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The trick is to smoke the meat and not make the meat smoke

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Grill Camp ‘06

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Last year I used a week of my vacation time in October to run a series of test cooks to try new things and test whether I’d be able to use my then-new smoker throughout the winter. A friend dubbed this my “Grill Camp”. I had so much fun with this last year I decided to repeat it.
 
Last year I needed to see if I was going to be able to control my smoker well enough to cook in the winter. This week served as a crash course in using the smoker. The first weekend was monsoon like rains and I also had cold weather so it was a good test. The other thing I did was try various recipes out in a stress freeway. I didn’t set a time for the meals, I didn’t invite a bunch of people over. Whoever was around when something came of the grill or the smoker got to have some.
 
Well this year new gear to check out is the pop-up shelter shelter I bought to help with the rain and the wind. I found out the worst enemy in the winter is not the cold but the wind. After looking into various home made solutions I elected to buy an EZ-Up pop-up shelter. It is a 10 x 10 (3 x 3 m) shelter that 2 people can erect in under a minute. This will serve to keep rain or snow off the gas grill or smoker. There are detachable sides that can be put up when it is windy. We are supposed to get rain a couple days this week so I’ll be able to see how well this solution works in a non-mission critical situation. The picture above shows the EZ-Up without the side windscreens.
 
So what’s on the menu for this years grill camp? Well Saturday was Louisville Wings with the “World’s Best BBQ Beans”. Today was Veal Burgers & Mustard Dill Sauce. This was a recipe I wanted to try again as I’d had mixed results the previous 3 times. These burgers were far to moist and fell apart and/or stuck to the grill. I wanted to try out bread crumbs as a binding agent. On tap for this week is Bone-In Pork Shoulder Roast with doctored and smoked Bush Beans. Also grilled pizza and smoked pot roast. The remainder of the week is to be determined and will probably depend on the amount of leftovers present.
 
One weekday down and four to go. Monday was a success, and there is certainly something to be said for having no real schedules or time frame that you have to hold to. It allows you the freedom to experiment and have fun with it and no pressure if it doesn’t work out. If you get a chance try something like my grill camp, I highly recommend it. I will add some blog entries describing new discoveries or items that may be of interest to others.


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