Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Smoked Chicken Wings

I did quite a bit of cooking over the weekend so I'll have a few things to share this week. First up is the appetizer for Saturday's cook. I've been wanting to do some chicken wings for a while. I was trying to think up a recipe when I saw this post at Jason's BBQ Blog. His wings looked fantastic, so I thought I would give them a try. I had to deviate from his recipe some so I'll post what I did here.

The rub:

  • 1 part kosher salt.
  • 2 parts turbinado sugar
    • Jason used yellow sugar...I'm going to show my ignorance and say that I don't know what that is.
  • 1 part paprika
  • 1 part garlic powder
  • 1 part onion powder
  • 1 part dry mustard
    • Jason used ground black mustard...again, not sure what that is.
  • ½ part coriander
    • Jason used cardomom, but it was outragously expensive, so I substitued.
The sauce:
  • 2 cups smoked tomato halves
    • Two good sized tomatos, smoked on the Chargriller for about an hour at 250ish. I don't think I smoked them as long as Jason did.
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup dried dates.
    • Jason used fresh dates (I think), but I could find any.
  • 1 clove garlic smashed
  • 1 large red onion, quartered.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 juice from ½ of a lemon
  • ½ tablespoon rosemary
  • ½ tablespoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
Put all of the sauce ingredients into a blender or food processor and liquify it.

I sprinkled the rub very liberally over the wings and let them sit for 15 or 20 minutes. Jason used a BBQ wok for his wings but I used a couple disposable aluminum pans. I put one layer of wings per pan and smoked for a total of about 2 hours or so. You can rip one open when you think it's close and take a look to make sure they are done. The fat really came out of the wings, so I drained the fat twice during the cook. Like Jason, I put the sauce on about a half an hour before the cook was over.

The sauce ended up kind of gooey, so I fired up the kettle and charred up the outside of about half the wings....you could see them on the left of the pic. The ones that I put on the kettle definitely had a slightly different taste, but they were equally good. These wings will definitely be made many more times. They were fantastic.

Update: make sure you check out my update on this recipe in a more recent post.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Spring Maintenance on the ol' Chargriller

The weather in Houston was not kind to the Chargriller. It is so humid most of the year (like 10 out of 12 months) that it was constantly wet from condensation. Incidentally, this is not good for vehicles sitting in the driveway, either. Condensation would form even if I had a cover on the Chargriller...even if it was a breathable cover. For the cooking chamber it isn't a big deal because the paint stays on there pretty good. For the firebox, however, you can hear it rust because the heat of the fire takes the paint off over time. So, once or twice a year (I didn't get it done in the fall) I'll take a wire wheel to the rust and repaint the firebox. I also took the opportunity since I had it in the garage to add some bigger wheels so I can move it around a lot easier. Here is a pictorial of the process with some before and after pics.

The before shot...she's looked better.

Here is a shot of the firebox. Lots and lots of rust.

Firebox from the end....even more rust.

I'd say the firebox looks a little better, wouldn't you? It took me aboutan hour to brush the rust off, then I cleaned it with soap and water. I waited a day for it to dry before painting.

My fire baskets, and particularly the rods suspending them, have seen better days, too.

I just straighted out the rods in my vice and put them back in. I'll likely be replacing these next spring.

One of the worst things about the Chargriller are the crappy wheels they come with.

I've been wanting to upgrade for a while now. I thought about pneumatic tires, but decided on the hard plastic ones from Ace. I just used a length of steel rod for the axle...also from Ace.

The "after" pic!!! I'm really pleased with the result, especially the tires. You can see that I decided to move the old "crappy" wheels to the other side of the cooker. This kept me from having to cut some of the legs off to level the whole thing up and it makes it even easier to move around.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My Apologies

I must apologize for my lack of posts in the last month or so. We've had a sudden illness and death in the family and I've been doing a lot of traveling since the first of May. My father was diagnosed with leukemia on the 4th of May and passed away on the 31st at the age of 58. He was a hell of a man and introduced me to the joys of outdoor cooking at a very young age. He was a man of faith and I know he is with the Lord.

I have several posts in various stages of completion, so I should be back to posting regularly. I did some spring cleaning on the smoker the weekend before Dad wad diagnosed so I'll be posting that soon. I should be doing a lot of cooking going forward, also. I did grill some country style ribs and sausages last night.