Thursday, February 28, 2008

Prep work

Getting ready for the big dinner on Saturday. I stopped at Fairway and picked up 6 lbs of brisket, a bottle of liquid smoke (this is an experiment), 9 lbs of sweet potatoes and 6 boxes of jiffy cornbread mix. I'm going to need to do a little research on the sweet potato side to see what is going to work timing wise with only one crockpot. The plan is to cook the brisket overnight on Friday and then switch to sweet potatoes in the afternoon on Saturday.

First step is to trim most of the visible fat off the meat. You want a little bit to keep it moist during cooking, but most butchers leave a fair amount on. I just use a small knife and trim away as much fat as I can. With brisket, similar to pork shoulder, there is a layer of fat on top which can pretty close to 1/4 inch thick sometimes. Just cut it down as best you can and you'll be fine.

Marinating your meat for as long as possible can only make things better. For this reason I'm going to marinate my brisket for a full 24 hours in the below mixture:

3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons of liquid smoke
4 teaspoons of water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon of molasses (to be honest I really I'm not sure what molasses are, but it's a common ingredient in BBQ so I'm giving it a shot)

I put the brisket in a large bowl and then poured this mixture over the meat and turn it over 20 times to make sure it soaked up as much liquid as possible. I then drained the remaining liquid out and then liberally applied a good 3 or 4 tablespoons of the new rub I got a Penzey's in Grand Central (it is called American BBQ). Like marinating, be generous with the rub as it is pretty hard to have too much.

Once finished just wrap the meat up in two plastic bags (to avoid leaks) and marinate away until tomorrow when it will be time to cook.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Going Big Time

This weekend I will be attempting to do a number of things including making BBQ for a large group and making a side dish using the Crockpot. The menu currently is:

BBQ Beef Brisket
Corn Bread
Sweet Potatoes

I purchased a new rub at Penzy's in Grand Central for the occasion. I will be cooking for 7-10 people so I will probably need 4-5 lbs of brisket along a couple boxes of cornbread mix (no I will not be making that from scratch) and a few pounds of sweet potatoes.

I'm thinking of doing sweet potatoes with some brown sugar and molasses for flavor. I will probably make them the night before the brisket and warm them in the oven on the day off. It is either that or get another crockpot which isn't that bad of an idea. I have been going through somewhat of a cook's block since unlike a lot of BBQ blogs, I do not operate a restaurant or have a side business that this blog promotes. Additionally, I don't usually cook for big groups and while I love BBQ as much as anyone, it is hard to swallow the idea of making 5 lbs of pulled pork knowing you will be eating it for next few weeks. I think that making side dishes will help as it will give me an opportunity to make different kinds of things while keeping a BBQ focus.

I will update as events occur...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Daisy May's

Sorry for the delay between posts. I have been buried at work and haven't had time to make any BBQ lately. However, I happened to go one of the greatest BBQ joints in NYC last night. It is called Daisy May's and is located at 46th st and 11th avenue nestled between car dealerships and strip clubs. Don't let the surroundings fool you though, it is some of the best BBQ you will find in the city.

It is a very no frills type of place. You order your food at a counter up front and then sit down at one of 3 large tables to eat your meal after which you bus your own tray. The value is certainly there though as a mere $15 will get you a half rack of incredible ribs (your choice of dry or sticky rub) and your choice of two sides. I elected the sticky ribs with sweet potatoes and baked beans with beef brisket ends.

The ribs were phenomenal and it was apparent by the pinkish color of the meat that they have been smoked for at least 12 hours. The potatoes were great as well, whipped until smooth and combined with brown sugar for a sweet, creamy taste. The beans however, were a little underwhelming. The flavor was there, but the beans didn't seem like they had been cooked long enough and while they weren't like rocks, I usually would expect that they would be pretty soft. I probably should have gone with the corn bread.

Overall, great place at a great price. I had eaten there once before and been disappointed, but that may have been more to do with my relative inexperience in the world of BBQ. I had argued with my roommate about the food there, but I will be the first to admit that I was wrong in my initial assessment.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Things to come

In the future I intend to explore the side dish spectrum of BBQ. There are a lot of really great BBQ sides that can be made in your crockpot. Things such as candied yams, baked beans and even cornbread can made in a crokpot.

I also will be making beef brisket using a combination of the broiler/crockpot. The broiler is really an incredible thing and makes a nice addition to the crockpot. Giving the meat a quick blast in the broiler and then a few hours in the crockpot is great combination.

In light of being dissatisfied with the BBQ sauce offerings at most retail stores (do to their heavy use of corn syrup and other additives) I will also try to make my own BBQ sauce. If anyone has any recipe suggestions please let me know. I will try to make about one bottle's worth and will keep around for future use.

On the blog side, I will be putting together a recipe section to allow easier access to recipes I've used/created. I will never put anything in that I haven't made myself and if I can make it, anybody can.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Great Ribs... Terrible Superbowl

I am writing this entry in semi state of shock as I try to recover to the Pats crushing defeat to the Giants. This is compounded by the fact that I currently live in Manhattan and I will have this defeat rubbed in my face in the morning at work.

On a happier note the ribs were a great success. The basic recipe is as follows:

3 lbs baby back ribs
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons (or more) or your favorite spice rub
1 jar of your favorite BBQ sauce


1.) In a large bowl pour the apple cider vinegar over the ribs and turn the ribs over to apply and even coat.
2.) Pour the rub evenly over the ribs (make sure to apply it to both sides)
3.) Place the ribs on a preheated broiler pan and cook for 15 minutes (make sure to rotate and turn the slabs of ribs about every 3 minutes to avoid burning them)
4.) Take out the ribs and cut them into sets of 2 to 3 ribs (so they will fit in the crockpot)
5.) Put the cut up ribs into the crockpot and apply BBQ liberally
6.) Set the crockpot to 6 hours on high
7.) Every two hours add a little bit more BBQ sauce onto the ribs
8.) After 6 hours are complete, cook the ribs on low for one more hour and add more BBQ sauce
9.) Remove ribs and serve

Here are some photos of my results...

The results

The Aftermath

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Great source for spice rubs and BBQ sauces

Found a business card from the store I got the Char Crust rub when I was in California. The store itself was actually in the Monterey Bay area about 3 hours south of San Francisco, right near the aquarium. The place is called Slow Burn, ( and they have a ton of different hot sauces and spice rubs. Will have to remember to order from there in the future. Hard to find a better selection of natural BBQ sauces.

Friday, February 1, 2008

New Sauce and Rub

In anticipation of making ribs for the Superbowl ( I bought about 3.5 lbs of baby back's) I thought I should try a new rub and BBQ sauce as well. Grand Central has a great spice store called Penzeys spices. They have a wide variety of spice blends, many specially tailored for BBQ. I chose the Galena Street Rib & Chicken rub (

On the BBQ sauce front, I was disappointed to notice that brands you would think would use all natural ingredients such as Stubb's use corn syrup in their sauces. After reading a few label backs I found a winner in "The Original King Street Blues Mahogany Barbecue Sauce." On closer inspection I realize that in between natural ingredients such as brown sugar, molasses etc, they did sneak in some corn syrup. Will have to be more careful in the future or not be such a BBQ sauce snob.