Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Chuck Steak

Yesterday it was Chuck Steak. About an inch thick, plate-sized slabs of meat. It had nice color, and the fat seemed to be about right. So, I oiled them up and seasoned them with my usual mix of salt, seasoned salt, garlic sea salt and black pepper. I mix these in roughly equal proportions and rub them liberally into the oiled meat.

I set them up on the racks in the smoke chamber, and inserted the thermometer in the middle one. I guestimated about an hour and a half to two hours would be about right.

Since I did not have any more lump charcoal, it would be Kingsford Hickory and Kingsford Mesquite briquettes. A little harder to start, but they got hot pretty quickly when they got going. I poured them out into the fire box and threw in two more double handfuls of charcoal.

At my thirty minute check the smoke chamber was a bit over temperature. I closed the wide-open vents to about an eight open, top and bottom. The bed of coals still looked good. I threw in two handfuls of soaked hickory chips and set my timer for thirty minutes.

Thirty minutes later I was at 140 degrees, with the temperature in the chamber in the red on my dial thermometer. I turned the meat, and moved the piece closest to the fire to the far end of the smoke chamber. This brought the piece of meat that was farthest away up closest to the fire. I figured that things would balance out this way.

I bumped the bottom vent to about a quarter open, and closed the upper vent. I added some more charcoal and set my timer for twenty minutes.

The temperature was 158 degrees when I returned. I tossed on some more hickory chips, and opened the lower vent all the way. Within ten minutes I was at temperature. I closed the vents and shut down the chimney opening to about an eighth. I thought we could go about twenty more minutes with some intense smoking.

The meat looked excellent when I pulled it out twenty minutes later. It proved to be very tender and flavorful. The smoke intensity was just right in the flavor of the meat. The moisture in the meat was just right. On the whole, another successful barbecue experience.

The dog got some very nice bones. He was ecstatic. I tried to get him to post his comments, but he was too busy gnawing.

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