View Full Version : The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly?

Meat Burner
07-06-2011, 07:31 PM
Just curious what you all feel comfortable with and what you struggle cooking, and what you struggle with cooking comfortable. Just a thought.

07-06-2011, 08:39 PM
This is tough. Good question, I'm enjoying thinking about it. I've become comfortable with ways to prepare everything I can think of that I eat, I think. So for comfortable it's a pretty good sized list. For struggling, I guess pizza, most of which is my inability to spin the dough around so I push it out into irregular shapes. Something I struggle with cooking comfortable? I guess by that you mean something that is just a lot of work but not necessarily uncomfortable? If so, then I guess ABT's because they're a lot of work to make enough, and I always wind up with pepper juice somewhere on my hands/face/wherever even when trying to use gloves.

07-06-2011, 09:11 PM
Chicken. Chicken is so freakin' hard. Sometimes it comes out perfect and sometimes it sucks.

07-06-2011, 09:39 PM
yep, chicken. all over the place with it.

07-06-2011, 09:47 PM
Very comfortable with pork butts and chuckies, I've been doing allright on ribs until last time (they were not great - and my entry in the sparerib td! :doh:), chicken is getting pretty consistent esp. w/brining, and while I've enjoyed the few briskets I've cooked, I'm not sure I'd be showing it off to other Brethren at this point - 'cause it might fall flat.

I'm not really uncomfortable with anything because I cook to relax and I don't mind learning from mistakes - not saying all my grub is always great, just that I don't get too worried about it. I actually would like to try a shoulder clod soon, & of course the only sensible time to do that is when there are a chitload of people coming over - I'll probably be a little less relaxed that day. I figure if I allow enough time & cook it 'till it's done, it should be fine, though.

I'm talking backyard here, not comp, btw. That'd be a whole 'nother story. I know very little if anything about comp cooking.

07-06-2011, 09:54 PM
Given enough to drink, I'm comfortable cooking absolutely anything. It might be burnt all to hell, but just pour me another and I'm comfortable.

Smiter Q
07-06-2011, 10:00 PM
Comfortable with chicken, it just works for me. Last night my GF even told me that the chicken is ALWAYS her favorite. Whether it be wings, a full bird, drumsticks, thighs, etc. Also pork loin, pork tenderloins, steaks, abts. Not comfortable with brisket, as I have not even tried it yet.:shocked: I think being in Austin and surrounded by so many fantastic brisket places(Franklin's for one) I have just been intimidated and wished not to make a bad one. Now that I actually wrote this.. it seems silly.:oops: Guess I will be giving it a try sooner than later now.

I agree with GTR, in that I too cook to relax.

07-06-2011, 10:12 PM
I am good with about any piece of meat. That is except for ribs. For the life of me I can't seem to cook a good rack of ribs. No matter what I try they come out tough.

07-06-2011, 11:13 PM
I feel the most comfortable smoking pork butts, tri-tips, and of course fatties (can't really go wrong there). Most difficult is chicken. I just can't seem to get it down although I do a lot better with whole chicken. Ribs is what I struggle cooking comfortable. I think it's cause I just over think it and keep looking for a competition style bite vs just the backyard bbq.
+1 on the question

07-06-2011, 11:17 PM
They were all a problem when I first started smoking, but as the years have gone by I have pretty solid recipes and techniques for home and friends Q,
I'm always experimenting and tweaking. Nothing is just right or perfect IMO.

07-06-2011, 11:19 PM
If so, then I guess ABT's because they're a lot of work to make enough, and I always wind up with pepper juice somewhere on my hands/face/wherever even when trying to use gloves.
LOL - the last time I did them my forehead was burning for 2 hours...:laugh:

07-07-2011, 01:12 AM
LOL - the last time I did them my forehead was burning for 2 hours...:laugh:
Going to slightly hijack this thread, but I'll get it back on track.

When I was in college (Texas Tech) we played two 11am home games in September against Ole Miss and N.C. State. Temps were in the 100's for both games, and our sunblock wore off I guess because by the end of the game, we were fried.

The next day I was making something and cutting up habaneros. Not thinking, I wiped my forehead with my hand. My lobster-red, raw, sunburned forehead. I've done a lot of stupid things, but to this day that's the worst physical pain I've ever felt. I ran to the shower, turned the cold water on, and jumped in clothes, shoes, and all. Sweet relief. The rice burned but I didn't care at that point.

...getting back on track...

Chicken is tough for me. I'm always so afraid of undercooking it that I leave it on longer than it should be. Not talking smoking, just grilling or pan-frying.

07-07-2011, 07:16 AM
Meats, sauces, etc. don't make me sweat. Pastries and cakes (decorating): that makes me sweat!! I am no "artiste". :mrgreen: Disclaimer: I was a manager/kitchen manager for a full service, cook from scratch, cafeteria. I learned early on to "not let them see you sweat!". Also, research and using a recipe the first time help get over any anxiety. The second and subsequent times are when I begin the creative tweaking!

07-07-2011, 07:24 AM
Ribs have been my most difficult to master. I pretty well have brisket licked thanks to this place.

Lake Dogs
07-07-2011, 07:51 AM
I worked as a cook for my first 10 years of employment (thankfully it paid for college). Over the years I did become a fairly decent cajun/creole cook, so most anything like Jambalaya, RB&R, Chicken Fricassee, Catfish Courtboullion, etc. are my forte. Then, outside, ribs, pork shoulders (butts, picnics, whole), chuckies all good. Wife says I have steaks down to an art too... And, my ex-wife would probably still have sex with me if I promised to make her hamburgers; so I guess I do those pretty good too...

Chicken, cooked outside vexes me. Particularly chicken skin when trying to barbecue it. However, I have a few ideas on this, so it's still a work in process...

I'd like to get whole hog down pat.

07-07-2011, 09:45 AM
I don't break a sweat over most everything I cook...except brisket. For some reason, even though they turn out okay, I worry about them. I agree with Gore, though. A drink (or two or three) gets me through my brisket cooks!

07-07-2011, 10:53 AM
I have trouble with chicken breasts. Skin either slides off or they dry out very easily.

07-07-2011, 06:49 PM
My struggle is chicken my comfort
zone is pork butts hartache is brisket

07-07-2011, 08:05 PM
Now that I'm completely sober, I've only ever had a few hiccups. One brisket was a bit dry and the first two times I did Peking duck, I had trouble getting the fat rendered properly. I realized I needed to increase the temps about 50* above what is done in an oven. Pastry, especially danishes can come out a bit smoky, but I realized I also have to increase the temperature in the Oval about 25* over oven temps. I believe this is because the heat is moister than in the oven. Usually, if I listen to what my wife says, things work out well. Really not afraid to do anything. I've tried many strange things for throwdowns (this is a great way to practice) thinking they would not work, and they almost always seem to come out fine the first time.

07-10-2011, 04:13 PM
Im comfortable with butts and briskets, but I just cant get ribs and chicken to come out anywhere near how I want.