Posts in Becky’s BBQ Journey

Becky’s BBQ Journey – Baby Back Ribs

June 29th, 2013 Posted by Becky's BBQ Journey No Comment yet

Grilling lesson four from the BBQ Cooking School is grilling baby back ribs. One wouldn’t think, at least this one, that grilling St. Louis ribs would be that different than grilling baby back ribs.  Baby back ribs are the first cut from the backbone of the hog.  They tend to have more meat per bone and are less stringy than spare ribs.  They are also almost twice as expensive.  At least this time around I didn’t char them, I did stay pretty close with my water ready to put out any flare ups.  I think I got the hang of it this time around, I trimmed a little fat from the ribs as there were some big chunks of it, leaving some behind, after all fat is flavor.

Becky's BBQ Journey Baby Back Ribs

Baby back ribs

I did minimal seasoning, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes and put them on a 300 degree grill. Instructions stated 30 minutes on each side, after checking the temperature I had to turn them at 20 minutes.

I made my BBQ sauce and basted the ribs the last ten minutes of their cooking time. As with any ingredients they can vary in taste and potency.  I’m talking about the spices I used for my sauce.  Let’s just say, the sauce was a bit more spicier than normal thanks to some pretty fresh paprika and cayenne pepper from Savory Spice.

I cooked them the amount of time suggested, as I did with the St. Louis ribs.  Here’s my conclusion.  I would take the heat down a little and cook them longer.  The ribs weren’t necessarily tough but I would have liked them to be a little more tender.  Not fall off the bone tender, as John Head states, that’s not what you really want.  But, a little more tender.  Next time around I will cook them at 275 degrees for about 30 minutes per side.

 

Overall, the ribs were tasty, if not a little spicy thanks to my sauce and went perfect with a Van Duzer Pinot Noir and of course, friends.

BBQ Cooking School Baby Back Ribs

Baby Back Ribs!

Do you have a favorite BBQ sauce you like to make or even buy, leave a comment and let us know!

 

 

Becky’s BBQ Journey – Chicken Parts

June 16th, 2013 Posted by Becky's BBQ Journey No Comment yet
Grilled Chicken Parts

Grilled Chicken Parts

I get it, chicken parts don’t sound very appealing, but, that was the name of the second lesson.  I confess, I used only legs and thighs because that’s what was in my freezer.  Here’s how this all went down, I defrosted the chicken in salt water (aka a brine) in my refrigerator the day before I was going to grill the chicken.  That morning I took the chicken out of the brine and set the chicken on a plate and placed it back in the refrigerator, I did not rinse the chicken.  I wanted the skin to dry out (a technique I use when roasting a turkey or whole chicken).  I have to admit, this is not in the guide I am using from the BBQ Cooking School.  But, I do know if I grill chicken when it’s wet it won’t crisp as much as much as it will steam, I wanted crisp skin.  I seasoned it with salt & pepper and was ready to grill.

I did learn a new technique, indirect grilling.  I turned the my very old Weber on to heat to 350 degrees, then I turned off the front burner (my grill has three burners) and placed the chicken over the burner I turned off, closed the grill for 20 minutes, flipped the chicken and shut the lid again for 20 minutes.  And, the last part was to flip the chicken one last time and grill for the last ten minutes.  At this point, I could have brushed the chicken with barbecue sauce but chose not to do so.

At fifty minutes, it’s not a quick dinner, but, it certainly was tasty and the chicken wasn’t dry at all.  Now, this may have something to do with the brine but you can brine all you want and if you over cook the chicken it’s still going to be dry.  For my size family, I could easily cook enough chicken to make a great dinner.  I was pleasantly surprised at the flavor and the crispiness of the skin.

So far, my burgers and my chicken parts have improved significantly, I’m loving this class!  Stay tuned next week, I’m grilling ribs!

 

Becky’s BBQ Journey – Hamburgers

June 7th, 2013 Posted by Becky's BBQ Journey, Radio Show No Comment yet

It’s summer! Which means it’s grilling season, or as some might say “barbeque” season.  I love to cook and I love to learn…about cooking.  So, I invited Certified BBQ Master, John Head to be on my radio show.  John runs the BBQ Cooking School, which is a correspondence course, which I will be taking and summarizing here in my blog and on my radio show.  (Which airs every Saturday at 2 pm MST on AM760 in Denver or on iheartradio.com)

Ok, now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk grilling, which isn’t actually BBQ’ing, but, some consider it to be so.  For sake of this class and my blog, the BBQ Cooking School starts our their lesson with grilling.  And a pretty easy start at that.  At least that is what I thought.  The first lesson is grilling hamburgers.

Becky's BBQ Journey

Grill needs to be between 425-450 degrees.

Like any good American on a warm, summer day, I fired up my grill (a propane Weber).  I needed to get it to 425-450 degrees.  While my grill was heating up I got all of my ingredients together; beef bouillon, dried onions (I used shallots), worcestershire sauce and corn starch (odd addition, but, I’m going with it – it’s in the book.  I can be creative later.)

Becky's BBQ Journey

3/4″ thick patties

I got it all together, mixed it lightly and gently made 3/4″ patties.  I went and checked the grill, 550 degrees!  Ok, open the lid, let it cool and bring it back up.  I put the patties on the grill and patiently (usually not a word in my vocabulary, but, again, it’s in the book) waited five minutes before I could turn it.  Not flip it, we’re looking for cross hatch marks, after all, we eat with our eyes first.  I waited and went to turn my burgers, but, they didn’t want to budge.  Which means, they aren’t ready to move.  More waiting.  tick tock tick tock.  I tried again – now they were ready.  I turned them and had to wait some more.

At this point you might think you can walk away.  You could, but, fat and fire tend to have a volatile relationship, so, best to stick around.  After all, we’re making grilled hamburgers, not charred ones.

NOW, it was time to flip them over….and wait some more.  But, at least this time I could put the buns on the grill to toast them up because my burgers were nearly cooked to perfection.

 

Becky's BBQ Journey

Lesson 1 – Grilled Hamburger

I checked the buns, nicely toasted (and I noticed I have a cool spot in my grill – good to know.)  I took the burgers off and let them rest just a little.  And there you have it.  I completed my first lesson, grilling hamburgers.  And, I had a very critical judge, my 11 year old son.  I was curious what he would think of the added ingredients.

“What do you think Sam?”.

“These are awesome! How come we don’t have these more often?”

I’m taking that as I passed my first lesson.

Stayed tuned for next week – I’m grilling chicken parts and beer can chicken isn’t far behind.

What are some of your BBQ hits?  Any BBQ disasters?  (We’ve all had them!)