Grilling and chilling

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by red wizard, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. red wizard

    red wizard Troubadour

    At this last Garycon, that would be GaryconIII, I had the pleasant surprise of finding myself immersed in conversation with fellow gamers, Diaglo and Hackhamster. But for all our excitement, we weren't talking games, we were talking about grilling! So now I'm curious how many others, also share this hobby? Maybe we could swap some trade secrets on the best wood for smoking ribs, or our favorite way to marinate a steak.

    Summer is coming--not that winter ever kept any ice on my grill... :cool:
  2. Dale

    Dale Administrator

    Mmmm... steak.

    Not steak, but I'll jump in first...

    For years my secret for fall-off-the-bone ribs was to boil them for about 45 minutes in water and apple vinegar. Then grill for about 2 minutes each side with "Bone sucking sauce" from Harris Teeter.

    No one ever complained, and I never had leftovers.
  3. JediSoth

    JediSoth Troubadour

    I do quite a bit of grilling and smoking when the weather is nice. I don't really have any secrets; the BBQ ribs I make are from an award-winning KC BBQ recipe (dry rub them; smoke for 3 hours, spritzing with apple juice once an hour; wrap in foil, spritz one last time and bake at 220° for another two hours--if you can actually maintain a specific temperature on your smoker, it should be 220°, too). I also use Alton Brown's smoked salmon recipe, though I cut the salt in half on that one. It requires 12-15 hours of sitting with the rub on it under pressure (we use a Physician's Desk Reference for that), so we can't do that one on a whim.

    I smoked pork shoulder once using the same method as the ribs, then made pulled pork out of it. I plan to try a brisket this summer, along with other fish (I've only done salmon and steelhead trout so far).

    I also grill corn in the husk whenever we're having a grilled meal. Shucking them hot can be a challenge, but the flavor is awesome, especially if some of the kernals start to brown (they get nutty and delicious).
  4. smokin

    smokin Chevalier

    Not much of a cook myself but I do make some of the best tamales around. I have a batch ready to be rolled up now but wont be able to do it until after the game today (which starts in about an hour). Ingredients include....Chili powder, jalapeno, blk pepper, garlic powder, blk olives, cayenne powder, salt, beef and venison (drooled a little again), onions, hot cherry peppers, masa flour(corn and lime) and corn oil. Anybody hungry yet? It's sad that a Irish and Cherokee kid from Kansas City makes the best ones. I've had my little old Mexican ladies relatives CRYING because they remind them of the way THEIR grandma used to make 'em.
  5. smokin

    smokin Chevalier

    For those die hard BBQ fans, I HIGHLY recommend the annual GREAT AMERICAN BBQ CONTEST here in KC. Beware however, if you dont know someone in the contest you cannot sample the goods, unless you get REAL lucky. Nothing worse than wandering around a giant parking lot filled with 500 smokers and grills and not able to eat except from the prepared stuff off the truck. Trust me, the wife and I learned that lesson the hard way.
  6. red wizard

    red wizard Troubadour

    Ah yes, having grown up in Oak Grove, MO. I'm very familiar with the various BBQ competitions like the GREAT AMERICAN BBQ CONTEST. Seeing as you are in KC, next time you hit the store, might I recommend, Gates Spicy BBQ sauce--and if you are ever passing through Bates City, stop and try the BBQ.

    And yeah, those tamales did make me drool a little! ;)

    Jedi, I find the best way to keep my smoker at a constant 220-225 degree temp is with wood. Burns slower and steadier then charcoal. I use pear and apple.

    For my ribs, I let sit with a dry rub half an hour, then place on the smoker. After about 45 minutes, I wrap them up in tin foil with some butter and a cylinder of frozen apple concentrate. Then let it cook in the smoker another three hours on average. Once I see the bones protruding the way I like them too, I put on my wet mop (vinegar based sauce) along with a healthy squeeze of honey, then recover and cook another 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. JediSoth

    JediSoth Troubadour

    Red Wizard, I have a "beginner's" smoker; it's electric. Once I get good enough and it starts to get ratty, we'll replace it with something more sophisticated.

    Smoker, I hope you bring some of those tamales to the con next year for us foodies to sample. I haven't have any really good ones. Ever.
  8. geekpreacher

    geekpreacher Spellbinder

    I don't do any smoking but I definitely do some grilling. Some of my favorites to grill during the summer months are:

    Beer Brats....I've got a special way of preparing them and only use a good beer like Sam Adams or Newcastle.

    Steak but I make my own marinade. Depending on the mood the marinade may have some type of whiskey in it for added kick.....and, yes, it's better than that Jack Daniels sauce you get at a restaurant.

    I have been trying to master the art of grilling some chicken thighs. I've worked with a few marinades as well as just cooked them on the grill with nothing but a little olive oil on them but I'm looking for a way to keep them juicy on the inside. Most of the time they become dried out. Any ideas on grilling some chicken thighs and keeping them juicy would be great.
  9. the keeper

    the keeper Spellbinder

    "NOW" he tells me he makes homemade tamales, DAMMIT!!
  10. red wizard

    red wizard Troubadour

    Geekpreacher, have I got a marinade for you! I call it, The Stuff! I learned to make it during my time living in Japan. It uses

    1 half cup of soy sauce
    1 quarter cup of mirin--a kind of rice wine similar to sake
    1 quarter a cup of orange juice
    1 quarter cup of Worcestershire sauce
    1 table spoon of brown sugar
    1 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning
    1 teaspoon of garlic powder
    1 teaspoon of onion powder
    1 half teaspoon of cayenne pepper

    For those in the know, this is actually a bastardized teriyaki sauce, but with a definite kick. When grilling chicken, I do thighs almost exclusively as they have the most flavor and are generally the default for competitions. I used the Stuff to marinade my chicken thighs last year on my annual camping trip with my buddies up in northern Wisconson and man, they raved about it! Of course they were also really drunk so they would probably have raved over grilled cardboard by that point in the night. ;)

    Still, I also use The Stuff on steak, pork and fish. It is just a great all around marinade. And for some extra juiciness, pick yourself up a meat syringe. With that you can inject your marinades directly into the meat.

    Jedi, I hear ya brother. When you are ready to upgrade, have a look at what Chargriller makes. Their grill/smokers are not as expensive as Weber's, and work wonderfully. I like that they use a barrel design with heavy, cast iron grill grates placed in sections and all models have a thermometer.
  11. smokin

    smokin Chevalier

    Ok, the tamales are being rolled up now. Rolled up half of them, taking a short break. I always feel like the animal in that fable who couldn't get anyone to help with the chores..."not I said the duck".
    But I ALWAYS find someone willing to eat them. (the wife wont eat spicy foods, so she claims immunity from having to help make 'em. She always complains about the mess though.
  12. geekpreacher

    geekpreacher Spellbinder

    Sounds like a great marinade. I will definitely be trying it....and I can't believe I never thought of a meat syringe! That will definitely help keep the thighs from drying out.

    Can't wait to crank up the grill.
  13. wyrdbrew

    wyrdbrew Level 0 Character

    I BBQ a lot. I tend to cook the "competition" meats- chicken, pulled pork and ribs. I make a dry rub and mop with apple cider vinegar. Depending on who's eating, I make a sauce or just dowse the pork with cider vinegar. I tend to do most of my smoking with hardwood charcoal and wood chips from bourbon barrels. I also use apple wood, pear wood and/or maple. Occasionally I make a brisket but dealing with it for a full 24 hours is a pain. I have a weber smokey mountain smoker but I have a spot picked out to make a brick one.
  14. red wizard

    red wizard Troubadour

    Well my friends, it was a good summer. Lots of grilling was done and I went through a lot of pork shoulder, chicken, steak, burgers, ribs, bratwurst and brisket (not too mention a whole stack of pear wood). However, it's fall now and what with football season, it's arguably even more fun to get out there and grill! So I just thought I'd revive the old thread and see how the rest of you all fared in your summer grilling and smok'n--as well as what backyard culinary exploits the next few months hold in store for you.

    With the weather getting a bit more chill, I tend to break out the cast iron. I have heavy cast iron grates on my smoker/grill, which can support my heavy cast iron skillets and dutch oven. So I like to light up the fire under them and cook up things like chili, stew, Italian sausage and of course hot wings.

    What are you firing up as the leaves turn orange?
  15. geekpreacher

    geekpreacher Spellbinder

    Well, I grilled many a bratwurst this summer and cooked quite a few steaks every other Friday night. I also grilled a good bit of chicken as well as some plain ol' hot dogs. I must admit, the baste for my chicken didn't turn out that well and both times I grilled chicken it came out rather dry. I think I'm going to experiment with a fresher cut of chicken as well as a different type of baste.

    While I didn't grill a pork butt, I do have a recipe on cooking one in the oven since my grill just doesn't seem to be built for it. I only do this one when the temp gets into the low 80s or else the house gets too darn hot. I've got a nice, dark beer that I use as the key to basting it and the meat just falls right off. I also stuffed it with some garlic cloves and it came out rather nice.

    As for the fall, one of our churches does a fund raiser for the youth where we get a really good cut of pork butt and grill them on these HUMONGOUS grills. Last year we did close to a hundred and it's an all night endeavor. This comes up in a few weeks and it's a grilling experience that is not to be missed. It turns into a bit of a fun time where the families come in the afternoon while the guys are grilling and we open up another grill and cook burgers and dogs. It's some of the best pork you'll ever put to your mouth.
  16. bighara

    bighara Chevalier

    I've got two Webers on my porch. One for direct grilling things like steak, sausages, and burgers. The other one is for smoking and indirect grilling things like beer-can BBQ chicken and smoke-roasted spuds.
  17. JediSoth

    JediSoth Troubadour

    I attempted to smoke a 5.5 lb beef brisket this weekend. Everything was going fine ... until... My thermometer broke during the cooking. I have no idea how long it was, just that at some point, it never rose past 162°F (and it should have).

    I found the cut in the probe wire after about 3 hours of 162°F. Bare wire was exposed. My brother-in-law said he had the same thing happen to him; the thermometer probe wire insulation broke and it froze at a certain temperature, never to vary again.

    The meat was a little dry, a little overcooked, but darn tender (so I did cook it long enough) and very tasty. It wasn't a complete disaster, but it could've been better.

    Prior to that, I cooked some green onion lamb brats on the grill. They were very fatty, turning each sausage into miniature Roman candles. Each one was like a delicious flame-spurting tube of fiery pain on fire. But delicious. Oh, so delicous.*

    *Note: You must make sure the flames are extinguished before consuming, otherwise they taste like pain.
  18. Totan

    Totan Spellbinder

    I'd love to see more gamer recommended recipes (including cooking instructions) here - especially for fairly inexpensive cuts of meat. In the little bit of (non-grill) playing that I've done, it seems like I end up with okay flavored, but tough oven meat or tender but somewhat bland slow-cooker meat. When I grill it is an open pit fire, which means a very uncontrolled environment, but the smoke flavor is awesome. Also, I don't consider a cut of meat to be inexpensive if you need $20 of herbs, spices, and other flavoring to make it tasty. For now I'd prefer indoor cooking guidance as that just tends to work out better time wise, but I will definitely be taking note of the grilling items too.
  19. Emperor Xan

    Emperor Xan Troubadour

    "Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress" has a couple of recipes in it.
  20. greywolf

    greywolf Level 0 Character

    I am no pro.

    I do like Daddy Hinkle's marinade.

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