Sunday, May 2, 2010

Ribs and Mac n Cheese

So we had a gorgeous day today, I had big plans for some ribs that were in the fridge rubbed, and had been sitting in ACV (apple cider vinegar) 24 hours prior to that. After 4 hours of smoking they came out pretty good, more on that later. When I did the shopping, I went to the store late and the pickins were slim, so you can see from the pictures that these cuts were a little smaller than what I usually do.

I used my usual rub, the tumeric rub (you can find the recipe on the tracker once I figure out how to upload it). I used soaked hickory chips in boxes on the briqs. Had my stinky homebrewed beer from last summer in drip pans under it to self based, did it all on my modded CG which I will detail on a later episode. Brushed with SBR (Sweet Baby Ray's) about a half hour before coming off the grates, rested about a half hour before eating.

I used Kingsford competition briqs which my wife bought on sale at Costco. I had high hopes for them because they were supposed to have less binders, crap wood etc and I expected a higher level of performance than from regular K-ford. These briqs were OK and doable for my application but not great. They had a higher cooking temp, but burned through pretty fast. I learned soon that I absolutely HAD to use the minion method if I wanted my temperature not to dip below 200, they just burned out too fast to get another chimney lit and going. They produced so much ash that I had to dump it at one point to keep air flow going and I almost started a garbage fire.

Overall the ribs came out pretty good as I said before. The 24 hour ACV soak turned out to be too much, and the pork flavor never got past the vinegar left in the meat. Mike and Mike loved them and had no complaints, my wife picked on them and I think noticed the vinegar. Other than the vinegar the results were good. They were moist, tender, had the right amount of bark, were not burned in any place thanks to the new heat shield.

Another experiment that came out great, I saw somewhere someone smoking macaroni and cheese. I thought this sounded good so just to try, I took one of those store-bought macaroni and cheese boxes, I think from whole foods, made it, shredded and mixed in a healthy amount of real cheddar, and put it in the smoker for like the last 40 minutes. This stuff came out GREAT!! The smoke flavor in the cheddar was good, next time I'll use a good mac n cheese recipe and leave it in longer, maybe with mesquite.

All in all a decent day out. Lessons learned:
  1. Kingsford Competition is probably great for grilling but not great for smoking.
  2. A 24 hour soak in ACV is too much.
  3. The theory that anything tastes better coming out of a few hours in the smoker has been supported this week by MAC N CHEESE.


Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree about Kingsford Competition briquettes. Total waste of money.

Rene said...


I can't say they're a total waste, ok for grilling, high heat so with the right grates couls sear some beef nicely. Not for smoking though, agreed.