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(DISCLAIMER: This may get wordy. If you get bored, skip to the pictures below.)
It had been a few weeks since I'd been in my backyard, much less fired up the egg, so I decided that I was going to cook SOMETHING come hell or highwater. Well, the water got here first. I was bummed on Saturday when the rain started, and REALY bummed when my Jayhawks lost, so I went to the hardware store to cheer up. A 6" rain cap turned my frown upside down and I hurried to the grocery store before they closed to pick out dinner for Sunday. I went with a rack of spare ribs and, since my wife wanted chinese during the week, a package of boneless/skinless chicken thighs.
When I got home I went to work trimming the spares St. Louis style before rubbing them with mustard (may not be necessary but I like that step) and covering with a rub. The spares, back flap, and "brisket" all got the same rub: DP Jamaican Firewalk, DP Redeye, and Bone Suckin Rub all mixed together. Then they were wrapped in plastic and foil and put in the fridge. The thighs got trimmed before being added to a simple brine (water, sugar, salt, soy, oil).
We ate the back flap diced up with eggs and cheese in some breakfast burritos (quick, easy, and delicious) before I started geting nervous about the weather. The 6" rain cap fit snugly over the daisy wheel, but getting the Egg lit was another question. Winter storm what's it's name (why are they naming them now?) was quickly approaching and I didn't know if the rain would let up enough to get any charcoal going. Luckily, a little break came mid/late morning so I ran outside to get the egg set up and a chimney of coals going. Just as I got the coals started, here came the storm with miniature hail-like sleet coming in sideways. I wish I had a picture of myself trying to hold a tarp over the coals (sans hat or gloves) until the coals took off enough to dump in the Egg. Eventually, she was lit and started humming away. (BTW - If anybody doesn't have a roof over their Egg I highly recommend a rain cap. Worked awesome.)
The ribs went on around 11:30 at 225 with hickory and pecan for the smoke. The thighs got treated with DP Tsunami Spin and were placed in a metal pan in butter bath. They went on around 12:30 as I let the temp climb to around 300 dome. With everything I could control out of the way, the little one and I headed to the gym to burn enough calories to be able to eat dinner. We got home around 3:30 (roads were turrable) to find that the egg had crept up to just under 340 dome. No biggie, but it was time to get the chicken out of the pan and onto the grid. Since it was snowing and wintery mixing so hard I had to bring in the ribs and "brisket" inside while I fiddled with the chicken. Half of the ribs got sauced and put back on the Egg. It was at this time that I cubed up the "brisket". put the cubes in a foiled bowl and added sauce: pork burnt ends!
Twenty minutes later I added another swab of sauce to the ribs, and at a little after 4:00 the ribs came off and got wrapped up. About 4:45 the chicken came off and got covered, and when the macaroni and beans finished a little after five I pulled the burnties. My 3 year old daughter like the beans and macaroni the best (she liked the meat, too), I like the ribs the best, and SWMBO liked the pork burnt ends. Winner, winner, chicken (and ribs) dinner.
I apologize for the rambling, but I haven't been cooking NEARLY as much meat since trying to lose a little weight. It felt good getting back into the swing of things. And as big a pain as it was, it was kinda fun having deal with ol' Ma Nature at the same time. Cheers!
The 6" cap made a nice, snug fit over the daisy wheel. Worked like a charm. I highly recommend.
Right before cubing the "brisket" piece for pork burnt ends.
Chicken is out of the butter bath, ribs are half-sauced, burnt ends gathering smoke.
Not a good picture, but they were amazing. I love doing this to different cuts of meats not normally used as burnt ends.
Chicken came out well - very moist for not having a skin. IMHO, brining makes a huge difference with poultry.
The two layers of sauce made them sticky without overpowering the rub or meat. Still my favorite meat to cook (and judge).
The smoke ring was good enough for the girls I go with...
Good flavor, good chew.
I'm glad that this weight loss competition is almost over, and I'm VERY glad that KCBS competition season is here. I'm anxious to get back on some serious 'Q!!!