Tuesday, July 26, 2011


So... after months of cooking and barbecue just about every weekend my wife's only request was "No barbeque-ey food this weekend."  The challenge was on.  Yes she still wanted, and expected, me to cook, just nothing with barbecue flavor. 

I decided to cook steaks one night with some grilled mushrooms... but that was too easy.  So I decided to come up with some kind of chicken dish.  I took this post by TN Q on the Cookshack Forum and tweaked it a little.  I cooked two chickens which had been cut into parts.  Each chicken was brined for about 5 hours, then the wet rub in the forum post was applied, and the skin was tacked in place with some toothpicks.  The chicken was then smoked on the PG1000 at 250 degrees.  The thighs, legs and wings were pulled at 170 degrees internal temp.  The breasts were quite thick and so after pulling the dark meat I increased the grill temp and finished them to an internal temp of 165 directly on the grill.  

This chicken turned out great.  It was very moist and flavorful.  The skin turned out quite edible though not crispy except on the breasts that were finished at a higher heat.  

Bottom line - The wife was pleased with a "no barbecue-ey" taste and she didn't have to cook!

One of the chickens getting ready to be brined

The brine mix

Chicken in the brine.  I put it in the pan as the bag was full... and I'm not into cleaning up messes in the fridge when the bags leak.

Chicken on the indirect side of the PG1000 at 250 degrees. 

The finished product!

We will be having this again!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sausage Stuffed Pork Chops

I was traveling about a week ago and picked up an electronic copy of Myron Mixon's Smokin'.  Myron Mixon is the self-proclaimed "Winningest Man in Barbecue"... and he's got the goods (trophies and cash) to back it up.  So love him or hate him... the boy can cook.

One of the recipes that looked really good was sausage stuffed pork chops. So here we go...

I marinated/brined the chops in Myron Mixon's Hog Injection (recipe is in his book). 

I cut a pocket in the pork chops  

Then stuffed with sausage...

... and secured with toothpicks

Rubbed with BBQ rub and put in an aluminum pan to cook

I cooked these on the PG1000 with some chicken thighs I was experimenting with.  The small pans are glazes for the chicken and pork 

After cooking on the grill at 300 degrees for about 1 hour... getting ready to glaze...
Forgot to take a "glaze" picture

Finished Product (the little brown nugget is one of the chicken thighs)

The chops turned out really good.  Chops are really lean and tend to dry out when cooking, but the sausage adds a little fat and promotes moisture etc.  Only thing I would change is I would use a less spicy sausage.  The rub and glaze used in this recipe have plenty of spice and the spice in the sausage was a little too much/overbearing.  Will I cook this again?  Heck yeah!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

In Search of the Best Brisket

Since I can remember one of my favorite BBQ meats has been Brisket.  Over time I've cooked a few crappy briskets, some average briskets, and lots of "pretty good" brisket.  I've been in search of the "wow" brisket.  

My family and friends overall love my BBQ, but I'm a perfectionist and am always looking for the "best" flavor, tenderness etc.  Brisket is hard to "experiment" with since overall it's relatively expensive, and a big cut of meat.  You gotta be ready have some people over, or ready to eat leftovers if you're going to cook some brisket.  

This is a prime grade packer brisket which I trimmed to 1/4 inch of fat on the fat pad and picked pretty much clean around the point and flat on the other side.  This brisket started at nearly 20 lbs prior to trimming,  and after... well I forgot to weigh it...  

I injected and rubbed this huge brisket with Butcher BBQ products. They put out some great stuff and I was very impressed with the results.  

 I put it on the PG1000 at 225 degrees at about midnight, shooting for a Noon finishing time.

This is about 0800 internal temp around 170

I was planning on taking this to around 195 degrees internal temp and then checking for done-ness, however, church ran a little long (it was a good sermon though!!!), and the internal temp was about 205 when I got it off the grill.  Brisket was wrapped in foil, then in a towel and then into a cooler.  

Several hours later I took out the point (or "declke") portion of the brisket, cubed it and put it back in the smoker at about 300 degrees.  About an hour later I drained off all the rendered fat, added some sauce and cooked it for another hour or so.  Voila... Burnt ends.

The brisket flat was removed just prior to dinner and sliced.  You may notice the slices are a little thicker than usual... this was to keep the slices together as it was so "tender" (it was falling apart a bit).  This is due to that finish temp of 205... Technically overdone for slicing.  However, this brisket actually stayed together pretty well and was very juicy and tender.  Remedy... next time will pull it off the grill at a lower finish temp.  Remedy #2... don't cook a brisket if it might finish during church! 

Overall this brisket had a great beef flavor and was very tender and juicy.  I will use this method again.  The combination of rub, injection, prime grade meat, and cooking techniques worked out well.  Though I need to tweak it a little... I've finally made a "wow" brisket.