Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Mesquite Smoked, Grilled NY Strip Steak
NY Strip Steaks
Mesquite Wood Chips
Season the steaks with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Place steaks flat on a sheet pan and allow them to rest unrefrigerated for half hour to an hour. This will allow the steak to relax, tenderize and absorb the seasoning.
Place a handful of wood chips in the center of a piece of foil and fold into a pouch and poke a few holes on the top. Prepare the grill as usual and bring to a low temperature of about 125F - 145F degrees. Place the pouch directly on the flame and allow the chips to start smoking.
Next, place the steaks on the grill away from the direct flame. Tightly close the lid and smoke the steaks for 15 - 20 minutes. Then turn temperature to medium-high and grill steaks till finished, about 5 - 8 minutes on each side. Removed from grill, cover and allow to rest 4 to 5 minutes before cutting.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Normally I would plan to brine chicken anywhere from 6 to 8 hours and then slow smoke at 220F for at least 4 hours. However, brining times can be reduced by adding acids such as cider vinegar and/or increasing the salt to water ratio in the brine. Also, smoking with a pungant, hot burning wood like mesquite, will ensure that the smoke flavor will permeat the meat while smoking at hotter temps (240F - 250F) for shorter periods of time.
Mix all brine ingredients together in a large, non-corrosive container large enough to completely submerge all breast pieces in the brine. Mix well for a minute or two until all the salt is dissolved. Place all chicken breast in the container and allow to brine in the refrigerator for 2 hours. A large plate or bowl can be placed on top, if needed to help keep the pieces submerged.
After removing from the brine, do not rinse or dry. Place directly on the racks or grill grates, leaving plenty of room between pieces to allow the heat and smoke to circulate.
Add a handfull each of mesquite and cherry wood chips. Add about 12 ounces of water to a water pan, placed directly under the racks. This will create steam while smoking.
Monday, October 19, 2009
And for those who call it "Chili con Carne", that means chili with meat, not chili with beans!
I could research more into the history, origins and debates, but why? Anyone who calls themselves a true "chilihead" is stubborn and passionate about their chili and no-way, no-how are you gonna change a chilihead's mind about his favorite chili recipe.
The same goes for those chili cooks that are steadfast about cooking everything from scratch. Well, unless your grinding your own chili pods, crushing your own cumin seeds or powdering your own paprika, your still using some processed ingredients, so lighten up a bit and save that temper for the chili. Now I'm not saying to run out and grab a little aluminum can of whatever-you-call-it brand, but there is a great way to start off making a tried and tested, real Texas-style chili.
Remember Mr. Fowler? Since 1964, Homer "Wick" Fowler began assembling his chili packets as gifts for friends and before long, local retailers were putting in orders. Thus, he launched Caliente Chili Co. One story details how Wick managed production assisted by a team of women who packaged the chili spices with cellophane and sealed them with a clothes iron.
Smoky Texas Red Chili
2 Tablespoons mesquite smoke flavor
Friday, October 16, 2009
Trying to decide which beers taste better with which barbecue doesn't have to be a long, drawn out, science experiment. Simply take your time, sip your beer and think about what you are tasting. Then, ask yourself a few basic questions. What is the dominate flavor of the beer? Is the maltiness of the beer sweet, tart or dry, etc? Are the hops flowery, herbal or citric? Does the beer sit heavy or light on the pallet? And most of all, simply ask yourself, what type of barbecue would work well with these characteristics?
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Remember to use the wood as a flavor enhancer. Don't place too much emphasis on producing a deep "smoke ring". The ring of color ranging from dark pink near the outer edge to pale pink towards the center is not really a smoke ring at all. The pink color is a chemical reaction of the meat's water content reacting with the heat and smoke. The depth of color depends more upon the moisture of the meat than upon the density of smoke and has little or no bearing on flavor.
Use the list below as a general guide to choosing wood types:
Very delicate with a hint of sweetness.
Good with fish, pork, poultry, and light-meat game birds.
Very mild, with a subtle fruity flavor, slightly sweet.
Good with poultry and pork. Adds a dark brown color to poultry skin.
Mild and fruity. Similar to apple, but slightly bitter because most Cherry wood comes from chokecherry trees.
Good with pork, poultry and beef. Adds a dark brown color to poultry skin.
Good with pork, ham, and beef.
Good with pork, poultry, cheese, and small game birds.
Good with beef, fish, poultry, and game.
Good with beef, poultry, pork and cheese. A real compliment for steaks & ribs
Good with ribs and beef.
Good with red meat, pork, fish, and heavy game.
Monday, October 12, 2009
No time to brine, a quick, savory and flavorful rub will work nicely with catfish.
Meat/Cut: Catfish Fillets
Wood Type: Cherry Wood Chips
Rub Ingredients: (for 8 large fillets)
1 Tablespoon Yellow Mustard
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
2 Teaspoons Lemon Pepper
2 Teaspoons Thyme
1 Teaspoon Paprika
1 Teaspoon Light Chili Powder
Total Time: Approx. 1 1/2 - 2 Hours
Friday, October 9, 2009
Today is a short journey to the smoky goodness of Jack Daniel's Whiskey Wood Smoked Pork Chops. Although the total time should take around 4 hours, its relatively a short time when considering that most recipes require brining and smoking meats for 2 or 3 times as long. Using an acidic brine and butcher cut pork chops instead of working with a whole bone-in pork loin will allow for the total brining and smoking time to be cut in half.
Meat/Cut: Pork Chops, 1" - 1 1/2" Thick Cut
Wood Type: Jack Daniel's Whiskey Wood Barrel Chips
Brine Type: Acidic
1 Gallon Cold Water
1 Cup Salt
1 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Mustard Powder
1 Tablespoon Whole Black Peppercorns
Total Time: Approx. 4 Hours
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
"Hot Smoking" at a temperature range of 165°F - 185°F will cure the food safe enough to eat. However, usually foods that have been hot smoked are often reheated or cooked, like hams and sausages (such as those found in many grocery store coolers).
"Cold Smoking" at temperatures below 100 °F is mainly used as a flavor enhancer for items such as cheeses and nuts. However, other items such as pork chops, beef steaks, chicken and fish can be cold smoked for a short period of time in order to give it a touch of smoky flavor, and then finished on the grill, sautéed or finished in some other method.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
To the real practitioners of the art, barbecue refers to a low heat, slow cooking process using indirect heat and/or hot smoke, whereas a method of fast cooking over direct heat is referred to as grilling.
That said, Smokilicious is achieved from the smoky, spicy, "low & slow" cooked goodness of your favorite meat, fish, fowl or other delectable item.