Archive for the ‘Marinades / Brines’ Category

Legs And Ribs (With Gas)

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I wanted some variety for dinner, so I decided to do some drumsticks and country style pork ribs. Why don’t I ever seem to do ribs still on the bone? Well, I have, I just haven’t documented it yet.

Anyway, there was no rub involved this time, but I did put both meats in foil pans with some Head Country marinade that I found on clearance at Walmart. It has similarities to Worcestershire, so it would probably work well with beef, too. Just be sure to shake it well before pouring, as it has spices in it that settle at the bottom of the bottle otherwise.

I also deviated from my normal routine this time by using my gas grill and smoker boxes instead of the barrel smoker.

I turned the meat over in their pans about half an hour in so they would cook evenly. Another half hour later I took them out of the pans and let indirect heat cook them. Of course, the drumsticks finished a lot sooner than the ribs, but that was okay because it gave us something to eat while we waited for the rest to be done. I kept the ribs on the top rack, dripping down into their pan to minimize the mess and keep some moisture in the air inside the grill.

Of course, the last half hour I mopped the ribs with my homemade sauce. I know, you really only have to do the last ten minutes or so, but I really like a good glaze of sauce soaking in at the end.

When it hit the plate, I served it up with baked beans and loaded potato salad.

Dr. Pepper-Bourbon Brine

chicken and brine in a bagI’m trying a new brine tonight. I’ve cut two chicken breast fillets into skewer-size pieces and put them in a Ziploc bag. They’ll be in the refrigerator for about 48 hours, due to plans for dinner out tomorrow night, but the alcohol should keep any bacteria at bay.

In a mixing bowl I combined:

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Dr. Pepper
1/4 cup bourbon (I used Evan Williams)
a few shakes of salt
a few shakes of black pepper
a few shakes of ground cloves

I stirred it all together with a fork, put the chicken in the bag and then poured in the brine. Looking back, it would’ve been easier if I’d used a large Pyrex measuring cup instead of a mixing bowl, or just poured all the brine ingredients into the bag, sealed it, mixed it by mashing it with my hands until blended and then added the meat. Oh, well. Next time.

The final product was tender and flavorful, but not overly juicy, so I may have just cooked them too long. First I got the grilling surface good and hot on both sides, with some hickory chips in the smoker boxes on the right. Then I turned them both down to medium and put on the skewers. They got a few minutes on one side, then the other, then back and forth one more time each. The second round is when they got basted with a good coat of the Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce. Some folks like a mustard-based sauce, some like vinegar. Others like sweet and smoky, or maybe even molasses or honey. I definitely fall in the sweet category. But still others prefer it hot and peppery. That was my impression of this sauce, and I couldn’t really tell that there was any Dr. Pepper flavor to it. So it made an okay glaze, but I definitely needed a refill on my iced tea before it was all said and done.

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