Made another round of tri-tip dip sandwiches.  Pretty much the same routine as last week’s as far as cook, with onions and au jus.  We did fresh green beans and baked beans for sides.

Made “steak” tacos the next night with the leftovers.  Sauteed up some green pepper and onion and added the beef.   Really good!

Another round of chicken and potatoes on the Pit Barrel.  Made a custom rub.  Lightly brushed the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkled on some rub.  Served with corn on the cob.

Backyard hops coming along nicely!

Here’s my third tri-tip on the PBC. I made tri-tip dip sandwiches. I was in Phoenix for business last week and a coworker turned me onto the Barbecue Co. down there. I had their Tri-tip Dip. Best sandwich of the trip! I had to try replicating it. So I got a 2.5 pounder from my butcher, rubbed it with a custom dry rub. Did the charcoal chimney lighting method. Starting temp did well, but did have to crack the lid for a spell as usual (for me). Added an onion and Brussels sprouts to my Ugly Great Grate. Also, made an Au jus dipping sauce with beef broth, red onion, garlic, shallot, fresh thyme sprigs, red wine and butter. (had to try making it extra savory since I could not collect the drippings from the tri-tip). When the tri-tip was done, at 135 degrees after about 45 minutes, I sauteed the onion, toasted the buns (spread on some horseradish before serving). Served the sandwich with homemade fries. It was National French Fry Day afterall! You didn’t know?? LOL The tri-tip sandwich (and fries) were a home run! Brussels sprouts were a swing and a miss. Usually when I grill them (a fave side dish around our house), I microwave them a bit first to help tenderize them. I wanted to see how they’d hold up to 45-50 minutes on the PBC. Only the smallest ones were close to being done. Live and learn. However, will be making these sandwiches again for sure!

Fourth of July, 2014.  Did a turkey for the first time on the PBC. I have turkey down pretty good on my old upright smoker, so I was interested to compare the results. Well, the results are in and gull dang if it was one of the best turkeys I’d ever made! It was a 20 pounder, and according to the PBC demo was supposed to take around five hours. Mine took over six, but it was worth the wait. We got a down pour right in the middle of the cook that dropped the barrel temp for a while. I made a custom dry rub and pretty much followed the instructions in the video for prep and hanging. Since the bird took longer and delayed our dinner and I was busy hosting a party, (grilled burgers and dogs too) I didn’t get any pics of the bird coming off the PBC, but here’s a few. I think you can see how juicy the meat was in the last photo.

Made about two gallons of smoked turkey stock with the carcass.  Mmm mmmm good!

Burrito casserole with avocado and homemade salsa.

Burrito casserole with avocado and homemade salsa.

Pork spare ribs on the Pit Barrel Cooker.  Made my own BBQ sauce using Myron Mixon’s recipe.  Only thing I did different was add some XXX Hot sauce.  Also, used his rib marinade.  Was the first time marinating ribs.  Very good!

Did up another whole chicken and potatoes tonight using my Ugly, but works great, Great Grate. Rubbed the chicken with olive oil and Memphis Rub. Taters were brushed with olive oil then rubbed with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. I put those on the same time as the chicken. Overall, took about 2 hours 30 minutes. Pit Barrel performed fine. Cracked the lid a couple times. No biggie. Served with cucumber salad. Ah, Summah time!

Kicked off the first day of summer doing some country pork ribs (the real deal ones this time, thick, some with bones). One guest said they were the best ribs he’d ever had. Not my opinion, but maybe they did rank up there with the best country ribs I’ve ever done. Yes, sir. Served with homemade potato salad and local corn on the cob.

Look.  A salad!  Every once in a while I get the craving for the classic Korean salad, which is chocked full of veggies; spinach, bean sprouts, mushrooms, green onions, red onion and cherry tomatoes.  Oh, there’s a bit a bacon too.  For this round I made the Catalina dressing using this recipe.  Very good!

Happy Fryday!

Happy Fryday!

We got a real cool kitchen gadget a couple months ago.  It’s a breakfast sandwich maker. Overall, it takes about ten minutes to make your own McMuffin.  One simply plugs in it to heat up.  After it’s heated  you layer ingredients, For this one I did English muffin, ham, cheese, egg ( It has separate layer for the egg), topped with the other english muffin half.  (the red stuff on muffin is Srirachi)  Close the lid and cook for about 5 minutes.  It’s just that easy and quick.  Slick!  Found mine for $25 at Best Buy.

Pit Barrel Cooker-Eighteenth Session-Wings with Sauerkraut Balls

Did two rounds of wings on the PBC last night. They turned out great! This was the second time doing them,  The only thing I did differently from the first was let them cook a little longer after the sauce was added. I brushed them with some olive oil and sprinkled with generous amount salt and fresh ground pepper. Used a 50-50 mix of hickory BBQ sauce and Srirachi sauce. Threw on some apple wood chips at the beginning of each batch. Served with homemade, deep fried sauerkraut balls with mustard dipping sauce. PBC performed perfectly!  Check out the PBC Hot Wings Video here.

Regarding the sauerkraut balls, we had them at a couple brewpubs in Columbus, Ohio the other weekend.  I had never heard of them.  Guess it’s an Ohio thing I’m finding out.  There are tons of recipes out there and I decided on this one posted by Columbus Foodie.

I substituted ham for the sausage and added a finely chopped serrano pepper and used Italian bread crumbs for some extra flavor.  Will definitely do these again!

Hottest day of the year so far in the Mile High City, temps reaching the low 90s. Too hot to cook inside so did stir fry on the grill. Chicken, red, orange, green bell peppers, jalapeno, green onion, mushrooms, zucchini, sauces/spices. Was served over rice noodles toipped with freshlyu chopped cilantro, Thai basil and fried wonton strips.



Behold the Pit Barrel Cooker!

Here are links to my experiences so far with this wonderful outdoor smoker:

First Two Sessions - PBC out of the box overview, whole chicken and pork spare ribs

Third Session - Baby Back ribs (read about the importance of making sure the barrel’s lid needs to be on tight.  I had a little issue)

Fourth Session - Wings

Fifth Session - Pork Spare Ribs

Sixth Session - Pork Baby Backs

Seventh Session - Tri-tip beef

Eighth Session - Whole Chickens

Ninth Session - Pork Spare ribs (first full capacity cook)

Tenth Session - Meatloaf

Eleventh Session - Whole chickens and potatoes

Twelfth Session - Pork Ribs

Thirteenth Session - Ham

Fourteenth Session - Whole Chicken

Cleaning the ash from the PBC

Fifteenth Session - 1st Pizzas

Sixteenth Session - Pork Spare Ribs…again

Made a custom grill grate for the PBC

Seventeenth Session - Tri-tip and Stuffed Portobellos

Eighteenth Session - Wings with Sauerkraut Balls

I just updated this list with more of my PBC activities.