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BBQ.... what is your weapon of choice?


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Bourbon Boiler

Anyone have any good recipes involving used bourbon barrel char?

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Anyone have any good recipes involving used bourbon barrel char?

We tossed some (very) fresh char on the charcoal under the steaks at the SB cookout in Bardstown. Maybe that's why the steaks were so good...it was the bourbon vapors!

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El Cheapo Brinkman, WSM(18) x2 and WSM 22. I love my briskett and chicken with heavy mesquite, pork with applewood but never have used that for a competition. Cherry with Beef and chicken, peach and pecan for pork in competition.

Briskett starts on the 22 and butts on the 18 for 6-8 hours. At the turn Brisket gets moved to the 18 and ribs go on the 22, ECB for chicken. We use a rub... Anita's Hot and twek it a little.

Scott, the other half of our team is in Cleveland, do you compete in the area?

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There was a guy set up in my Costco store a while back, trying to sell me a pretty nice looking system that was like a drum smoker with a wood pellet hopper on the side, a screw that fed the pellets in to the burner at a variable rate (thermostatically controlled), and an electric burner in the main drum chamber. They also, of course, sold different kinds of wood pellets (hickory, mesquite, etc.). Has anyone else seen anything like that? Theoretically, it looked like a great system, but I have no idea how it works out in real practice. Also, there is a lot of stuff that could tear up. It was pretty expensive, too.

I think I'd still rather have a BGE.

Tim

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doubleblank

That was probably a Traeger Pellet Style smoker. I don't know a whole lot about them. IIRC, they changed their supplier to a chinese manufacturor and the quality dropped......I think the pellet feeder system breaks down prematurely. But they can produce good BBQ.

I use the 22 inch WSM with good results. Used the 18 incher for many years before hand. Simple and practically fool proof once you get familiar with your cooker. Biggest advantages to me over many other good cookers are that:

1) It is extremely portable. One person can break it down and load it into the back of a truck in less than 5 minutes. Re-assembly is just as easy.

2) Doesn't need electricity. Power out....no problem. Haul it out to a remote gathering.....great food will be produced.

Randy

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El Cheapo Brinkman, WSM(18) x2 and WSM 22. I love my briskett and chicken with heavy mesquite, pork with applewood but never have used that for a competition. Cherry with Beef and chicken, peach and pecan for pork in competition.

Briskett starts on the 22 and butts on the 18 for 6-8 hours. At the turn Brisket gets moved to the 18 and ribs go on the 22, ECB for chicken. We use a rub... Anita's Hot and twek it a little.

Scott, the other half of our team is in Cleveland, do you compete in the area?

I don't compete...it sounds like a great gig but I don't think I have the chops yet. I cant think of any competitions in my area, but I would have to look for them.

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I have an old original Redi-Smok electric smoker made right here in Houston, bought it about 20 years ago. I'm no pro, but it works well for me.

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18.5 inch beat up WSM I keep that way as it chugs along between 250 to 275 degrees regardless of the Chicago weather temps. I use it year round and probably more in the winter. Did a good job at the Nelson if I say so myself. I hear a rumor a 22 inch may be coming my way in a few days for my B-day :grin: .

How about lump versus Kingsford? Among the urban cognoscenti here belief in lump is a fundamentalist talking in tongues religion :lol:.

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Young Blacksmith

I prefer Royal Oak Lump, but have no problem doing Kingsford. I find the Kingsford Competition Briquettes are pretty decent.

One more bonus for the Kingsford, when I do a rotisserie chicken I don't have to do two burns of charcoal and leave half of it burning. Then Kingsfords burn for the whole 1.5 hours and are just about out by the time the chicken is done. If anyone has a Webber 22.5", get the rotisserie and you will not regret it one bit.

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weller_tex
I prefer Royal Oak Lump, but have no problem doing Kingsford. I find the Kingsford Competition Briquettes are pretty decent.

One more bonus for the Kingsford, when I do a rotisserie chicken I don't have to do two burns of charcoal and leave half of it burning. Then Kingsfords burn for the whole 1.5 hours and are just about out by the time the chicken is done. If anyone has a Webber 22.5", get the rotisserie and you will not regret it one bit.

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Young Blacksmith

Yup, I think the lump is great for direct grilling, steaks, veggie kabobs, etc, but the briquets keep the temp up and going longer for smoking and other long term heat requirements.

A new question, has anyone done a whole hog in the ground? I did, Hawaiian style, and it was easy!

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Kingsford regular for my slow smokes in the WSM. Lump mixed with hardwoods for direct grilling.

FYI Home Depot has twin packs of the 13.5 lb bags for $5.98 for Memorial Day. Lowes has twin 20 lb bags for $9.99.

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I use Fire King lump for grilling. I will usually soak some chips (currently oak, before that persimmon) in beer, wine, cheap bourbon or some other liquid and throw them onto the coals right before I put the meat on.

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weller_tex
Kingsford regular for my slow smokes in the WSM. Lump mixed with hardwoods for direct grilling.

FYI Home Depot has twin packs of the 13.5 lb bags for $5.98 for Memorial Day. Lowes has twin 20 lb bags for $9.99.

Yeah my wife got that two for $5-something at Krogers last weekend. Heck of a deal!

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weller_tex
I use Fire King lump for grilling. I will usually soak some chips (currently oak, before that persimmon) in beer, wine, cheap bourbon or some other liquid and throw them onto the coals right before I put the meat on.

I have tried the chips soaked in something other than water and have never been able to discern a difference. Maybe I am not using the right stuff.

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I have tried the chips soaked in something other than water and have never been able to discern a difference. Maybe I am not using the right stuff.
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I don't compete...it sounds like a great gig but I don't think I have the chops yet. I cant think of any competitions in my area, but I would have to look for them.
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I've used the Weber 18.5 for years now and it's hard to beat the simplicity of it. I only grill/smoke over wood now and find it vastly superior to any of the commercial briquettes. Normally I'll use hickory and oak, sometimes a little apple if I have some handy. Trout or salmon over alder is fantastic.

I think the secret to great wood grilling is to wait until you've got a good bed of embers before you toss the meat on. The flavor of the wood really comes through and penetrates better than merely generating a mushroom cloud of sooty smoke. Try it and see if you agree.

A couple of tips (I'm enjoying reading all the tips here too):

1. Don't use one of those brass brushes to clean the grill. They leave behind little brass fibers. When you see a gazillion of these glinting on the surface of your perfectly grilled medium rare ribeye it's heartbreaking. You don't want to ingest these.

2. Let your steaks age in your fridge, uncovered, for two or three days before you grill. I put mine on a cookie cooling rack over a cookie pan so air can circulate. Sounds a bit weird, but it makes an enormous difference. You'll notice that the steaks get a little brown on the surface and that the meat has "tightened up" (it's more solid and doesn't sag when you pick it up). This extra aging really concentrates the flavors and it was a huge revelation when I tried this earlier this year.

Damn, I could go on for days about this, I'll shut up now. Glad grilling season is here (it never really ends for me, I grill in two feet of snow sometimes).

Happy Grilling! Cheers!

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They will be in Canton this year for the Sams Club (June 28th I think), if your interested in seeing what a competition is like I can hook you up with them and you could help cook, just PM me.

And to keep this on topic. I mix half Royal Oak lump with Kingsford. The Briquettes will burn for at least 10 hours in the WSM. I also prefer to soak myself in beer and bourbon before putting the chips on the fire.

Man, that's my anniversary. Poor timing...I think I'll have to take a pass. :grin:

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stiffchainey

What's the exact difference between grilling and BBQ? :cool:

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Grilling = hot and fast

BBQ = low and slow

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As Scott points out, grilling is cooking directly over hot heat. Think burgers, steaks or vegetables. When you cook something with indirect, low heat over a long period of time, then you have true BBQ. Ribs, pork shoulder, and brisket are the holy trifecta.

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stiffchainey

Okay, cool. So do you need any special equipment for that? In Germany there is just grilling. BBQ is taken probably as the US version of grilling. Didn't knew that there is a difference. Thanks for the info!

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I cook with the attached outdoor kitchen. We've had it for two years and mostly grill steaks, sausages and chicken (Aussies typically refer to this as BBQ'ing). I've done a few roasts, and am hoping to utilise the rotisserie for the first time in the next few weeks. I'm also keen to attempt some slow smoking at some stage, but am not sure how to start :skep:

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