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Smoked Chuck Roast as a Brisket Alternative

sliced smoked chuck roast

sliced smoked chuck roast If you love a good smoked brisket, then you will love his smaller cousin, smoked chuck roast. I have heard of others smoking different cuts of beef as an alternative to brisket, including chuck roast, and I had to give this a try.  I love brisket, but it can be a large investment of time and money as well.  Usually you are going to pay at least $30 and more likely $50 for a good brisket.  I found this beautiful 2.5 lb chuck roast for $14.  Quite the steal, considering the highly marbled beef that will render down into tender delicious brisket like morsels.

Picking out a Chuck Roast to Smoke

When choosing your chuck roast, look for piece that is very thick and highly marbled with fat.  Most of the fat will disappear over the 10 hours it will take to smoke the chuck roast, so you want a good amount of fat in this cut of meat.  The key is finding awesome marbling, vs large veins or chunks of fat within the chuck roast.  Its OK to have some of the larger pieces of fat, as its hard to avoid… but look for the best cut with the best marbling.  The piece I found was 2.5 lbs, but try to get a thicker cut that is in the 3″ thick range….. giving you a starting weight of 3.5 lbs or more.

chuck roast with marbled fat

chuck roast with marbled fat

Preparing the Chuck Roast for Smoking

Because this is a smaller piece of meat, we are not going to cut any fat off of it.  This is subjective depending on your chuck roast, so make the call that you are most comfortable with.

Next, we are going to season the beef with a salty spicy rub that will soak into the chuck roast as we smoke it for 10 hours over indirect heat. This rub is on the spicier side, but it will mellow out over the duration of the cook.  The end result is nice back end heat with each bite.  If you do not care for any heat at all, then you can omit the jalapeno powder and cayenne pepper.  Either way, season the chuck roast heavily on the top and bottom and less heavily on the sides.

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Smoked Beef Ribs on the Big Green Egg

Smoked Beef Ribs on the Big Green Egg

Smoked Beef Ribs on the Big Green Egg

I have wanted to try Smoked Beef Ribs on the Big Green Egg for years.  A few weekends a go I checked this item off my bucket list.  The main reason I waited so long was I never saw what I was looking for at the grocery store.  After poking around at my local Whole Foods and showing the butcher what I was looking for, I finally hit the jack pot.  They were pretty much everything I hoped for.  Ask your butcher for an uncut rack of beef short ribs and you will be in business.   (jump to the end for a video of the process)

Smoked Beef Ribs on the Big Green Egg

Smoked Beef Ribs on the Big Green Egg

Smoked Beef Ribs on the Big Green Egg

Smoked Beef Ribs on the Big Green Egg – Basic Steps

They were surprisingly easy to smoke and they take a lot less time than a large beef brisket, with similar results.  The simple steps are:

  1. Heat smoker to 260 F
  2. Trim excess fat off of ribs
  3. Rub with the Beef Rib Rub – nice even thick coating
    • 3 Tablespoons Salt
    • 3 Tablespoons Coarse Grind Pepper
    • 1 Tablespoon Ancho Chile
    • 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  4. Add cherry and oak wood before placing on the smoker. Smoke for at Total of 8 hrs.  I used a water pan beneath the ribs.
    • Smoke for 5 hrs with out opening the smoker
    • Spray Ribs every 45 minutes with 3 Parts Water 1 Part Apple Cider Vinegar for the remaining 3 hours or so
  5. Pull Ribs off when they reach 200 F
    • Spray with water vinegar solution and wrap with foil.  Let the Smoked Beef Ribs rest for 45 minutes.
    • Slice and enjoy!

My rack of ribs started out at 5 lbs and they comfortably fed 4 people.  They have a nice salty flavor with a subtle heat from the pepper and cayenne.  Everyone really enjoyed them and they are so dramatic with the dinosaur sized bone.

Check out this video showing the process….

If you like the video, please like it on YouTube.  It helps me get a little more exposure. If you have questions on the process, just send me an email or leave me a comment. I loved the way they turned out and look forward to smoking them again!

Smoked Beef Ribs


Smoked Beef Ribs on the Big Green Egg
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Smoked Beef Ribs on Big Green Egg

Learn how to smoke perfect Beef Ribs on the Big Green Egg or any other smoker.  

Course Dinner
Cuisine BBQ
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5 lbs Beef Plate Short Ribs - uncut

Beef Rib Rub

  • 3 tbsp Coarse Salt
  • 3 tbsp Coarse Grind Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Ancho Chile
  • 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Beef Rib Spritz / Mop

  • 1.5 cups water
  • 0.5 cups apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Start heating up your smoker for indirect heat at 260 F.  Place drip pan below the spot where your ribs will sit.  Pour a pitcher of water into the drip pan. 

  2. Trim excess fat off of ribs.  Leave the underside intact, do not remove the fatty membrane. 

Rub with the Beef Rib Rub - nice even thick coating

  1. Add cherry and oak wood before placing on the smoker.  Smoke for at Total of approximately 8 hrs. 

  2. Smoke for 5 hrs with out opening the smoker
  3. Spray Ribs every 45 minutes with 3 Parts Water 1 Part Apple Cider Vinegar for the remaining 3 hours or so
  4. Pull Ribs off when they reach 200-205 F.  I have actually started shooting for 205 F, to ensure the fat breaks down more. 

  5. Spray with water vinegar solution and wrap with foil. Let the Smoked Beef Ribs rest for 45 minutes.
  6. Slice and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Heat smoker to 260 F Trim excess fat off of ribs Rub with the Beef Rib Rub - nice even thick coating 3 Tablespoons Salt 3 Tablespoons Coarse Grind Pepper 1 Tablespoon Ancho Chile 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper Add cherry and oak wood before placing on the smoker. Smoke for at Total of 8 hrs. I used a water pan beneath the ribs. Smoke for 5 hrs with out opening the smoker Spray Ribs every 45 minutes with 3 Parts Water 1 Part Apple Cider Vinegar for the remaining 3 hours or so Pull Ribs off when they reach 200 F Spray with water vinegar solution and wrap with foil. Let the Smoked Beef Ribs rest for 45 minutes. Slice and enjoy!

 

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Flame Boss 200 WiFi Temperature Controller Review

Flame Boss 200 Wifi Review
Flame Boss 200 WiFi control box mounted on a post next to my Big Green Egg

 

If you are short on time, let me start by saying I love the Flame Boss 200 Wifi Temperature Controller. From unboxing the product to smoking setup, the process was a breeze.  You can literally have the unit connected to your WiFi network and up and running attached to your smoker within 5 minutes.  It keeps the smoker at the target temperature and the user interface is simple and a joy to use. There is practically no learning curve to this little device.  You can control temperature settings from the device itself, or through the online web interface that you can access from any web browser.  You can now sleep easy as your brisket smokes overnight or adjust the temperature of your smoker from your son’s Saturday baseball games.  You can purchase it for $345.  Worth every penny.

If you prefer watching video…. below is my video review of the flame boss 200 WiFi unit.

Flame Boss 200 Wifi Review
Flame Boss 200 Wifi setup: pit temperature probe and meat probe connected and control fan attached to the lower vent. AC power supply for constant power.

 

Flame Boss 200 WiFi Unboxing and Initial Setup

When I unboxed the Flame Boss 200 WiFi, I was surprised how small the the device was and impressed with the overall quality of the temperature probes.  I have used a lot of temperature probes and and these have to be the highest quality.  They are braided stainless steel, which is what I am used to.  However, the Flame Boss takes them to the next level coating them in a thick silicon film.  This makes them unlikely to kink and gives them one more level of protection to high heat and moisture.

One meat probe and one smoker probe is included.  The smoker temperature probe has a clip on the end, making it easy to locate to a specific grill grate in the smoker – a feature all smoker temperature probes should have. The device can only monitor one pit temperature and one meat temperature.  Some people may want more probes, but this works great for most backyard chefs.

Flame Boss 200 Wifi Temperature probe
A close up of the pit temperature probe. The clip makes it easy to attach to any grill grate to read temperature where it matters.

 

Flame Boss 200 Wifi meat temperature probe
The meat probe has a 90 degree bend, making it easier to keep low and away from your smoker dome

 

The fan is small and adequate for backyard smokers.  It is variable speed, which means the Flame Boss has more control than a single speed fan.  Basically, it allows the Flame Boss to feed the exact amount of air to the charcoal needs to stay at the target temperature.  Externally, it is made of plastic with a metal interface where it connects to the smoker.  If an upgrade were to be made to the unit, this would probably be my only recommendation.  A metal housing for the fan would give it a more durable feel.  That being said, the fan works fine.

The fan is connected to the smoker using one of the 3 adapter plates included.  I use a Large Big Green Egg for my long smoking sessions, which takes the middle sized adapter.  You simply slide the plate into the bottom vent (make sure the long side is vertical for a tight fit) and then close the screen and solid vent cover over the adapter.

After the adapter is in place, the fan simply clips onto the adapter, staying in place held by gravity.  It is a nice little design feature and easy to install and remove.

The fan installation is the only physical installation needed to get up and running.  The only part left is to connect your system to your wireless network and verify you can control it online.  With the Flame Boss, this process was surprisingly simple.  All you have to do is pick your WiFi network and then enter your password.  Your unit is then connected to the Flame Boss data collection network.  After connected, all you have to do is setup a username and password at myflameboss.com and verify your device.  Too easy!

The controller is small.  It fits in the palm of your hand.  It comes with a bracket you can use to prop up the unit on a countertop, or mount it to a vertical surface.  I have mine mounted on a post next to my smoker.  Both the fan cord and the power cord are only 6 ft or less.  It would be nice if they were a little longer, but they worked out OK for my setup.

Flame Boss 200 Wifi fan installation
Flame Boss fan connected to my Big Green Egg vent. It is very easy to install and remove.

 

Flame Boss 200 Wifi Big Green Egg fan installation
A close up shot of the fan connection to the lower vent of a Big Green Egg.

 

Flame Boss 200 Wifi Device Interface

I love the simple interface on the Flame Boss 200 WiFi.  There are only three buttons.  A menu button that allows you to scroll through the different settings and one up/down arrow for setting adjustments.  When the device is in its default display it shows the target temperature for the smoker, the current temperature of the smoker, the current meat temperature, and current output of the fan.  When in the default display, the up/down arrow adjusts the target temperature for the smoker, which is just the way it should be.

Flame Boss 200 Wifi default display
Flame Boss 200 Wifi default display

 

Main Setting Menus

The other display menus are below.  You can setup timers to alert you when to check your meat or set alarms to warn you of high pit temperatures or high meat temperatures.  If you input your cell number into the online interface, it will send you text messages as needed.  Pretty cool feature as another safe guard.

Flame Boss 200 Wifi Review Flame Boss 200 Wifi Review Flame Boss 200 Wifi Review Flame Boss 200 Wifi Review

Flame Boss Mobile and Computer Interface

The interface on the computer or mobile device is very easy to setup and easy to use.  You will be asked to setup a username and password and verify your device.  From there, you can access your Flame Boss from any internet connection through a web browser.  You can change the smoker target temperature from your phone or laptop and monitor the current temperature of your smoker and meat.  At this point…. I am in love!  I can now monitor long smoking sessions from work, the golf course… anywhere!

Below are a few screen shots from my iPhone.  You can see the same default settings you would see at the device, with the ability to adjust the set temperature.  The flame boss website tracks Set Temperature, Pit Temperature, Meat Temperature, and Fan output.

Flame Boss 200 Wifi Review

 

 

Flame Boss 200 Wifi Review

 

Data Collection

One of the best features of the Flame Boss WiFi 200 is the data collection and graphing function that is embedded within the computer interface.   Every time you power up the Flame Boss and smoke anything, the data is automatically collected.  You can then name the smoke session, Spicy Baby Back Ribs and such, and then revisit the data at a later date.  You can also make notes about the cook and share the data on Facebook or Twitter. This is basically the best smoking journal a guy could ask for.  I am in love.  Deeply in love with this product.

Flame Boss Product Support

Your Flame Boss 200 WiFi is automatically updated with the latest software as it comes out, which is great.  I hate complicated update processes.  This takes care of that.  I did have one glitch during an automatic update and called the support team at Flame Boss.  I was immediately connected with a real live person and they helped me resolve the issue within a few minutes.  Very pleased with their support and I would expect similar support if needed in the future.

Flame Boss Performance

I take my hat off to the team over at Flame Boss.  The Flame Boss 200 WiFi works as advertised and has awesome built-in tools that that allow you to improve your smoking methods, all packaged in a simple device with a user friendly online interface. Below are some graphs of smoke sessions, showing the exact performance of the Flame Boss.  If you love smoking meat and want to simplify the process and elevate your results, go with the Flame Boss 200 Wifi.  Once again, you will notice a slow response to lowering the target temperature.  This is due to the large thermal mass of the Big Green Egg.  I was just experimenting with the flame boss.  For the second graph, I was not monitoring the temperature of the ribs, as I usually just go by look and feel.

 

flame boss 200 wifi data screen shot

 

 

st louis ribs flame boss data

Recommendation

I highly recommend the Flame Boss 200-WiFi.  If you want to spend a little less money and do not care about WiFi access, check out the Flame Boss 100.  Personally, I think the WiFi unit is a no brainer.  After you use the Flame Boss WiFi 200, you will not know how you ever survived with out it.  Big props to the folks over at Flame Boss for a quality product that is so easy to use.  I look forward to seeing what they come out with next.

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Herb Rubbed Thanksgiving Turkey

herb rubbed smoked thanksgiving turkey

Can you believe it?  Thanksgiving is almost here?  Do you look forward to the big day?  I definitely look forward to hanging out with some family, overeating,  and throwing back some beers on a Thursday afternoon.  The only thing that stresses me out about thanksgiving is planning the meal with family.  Some people want this, some people want that, and others could not care less.  If you happen to draw the Thanksgiving Turkey card this year, I think this recipe will do you proud, and it could not be easier.   This 12 pound turkey was marinated in a salty herby dry rub overnight, then injected with a butter solution the day of smoking, and then got smoked over apple wood in a Big Green Egg at 325 degrees for 2 hours 20 minutes.  What I like about this recipe is the simplicity and the results.  There was no liquid brining necessary or basting during the cook and it came out juicy, full of flavor.  The turkey had just the right amount of salt to it and the herbs did shine through on the breast meat.  I have been eating the leftovers for 3 days now, and I am still not sick of it!

First, pick out a nice size Turkey.  Our family is not huge, so I am going with a 12 lb bird.  I try to be reasonable with my meat selections in regard to organic and grass fed… choosing something in the middle hoping the animal was treated well, but does not cost twice as much as the generic bottom of the barrel.  This is the bird I chose…

herb rubbed smoked thanksgiving turkey

I have used Honeysuckle turkey products before and they have always turned out well, so this is what I went with.  After rinsing and drying the bird, I used 4 Tablespoons of Herb Lov’n Rub to thoroughly rub the entire exterior of the bird, the inside of the cavity, and under the skin of the breasts.  That’s right, I rubbed the hell out of those breasts.  I’m not even ashamed.

herb rubbed smoked thanksgiving turkey

For more info on seasoning and injecting a bird, check out this video I made on smoking a chicken.  We are doing the exact same thing, except we are injecting the bird a day later, before we smoke it.  After seasoning, place the bird in a pan and cover loosely with foil.

After marinating overnight, we are ready to smoke.  Before starting the smoker, I pulled the bird out of the fridge and injected it with a mixture of melted butter, light olive oil, and apple cider vinegar.  This process is also covered in the video above.  You want to inject several tablespoons into each breast and then use the leftover solution in the leg and thigh area.  This is the extent of our Turkey preparation.  No stuffing at all.  If you put stuffing in there, it is just going to dry out the bird as you have to overcook the bird to cook the stuffing.  If you want to throw some lemons in there or apples, feel free, but I do not find it necessary.

herb rubbed smoked thanksgiving turkey

After injecting, start the smoker and heat up to 325 F.  I used a big green egg for this smoke and my setup is always the same for most smoke sessions.  Heat deflector wrapped in foil below the meat.  The meat then placed on a rack several inches above the heat deflector.  You can buy the setup below online at the ceramic grill store.   I like this setup because you can pick up the grill grate and heat deflector at once when you need to check the fire.  I switched to this 3 years ago and have not looked back.

herb rubbed smoked thanksgiving turkey

herb rubbed smoked thanksgiving turkey

herb rubbed smoked thanksgiving turkey

I only used one chunk of apple wood over lump charcoal as I do not like an over smoked bird with gravy.  I prefer a light smoke flavor for Thanksgiving.  Below are shots of the Turkey during the cooking process.  I was pleasantly surprised that the breast meat and the thigh meat cooked pretty evenly and I pulled the Turkey at 165 F.  The thigh meat was only one degree higher than the breast at that time. One thing that I think actually helps this is not tieing up the legs before cooking.  I never do this and have never had an issue with any meat drying out.

herb rubbed smoked thanksgiving turkey on big green egg herb rubbed smoked thanksgiving turkey on big green egg

herb rubbed smoked thanksgiving turkey on big green egg

I then let the Turkey rest in a preheated oven as I prepare the sides.  I do this to buy myself some time.  The trick is to heat the oven to 170 F (my lowest setting) and the turn the oven off before placing the turkey inside.  This gives you plenty of time for final gravy and mashed potato preparation.  Let the turkey rest for at least 30 – 60 minutes and you are ready to carve it up!  If you give this recipe a shot, be sure to leave me a message or hit me up on facebook.  I would love to hear how things turned out for you. Thanks for stopping by – Keegan

herb rubbed smoked thanksgiving turkey on big green egg

Thanksgiving Turkey

This smoked Thanksgiving Turkey will impress all the guests around your table. Marinated with a salty herb dry rub and injected with melted butter, it is so tender and delicious.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, BBQ
Prep Time 18 hours
Cook Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 20 hours 20 minutes
Servings 8
Author Keegan

Ingredients

  • 12-14 lbs Whole Turkey

Herb Lov'n Dry Rub

  • 1 Tablespoon Seasoned Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon Thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon Oregano
  • 1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder

Injection Mixture

  • 5 Tablespoons Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Light Olive Oil or other light vegetable oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

Instructions

  1. Mix Herb Lov'n Rub several days before you smoke the turkey. 

  2. The day before: Clean Turkey, removing any giblets, etc. Rinse inside and out and dry the entire bird.

  3. Apply the rub all over the exterior of the bird and the inside of the cavity.
  4. Lift up the skin over the breasts and put a spoon full of rub under the skin. Move the rub around with your fingers under the skin, trying to apply evenly.
  5. Cover the turkey in a pan with foil loosely and place in refrigerator overnight.

  6. The day of smoking the turkey - remove bird from fridge and inject with melted butter solution. Inject breasts first and then anything leftover into thighs and legs.  Try not to puncture too many wholes in the skin - use the same puncture when possible for repeat injections. 

  7. Heat smoker to 325 F for indirect cooking
  8. Place one chunk of apple wood on smoker and then place bird on smoker
  9. Cook for 1.75 hours and then monitor internal temperature.  I have found the thighs are usually 165 F when the breasts are 160 F.  Remove the turkey when the thigh and breast meat are each over 160 F.

  10. Rest at least 30 minutes, covered in foil.  Carve and serve!

Recipe Notes

Expect cooking time to vary with size of bird and smoker setup. Monitor internal temperature as you cook the turkey to adjust the time needed.

 

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Smoked Brisket on The Big Green Egg

smoked brisket on the green egg
Smoked Brisket on the Big Green

I remember the first time I had a good smoked brisket.  It was in Albuquerque, New Mexico and it was at Rudy’s BBQ.   It was not something I was familiar with, as Smoked Brisket is not something you would find in Iowa very often back in the year 2000.  The BBQ craze had not kicked in yet, so it was rare to find it and if you did…. it probably was not that great.  Rudy’s brisket was a little salty with a nice smokey flavor and most importantly….  moist and tender.  This smoked brisket on the big green egg brings back all those memories and flavors.

smoked brisket on the green egg

Smoking a Whole Packer Brisket

To get the full juicy brisket effect you will want to start with a whole brisket, or what you might hear called a “packer brisket”, referring to a whole brisket packed in vacuum sealed plastic.  You can either special order a whole brisket from a local butcher or you can find them at some of the wholesale stores.  I have found Costco usually has a pretty decent selection of them, and the results have been pretty fantastic with a little practice.  Try to pick out one that is more uniform in thickness across the length of the brisket.

For a little more information on Brisket Preparation, check out this video from Aaron Franklin…

Steps for Smoked Brisket Perfection

Trimming and Seasoning your Brisket

  1. Trim the brisket of any excess fat, leaving a quarter-inch layer intact on top of the brisket.  Trim any excess hard fat deposits off the side of the brisket.  Trim any flesh off that feels tough or weathered.  Sometimes the edges of the meat can get a little discolored from being packed in the bag for weeks.  Just trim it off.
  2. Season with a mixture of Ground Pepper, Salt, Ancho Chile, and Granulated Garlic.  Do not be afraid to coat the brisket heavily, as the length of the smoke will mellow out the rub.
untrimmed whole brisket
Untrimmed whole brisket after a rinse and a dry
trimmed brisket fat side up
Trimmed brisket with with the fat cap up
trimmed brisket fat cap down
Trimmed whole brisket with the fat cap facing down
seasoned whole brisket

Smoking the Brisket

  1. Smoke at 250 unwrapped for 8 hrs
    • For long smoke sessions start with large chunks of lump charcoal at the bottom of your pit and layer up with medium and small pieces of charcoal to build the perfect base of fuel.  Then add a few chunks of wood before throwing the brisket on.
    • I use Oak Wood and Apple Wood, but only one chunk of each to start the burn.  The hardwood lump charcoal will take care of the rest.  No need to over smoke it!
  2. Wrap in pink butcher paper and smoke for an additional 6-10 hrs depending on the size of the brisket.   You will want to take the brisket off the smoker when the middle of the thick part of the brisket reaches 195-200 degrees.
    • This method was brought to the forefront by Aaron Franklin of Franklin BBQ.  You can use foil, but it steams the brisket more.  I do prefer butcher paper after trying it.
  3. Then place the brisket (still wrapped in butcher paper) in a cooler with towels over it for 2 hours, letting it rest until the brisket cools to around 150-160 degrees.   At this point, the brisket will be so tender and juicy it will almost fall apart in your hands.
  4. Carefully get the brisket on the carving board and then slice and serve with confidence!
smoked brisket on the green egg

If you are looking for some other good beef recipes on the Green Egg, you might want to try my Sriracha Smoked Beef Ribs or my Smoked Chuck Roast Recipe.  Similar to smoked brisket, but you do not need to make 14 lbs at a time.

How Long will it take to Smoke a Brisket?

Here are a few time durations I have experienced to give you a time frame to shoot for when planning your cookout:

12 lb Brisket

8 hrs unwrapped  + 6 hrs wrapped + 2 hrs resting =  16 Total Hrs

15 lb Brisket

8 hrs unwrapped + 8 hrs wrapped  + 2 hrs resting = 20 Total Hrs

Leave me a comment if you have any questions on anything.  I was initially intimidated by the cost of a full brisket, but it is a relatively easy cut of meat to smoke with a little guidance.  Give it a shot!

smoked brisket on big green egg
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Smoked Brisket on The Big Green Egg

Learn how to smoke a perfect whole brisket on the Big Green Egg

Course Dinner
Cuisine BBQ
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 18 hours
Total Time 19 hours
Servings 15
Author Keegan

Ingredients

  • 12-15 lbs Whole Brisket

Brisket Rub

  • 6 Tablespoons Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Ancho Chile
  • 4 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Granulated Garlic

Instructions

  1. Trim any excess fat off the brisket. You want a 1/4" layer of fat on the top of it, but trim any thick fatty areas and any large deposits of hard fat off the sides of the brisket.
  2. Coat the brisket with the Rub. Do not be afraid to coat the brisket heavily, as the length of the smoke will mellow out the rub. The bigger or thicker the brisket, the more rub you want to use.

  3. Smoke at 250 unwrapped for 8 hrs. If using a charcoal smoker, only use a few chunks of Oak or Fruit Wood to start the smoke, then let the charcoal lump do the rest of the work. No need to over smoke it.

  4. Wrap in pink butcher paper and smoke for an additional 6-10 hrs depending on the size of the brisket. You will want to take the brisket off the smoker when the thickest part of the brisket reaches 200 degrees.
  5. Then place the brisket (still wrapped in butcher paper) in a well insulated cooler with towels over it for 2 hours, letting it rest until the brisket cools to around 150-165 degrees. At this point, the brisket will be so tender and juicy it will almost fall apart in your hands.

  6. Then slice and serve with confidence!
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My Favorite Smoked Ribs

smoked ribs

Smoked St. Louis Spare Ribs

If you lived with me like my wife Jill does,  you would know that the lost treasure I am always searching for is perfectly smoked ribs.  Its how I judge BBQ restaurants that I visit and whether they are worth going back to and it is something I strive to replicate at home.  So far, my favorite ribs are served at Smokey D’s here in Des Moines and Kansas City Joe’s BBQ (previously named Oklahoma Joe’s) in Missouri.  With that in mind, I have tried many different rubs, cook temperatures, and cooking methods to achieve my dream ribs.  These might not be my final version,  but they are getting close. So, I want to share my favorite ribs I make at home.  Give these a shot and let me know how they turn out…

 

Smoked St. Louis Spare Ribs

These ribs are tender with a nice bark that packs a lot of flavor without being overwhelming. The rub is simple and the cooking process is simple too, which I love for the ability to repeat on a consistent basis.  I am using a Large Big Green Egg for this smoke, so keep in mind that other smokers can change cooking time, etc.  Here is the basic rundown….

  1.  Purchase a fresh rack (or more!) of St. Louis Spare Ribs.  The important part is FRESH!  Here in Des Moines, Whole Foods has the best spare ribs I can find.  They are expensive, but worth every penny.  To expect good results…. buy the best meat you can find.
  2. Trim any extra fat or pork that looks flappy off the ribs.  For a good overview of St. Louis style spare ribs, check out this article on seriouseats.com  One note:  I have not been removing the membrane on the back of the ribs for higher temperature cooks.  It is barely noticeable and I think it keeps the ribs moist during the cook.
  3. Sprinkle both sides generously with the simple 4 ingredient rub
  4. Smoke the ribs meat side up for 5 hrs at 275 degrees.  Using lump charcoal as your heat source, add one chunk of fruit wood to start your smoke.  Then add one more chunk of wood after 1 hour of smoking.  Then rely on the charcoal to provide the rest of the smoke flavor.
  5. Starting at the 1.5 hour mark, spray the ribs generously every 30-45 minutes with the apple cider vinegar and water solution.  Open the lid and spray quickly, to avoid a lot of heat loss.
  6. Check the ribs starting at 4.5 hrs for tenderness.  Depending on how thick your ribs are, they may take less time or a little more.  When you pick up the ribs at the halfway point with BBQ tongs, the ribs should bend easily and the bark should start to tear a little bit as they bend.
  7. Spray the ribs one last time before you pull them off and let them rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing

 

Smoked St. Louis Spare Ribs

 

Smoked St. Louis Spare Ribs

 

My Favorite Smoked Ribs

These smoked St. Louis style ribs are simple and over the top delicious. In only 5 hours you can have fall off the bone ribs for your next outdoor party
Course Dinner
Cuisine BBQ
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6
Author Keegan

Ingredients

Rib Rub

  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Coarse Ground Pepper - one step finer than cracked
  • 1 Tablespoon Ancho Chile Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

Mop Mixture to Spray on Ribs

  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3/4 Cup Water

Ribs

  • 2 Slabs of St. Louis Style Ribs get fresh ribs from the counter - NOT the ribs wrapped in plastic and previously frozen!

Instructions

  1. Setup your smoker for 275 F, indirect cooking
  2. Mix up the rib rub
  3. Mix up the Rib Mop Spray in a food safe spray bottle

  4. Rinse and dry your ribs
  5. Trim any excess fat and loose flappy pork from the ribs
  6. Season both sides of the ribs with the rub. Approximately 1.5 tablespoons per large meaty rack of ribs.  Less if your ribs are on the thinner side. 

  7. Add one chunk of fruit wood to the smoker and place ribs on smoker meat side up for 5 hrs, dependent on thickness of ribs.  

  8. At the 1 hr mark add 1 more chunk of fruit wood.
  9. At the 1.5 hour mark, spray the ribs with the Rib Mop Spray. Repeat every 30-45 minutes until the ribs have been smoking 4.5 hours.
  10. Check for the ribs every 30 minutes at the 4.5 hour mark to see if they are done, continuing to spray the ribs with the Rib Mop Spray.  You know your ribs area ready to take off when.... you pick up the ribs with tongs, the ribs should bend easily at the halfway point and the bark should start to crack slightly as the ribs bend. 

  11. Spray one last time and pull from the smoker to rest for 5-10 minutes.
  12. Flip over the ribs meat side down to cut between the bones more easily.  

  13. Flip back over and serve with your favorite BBQ sauce

 

 

 

Posted on 3 Comments

Bacon Wrapped Sausage Balls with Stuffed Mozzarella

bacon wrapped sausage balls with mozzerella

 

All right folks.  It has been a looong time since my last post, so to come back with a bang I am presenting my latest creation – Bacon Wrapped Sausage Balls with Stuffed Mozzarella!  These are a great snack to throw on the smoker when you are doing a longer cook or a fun appetizer to serve guests when have them over.  They are rich and salty so you will not need a ton of them for each guest – a couple per person should do the trick.

 

indgredients for bacon wrapped sausage with mozzerella

Only three ingredients needed – a good pork sausage, string cheese, and your favorite bacon.  I find a thicker cut bacon works a lot better than the thin cheap stuff for most bacon wrapped snacks.  Keep it chilled until right before assembling and it will be a lot easier to handle.   I used a mild pork sausage for this cook.  For smoking, I like any sausage that has enough fat in it to stay moist.  I find some italian sausage to be too dry.  Experiment to find your favorite.

 

bacon wrapped sausage balls with mozzerella

 

Step one is to spray down a piece of foil with non-stick spray and make little patties out of the sausage.  Then cut the string cheese into pieces that are slightly smaller than the sausage patties.  Then gently wrap the sausage around the string cheese.  You should end up with little oblong nuggets about the width of a golf ball.

 

bacon wrapped sausage balls with mozzerella

 

bacon wrapped sausage balls with mozzerella

 

Then wrap the sausage with half a piece of bacon (or more as needed) and pin it with a toothpick.  Heat your smoker up to 300 degrees and add a chunk of good smoking wood.  My faves are apple, cherry, and oak.  Then place these little bundles of joy on the smoker for about one hour.  Rotate every 30 minutes and check for the cheese poking out of the sausage for a clue on when they are done.

bacon wrapped sausage balls with mozzerella

 

Serve these with some sweet BBQ sauce, as you want some sweetness to compliment the salty bacon & sausage.  Give these a try and let me know what you think.

5 from 1 vote
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Bacon Wrapped Sausage Balls with Stuffed Mozzarella

The salty smoky deliciousness of these bacon wrapped, mozzarella stuffed, sausage balls will be a hit at your next backyard cookout.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 10 balls
Author Keegan

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Pork Sausage
  • 4 String Cheese Mozzarella Sticks
  • 1/2 lb Thick Cut Bacon

Instructions

  1. Heat Smoker to 300 F
  2. Spray a piece of foil with non-stick spray
  3. Divide sausage into pieces the size of a golf ball and press into thin patties on the foil
  4. Cut the string cheese into lengths that are smaller than the patties and place into the patties
  5. Form the sausage around the cheese so they close up around the cheese
  6. Cut strips of bacon in half and wrap the sausage, pinning the bacon with a toothpick
  7. Smoke for approximately 1 hour or a little more if needed more.  Watch for the cheese coming out the side as a clue to when they are done.

  8. Serve with BBQ sauce