So I am getting ready for my first ever BBQ competition! I have been cooking for a while and more and more people that are not my direct family are telling me how much they love the BBQ I am making.
The competition will be on the 4th of July at The Borough of Magnolia’s Chicken and Ribs BBQ Cook Off. I have to be there with my teammate by 6:00 AM and the judging will begin at 1:00 PM. I am required to cook Ribs and Chicken but I was told that I can also make a speciality dish of whatever I want (Woo!)
So I have gotten pretty good at direct fire cooking but I still need work on my temperature control when it comes to smoking low and slow. I will be trying my first attempt at the Minion Method of charcoal control tomorrow and we will see how it goes.
(Update) So, I got the Minion Method to work but I use Lump Charcoal. It’s basically pre-charred wood. So it turns out that I was giving it too much air and I was pumping out way more than the 225 degrees that I wanted… I have to almost completely close all of my vents to keep it from going supernova… I think I might try a bag of Kingsford next time.
Also in prep I have learned to always rub your meat! I think I originally heard that from Paula Dean, but I am not really sure. But take it to heart! A good meat rub could make the difference in flavor from a bland chunk of flesh to a masterpiece of a rib. Rubs are a combination of spices, herbs, and sometimes sugars that are applied directly to the meat before cooking and add a ton of flavor.
Here is a batch of my home made rub that I was about to put into a container for use on everything.
I had a St. Louis style rib rubbed with this in the fridge over night. I also rubbed some chicken thighs with the same rub. They both turned out great.
I also made my own home made sauce.
Which had tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, Agave, Brown Sugar, and some of the rub mixed in! This was 2 12oz batches.
So like I said before… I am not good at temperature control with my grill… It is one thing I need to work on quickly. I took a full charcoal chimneys worth of coals and filled my offset box with them. I took a hand full of the same coals and put them back in the chimney and lit them up. While they were coming up to temp I put a few chunks of hickory in spots around the unlit coals. Once the lit coals were ready, I put them in the corner where I took them from and let them slowly burn away. This batch of coal should have lasted 6-8 hours and should have come up to 225-250 degrees. Well, as it turn out I had my air vents all the way open causing the coals to heat up really fast. The whole box of coal was gone in less than 2 hours and the head felt like it was 400 to 500 degrees in there…Every hour or so, I would use a squirt bottle and add apple juice to the ribs directly. I think this really helped with the moisture in the ribs. I added another batch of coals, this time I knew not to have my vents open so wide. I nearly had them closed and the temp was much better. I cooked the ribs for about four more hours and they were awesome!