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  • Barbecue

    One of the good things about global warming is that Britain is getting hotter. We're even starting to produce palatable red wine ! However, we're still trying to get to grips with al fresco cooking.

    A few years ago I invested in a water smoker, but I haven't really tried anything adventurous. It's mostly just chicken and sausages.

    Since there are a lot of countries represented on this forum which seem to have been cooking outdoors since Methusela was a lad, I thought I'd pose the question, "What makes a good barbecue?"

    There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
    (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)

  • #2
    LOL..I would have to say the company .. the sauce is often bottled, the beer is, hopefully very cold, the weather ..well, one really can't control it boils down to the company that is there with you

    Sue Chrestensen


    • #3
      I have to agree with Sue, the company makes it. The weather doesnt affect us here. we BBQ 12 months a year. I love chicken and steak, but BBQ Veggies are good too, so is salmon and even pizza.

      I also do a roast in beer that melts in your mouth.

      I think a BBQ really needs a side burner so you can cook corn on the cob, although I like it roasted in the husk with butter on it too.

      **** I am getting hungry....gotta go
      "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
      Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


      • #4
        I'm with Sue, good company, cold beer, lots of hickory smoke, and your BBQ sauce of choice. What more could you ask for?

        More cold beer?

        DeWalt 788

        aut viam inveniam aut faciam

        God gives us only what we can handle.. Apparently God thinks I am one tough cookie.....


        • #5
          I'd have to say a cooking grill

          I can cook a great BBQ for myself, alone, without nice company. BUT company makes it nicer

          Not sure what your question is GILL, depends on what you are cooking, what you are cooking it on.

          Marinating meat is always good, and a good BBQ sauce is a must. If it's steak, then seize the meat first to keep the juices in, then lower the temp to cook and keep basting with sauce until desired cooking stage is acheived. Don't let anything turn to charcoal, it's carcinogenous. Many items can be wrapped in foil (fish, veggies, potatoes with butter & herbs).

          Don't know if this helps, but I'm getting hungry too.


          DW788. -Have fun in the shop or it isn't a hobby anymore.

          NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.


          • #6
            For breakfast, bacon cooked over the open fire, and fried eggs!!! using fretwork waste areas!

            For dinner Steak, mushrooms and baked taters on an open campfire, using the same fuel.
            The rest is weather, company, ...that sorta stuff. dale
            Dale w/ yella saws


            • #7
              I was just wondering if anyone had some favorite sauces, salads, marinades etc they'd care to share. Perhaps even the odd recipe or two. I'm also wondering if there's anything we can cut on the scrollsaw to "accessorize" a barbecue, but I'm not sure what I've got in mind.

              Good company? That's a given! With a barbecue, even bad company is good company. Mind, I keep off the alcohol myself - I just ply my friends with it .

              There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
              (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)


              • #8
                I bought a new grill last weekend and have been spending some time on this site:

                Lots of good people with good info to share.

                There's a fine line between woodworking and insanity, I'm just not sure which side of the line I'm on!


                • #9
                  A quick history review


                  The Colonies only won the Independence from Great Britain because they united. After the War, each of the 13 colonies could have become their own country, or State, but jointly decided the best path was a formation a union under a single Government.

                  That, however, has nothing to do with barbecue. When it comes to barbecue, the concept of "United" does not exist in any part of the North or South America. By my count, there are 50 states, 2 states with 2 specific sub-groups, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, Marshall Islands, Plus all the international influences from immigrants. Call it about 57 types of barbecue.

                  So, when you ask about barb-a-que, barb-b-que, barbecue, are you asking:
                  - open flame, Weber Grill smoker, deep slow smoke cooker, Low temp smoke?
                  - LP Gas, Natural Gas, Hardwood, Charcoal,
                  - Brown Sugar, Molasses, or tomato paste based sauce?
                  - Marinate based on Vinegar, Soy Sauce, or Mid-Eastern Spices?
                  - Dry or Moist Meat cooking?
                  - Salt and spice rub, Salt only rub, or no rub?
                  - Herbs?
                  - And of course the whole Tex-Mex sub categories, where the point is to prove you don't have taste buds by use of very hot peppers.

                  This is a link to large Food / Cooking web site in USA, lots of info on Barbecue stuff:

                  there is one Chef at Food TV, Alton Brown, that uses an electric hot plate, an old cast iron skillet and saw-dust from a woodworker shop to smoke cook (low heat, smoke, dry, spice rub, no sauce barbecue) fish.



                  • #10
                    Food. Now that I can talk about!

                    Since you have a smoker, you need to try brisket. I don't know if that is available by you but it is the same cut as corned beef, just not corned.

                    Use a dry rub on the meat first. There are many commercial ones available and Alton Brown on has a good recipe I tried once. Add some onions and other airomatics to the water and slow cook for several hours. Add your favorite barbeque sauce at the end and you have a party waiting to happen!

                    Gill, I don't know if turkey is available either, but that is great in a smoker too.

                    -Just do'in the best I can every day


                    • #11
                      Several years ago I gave Christmas gifts of BBQ tools (long handled fork, tongs, spatula) to several people. I got tools that had flat wooden handles and scrolled their first name into the handles. Everyone still uses their personalized tools and as a bonus it remindes them to invite me over when they BBQ.

                      As for cooking... Coal or hardwood is better (though more trouble) than gas. I like pecan or hickory, but around here (Texas) many like mesquite. I think it adds a bitter/acid flavor to the meat.

                      We break BBQ down to 2 styles grilling and smoking. Grilling is over an open flame, smoking is in a closed pit with lots of hardwood smoke. I grill chicken, sausage and hamburgers. Smoke brisket, steak, ribs, and most everything else (even fruit and vegetables).

                      Smoke it long and slow, I cook brisket for at least 24 hours, ribs go 4-6 hours, maybe a bit longer. Rebuild the fire about every 2 hours. A smoke ring is good, burnt meat is not.

                      In Texas we cook a lot of beef, more beef than anything else. After all, everyone here has a several beefs (cows, bulls, steers) in their back yards. They eat the grass under our oil wells. (just kidding, that's just Hollywood's idea of Texas).

                      In other parts of the U.S. they cook more pork. If you have never had ribs or pulled pork in a Memphis BBQ joint, go get some, it's worth the trip - no matter where you are.

                      Sauce - make you own. Find a recipe for sauce you like and tinker with it until it's perfect. Don't use sauce with sugar while cooking, it will char the meat. Use a spice rub to flavor the meat instead. You can add sauce during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking if you like.

                      Drinks - Sweet Iced Tea, beer in a long neck bottle, or maybe a nice red wine or a margarita.

                      If you want good Texas style BBQ, Google - The Salt Lick in Driftwood, Texas. If you go there on a weekend expect to wait up to 3 hours (they have a band). Bring your own beer, they are in a dry county. They mail order, but I've never tried that as I live only 3.5 hours away (a nice Sunday afternoon drive in Texas).

                      DISCLAIMER--- I know its BBQ, not life or death. It's more important than that... All of the above is ONE MAN'S opinion and is worth the paper (electrons?) it's written on and not much more. Everyone's BBQ is the best. Why else would you go to the trouble? I've seldom had bad BBQ. Most of all, invite some friends and enjoy the experience.

                      Coals are ready now, gotta go.


                      • #12
                        Come on Cooter you know we all live and play like the Ewings on our own Southfork ranches down here(lol). Gill the bar-b- q places abound down here Houston,Austin, San Antonio to name a few. They all have their secret sauces and I have not found a bad bar-b-q joint just better ones. Texas Cook .com has some ideas on sauces and cooking that you might enjoy.
                        Delta P-20


                        • #13
                          Due to various commitments, I haven't been able to do much woodwork this summer. Then I lost the electrickery supply to my workshop and it still hasn't been restored... but that's another story.

                          The last thing I made before losing power was a cold smoker for curing meats, fish, cheese, etc. It was very simple to make and I thought some of you might perhaps like to see photographs of its inaugural run:

                          From the outside, it looks like an upturned tea chest on legs! The white plastic device sticking out the side is a digital thermometer.

                          This is how it looks inside. I've suspended a grill tray from two battens which can be removed. The tray is at the same level as the thermometer.

                          Since I'm only allowed to post four images per post, the story continues in the next post .
                          There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
                          (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)


                          • #14
                            The story continues...

                            With the grill tray removed, this is the micro incinerator in place. Actually, it's just the cardboard tube from a loo roll filled with wood pellets. On top of the pellets is a piece of charcoal which is normally used to burn incense.

                            This is the setup just before lighting the charcoal. I tested it on a piece of cheddar cheese.

                            The lid went on the cold smoker...

                            ... and four hours later the cheese was a lovely golden color, mildy smoked but not cooked.

                            The whole setup cost me less than £30, including the digital thermometer. The wood pellets I used were compressed spruce and pine, which aren't terribly healthy for cold smoking but this was just a test run. I nibbled the cheese but threw most of it away.

                            Why have I gone to the trouble of showing you this? When I'm scrolling, I make lots of sawdust. Aromatic sawdust from wood such as oak and maple (but not pine) is the ideal material for cold smoking. Instead of throwing away your sawdust, you could smoke your own fish, sausages, cheese, ducks etc.

                            There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
                            (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)


                            • #15
                              Sit down Gill and take notes-- Time to teach you how to do a real BBQ --
                              First off let me add that any food cooked outside on a pit fire is considered BBQ - rather sauce is added or not - it is just a term for how the food was cooked.
                              Second - I my self like to make a super bbq sauce out of a bottled barbeque sauce that has been 'DOCTORED" - I am not a person that cares for fancy flavors so my taste are greatly different to those others- I don't even use pepper - the food itself should be tasted and not the spice - the spice should compliment the actual food.
                              I use a bottle of hickory smoked bbq sauce-- chopped onion - garlic powder- dash of lemon - brown sugar and a bit of honey .
                              after my meat has cooked on a slow grill I add my sauce. to add to soon and it will be burned and not good - so don't be too eager to add the sauce just be patient and the outcome will be well worth it.
                              Apply sauce on one side of your meat-just before done -let cook maybe 10 minutes- watch it so it won't burn - flip over and coat the other side of your meat-cook additional 10 minutes .. then enjoy with your favorite veggies.
                              if you can get the flavor of hickory or mesquite sauce the better... or you can soak your wood and smoke it naturally but that is another topic-- use lots of wet napkins cause the sticky goodness just goes on and on..
                              Bon -- Appitte



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