it cooks and keeps the meat flavorful and juicy.

For this recipe I’m using 2 picanha roast from Matador Prime Steak. Cut the roast across the grain and season with a good dose of Kosher Salt. (In Brazilian steakhouses that’s all they use) I also add a layer of my Killer Hogs Steak Rub for extra flavor and texture.

Instead of using a rotisserie, I set up a Pit Barrel Jr. drum smoker with hanging rods to support metal skewers. Double each piece of picanha into a half moon shape with the fat cap on the outside. Carefully thread each piece onto the metal skewers (2 pieces per skewer).

Hang the skewers on the rods of the pit barrel jr and cook until the internal temperature reaches 122-125 degrees (about 25 minutes).

Once the fat starts rendering it can easily flair up, so don’t walk away and keep the lid closed as much as possible to avoid this. If you’re cooking on a regular grill grate just keep the steaks turned on a regular basis for even cooking.

Rest the picanha for 5-10 minutes before serving and carve each steak into thin portions right off the skewer. I serve it with fresh chimichurri sauce on the side.

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Author: Malcom Reed

Sirloin Picanha

Ingredients

2 Sirloin Picanha Roast 2 ½ – 3lbs each (also called Sirloin Cap Roast)

2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt

2 Tablespoons Killer Hogs Steak Rub

Chimichurri Sauce for serving*

Chimichurri Sauce

1 cup Italian Flat Leaf Parsley finely chopped

1 cup Cilantro finely chopped

4 cloves Garlic minced

1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest

2 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar

½ cup Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

Combine ingredients and store in a covered container until ready to serve.

Instructions

Prepare Drum smoker for indirect cooking at 300⁰ using hanging rods to support skewers. *typically this recipe is prepared on a rotisserie grill but you can use just about any type grill running medium high heat.

Trim the fat cap on each picanha roast to ¼” thickness. Remove any sinew or excess fat from the meat side. Locate the direction of the grain and cut each roast into 2” strips across the grain.

Season each strip with Kosher Salt and Killer Hogs Steak Rub.

Fold the pieces in half with the fat exposed on the outer side and thread onto metal skewers.

Place hanging rods into the top of each skewer and hang in the drum smoker.

After 20 minutes check the internal temperature. Remove the picanha when internal temperature reaches 122-125⁰ internal.

Rest the steaks for 10 minutes, slice across the grain, and serve with chimichurri sauce*

4.31

Copyright of Malcom Reed and HowToBBQRight.com

Malcom Reed
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Sirloin Picanha is a post from How to BBQ Right.

Pick Up Your Essential Best of Barbecue Grill Cleaning Tools Today

Originally at: http://barbecuebible.com/2018/09/12/essential-best-of-barbecue-grill-cleaning-tools/

Cleaning your grill is an essential task. Not only will keeping your grill clean affect how safe it is to use your grill, but it will also change the taste of the food you produce. Think about it this way: You would never cook dinner on a frying pan caked with bits of charred food! Follow the same method of thinking with your grill. Luckily Steven Raichlen has 3 affordable products that will make cleaning your grill feel less like a chore.

1. ULTIMATE GRILL BRUSH – $25 or less

One thing to avoid is a grill brush with loose steel bristles that may break off and find their way into your food. With Steven’s improved Ultimate Grill Brush, you never have to worry about that happening to you! Use the steel bristle side of the brush on cast iron and stainless steel grill grates; the brass bristles on more delicate porcelainized enamel. Brush the hot grate before the food goes on and don’t forget to brush it again when you’re finished cooking.

2. CHARCOAL / ASH CAN and ASH SCOOP – Around $25-30

Where do you store charcoal, or hold ash (even if it’s still warm)? You should have a dedicated Charcoal / Ash Can to use when you’re grilling or cleaning up. Steven’s Charcoal / Ash Scoop pairs perfectly to make sure you can safely handle, store, and dispose of the fuel you use for your grill.

3. GRILL GRATE OILER BRUSH – $15 or less

A well-oiled grate is the third rule in the grill master’s mantra. Follow it! Keep your food from sticking to the grill by oiling it using this grill oiler brush, which allows you to cover a larger surface of your grill with oil in a smaller amount of time than using traditional oiling methods. This will save you a lot of time later when cleaning off your last cook!

The post Pick Up Your Essential Best of Barbecue Grill Cleaning Tools Today appeared first on Barbecuebible.com.

Best Tailgating Recipes: What To Grill This Tailgating Season

Originally at: http://barbecuebible.com/2018/09/07/best-tailgating-recipes/

Here at BarbecueBible.com, we believe the four seasons could use a rechristening—Spring, Summer, Tailgating, and Winter!

Tailgating is more than just the act of grilling with friends and family. It is a fall tradition made even greater by the anticipation of your team’s charge to victory. And in a way, the tailgating itself has become a competition. The tailgaters with the most innovative, delicious recipes are crowned the best host/hostess by virtue of the clean plates and wide smiles of their guests.

If you want to wear that crown this season, we advise you to prepare with vigilance, and plot your tailgating X’s and O’s. Start with the appropriate equipment, and be sure to read our Top 10 Tailgating Tips to get a leg up on the other grillers. And above all, come with the best recipes—the 5 we’ve picked below are sure to thrill!

WINGS: Saigon Garlic Lemongrass Wings

Traditional hot wings are a fantastic complement to any tailgate, but mixing it up with an Asian-inspired wing will bring a fresh vibe to your gathering. We also have an entire article dedicated to wings for tailgating, which you should read before the big day.

FINGER FOODS: Cheese-Stuffed, Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Peppers

Bring two grills if possible, one for grilling small finger foods (like these delectable jalapeño poppers) and one for the larger dishes that have longer cooking times. With two grills, you’ll be able to turn out snacks and small bites while your guests wait for the big show!

EASY GRAINS: Catalan Tomato Bread (Pa Amb Tomaquet)

This simple bruschetta will help you soak up all of the, ah, water you are consuming during the tailgate. It’s quick to prepare, and tastes delicious (with a hint of optional garlic to take the dish over the top).

THE MAIN EVENT: Beer Can Chicken

The presentation of an upright roasting chicken (hovering over a beer can) makes for a fun tailgating experience, and with the tender, juicy results, also a delicious one. Pro tip: try this with Steven’s Beer Can Chicken Roaster to make the process easier and virtually fool proof.

EVERYONE’S FAVORITE: Baby Back Ribs

Baby back ribs can be smoke-roasted on the grill in 1-1/2 hours, which makes this recipe doable during a 2+ hour tailgate. You can vary the sauce to match any theme, and to fit any palate. And let’s face it, who doesn’t love ribs?

More Links You Might Enjoy:

Inspired recipes from Steven Riachlen’s TV show Project Smoke, Episode 312: Global Tailgate and Episode 110: Wrangler Tailgate

Download Raichlen’s Tailgating! ebook for less than $5 wherever digital books are sold

The Bratwurst Hot Tub is a great take on traditional bratwurst fare.

The post Best Tailgating Recipes: What To Grill This Tailgating Season appeared first on Barbecuebible.com.

Reverse Sear Filet

Originally at: http://howtobbqright.com/2018/09/06/reverse-sear-filet/

reverse sear filet

Reverse Sear Filet

If you want to impress that special someone in your life, then this Reverse Sear Filet recipe is for you. I take a couple bone-in extra thick Beef filets and pair it with a Red Wine Mushroom Sauce and Grilled Romaine salad.

Anytime I can get steak on the bone I’m going for it; the bone adds more flavor. You’ll have to ask your butcher for the bone-in version because it’s not a cut that you easily find in the butcher case; or you can do like I did and just order it from Matador Prime Steak.

The filets get a good dose of coarse Kosher Salt and Black Pepper followed by a little of my Killer Hog’s Hot Rub.

Let the seasoning hang out on the steaks for about 30 minutes just enough time to get the PK 360 Grill good and hot. You can check out the PK Grill here >>

I have it set up with 1 chimney of B&B charcoal briquettes on the right side to create a two zone fire. While the coals are getting hot I make the Red Wine Mushroom sauce.

Mushroom Red Wine Sauce Ingredients:

8oz White Mushrooms sliced
1 cup Beef Broth low sodium
1 cup Red Wine
¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar
¼ cup Worcestershire
1 Shallot finely minced
3 Garlic Cloves finely minced
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Butter divided

Sauté’ shallot, garlic, and sliced mushrooms in a little butter; add Worcestershire and Soy Sauce and reduce by half about 3-4 minutes; then add beef broth and red wine. Reduce again by half and remove from heat. Melt in a little more butter to smooth it out and set it to the side until ready to serve over the steaks.

I use the reverse sear method to cook these thick Bone-in Filets. Place a raised rack on the cool side of the PK and set each steak on it. Insert a Thermoworks DOT temperature probe into the center of one of the filets to monitor internal temp. You can check out the Thermoworks DOT here >>

The reverse sear starts the steak off at a lower temperature and finishes with a quick sear over the high heat side. Keeping an eye on the internal temperature is really important. Set the alarm for 110 degrees, and when it goes off, sear each filet on a set of GrillGrates for just a couple minutes on each side.

When my Thermapen reads 120-125⁰, I know the steaks are done. Get them off the grill and rest for at least 5-10 minutes. You can check out the Thermapen here >>

For the grilled salad, split a head of Romaine lettuce length wise. Place each half on the direct heat side of the grill for 30 seconds on each side just long enough to give it a little char.

Now the best part, How to plate this dinner: Top the grilled romaine with fresh cherry tomatoes, chunky blue cheese dressing, and thick-cut bacon.

Each filet gets a ladle of the Red Wine Mushroom sauce and I serve the remainder on the table. I like to serve it all on one platter; the presentation is fantastic and it’s romantic (at least for a bbq man it is). I’m sure your baby will love this meal, so give it a try the next time you want to impress.

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Reverse Sear Filet

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Author: Malcom Reed

Reverse Sear Filet

Ingredients

2 Bone In Filets 16oz ea.

1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

1 Tablespoon Coarse Ground Black Pepper

1 Tablespoon Killer Hogs Hot Rub

1 head of Romaine Lettuce

½ cup Blue Cheese Dressing

½ cup Cherry Tomatoes quartered

8 slices Thick Cut Bacon cooked crispy

8oz Red Wine Mushroom Sauce *recipe below

Mushroom Red Wine Sauce

8oz White Mushrooms sliced

1 cup Beef Broth low sodium

1 cup Red Wine

¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar

¼ cup Worcestershire

1 Shallot finely minced

3 Garlic Cloves finely minced

1 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Black Pepper

2 Tablespoons Butter divided

In a sauce pan melt 1 Tablespoon of butter, add shallot and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper; continue to sauté for a couple minutes. Add Balsamic Vinegar and Worcestershire and reduce for 2-3 minutes. Add the beef broth and wine and reduce by half about 7-8 minutes and remove from heat. Melt in the remaining butter and serve over steak.

Instructions

Prepare charcoal grill for two zone grilling (hot side and cool side).

Season each filet with Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, and Killer Hogs Hot Rub.

Place each filet on the indirect/cool side of the grill and insert a thermometer probe into the center of one of the filets.

When internal temp reaches 110⁰, place each filet over the direct/hot side of the grill for 2 minutes each side for medium rare or continue to cook until desired doneness.

Rest the filets for 5-10 minutes.

Split the romaine lettuce in half and place on direct side of the grill for 1 minute each side.

Place each half of grilled romaine on a platter and top with cherry tomatoes, Blue Cheese Dressing, and bacon. Top each filet with the Mushroom Red Wine sauce and serve.

4.31

Copyright of Malcom Reed and HowToBBQRight.com

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Reverse Sear Filet is a post from How to BBQ Right.

The American Barbecue Specialties You Need to Know About

Originally at: http://barbecuebible.com/2018/09/04/american-barbecue-specialties/

America is blessed with an incredibly rich barbecue culture. Many countries grill. Some smoke. But only one—the United States—has a deep, rich, and highly evolved tradition of both barbecuing (smoking) and grilling.

Long before the United States was a country (before there were even states to be united!), its inhabitants loved barbecue. Indians of the Pacific Northwest butterflied whole salmon through the belly, pinned them to cedar stakes, and roasted the fish in front of bonfires.

Early settlers found a land teaming with game, with rivers and bays brimming with seafood, and vast forests of hickory and oak to provide fuel for smoking and grilling. Spanish vaqueiros (cowboys) grilled steaks over mesquite and spit-roasted goats over campfires. And, in what would become the American South and pit barbecue, whole hogs were roasted over ember-filled trenches. True barbecue—meats cooked low and slow over a smoky fire—is the USA’s greatest gift to the world of live fire cooking.

Today, there are multiple pockets of grilling genius to be found throughout the country, unique dishes that you, as a well-rounded and knowledgeable pit master, must add to your repertoire.

Here’s a sampling:

Kansas City: In the beginning, burnt ends were just that—the dark crispy trimmings that were too charred or tough to sell with the moist smoky sliced brisket meat people actually paid money for. Restaurants like Arthur Bryant’s in Kansas City gave them for free to customers who had patiently waited in line the hour or two it took to place their orders. But the appeal of burnt ends has exploded, causing barbecue enthusiasts to recreate these toothsome morsels using everything from chuck roast to pork belly.

Baltimore: I spent the first 18 years of my life in Baltimore. Not once did I eat pit beef, which is beef—usually top round—that is grilled so it’s crusty on the outside, rare and juicy on the inside, and heaped high on a kaiser roll or rye bread. I’ve been making up for this lapse ever since. To make it, coat a 3-pound chunk of top round with your favorite rub and let it cure for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator. Heat your grill (charcoal or gas) to medium. Grill the meat, turning often with tongs, until the outside is crusty and golden brown and the meat is cooked to taste: on Baltimore’s Pulaski Highway, the best joints for pit beef aim for 125 to 130 degrees. Slice thinly, and serve on kaiser rolls or rye bread with horseradish, lettuce, and slices of tomato and onion. (For a step-by-step recipe, see page 169 of BBQ USA.)

Hawaii: No survey of regional American barbecue would be complete with Hawaii’s kalua pig, If you’ve ever been to a luau, you’ve probably sampled this porcine masterpiece, which is traditionally cooked underground in pits lined with banana leaves. To imitate it at home, season a bone-in pork shoulder (5 to 7 pounds) with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Wrap the meat in banana leaves (available online if you don’t have a local source). Indirect grill until the pork is fall-apart-tender, 6 to 8 hours. Tear into chunks or shreds, then serve, if desired, on Hawaiian-style buns.

St. Louis: Mention St. Louis barbecue to most Americans and what comes to mind is ribs. Indeed, there’s even a St. Louis rib cut—spareribs trimmed to a neat rectangle. But visit a typical St. Louis backyard and you’ll likely find something very different sizzling away on the grill: pork shoulder steaks slathered with Maull’s, a local tomato-based barbecue sauce. Cut from the shoulder, these steaks are generously marbled with fat and stay juicy even when subjected to the high, dry heat of the grill. Find the recipe here.

Kentucky: The meat of choice here for barbecue is not pork, not beef, not chicken, not even lamb…it’s mutton. Smoked ewe has been popular in Owensboro, Kentucky, since July 4, 1834, according to records, the likely brainchild of the Dutch sheep farmers who settled on the southern banks of the Ohio River earlier in the century. It’s swabbed during the cook with what’s known as “black dip”—a mop sauce made of Worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, and spices. If you’re game, season a 5-pound mutton shoulder or leg (or substitute leg of lamb, which is easier to find and milder tasting) with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, then indirect grill with soaked hickory chips until very tender, 4 to 6 hours. Baste every 30 minutes or so with this sauce. Slice or chop and serve on toasted hamburger buns with additional “black dip.”

Wisconsin: Brats (short for bratwurst) were introduced to the upper Midwest by German and Austrian immigrants in the late 1800s. Now, these sausages are enjoyed from one end of the Badger State to the other. Usually served on a crusty hard roll, brats are perfect for tailgating. I like to grill brats indirectly (do not prick the skins first), then transfer them to a hot holding bath of beer and onions. Find my recipe for brats in a “hot tub” here.

The Carolinas: Pulled pork here has no equal. As William Burd observed in 1728: “The only business here is raising of hogs, which is managed with the least trouble, and affords the diet [Carolinians] are most fond of. Whether pulled into moist, meaty shreds, chopped, or sliced,  it is usually served with a sauce that can change depending on your exact geographical location in these states. I’m not a partisan: I love the mustard-based sauce and the tart vinegar-based sauce the Carolinas are known for. Here’s an example of the former.

Alabama: Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Que in Decatur put Alabama ’cue on the map with their singular dish, barbecued chicken with white sauce. Half chickens (generously seasoned with salt and pepper) are slowly smoked to tenderness in a hickory-fired pit, then dipped in a peppery amalgam of vinegar and mayonnaise laced with horseradish. White Barbecue Sauce will rock your world.

Ithaca, New York: While we’re on the subject of chicken, I’d be neglectful if I didn’t mention Cornell Chicken, the invention of Bob Baker, who was professor of poultry science at Cornell University and one of the champions of barbecued chicken. He pioneered a basting sauce comprised of vegetable oil, cider vinegar, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and an egg. For a recipe, see page 384 of BBQ USA.

California: The “Golden State” has contributed at least two specialties to the barbecue pantheon. The increasingly popular tri-tip from Santa Maria (north of Santa Barbara) was a cut butchers used to grind for hamburger. Now it’s a cut with cache. And from Marin County—Tomales Bay, to be precise—come barbecued oysters. Roast oysters on the grill or over a fire, and you won’t need an oyster knife.

Texas: With my next book, The Brisket Chronicles, in final edits, you can imagine brisket has been occupying my waking thoughts. And you can’t think of brisket without thinking of Texas, where pit masters have been known to genuflect before putting this magnificent slab of meat in their smokers. One of the newly ordained brisket gods is Aaron Franklin, the founder of Franklin Barbecue in Austin. I’ve distilled some of his wisdom in my new book. Until it’s released in Spring, 2019, content yourself with this sensational recipe, appropriately called “BBQ Titans’ Brisket.”

Memphis: Most people eat their ribs “wet”—that is, dripping with sweet, sticky barbecue sauce. But if you really want to savor pork bones, journey to Memphis to sample the dry rub ribs at the restaurant Rendezvous. For more than 50 years, the Vergos family has been dishing up baby back ribs that are crustily grilled over charcoal, mopped with vinegar sauce, and thickly coated with a dry rub just before serving. Can’t make it to Tennessee in the near future? I’ve got you covered with this recipe.

The post The American Barbecue Specialties You Need to Know About appeared first on Barbecuebible.com.

Winning Baby Backs for Your Backyard Bash

Originally at: http://barbecuebible.com/2018/08/31/best-baby-back-ribs-recipe/

If ribs epitomize barbecue for most Americans, the baby back epitomizes ribs.

Cut from high on the hog, just next to the spine, baby backs have tender meat—more so than spareribs—abundant fat, and a convenient shape and size that makes one rack perfect for feeding two people if side dishes are served. (A rack contains 8 ribs at a minimum and 13 at a maximum.)

You’ve heard the phrase “fall-off-the-bone tender.” Never, in my opinion, have five words done more harm to the notion of what constitutes good eating. Show me ribs that are “fall-off-the-bone tender,” and I’ll show you ribs that are overcooked with a soft, mushy texture and diminished flavor. Competition pit masters, such as those worthy of Memphis in May or the upcoming American Royal in Kansas City, know they’ll never “walk” (aka place in the contest and walk for a ribbon or trophy) with shreddy ribs. Instead, they aim for ribs with a bit of chew, ribs that retain bite marks without being tough. (And this is what trained barbecue judges look for, too.)

Just in time for the weekend, here are tips for righteous ribs and three of my favorite recipes for baby backs. (And none require much labor. Just a bit of patience.)

Pedigree counts
If possible, buy ribs from heritage breeds, preferably from local farms that raise their animals humanely. Where your meat comes from is as important as how you cook it. Buy racks that have 8 or more ribs (butcher’s call smaller racks “cheaters”).

Remove the membrane
Place the ribs on a rimmed baking sheet or in a hotel pan to contain any mess.

Ribs have a papery membrane (the pleura) on the concave side of the rack. I like to remove it not only for aesthetic reasons, but because it impedes the absorption of smoke and spices. This is easily done with a butter knife or similar implement. Slide the blade under the membrane—I like to start near the middle bones—and lift up to pry it away from the bones. Then grab it with a clean dishtowel or paper towel and gently pull it off the ribs. Note: Sometimes, packaged baby backs have already had the pleura removed. (Do not remove the connective tissue that holds the ribs together.)

Add layers of flavor
If desired, slather the ribs on both sides with your favorite mustard (many people use common yellow mustard; I prefer Dijon). Then apply your favorite rub. Alternatively, generously apply the rub directly to the raw meat. If you are preparing several racks, I recommend a rib rack which can multiply your grate space by a factor of four.

Grill ’em up
Ribs can be barbecued one of several ways, and because of their intrinsic tenderness, baby backs can be adapted to any of them. They can be smoked low and slow at temperatures between 225 and 250 degrees; indirect grilled at higher temperatures, 275 to 325 degrees; or rotisseried. In Planet Barbecue you’ll even find recipes from Asian for ribs that have been direct grilled—or gasp!—boiled first, then grilled. (Small grills engineered for food efficiency are common there, which gave rise to different strategies than the ones Americans usually employ.)

Maintain a moist environment
Place a heatproof bowl of hot water in your grill before you cook the ribs. Or prepare a mop sauce—a thin, flavorful liquid—before grilling. Use a mixture of apple cider and vinegar, broth, beer, melted butter, or even coffee. (For recipes, see Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades.)

Add wood smoke
Ideally, you’ll be working over a wood fire. But you can also add wood chunks or soaked, drained wood chips to the coals to generate flavorful smoke. (Pellet grills produce tender, smoke-kissed ribs, too.) To avoid over-smoking your ribs, add chunks or chips only for the first couple of hours.

Wrap for tender ribs
Some competition barbecuers wrap their ribs in double layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil halfway through the cook along with apple juice, honey, and pats of butter. This method produces very tender ribs, but with a kind of stewed quality.

To sauce, or not to sauce
As with brisket, it’s sometimes nice to taste the meat on its own without the distraction of a sauce. But if you prefer your ribs sauced, apply it during the last few minutes of cooking. Sizzle the ribs over direct heat, watching carefully so the sugars in the sauce don’t scorch. You can, of course, also offer sauce at the table.

For more rib tips and inspiration, see Best Ribs Ever.

Try these baby back rib recipes:
Righteous Ribs
Maple- and Molasses-Glazed Baby Back Ribs
Memphis-Style Ribs

The post Winning Baby Backs for Your Backyard Bash appeared first on Barbecuebible.com.