April 2018 Challenge: Wood

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I was going to do some smoked fish....
Then work etc got in the way and it got turned into a quick fish curry.
smoked fish is back in the planning though
 
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I haven't been very good at taking food photos lately... here's one of our local pigs' chops marinated in mustard/soy/garlic/savory ready to go on the fire....

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It looks like spring may have sprung here and that means this girl is off to get herself a new smoker/charcoal grill. Any suggestions on what model is best? I have a postage stamp sized backyard so I've been looking at upright models.
 
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Depending on your budget and needs for the smoker I would go with the 18" Weber Smokey Mt. (WSM).
 
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I agree with Yeller.
Or maybe the 14.5" if you don't cook for too many people.
I got one. It works a dream and hardly uses any charcoal.
 
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Did some smoking over the weekend

Chicken for dinner. Used the mango chutney sample from the patak challenge mixed with bbq sauce for glaze. 325 ish degrees. That's on a big steel keg (kamado) with hardwood lump and applewood from my yard.
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This was cooked for a party...
3 racks of spare ribs and Moink balls. This was on the Pit Barrel Cooker, which I'm pretty happy with. I have a lot of smokers but I use this one a lot for a reason. Easy to use, good capacity for a crowd, and easy to transport around to competitions. I like it better than the WSM. Mix of lump, briquettes, and apple. 275-300 degrees for 3 hours, wrapped 1.5 hours, glazed to set (5 min).

The Moink balls are precooked frozen beef meatballs. Thaw half way so you can skewer, wrap with bacon, hit it with rub. My house rub (actually all spice blends I make) is made salt free I can control how much spice I want to use and not be dragged down by making it too salty. For ribs I salt separately. For these balls I didn't add salt. The meatballs and bacon provided plenty.


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Overcooked the ribs for my taste, they were starting to fall apart when I picked them up to glaze, but people love that. Better over than under.
 
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millionsknives millionsknives that is a very nice spread! I agree better to get the ribs a little over for most peoples liking (most aren't used to competition criteria) .. I've got 3 days left to at least add something on this!! Weekend BBQ? Sunday is for rubbing butts!! :cool:
 
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Some more sausages (I don't eat sausages often, but looking at this month, you might think otherwise)

Getting the fire ready:
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Sausage
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And ready
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In the meantime I prepared some form of relish:
The spices:
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The finished relish
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And eating time:
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I wanted to try to capture the essence and spirit of this comp....Canadian Bacon
Started with pork loin for curing 24 hrs. from there the pork was rinsed/dry then slathered real maple syrup, brown sugar B&W pepper, gran garlic followed by some Plowboys Yardbird. Wrapped and into the fridge for 24 hrs then onto the smoker 235 for 2.5 hrs with Cherry Wood for this cook. After cooking rested and into fridge for 24 hr rest/slice.
Eggs Benedict is her favorite so 1st timer with some help from her on this but overall it was good but using unsalted butter will prove better.. The I know I am the last line of defense when it comes to properly cut garnish..

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Snow has melted... and the mice have chewed off wires in my Traeger so I need to rewire it...
 
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I had several things planned for this month, but weather or time got in my way. I posted an afterpic of some smoked wings early in the month, but didn’t do them justice. So, I made them again.

Real simple. Wings marinated in Franks Red Hot Sauce and some Texas Pete Hot overnight. Smoked with lump hardwood/briquette blend. 375 for 1.25hrs.

They rival the crisp of fried wings and are very juicy.
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Gray is definitely a challenging color in terms of food. From an artistic standpoint it's great because everything pops off of it. If that was plated with some mint and bright berries I think it would be cool.
 
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