Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Beef Ribs On The WSM

I just wanted to share a few pics from a beef rib cook I did this past Sunday. This is more about the Food pRon than a 'how I cooked it'.

For those of you who have BBQ'd beef ribs the toughest part about it is usually not being able to fine them. Most grocery store that have a decent butcher shop will not carry them, on rare occasions places like BJ's or COSTCO might have them, but that is hit or miss. Restaurant Depot has them quite often, but that is no help if you are not a member or the location is not very handy.

Lately I have found that some of the smaller chain groceries will have a much more rounded butcher shop. In our area here on Long Island there are a couple of these and they are relatively close to home. One such place is Giuntas Meat Farm. The name sure is one that would draw out the inner carnivore! I was in there for a few things, including the turkey legs from the last blog and saw they had beef short ribs and rib tips on sale. I asked if they would part with a rack of the ribs before they cut them down. Sure enough they just pulled a pack out of the cooler and asked how many I wanted. Looks like I have an outlet for beef ribs any time I am in the mood to smoke up a few bones. The butcher asked how I was going to be cooking them. When I told him that I was going to smoke it 'low and slow' he smiled, said 'hold on a sec' then gave the rack a great trim job. Once done he handed them over with knowing nod and said 'Enjoy'.

The rack I brought home was a three bone, 4.5 pound hunk of Bronto goodness. As the trimming was all done all I did was take off the membrane from the under side. Sometimes this is a tough job on beef ribs, but on this rack it was rather simple.

I did not marinate these, and I did not season them until right before I was going to put them on the Weber Smokey Mountain. The rub I used was our own Tango Spice Midnight Espresso. This we have found does an amazing job in beef cooks.

As beef ribs take as long as they are going to take and are done when they are done, I decided to get them in the WSM at 9 am on Sunday morning. If they took four hours, it was going to be ribs for lunch, over six hours, an early dinner.

One thing that I did during this cook was to keep a log of times, temps and vent opening percentage. I have not been too good at this record keeping and I think that it could have hurt me in lengthening my learning curve on how to control the cook. I will start to do this more often, perhaps publishing them for review as well.

The ribs went on at 9am and cooked for 6 hours, when at 3 pm I decided that they had had enough. There was a nice pull back of meat from the bone, the color was nice and dark & when probed the meat was very tender. I did place them in a double layer of foil and placed them in a cooler for 30 minute before cutting them.

So, here are some pics of the ribs during and after the cook, just some mouth watering goodness to savor until the next time Bronto Ribs are on the menu.


Tango Joe

As Always, Thank You For Reading!

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Pit Barrel Turkey Legs!

   Over the past weekend the weather was clear and chilly. These are the perfect fall days for a little yard work and BBQ. We all know that the BBQ season runs from January 1st to December 31st and every day we can be out there is great.

   Saturday I was experimenting with the new Pit Barrel Cooker. This is still a new way to cook for me, as I have only had it two weeks. Last weekend the first cook was a couple of racks of St. Louis spares. They came out ok, just a bit drier than I would have liked. Like all things there is a learning curve and practice will make perfect. In the mean time practice also makes for great eats.

   So this weekend I tried something I have never cooked before, turkey legs. We all know how the legs are the most coveted part of a Thanksgiving meal. They pop up at state fairs and huge BBQ events and they seem real popular.

   One of the local meat markets had them and I picked up four. At a little over a pound each, there would be plenty.

   Here are the ingredients.
   4 Large Turkey Legs
   2 Quarts Water
   1/2 Cup Kosher Salt
   1/4 Cup Sugar
   1/4 Cup Tango Spice Cajun Rub

   Other seasoning.
   Tango Spice Chik N' Rib Rub

   Here is the method.
   The day before the cook bring the brine ingredients to a boil in a large pot. Turn off the heat and stir  until salt and sugar are dissolved. Allow to cool completely. Being that it was 30 degrees on Friday it was simple to put the pot outside to cool.
   Place the legs and brine in a large sealable bag and place in the fridge overnight.

   The interesting thing about the PBC is that the meats are hung over the coals with meat hooks. The ribs worked out well, but I was unsure how to secure the turkey legs. I decided on making an additional holder from bailing wire. This worked out great.

   Saturday I set up the Pit Barrel by placing a half basket of Kingsford Blue in barrel, and starting a half chimney of charcoal over a propane burner. Let the colas in the chimney go for twenty minutes.

   While the coals were heating up I drained the legs, patted them dry and placed the home made hooks on the legs at the ankle. Then I put a generous coating of Chik N' Rib Rub on them.

  After the twenty minutes were up I poured the coals from the chimney onto the unit coals in the cooker basket. The rebar supports were inserted and the legs were hung then the lid went on.

   Nowhere on the internet could I find a timing for cooking turkey legs on the PBC, so I decided to check on them each hour during the cook and just see what happened.

    Long story short is that the legs were done to perfection at three hours. The color was superb and the aroma during the cook was amazing. I only cooked four as it was only going to be the two of us for dinner. One leg each and then the meat from the other two are going to be in a turkey and game hen soup with egg noodles tonight. Have to love leftovers!

   This cook worked out really well and I will be doing more turkey legs real soon. I will have to order more of the meat hooks from the PBC folks as the unit came with eight and I think I can get 14 to 16 legs on at one time.

   Anyway, that is it, turkey legs on the Pit Barrel Cooker - darn tasty indeed!

   I certainly will be cooking on the PBC many times, as this is a darn good addition to our cooker arsenal. The Pit Barrel cooker would be a great for a novice who wants to step up from the old propane grill to some serious back yard awesomeness. I am sure that I will find it great to use in addition to the offset and WSM and the kettles.

   Always fun to have a new toy to cook great food on.

As Always, Thank You For Reading!

   Now for some pics!

Tango Spice Ready To Cook!

The Homemade Bailing Wire Hooks

Wrap It Around The Ankle

Tied Just Right

Add Some Chik N' Rib Rub

Ready To Cook

Two Of The Cookers We Use Here

Fire In The Hole

Twenty Minutes Are Up

Light The Coals In The PBC

Legs Are Hung With Our Makeshift Holders

After Sixty Minutes

At The Two Hour Mark

Three Hours & Perfection

The Aroma Is Amazing

The Colors Are Outstanding

Time To Dig In

The Carnage!