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

Mini Grill Camp - Day 2

First Image
On Wednesday morning I went shopping so I already had food around for a second day of smoking. I’d enjoyed making the ribs so much on Wednesday, I decided to get more food in Wednesday night for a third day. So now it would be three days of grilling and smoking. The tag line for today should probably be a variation on the “Measure Twice, Cut Once.” The variation would be with regards to cookbook recipes. “Read twice, do once”. But a second theme for today could also be “Have a Plan B”. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Second Image

The chicken is marinated in soy sauce, teriyaki sauce & brown sugar

The plan for today was to make smoked chicken wings in the afternoon. These were a two hour smoke and I’d decided to make the so-called “BEST BBQ BEANS ON THE PLANET”. These also take 2 hours and could share smoker time with the beans. But once I decided to go with a third day of smoking, those items impacted this day. To explain: I’d decided to make pulled pork and a brisket for Friday. The pork shoulder recipe (FIREFLY’S PULLED PORK) gets rubbed and refrigerated for 24 hours before cooking. I was going to start the pork shoulder the moment I got up on Friday. The intent was put the pork shoulder on early in the morning and it would finish up around 8 or 9:00 PM. After a 2 hour rest in foil I could pull it and get to bed at a normal time. Once I got the pork going I would add a briskets which would share smoking time. The brisket would be finished around 8:00 PM as well. I would put both items in FoodSaver bags for use at a big meal at my parents on Saturday. Sort of an indoor Labor Day cookout.

The dipping sauce for the chicken is made from 3 types of mustard

So task one Thursday was to make the rub for the pork shoulder. The brisket had a rub, a mop sauce and a barbecue sauce. These all needed to get made. I wanted to do these during the morning and I would throw on the chicken and the BBQ beans mid afternoon. The beans I’d made before and I knew I was looking at about 2 hours of chopping and another hour before they were ready to smoke. The FIREFLY’S PULLED PORK I’ve made many times before. A recent discovery I’ve made is the end results are actually improved if the pork spends a day vacuum sealed in the sauce in a FoodSaver bag. The advantage here is you are not trying to guestimate a start time that let you finish precisely at meal time. I was going to have the brisket finish up a day early too. I was hoping the brisket would reheat well in the FoodSaver bags. I would cut it into sever large pieces and slice after reheating.

The injector/mop sauce for the brisket used a variety of interesting ingredients including Coca-Cola

After the pork was rubbed and refrigerated, it was time to turn to the brisket prep. This was a new brisket recipe I was trying out for the first time. It was from Paul Kirk’s Championship Barbecue cookbook. Even though this recipe didn’t call for a rub and refrigeration time for the brisket, there was still much advanced prep. One of the things about Paul Kirk’s recipes is that he is big on making sauces and spice mixes from scratch. His recipes often reference a commercial variety of sauce or spice mix you can buy OR you can make yourself with a recipe elsewhere in the book. Where in the past I might have gone the easy store bought route, I have come to realize the results are often far better if you do it yourself. In this case I had to make a barbecue sauce and an Italian seasoning spice blend both of which were an ingredient in the brisket’s barbecue sauce. These sauces need time to simmer and then cool down to room temperature before they came be used. So I wanted to get this process started before I turned to any of the food for this afternoon.

The finished brisket injector/mop sauce

Before I got rolling on the brisket sauce I wanted to take a peek at the recipe for the chicken wings again. I was thinking it was funny that I was spending time on tomorrow's food, but the chicken didn’t have a long marinade time like many poultry recipes do. Well here was where I should have read more carefully. It turns out the chicken DID have a long marinade time: 24 hours as a matter of fact. After my initial cursing myself out was over, I realized the wings would have to go on tomorrow not today. I would start the pork shoulder at 6:00 AM and throw on the wings at 9:00 AM. They wings would be done at 11:00 and I could throw on the brisket which should finish around 9:00 or 10:00 PM. This left just the BBQ beans for this afternoon. I was originally going to make them today to have with the chicken. Then I Plan B occurred to me. When I was at the market I had picked up some skinless hotdogs. I figured with all of the smoking time I would have, I could throw on a couple trays of smoked hotdogs. I also had bought some shoestring fries and onion rings I could heat up for an early lunch on Friday.

This “Sweet & Smokey” barbecue sauce is used as an ingredient in the salad dressing barbecue sauce for the brisket

So my attention turned from the brisket to the chicken. I made the marinade for the chicken which was a simple blend of soy sauce, teriyaki sauce and brown sugar. I washed the chicken, added the marinade and refrigerated the wings till Friday. Since I was going to be doing smoked hotdogs instead of chicken, I figured that bought me a little extra time so I decided to make the mustard dipping sauce for the chicken. This called for 3 different mustards including a Pommerey mustard. A Google search turned up what it was, but I never did find this in any of the stores I checked. I used a close substitute.

The finished “Sweet & Smokey” barbecue sauce

Now it was time for the brisket. First I made the injector sauce which would also be used for a mop during the second half of the smoke. One of the ingredients was Coke, which I always enjoy. I guess I was thinking mop sauce and not injector sauce when I mixed in the granulated garlic the recipe called for. These chunks of garlic would serve to clog up the intake of my injector syringe. I knew better but like I said I was thinking mop, not injector sauce-and this was both. Next time I will either use garlic powder or I will add the granulated garlic only to the potion I use as a mop sauce.

The finished Italian Seasoning blend

While this sauce was simmering I made the 6 spice Italian seasoning mix, for the brisket’s barbecue sauce. When this was done and the sauce was cooled it was time to make the barbecue sauce that was once again used as an ingredient in the brisket’s barbecue sauce. These Paul Kirk recipes are often multi-tiered in their scope. So far they have been worth the effort. Then it was time for a lunch break. I made another deli style panini just as I did the day before.

The ingredients for the “Salad Dressing Barbecue Sauce”

Finally it was time to make the actual barbecue sauce for the brisket. I now had the Italian seasoning blend and the barbecue sauce used as one of the ingredients in this sauce. This sauce was a salad dressing based barbecue sauce and sounded interesting. The other main ingredients were honey and the sweet and smoky barbecue sauce I had made that morning. Once I had that underway, it was time to turn my attention to the BBQ beans.

The finished “Salad Dressing Barbecue Sauce”

Now I love baked beans, don’t get me wrong. But to call this recipe “just beans” does it a disservice. There are all sorts of spices and flavors going on here. If you are interested refer to the link at the end of this blog for my photo entry on these beans. The photo page has the link to the recipe which is available on Steven Raichlen’s BBQU web site. I’ve made these several times in the past and they take me just under 3 hours to prep. One reason I keep cooking logs is so I can look up the prep times for items I made before. That way there I don’t end up saying: “Oh boy, I forgot this took X hours to prep”. I only get that surprise the first time I make something.

The chopped spices for the “Best Barbecue Beans on the Planet”

I wanted to start my prep for the beans around 1:00, but everything else took me until 2:00. This meant they would go on the smoker at 5:00 and would finish up around 7:00 PM. I needed to light the coals around 4:00 to make this happen. There were no surprises here: The prep took 2:45. Throw in getting the hotdogs ready to go and everything hit the smoker at 5:00. Smoked hot dogs are a great comfort food. Plus what could be easier than throwing 16 hotdogs on a tray, slitting them and then smoking for 2 hours turning once? And the so-called Best BBQ Beans on the Planet really do live up to their name. They are a lot of work, but well worth it. And they feed an army so you get several meals out of them.


The finished barbecue beans

While I try not to make the same mistake twice, I never seem to run out of new ones to make too. Today’s lessons: 1) Read your recipes carefully-or you might miss little things such as 24 hour marinade times. 2) It is a good thing to have a backup plan. When my wings fell through for Thursday, I had hotdogs around to smoke. 3) This is a known lesson reinforced again today. It is better to start early and wait till your done to goof off. Things often have a way of taking longer than you expect. But all in all Thursday was a good day and I was looking forward to my 3 item smoke on Friday morning.

  SMOKED HOT DOGS Hot Dogs Picture Entry
  SOY BROWN SUGAR WINGS Poultry Picture Entry
  BEST BBQ BEEF BRISKET Beef Picture Entry


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