Friday, August 31, 2007

Monthly Roundup - August, 2007

I'm starting a new thing here on the blog. At the end of each month I'm gong to to a little link roundup to interesting blog posts/articles I've read in the last month. They won't all be about BBQ (most will, though) and they will come from both commercial and private blogs/websites. They are linked here in chronological order (I think).

So, without further ado, here is the very first Hogwild BBQ Monthly Roundup.

  • Better than Bad Sex BBQ Sauce via Hot Sauce Blog. While I'm not sure than any BBQ sauce is better than sex (even bad sex), this has got to be the best BBQ sauce name ever!! BTW, if you're a hot sauce junkie, the Hot Sauce Blog is must visit.
  • Turducken Review via MeatHenge. I've always wanted to try a turducken. This one looks fantastic.
  • How to Smoke Eggs via Howling Hog BBQ. I saw a post somewhere several months ago about smoking eggs (don't remember where) and forgot all about it. The next time I smoke overnight I'm gonna have smoked spam and eggs for breakfast.
  • Electronic Temperature Controllers via BBQguyblog. I've read a lot about using thermostats to control your pit temp lately and I agree with the BBQGuy...that would take a lot of the fun out of it for me.
  • The Bull Shot: A Meat Cocktail via MeatHenge. This thing sounds disgusting, but I like vodka and I'm intrigued. I will defiantly be trying this after my next suitable cook (probably not with the spam and eggs breakfast, though). I'll let you know how it goes.
  • Cooking at home vs. at a competition via Bucky's Barbecue. I don't compete, but I've talked with and read a lot from folks that do. Some say they cook the same way at a comp vs. at home, but I would think it would be different. This is an excellent post on the differences between cooking at home for the family and cooking at a competition.
  • Waiting for Service via Serious Eats. There is not much worse than getting sorry (or no) service when you're out to eat. This picture captures that frustration pretty well, I think.
There you go. If I missed an informative or funny article over the course of the month (I'm sure I did) feel free to leave a link to them in the comments.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pork Steaks

I realized today that I've only posted about pork steaks once, when I posted about my maple bourbon pork chops. I never saw pork steaks for sale until I move from Nebraska. You just don't seen them in North Carolina or South Texas. I guess all the shoulders there are cooked for pulled pork or cut as country style ribs. I usually cook these over direct heat for a couple minutes per side and then finish them indirectly, especially if they're cut thick. I used my all purpose BBQ sauce (bottom of the post) on one of these so I added two coats of the sauce at the end of the cook and cooked it over direct heat just long enough not to burn the sauce.

As you can see, I ate some of the sauced and nonsauced steaks and they were equally good. The missus made the corn and broccoli salad again (we do it a lot in the summer), but she also made a new squash casserole that was very good.

Squash Casserole

  • 2 pounds yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 onion shopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1/4 melted butter
  • 1 box of chicken flavored stuffing mix
Boil the squash and onion until tender. Stir the squash and onion (including liquid) in with the remaining ingredients. If the mixture isn't very liquid you may not need a whole box of stuffing mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes ore so until the casserole is browned over.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Chuck Roast -- Pulled Beef Barbecue

Like I said in an earlier post, I did more than smoke Spam last weekend. I picked up a couple of nice chuck roasts for pulled beef barbecue. Sometimes I'll use the point of a brisket for pulled beef, but I like the taste and texture of chuck roasts a little better.

I picked up two nice chuck roasts at Sam's over the obviously a little nicer than the other. Go ahead and trim the fat off the outside edges. There is more than enough internal fat to keep the roasts moist.

I like to use my brisket rub for pulled beef barbecue. I rub the roast very generously making sure to get the sides as well. I use yellow mustard before I rub them to help make the rub stick.

Pulled Beef Barbecue Rub:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
I cooked the chuck roasts at about 225 (up to 250 at times) to an internal temperature of about 140 degrees. They'll look something like this at 140 degrees and it should take 3 to 5 hours depending on your cooking temp.

At 140 degrees I double wrap the chuck roasts and continue on the smoker at 225-250 to an internal temperature of 200 degrees. On a side note, I don't cook in foil very much. I don't necessarily have an aversion to it, I just seem to like my results without it. I do like to use it on the chuck roasts to collect the juices, though.

The chuck roasts are good and tender at this point. I immediately pour the juice off into a bowl and put it in the fridge. Make sure you let the meat rest like normal. I like to allow at least 20 minutes before I start pulling. If it's tender enough after resting you can just use two forks to shred it. It is kind of a pain and you can tell by the picture that I got tired of pulling and ended up cutting some of it with a knife. It was tender enough that I could cut it with the grain. It'll kinda fall apart when you reheat it. Once you have it pulled, take the juiced out of the fridge and scoop the congealed fat off the top. Add back enough of the juice to moisten up the meat good. You won't need all of don't want it swimming in it. Here is the barbecue sauce that I like on pulled beef. This sauce is similar to a store bought sauce, but it's a lot less sweet with just enough kick to let you know you're eating it. I keep it around all the time for various things. I put just a light coating on the beef and have the sauce on the table to add more if needed.

Pulled Beef Barbecue Sauce:
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)

This stuff is fantastic on cheap white buns for sammies. I had one for lunch today. It freezes well, too. Just vacuum seal in single or double serving and it'll keep for several months.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Smoked Spam

Yes, I said Spam.....

I'll put just about anything on the smoker to see how it turns out, and when a coworker brought up the Spam website (Warning: lost of flash and audio) last week at work....well, I decided I had to give it a try. They're really playing up the, "Hey look at us, we're Spam, haha" kinda thing. We got a good chuckle looking at the website. I haven't had Spam since I was a kid, so I thought I would just throw it on the smoker to see what happens. One of them I smoked naked and the other I rubbed generously with butt rub.

They were both pretty good. Only a slight smokey flavor because the smoke didn't really penetrate the meat. There is a crapload of salt in these things, so the one with the rub was a way too salty. If I ever do these again I'll rub it with either a very sweet or very spicy rub to counteract the salt a little bit. I fried a couple leftover pieces this morning for a spam and cheese sammie for breakfast. I could really taste the smoke after it sat overnight.

No, I didn't fire up the smoker just for some Spam yesterday. I cooked some pulled beef barbecue, too.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Country Style Ribs with Weber's Sweet and Tangy Rub

Not to get on a Weber's rub kick or anything, but I followed up last weeks pork chops with some country style ribs using the same Weber's sweet and tangy rub. I wouldn't normally post this up, but the sweet and tangy rub went with the country style ribs much better than the pork chops. It took to the indirect grilling much better than the direct heat. In fact it was very, very good on the country style ribs. I'd try Lawry's or brining before I'd use the sweet and tangy rub again.

Of course I had to cook up some hot Italian sausages while I was at it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Pork Chops with Weber's Sweet and Tangy Rub

I hardly ever buy commercial rubs or spice blends anymore, but as you've read, I do keep Lawry's around and use it mainly on pork. Mrs. Hog and I were walking through our local Wally World (Wal-Mart) last week and I noticed the Weber spices in the spice isle. I've been wanting to try some new stuff and decided on the Sweet and Tangy seasoning. I just did some pork chops directly on the grill. Be careful grilling over direct heat when you use a rub with a lot of sugar in it (like this one). What I do is sear both sides of the chop and then finish them up with indirect heat. The rub was pretty good, but seemed to be lacking something. I like the sweet/tangy mix alot, though. I have a very spicy rib rub that I use with a super sweet glaze that I really like. Anyway, I may try to make a rub similar to this one....I just have to figure out how I want to tweak it.

Mrs. Hog made a corn and broccoli salad that was delicious. I think she got this base recipe from one cookbook or another, but she doesn't remember which one. She makes this fairly regularly and no two are quite the same. Just use whatever you have in the fridge/pantry and it'll turn out great.

Corn and Broccoli Salad recipe:

  • a head of broccoli
  • small red onion
  • a cup of corn (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/3 cup of cheese
  • 1/4 cup bacon bits
  • dressing:
    • 1/2 cup mayo
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Remember that all those amounts are approximate...use whatever you have. We've done a balsamic vinegar based (no mayo) dressing with this, also.