Friday, June 23, 2017

Fourth of July BBQ Brisket Recipes with Stubb's Bar-B-Q

This post is brought to you by Stubb's Bar-B-Q. The content and opinions expressed below are that of The Dirty Smoke BBQ Blog.

By Dru Chai

Both Memorial Day and Father's Day has passed and now July 4th is right around the corner, which means the summer BBQ season is in full swing. Fireworks, flags, family, friends, and... brisket! Yes, brisket. There isn't anything more American (and Texan) than smoked brisket to celebrate the Fourth of July. Brisket is my favorite smoked meat, and of course the most requested BBQ item whenever I host a family or friends gathering.

The great thing about brisket is that it's so versatile when it comes to adding and developing recipes. Sure, you can simply eat brisket by the slice with some pickles, onions, and a slice of bread. But for those who want to a bit more creative, check out some of these recipes by Stubb's Bar-B-Q:

I like both the brisket sliders and brisket tacos recipes. Brisket complements any type of bread or starchy component because it can soak up all the meat juices and sauces. Combined with some pickles and crispy onion strings -- or just thinly sliced raw onions if you prefer -- it's just a great contrast in texture and flavor. Plus, it's BBQ backyard food! It's always fun and satisfying when picking up a slider or taco in one hand, and having a beer or cocktail in the other.

Rocky Stubblefield, grandson of Stubb's Legendary Bar-B-Q founder C.B. "Stubb" Stubblefield, has some tips for creating the perfect brisket to serve either on its own or in other recipes like the ones mentioned above. For the tip about placing the brisket fat side up, it really depends on where the heat source is located. On my Weber Smoky Mountain, I like to place the brisket with the fat side down because it shields the heat which is located on the bottom of the smoker.

The "Sweet Heat" is my favorite

On the last tip, it just depends on your preference. There are some folks who are absolutely against any BBQ sauce touching good, quality brisket. Personally, I like to offer sauce on the side. A little bit of sauce can also really elevate your brisket recipe. On bad brisket? Sauce can be a lifesaver because it can mask horribly, dry brisket with no flavor.

Rocky's Brisket Tips

- Get a good crust: One of the most delicious parts of a brisket is the flavor crust (the bark). Make sure you rub the entire brisket generously with rub 15-20 minutes before the meat goes in the smoker.

- Fat side up: Whether in your smoker or on a charcoal grill, place the brisket fat-side up so that the fat drips down into the meat and it stays moist.

- Slicing is important: Make sure you cut against or across the grain of the brisket for tender slices. Not sure where the grain is? It's easier to see on the raw meat before it's rubbed, so cut a notch when prepping to help guide once it's cooked.

- Add the sauce: As we say in Texas -- it's not done 'til you add the sauce! Serve on the side for dipping or drizzle it over the top.

So what's your favorite brisket tip? Comment below and you could win some Stubb's Bar-B-Q swag.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Product Review: Cave Tools Barbecue Chicken Wing Rack

Chicken wings! Next to ribs, it's one of my favorite snacks things to eat throughout the year. There's something primal and satisfying about holding a piece of cooked meat from its bone and tearing the flesh off. When the craving hits, I'll head over to the meat section at my local grocery store or buy wings at one of those chain restaurants. But for the best experience, nothing beats homemade chicken wings.

I've made chicken wings in all types of methods -- deep fried, oven baked, oven broiled, smoked, and grilled. There's a pro and con to every cooking method, and it really just depends on personal preference and what equipment is available. Personally, I love smoked wings because it's healthier than deep frying and plus I like the smoke flavor from the wood and/or charcoal.

I was intrigued by the Cave Tools Barbecue Wing and Leg Rack because I wanted to smoke chicken wings evenly and thoroughly. Typically when I would smoke/grill wings or drumsticks, I would simply place them directly on the grate -- but it would cook unevenly or be vulnerable to flare-ups when the drippings would fall down into the hot coals.

The unique feature of this rack is that it also includes a drip pan so that it can catch all the drippings during the cooking process. Since the drip pan is placed directly on top of the hot grate, I would suggest lining the inside with aluminum foil so that the drippings wouldn't evaporate so quickly. You could then put vegetables like chopped onions, bell peppers, or mushrooms. I'll definitely use foil on the next cooking session.

On this particular night using the chicken wing rack, I used some drumsticks that were on the small side so it took some trial and error to figure out the best way to hang the chicken upright without falling down. If you have bigger wings or drumsticks, then you could dangle using the bone -- as pictured on the box. After about 10 minutes, the wings/drumsticks turned out great. Cooked evenly throughout, golden brown on the outside yet still tender and juicy on the inside with a subtle smoky flavor.

If you're wondering what flavor wings -- lemon pepper. It is my all-time favorite flavor for chicken wings. Here is my simple recipe using one (or two) lemons:

- Grated lemon zest
- Lemon juice
- Salt & pepper
- Olive oil
- Marinade overnight

Cave Tools Barbecue Wing Rack & Drip Pan
The Dirty Smoke Rating (4/5 stars) - Highly recommended
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Cave Tools website (15% off with code WING15)