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Author Topic: BBQ on the cheap  (Read 18417 times)
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greg waits
« on: Mar 04, 2014, 08:11PM »

It's not like it is expensive anyway, but I wanted some ribs the other day. We were in an Asian market the other day. I spotted a package of beef ribs that were cut in half. The racks were normal length,. but they weren't as wide. And they were cheap.

It was cold outside and I didn't really want to fire up either the gas grill or the wood smoker. I cheated; after marinating them awhile in bbq sauce I put them in a baking dish and slow roasted them for a few hours @ 275 degrees.

The meat was literally falling off the small rib bones. I took the bones out (after cooling obviously) and then I chopped it all up, trying to remove as much of any gristle I could. I added a healthy amount of bbq sauce, stirred it up and reheated it. Wrapped in flour tortillas, this was excellent.

Sure, it wasn't done purist style. I didn't really care. I was hungry and the clean up easier.

I always preferred pork ribs to beef, but these came out great!
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« Reply #1 on: Mar 04, 2014, 10:21PM »

Great minds think alike!

I prefer dry rub: sprinkle them liberally w/your favorite seasonings (I like a couple: the Stubbs dry rub and a general New Orlean's mix we found called "Joe's"), wrap in aluminum foil, maybe add a tiny bit of beer or vinegar, slow-roast in oven for 45 at low heat.

Yum!

Oh, and then there's the crockpot....
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« Reply #2 on: Apr 21, 2014, 07:07AM »

But you can't really call it BBQ if there is no smoke involved in the cooking process. Even though it is still very tasty.
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« Reply #3 on: Apr 21, 2014, 08:29AM »

But you can't really call it BBQ if there is no smoke involved in the cooking process. Even though it is still very tasty.

that really depends on where you're from.  In some places BBQ refers to the method of cooking, in some it's the method of dressing the meat/saucing. 

I love smoked meats, but I don't consider the smoking necessary as long as the meat is cooked well and seasoned nicely. 

purists be damned!  Okay, I admit, I want a little smoker - you know, something 10X15X30 that I can get a few carcasses in.  Ever had smoked Elk or moose? 
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« Reply #4 on: Apr 21, 2014, 09:20AM »

I cannot remember the specifics, as I am at work (shhhh...), but take spareribs, dry rub them and let them sit.  Using heavy duty foil, make an 8x8 pouch and poke a few holes in it.  Soak some chunks (1/2"-1") of your favorite wood (I prefer oak, but you can use hickory, mesquite, or apple)in water for 15 minutes and put them in the pouch.  Light up all the burners on your grill and let it get hot.  Shut off all but one of the burners.  Place the foil pouch directly on the lit burner and put the ribs on the opposite end of the grill.  Take a piece of foil and lay it over the ribs to act as a lid to trap the smoke.  Try to keep the grill temp at 220F or so.  Let them cook for an hour, then remove from the grill.  Rub them down again, wrap tightly in foil, and then put them in your oven (250F? can't remember right now) until meat falls off the bone.  Unwrap like a Christmas present and enjoy.  Finishing in the oven is easy; spending an entire afternoon tending a smoker can be tedious.

Zac,  easiest smoker in the world:  http://www.cookshack.com/store/Smokers_2/Smokette-Original-Model-SM009-2

Load with meat, put wood in the box at the bottom, shut the door, set the timer, and walk away.  Come back when the timer rings.  Plugs into a standard 120V outlet.  Neighbor has one, and it works magic on anything you put in it.  What it does to turkey must be illegal.  Made up the road in Ponca City.   
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« Reply #5 on: Apr 21, 2014, 09:24AM »

I'm gonna have to get one of those when i'm home again - which will be in the fall, the perfect time!
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« Reply #6 on: Apr 21, 2014, 03:07PM »

Sometimes when I'm in a hurry I microwave the ribs for a while, then put them on the grill.  They are a bit chewy, but they get done a lot faster than slow roasting on the grill but still have the smokey grill flavor. 
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« Reply #7 on: Apr 22, 2014, 06:48AM »

that really depends on where you're from.  In some places BBQ refers to the method of cooking, in some it's the method of dressing the meat/saucing. 
In New England, "barbecue" just means that you cooked it outside.  It's more like an event than a style of food.  People will invite friends, neighbors, and relatives over for a "barbecue" and spend 20 minutes cooking some burgers and hot dogs, serve them with with ketchup and mustard, and they will still call it a "barbecue."  The guests usually bring beer, and you hangout in the back yard.  There might be Frisbee, lawn darts, croquet, bocce, horseshoes, or some other lawn games.  "Barbecue" isn't really about the food; it's more about hanging out together.  I think that in other parts of the country, this is called a "cookout."
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« Reply #8 on: Apr 22, 2014, 11:05PM »

Making your own ribs is too much work :)...  I just go Applebees and get my ribs done for me  Embarrassed!...
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« Reply #9 on: Apr 23, 2014, 02:38AM »

For someone who hails from an area of the country where we have at least one delicious form of BBQ per state if not more, this topic just makes me sad. BBQ isn't a sauce or cooking - it's an art form. A cultural event. A way of turning cheap, tough cuts of meat into delicious awesomeness.

*Sigh*
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« Reply #10 on: Apr 23, 2014, 07:06AM »

Applebees has the worst ribs I've ever tasted.  Ever.

Of course I don't even order ribs at restaurants anymore unless they are dedicated BBQ shacks.  We have some pretty good shacks here in OKC and the surrounding areas - and much cheaper than that crap at applebees.  (full disclosure, I worked at applebees almost 20 years ago- i know what's in the food there.)

My buddy Chad runs a joint called the Chop Shop in OKC - the smoker there was built on site and it's pretty good size.  That guy knows his BBQ.  If I want ribs, that's where I go.

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« Reply #11 on: Apr 23, 2014, 07:08AM »

I'm not a huge fan of BBQ. The last time I went to one, the guy brought out some lovely stuff which his wife had been cooking in the oven. He then threw it on the barbie to finish it off, and proceeded to ruin it. What is the point of that??  Confused
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« Reply #12 on: Apr 23, 2014, 08:38PM »

I've been eyeing this topic--gotta hold off... gotta hold off... dang it!

I'm originally from Kansas City, so I grew up with some fantastic BBQ.  There's some serious competitions all over the Kansas/Missouri/Oklahoma/Nebraska/Arkansas area.  My sister's in Texas, so I've been to some awesome BBQ joints near Austin.  Been to NC and Memphis, too, but don't feel like I've gotten the full experience there yet.

If it's not smoked, it's not BBQ.  Period.  It's grilled meat.  You might throw some ribs on the "barbecue grill," or you might go to a "barbecue," but it's just not the same.  Don't call a hamburger or a hot dog "barbecue."  Crockpot??  Really??  Might still taste good, mind you, but don't call it BBQ.  Ribs on the grill?  Sounds good.  Marinate some chicken breasts and stick 'em on the grill?  I'm all over it.  Not BBQ, though, unless it's been slowly smoked.  Now that I live in New England, I shudder every time people talk about Barbeque (yes, that's how I spell it, dammit), then proceed to talk about their hamburgers.  People don't realize that good barbeque is its own cuisine, one of America's culinary contributions to the world, and that it's all about smoked meats.

It's not about the sauce, either--in Texas, sauce is an afterthought in a lot of places.  People will line up _just_for_the_meat_.  The kind of wood you use in the smoker, the kind of rub you use (have yet to see marinated BBQ), that's where it's at.  If you have a good sauce, it helps matters, but your meat better be good.  If the meat isn't smoked on-premises, you're in trouble.  I want to see you slicing the meat (or taking a cleaver to a rack of ribs).  I want to smell smoked meat from a block or two away....

John
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« Reply #13 on: Apr 23, 2014, 10:56PM »

(full disclosure, I worked at applebees almost 20 years ago- i know what's in the food there.)


^This scares me  :( :( :(...
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« Reply #14 on: Apr 24, 2014, 08:12AM »

  (full disclosure, I worked at applebees almost 20 years ago- i know what's in the food there.)



If it was that bad 20 years ago I can only imagine how awful it is now  Evil
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« Reply #15 on: Apr 25, 2014, 08:50AM »

Easter week, thawed-out (I hesitate to call them fresh, even though the grocery store chain did) turkeys were $1.29 a pound--couldn't pass it up, bought one, carved out the spine and split it...brined it (eighteen hours) and smoked it (six hours). A thin slice of heaven... Pant
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« Reply #16 on: Apr 25, 2014, 02:01PM »

In New England, "barbecue" just means that you cooked it outside.  It's more like an event than a style of food.  People will invite friends, neighbors, and relatives over for a "barbecue" and spend 20 minutes cooking some burgers and hot dogs, serve them with with ketchup and mustard, and they will still call it a "barbecue."  The guests usually bring beer, and you hangout in the back yard.  There might be Frisbee, lawn darts, croquet, bocce, horseshoes, or some other lawn games.  "Barbecue" isn't really about the food; it's more about hanging out together.  I think that in other parts of the country, this is called a "cookout."
Must be a Boston thing. IN CT we call cooking out cooking out. Sometimes we have barbeque at the cookout.
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« Reply #17 on: Apr 26, 2014, 11:15AM »

I don't know if I've mentioned this article before, but at least in North Carolina, there are articles in scholarly journals regarding barbecue.  Check this out if you have access to Academic Search Complete:

Thompson, M. D. (2005). "Everything but the Squeal": Pork as Culture in Eastern North Carolina. North Carolina Historical Review, 82(4), 464-498.

It says (among other interesting things) that the cut of pork you chose to eat was an outward determiner of your social class.  It's a fascinating read.

Next up for my smoker--beef, either short ribs or brisket. Pant
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« Reply #18 on: Apr 28, 2014, 11:23AM »

I'm not a huge fan of BBQ. The last time I went to one, the guy brought out some lovely stuff which his wife had been cooking in the oven. He then threw it on the barbie to finish it off, and proceeded to ruin it. What is the point of that??  Confused


No real BBQ is made in an oven; it might be kept warm in one, though.

Real BBQ is smoked over a long period of time, using hardwood logs or charcoal, and almost always involve a lesser (but increasingly, no longer cheap!) piece of meat like a pork shoulder, a brisket, or spare ribs.  The real thing is abundant in the Southern US through to about Texas, and has all sorts of regional differences (ribs are a lot less common in central Texas than beef brisket and sausage, but in East Texas, you start to find more ribs).  Once you've had the real thing, you realize how sad most of what is called "BBQ" actually is.

"Yankeeland" (Northeast and Upper Midwest in the US) increasingly has some decent BBQ places, guys who know the difference between parboiling ribs and slapping some sorry ass sauce on them, and taking the time to cook meat slowly with wood or charcoal, but if "cheap and ubiquitous" is your mantra, go to the Southern US, where they take such things seriously, and nearly every town has a BBQ joint.
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« Reply #19 on: Apr 29, 2014, 12:29PM »

if "cheap and ubiquitous" is your mantra, go to the Southern US, where they take such things seriously, and nearly every town was a BBQ joint.

If you're ever in Memphis, try the dry-rubbed ribs at Rendezvous Ribs:

https://www.hogsfly.com/

The holy grail of Southern BBQ ribs! But not particularly cheap...

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« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2014, 01:18PM »

Next time I fire up the smoker, I'm making these:
http://www.grilling24x7.com/oring.shtml
five words: Smoked. Bacon. Wrapped. Onion. Rings.
It is to weep.
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« Reply #21 on: Jul 16, 2014, 08:16AM »

Next time I fire up the smoker, I'm making these:
http://www.grilling24x7.com/oring.shtml
five words: Smoked. Bacon. Wrapped. Onion. Rings.
It is to weep.

I made them, once in the oven (300 degrees for 70 minutes)--delicious!
once on the smoker, along with sausage and boneless chicken breast--beyond awesome. The guests at my son's graduation party couldn't get enough of them. :D
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« Reply #22 on: Jul 16, 2014, 11:39PM »

I'm getting hungry and it is about 8:30 here...
I will definetly try this!!!
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« Reply #23 on: Aug 19, 2014, 07:58PM »

I just have to pipe in here, even if I am late to the party.  I bought myself an electric smoker last year, and ... wow!  Take it out on the patio or the deck, plug it in the AC outlet, throw in 2 handfuls of chips, and you will be amazed.  225 F for 6-10 hours, dry rub your ribs, pork butt, whole chicken, whatever....  I went to one of my favorite BBQ places a couple months ago and realized just how mediocre they were, and my smoking isn't that great! 
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« Reply #24 on: Aug 25, 2014, 12:14AM »

I have been in Iran for some days for work and the do use some kind of BBQ there to cook...

I had some amazing dishes there but there is one that I will include in my BBQs in the future...

They cook some fresh tomatoes as a side of the meet/fish you get as main dish... it is a must try!
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« Reply #25 on: Sep 01, 2014, 05:03PM »

Labor Day, so I barbecued a pork shoulder.  It really is pretty cheap given how many servings one gets out of a shoulder.  Served it with fingerlings and sauteed beet greens.  Daughter had a friend over, so we had one additional meat eater.  Gave the cat some pulled pork before saucing it.  Heated up a veggie burger for daughter.
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« Reply #26 on: Sep 01, 2014, 07:25PM »

I have been in Iran for some days for work and the do use some kind of BBQ there to cook...

I had some amazing dishes there but there is one that I will include in my BBQs in the future...

They cook some fresh tomatoes as a side of the meet/fish you get as main dish... it is a must try!

We are getting baseball bat size zucchini in the garden.  My wife slices or chunks them (depending on how fast I want them to cook), tosses them with some oil and seasoning, and I grill them in a basket or on a fine mesh grill on top of the regular grill.  Nice smoke flavor, nice carmelization of the skin.  Tasty way to get rid of too many zuks! 
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« Reply #27 on: Oct 02, 2015, 01:41PM »

   I love BBQ cheap, expensive, smokey, on the grill, any which way. This year I got into open fire cooking. It was great for ribs but its a lot of work and not so good for steak. The smoke does wonders for the ribs but beef not so much. Its time consuming too. My wife likes ribs in the oven coated with BBQ sauce. Fine by me but its just not challenging like that. I enjoy cooking and now that the weather it turning its where I want to be on the weekend. BBQing!
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« Reply #28 on: Oct 02, 2015, 08:06PM »

Sometimes when I'm in a hurry I microwave the ribs for a while, then put them on the grill.  They are a bit chewy, but they get done a lot faster than slow roasting on the grill but still have the smokey grill flavor. 
Hmm
Last night I had to hurry up a frozen pork roast. I threw it, frozen, into the pressure cooker. I added a couple cups of water, a half can of stewed diced tomatoes I found in the freezer, half an onion and half a dozen garlic cloves salt pepper some Indian spice mix and 45 minutes at 25 PSI. Then an hour at 425 in the oven to brown. Too long, burnt the oven fries, trying to get to the hardware store and back while cooking.
The Aha came when I was eating the leftovers with a little smokey BBQ sauce. TO TRY- Place the empty pressure cooker pot upside down over a low smoky fire. Then continue with the above process. What will happen? would a sane person try this?

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For a more traditional viewpoint
http://libraries.mercer.edu/repository/bitstream/handle/10898/1520/Barbecue%20project.pdf?sequence=5
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« Reply #29 on: Oct 06, 2015, 11:49AM »

Any more, Salmon can be cheap, filets are pretty much 100% useable meat by weight, and salmon or any kind of fatty fish (trout, mackerel, bluefish) smoke very nicely, and relatively quickly.

You should brine the fish beforehand and allow to form a skin prior to smoking, so a bit of advanced prep, and use a mild hardwood, but the results are as good as any cold-smoked fish you can find.
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