Will B. Barbequing
With Labor Day just passing and having enjoyed another fine holiday of BBQ it got me thinking about the different forms of outdoor cooking and how personal the process can be.
There is grilling, smoking, pit and just plain cooking over an open fire to name a few. Depending on what region of the country you’re in will also have a great deal to do with the preparation and what accompanies the many different meats that are being cooked.
I may be a bit biased but for me it will always… always be Texas style smoked brisket or ribs. The types of wood many use to smoke is as much a debate and personal choice as what dry rub or wet basted. For me I use a mesquite and hickory mix. I prefer the sweet flavor of mesquite more but the wood burns much to hot and fast so I add in my second favorite wood, hickory which is a harder wood that burns more slowly. Some use pecan or oak. Although I never much cared for oak as a wood for smoked meats.
As for what goes on the delectable cuts of meats. I prefer a dry rub. I won’t go into all the ingredients of my dry rub, every good cook has his own, but two if the main ingredients should be paprika and brown sugar. The paprika helps carry through that smoky flavor and brown sugar will caramelize and help break down the fats. There are many other ingredients to a rub, use your imagination and some trial and error, you will have your very own secrete dry rub in no time flat. My previous work experience is 16 years in restaurants with 6 of those years in BBQ restaurants. So, I have had plenty of time for trial and error. Brisket is generally cooked at around 225 for 12 or so hours. Ribs at 325 for 2 to 4 hours depending on your pit.
Now as for sides my personal choice will always be potato salad, cole slaw and pinto beans. Cole slaw is a must. The acid in the slaw if made correctly will cut the richness of BBQ and in particular BBQ sauces.
Some other regions BBQ style of note are Kansas City BBQ which is typically basted while cooking with a molasses based BBQ sauce, Carolina which leans more toward shredded pork sandwiches with a vinegar, mustard based BBQ sauce and finally it just wouldn’t be right to not mention the famous pulled pork sandwiches topped with coleslaw that Tennessee is famous for. At first, I was not a fan but now I find it hard to eat a BBQ pulled pork sandwich without coleslaw on it.
There will always be debate over which region has the best BBQ but for me my heart is Texan and it will always be dry rub brisket slow smoked with mesquite and hickory with sauce on the side.
This is Will B. saying don’t forget to invite me to the next BBQ