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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 03-27-2011, 11:10 PM   #1
Ground Pounder
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Default "Trigg Finish" attempt results in black tar... where did I go wrong?

I wanted to try something a bit different this weekend, so I went a little "hot and fast" with 2 racks of spares. 275 for 2 1/2 hours, then went for the "Trigg finish" of butter, brown sugar, honey, and a little heat (I used a few drops of straight tabasco for mine, as I don't have the infamous "Tiger sauce".) Back into the OTS for one hour.

When I unwrapped, I didn't have golden brown - I had black, tarry, gooey goo that, while not too bad tasting, certainly wasn't what I was expecting.

Where did I go wrong?

Two factors that might have played into it:

1) I only used about 2 TBSP of butter per side, or about half a sti ck per rack. Might not have been enough fat to keep the sugar from burning?

2) I did get a temp spike right after returning to the grill up to about 300 for about 5 minutes - could this have caused the sugar to flash-burn to the foil before the butter had a chance to down?

The meat finished tender, and after I was able to rid most of the mess and sauce-finish to a very, very dark amber with some traditional grocery-store sauce, the result was a good-but-no-where-near-great product, so I'd love to try and figure this one out so I don't have a repeat on next week's racks.

Any thoughts?

(Edit: Equipment was an OTS, kingsford blue with hickory and mesquite chips, set up for indirect heat "minion style" using a foiled brick for a heat shield, controlling temps with the one-touch vent and offseting the wide-open lid vent from the heat source for coverage.

Last edited by Ground Pounder; 03-27-2011 at 11:17 PM.. Reason: info addition
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Unread 03-27-2011, 11:35 PM   #2
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Taking pics would have helped.
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Unread 03-27-2011, 11:43 PM   #3
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Thanks, I thought about that afterwards. When it happened, after the initial shock, I went into a flurry of tasting, then picking and scraping the ugliness before using an apple juice "rinse" before resaucing to try and save dinner - otherwise they were gettin' hockey-puck burgers and hot dogs!
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Unread 03-27-2011, 11:43 PM   #4
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Must have gotten too hot - can't think of any other reason. Is your thermo accurate? Sounds like you made quite a save and ended up eating them anyway.
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Unread 03-27-2011, 11:56 PM   #5
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Thanks Oak Pit - I was curious about this when I first read the method, because sugar will usually start to burn if you get too much above 260 or so, but my understanding is the fat of the butter will prevent this once it gets into solution. That's why I figured either there wasn't enough butter to keep it from burning, or that the quick temp spike may have burned the sugar before the butter had a chance to melt, as I used stick (that was pretty cold and firm) instead of soft tub- or squirt-.

My temp readings are far from dead-on, as I was using a couple of those grocery store oven thermometers, but I have oven-tested them within 5 degrees. I also try and get around any mechanical glitches by placing two of them together, so that if they read the same, it's usually a pretty good indication that they're fairly accurate.
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Unread 03-28-2011, 12:35 AM   #6
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I've only read about his method, but doesn't he use squeeze margarine or something like that? If you were using salted butter there's a good chance that it burned - unsalted burns at a higher heat than unsalted.
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Unread 03-28-2011, 12:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ground Pounder View Post
Thanks Oak Pit - I was curious about this when I first read the method, because sugar will usually start to burn if you get too much above 260 or so, but my understanding is the fat of the butter will prevent this once it gets into solution. That's why I figured either there wasn't enough butter to keep it from burning, or that the quick temp spike may have burned the sugar before the butter had a chance to melt, as I used stick (that was pretty cold and firm) instead of soft tub- or squirt-.

My temp readings are far from dead-on, as I was using a couple of those grocery store oven thermometers, but I have oven-tested them within 5 degrees. I also try and get around any mechanical glitches by placing two of them together, so that if they read the same, it's usually a pretty good indication that they're fairly accurate.
Did you taste the burned liquid? If it was sugar, it occurred to me that you would have smelled that. It may have been the butter, not the sugar. Your process looks thoughtful and controlled, perhaps do a test run in a pan on the stove to determine melting/burning point temperatures of whatever additives you put in the foil. You might realize that a certain temp is perfect, and replicate that on your cooker during the foiling process. That way you can have confidence at what temp things start to go bad, and what temp may be the "butter zone" for lack of a better term.

My .02 anyway.
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Unread 03-28-2011, 01:12 AM   #8
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That makes sense - I never really considered that the butter may have burned, but I have had a similar issue with wrapping corn and adding butter instead of margarine, where it will burn up a bit. And I guess burned butter + honey would certainly produce the tarry finish I had.

Looks like I've got some experimenting to do, thanks a bunch to you folks for the input!
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Unread 03-28-2011, 02:02 AM   #9
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I would say your thermometer or the placement of it, had you at higher heats than you think.
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Unread 03-28-2011, 02:13 PM   #10
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I've read where butter starts to burn around 250. Melted sugar gets really dang hot. A prolonged burn of temp and hot sugar will certainly burn the butter. This might be an issue for you.

The method of Trigg is to use squeeze margarine...not butter.
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Unread 03-28-2011, 02:20 PM   #11
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Too much heat
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Unread 03-28-2011, 02:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtr View Post
...unsalted burns at a higher heat than unsalted.
meant to say unsalted burns at a higher temp than salted...
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Unread 03-28-2011, 02:22 PM   #13
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Sounds like your product got too hot and scorched the sugars. Doesn't take long approaching 300 for this to happen. He does not use butter in his method.
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Unread 03-28-2011, 02:27 PM   #14
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I took a cooking class a few years ago with Mr. Triggs and Rod......Triggs definately used the infamous blue bottle, instead of regular salted or unsalted butter. He also didn't put as much on the ribs as I had previously thought. Just two lines, and his famous Tiger Sauce (which he pretty much puts on everything!!!).
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Unread 03-28-2011, 02:33 PM   #15
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Oven thermometers read slow, so if you saw it topped at 300, it's peak was probably higher than that.

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