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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 09-07-2016, 10:27 PM   #1
Swine Spectator
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Default Brainstorming Thread - Make BBQ Better

The purpose of this thread is to throw out new ideas. What can you come up with to make better Q? These ideas do not have to be tested or proven. I was reading my APL books and he keeps talking about how chef's always look for ways to add flavors (e.g.: flavored salts, herb basting brushes).

I'll go first:

We spend a lot of time talking about rubs and sauces, but I don't see as much effort put into spritz's and sprays. Some people do it, others don't. The ones who do usually use water, apple juice, cider vinegar, or a combination thereof.

My idea is to jazz up the contents of the spray bottle. What about sweetened iced tea with lemon? (It's got sugar, acid, and umami.) Or maybe apple juice, soy sauce, and molasses to lacquer the meat in the last hour of cooking.

Thoughts?

Other ideas?
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Old 09-07-2016, 10:32 PM   #2
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I think getting that good injection makes a great BBQ. Your right a good mop can really keep that moisture and flavor. This should get a lot of responses. Looking forward to seeing what others have
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Old 09-07-2016, 10:34 PM   #3
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From a cooker stand point or just prep or technique stand point?
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Old 09-07-2016, 10:34 PM   #4
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I did like the episode of smoked were that guy used pickle juice on brisket.
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Old 09-07-2016, 11:31 PM   #5
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I've enjoyed reading about the interesting Indian Curry twists that Jason TQ has been using on brisket in the past few months.

Indian, Thai, and Korean flavors work so well with the same meats we cook on a regular basis... but they don't often enter into the "BBQ" discussion.

Buccs' Thai-Inspired Pork Riblets (and my Babyback version of those) has been a HUGE hit every time I've cooked 'em with different crowds.

Interesting discussion...

I'm also interested cooking technique, TBH. Heck, having spun ribs and cooked bird on a 007 with Fwismoker... there's always room for interesting / new / (old?) ideas that "just work."
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:39 AM   #6
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I think most of us have a good idea of what BBQ should look and taste like, and that's probably what we are fixated on when we get down to act of prepping and cooking. And I know that when I throw strange ingredients into a cook or move the bones around or start meat-gluing different parts to other parts, I start getting strange looks or the BBQ purists inevitably scoff at it.

But I think you've hit the nail on the head when you break down the BBQ flavor into its basic flavor components (salty, sweet, sour, umami...no one really likes bitter) and start to experiment with different ingredients that can contribute the same components. There's a current thread on here about satay burgers flavored with what some would consider an excessive amount of asian fish sauce. And I'll hazard a guess that most non-Asian people would find fish sauce in and of itself rather revolting from a flavor standpoint as well as the simple fact that it is made from fermented/rotting fish. But if you think about it, fish sauce lends the flavors of salt, sweet, sour, and umami in spades! And indeed, those satay burgers full of fish sauce turned out to be delicious, and if any of us tasted them we would probably all agree on its unique deliciousness and yet not be able to put our finger on the exact revolting ingredient that made it so.

So whether you brine it or inject it or spritz it, heck ya...definitely try to mix it up again and again. BBQ is tasty no matter how you look at it. But trying new twists like you aspire to...that's what keeps BBQ fun and interesting.
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:55 AM   #7
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As far as technique goes, this is my current fascination...



I've been trying different things to make grilled ribs cook faster and be more flavorful and more tender. Pork spare ribs. The premise, I guess, is that the rib tip end of the rack needs more time/exposure to heat to fully render and tenderize than the bone end, and if I cut the ribs completely apart the bone end would dry up before the other end was yummy enough. Side benefit of cutting them this way is that I can get the rub/mop/spritz and char on all sides of each individual rib.

Anyways, it's a hairbrained idea from someone who loves playing with their food. But it *is* fun and it allows me to do stuff like this LOL:

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Old 09-08-2016, 02:17 AM   #8
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I know a guy that uses pomegranate juice as a spritzer, but to be honest, i couldn't taste it in his meat.
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:45 AM   #9
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1:1 apple juice & bourbon. Don't know how it affects flavor but it's wet, sounds cool when asked what's in the bottle and I give myself a spritz from time to time as well!
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:47 AM   #10
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I am always interested in learning new BBQ ideas, but I will also stay I am *still* trying to consistently produce good traditional BBQ, so I am a little leery of trying anything too out of the box...
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fwismoker View Post
From a cooker stand point or just prep or technique stand point?
Anything. I read lots of cookbooks. When I read Adam Perry Lang's books or Tom Colicchio's "Think Like a Chef", they constant talk about little things they do to add extra flavor. I used to know an Italian Chef who never put salt in seafood dishes. He would add anchovies instead. You never saw or noticed them in the finished dish, because they fell apart during cooking. However, they added that salty briny flavor. You would never be able to pinpoint the anchovy, but it added a little something.

I am trying to train myself to think this way and am hoping others will join me in this thread.

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Old 09-08-2016, 10:12 AM   #12
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For sauces, I went to the extent to make my own Apple Butter and Apple Cider Vinegar from local apples, picked at their peak. I also get to blend bitter, tart and sweet apples for a more complex flavor for both the vinegar and the butter.
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:25 AM   #13
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I once heard someone say he experimented with cooking brisket in a cast iron pan to increase the maillard reaction on the bark. I think he ended up abandoning the idea.

Heard of folks reinjecting pork or brisket drippings back into the meat after it's been cooked to give it an extra punch of flavor and moisture.

As far as rubs and sauces go I agree about Asian flavors. A vast majority of people I see use SPOG + Chili powder, paprika etc etc in different ratios. I've been thinking of using different ingredients lately after rewatching some Good Eats episodes and seeing the flavors he works with on the show.
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Old 09-08-2016, 11:14 AM   #14
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I think I learned the most when I tried cooking meat naked and learned how to accent the natural flavors. I've found that there are a lot of people who have never tasted ribs without sauce, sugar, and heavy spices.
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Old 09-08-2016, 11:14 AM   #15
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One of my favorite ribs is Ethiopian "berbere" spice.....really good & not like anything else.....



(cooked dry only, just resting on foil from other ribs)

Ethiopian & Moroccan spice combinations are REAL interesting....

Another one is to foil first & ask questions later....Sometimes I foil & bake first, then set them out to firm up....





Save whatever sauces collect and are added to glaze over....



Blueberry / chipotle backribs.....





(Not smoked & hence, maybe not real live BBQ, but real good)

Last one (& I know this makes some folks cringe) but running tri-tip all nite to pull....very low heat, heavily injected....



Result is beef flavored butter....

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