Friday, July 8, 2011

America!

In honor of completing the deck renovation and after a long weekend of celebrating the independence of our great nation, MBH and I decided to throw a celebratory BBQ and invite several of our friends.  In honor of America I tried to keep my menu as USA inspired as I possibly could. I decided to do some ribs, corn, chicken, ABTs, salsa, and brats (I said I tried to keep is as American as possible and nothing is more American than over eating and over celebrating).  After the long, hot weekend we were very surprised to get some rain on the 4th but I was determined to not let this slow me down at all.

Prep:
I originally got some ribs from BHFM but at some point during the weekend they spoiled (we assumed the fridge was left open and we purged the fridge of all of the meat we had for the cookout - costly mistake).  Luckily Publix had spares on sale for $1.99/lb and had plenty in stock.  I grabbed 4 slabs, two of which I froze.  The other two were cut in half, de-membraned, and rubbed.  I rubbed two of the halves with a smokehouse maple rub and the other two with a Cajun rub and Tony Chachere's.  I foiled them and placed them in the fridge until cooking time.  We marinated the chicken breasts in light Italian dressing and placed them in the fridge until cooking time.  I did the corn as we usually do it by pulling back the husks and coating in olive oil and Tony's and set them aside for the grill.  I prepped the ABTs as per normal and set them aside until it was their turn.


ABTs waiting their turn.

Cooking:
I set the egg up for indirect cooking using the platesetter, with a drip pan on top, and the grid resting on top of the platesetter legs.  I used the lambda rack to stand the ribs up on end and added some apple juice to the drip pan to add moisture to the ribs.  I set up the Maverick 732 to measure the temperature of the grill and
the meat and then set off for a little pool time. I let the ribs cook for 2 hours at 225º with soaked hickory wood chunks and Jack Daniels wood chips until I returned.

Just getting going and the sun is back out for a bit.

Upon my return I added the salsa ingredients to the grill.  Due to the inclement weather I decided to multitask here.  I was concerned with getting too much smoke on the veggies but decided that it was necessary to speed up the process.  I let the veggies and ribs continue at 225º for an hour flipping the veggies every 15 minutes.  After the veggies were done I pulled them off and shocked them in an ice bath.  I placed all of the veggies, cilantro, and the juice of 4 limes in a food processor and mixed them together.

Starting to rain again but I am resilient.

After the ribs had been on for 3 hours total I wrapped them in foil with apple juice and place them back on for another hour.  At this point, the meat was at 190º and I unfoiled the ribs and put them back on the firm up for another half hour. The ribs were done at this point and I wrapped them in foil and placed them in a cooler to rest until serving.

When the ribs were done I left the grill setup for indirect cooking and opened the vents to increase the temp.  Once at around 350º, I put the ABTs on.  I let them cook for about 45 mins and pulled them off to serve while the rest of the food went on.  I pulled out the platesetter and drip pan and set them aside.  I put the 10 pieces of corn on the egg next with the husks folded down to protect the corn.  I let it cook for 30 mins allowing the temperature to reach 400º and flipping them halfway through.  A majority of the corn was pulled but the pieces near the outer edge of the grate were left on while the rest of the food was put on.  Next I added the chicken and the brats.   I went inside to cut the ribs and serve them along with the corn that was already done.  I pulled the remaining corn after about 10 minutes and pulled the brats shortly there after.  I left the chicken on for about 30 minutes total flipping every 10 minutes until they were done.

The back-up  dancers.

Notes:
Everyone had good things to say about the food in general. The salsa was very spicy but had some great flavor.  Next time I need to completely de-seed the peppers before adding them to the food processor.  The ribs were my favorite with corn and chicken following closely behind.  We had a lot of fun celebrating America but everyone was pretty worn out after eating and the party was pretty low key.  I am very much looking forward to my next cook and the new deck makes egging so much better.

I made a lot of salsa.  That is a big bowl.

I couldn't even set the plate down before people were grabbing at these.
The spread when I finally got my chance at it.
Had a great smoke ring on the ribs.  The flavor was great.

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