Black Eyed Pigz BBQ

BBQ, Recipes, How-To's and More!

Have You Heard of The Cajun Microwave?

Cajun MicrowaveI wanted to take a minute to make good on a promise to a friend and to tell you about his great set of plans for making a Cajun Microwave.

Chances are, if you watch enough Food Network, you’ve seen this crazy contraption being used to create the most succulent roasted pig, turkey and more for large gatherings of people.  The Cajun Microwave is known by a few names and there are even companies that will sell you one, ready to use.  One of the major manufacturers of these is the La Caja China Box.

These factory made, ready to use charcoal dutch ovens are great, there’s no doubt, but you’ll be shelling out a couple hundred dollars at a minimum just to get a small one.

With my friend Chris’ plans, you can build one any size you need and use the savings to fill it up with delicious food when you’re done.  The plans are available through an instant download and are clear and concise.  Anyone with basic handyman skills should be able to knock this project out in an afternoon.

Go check it out, see the delicious meals that others have created in their very own Cajun Microwaves.  I think you’ll agree that once you’ve tried it, you’ll never want to go back to oven roasting again.

Cubed Steak Cheesesteak Sammiches

That’s right.  I said “SAMMICHES”, because that’s what I made.  I don’t make sandwiches anymore, they just don’t taste the same.  But a sammich is magical.  And this one is easy, tasty and awesome.

First thing you need is about 2 pounds of cubed steak.  Slice it into thin strips.

Next, slice an entire medium onion, and fry it in butter until it’s just starting to caramelize.

Remove the onions from the pan and set aside for later deliciousness.

Toss your cubed steak into the same pan your onions cooked in, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Cook until done.

Not done yet.

While you’re waiting for the meat to cook, get a few hoagie rolls and butter them up.  Toss in the broiler to toast a bit.

Check that meat. Nope, not quite done.

Go to the fridge and pull out your favorite cheeses.  I used mozarella and cheddar.

Ok, now it’s done.

Finally, layer up your rolls with steak, onions, and cheese.  Toss back in the broiler just long enough to melt the cheese.

Sorry, but you’ll have to turn your head to the left to see it properly.

Make plenty, they’ll go fast.  I loaded mine up with jalapenos, banana peppers, spicy mustard and a little mayo.  Feel free to go crazy and get creative.

Hope you enjoyed my sammiches!  I’ll have a feature up on my Bacon covered, smoked cinnamon chipotle turkey soon.

Rattlesnake Tails – Peppers, Sausage and Bacon

This past Sunday was a great day for eating at my house, not such a great day for watching the Redskins.  At any rate, let’s talk food.

I am an unashamed consumer of Kingsford Charcoal products.  I know, I know, any “true” bbq enthusiast wouldn’t be caught dead with that stuff, but honestly, I don’t see the big deal.  I think that’s more of a preference or some form of snobbery than it is based on any real, hard science.

I’ve used charcoal briquettes, lump charcoal, and plain wood to cook over, and other than the flavors you get from it, it all seems to perform just fine for me.  Plus, Kingsford goes on sale a lot so I can afford to grill and bbq much more often.

All of that to say, I got this idea from the Kingsford Facebook page and decided to make my own version for the family.  And here’s what you need:

No rattlesnakes were harmed in the making of this dish.

  • Breakfast sausage (you could use Italian sausage as well)
  • 6 – 8 Large peppers.  (Anaheims are recommended, I used hot banana peppers this time around)
  • Bacon

I chose hot banana peppers because the stores didn’t have any Anaheims in stock. I think they conspire together against me sometimes.

And from there, you cut the end off your peppers and slice them open down one side so you can remove the ribs and seeds.

You have to be careful when stuffing the peppers, they tend to want to break open.

Stuff them full of sausage

I tucked one end of the bacon inside the slit on the pepper, and used a toothpick at the bottom to secure it.

Wrap in bacon, securing it with a toothpick

Those things on the left? Well, those are Moink Balls and I’ll get to that info later on.

Grill over indirect heat until the bacon is crispy

It’s super easy to make and they were delicious.  In the future, I may try stuffing them with other meats and mixtures, but this was a nice twist on the Atomic Buffalo Turd made with Jalapenos and cheese.

Labor Day Cookout – Day Three PULLED PORK

This is one of my favorite things to make.  Pulled pork is always good, and if it didn’t take upwards of 12 hours on the smoker, I think I’d make it a lot more often.

At any rate, this was the last day of the holiday cookout I had planned and it was worth the wait in my opinion.  To make the pulled pork, I started out with an 8 pound pork butt.

That’s gonna be so good in my belly.

And much like I do with my Ribs, I slathered it in yellow mustard to help the bbq rub stick and stay in place for the cook.

On to the smoker for about 12 hours, this one came off at 11 hours, and I finished it today in the oven for about 2 more hours.  Hey, it was late, I had been drinking and frankly, I all but ran out of charcoal.  Get off my back.

And here’s what it looks like pre-pulling:

About 6 hours into the cook, I place my pork into a roasting pan and cover with foil to help steam it through. Some might say that’s cheating. To them, I say suck it.

After finishing the shoulder in the oven, I let it rest for about a half hour, and began pulling.  And boy oh boy did it pull nicely.

This was my dinner plate today. A huge pile of pulled, smoked pork on a sesame seed bun, a huge helping of Steakhouse Potato Salad and some cold beer.

And while the bottom round roast from Sunday didn’t last, I was beginning to think the 6 pounds (after cooking and pulling, you yield less total weight), of pork I managed to make was going to disappear just as quickly.  My boys know how to eat.

In fact, this little guy put away two huge sammiches all by himself.

He’s smiling, but he’s thinking “Get the camera out of my face so I can eat, or else I’ll hurt you”.

Here’s hoping your Labor Day Weekend was full of fun, friends and good food too!

Labor Day Cook – Day 2 Bottom Round Roast

For Day Two of my three day holiday cookout, I decided to do a nice Bottom Round Roast.  With pork on the menu for two out of three days, breaking it up with some beef was a nice change.

I started with a 5 pound bottom round roast.  And since all I really did to it was marinade it with some garlic powder, salt, pepper, onion and beer, I saved you the prep-photos this time.

But here’s how it turned out:

Cooked over hickory wood and charocal until it reached 140 degrees internal temp. Let it rest covered in foil for half an hour.

Sliced about 1/4″ thick on the meat slicer. Served with au jus and some steakhouse potato salad.

Needless to say, there wasn’t very much of the beef left over.  Which is a shame, as I was hoping to have a nice hot-beef sammich for lunch on Monday.

Labor Day Cook #1 Chicken and Ribs

Since it’s the last official weekend of Summer, I decided I’d do a cook a day to celebrate the holiday.  Today was Ribs and Chicken.

It wasn’t too bad, actually.  I mean, it’s work, but when you get to eat the fruits of your labors, how badly can you complain right?

Let’s tackle the ribs first.

I purchased three half-racks of spare ribs with the skirt meat still attached.  They looked like this:

They cut and package these this way when they have to use up the whole hogs they’ve had on hand too long. GREAT prices, good meat!

I did my usual mustard slather (plain yellow mustard to let the rub stick, it doesn’t change the flavor one bit).

Yellow mustard. FREEDOM’s Mustard, if you remember when we hated everything called French.

I applied the rub generously and slapped them on my smoker which was running around 340° F.  I let them smoke with hickory wood for about 2 hours. Half racks cook faster it seems.

When they were done, I removed them to let them rest for 30 minutes.

That’s one and a half full racks of spare ribs, slathered with Garland Jack’s Secret Six BBQ sauce.

Then I sliced them apart, leaving the skirt meat attached as I went.

There’s nothing sexier than a huge bowl full of spare ribs.

While the purists among us might argue to remove the skirt meat before cooking, to them I say “Cook your own damned ribs!”.  Honestly, when you’re cooking for taste, not points on the competition circuit, who gives a damn how they look.  Were they tasty?  Yes?  Well you just won!  And that’s what I shoot for.

I’d rather my friends and family ENJOY the taste of the food than grade me on presentation.  That’s too damned uppity and quite honestly, how anal do you have to be to say “Well, your meal would have been perfect if only you had presented it on a bed of rare, organic, Peruvian virigin lettuce?”

Anyhow, I also did a pile of Chicken Drumsticks.  These I simply dusted with my patented Cinnamon Chipotle BBQ rub and grilled.  Basting them with more of Garland Jack’s sauce right before I served them up.

Don’t lick your monitor, that’s just low-class.

Anyhow, there’s just enough of everything left over to have a damn fine lunch tomorrow while we’re waiting on the 9 pound pork shoulder to smoke before pulling it.

Life is good when you’re not in a hurry.

Labor Day Weekend – 3 Days of BBQ!

It’s the last official weekend of Summer 2012.  I’m trying to go out with a bang.  So, for the entire weekend, I will be cooking every day, Monday too, and blogging the results for anyone who’s interested.

For today (Saturday), it’s Spare Ribs on the smoker and Chicken Drumsticks on the Grill.  The ribs are about to go on the smoker soon, and then drumsticks will go on about half-way through.

I haven’t decided on sides yet, but I’m leaning towards baked potatoes on the grill to keep it easy, with Steakhouse Potato Salad for Sunday along with the Pulled Pork I’ll be making.

Anyhow, stay tuned.  Photos to come!

Smoking a Spatchcock Chicken or Three

I decided to smoke a few whole chickens this weekend and to do that, I spatchcocked them first.  If you’re unfamiliar with that term, you can read my post all about it here:  How To Spatchcock a Chicken

Now, since they’re just chickens, I didn’t fire up the smoker, but instead went with the charcoal grill and indirect heat.  I had the cooking chamber running a little hotter than I normally would on the smoker, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing with these chickens.  It always works well for me, though, your mileage may vary.

Inside of Chicken prior to seasoning

So I prepped the chickens by cutting out the backbones.  Then I liberally applied my Cinnamon Chipotle rub to the underside and the skin side.  I allowed those to just hang out in the fridge for about an hour while I got the grill ready.

Inside of chicken, post-seasoning

Topside of chicken, pre-seasoning

Top side of chicken, post seasoning.

Then, I placed them on the grill with the breasts facing the heat source, but not on top of the heat directly.  And shut the lid.  About 3 hours later, I temp probed it, it was done and I removed it from the grill to rest for about a half hour before I pulled it.

Just perfect. Pull apart tender and really juicy.

Truth be told, these chickens would have pulled apart into quarters just fine, but we usually just pull it and mix the dark and white meats together so everyone can have some of everything.

Ready to dive in to

And with leftovers?  We got about two days’ worth of lunches out of that.

Super easy to do, and super tasty too.

KC Masterpiece-Style BBQ Sauce Recipe

Making your own BBQ sauce is a great way to discover the flavors that truly compliment the way YOU cook.

I spend a lot of time on the internet searching out recipes and new ideas to try on the grill and in the kitchen.  To that end, I’ve found a few “clone” recipes out there that you might want to know about.

This one is for KC Masterpiece original bbq sauce.  Now, while this recipe will get you close to the stuff sold in the stores, I would suggest that you adjust ingredients to better suit YOUR tastes.  All sauce recipes are really just a base for you to begin with anyways.  Keep working on your own special blend!

KC Masterpiece-Style BBQ Sauce Recipe
Recipe type: Sauce/Condiment
Prep time: 
Total time: 

 

This is a BBQ Sauce recipe that closely resembles KC Masterpiece original BBQ sauce. Use it as a guideline in discovering your own unique creation. This recipe will yield about 1½ cups of sauce.
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Water
  • ¾ Cup Light Corn Syrup
  • ½ Cup Tomato Paste
  • ½ Cup White vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 3 Tablespoons Molasses
  • 1 Teaspoon Liquid Smoke
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • ⅛ Teaspoon Paprika
  • ⅛ Teaspoon Garlic Powder

Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over high heat and whick until smooth.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until mixture thickens.
  3. Cool and then store in a covered container in the fridge overnight so that flavors can develop.