I was writing this post and immediately started with ‘September summers are here’. In fact, even the emailed version of this post (if you’re signed up on the RSS feed for the site) included September. I saw it this morning and was like – wait a second, something about that does not look right… but that’s how far back in time my brain is! And how quickly fall is moving along for us! Regardless, it is indeed October (sheesh) and the girls are asking about Halloween costumes. I’m like – are you sure that’s not next month??
We are enjoying this beautiful weather (especially the warm nights) with backyard dinners. We make a big point of getting together with family (and often friends) weekly for a communal dinner. They are truly the best and the big opportunity in our week to touch base with everyone.
One of our favorite bbqing techniques (Kev’s the pro here) that we all love is to smoke our meat. The prep is time consuming (a little bit), but the result is always fantastic.
Kingsford Charcoal challenged me to share a favorite recipe that involved bbqing and I thought it the perfect opportunity to chat a little about smoking meats. We fall back on smoking again and again for hosting BIG parties with 20+ people (because you can buy a big ole pork shoulder and let it smoke all day), but it’s equally great for a smaller dinner + leftover sandwiches. It’s not challenging but it is time consuming. It takes about 12 hours to prep a meal, but most of that is meat on smoker or meat in oven. It’s like an outdoor crockpot.
There are a bazillion awesome tutorials out there on smoking (here’s a good one) so I’ll leave this one to the basics and to how we do it. The goal here is to infuse meat (or fish) with that deliciously hearty smoked flavor. Because of the slow, all day process, this happens gradually. You can control a bit of the smoky goodness by choosing wood chips that are also flavorful, good choices include hickory or cherry wood chips (avoid any sort of ‘sap’ wood such as pine). In terms of meat, you can’t go wrong with BIG chunks like pork shoulder or with the more traditional ribs.
Once you give this food preparation process a try, you’ll be using it all fall. It’s daunting at first (believe me, I know) but now I feel comfortable enough to start a big hunk of meat in the morning and to serve it in the evening. Thanks to Kevin who made his own smoker from a metal keg and taught me a little of his technique. Now there’s nothing like knocking dinner out when you’re finishing up breakfast. If you want to hear more on our technique… …