April 15, 2006

Oh. My.

Today was my first chance to fire up the new smoker.

Like sex. With BBQ sauce.

I whipped up a batch of my homemade sauce, which is never the same twice in a row. Today's version started with a base of ketchup and balsamic vinegar, and to that I added onion powder, garlic powder, dry mustard, sweet paprika, black pepper, chili sauce, horseradish, crushed fresh garlic, dehydrated minced onion, and honey.

Sometimes I want it sweeter, which means I'll add some brown sugar and/or molassass. Adding some soy, fresh ginger and lime juice makes for "oriental" style.

Anyway, today's sauce was liberally slathered over a big package of country pork ribs and a pack of chicken legs. I let them bathe in the sauce for a couple of hours.

When the time was right, I fired up about 10 pounds of charcoal in the base of the smoker and let the coals get ready. In the meantime, I wrapped a big double handful of hickory in aluminum foil and poked it full of holes to let the smoke escape as the wood smouldered. Once everything was ready I filled the liquid pan with water, put the chicken on the lower level, the ribs up top and let it alone for three hours.

At the start the fire got too hot and I had to take the cover off a couple of times to let heat escape, but after the first half hour things settled down and I watched the thermostat cycle between 225 and 250 degrees. I added another small handful of wood chips halfway through.

Man oh man oh man, was that good. The ribs came out falling apart tender, and after slathering more sauce on them they were incredible. The chicken was moist and smoky, just like you want it. Is it really that simple or did I just have beginners luck? Doesn't matter, I'm doing it again, real soon.

On the side, I saute'd a couple of zucchini. Also, I took the crispy ends from several ribs and chopped them up for flavoring for my next pot of black beans.

One thing I very much like about cooking with the smoker is that you get it going and then leave it alone. I did some yardwork, worked on my big rocket project and sat in the sun, reading and enjoying the nice afternoon. No fussing with the food. I will definitely use my meat thermometer next time, because I think I could have taken the food off the grill a half hour earlier, or at least have started the veggies so everything would've been ready at the same time.

I think me and the smoker are going to become very close this summer.

Posted by: Ted at 06:01 PM | category: Recipes
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1 Like sex. With BBQ sauce.

I've never tried that.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at April 15, 2006 06:58 PM (DdRjH)

2 "Like sex. With BBQ sauce"

Why,Yes!Yes I do!

Posted by: Russ at April 15, 2006 11:19 PM (ObxzR)

3 I have a smoker with a side mounted firebox that is drop dead dependable. I have welded so many patches into it trying to keep it going year after year that there is probably less than 30% of the original metal left.

Got my gas grill when I want a hamburger or a nice rare steak, but there is no substitute for an appropriate instrument to produce smoked meat.

Posted by: bitterman at April 16, 2006 06:32 PM (YA0d5)

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