Home > Barbeque, Grilling & Cooking Tips
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Barbeque is cooking low and slow. This can be done on a water smoker like the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker, a kettle grill, an offset smoker or even a gas grill. There are even stove top smokers so you can barbeque inside. It doesn't matter what kind of cooker you use the important thing is that you fire it up and start BBQing!
- Always pull your meat out early.
It will cook more evenly if you allow it to come up to room temperature before putting it on the smoker. Just take it out of the refrigerator and set it on the counter. Ribs may only take about 30 minutes but a large rib roast will take up to two hours.
- Temperature control
The key to good barbeque is the low temperature. You need to learn your equipment to maintain the proper temperature. I shoot for 225º. With most smokers your control the temperature by adjusting the vents to control the amount of oxygen available to the coals. Some smokers have no vents to adjust, like the ECB (El Cheapo Brinkman). You need to regulate the heat on those with the amount of coals and adding more as needed.
- Don't open the lid "just to look".
Every time you open the you cooker you use valuable heat and the precious smoke that gives barbeque it's unique flavor. Some have estimated that you extend your barbeque time for 15 minutes evertime you open your cooker. If you're like me you will want to show your meat to every guest as they arrive. Resist! Step away from the cooker. They can wait until you mop it.
- Soak your wood (If you want)
Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I really don't think it matters that much.
- Allow plenty of time.
Start early. Nothing is worse than having your guests arrive at 6:00 expecting pulled pork at 7:00 and at 7:30 your butt is only 160º! Plan how long you need to smoke your meat, add 30 minutes to let it set after you take it off, add 30 minutes for the coals to light, add 30 minutes if it's windy or below 65º outside, add thirty minutes if you're drinking and feel the need to show your meat to every one who asks to see it. If you get done early wrap your meat in foil and put it in a cooler and stuff the cooler with balled up newspaper. You can hold your meat for over an hour this way.
- Mop it.
During the barbeque process most people baist their meat. In BBQ circles this is called mopping. You can buy a small mop just for this but I hate to clean those things and it can get messy. The solution is a spray bottle. They are easy to clean and you can adjust the spray to reach every nook and cranny of your meat. The only draw back is that if you add some of your rub to your mop it will clog the nozzle.
- Give Your Meat a Rest
After you take your meat off your barbeque cooker you should allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes (ribs) or longer for larger cuts off meat (butts, brisket etc.). During the cooking process liquids are forced out of the muscle tissue and the "rest" allows them to return. Of course if you prefer dried out meat go ahead and cut into it hot off the smoker.
- Do Not Boil Your Ribs
I am not sure how this got started but somewhere along the way someone decided that you should boil ribs before cooking them. Don't do it! Sure ribs simmering away in a pot of water with a few seasoning will make your house smell good. Of course it will, you are making soup! The only difference is you will throw out the soup and eat the bones you used to flavor it. Makes no sense to me. But then neither do hula hoops.