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If You're Lookin' You Aint Cookin'


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12 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
very helpful by (95%):
  1. slurpadunker
  2. jesi
  3. k8_lloyd
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helpful by (5%):
  1. smudgeybabes

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Barbeque, real barbeque, is an art that I reckon is never really mastered. When one considers all the variables involved: elevation of coals in relation to the food being cooked (after all, if one is not using charcoal, one is not barbequing; and if one is using gas, then one is broiling, only on the opposite side), cooking longevity of the coals, monitoring the temperature of the meat, smoke additions, the weather outside, the time it takes to make real barbeque and how sotted one gets in the process only name a few. As one who has made a living thus far working with foods and many different preparation techniques, I will not hesitate to pronounce myself inept when it comes to barbeque. However, at the same time, I will be the first to refute any claim that it can be accomplished by the employment of shortcuts. Now, let me just come off of my soapbox and we'll move on…

By nature, barbeque requires one fundamental component: smoke. Without giving any credence to the health warnings out there, we shall just make our own hypothesis that barbeque is not bad for you. After all, something that tastes that good, at least can't be too bad when one considers how often one has the occasion to consume it.

To accomplish this you will need a good piece of meat, wood for smoking and the proper amount of time and temperature. I estimate that it will require roughly:
- 1 Boston Butt (pork shoulder roast - preferably bone in)
- 3000 cu. Cm of wood of choice for smoking
- 11 hours for cooking
- Plenty of charcoal
- 1 probe thermometer

This is kind of an all-day event, and requires a relatively high amount of attention throughout the entire cooking process. It's best if your are able to place the coals at a very low position in the grill on one side, and have the meat on the other side of the grill so that it is not over the coals: called indirect cooking (Obviously, the bigger the grill is the easier this process becomes). It's the best way to optimize that 11-hour cooking time, which may not be obtainable - more on that later. Start by soaking the woodchips, or chunks (I like chunks), in water for at least 2 hours. In the meantime it's time to prep the meat. You can simply give it a generous sprinkling of salt and black pepper, or you can apply a rub. Either way, after you apply your seasoning of choice, you should put it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, while the wood is soaking, to absorb into the meat. Should you choose a rub, here's one worth trying:
- 4 tsp Paprika
- 3 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder

Here is where a little "feel" comes into play; I'll do my best to advise. Keeping in mind that the meat needs the full 11 hours of slow cooking to, in essence, braise itself in its own juices for tenderness, a smaller amount of coals to start is necessary. I can't say with any authority exactly what that amount is, but you will want to keep the inside of the grill constantly around 200°F - 225°F (93°C - 107°C) The whole time. Insert the probe thermometer into the center-most part of the meat and position it on the grill on the most indirect point, add a handful of wood chips (or a few chunks) on the coals, and cover the grill.

Now, pretty much all you need is patience. Every half-hour or so deposit another dose of wood. More coal may also need to be added, to keep the fire alive. You just don't want the internal temperature of the grill to be too high. That's why I recommend the probe thermometer to monitor the temperature of the meat, without needing to remove the lid and release all that good heat and smoke that you worked so hard to utilize properly. As one barbecue expert said, "If you're lookin', you aint cookin'." The roast should never exceed 180°F (82°C). If it does, and has had at least 4 hours of smoking, it will be fit for consumption; but it will still be fairly tough. If after 4 hours it looks too close to reaching that temperature to last the remaining 7 hours, wrap it in aluminum foil and place it in a 250°F (121°C) oven for a couple hours to get it as tender as possible. Ideally, after the 11 hours have elapsed and the meat never exceeded its limit of temperature, you should be able to shred the entire roast with a fork, and the smoke will have imbued the meat with a pink tinge throughout most of it.

Now the only concern is the sauce (if desired). You could simply cover it with, or shred the meat into your favorite store-bought brand, or you could always make your own:
- 2 Jalapeno peppers (that have been smoked, indirectly, for 2 hours)
- 2 Cups Ketchup
- 2 tsp Orange juice
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ tsp Black pepper
- ¼ tsp Onion powder
- 1/8 tsp Granulated garlic
- 1 pinch of salt
Blend everything together. Remove the seeds from the peppers if less heat is desired.

Sauce it up, or not, and serve. I believe that you will agree with me that the time spent was well worth it. Leftovers are also great, by the way…

Thanx for reading…


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Comments about this review »

smudgeybabes 21.12.2006 23:07

Totally agree with you, the art is never mastered.

slurpadunker 06.12.2006 00:03

A recipe that really stands out from the rest in the category

jesi 25.01.2006 20:33

As English Barbeques are perenially beset with rain and rain checks, and their Barbeques tend to be of the open sort, I doubt that many could do this recipe justice in the UK - Certainly, I have met few Englishmen (or Englishwomen, for that matter) who would have the patience to let something cook slowly. My Thanksgiving Turkey always cooks in the oven overnight - they rush theirs between 9 or 10am and 12 - 1pm and the sinues are invariably tough and stringy and the white meat dry. . . . - .................................................................................................... ~ ♥ ~ jes ≈≈≈≈{; -)-{{::::: |||||< ♥♥

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Review Ratings »

This review of Recipes for Barbeques has been rated:

"very helpful" by (95%):

  1. slurpadunker
  2. jesi
  3. k8_lloyd

and 18 other members

"helpful" by (5%):

  1. smudgeybabes

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.