Friday, August 29, 2008
I've been contributing to HomeBBQ.com as a guest blogger for several weeks now and wanted to share an excerpt of one of my recent posts about our chicken turn-in box:
A few years ago while competing in a barbecue event in Arcadia, Florida the unthinkable happened while preparing our chicken turn-in box. We prepared fantastic turn-in samples and were sure we had a good chance to win, but after placing the samples in the box and closing it I discovered that our box had been damaged.
I froze for a few seconds and wasn’t sure what to do next. Should I turn in the sample anyway and take a chance that the box would be disqualified? Should I throw in the towel for the chicken category and start preparing for the rib turn-in?
Read the rest of the article here
Sunday, August 24, 2008
1. Start with 1 pound of pork sliced into 1 inch cubes.
2. Brush with marinade mixture and refrigerate until ready to cook. For best results, marinate the pork in the refrigerator overnight.
3. Place pork on skewers and cook on a charcoal grill for 10-15 minutes. Turn frequently to prevent burning.
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp cummin
1 tbsp ginger
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
Juice from 1 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
Roasted bell peppers make a nice side dish.
Just slice and brush with a little olive oil and Sherry Wine Vinegar. Sprinkle with a little garlic and serve.
I also made some potato wedges. Fry for 10-12 minutes in a frying pan and sprinkle with paprika, cummin, and salt.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I first saw one up close in Brooksville, FL back in 2001. Smokin Triggers used it to win the event. Some of the best bbq teams in the country cook on them and just about everyone else wishes they did.
I'd like to park a Jambo Pit in my own garage someday. But even if I did own one, I'm not quite sure I could make myself mess it up by cooking on it.
Click here for more pictures of Geer pits.
NFL Gameday Cookbook
Monday, August 18, 2008
This past weekend I decided to experiment with chicken thighs without using spice rub and with very little bbq sauce added.
I've been marinating my chicken thighs and drumsticks in Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar since the beginning, but after spending some time thinking about it this weekend I realized that I have never really experimented to identify exactly what the dressing adds to my chicken recipes. I just started using it because I read about it on the web at some point and followed suit.
The thighs in the picture were not trimmed and squared up properly for a bbq contest turn-in, but they were fine for eating here at home.
The thighs and dressing were placed in a 2 gallon plastic bag and were marinated for 4 hours in the refrigerator. I pre-heated the WSM (without the water pan) to 275 degrees and put the chicken on for cooking. The naked thighs were cooked for 1 1/2 hours to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Near the end I brushed on a little bbq sauce for a little flavor, but as you can see from the picture there was very, very little sauce used. That really wasn't the main point of this test anyway.
What did I learn?
The salad dressing helps keep the chicken moist while cooking, but adds very little flavor. The thighs were juicy and tender, but were quite bland. Based on my test, I doubt that it matters what kind of salad dressing is used for a marinade. Anything with olive oil and a little vinegar will probably work fairly well. I don't think the Newman's Own is an absolute requirement.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Barbecue is no different. I meet people at bbq contests, on discussion boards, and via e-mail correspondence that use similar phrases and expressions when talking about their infactuation with bbq as a competitive sport.
I mean no disrespect to anyone when I say this, because I've had these same traits myself from time-to-time, but I'm proud to say that for the most part...I'm in the process of doing, or I've already done many of the things "I've always meant to get around to."
Don't sell yourself short on barbecue. Don't let the naysayers intimidate you, chastise you, or "rain on your parade".
If you've always had a desire to purchase a "real" bbq cooker, whether it's a Lang, Klose, Backwoods, Stumps, or one of the various styles of pellet cookers on the market; bite the bullet and do it. If you've always had a dream of owning your own restaurant, or to start a catering company...develop some goals, write a plan, tie them to a definitive time schedule, and get started on your journey.
It's time to get off the porch and get fired-up about bbq. Don't let it pass you buy. It's fun. It's challenging, but perhaps most of all, your abilities to learn new things and to meet interesting new people will surprise you.
But, when you really get down to it and boil it down to the brass tacks perhaps the most compelling reason is that there's really and truly nothing stopping you.
All things are possible.
NFL Gameday Cookbook
Monday, August 11, 2008
The Florida State Open Chili Championship will be held October 4th this year. So get your recipes ready.
Oct. 4, 2008 - DeLand, FLA. CASI. Florida State Open Chili Championship, 7th Annual Great Bowls of Fire Chili Cookoff. Visit their website: www.greatbowlsofchilicookoff.com. Contact Sally Bohon at SalBohon@AOL.com or Candace Knight Arevalo at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Oct 11, 2008 - Homosassa FL CASI. Southeast Chili Cookoff. Held at Natures RV Resort on the waterfront. Contact Candace Knight-Arevalo email@example.com for more information.
Oct 12, 2008 - Homosassa FL CASI. Sunshine State Chili Pod Cookoff. Contact Candace Knight-Arevalo 561-795- 5888, firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit their website: www.naturesresortfla.com
Nov 1, 2008- Terlingua TX CASI. Terlingua International Chili Champ Cookoff. Held at Rancho CASI De Los Chisos. Contact Alan Dean email@example.com for more information.
You can find out more about chili cook-offs in Florida at the Sunshine State Chili Pod website.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Keeping it cold
When shopping for food, purchase meat and poultry just before you leave the store. Food in the grocery store is stored at temperatures of below 40 degrees and needs to maintained below 40 degrees whenever possible. Food should be referigerated after the drive home as soon as possible. Allowing the temperature of the food to rise above 40 degrees for any length of time increases the possibility of bacteria growth.
Vacuum seal bulk purchases
I often purchase food in bulk to save money. Meat that is not going to be consumed within a couple of days should be frozen. I like to vacuum seal large quantities into smaller packages. For example, if we buy a package of 16 pork chops, I split the chops into packets of 4, vacuum seal them, mark the package with the date, and then place it in the freezer until we are ready to prepare them.
As meat begins to thaw, juices can sometimes escape the packaging and cross-contamination can occur. Vacuum sealing is another way to help prevent cross-contamination between meat and poultry when storing or transporting food. When handling chicken, thoroughly wash your hands and any knives and utensils with hot, soapy water before using the utensils to cut other meat.
Always marinade meat and poultry in the refrigerator. Contrary to some advice I've read recently on a very popular bbq forum, never, never, allow meat to marinade at room temperature. Meat should be marinated in the refrigerator. When removing marinated food from the refrigerator, place it directly on the smoker or grill for cooking.
Pre-heat your cooker to ensure that you attain a 140 degree internal meat temperature within 4 hours. Do not allow meat to remain in the danger zone (i.e. greater than 40 degrees and less than 140 degrees) for more than 4 hours.
For more food safety tips and information, there's a nice article on the USDA website that should help.
NFL Gameday Cookbook
Sunday, August 03, 2008
AZBarbeque.com is all about BBQ in Arizona and they're looking for new members. I encourage you to check out their new website.