Are You Ready To Barbecue
I know I am. I'm already buying meat for my meat freezer and getting ready. This year I'll have room for a indirect grill smoker in addition to my regular grill and I'm excited and getting ready already. Today the temperature was near 70 and I almost lite the grill up but a raising cool wind convinced me to wait a few more days.
Here in the south the definition of barbecue means to cook meat outdoors in a closed grill or a brick pit by indirect heat. This way you cook the meat slow with out drying it out or burning it. The biggest problem a lot of newcomers to barbecue make is they try to cook their meat on to hot of a fire and they don't like the way the meat turns out and they give up. Barbecue cooked right does not get burned on the outside. Your fire should be over on one side and your meat should be over on the other side. That is the right way to cook barbecue.If you cook it right the meat will fall right off the bone.
Through out the south an especially right here in North Carolina basting sauces and serving sauces are as important as how you cook the meat. And almost everyone has a ideal of whats right and whats not. Listed here I'm going to give you the basics along with some great recipes and lets see what you can do.
1. You need a pair of heavy duty rubber gloves to handle and test hot cooked meat. Pork is done when you feel it give beneath your fingers and it registers 160 degrees on a meat thermometer.
2. Place charcoal briquets on the top of all ready burning coals in small piles on one side of your grill. Keep your fire burning steady and allow several hours to get your charcoal going and your grill hot before you put your meat on the grill.
3. Remember to keep adding coals and wood on a regular basis to maintain a good cooking temperature.
4. If your cooking a lot of meat always build an auxiliary fire in a bucket, a charcoal chimney or in a extra grill. This way if the fire under your meat goes out you can put another fire together real quick.
5. Resist peeking. You will only lose heat and the meat will take that much longer to cook. Also never poke your meat with a fork. Use tongs to turn your meat over or wear your heavy duty gloves to turn the meat over.
6. You should start soaking your chunks of hardwood in water the day before. If you have to do it in a hurry you'll have to soak your wood in water for at least a hour or it will burn up quickly. You want smoke not fire so keep that in mind.
7. Always think food safety when your working with any raw meat but especially chicken. Avoid cross contamination and clean all surfaces with a strong bleach/water solution while you work. Never put meat on any plates or trays where chicken has been until they are washed in a strong bleach/water solution. Don't return cooked chicken to the plate it was on when raw.
8. Remember the rule to keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Never take utensils out of any thing and use them in something else with out washing the utensils.Always think food safety.
9. The long, slow process of cooking a delicious brisket using smoldering charcoal and well soaked wood works well but it does take time. You can't rush your meat or you'll be disappointed every time. If you want to serve a delicious barbecued beef brisket at 7 P.M. you'll need to start cooking by 11 A.M. to have it cooked to perfection.
Barbecue Sauce From The Carolina's
As I said above you'll find different barbecue sauces used in different parts of the U.S.A. and especially right here in North Carolina. The two recipes I'm going to share below with you are both from listed here in North Carolina. North Carolina is well known for its deliciously pungent peppery vinegar based sauces and these two recipes won't let you down.
East Carolina Barbecue Sauce
1. One Quart Apple Cider Vinegar.
2. One Tablespoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes.
3. One Tablespoon Ground Sea Salt.
4. One Tablespoon Ground Black Pepper.
Stir all your ingredients together in a sauce pan and cook until it almost comes to a boil and quickly reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook at least one hour on a low simmer. This barbecue sauce is used down here in East Carolina on pork but it works great on chicken and beef to. You'll find this sauce also served in squirt bottles on the table. This sauce is squirted on pork while it is cooking and as it is not sugar based it won't burn your meat the way some barbecue sauces will.
Western Carolina Barbecue Sauce
1. One Quart Apple Cider Vinegar
2. One Cup Brown Sugar.
3. One Cup Ketchup.
4. Four Tablespoons Hot Sauce.
5. One Tablespoon Onion Powder.
6. One Tablespoon Ground Black Pepper.
7. One Tablespoon Ground Sea Salt.
You want to put the ingredients in a large stock pot and stir together well with a wire whisk. Cook over low heat until all the sugar is dissolved. Cover and chill until your ready to use it. This sauce is wonderful on chicken, pork, or beef and its the one I use on my beef brisket. However don't brush it on your meat until the last thirty minutes of cooking time. If you put it on your meat to soon the sugar in your barbecue sauce will burn. I like to use the sauce above to marinade my chicken leg quarters in and then I grill them until done and I then brush the above sauce on them and cook for about 10 minutes on each side and I end up with some of the most delicious chicken you will ever eat.
I serve my barbecue with some chopped and some sliced and I always make sure squeeze bottles of both of the above sauces are on the table. I also make plenty of hamburger buns, pickles, barbecue slaw, corn on the cob, potato salad and banana pudding are on the table and I hardly ever have anything left. I hope if you make the above recipes that you'll let me know how they turned out for you. If you have any questions feel free to ask. Thanks for reading my Hub Page on Barbecue and I hope there is barbecue in your future real soon. Have a nice day.