Sunday, March 22, 2009

Saturday Ribtacular part 2

A quick wrap up for yesterday's rib cook, taste test, product review, and all around NCAA March Madness Pig Out.

Trevor did a great job smoking his first ribs. Granted I was there every step of the way helping him but he was the pitmaster for the day.

Ribs after 5 1/2 hours of slow hickory smoking:Ribs ready to be devoured by us and two of Brett's friends watching the basketball games. Yeah, we eat our ribs "naked" or "dry". We have BBQ sauce on the table but yesterday no one put any on their ribs (although it was great dipping sauce for the tots):The pitmaster enjoys his "bone sucking good" ribs:
Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots
I couldn't sit by while Trev smoked and not use my Big Green Egg for something so I made a side dish of bacon wrapped tater tots. Yeah, not for the health conscious but it's damn good game watching food:) You simply take a half piece of bacon, sprinkle some brown sugar, and roll it around a tater tot.

Sprinkle some bbq rub (I used Billy Bones XXX Cherry rub. I'd recommend something low in salt since bacon and tots are salty on their own) and toss them on a grill on indirect heat set at about 400f. Yes, they can be made in the oven but what fun is that?Cook until the bacon is crispy, somewhere between 20-30 minutes. The tater tot will be done perfectly.

Taste Test
We tried three different rubs on the three racks (see previous post). The consensus favorite was the Billy Bones Competition rub. Rendezvous came in second and the Grendeddy Dave's Hawg Rub was a distant third but I reserve judgment on that for one reason. That rib just didn't cook the same as the other two. It wasn't as tender and it didn't have the same smoke ring, which are not functions of the rub. That piece of meat just was a bit subpar, in my opinion. I plan to smoke a butt with the Hawg Rub later this week, so it'll get a second chance.

Kingsford Briquettes with Hickory
Since we were using Trevor's offset smoker (I only use lump charcoal with my Egg), we tried one of Kingsford's new offerings, Kingsford with Hickory. My intial thoughts were it started decently with just a few sheets of newspaper in a chimney starter. It put off a pleasant smelling smoke and seemed to burn a reasonable length of time. On the other hand, it put off A LOT of ash compared to lump or even Kingsford's Competition briquettes.

So my thoughts are, I would definitely recommend it for use in a basic charcoal grill for doing things like burgers or chicken, which is what I'd guess 90% of people are doing. But for smoking or true BBQ, I'd personally stick with natural hardwood lump charcoal and real wood. I absolutely would NOT use it in a ceramic cooker, due to the ash production.

So that was our fun yesterday. Did you cook something you loved this weekend?