Final competition of the year has been booked! We are looking forward to the Mission Kansas Battle of the Brisket on September 15th! Stop by and say hi!
We are excited to be participating in the local qualifying event for the 2012 Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour! Stop by the Lenexa Sam’s Club on Saturday May 19th and wish us luck! Think of it as a college basketball bracket for BBQ teams! There are 5 regions and each of those regions will have qualifying events. So there will be a ton of teams competing for some serious cash! Exciting stuff! No doubt we will be one of the smaller teams there, but that’s part of the fun. You never know when everything will come together and you snag a ribbon or two! Hope to see you there!
We are putting on a spread for friends and family at the Mission KS Battle of the Brisket on Friday September 16th! Not sure if we are going to send out an evite or create an event on Facebook, but like us to stay in the loop. More details to follow!
Did a little experimenting with pulled pork over the weekend and decided to take my Flip camera for a spin at the same time! 9 pound butt cooked fat side down on the Ugly Drum Smoker. Looked, smelled and most importantly, tasted great!
August 26th/27th at the 4th Annual Smokin’ On Oak in Bonner Springs Kansas
September 16th/17th at the Battle Of The Brisket in Mission Kansas
If you are in the area, stop by and say hi!
Finally tried my hand at smoking some Polish sausage! A few weeks ago, I made my way down to Bichelmeyer Meats and picked up 4 pounds of fresh, homemade polish usage (plus a freshly smoked pig ear for the dog). Work and weather conspired against me for a few weeks, but finally found my opening last weekend!
The normal mantra for smoking meat is low and slow. For sausage, it’ lower and slower. The drum smoker is great at holding the usual smoking temps, but I had never tried to keep it in the 150 degree range. If you cook the sausage too fast, the fat will render and the casings will burst or the sausage will shrivel up when it’s removed from the heat because the fat has all cooked out. So, the key appears to be really low cooking temps.
I started with maybe a pound of charcoal in the basket and about 10 briquettes in the starter. After 20 minutes and a handful of golf ball sized chunks of wood, we were sitting pretty at 150 degrees and ready too cook. I had no idea how long this was going to take, so I prepared myself (and the wife) for a day of Playstation 3 and smoker tending.
Figuring the less direct heat the better, I spread them around the perimeter of the grate. Waring: bad cell phone pics below!
The one thing I would do next time, is grill up one of the sausages so I can compare grilled to smoked, to see if there’s any noticeable difference in taste. I thought the smoked sausage had a really salty taste right off of the cooker, but after a day in the fridge and reheating for a 4th of July gathering, the saltiness mellowed and they were quite tasty!
Because of the lower cooking temp, the only way we could do these for a competition would be to have a dedicated cooker for just sausage. But you could probably get away with throwing a few on the smoker while cooking the usual suspects, for a nice snack!
Act fast to get your Big Iron BBQ t-shirt! …Also, next event, Topeka Shriner’s Red, White, Blue and BBQ next weekend!
Big Iron BBQ shirts – $10 while they last!
We’ve did a *very* short run of Big Iron BBQ t-shirts before our last event. We’ll probably only make these up once every year or two, so if you want one, contact Jason or me. They’re navy blue and have a small gray Big Iron logo on the left front, with our web address across the shoulders on the back. Just one or two left in M-XL, so act fast!
One last practice before Topeka!
Since we too it in the shorts on our brisket at the VFW contest, I’m working on brisket timing today. Six-lb brisket went on at 11am and should be done about 7pm, if you’re in the neighborhood. You read that right – I’m smoking right through rapture.
Stay tuned for updates (on BBQ, not rapture).
I’ve added a second rack to the drum and have about 30 pounds of brisket going. It will eventually make its way to friends and family for easter.
Micah is doing a few more slabs on Big Iron. No way the ribs make it to easter!
Micah: Yeah, these guys will be gone by dinner time! I’m experimenting with 2 new rubs and a glaze. Same honey glaze as last time (margarine, brown sugar, honey), but going to mix up the ratios a little. Trying the custom spicy rub again, but with a glaze added. Also trying a variation with more brown sugar cut into the rub to add more sweet. Will post pics later!
Both Jason and I are practicing this weekend for the VFW competition (first of the year!) coming up in 3 weeks. It’s at the VFW Post in Overland Park – stop by if you have time!
First time out this year for me – Jason smoked as he could throughout the winter, so he’s definitely ahead of me when it comes to experimenting with rubs and sauces (as well as all-around manliness).
Toughest part of today’s practice run was remembering all the details. Thankfully our google doc spreadsheet (the white collar JoCo way to run your BBQ team) has detailed notes from almost every BBQ we’ve done. An entire generation of St Peter’s teachers would be shocked by our relative organizational skills…
I’m smoking a 5.5lb brisket and 3 slabs today (about 3lbs each, meatier than the usual three-pack from Costco). Using the normal mustard/rub combo for the brisket and one of the slabs. On Slab #2, I’m using Cowtown all-purpose rub (Oklahoma Joe’s brand – all hail the kings of BBQ).
On slab #3, I’m using a custom brown sugar-based rub from the BBQ Pit Boys. I’m a big fan of sweeter sauces and rubs (probably due to my fondness for KC Masterpiece sauce as a kid), so I lean towards experimenting with sugar-based rubs and glazes. I did add more cayenne pepper than their recipe. It smells a like it has too much black pepper (compared to some of the other rubs we use), so we’ll see.
Smoking has been uneventful so far. Got up to temp easily, and have kept good smoke rolling so far. Have struggled to dial in the temp, so it’s wavered between 220-250F…just more proof that I’m out of practice. Also finally get to use the cherry wood I pulled from a friend’s yard when they removed a tree (Thanks, Teri!). It’s seasoned in the garage for 12 mos or so, so it’s ready to go. It’s been split into huge chunks, and I think I grabbed enough to last for at least 2yrs of BBQ. Gonna need a bigger bucket to soak it in, though
Will update the post with pics and results later today.
Oh, and one great thing about smoking at the house….torturing all the joggers and bikers within 2 blocks with the sweet smell of BBQ. Leg it out, Lance Armstrong, and enjoy that refreshing wheatgrass latte when you get home!
3:30pm – Did the honey-butter-brown sugar glaze that the Lotta Bull BBQ team uses in competition. Big Iron bro Grant has used this a few times and gotten rave reviews. Supposed to make a sticky, shiny, (and obviously) sweet glaze.