Tag: advice

The Most Important Ingredient in BBQ

While I’ve always appreciated good BBQ, I haven’t always been able to create good BBQ.  Over the years, I’ve tried my hand at it with a variety of different BBQ pits.  My failures usually left me thinking that it was an equipment problem.  Finally, after going through a couple of ECB’s (El Cheapo Brinkman water smokers) and an off-set cooker, I finally decided that maybe the common denomenator was the guy running the show.

I began to read a lot of the BBQ forums on line and decided to give it one more shot.  My folks had a gas powered, bullet smoker that they’d never used.  I pressed it into service and applied the techniques I’d read about and much to my surprise, I turned out some awesome pulled pork.  I finally realized the most important ingredient that I’d been missing in my previous attempts.

You see, I’d been following the FDA guidelines regarding safe temps for food preparation.  You know, those numbers printed on the back of meat thermometers and such.  I’d always pulled pork shoulder off of the cooker when it reached 165 degrees.  What I failed to realize is that while no one will die from eating pork cooked to 165 degrees, that doesn’t mean it’s done.  In fact, the magic is only starting when pork shoulder hits 165 degress.

The ingredient that I’d been missing all along wasn’t a rub, a sauce, or a cooker.  It was patience.  It turns out that you can’t rush good BBQ.  You can’t cook by your watch.  You have to cook by temperature (for the most part) and pork shoulder isn’t done at 165 degrees, it’s done at 195 deegrees.

So grasshopper, now that you know the secret.  Be patient, cause great things come to those who wait!


Trimming a Beef Tenderloin

Around my house my family only goes for one kind of steak, filet mignon.  Well that can be a pricey proposition.  In fact, the last time that I bought filets from the market they were running $23.95/lb.  Not the kind of thing I can afford to do very often.

So, I’ve been thinking about picking up a whole tenderloin and trimming it myself.  Today, I took the plunge and bought a small(ish) one at Sams Club.  The thing weighed in at a little over 5 lbs. and was priced at $9.98/lb.  Still expensive, but much more affordable than buying the steaks individually.

Now I’d never trimmed a tenderloin before but I figured, how hard can it be?  Well the step by step guidance was just a quick Google search away.  I should have known that I’d find all the video help I need on YouTube.  There I found two different videos and after spending less than 10 minutes in front of my iMac, I was ready.

I had the tenderloin trimmed and cut into steaks in less than 20 minutes.  I cut filets a little on the thin side since my family also thinks steaks (or any meat for that matter) should be well done and it’s tough to get a really thick steak done enough for them without charring the outside too much.

After marinating for about an hour, I put the steaks and baked potatoes on the Bubba Keg.  Man, they were every bit as good as the $23.95/lb steaks that I’d gotten at the market before.  And the best part is, I’ve got a nice piece of the tenderloin left.  I plan to smoke it on Monday and cut it thin for sandwiches next week.  I’ve got a taste for a steak panini.  Stay tuned for that!

Here are  links to a video that I found on Youtube.


My “Go-To” Sauce

I don’t usually make my own sauce or BBQ rub, cause I find that there are so many good sauces & rubs on the market. 

I’ll bet you’re like me and you find that you have a standard sauce that you go to for most things.  Mine is Sweet Baby Ray‘s original sauce.  As a result, I typically have a few open bottles with just a little bit left in the bottom.

Recently, I was doing BBQ beef on the Big Green Egg and as I got ready to pull and sauce the chuck roasts I realized that I had 5 partial bottles of Sweet Baby Rays.  I snapped this picture of all the wounded soldiers on my Big Green Egg table.

What’s your “go to” sauce?  Drop me a comment and let me know.