First US Style BBQ

There are times when I wonder whether the subtitle of this blog should be: "Making mistakes so you don't have to!", although in the case of my first US style bbq nothing major went wrong, it's just that the things that went wrong were those irritating things that, had I been wearing my "thinking head", wouldn't have.

That said, I produced a decent plate of food. There's pork ribs with a rub and sauce from the website. Chicken, Boston baked beans and coleslaw. Oh, and a bit of pork cracklin' off the bellies that I cut up for the ribs:

Ribs, chicken, Boston beans and coleslaw

"Shurrup and tell us about the mistakes; that's more fun."
OK dear reader, I'll get to that! The first thing I did was to (deliberately) leave the full belly, less the skin, on one set of ribs. You can see the difference in depth here:

Ribs and chicken in the bbq smoker

Not a problem in itself, had I cooked it for longer to compensate; it had the same 5 hours at 105°C/221°F - 110°C/230°F as the thinner one. That's not to say it wasn't cooked - as in cooked to a safe temperature - it just wasn't as tender as I would have liked. You can see from the photos that the meat hasn't pulled away from the tips of the bones like it does in a well cooked product.

A monster set of ribs

My second mistake was to smoke the ribs for only as long as the recipe said - the recipe was geared to a charcoal fired bbq - I use a gas fired cabinet bbq. They used chunks of wood: I used small chippings of apple wood. I should have used my own judgement, after all, one thing I do know about is smoking things! You can see that there is no tell-tale red smoke ring around the edge of the meat - let alone that it had no taste of smoke.

Juicy pork ribs

I also learned that when a US website says "Chili powder", it doesn't mean chili powder as in 'powdered chili' like it does in my local supermarket that sells spices for Indian food. No, it means a mix of chili, cumin, salt, garlic powder, oregano etc. Tee hee, you'd just love it if I told you that I'd actually put 2 tablespoons of Indian chili powder into the bbq sauce wouldn't you? Well, I didn't, so there! I'm thick: not stupid!

The Boston baked beans were well received. These ones were more authentic than the ones I made before. The previous ones had tomato puree in them, something frowned upon by purists. However, personally I preferred my previous recipe, authentic or not. That's how I'll make them next time; I'll just not call them "Boston"!

Boston baked beans

Desert was this superb Blackberry and Apple pie made by my eldest daughter's fella, Alex.

Blackberry and apple pie made by Alex

A big thanks must go to the guys at the forum from the US, some of whom do this at a competitive level. Their help has saved me making a lot more mistakes than the few I have.

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