1°F Wings

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“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays…” sorry, that’s the USPS’s motto, but anyway, I’m not going to let a little cold come between me and some hot wings.

wings

3 pounds chicken wings
Penzey’s Ruth Ann’s Muskego Ave Chicken/Fish Seasoning
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup Sriracha hot sauce
1/3 cup honey
2-3 tablespoon Thai sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon peanut oil

Toss wings in oil and then season heavily the Penzey’s seasoning or your favorite rub. Set a cooling rack on a cookie sheet or jellyroll pan. Lay wings out on a rack and let them sit uncovered in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, and preferably overnight to let the rub do its work and for the skin to dry out a bit.

wings

Set your grill up for a raised direct cook at 350°F. On the Big Green Egg I used an extender to move the grate up to the level of the rim, putting the chicken further away from the heat.

While the grill is eating up, combine the butter, hot sauce, honey, chili sauce, and vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, them remove from heat but keep warm.

When the grill is ready, put the wings on the grill and cook undisturbed for 30 minutes. Flip and cook for another 20 minutes, or until brown and crispy.

Baste the wings on both sides with the hot sauce. Let them cook for another 10 minutes, then baste again.

Serve with bleu cheese dressing for dipping.

The Verdict: ★★★★★
The sweet/hot/tangy flavor of the wings was perfect. Just when you thought one of the flavors would drown the other out, the others came through to create a great balance. I really like the brightness that the rub added.

Despite the cold, the BGE performed like a champ. I noticed no change in cooking times at all.

Happy 2016!

Prime Rib

I’m back! Sorry for the hiatus.

Had a small get-together with friends and family on New Year’s Eve featuring this prime rib roasted on the Big Green Egg.

1 6-pound Hereford Beef boneless rib-eye roast
Sea or kosher salt
2-3 tablespoons Montreal-style steak seasoning

Prep the roast a least a day before you plan on cooking it to give the rub a chance to do its thing.

First, score the fat cap (deckle) on the roast, making shallow diagonal cuts in a diamond pattern at about 1-inch intervals. Then generously dust the roast on all sides with the steak seasoning and plenty of salt, making sure to work it into the cuts.

Move the roast to a rack set over a roasting pan, and put the whole works to the fridge, letting the roast sit uncovered overnight.

When you are ready to cook, remove the roast from the fridge and let it sit out while you get your grill fired up. Set up for an indirect cook at 300°F. On the Big Green Egg I used the plate settler with a drip pan to diffuse the heat and raise my cooking grate about 4 inches.

Roast the meat at 300°F until it hits 130°F internal. This should take about 15 minutes per pound, 1 1/2 hour total. I used a Maverick Et-732 Remote Thermometer to keep an eye on both grill and internal meat temp.

Move the roast to a cutting board and let stand 20 minutes before slicing.

The Verdict: ★★★★☆
The roast turned out slightly crisp on the outside and medium-rare in the center. It was tasty and tender.

It did not get as crispy or evenly pink as with either the reverse sear or the grill and roast techniques. With the recent snow, it was a tricky and slippery trek to the Egg this year and I decided that simplicity beat falling on my butt and watching the roast sail off into a snow bank.

Wishing you all a wonderful New Year! 

2 – 1/2 – 1/2 Ribs

The weather over the holiday weekend didn’t exactly cooperate and I found myself with just a short break in the rain to do a rack of ribs. I had been planing to do the rack with the 2-1-1- method, but it didn’t look like I had that kind of time. So I kept the technique, but bumped up the temperature to shorten the cook.

1 rack of baby back ribs
Rub of your choice
Sauce of your choice

Set your grill up for a raised direct cook at medium-ish heat (325°F). On the Big Green Egg this meant barely filling the fire ring with lump charcoal and using an extender to raise the cooking grate further from the heat.

While the grill is heating up, dust your ribs generously on both sides with rub (Dizzy Pig’s Dizzy Dust in this case).

When the grill is ready, add your smoking wood (guava this time) and wait until the smoke turns from white (bad) to blue (good). Than arrange your rack on the cooking grate bone side down. Close the lid and let them cook for 2 hours.

Lay out a sheet of heavy-duty foil big enough to wrap the rack in and pour 1/4 cup of barbecue sauce (cheap store brand this time) down the middle of it. Put rack on foil meat side down. Wrap tightly and return to grill for 1/2 hour.

Remove ribs from foil and put back on grill meat side up. Sauce ribs and let cook another 1/2 hour, until meat has pulled back from the ends of the bones and is very tender.

Ribs

Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

The Verdict: ★★★★½
I was afraid the extra heat would dry out the ribs, but they were tender and tasty. Funny thing is that I was in such a rush to get the ribs on that I forgot to remove the membrane on the bone side. Normally this is a no-no as it can get tough and unpleasant to eat, but the extra heat crisped the membrane to the point that it was almost like skin on a chicken. It gave a nice extra bit of texture and it seemed like it helped to hold the juices in.

I did have to dock myself 1/2 a star for the store-bought sauce. Not a winner.

Chicken Kabobs

I’ve been looking for a simple chicken marinade and found a 4-ingredient one over at NoBIGGIE. Of course I had to play around with it a little bit, but that’s part of the joy of cooking.

8 chicken thighs, boneless/skinless
1/2 cup raw or brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce
1-2 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce
4 flat, wooden skewers

Make the marinade by combining the brown sugar, oil, vinegar, soy sauce, and hot sauce. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

Put the thighs in a zip-top bag and pour the marinade over them. Turn to coat, then squeeze the air out of the bag, seal it up, and stash in the fridge for at least 4 hours (overnight is even better). Turn the bag every so often to make sure all the pieces get a coated in the marinade.

Set your grill up for a direct cook over high (400°F) heat. Put the skewers in a pan of water to soak.

When the grill is ready, thread two thighs onto each skewer. Grill chicken about 10 minutes per side or until the internal temp hits at least 180°F and the meat gets a good crispy char on it.

Chicken Kabobs

Remove the skewers from the grill and let rest 10 minutes before serving. I put these over some sesame noodles and roasted peppers.

The Verdict: ★★★★☆
I really liked the tangy, sweetness that the marinade gave the chicken. Adding the Sriracha gave it a nice bump of heat.  But I don’t know that the oil really brought anything to the party other than some flare ups. Next time I would skip the peanut oil and go with maybe a couple of tablespoons of sesame oil.

Country-Style Ribs

Not really ribs, country-style ribs are thick slabs of meaty goodness cut from the shoulder of the of the pig. It’s a complicated cut of meat with lots of fat and connective tissue, so they really lend themselves for a little low and slow smoking followed by by a braise until they melt.

1 pound country-style pork ribs
Barbecue rub of choice
2 cups apple juice
1/2 cup barbecue sauce of choice

Season ribs on all sides with a generous coating of rub (Plowboys Yardbird in the case). Stash in fridge while you set up the grill.

Set the grill up for an indirect cook over medium (300°F) heat. On the Big Green Egg is used the plate settler to diffuse the heat and raise my cooking grate about 4 inches.

Add your smoking wood (apple this time) to the grill and when the grill reaches 300°F and the smoke has turned blue, add a drip pan to the plate setter, and arrange the ribs on the cooking grate. Close the lid and let them cook, flipping every 30 minutes, until they reach 160°F internal (about an hour and a half).

Move the ribs off to a flame-proof pan roasting pan and cover with the apple juice. Turn ribs to coat and move the pan full of ribs back to the grill. Close the lid and let cook for an hour.

Check the ribs for doneness – they should be around 190°F internal and the meat should fall apart when you poke at it with a fork. Remove the ribs to a platter to let them rest. Reserve any juices that are still left in the pan.

country ribsI

Pour reserved juices and barbecue sauce together in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes to thicken.

Serve the ribs with sauce on the side.

The Verdict: ★★★★☆
Very tasty – really like the extra sweetness from the apple juice, but not as juicy as I would have liked. I think these might benefit from being sealed in foil for the final part of the cook.

Slow Roasted Chicken

Chicken

This is a perfect recipe for Sunday supper. You get a nice meal out of it plus plenty of leftovers for the rest of the week.

1 3 to 4 pound chicken
2 teaspoons granulated garlic powder
2 teaspoons sea or kosher salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon lemon pepper

Combine the salt, herbs, and spices in a small bowl. Prep the chicken by removing the giblets and trimming off any excess fat or skin. Gently loosen the skin around the breast and thighs. Use a spoon to scoop about half the rub under the skin, spreading it out evenly. Dust the outside of the bird with the remaining rub.

Move the chicken to a pan with a rack in it and stash uncovered in the fridge for at least an hour (overnight is even better) to let the skin dry out a bit and the rub do its magic.

Set up your grill for an indirect cook over low (300°F) heat. On the Big Green Egg I used an inverted plate setter (convEGGtor) to defuse the heat.

Add a little wood for smoke, but go easy because chicken will soak up a lot of it. I used a small hunk of apple.

Roast the chicken until the breast hits 165°F internal (about 1 1/2 hours). Remove from grill and let rest 10 minutes before carving.

The Verdict: ★★★★★
Lowering the roasting temperature gave more time for the smoke to flavor the bird while still keeping the skin crisp. Leftovers became a chicken and kielbasa stew.

Reverse Seared Ribeye

I’ve already had great luck with the reverse sear technique on prime rib, so why not give a try on a big ol’ ribeye?

Reverse Sear Ribeye

1 thick-cut ribeye steak (about an 1 1/2 thick is ideal)
Sea or kosher salt
1-2 tablespoons Montreal-style steak seasoning

At least an hour before you are ready to cook, prep the steak by trimming off any excess fat, salting fairly heavily, and giving it a light dusting of the steak seasoning. Move the steak to a raised rack and stash it in the fridge to let the salt do its magic. Most of the liquid that forms on the surface of the meat will get sucked back in or evaporate off. Either way, this helps you get an outside that will crisp up nicely and an inside that’s juicy and well-seasoned.

Set your grill up for a raised direct cook over low (250°F) heat. On the Big Green Egg I used an extender to move the grate up to the level of the rim, putting the steak further away from the heat.

When the grill is ready, add a little wood for smoke. I use a mix of apple and a little mesquite.

Reverse Sear Ribeye

Roast the steak at 250°F until it hits 115°F internal (about for 1 1/2 hours). I used a Maverick Et-732 Remote Thermometer to keep an eye on both the grill and the internal meat temp.

Remove the steak from the grill and let rest while you crank up the fire as hot as it will go. I got the Egg up to 700°F in about 15 minutes.

Return the steak to the grill  and sear each side, flipping often, until you get a nice char on the outside (about 5 minutes).

Reverse Sear Ribeye

The Verdict: ★★★★★
Loving the reverse sear! The steak was a perfect, juicy medium-rare on the inside with a with a crispy crust. Normally I would tie the steak to get it a little more compact so that it cooked evenly, but I left this one a little loose and really liked the way the ends crisped up.