They Take A While. But They Are Soooo Worth It!
Fired up the Weber Kettle using the snake method. Cherry for smoke.
Trimmed the fat collar off the pork shoulder and put on a dry BBQ rub.
Placed a drip tray on the charcoal grate under the shoulder and let smoke roll starting at 9:30AM. The kettle ran between 220-26 all day with very few adjustments. Didn’t open the lid til 1:30.
Spritzed the shoulder with root beer every 30 minutes or so until we got to an internal temp of 170. She sat n the stall at 160 degrees for over an hour or so.
Once the shoulder was 170, I pulled it off and cut one inch (roughly) chunks out of it. Took the drip pan that was under the but and put all the cut up ends in along with a small bottle of Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce, a half can of root beer and a bunch of rub and mixed it all up.
At this point with the meat at 170 it still isn’t tender. Placed two layers of foil covering the top of the foil pan. At this point it was 2:30 and we had been cooking since 9:30 about a three pound shoulder. 5 hours.
Left the meat to braise, covered for another hour til 3:30.
After the hour braising I uncovered it and gave it a good toss to make sure all the bits were coated. The liquid in the pan at this point you want to caramelize and reduce. The foil is removed and every half hour or so I gave it another toss. This is where the magic happens, the sweetness from the sauce and the root beer combine with the saltiness from the rub and the smoke and Oh My God It’s Truly Meat Candy.
It was done at 5:15PM or 7 hours and 45 minutes.
Malcom Reed has what I consider to be one of the best YouTube channels for all your BBQ needs- HowToBBQRight
Malcom explains everything concisely without pretense and the videos are edited so you can follow along without having to sit through the entire process. He hits the main points and sends you on your way. He also happens to sell great BBQ Rubs under the Killer Hogs Brand which you can find here on Amazon
The BBQ Rub is excellent. I highly recommend it and may go in for the five lb bag if anyone wants to split it up with me.
This cook was pretty straightforward. 250 degrees. Ribs cooked offset the coals. Charcoal arranged with the snake method. Apple chips for smoke. Foil under the ribs to collect the drippings. After 3.5, hours wrap in foil with a couple of squirts of BBQ sauce. Back on the grill for another 2 hours. When checking to see if they’re done I use a pair of tongs and lift the ribs from about the halfway point of the ribs. If they bend easily I know they are done. Another way to tell if they’re done is if the bark separates when you bend them.
Prepped the St Louis pork ribs by first trimming off the silverskin membrane, light slather of mustard to hold the rub and then hit it with my pork rub.
Next filled right side of PK 360 with a full chimney of unlit coals. Placed 10 briquettes in the chimney to get going and dumped on one corner of the unlit coals and sprinkled on some cherry wood for smoke. Put down a sheet of tin foil and aluminum trays on the charcoal grate under where the ribs will be placed on the opposite side of the grill from the coals. Fill the foil pan a quarter of the way with warm water to help retain a moist smoking environment. The foil will keep the bottom of the grill easy to clean from the fat drippings that will render throughout the low and slow cooking session.
Place a remote thermometer in , leave all the vents wide open and wait for the pit to come up to 200 degrees. Once it does place a rib rack over the foil pan and bend the ribs into the slots making sure they don’t touch each other so all sides of the meat get exposed to the smoke. If they touch, in those spots they are touching you won’t develop bark.
Once you have your ribs placed, close the lid close the bottom left vent and the top right vent. This will draw air up from the bottom of the PK 360, through the coals and wood and the smoke that is a result will pass over your ribs out the top vent on the opposite side of the grill. It forces the air flow the way you want it when smoking meat.
It was extreme cold here so those were the vent settings that allowed the coals to burn at a rate that resulted in 250 pit temps throughout the cook without having to adjust the vents. If it was 80 degrees outside instead of 8 degrees I’d simply choke down those two vents a little more to keep the pit temps in the smoking range rather than hotter for direct grilling.
This cook was pretty much set it and forget it, the PK 360 held the temps like a champ despite the frigid cold temps
Simple pat dry the pork with a paper towel, coat with EVOO and then cover with muddica.
Put two potatos in the microwave for 9 minutes to soften them up. They will be hot when you take them out so use an oven mitt to handle.
Place a pencil on both sides of the potato and slice down making 1/8th inch cuts, then slice pieces of bacon to put in between the slits. Then a light dash of your favorite BBQ rub-
Cook indirect of the coals high heat for about 35 minutes- vents wide open til the bacon crisps up, then add generous amounts of shredded Mexican cheese blend, cover the grill for a couple minutes to let that cheese melt in-
Pork cooked directly over the coals-
First arrange the coals around the inside perimeter of the bowl in a semicircle from 7:30 to 3:00
Next place a Weber lighter cube at the left hand start of the snake (or fuse) and get the left most coals going. Place come apple wood along the top and cherry wood chips sprinkled along the path of the snake.
St Louis ribs have been dusted with rub for an hour or so.
Place the foil under the grill grate and on top of the charcoal grate for an easy clean up. Once covered grill temps hit 200 degrees close the bottom vent so the handle is about one inch from being completely closed. Cover and don’t peek for about three hours when we will mop them for the first time.
After purchasing the Quality Grill Parts Heavy Duty Stainless Charcoal Baskets I was so impressed with how well they were built and the quality of the material I wanted to upgrade the grates on my 18.5 inch Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker.
I planned to cook up four racks of pork ribs for yesterday’s Pats/Texans playoff game.
Only problem was that fitting four slabs of spare ribs on an 18 inch WSM I was going to need to use a rib rack. The Weber Rib Rack for $12.99 is a nice value, purchase here. It’s well built and designed. The slots are spaced enough apart that the ribs don’t lean up against each other. When comparing them to the Char Broil ones they both had nice builds but the Char Broil one had six slots instead of five which would have placed the ribs closer together and if the ribs are leaning up against each other they won’t develop bark where they touch.
Trimmed the spare ribs into St Louis cuts which basically squares them up.
The Quality Grill Parts Heavy Duty Grate for 18.5 inch Weber Smokey Mountain did not disappoint in terms of quality compared the the charcoal baskets I bought from the company. Same over built, high quality 304 stainless construction. Comparing the build to the grates that come with the WSM it’s night and day. They cost $40 on Amazon- purchase here
Check out the short video review here-
Here are some comparison photos between the Quality Grill Parts 18.5 Heavy Duty Grate and the Stock Weber Unit-
Here are the ribs on the new grate and racks-
We’re going to tape a podcast this morning and I’ve had venison steaks marinating in Spiedie sauce for two days. I figure since the deer meat is so lean we gotta add some fat in there somehow. Good friends Eric Lorden and Craig Kimberley home smoked some bacon earlier in the week so what the hell, let’s mash this shit up and see how it come out.
I made a little foil tray and sliced up some bacon which I’ll use a couple different ways.
First core out the top of an onion, make some slits inside and stuff some bacon in the top. Next slice up some more bacon and let it render some of that fat to put on the venison that Ian Fulford brought.
After cooking the onion bacon and smashed potatos using indirect high heat for about a half hour we take the lid off and cook the marinated venison steaks directly over the heat about 3 minutes per side leaving them a medium rare.
Using the melted bacon fat I drizzle that over the venison after it cooked and took it off the grill to rest for about 5 minutes. Closed the lid and then pulled everything off at the same time to eat.
I had never had a positive experience eating venison before this, but we all agreed it was absolutely outstanding. A huge part of the success was due to letting it marinade for two full days in the vinegar based Spiedie sauce which really broke the venison meat down and added a ton of flavor. That and the smokey flavor from the apple wood and charcoal- a total winner meal.