Saturday, March 7, 2009

Barbecue Cheater-

We don't have much weather in our part of California. Winter for us is a couple of days of freezing temperatures, largely at night, and some rain. Combine the rain with other pressing family needs, and I haven't gotten my Char-Broil Silver Smoker running for weeks.

Last week I cleaned it and did a good cleansing burn. The weather was still a bit wet, but I wanted to clean out some of the unpleasantness that finds its way into an idle barbecue.

This week the weather finally broke. My daughter, now in charge of food purchases and menu planning for the clan, had purchased two beef steaks so thick as to look like roasts, and a packaged marinated pork roast. The meats came from Costco.

Having the pork processed ahead of time was a bit of a cheat, but that didn't prevent me from getting it on the grill yesterday. It was a garlic and pepper marinade, and smelled pretty good right out of the package. The steaks I rubbed with olive oil and my general purpose rub made from equal portions of salt, pepper and whatever seasoned salt I have around. This seasoned salt was a barbecue mix from the Dollar Tree.

I set up for a three to four hour cooking time, got the fire going and got the meat on the grill. Just short of four hours the steak furthest from the fire achieved an internal temperature of 168 degrees, three degrees over my target of 165. I pulled the meat off of the grill and let it rest in an aluminum foil lined cooler. I liked the cooler idea, which I got second hand from my friend Keven Fisher. It lets the meat rest as long as you want (within reason) while sides and other items are finished up.

The cheater pork was really good. The steaks were pretty good, as well, but the meat had been a bit leaner than I generally select for slow cooking. In retrospect I think they could have used a bacon wrapping to provide some fat to improve the cooking process and add depth of flavor.

I need to sit down with my daughter and go through the Barbecue Bible, selecting some recipes and discussing meat selection. This is becoming a team effort, and I think we can all have some fun at the grill.

Well, it is almost lunch time, and I chopped up and blended some of that meat last night. I added some soy sauce and rice wine vinegar to the mix, and it has been waiting patiently for me in the refrigerator all night. I think it might be quite ready and very tasty.

Yep. Time for lunch.

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