Thursday, July 27, 2006


With the temperatures being what they are, it's just too dang hot to cook indoors. When it hit 113 earlier this week, our AC couldn't keep up, and the temp in the house got up to almost 90. So, lately we've been doing a lot of barbequeing.

And when I say Barbeque, I'm not talking about what most Californians pass off for BBQ. I call that "grilling." BBQ is done without putting the meat directly over the coals. Indirect heating is the technical term, and it makes for really tasty meat.

Here's what I use:

<---This is what's called an "Offset Smoker." The coals and wood go in the small box on the left. Raw food goes in the bigger container on the right, and comes out cooked to smoky perfection in about an hour or two. There's a baffle on the side of the firebox for adjusting temperature.

I've been playing with different types of wood. So far, I've used mesquite, hickory, and cherry wood. Mesquite and hickory give a really strong flavor. Cherry wood is much more mild.

The greatest thing about cooking with this thing is it requires little-to-no attention while the meat is cooking. It's really difficult to overcook anything either. I typically check on the meat about every 15 or 30 minutes, depending on what I'm cooking. Tonight, I cooked hamburgers, hot dogs, and apple chicken sausage with cherry wood. Absolutely fantastic.

I'm looking for other types of wood now, like pecan wood, almond wood, and apple wood. Any tree that bears a fruit or nut makes good cooking wood.

My favorite right now is tri-tip, especially the day after I cook it. I stick it in the fridge, and the next day I slice it up into thin pieces. Get a little cup of BBQ dipping sauce to go with it, and MMMM. Instant heaven.

The only down side is that after I'm done with cooking, I smell smoky the rest of the day and night. :p


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