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BBQ masters, I have questions

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by chip_gilkey, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. chip_gilkey

    chip_gilkey Active Member

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    I want to make awesome bbq. I've seen shows on tv where people do ribs, brisket, boston butt, etc. and it all looks awesome. I want to know the following things:

    -What cooking equipment do I need (something economical, not a $2000 smoker :laugh2:)

    -Good cuts of meat to use

    -and any recipes you have for rubs/ sauces (though I'm more of a dry rub guy myself unless its pulled pork for sammiches.)

    Thanks to anyone who has any tips, I just felt like this would be a great place to ask because bbqing is really big in the south and there seems to be a lot of people from the south on here.
  2. Cajuncowboy

    Cajuncowboy Preacher From The Black Lagoon

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  3. Signals

    Signals Suspicious looking stranger

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    This should be helpful. LINK :D

    On a serious note try Googling Rick Bayless.
  4. Eskimo

    Eskimo Well-Known Member

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    Weber makes a great line of gas BBQs. The Genesis or Summit series make good choice for people with moderate budgets. You should be able to get a very good grill for $600 - 2000 depending on how big you want to go and what extra features you want.

    If you are a true purist you could to charcoal but it is a lot more work and probably doesn't make sense if you want to BBQ regularly (I use mine about 3-4 times/week so charcoal would be a royal pain).
  5. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    Grill and Smoker are two different things. :)
  6. Hostile

    Hostile Tacos are a good investment Zone Supporter

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    DallasCowpoke is the guy you need to talk to. He hasn't posted in a long time, but he reads now and then. On matters of cooking, especially grilling and BBQ, he is my Bible.

    PM him the URL of the thread and ask him for his advice.
  7. Meat-O-Rama

    Meat-O-Rama Vegetarians are so stupid.

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    If your definition of BBQ is meat cooked low and slow, avoid gas grills. You can get decent to pretty good results, but nothing like you'll get on a real wood burning grill or smoker.

    I have the 27 inch Weber Kettle and it is an awesome all around meat machine. You can grill anything you like, and it's big enough that you can get a small bed of coals going on the side and smoke meat to your hearts content. The best ribs I've ever made came off the Weber. I've also got a really nice offset smoker and since I've had the Weber, it's sat untouched. Look around on Craigslist near you if the retail price is more than you want to commit to. Like anything, you get what you pay for. You might find a good deal on a smoker at Home Depot or Lowes, but it's going to fall apart soon. Better to invest a bit. The Weber Smokey Joe (reasonably priced)and the Big Green Egg (kinda pricey) are two very popular options for 'consumer' smokers and are a great place to start. They'll get you through several good years of BBQ at which point you can decide if you are happy with it or need to upgrade to something more hardcore.

    As far as meats, brisket is great when it's done well, but it takes a looong time to get it tender. Not something I would recommend until you've master the art of the fire. You can get pretty good results on a smaller boston butt, or some pork ribs. It's really hard to make bad ribs. Even if they are not perfect, they are still damn good. One of my personal favorites is tritip. I lie to smoke it low and slow for a couple of hours, then finish it over some hot coals.

    If you are truly keen to learn check out this site here. You will learn anything and everything you want to know, and it's a very friendly place.

    The biggest essential in good BBQ is time. It takes time to cook low and slow, and impatience is punished by the BBQ gods as swiftly as man coverage on Dez Bryant. It can only be truly learned from experience. you can really all about it and pick up tip and tricks. but you will never know until you've done it repeatedly. It's an art and not a science. No two fires are the same, not two cuts of meat are the same, there is no one size fits all approach.

    PM me anytime and I'll be happy to share my experiences.
  8. yimyammer

    yimyammer Well-Known Member

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    I'm currently researching grills and smokers as well and I've found this site helpful:

    http://www.amazingribs.com/

    I wish Weber made a hybrid Kettle unit that can do gas and charcoal but apparently they discontinued this model years ago. I'm tempted to get the Weber Kettle but I am afraid I won't use it as much as I would like to because I don't want to always have to wait 30 minutes for the coals to heat up the grill.

    Does anyone know of a good hybrid like the Weber Kettle?

    I'm leaning toward the Weber Kettle because I want to cook pizza on it using this:

    source: http://www.kettlepizza.com/KettlePizza-How-It-works-s/1822.htm

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    So I am thinking of settling on this unit plus an electric smoker as a cheaper compromise.

    The ceramic eggs might be a viable alternative but I'm struggling with the price
  9. Wimbo

    Wimbo Active Member

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    Great post by Meat-o-Rama.

    I am a Big Green Egg guy. I cant really offer an opinion on other types/brands because this is the only 'real' cooker i have. I also have a stainless steel Jenn-Air gas grill, but I never use it except maybe to heat up hot dogs for the kids.

    One reason I went with BGE is because of the large community of BGE'ers who all share & help each other on the BGE website & forum. I can't tell you how much that helped me to get going with my cooker. Meat-o-Rama is right though - it is a smoker rather than a grill. That said, it is quite easy to get the temps up to the 700F range & get a good char on a steak. More importantly, it is quite easy to hold the temps in the 220F range to slow cook thinks like brisket and pork butt for 15 hours. BGE uses natural lump charcoal (not the briquettes that have chemicals in them). Once you get the fire part down, it's not difficult to get it fired up for a cook. You generally have plenty of lump left in the grill at the end of one cook to do another cook without adding more lump (depending on what you are cooking, of course).

    Someone once said, BBQ is a journey, not a destination. I thought that was a little sappy when I heard it, but now I get it.

    As said in a post above, the key ingredients are time & patience.

    Here is a like to the BGE forum: http://www.eggheadforum.com/categories/all
  10. yimyammer

    yimyammer Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the post, I've been researching the big green eggs, but apparently you cant buy them online and as a result I can't find pricing. How do you go about researching what a fair to good price for the various units are?
  11. Wimbo

    Wimbo Active Member

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    My local ACE Hardware store sells them, so it wasn't tough for me. They had a Christmas special I took advantage of - Large BGE, plus a starter kit which included the nest (stand for the BGE), charcoal, and a few tools among other things.

    FYI, get the Large one if you go with BGE. The smaller ones can limit you on large items (like turkey). Also, most of the accessories are made for the BGE format.

    The best accessory they sell is called the Plate Setter. It is a ceramic disc withln legs that lets you easily cook indirectly.

    You also do not really need the BGE nest to hold the grill. there are lots of online guides to building your own table for it - assuming you are handy with wood.

    I also recommend a remote temperature monitor, so you can make sure your dome temps and meat temps are within your desired range without having to eyeball the BGE every few minutes.
  12. Wimbo

    Wimbo Active Member

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  13. yimyammer

    yimyammer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info, by "large" do you mean the biggest unit they sell? I am asking because I thought I saw an "extra large" as well.

    I've got a 12# turkey I want to start smoking by Tuesday, is that too ambitious to try on my first outing?

    That brisket looks tasty!

    Last Q, did you ever look into the Primo Ceramic Charcoal Smoker Grill - Extra Large Oval (http://www.bbqguys.com/item_name_Pr...harcoal-Grill-Extra-Large_item_2141312.html)?
  14. Wimbo

    Wimbo Active Member

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    I did not look into Primo, but I think I did watch a video where they were doing a cook-off to compare themselves to a BGE.

    I don't think a 12# turkey is too ambitious. Although, it could be a little stressful for you if you are cooking for a lot of people & you have never tried it before. Essentially you are just cooking the bird at 350F until it is done. But, you will be trying to get the fire right for the first time, trying to figure out how to do a new recipe for the first time, etc... Not impossible, but not as easy as throwing a bird in the oven. Recipe here: http://www.biggreenegg.com/features/smoked-turkey/

    Here is a video of a guy getting a fire going in a BGE. I thought this was very helpful when I got my BGE:

    [youtube]6n9GPqWXnUg[/youtube]

    ONe piece of advice I wish someone had told me when I got my BGE... the thermometer that comes with it may or may not be calibrated. First thing I would do is boil a pot of water & make sure the temp gague reads 212F. (the guage pulls out of the BGE easily). If you do get it, I think a remote monitor is a must-buy accessory... something like this (doesnt have to be this brand - just ask for one wherever you get your egg http://www.amazon.com/Maverick-Industries-RediChek-Wireless-Thermometer/dp/B0000DIU49 )


    BGE comes in XL, L, M, S, Mini. Get at least a L. Get an XL if you need to cook for a lot of people. From www.biggreenegg.com:

    XLARGE
    The Biggest Green Egg of them all provides a cooking area that can easily accommodate meals for large families and cookouts with all your friends – and you can efficiently prepare several meals over the coals at once. Ready to serve up fourteen racks of ribs, twenty-four burgers or a couple of holiday turkeys with all the trimmings? No problem!

    LARGE
    The Large EGG is the most popular size and a favorite to handle the cooking needs of most families and gatherings of friends. Accommodates all EGGcessories for baking, roasting or smoking – and it’s versatile enough for weekend cook-outs or pizza parties, large enough for eight steaks at once, and efficient enough for an impromptu meatloaf for two!

    MEDIUM
    Happiness in a smaller package – the Medium EGG is perfectly sized for smaller families and couples, and accommodates all the most popular EGGcessories like the Plate Setter and Baking Stone. Get all the famous Big Green Egg versatility and efficiency in a smaller package with plenty of cooking area to accommodate a backyard cookout of four steaks or two whole chickens.

    SMALL
    Big Flavor in a compact package! The Small EGG is an easy fit for smaller patios and balconies, and is able to prepare four burgers or chicken breasts at a time. The small Egg is often used as a companion for the XLarge, Large or Medium EGG to allow the preparation of several courses at once, and is perfect for restaurants seeking the performance of an EGG in a size to fit a commercial kitchen.

    MINI
    A MINI EGG is the perfect solution for picnics and tailgating when you want to take The Ultimate Cooking Experience with you! It is also a popular size for grilling on apartment balconies or camping and boating. Leave those propane canisters at home and enjoy your favorite campfire meal on the MINI!
  15. yimyammer

    yimyammer Well-Known Member

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    excellent, thank you!

    Here's the corrected format so the video will post:

    [youtube]6n9GPqWXnUg[/youtube]
  16. chip_gilkey

    chip_gilkey Active Member

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    I didn't say grill in my OP ;):D
  17. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament... Zone Supporter

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    A friend of mine uses a propane weed torch to start his BGE. He literally has it going in 2 minutes. It DOES produce a lot of flying embers with the natural lump charcoal, but it lights fast every time...

    It's the speed of a gas grill with the flavor of charcoal...

    [youtube]eKKDWbfCm-w[/youtube]
  18. Bill Wooten

    Bill Wooten Active Member

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    I have one of the Weber Smokey Mountain smokers. Much less expensive than the BGE and may be a more affordable option to get you started. It is an upright smoker that uses a water pan to keep consistent temperatures. I think there are two sizes now. I have the smaller of the two and I'm able to fit 4 large boston butts with no problem. Compared to offset smokers, it is very efficient on charcoal. I've had it for 5+ years and still love it.

    Here is a great website that has a ton of great info, recipes, discussion forums, etc.

    http://virtualweberbullet.com/

    My neighbor has a GBE and loves it. I looked into them, but couldn't justify the cost when I was just starting out.

    If you have any questions about the Weber smoker, just let me know.

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