|BBQ Rules 101: A Beginner's Tale|
|Monday, 05 October 2009 21:10|
Both Mike and Chip are from the south; Chip being from Texas his entire life, and Mike being from Texas and Mississippi. After the "Welcome to the Neighborhood" meeting, it was found out that both Mike and Chip Liked to Grill and Smoke (not just cigars either). Chip was a die-hard gas guy (no comments), whereby Mike was strictly charcoal and wood guy, and would cut'cha quick, if he even thought that you possessed Lighter Fluid.
One brisk, sunny, clear Saturday, Mike decided that he would show Chip the benefits of slow smokin'; so he rolled the Backwoods Smoker out into the driveway and pulled what appeared to be a large strainer (a chimney) out of the garage, and asked Chip if he knew what it was. Not to be thought of as a buffoon, Chip exclaimed that it was a hedge waterer, and the holes in it were supposed to keep water from washin' the roots out.
Exactly, he said, but politely explained that he used it for a different purpose, and began to start placing Charcoal into the strainer; he also politely explained that when he uses it as such, he refers to it as a chimney. As he grabbed the newspaper, and crumpled some of it up and lit the chimney, he stated that we should now go in and grab a cup of coffee, as properly lit coals would be ready in about 15 minutes; currently time on task for getting started ~5 Minutes.
Fifteen minutes later we went out, grabbed the chimney, poured the coals into the smoker, poured water into the water pan, and went back inside for another cup of coffee. Apparently this time it was to let the smoker warm up; current time on task, another 5 minutes for a total of ~10 minutes. It was at this time that Chip began to be inducted into BBQ ettiquite. . . Mike pulled out 9 racks of pork ribs, that were glistening with rub, and looked darn-well ready to eat right then and there; havin' never seen ribs as such, as Chip had only previously produced Gas Grill ribs, which took no level of preparation such as this . . .
Chip did the unthinkable, completely ignorant to BBQ lore, he asked Mike what was on the ribs; Mike politely said it was rub, prompting the inquizative Chip to tread further down the unthinkable path; Chip asked what was in the rub . . . Lookin' at Mike's face, you'da thought Chip had asked for the last 10 years worth of tax returns, schedules included. He couldn't tell you was his reply; however, he said that he would be happy to make as much rub as Chip wanted, for the cost of the spices; he then explained that in BBQ, the rub, as well as other cooking secrets were to be held to a relatively few number of people . . . key people on the TEAM.
It was then that Chip realized that he was getting a glimps into the world of competition BBQ. After putting the ribs on the smoker with relative ease, Mike took Chip into his study, and showed him the wall full of BBQ trophys, he had "Pottery Pig" Awards, and Awards from contests such as Octoberfest, Memphis in May, for things such as sauce, pork ribs, pork butt, and brisket . . . He was able to tell tales about specific ones . . . when the tent blew over, when it was the most redneck BBQ contest, the grain silo that looked like a smoker after an evening of libations.
With the ribs on, Mike placed Hickory chunks into the coals, letting the smoke billow from the stack like a freight train headin' up a hill. The smoke smell was grande, Chip hadn't smelled smoke like that ever, as the last time he had smelled smoke, and cooking was involved, his wife had singed the Charbroil Medalian off of the lid on his gas grill, by lettin' some chicken catch on fire, prodicin' a severe underbite on the lid of his gas grill, but that is another story . . .
With relative little tending to them; several hours later, we went out and [EDITED by Mike: BBQ Secret] and then seasoned with [EDITED by Mike: BBQ Secret] finally, after [EDITED by Mike: BBQ Secret] the ribs were placed back on the smoker to "finish off." Once Mike decided that it was time to evaluate whether the ribs were ready to come off of the smoker, we went out and pulled a rack off; the smell of the ribs was more than Chip could stand, and he said in Gas-Grill mode that it must be time for a taste. After picking himself up off of the ground after the roundhouse smackdown that Mike provided, it became apparent that BBQ was way different than gas grillin' with regards to cook's treats/tastes; the time to taste was either right before turn-in, or once it was on your plate.
We now had to let the meat rest, Mike stated, after removing the ribs, placing them in a aluminum tray, wrapping them with foil, and placing a large towel around them; the tray of ribs looked like they were being pampered at a Pork Rib Health Spa . . . and rest they did . . . 15 minutes . . . 30 minutes . . . an hour. Chip's mouth was waterin' like a fire hydrant on a hot June day; the smell that wafted from the kitchen was nothing short of pure pleasure. When the "let's eat" was sounded, Chip ran to the kitchen like a Survivor Contestant on Day 30, stackin' ribs on his plate like no-one else was going to eat.
Chip went thru 3 napkins, prior to takin' his first bite, as Mike spoke about texture . . . pull . . . taste . . . When Mike finally said "Well dig in," Chip went thru a burst of 4 ribs with bones falling out of his mouth no slower than a chain-fed 50-Cal Machine gun. Devine . . . that is all Chip could say, "absolutely Devine" . . . Mike prepared 9 racks of pork ribs that were the best that Chip and his family had ever tasted; a far cry from the tough Gas Grill pork ribs that Chip was used to producin' . . . Once the dinner was over, total time on task, not countin' the nap and football game, was less than 1 Hour . . . If Mike would have even had a stringer, it wouldn't have been necessary, Chip had taken the whole slow-smokin' idea . . . hook, line, and sinker.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 08 October 2009 19:36|