Pulled Pork Rub
Bread Dip Mix
|Here are our tips and tricks for preparing, cooking, grilling and smoking your meals the
Blind Rooster Seasonings
way. Since there are several "right" ways to grill and barbeque, experiment with one that you like the best and go
with it. Remember, food tastes better with the Blues!
- Beef comes in very different cuts and needs to be prepared differently.
(brisket, short ribs, roast, steak etc) Since you can smoke/grill about
anything you want, we'll just comment on the ever popular brisket.
Depending on how you buy your brisket, it generally has two layers joined
by a fat layer. You may choose to separate them or leave them together.
The grains run in different directions, so be wary when you slice it. Some
fat can be trimmed if it is real thick. Do not trim it all away as it will
help marinate the meat. Thoroughly coat the brisket with rub mix. It is
best if you can wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator
overnight. As with any meat, let it come to almost room temperature before
placing it in the smoker or on the grill. You can even opt to inject the
brisket with marinade in small pockets. Do not over-inject in any one
place, distribute it evenly throughout.
Smoking - Smoking brisket can take over 10 hours depending on the size and temperature. We prefer to keep the smoker on about 225, but not over 250. Since the smoke will never reach the center of the brisket, do not feel the need to keep adding your wood chips throughout the cooking process. You probably do not need wood chips after the first 5-6 hours. About half way into the smoking process you can mop the brisket every hour or two. A combination of apple cider vinegar and apple juice can work nicely. Check for doneness with an instant read thermometer at the thickest part of the brisket. Remember, large cuts of meat will continue to cook (approx 3-6 degrees) so do not over cook the brisket. If a smaller part of the brisket is done, you can trim it off and the cooks can sample that until the rest is done. Keep in mind you may loose some juices if you cut it hot. For that signature crispy crust, do not wrap the brisket in foil while cooking.
Grilling - Grilling will produce a tasty brisket as well. Indirect heat is the best way to cook a brisket on the grill. Place your meat on one side and the fire on the other side and close the lid. Again, depending on the temperature, the brisket may take several hours. Generally a grill is hotter than a smoker and may not take as long. Be careful not to open the lid too often as you will loose a lot of heat. A wired thermometer is a great way to keep an eye on the internal temperature of the meat without opening the lid. During the last half of the cooking process you can mist/mop the brisket to help keep it moist.
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|Prepare - If cooking a whole chicken, remember to remove all the giblets from the cavities at both ends of the chicken. Rinse the bird, inside and out and pat it dry. (now for a secret) We found it best to rub the seasoning directly on the meat of the chicken, not the skin. This means you have to pull the skin away from the chicken where you can. Cooking shears may help with this process. Sprinkle the rub between the skin and meat. The fat from the skin will help keep the meat moist while it cooks, but since some people remove the skin to eat it, the meat will still be seasoned. Of course, keep your uncooked poultry separate from your other uncooked meats when preparing them to prevent cross contamination. This includes cutting boards, knives and trays. Keep your prep area clean at all times.
Smoking - If you have not had smoked chicken, prepare yourself...it's good stuff. We like apple or hickory chips with chicken. You can even quarter an apple and stick it in the birds cavity for extra moisture and flavor. Definitely use your instant read thermometer to test for doneness. You can mist the bird during smoking with any mop you prefer.
Grilling - You can use direct or indirect heat to cook a chicken on the grill. After seasoning the bird you can opt to use a "chicken stand" (aka beer can chicken) to prop it up. The "can" can be filled with beer, marinade, apple juice or your own secret potion. Rotisseries work well for birds, too. If using direct heat, you will need to turn your chicken occasionally . BBQ sauce can be used during the last 20-30 minutes of grilling if desired.
Experiment using cornish game hens, turkeys or wild birds as well. Remember, if you like to eat it you can probably smoke it or grill it.
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- To prepare baby back ribs, we find it best to remove the membrane from
the back of the ribs. Once you loosen it, you may have to peel it off by
grabbing it with a dry paper towel or even pliers. Once it starts coming
off, it's pretty easy. Then liberally sprinkle both sides of the ribs with
the rub of your choice. For large cuts of meat like a shoulder, you can
make cuts in the thick part of the meat and apply the rub into the slice.
Injectable marinades can also be used for larger cuts of meat. Once you
have rubbed the meat and/or injected it, wrap it in plastic wrap and let
it stand in the refrigerator overnight if possible. Allow the meat to come
to room temperature before placing it in your cooker.
Smoking - Ribs will not take as long as a large shoulder. If you plan to cook both in the same day, you will want to start the shoulder before the ribs. Almost any type of hardwood chips are good for smoking pork. Hickory, Mesquite or Apple may rank among the best. Misting or mopping the meat as it cooks can help keep it moist. Just don't open the smoker any more often that need be, you loose heat. 200-225 is a good temperature to cook pork. Use your instant read thermometer for proper doneness. Remember, large cuts of meat will continue to cook 3-5 degrees once you remove it from the cooker. Allow for this and do not over cook the meat. Some people like to wrap their ribs in foil during that last hour or two of cooking. This is simply preference, and you can experiment with it both ways. You will have a better crust if you do not wrap them in foil.
Grilling - Since "slow and low" is a great way to cook, you can use indirect heat on your gas or charcoal grill. Simply put the heat on one side of the grill and place your meat on the other and close the lid. If grilling over direct heat, turn the meat as needed.
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- Butts, shoulders, picnic...bone in, boneless. Any of these are great for
pulled pork. My personal favorite is the readily available "bone-in
shoulders". I would basically prepare them all the same. The cooking
time may change based on sizes/weight of the butts. Generally you will
find 6-8 lb butts in most grocery stores. If they have an excess amount of
fat cap, you might want to trim it a little...but not too much. You may
end up smoking it for 10-14 hours, the fat will help. Again, I usually
apply a coat of yellow mustard over the entire butt. Then be generous with
the rub to give it a nice bark.
Smoking - Put it in a 225* smoker for 10-14 hours. After it has been in for 7-8 hours you can stick a remote probe in it so it can continue to cook without you having to open the door to check the internal temperature. Be careful not to hit the bone with the tip of the probe, it will give a false reading. After the bark has formed (about half way thru the cook, you can apply a mop sauce, if you like, every hour or two. Once the internal temp of the meat has reached 190-195, pull it off the smoker, wrap it in foil and let it rest in an empty cooler for at least an hour. It will be piping hot when you go to pull it apart. You will need insulated gloves or "bear paws" to shred the meat as it will be too hot for your hands. Uneaten meat can be vacuum sealed in 1-2 lb freezer bags and used later. They still taste great after you reheat them in a pan of boiling water...bag and all, until hot enough to serve (15-25 minutes). Our BBQ sauce is killer on this pulled pork!
Grilling - This is not recommended for butts, unless you use indirect heat which is very close to smoking. It will still take the same amount of time if cooked at the same 225*.
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Sauce - Our BBQ sauce is blended to be the perfect match between
sweet and spicy. If you are applying sauce to any kind of grilled
meat, wait and do it the last 15-30 minutes that your meat will be on the
grill so it will not burn. If you are smoking meat, you can afford to put
it on a little longer since there is no direct heat source. Or even still,
use it as a optional side for people who enjoy dipping up to their
knuckles in it!
Mop Sauce - Let the mop sauce be your creation. Usually they are very simple mixtures that you mop onto your meat as it cooks to help keep it moist. You can "cook" your mop sauce first and then mop it on as you go, or you can simply spray the mixture on with a plastic bottle. An example of a cooked mop sauce might contain some of the following: quartered onions, cracked garlic cloves, apple, lemon or lime slices with a base of water or cider vinegar. Heat the mixture up to get all the flavors together and then use a grill mop to apply the liquid only. An uncooked mop sauce may be as simple as a mixture of apple juice and some vinegar. Beer works too, if you have any left. The alcohol will cook off. Remember the idea is to help keep your meat moist, not to over favor it with a ton of other seasonings.
Bread Dip needs to be mixed with olive oil. We suggest 2 teaspoons of
seasonings per cup of oil. You may prefer light olive oil over extra
virgin olive oil or vice versa, your choice. If you have an oil bottle
with a spout on it you can mix the seasoning and pour it into the bottle
to be used as needed. You may need a small funnel to pour the seasonings or
mixture into the bottle. You won't want to spill a drop.
Shake the bottle vigorously before using as settling of the spices will occur. It can be served at room temperature in a small dipping bowl. We prefer the bread to be warm, though. Use any kind of bread you like. If you like the bread, you'll love it soaked with our Bread Dip.
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