Thursday, July 5, 2018

What to do when The Fire Goes Out! ( Charcoal BBQ Fire That is...)

charcoal briquettes bbq fire how to restart
Charcoal Briquettes

What to do when your Charcoal BBQ Fire Goes Out!

Too often we talk about making some fancy Dino rib monstrosity or some glaze laden pork ribs but we never seem to spend much time on the actual cooking part of the process.  Yes, we talk about using smoked woods or charcoal or even gas but we never seem to spend much time on the what ifs of Barbecue.  So, in this post we are going to talk explicitly about one of the major what ifs....namely, What to do if The Fire goes out...(BBQ Fire That is...)  We make no comments or focus on your personal or professional relationship with someone.  This post is strictly focused on Barbecue and Barbecuing.

A couple of days ago I was merrily grilling ribs and chicken using the snake method along with some red oak smoking wood.  I noticed the temperature creeping out of the friend zone which was target at around 225 to 240 degrees.  In fact my temperature when "on wood" was around 310 degrees.  So I began notching the grill openings down a 1/4 turn with a check back every 5 to 10 minutes.  After the first 10 minutes I actually noticed the temperature rise even more to 320 degrees.  Clearly there was either a lot of wood to burn with the charcoal or there was an uneven mix of briquettes in one area.  So, after another 10 minutes I added another 1/4 turn on the top vents to reduce the amount of available oxygen in the grill.  I noticed around 10 minutes later that the temperature started to reduce.  There was a drop of about 5 degrees followed by another drop of 10 degrees so the grill was sitting around 305 degrees at this point way too high for the ribs and chicken.  I decided to double down and added a full 1/2 turn closing off even more oxygen to the grill.  Within 10 minutes I started to notice a drop in temperature.  First the grill dipped to 290 degrees then to 260 degrees in about 10 more minutes.  I decided one last notch at about 1/8 of a turn.  I checked back 10 minutes later and now the grill was below the 225 degree mark.  I thought I would give it some time to level off but unfortunately the grill dropped down to 200 degrees and no longer on wood.  I adjusted the vent up by 1/4 but it was too late.  The grill had not started it free fall as the charcoals were barely holding on to any heat at all.  My last check noted that the temperature was not 178 degrees miles away from the temperature I needed to properly cook my ribs.  So, what to do....what to do?

After evaluating the situation I realize through the process of elimination I had two or three options.  First I needed to check on the time of day.  Since I was moving into the late afternoon I only had about two to to three more hours that I could use to get the heat back to level by using a chimney starter.  A second option would be to get the fire started, bring the meat to 160 degrees then finish the meat off in the oven.  A third option was to again bring the meat to 160 then microwave the meat for about 1 or 2 minutes.  The third option was not desirable but in a pinch it does work.  Especially if you put the meat back on the grill and allow it to finish with additional smoke flavor.  The downside of the third option is that the meat is not as juicy when the microwave is used.

Looking at these three options I decided that I could use the chimney starter.  I had to get enough charcoal into the unit plus adjust some of the charcoal in the grill that still managed to have some heat.  The chimney starter would take a minimum 20 minutes to bring the coals to temperature.  After because I was using the snake method they charcoals would need to restart the burning process for the remaining coals.  I laid down a single layer of coals about six coals that I could use to stack the coals from the chimney starter.  This lay down process would be the igniter for the remaining coals in the snake.  I started the coals in the chimney starter then adjusted as needed the coals in the grill.  I kept the lid on the grill with the vent wide open as much as possible. After about 20 minutes I noted that about 70% of the coals were close to temperature.  Again I checked the time of day along with how much time I would need to bring the meats to the desired temperature.  I calculated that I would not have enough time to finish adequately so I would have to employ a second measure to finish by my target of 6 pm.  Even though my original target was 5:30 we are into the Summer part of the year so there is much more light available and eating a little later is not a real struggle.

The additional heat method I chose was the microwave.  I know it doesn't seem like the best thing to do but my focus was on driving up the internal temperature of the meat.  The grill was going to handle the smokiness and crispiness of the skin on the chicken.  I brought just the chicken in and placed that on a dish and ran the microwave for about 1 minute.  I checked the chicken with the temperature probe and noted that the microwave had driven the internal temperature up to 170 degrees.  I like my chicken a little more well done so I was shooting for a finished temperature of 180 degrees in the thigh areas of the chicken.  I allowed the chicken to rest in the microwave while I checked the coals in the chimney starter.  Afterward I poured out the fired briquettes onto the lay down coals and positioned them for maximum efficiency and so that they would quickly start the unlit charcoal.  I put the grate back on and allow the charcoal to reach a grilling temperature.  I checked my gauge and notice the coals were now back to 240 degrees.  Keep in mind through this entire process I had not removed my ribs.  In fact the ribs were just about due to be placed into foil for the 2 hour steaming and moisture process.  I knew I would not have enough time to complete that process so I chose to notch that down to 1-1/2 hours.  I wrapped my ribs and put them back on the grill.

The grill temperature was now a steady 240 degrees so both the ribs and the chicken were placed back on the grill.  In addition to the meats I added some very small segments of red oak wood just enough to get some smoke going for the chicken.  After about 40 minutes my desired temperature of 180 degrees was reached for the chicken.  I pulled that off and immediately rested the chicken in the oven.  The ribs had a ways to go so I just left those on.  After about an hours I probed the ribs and noted they were now at about 195 degrees. My target temperature was 200 so I put the lid back on and continued cooking.  After about 20 minutes I received an alert that my target temperature had been reached.  I pulled off the ribs and immediately placed them in the oven as well for resting.

I knew that if I rested the ribs the total 1 hour I would pass my target eating time of 6 pm so after 30 minutes I removed the foil.

Things I noticed following the use of the microwave.  The chicken although perfectly achieving the temperature was not as juicy as if it had completely finished on the grill. The ribs was just a little bit tougher that originally planned.  I think if I had placed the ribs in the foil meat side down I could have alleviated any toughness.  Although the meat would be more wet that some might like but still tasty.

Overall, if you are managing your charcoal grill and start to notice a fluctuation in temperature be mindful not to over adjust your vents.  Move the vents in increments of about 1/4 inch each and wait at least 10 minutes before making additional adjustments.  Prior to the grilling process make sure that the amount of charcoal layered around the grill is evenly spread.  Also, keep an eye on the amount of smoking wood used.  Sometimes wood can create a sort of false positive in the cooking process.  When "on wood" the temperature will rise causing you potential to over adjust the vents downward.  Resist the urge to overcompensate and focus on small increments to manage the temperatures.

Last but not least bring the meats to room temperature before grilling.  This will actually give you a running start when it comes to cooking.  If the meat is cold it will take longer to exchange cold for heat and that time wasted may be the time you needed before you temperatures started to go haywire.

Always use quality materials on the meats during and after the preparation process.  Right now Jake's Famous has some great deals on BBQ Sauce, Dry Rubs, and Table Condiments.  Checkout our site today and use code: 1707200910 for an immediate 10% discount at checkout.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Oven Baked BBQ Ribs with Jake's Famous Rib Rub and Roasted Strawberry BBQ Sauce

rib rub and strawberry bbq sauce
Roasted Strawberry BBQ Sauce on Ribs

Oven Baked BBQ Ribs with Jake's Rib Rub & BBQ Sauce

Oftentimes we center what we do as a barbecue sauce company around the use of the grill related to bbq items like ribs, chicken, tri-tip, steaks and more.  But because we spend so much time working the grill we sometimes get burned out on the process...first prepping the meat, getting the grill ready, then managing the flame and heat over a 6 hour period.  It can be exasperating especially if you have lots of other things to do.  So we thought about ways that any person could make their favorite fall off the bone ribs without all the "muss and fuss" especially if you're not grilling for some national competition.

If you've ever watched some of those infamous YouTube videos you'll know exactly what I mean.  The long and short of it is, BBQ should be fun, it should be easy and there should be almost NO cleanup involved.  With that in mind we've created, tested and are presenting here for your very own use our Oven Baked BBQ Ribs with Jake's Rib Rub & Homemade Roasted Strawberry BBQ Sauce.  Just the very sound of that Roasted Strawberry BBQ Sauce is mouthwatering, enough to make you run out and get a rack of ribs for grilling.  But before all that happens let's get you properly indoctrinated in the BBQ process.

Maybe it's too hot to stand next to a searing grill or maybe the weather is uncooperative.  No matter since we'll be making the ribs in the oven we can forget about all the outdoor shenanigans.  We've got four things going on with this recipe, first the ribs, the dry rub, the bbq sauce and let's not forget the oven.

On the ribs, you'll want to buy the best ribs you can find.  I would search out the local butcher or your department store meat counter.  Keep in mind if you pick up a packaged set of ribs that are full of reddish liquid then the ribs are a No, No.  That reddish color is the blood drained out of the meat that surrounds the ribs.  You want as much of that liquid as possible to remain within the ribs which will eventually be evaporated and cooked off during the heating process.  If the liquid is out of the ribs before starting it will be very hard to keep the meat juicy.  There are ways to get some moisture back into the meat but believe the process is long and arduous so let's just find the better quality ribs.

Now most likely the ribs will require cleaning, so take a papertowel and peel back the white-gray film that resides on the back of the ribs.  Pull as much of the film off as possible.  Keep in mind it is much easier to remove the film when the meat is closer to room temperature.  Since we're all about short cutting the process we'll teach some tips and tricks to make the process faster and easier.  At this point you want to find some basic yellow mustard, the cheaper the better.  Coat the ribs completely with the mustard then place them in a container or zip type bag.  Store the bag in the fridge while we move on to the next steps.

Direction for building the Roasted Strawberry BBQ Sauce

Now's the perfect time to begin the process of building the roasted strawberry barbecue sauce.  We recommend using Jake's Famous Really Good Mild BBQ Sauce as the base mixture.  Next let's get the strawberries roasted.  First make sure your strawberries have been cleaned of any debris.  Layer a cookie tray with parchment paper.  Follow that by turning your oven to the roasting setting.  Effectively we want to roast the strawberries at about 425 degrees.  Keep in mind we won't be doing this for a very long time but will instead use the oven to kick off the critical part of the process.  Roast the strawberries until the appear caramelized but not burnt.  We want the flavor of the strawberries to concentrate but not carbonize.

Ingredient filled pot with Roasted Strawberry BBQ Sauce

Depending on the number and size of the strawberries we expect them to take about 15 minutes when the oven is operating at optimum levels.  If you are planning on making the ribs right after the blending of the strawberry ingredients leave the oven set to 350 degrees.  The maintained heat setting will be perfect to get the ribs off to a roaring start.

Remove the caramelized strawberries and hold aside.  If using Jake's Really Good Mild BBQ Sauce combine that with the preserves, adobo, balsmic vinegar, soy sauce and cilantro.  All the other spices used in the ingredient listing are already combined within the BBQ Sauce so we won't have to add them twice.  Place the mixture in a pot on the stove and bring the pot to a boil.  Once at boil reduce the heat to simmer and allow the sauce to build in flavor for about 10 minutes.  Remove the warm sauce and all it to cool for about 5 minutes.  Pour the entire mixture into a blender.  If you have an immersion blender then great, but if not a standard blender will do as well.  Blend the ingredient until the sauce is smooth.  Once smooth remove, pour into a jar and place in the fridge.
With the sauce built it's time to get those ribs done.  Let's remove the ribs from the fridge and coat them generously with Jake's Famous Tri Tip, Steak and Rib Rub.  The rub contains copious amounts of herbs and spices and is a natural product which will blend especially well with the final sauce.  Once the meat is coated on all sides place the ribs back in your container and hold on your counter.

Now turn you oven setting to 350 degrees.  Once the temperature is achieved remove the ribs from their container and place on a cooking sheet coated with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  If you have a roasting pan that will work as well, just ensure the bottom is coated with parchment or aluminim to minimize clean up.  Roast the ribs in the pan open faced for about 1-1/2 hours.  Remove the ribs and coat thoroughly with the roasted strawberry bbq sauce.  Wrap the ribs in foil leaving a slight open for steam.  Cook and additional 30 to 45 minutes checking the temperature of the ribs as you go.  At this point we want to have the ribs achieve a minimum temperature of 170 degrees.  We like our ribs done a little more so a good temperature for us is around 190 degrees.

Caramelizing is a nice add for any set of ribs.  To caramelize the ribs turn the oven up to 450 degrees.  Ensure that the foil over the ribs is split open.  The heat will cook and bubble the sauce on the ribs creating the caramelizing effect.  Allow the ribs to cook about 10 minutes.  Check at the 5 minute mark to ensure that the ribs are not burning.  Once done remove the ribs and allow to rest for a minimum of 15 minutes.

After resting pull out a sharp knife and slice the ribs.  Keep in mind sometimes the ribs become so tender they actually fall apart.  But the caramelizing process tends to draw the meat inward toward the bones reducing the chance that they will actually break apart.

Serve the ribs with coleslaw, potato salad, French Fries and more.

Ingredient listing for Roasted Strawberry BBQ Sauce

(if you do not have Jake's Famous Really Good Mild BBQ Sauce)

2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
4 Cups Strawberries
2 tablespoons Soy sauce
1 Chipotle Chili in Adobo, chopped
1 tablespoon Grlic, grated
1 tablespoon Ginger, grated
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Cilantro, chopped
2 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
1/2 cup Ketchup
2 Tablespoons Strawberry Preserves

How to Clean Pork BBQ Ribs

Clean ribs is a primary requirement prior to barbecue.  But before you add dry rubs, marinades and seasoning, we'll need to spend some t...