Hello and welcome to the June 2008 edition of the Smoking Meat Newsletter.
With July 4th just around the corner, we are going to look at some basics on how to make your independence day cook a major success.
In years past I have only covered one type of meat in this special holiday edition, however, this year, I am going to attempt to give you some very helpful pointers on ribs and chicken as well as some side meats like bologna and sausages.
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With no further ado.. let's get right into the good stuff.
Ribs come in two varieties for the most part.. spares or baby backs. The spares are meatier with more fat and are less expensive at around 2 bucks per pound around here.
Baby backs are less fatty, have great flavor and although they are a favorite among many folks, they are more expensive at more than 4 dollars per pound in most cases.
Regardless of which you choose, make sure to remove the membrane. This is a paper thin lining on the bone side of the ribs. Lift up with a pointed object and use a paper towel to pull it clean off.
Be sure to rub the ribs with a good rub.. I highly recommend my very own naked rib rub but if you have another favorite then I am sure it will serve it's purpose.
To help the rub stick better you can use a light coating of regular yellow mustard which loses it's mustard flavor during the cooking process. Apply the mustard then sprinkle or massage the rub into the meat.
Maintain a smoker temperature of about 230 – 250 degrees and expect the ribs to take between 5 and 7 hours to complete. The baby backs will normally get done in about 5 hours while the spares normally require 6 or more hours. Let the temperature of the ribs and the tenderness determine when they are done.
The ribs should be smoked to at least 172 degrees for best results. If you like them falling off the bone then you can smoke them to a higher temperature making sure to keep them basted with apple juice or other liquid or you can use the 3-2-1 method (2-2-1 for baby backs) which is 3 hours directly on the grate, 2 hours wrapped in foil then back on the grate for the final hour unwrapped.
Slice and serve immediately or they can be wrapped in foil and placed in a 170 degree oven for several hours to keep them warm until dinner.
Chicken is one of my favorites and fortunately it is not only one of the easiest but the tastiest meats you can prepare on the holidays or anytime.
For best results find hens that are minimally processed i.e. they are not injected with a solution. If you have to buy an injected chicken, find ones with the least amount of solution.
Rinse the chickens well under cool water making sure to remove any gifts that may be stowed in the cavity.
I recommend brining the chickens about 4 hours before you are going to smoke them. Go to the link below to find out more about brining:
Apply a very light coat of yellow mustard or even some olive oil will work well all over the body of the chicken. Sprinkle on a light layer of my naked rib rub for great flavor or just some salt and pepper if you like. The main thing is to get it up under the skin as best as you can.
Smoke chicken at 250 – 275 for delicious results. Chicken does not benefit greatly from low temperatures other than giving the chicken time to soak up the smoke flavor. The higher temperature will help to crisp up the skin as well. If you like the chicken really crispy you can maintain 275 – 300 degrees during the smoke or you can throw the chicken on a hot grill for a few minutes after it smokes just before serving.
It is vitally important that you do NOT overcook the chicken. Poultry is done and safe to eat at 160 degrees. I usually remove it from the smoker at 165 degrees just to err on the side of safety and the chicken is never dry.
Anything past about 165 and the chicken is going to end up dry and will not be as tasty as it could be.
To learn more about smoking chicken go to /smoking-chicken or if you prefer the chicken quarters, I have complete instructions at http://www.wyntk.us/food/smoked-chicken-quarters.shtml
In Oklahoma, smoked bologna is a delicacy and if you have not tried it.. well you should 'cause it is really good! At any rate, if you plan to smoke sausages or kielbasa's or even some bologna then here is the easy method for doing it right.
Place the sausages/kielbasas directly on the grate for about 3 hours at 230 degrees.for great results (it really is that easy).
For bologna, I like to buy the big 5 pound chubs and cut them into 4 quarters lengthwise. These are placed onto the grate just like the sausages and smoked for about 3 hours at 230 degrees.
Breakfast sausage like Jimmy Deans is also a great item for the smoker.. take off the plastic wrapper and place on the grate for about 3 hours or until it reaches 160 degrees. Slice and eat on biscuits or you can crumble and make it into sausage gravy.
Be sure to check out all of our pages at http://www.smoking-meat.com and http://wyntk.us/category/smoking-meat for more information on smoking meat, buying & using equipment and being safe on this July 4th holiday.
My Recipes Speak for Themselves
Here are just a few of the hundreds of testimonies that I have received in the last short while from folks who have bought the recipes and wanted to let me know that they are every bit as wonderful as I claim.
Ok, I paid for your rub and sauce recipes. My wife thought I was crazy. I was wondering myself. I have yet to try the rub because I have a good supply of some from Texas but I will be trying yours. However, your sauce recipe has been tried, and tried and tried. I think I need to buy bulk ketchup at this point. It is simply the best BBQ sauce I have ever had ~Mike
Your rub and sauce are the best ever!!!! ~John
I used your rub and sauce which is some of the best I've tasted ~Larry
You are the bbq master. I just wanted to say thanks again. i have a 15 yr old daughter that ever time i cook she says ewwwww to everything. i did your rib rub yesterday and wow she shocked me.. she had two servings on those ribs. And my father for someone who doesnt like pork ribs sure put them away. Thanks again keep up the good work. ~Mike
Thanks for making my weekend great with that recipe. I have more friends that want me to ribs for them. But they want me to cook it because I have the weber built and the Naked Rib Rub recipe. WOOHOOOO!!!! ~Darrel
Just wanted to let you know your sauce is fabulous. I do not use store bought sauce anymore for anything. Thank you!! ~Jeff
Only $18.95 and you never have to buy the store-bought stuff again. The recipe is easy to make, uses common ingredients and you will love yourself for it time and time and time again!!
Have the BEST 4th of JULY EVER using my very own tried and true Rib Rub and Barbecue Sauce that you can whip up in a few minutes and everyone will think you are a BARBECUE MASTER!
Important Note: A download email will arrive in your email inbox within minutes of ordering.
The email will contain a link along with a 6-digit numeric password which will allow you to download the recipes as a PDF file.
If you do not receive the email.. first check your junk/spam folder. If you still do not find it, send me a quick email (jeff at smoking-meat dot com) and let me know that you did not receive it and I will personally work with you to make sure you get the recipes and are able to open them in a format that is best for you.