Japanese flavors are amazing and if you combine it with fresh vegetables you can create some amazing tapas with almost no effort at all. Most ingredients are available at any Asian market
How to make the Shishito Peppers:
Rinse the peppers and toss them with the olive oil - make sure that they are evenly covered. Set the grill on high. Use a vegetable tray so the peppers dont fall through the grill grates.
Grill on high until the peppers are roasted and browned, about 5-6 minutes. Take the peppers of the grill and toss them with the Ponzu sauce. Season with the flaked sea salt. Serve immediately and sprinkle the bonito flakes on top of the peppers. If you want to make the Japanese tapas completely vegan - skip the bonito flakes.
How to make the Asparagus:
Rinse the Asparagus and cut the hard bottom part of the Asparagus off. Pour the olive oil in a large sautepan and heat on medium high. When the pan is hot, add the Asparagus.
Sauté for 5-6 minutes on medium-high until the Asparagus are nicely browned and has softened. When ready, pour the Chuka dressing into the pan. The dressing will start caramelize almost instantly so be careful so you don't burn the dish. Toss the Asparagus in the dressing, add the sesame seeds and then quickly toss one more time. Remove from the burner and serve immediately. You can also do this on a grill if you prefer a more charred flavor. Toss the Asparagus in some olive oil, and set the grill on medium. Place the Asparagus on a vegetable tray and brown on all sides. When almost ready, toss them in the chukka dressing and sesame seeds and finish the Asparagus on high heat until they have a nice glaze.
How to make the Brussels Sprouts:
Rinse the Brussels Sprouts and remove the stalk and the harder outer leaves. Quarter the Brussels Sprouts.
Add oil to large saute pan on medium heat. Slowly sauté the Brussels Sprouts until they are slightly browned, make sure that you don't burn the leaves. This will take about 4-6 minutes. When slightly browned, add the vegetable stock. The stock should just cover the base of the ban up to 1/16 of an inch. Give the pan a good stir and then allow to steam-fry until all the liquid has cooked off and the sprouts are tender.
While the Brussel Sprouts are slowly steam-frying, mix the Dijon Mustard and the Wafu dressing together. You can also grill the Brussels sprouts on a vegetable tray if you prefer them more earthy. This is my favorite way of preparing them. Set grill to medium, toss the Brussels sprouts in some olive oil and grill until brown and crispy. When the Brussels sprouts are finished cooking, whether you sautéed them or grilled them, add the Mustard-Dressing mix and stir thoroughly. Make sure that the Brussels Sprouts get covered evenly. Serve immediately.
This is a great trio of appetizers to serve together. The Shishito Peppers adds sweetness and acidity to the dish, the Asparagus with the Chuka dressing adds some heat and finally the Brussels Sprouts adds richness and creaminess. Enjoy!!
This is a great grill recipe with strong Japanese flavors. The charred Eggplant and Skirt Steak combined with the smoothness and sweetness of the Miso makes a perfect dinner course. It is easy to make and fast to serve which makes it perfect when hosting guest. Getting a good Skirt Steak cut is key since Skirt Steak needs to be cooked to medium-rare to have great texture. If you cook it to rare, it is too raw and chewy, if you overcook it - it is tough and dry..
Start the preparation by finely mincing the garlic. To make the skirt steak marinade, mix together the Garlic, Red miso, Mirin, Rice Wine, Tobanjan, and sugar in a bowl. Make sure it gets thoroughly mixed.
Trim the Skirt Steaks. Remove some of thicker parts of fat and try to remove as much of the silver-skin as you can. pan. Lay the skirt steak in the marinade and flip it a couple of times to generously coat all over. Vacuum-seal and marinate the steak for a minimum of 1 hour in the fridge. Turn a couple of times.
Start by trimming both ends of each eggplant so you have pieces of similar size. Slice the eggplants in half.
Combine the Miso Glaze ingredients and whisk to combine and remove lumps. Taste the glaze. If you want a sweeter glaze, add more sugar.
Set up the grill for two heat-zones. One side should be set to medium (eggplant) and the other to searing hot (Skirt Steak).
It's important only to use medium heat for the eggplant because otherwise it will char too much before it cooks through.
While the grill is heating up, brush the cut side of each eggplant with the oil. Do it 2 to 3 times to use up all the oil.
When the grill is heated on both sides, start with placing the eggplant cut side down on the grill and cook for 4 minutes until it turns a light golden brown.
After 4 minutes, turn the eggplants over, and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. While it is cooking, use a brush to spread a generous amount of Miso Glaze on the cut side of each eggplant. When the eggplant is squishy and soft, turn over on final time and caramelize the miso-glaze side for 30 seconds.
Remove eggplants from grill, garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
Two minutes after you put on the eggplants, add the skirt steaks on the grill (on the hot side). Grill the skirt steak for about 3 minutes per side, to medium-rare. The steak might stick to the grill because of the miso, so ease it off carefully. When the steaks are done, let them rest for a few minutes.
Slice the skirt steak thinly and against the grain. Serve with eggplant.
Start with the black garlic, peel and finely mince. Put garlic, rice wine, hoisin sauce, honey, sugar, bean sauce, and spice in a blender and puree.
Simmer the mixture in a large saucepan over medium heat for 10 minutes until it bubbles and sauce begins to thicken. Alternatively, cook in Thermomix for 10 minutes, 212 degrees, speed 1. Set aside and start preparing the Sunchokes.
Set the smoker at 350 degrees and use fruitwood for flavor. While you wait for the smoker to heat up. scrub the sunchokes thoroughly. Make sure that you rinse of all the dirt. When clean, cut the sunchokes in half. Pour 3 Tbs of Olive oil into an over-proof pan.
Place sunchokes cut-side down in the pan and insert into smoker. Smoke the sunchokes for 20 minutes until they have softened slightly and browned. Turn and smoke for another 15 minutes.
After about 35 minutes, remove pan from smoker. Dip the sunchokes into the BBQ sauce and make sure that they are covered in sauce. Place them in the pan again and smoke for 5 minutes. Repeat this procedure one more time. Cut the thick stalk from dill and chop. Sprinkle dill over sunchokes.
Serve while hot. This is a perfect appetizer or a side dish for Asian short-ribs, pork-belly or even steak. The smoky flavor, together with the sweet sauce and the crispness of the dill makes this an all-time favorite. And it is 100% vegan!!
Shepherd's Pie is a tasty and very easy dish to put together. It is very rich and fits perfectly on cold winter evenings. In early cookery books, the dish was a means of using leftover roasted meat of any kind, and the pie dish was lined with mashed potato as well as having a mashed potato crust on top. And that is exactly how we will make it in this recipe using leftover Smoked brisket. You can easily switch out the brisket with ground beef, tri-tip or even turkey.
Start by cutting the onion and the carrots in to same sized cubes. The smaller you make them, the better they will mix in the pie. Try to make them the same size as the peas.
Chop the brisket into small cubes as well. If the brisket has good texture when you smoked it, it will come apart very easily during the cook. If the brisket is tough, you might want to pre-cook it until it is tender. Slice the chives and set aside for use later.
Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Mix the grated cheese and horseradish and set aside. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Place the butter into a microwave-safe container and heat in the microwave until warmed through, about 35 seconds. Drain the potatoes and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the butter, salt and pepper, cheddar/horseradish mix and continue to mash until smooth.
While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Place the canola oil into a pan and set over medium high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the BBQ Sauce and the Beef gravy and stir to combine. Add the brisket, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 4-5 minutes. Finally, add the green peas and cook until hot.
Butter an over-proof baking dish and spread the brisket mix evenly on the bottom. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula. Set in oven on broil.
Broil on high until browned. Sprinkle chives on top. Serve immediately. Like I said, a very easy but very tasty dish to put together. If you like, you can also add some garlic, corn, or bell peppers. Start experimenting - soon you will have your own favorite mix. Until then, enjoy mine!! Bon Appetit!!
Winter time is chili time. When the tempretaure are creeping downwards, few things are as rewarding as enjoying a rich, flavorful, chili with some bite. I like chili without beans and my favorite recipe is one, cooked using smoked brisket. For a good smoked brisket recipe, check out my recipe on this site, you will find it in the beef section of this blog.
Start by finely chop the onion and the garlic and set aside. De-seed and finely chop the green peppers as well and then set aside for later use. Cut these Brunoise which is a fine dice measuring 4mm x 4mm x 4mm, or 1/8 x 1/8 x 1/8 inches.If you use fresh tomatoes, remove skin and seeds and chop thoroughly as well.
Next step is roasting the chilis. You have flexibility in the recipe for this step, add more jalapenos and less habaneros for a less spicy version. Roast the chilis over high heat for a couple of minutes, until the exterior is getting charred. Drop chilis in icewater - remove the skin and carefully remove the seeds. I recommend wearing rubber gloves when doing this, especially when you wear contacts. Some of you will know what I mean. Cut the chili into bruniose as well.
Heat some olive oil in a pan, preferably a cast-iron pan, and quickly brown garlic, onions and garlic. Dont overdo it, you just want them slighly browned. Mix in the crushed tomatoes and heat up. Add roasted chilis and stir for a couple of minutes.
Add the porter and let the pan simmer for 30 minutes. While it simmers, finely chop the brisket. This is worth doing thoroughly, the finer the dice, the better texture in the final chili. Take your time. When done, pour into the chili and stir.
Add some salt, pepper and other spices but don't overdo it. It is better to add some gradually for when you are getting a better sense of the flavor of the chili. The chili will now simmer for 5-6 hours and during this timeperiod the chili will get richer, and more flavorful so add spices in moderation. You will also see the it will slighly darken during the cook as well (see pictures above).
When you feel that you have the right depth, flavor and texture, remove from the stove and serve. Chili is one of those dishes that tastes even better the day after, so dont be afraid to cook a day or two in advance, and heat up when time to serve. Serve with crackers and if you like some added texture, finely choppped oinions, shredded cheese and soem sour cream. Enjoy!!
Butter 2 lbs
Chicken Broth 1 Litre
Oakridge Gamechanger All Purpose Brine
Favorite Poultry rub - Butt Kick'n Chicken BBQ Seasoning
A smoked turkey is delicios and a wonderful way of celebrating thanksgiving. Normally I am not fond of turkey, it doesnt have a lot of flavors and you have to serve it with some great gravy or stuffing to make it come alive flavorwise. However, when you smoke it - magic happens. Suddenly, the bird transforms and the rich, juicy white meat has a smoky texture that really elevates the flavor. So how do you reach that smoky flavor without drying out the meat? I have found that you can achieve greatness in two ways. Either spatchcock and cook fast - or wrap the bird in cheesecloth and butter baste throughout the cook (which we will do in this recipe).
For the best smoked turkey, start with one that’s fresh and minimally processed. Freezing causes cells in the flesh to rupture. When thawed, some of the juices drain out and are lost.
Start preparing the turkey first. Remove the giblets and the neck from the body cavity and the neck cavity of the bird. Rinse the turkey in cold, running water, making sure to clean the body cavity as well as the outside surfaces. You also want to make sure that remove any excess fat from the edges of the skin but still leave as much of the skin on the bird as possible. It protects the meat from drying as it smokes. You can also separate the skin from the breast. Doing this allows the brine to reach the breast meat. Next start preparing the brine. I use Oakridge Gamechanger, and you just mix the brine with water.
MAke sure that the brine is completely dissolved in the water. Place the turkey into the brine. I place it into the brine "head first". If it goes in "feet first", air may become trapped in the body cavity. The brine has to contact every part of the turkey, inside and out. Depending on the size of the turkey, brining can take from 8-24 hours. A ten pound turkey needs about 8 hours in the brine. A fourteen pound bird will need about 12 hours. I just left the bird in the brine overnight. You can overbrine a turkey but if you go a couple of hours over time , it is not an issue. When you have finished brining the turkey, make sure that you wash the bird thoroughly. You want to make sure that all the brine is gone from the cavities. Next step is optional. For the perfect texture and flavor, let the turkey rest uncovered in the refrigerator for another twelve to twenty four hours. This gives the salt and brine flavorings time to distribute evenly throughout the turkey.
Next we season the turkey. I use Butt Kick'n Chicken BBQ Seasoning, but any of your favorite poultry seasoning will do,
The trick to seasoning a brined turkey is to get the flavors under the skin. Carefully lift the skin and coat the meat with some of the wet rub. Try to completely cover the exposed flesh. Pull the skin back into place after you've seasoned the bird.
Season the outer surface of the turkey with the remaining wet rub. Get into all the nooks and crannies…under the wings and legs. Next, flavor up the inside of the turkey with dry spices. It is now ready for the next step - the cheese cloth wrap.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and when melted add chicken broth. Next, wrap the turkey in cheesecloth. Make sure that you have two layers of cloth covering the whole turkey. It will help keeping the butter on the bird but also prevents burning. Before you add the turkey to the smoker, make sure you baste it all over. Prepare the smoker at 275 degrees Fahrenheit. I use cherry and apple when smoking turkey. The apple gives great flavor and cherry adds a nice color to the bird.Use two or three fist sized chunks, spaced throughout the session…you don't want it to be overpowered with smoke flavor.
Baste the turkey every 30 minutes or so, make sure that you really drench it in butter. The length of the smoke is dependent on the size of the turkey, and normally, it will need to smoke from 30 to 40 minutes per pound. I would, however, rather trust the interior tempretaure measured through the breast - not the length of the cook.
When the turkey reaches around 140 degrees Fahrenheit, I recommend taking it out, rmove the cheesecloth and sprinkle a second layer of rub. During the smoke so far the butter basting and the cheesecloth will have removed the majority of the rub and I personally thinks the turkey looks too "naked" without another sprinkle of rub. Continue cooking until interior temperature in the breast reaches 160 degrees, remove the turkey from the smoker and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. After the rest, slice and serve!!
2 packs Saltines Original
2 packs Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
1 pack Hidden Valley Spicy Ranch dressing mix
3 cups of Olive oil
3 Tbs of your favorite BBQ rub
2 gallon Zip locker bag
This is a great recipe from one of Arizona's best BBQ team - Rhythm n' Que. Vince and Alexa has won on the BBQ circuit for many years and I am so happy to call them friends. Check out their website: www.rhythmnque.com
This is a great recipe for an amazing appetizer that you can use with a lot of different toppings. The first thing you have to do is to mix the olive oil, the dressing mixes and the BBQ rub together in a big bowl. Make sure that the rub and the dressing is incorporated into the olive oil.
Open the two saltine boxes and carefully place the crackers in the zip locker bag. When done, pour the olive oil mix into the bag and zip the lock. Over the next 24 hours or so, turn the bag so that all the crackers will be covered in the olive oil mix, make sure that you don't break the crackers. After 24 hours, the oil mixture should all be absorbed. It is now time to move them to the smoker.
I used my GMG Davy Crockett with Fruitwood and it worked like a charm. Set the smoker for 225 degrees and smoke covered for two hours. The crackers should be ready to serve. These little crackers are great with a smoked salmon mix. You can top them with some blue cheese. You could also serve with a chorizo or some Iberico Ham for a Spanish feel. Experiment and I am certain that you will find your own favorite. They are also great just as they are - smoky with a great salty bbq finish!!
Searing a steak and giving it the perfect cross-pattern while making sure that the steak is cooked perfectly medium-rare throughout could sometimes be a challenge. This modernist technique for cooking steak may sound somewhat bizarre, but if you want that perfect pattern AND a perfectly cooked steak - this is a bulletproof method.
The method, adapted from the "Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking" cookbook, involves freezing the steak, searing it and then finishing the steak off in the oven at a low temperature.
Here is how you do it, step by step. First trim the steaks so all the big chunks of fat and silver skin is removed. Also shape them so they will look nice when served. Put in the freezer for about 1 hour. You want the outside to be slightly frozen but the steak should NOT be frozen all throughout. Freezing the outside of the steak in advance will ensure that you don’t overcook the meat while you achieve that perfect sear. Heat up the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. After an hour, remove the steaks from the freezer and sprinkle with Big Swede BBQ Badass Beef Boost. Let the steaks sweat for a couple of minutes while you heat up the cast-iron pan with some oil. Use an oil with a high smoke-point. Safflower oil or peanut oil are good choices. Make sure the pan is searing hot before you add the steaks.
Sear the steak for 30 second at a 45 degree angle. When you have a nice sear pattern rotate 90 degrees and sear for another 30 seconds. When you rotate the steak move it to another section of the pan, so it will hit a hot part that has not been cooled down by the steak. Flip and repeat. You should have a perfect cross-pattern on the steak.
The next step is to get the interior temperature of the steak to your preference. I like mine medium-rare so I would go for 130-135 degrees. In this case, I went a little higher due to requests from the guests. Put the steaks in the oven and let them slowly get up in temperature. It should take between 30-60 minutes depending on the thickness of the steaks. When they reach the right temperature, let the steaks rest for 5-7 minutes.
These steaks should be served as whole steaks, so your guests can marvel at your perfect sear. But when you slice them, you can see how they are beautifully cooked without the "bullseye-look" you can get when pan-searing or grilling a steak (inside raw, then rare, then medium, then done and the outside being a crust).
So, do you like a steak with a balanced smoke flavor, cooked to the perfection - perfect medium-rare??
Then trying to smoke a steak and finish it off with a reverse sear might be just the solution you are looking for. In the BBQ world, the reverse sear, is growing in popularity and it is easy to see why. It is easy to use, and hard to fail.
You start by smoking the meat low and slow to an internal temperature of about 115 degrees, then you char it over a hot fire to raise it to the desired temperature, applying the crisp smoky caramelization at the end.
Reverse searing has several advantages: better heat control, as you can cook the steak to a precise degree of doneness. The meat cooks more evenly, too. And because you rest the meat between low heat smoking and high heat searing, you can serve it hot off the grill.
The first thing you want to do is to trim the steak. I used a NY strip for this post. Trim off the bone and all the fatty areas. If there is silver skin left on the steak, remove that too. Then shape it, so it looks like a nice, clean, well-shaped steak. Looks are important too, not only taste. Season with your favorite steak or beef rub. I use the Big Swede BBQ Badass Beef Boost, of course. It gives the steak nice color with a little bit of heat - I like it that way. Let the steak sweat a couple of minutes - this allows the salt and spices from the rub to penetrate the steak and it also pulls some of the water out of the steak. While you wait for the steak to sweat, prepare the smoker and set it for 225 degrees Fahrenheit. I use a fruit wood, like apple or cherry for steaks. It gives the steak a nice color and a balanced smoke profile.
Insert a probe or check with a Thermometer, you want to make sure that the steak don't overcook in the smoker.
I smoke it until the steak reaches an internal temperature of 115 degrees F. The steak should also have a deep-red smoky look.
You can now let it rest for 5-6 minutes while you heat up the grill. You will sear the steak for a minute or so on each side, so try to get the grill as hot as you can. You can also do the reverse sear on a cast-iron or sauté pan.
When the grill is hot enough, quickly sear the steak in a 45 degree angle for 30 seconds then turn it 90 degrees and sear for another 30 seconds. By doing this, your steak will have a nice criss-cross pattern on both sides. Flip the steak and repeat the searing, 30 seconds, 90 degrees, another 30 seconds. Don't rush the nest step - the steak now need some time to rest.
One way to rest your steak is to take it off the grill, transfer the steak to a cutting board and then tent it under a big piece of foil. You should let the steak rest for about 5-7 minutes.
The last step is to serve the steak. I prefer to slice it when I have guests. Use a sharp knife and cut against the grains. I recommend to serve a smoked steak with something simple, yet flavorful. In this case, some over-roasted fingerling potations with rosemary and garlic. They are super-easy to make. Wash potatoes and toss with some olive oil, crushed garlic and rosemary. Bake in oven at 400 degrees and salt to taste. Simple, but so very tasty!!!
Tri-tip is a tender, lean beef cut that gets its name from its triangular shape. It is sold as a small roast from the bottom sirloin or cut into tri-tip steaks. What makes it special is the full flavor it promises for an affordable price. If you haven't heard of tri-tip, that's because for a long time, it was primarily a cut marketed in California and is still sometimes called a Santa Maria steak. Other names for the tri-tip are bottom sirloin roast and triangle roast. A boneless tri-tip roast weighs around 1-1/2 to 2 pounds and is around 2 inches thick. My favorite way to cook the tri-tip is a quick smoke with apple and finished off with a reverse sear. Let me guide you through the process.
The first step is to trim to tri-tip. Remove excess fat and if possible some of the silver skin. Shape it so you have nice slices when it is time to cut the tri-tip. The next step is optional.
You can inject the cut if you want to, but it is not necessary. It does give the tri-tip a nice beefy flavor boost. I inject the tri-tip with a mix of beef broth, Butcher BBQ Prime Brisket Injection and regular Soy Sauce. Inject the tri-tip throughout. I vacuum seal the tri-tip for a couple of hours but you could also just let it sit in the fridge overnight.
The next step is not optional though. Sprinkle the tri-tip with Big Swede BBQ Badass Beef Boost. The more rub you use, the more of a kick the tri-tip will have. It is all about personal preference. Let the tri-tips sweat for 30 minutes before you put them into the smoker at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. I use apple chunks for tri-tip.
Smoke the tri-tip until the internal thermometer reaches about 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Wrap the cut in some aluminum foil and let it rest for 45 minutes. While you are waiting, light your grill to about 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Grill the tri-tip quickly on both sides to get nice a sear.
Let the tri-tip rest for at least 10 minutes before you slice it. As the meat fibers begin to relax, moisture that is driven out during the grilling is redistributed and reabsorbed by some of the dissolved proteins.
By resting the meat, it holds on to more of its natural juices—the tri-tip won't flood the cutting board when you slice into the meat. Slice and serve with some over-roasted potatoes, roasted in olive oil, thyme, rosemary and garlic.
Personally I prefer pork loins grilled but a lot of people like the moist and smoky texture of a smoked pork loin. So here is a great recipe on how to achieve this. I call this the triple-apple approach because I use apple flavor both in the wood chunks, the rub and in the glaze.
For this recipe I use Victory Lane BBQ's Sassy Apple BBQ Rub and Triple 9 Swine's Apple and Cinnamon Glaze. Both of these ingredients have amazing apple flavor. If you want more kick to the pork, use half of the Apple rub and half of a regular pork rub.
Start by trimming the pork loin. It has fat cap with some sliver skin that you want to remove. You will not have the pork in the smoker long enough to render the fat - so simple solution - trim it off!!
Sprinkle the rub over all sides of the pork loin. Let it sit until the loin starts sweating - see picture above. Sweating occurs when the salt in the rub is extracting liquid from the loin, it also means that some of the rub flavors is getting pulled into the meat.
While the loin is sweating, set up the smoker at 250 degrees Fahrenheit and use apple wood chunk. Let the dirty white smoke clear up and when you have a clear, blue smoke, start cooking the loin. After a couple of hours, check the internal temperature. I normally pull it when the internal temperature reaches 138. Some people gets nervous when the loin is pink inside, but if you like that, you can pull it earlier, around 130 degrees. At 138, it will be cooked through, the meat will be white but still very moist. Next step is to sear the outside. Set up the grill or the smoker for a quick sizzle, around 500 degrees F.
While you wait for the grill to be ready, glaze the loin richly in the Triple 9 Swine Apple glaze.
Sear all the sides of the loin quickly, give it good grill marks but make sure you don't overcook it. After the grilling, let the pork loin rest for 10 minutes so it stays moist. After the rest, slice and serve. This pork loin is excellent with some apple sauce and a rich, creamy potato gratin. Enjoy!!!
Back ribs are usually cut from the prime rib roast which is quite an expensive cut. This thick muscle is used for roasting whole, or cut into boneless ribeye steaks. For that reason the rib bones are removed on the back ribs so there is very little meat on the surface. But there is some tasty stuff between the bones, and often back ribs can be found in slabs of 8 or more 8" long bones. Here is a great recipe using beef back ribs flavored with the Big Swede BBQ Badass Beef Boost.
The bone side of the ribs has a tough membrane that should be removed before cooking the ribs. Slip a dull knife along one of the rib bones under the membrane to loosen it and get it started. Some cooks like to use a screwdriver. Use paper towels to get a better grip when removing them. Beef ribs needs a lot of seasoning, so I just mustard to make the seasoning stick better. Don't worry, the mustard flavor will disappear during the cook. So massage the mustard into the ribs and make sure you get some between the ribs. Then sprinkle plenty of the Big Swede BBQ Badass Beef Boost on both sides of the slab.
Set the smoker for 235-250 degrees Fahrenheit. I use pecan or oak wood when smoking beef back ribs. Smoke the ribs for about 3 hours and you can spray with some apple juice during the this time to keep the ribs moist.
During the first three hour smoke, start preparing the sauce. I use 1/3 apple juice, 1/3 honey and 1/3 BBQ sauce of choice. To give the sauce some added flavor, I mix in 2 Tbs of the Badass Beef Boost. Heat and mix. When the rub is absorbed into the sauce, baste the ribs thoroughly with the sauce. Wrap in two layers of aluminum foil and put back in the smoker for another 2-3 hours or so. I like the meat between the bones to be around 200 degrees when I pulled the ribs.
I quickly put the ribs back in the smoker for another 15-20 minutes and then they are ready to serve. Be very careful when you remove the ribs - they should be extremely moist and tender and since they already don't have a lot of meat on them - they will very easily fall apart. Let the ribs rest for an hour wrapped in aluminum foil and then serve with or without sauce.
Skinless Chicken breast
Your favorite chicken BBQ rub
Butter - tons of butter
RM Transglutaminase - I use Moo Gloo
Dipping sauce - 1/3 BBQ Sauce 1/3 Honey 1/3 Apple juice
Real men don't eat sushi - I remember this slogan from an old Chevy commercial back in my native Sweden. I happen to love sushi - but if you want to make something more meaty - well, maybe you should try Smoked Chicken Rolls. Moist and flavorful rolls of chicken wrapped in chicken skin. Too conduct this little neat trick you will need Meat Glue - Transglutaminase. Transglutaminase is an enzyme that catalyzes the formation of an isopeptide bond between a free amine group (e.g., protein- or peptide-bound lysine) and the acyl group at the end of the side chain of protein- or peptide-bound glutamine. In plain English - you can glue different cuts of meat together without any strange flavors.
Start with trimming the chicken breast so that they are similar in size. Sprinkle richly on the sides you will connect with each other with Meat Glue. Place the chicken breast opposite each other - so the thin end in one breast connects with the wider end on the other breast. Roll them up so they get a nice log shape in some plastic wrap and keep in refrigerator for at least 8 hours. That is enough time for the meat glue to connect the tissues.
Carefully tear the skin of the whole chicken and trim the skin so it fits nicely around the chicken breast roll. Sprinkle your favorite chicken rub on the chicken roll and then sprinkle the backside of the skin with more meat glue. Wrap the skin around the chicken roll and put back in refrigerator for another 8 hours or so. When done, inject breast with some brine and sprinkle outside of skin. You are now ready to start cooking.
Place the rolls in an aluminum pan on a bed of butter. Think 8 tablespoons of butter per roll. Cover the pan with foil and place in smoker on indirect heat 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook covered for about 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, open the pan and turn the rolls. Cover again with foil and cook for another 30-45 minutes. In order to get some smoke into your rolls, uncover the pan and smoke the chicken rolls for another 20 minutes at the same temperature. I use a light wood like apple or pecan.
When the chicken rolls are getting to the right temperature - prepare your dipping sauce. I use 1/3 BBQ sauce, 1/3 Honey and 1/3 Apple Juice. Dip the rolls in dipping sauce. Put them back one final time on the smoker to caramelize the sauce.
When they rolls have a nice orange shine, take them off the smoker, slice and serve!!
Smoked pork is a great BBQ item, not only because of the flavor but also the multitude of ways you can serve it. Sliced, pulled or shredded, on a bun or just by itself. There is also a multitude of ways to cook good smoked pork. Here is the way that I do it.
I like to marinade the pork shoulders or butts before I smoke them. The way to marinade I big cut like the shoulder is to inject it. The first step is to create the marinade. I use Butchers BBQ Pork Injection which I mix with some broth (beef or pork). I add some Worcestershire sauce, a little bit of garlic powder and some honey. I mix the ingredients together without heating up the marinade.
Before injecting the butt or shoulder, I like to trim some of the fat off the meat. You want to leave some on since it will add flavor but you can always trim off some of the fat cap. I also like to separate the Money Muscle. The Money muscle is perpendicular to the shoulder bone and it is the most succulent and tender part of the butt. You can either just remove some of the fat around the money muscle and cook it together with the butt or completely separate the muscle and cook it by itself. I prefer the latter.
When the meat is trimmed, inject the butt with your marinade. Move throughout the butt and inject thoroughly. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 5 hours.
The next step is to give the outside of the pork its flavor, a great bark will make any pork stand out. Generously sprinkle your rub mix over each butt and let it sit for an hour - this will allow the rub to penetrate the meat and pull some of the water out. For this cook I used a mix of The Slabs and Swimmin in Smoke.
Light the smoker. I prefer to smoke pork at 235 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that you burn off the dirty smoke before you add the butts. The middle picture above has a thick gray smoke - this is dirty and could give the meat a bitter taste. You want a thin, blue smoke like the picture to the right. When it comes to pork I prefer apple, cherry or Maple.
Place the butts on the smoker with the fatter side up. Also place an aluminum pan underneath the butts to collect all the drippings - more about these later.
Smoke for about 5 hours or until the internal temperature reaches about 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn the meat over and smoke for another hours so. The length depends on the size of the butts. You want the butts to start forming a nice red crust.
When you have a nice bark - wrap the butts tightly in aluminum foil Keep smoking until the internal temperature reaches about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. While you wait for the butts to reach that temperature, collect all the drippings and pur into a tall container. Put the container in the fridge - the temperature will make the fat rise and get stiff. After an hour or so you can spoon out all the coagulated fat and you are left with liquid gold!! The juice from butts will be used later to add flavor to the sliced money muscle and the pulled and shredded pork.
If you have separated the money muscle, it needs much shorter cooking time. Normally I would put the money muscle in the smoker when I have about three hours left of the butts. I keep them unwrapped for about 2 hours or until they reach 165 degrees. I wrap them - just like you would do with the butts. And when they reach 200 degrees I pull them. One thing I like to do with the money muscle, is to give the outside a nice sweet glaze for a slightly different flavor profile than the rest of the pork. In this case I used some BBQ sauce, Agave honey, apple juice and marrionberry marmalade (seedless). I give the money muscle a finishing touch with the glaze and let it caramelize for about 30-45 minutes in the smoker.
The last step is to let the meat for a while. Then it is time to serve.
Use food handling gloves to pull the meat apart into nice chunks. Use a fork to shred some of the pork that is falling apart, and slice the money muscle into 3/4 inches thick slices.
Dip the money muscle and pork chunks into the reserved drippings and pour back some of the dripping liquid into the shredded pork. Serve hot!!
Smoking chicken thighs is a messy and tiring process, but when you get it right, there are few things that beats the flavor of succulent and moist chicken with a little heat and a lotta sweet. I prefer to remove the bones - you can enjoy the entire thigh that way - but you can skip that step if you want to save yourself some time.
The first thing you have to do is to trim the chicken - you want uniform looking pieces with about the same size. They will cook more evenly and will also look better when you serve. Start with cutting the skin off each thigh. Be careful not to tear the skin.
After you cut off the skin, cut the thighs in uniform pieces, turn the thigh over and then cut away muscle along the back of the thigh bone. This is where you can decide if you want to remove the thigh bone or not.
I like to either brine or inject my thighs. You can either use a very simple brine with water, salt and sugar or you can mix your own and try to get some flavor into the chicken thighs. When I inject I use chicken broth and Butcher BBQ Bird Booster and when I make a brine, I normally use water, salt, sugar and some of the Bird Booster. Let the chicken thighs rest in the brine for a couple of hours while you trim the skin.
Scrape excess fat off the skin. I usually put the skin in the fridge or freezer for a while to make the fat more solid. Then I use a boning knife to cut the fat off first. After I gotten the thick layer of fat removed, I scrape off the rest with my chefs knife. Be careful so you don't tear the skin. You want the skin to be translucent. You want the skin to slightly smaller than the thigh but it should wrap around the skin fully covering the front and most of the back. Season the chicken slightly with your base rub. I like something with a little bit of heat under the skin and for the back of the thigh.
It is now time to reattach the skin to the thigh. I prefer to use meat glue because it will create a stronger bond with the thigh and the skin. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of meat glue inside the piece of skin and sprinkle some on the thigh as well. You don't have to worry about the thigh taking on a weird flavor. Meat glue is flavorless when you cook with it. Wrap the skin around the thigh and the wrap in plastic wrap to make sure that the glue binds effectively. Put in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
Put your second rub on top of the skin - I prefer a cherry rub since it will give the thigh a very nice color.
Make sure that the smoker has reach about 250 degrees Fahrenheit. For chicken thighs I use apple or cherry wood chunks for smoke. Make sure that the dirty smoke has worn off and that your smoker has a clean, thin, blue smoke coming out of the chimney. Place the chicken thighs in a pan on top of slices of butter, I use about two tablespoons of butter per thigh. Smoke until you get the thighs up to 160 degrees. Baste frequently with butter. While the thighs are smoking, mix your glaze. I use one third of BBQ sauce, one third of Agave honey and one third apple juice. Sometimes I put in a couple of other things to add flavor - like a fruit jelly or seedless marmalade. When the thighs reaches 160 degree - dip them in the glaze and return to the smoker. Smoke until they reach 165 and the glaze gets a little bit caramelized. Take them off the smoker and then let them sit under some foil and rest. Let them rest for about 10 minutes.
After the thighs are done resting - you should have some extremely moist chicken thighs with a wonderful bite-thru skin. A little smoke, a little heat and a lotta sweet - just like a chicken thigh should taste!!
I prefer spare ribs and the best way is cooking them St Louis cut-style. It highlights the prime part of the rib bone and it has more taste. Start with large, meaty ribs. Make sure that the ribs have no shiners (ribs where the butcher has cut away too much meat so that the bones shines through).
To trim ribs St Louis style, cut the rib between the rib bones and where the sternum and cartilage portion begins. Cut along the ribs, you are looking for a uniform, square slab of ribs. Remove the flap of meat on the back of the ribs. With a paper towel, peel the membrane off of the ribs. One of the most common mistakes people still do is leave the membrane on, which makes the rib tough.
The next step is to rub the ribs. I prefer using three rubs. The first rub will work as a good foundational rub and give great flavor. In this example I use Swimming in Smoke Booty Shake Hot - it gives the rub a great bite after the cook. The second rub I choose for coloring the rib. In this case I used Victory Lane Cherry Bomb BBQ rub. Cherry gives ribs and chicken a wonderful color. And don't worry, the ribs wont taste of cherry, most of the flavor disappears during the cook. The third rub is optimal - I like to use a finishing rub at the end of the cook. In this example, I used Victory Lane Gold Dust - very high sugar content - so it adds a great sweet flavor at the end. The third rub is optimal, we will produce enough sweetness in the end by using a glaze.
After the rub is applied, lightly press the spices into the meat. Let the rub sit on the rub for 30-40 minutes, not longer. It will allow the salt to penetrate the meat and pull some of the water out (the rib will be seating). But don't let it sit too long.
While the ribs are resting, prepare the smoker. I like to cook the ribs at 235 degrees F. I also recommend fruit chunks like apple and cherry. It will give the ribs a light smoke flavor. Let the dirty smoke burn out and when you have a clear blue, very thin smoke coming out of the smoker, you are ready to start cooking.
I smoke the ribs for about 2 hours without opening the lid. After two hours I look at them, What I am looking for is color - I want them to have a nice red/orange color. Don't add more wood chunks - after about two hours the ribs will not take on more smoke flavor, so adding wood chunks is not beneficial at that stage.
When the ribs have a nice color, it is time to wrap the ribs. It is important to conduct this step pretty fast so the ribs don't lose too much temperature.
Remove the ribs from the smoker. Use two large heavy-duty pieces of aluminium foil for each rib. Across the length of the foil, sprinkle brown sugar (about 1/2 cup) and agave nectar (you can use honey of you like that better). Place ribs meat down and then sprinkle brown sugar and agave nectar on the back of the ribs. Wrap the ribs very tightly with the foil, you want to make sure that there are no air pockets. These will cause the ribs to steam and not cook.
Return the ribs to the smoker for another 1 1/2 hours or so.
Remove the ribs and check for doneness. The bones should be breaking through the meat on the backside and the ribs should have a significant bend but should not break when you lift them up. When they are done - baste them.
I like a mix of BBQ sauce, agave nectar and some apple juice. I mix 50/50 of sauce and nectar and then add some apple juice to thin out the glaze. I baste both sides and optionally this is where I add the finishing rub. You could either rewrap the ribs and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes or put them back on the smoker. In this case they were slightly underdone so I put them back on the smoker to give them some more cooking time.
When done, place the meat on a clean cutting board. Carefully slice evenly between each rib bone. What I am looking for in my ribs a light and not overpowering smoke flavor, meat that is tender but not falling off the bone (common mistake, fall of the bones are often way overcooked and less flavorful), and very sweet but balanced by the savory flavors of the rub.
Large Beef Brisket Prime
Big Swede BBQ Badass Beef Boost
Butcher BBQ Prime Brisket Injection
Start with mixing the BBQ injection. Mix together a couple of cups of a good beef stock with a tablespoon of Soy Sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Add 1 cup of the Butcher BBQ Prime Brisket injection and a 2 tablespoons of your favorite BBQ beef rub. Heat and stir until completely dissolved. Taste and add more injection if needed. It should be quite salty but very flavorful.
Start trimming the brisket. I like to start with separating the flat and the point. The flat is the leaner part that I slice and the point if the much fattier one and it is great for burnt ends. Keep trimming by removing any excess of fat on the flat and the point.
Rub both pieces with yellow mustard and start sprinkle the BBQ Rub of your choice. When cooking at home I use two layers: The first layer is Peppered Cow by Simply Marvelous (light) and the second layer is Beef Rub by The Slabs (generous). I like to gently massage the rub into the meat. Last step of the preparation process before the meat marinates over night is to inject the brisket. Inject the brisket throughout, (one injection per inch of brisket). Wrap in Cling Wrap and keep refrigerated over night.
Fire up the smoker, I like to keep the temperature around 235 F (113 C). I prefer to use oak lump charcoal and then add apple and hickory wood chunks to the pit. If you want to more of a smoke flavor, feel free to use mesquite. BBQ is all about personal preference.
Make sure that you have an aluminum pan underneath the meat when you start cooking to collect all the drippings. These drippings will be used later for flavoring the brisket slices and the burnt ends.
Place the brisket on the smoker and smoke for 6 hours. Turn the brisket over - apply a light dust of BBQ rub and cook for another 2 hours or until the meats internal temperature hits 170 F. During the first two hours, add wood chunks for smoke flavor.
Remove brisket from smoker. Lay the brisket (flat and point separately) on some heavy duty aluminum foil. Pour some of the drippings on the brisket and wrap tight. Return brisket to smoker and cook until internal temperature hits 200.
The remaining drippings should be put in a fridge. It will cause the fat to rise and harden. After 40 minutes you should be able to easily scrape all the fat from the drippings. Filter through a sieve. What you have left is liquid gold - the au jus will be packed with flavors and we will use it to enhance both the sliced brisket and the burnt ends.
When the temperature hits 200, remove brisket from foil and pour accumulated juices into a cup. Put in fridge or cooler to separate fat (see above). Allow the meat to release its steam, otherwise the brisket might overcook during its resting phase.
Wrap the flat again in heavy duty foil, place the meat in an empty cooler and let it rest for another two hours or so. While we wait for the flat to rest, use the point to make burnt ends. Slice the point into 3/4 inch cubes and place into another aluminum pan. Toss with some more more BBQ spices, a BBQ sauce of liking and your separated drippings. Put back in smoker for another hours so and stir every 15 minutes (cover with foil).
When the flat is done resting, quickly heat some au jus (separated from the fat).
Slice the brisket perpendicular to the grain. Brush or dip each slice in the hot au jus.
Fan slices on a platter and place some burnt ends around the edges.
Serve and enjoy. This is a simple recipe but the flavors are rich, bold and extremely satisfying. If you want to be popular with the neighbors, try this recipe the next time you have a BBQ at home. And experiment with the flavors, use different kinds of wood, different sauces and different rubs. That is what is so fun with BBQ, it is easy to make this recipe your own. And don't forget, serve with a cold beer!!