I about fell out laughing while shopping for some grilling supplies at Wal-Mart’s Hinckleville Rd, Ky store on 5/23/10. Wal-Mart’s two-cent savings can really add up. Let’s see, if I bought 4oo lbs of chicken, I’d save$2.00.
BTW, this is the same Wal-Mart, while waiting to pay for my gasoline, overhead the clerk tell the couple ahead of me that the energy drinks they were purchasing were $1.79 each or were on sale for 2 for $4.00!!
For generations, competition cooks have secretly slipped a little alcohol into their recipes to add another layer of taste sophistication. Now, spirits have come front and center in the latest BBQ marketing strategy.
Down in Culpepper, VA, Chuck Miller makes legal moonshine (he pays taxes on it). His Belmont Farm Distillery uses locally-grown corn that is turned into mash and mixed with yeast. The magic started when Jim Sinden, a retired Marine, came along with an entrepreneurial idea – use Miller’s Kopper Kettle whiskey in his barbeque sauce. The result is Virginia Lightning Moonshine BBQ Sauce.
“It’s selling like crazy,” Sinden told the Freelance Star. “It’s instantly become my No. 1 product.” They even made the local news in Washington DC. Watch it here.
THE JUDGE’S OATH: I do solemnly swear to objectively and subjectively evaluate each Barbeque meat that is presented to my eyes, my nose, my hands and my palate. I accept my duty to be an Official KCBS Certified Judge, so that truth, justice, excellence in Barbeque and the American Way of Life may be strengthened and preserved forever.
Photos from my training to become Kansas City Barbeque Society Certified Judge Badge #55176:
Some of my old buddies argue that if you want some moisture in the wood, buy or collect it, a little greener. Much easier if you are looking for cherry, apple,. or peach wood.
I am more likely to soak my chips when I grill than when I smoke. It has to do with the higher temperatures. You want to soak wood chips when you’re grilling so they don’t burst into flames. When you BBQ, you’re trying to control the fire usually by controlling airflow. Wet wood really doesn’t help with that:
Now, old of my smoking cronies (the one who pours beer on the fire to keep it from getting too hot) thinks the water is a tool that can be helpful when people are just learning their smoker. It widens the margin of error for air flow.
The other reason for soaking your wood is to add flavor.
Dr. Smoke, a BBQ expert who is heard on radio station WOLV 97.7 FM in Upper Michigan and Gateway Country 99.5/106.7/98.3 in Ketchikan, Alaska, offers these tips on his website smokinlicious. Whether you choose to use wood chips or chunks, the main idea is to sustain the burn time of the wood. These woods are used not as a fuel source but to impart natural flavouring into the foods your cook. We recommend soaking the wood chips in either hot water, wine, beer, whiskey, or any flavouring you wish to impart into the food. No, you do not have to use only water for soaking! Remember, what you soak the wood in will also reveal itself in the flavour of the foods being cooked. The soak time wil depend on the desired result. Dr. Smoke’s easy rule regarding the soaking time is … the stronger the flavour of the liquid, the shorter the soak time! So if your using a Merlot wine which has a strong flavour, you may only soak for 15 minutes. Using lemon juice, you may want to soak for up to 12 hours. Smokinlicious® wood chips have never been kiln dried! Therefore, rehydration and imparting of flavour will be very fast! Just drip dry the chips and you are ready to go!
OKAY! Now, it is your turn. Soak, or Not? Then, leave a comment below.
Okay! When I started this blog I had no idea it would lead me to so many incredibly interesting people following their food passions. While Scott Roberts is NOT a true BBQ afficiendado, he is a confirmed chilehead and that makes him alright in my book. You should check out social media presence and this handy tool, the famous Scoville Scale Chart for Hot Chile Peppers and Hot Sauces.
Scott is a St. Louis, Missouri-based Web Developer and Chilehead, and his Hot Sauce and Spicy Food Blog is chock full of info, video, and fun – all of it of the “hot” variety. He even has a review of available chile-related iPhone App.