The BBQ Blog chronicles our adventures in search of the perfect all-natural BBQ.

Monday, March 28, 2005

New Leaf Q


Howdy Q fans...

That's life... that's what all the people say...
you can be flying high in April... shot down in May...

so don't you know I'm gonna change my tune...
and BBQ again, BBQ real soon...

Yes, recent upheaval in my personal life has made me remiss of my BBQ responsibilites...

But no more... I'm turning over a new leaf, and celebrating it with some:

RIBS (Pork and Sheep)
and LOTS of Veggies...

Tomorrow (Tuesday) at 7:30 pm...

Also celebrating the Miami visit of Mathew Slavenski and our newly redesigned ghetto Qpatio.

Damn, it feels good to be back behind the Q...

More Q news to come...

Alex "Soss Boss" Steneck

RSVP encouraged... but we'll feed anyone who shows up... on da haus...

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Smoked Fresh Ham


Well I am off and running.

9am - The ham has been brining for about 13 hours in a solution of apple cider, water, Kosher salt, molasses, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, rosemary, crushed mustard, garlic powder, and several bay leaves. (The brine had been brought to a boil to help extract some of the flavors and then cooled with ice to 39 degrees F.)

Fresh Ham, scored.

10am - After rinsing and patting it dry I applied a dry rub of mostly crushed and whole coriander seeds, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and some other herbs and spices.

Fresh Ham, brined.

10:45am - Started fire in a chimney and now am waiting for it to get going. I estimate that I am about a half-hour behind schedule. Not too bad.

11:58am - Got the ham in the smoker, on the lower rack. It is a little chilly outside, so I think I might have some issues with running the smoker has hot as it needs to be. Normally you run the smoker at 225-250 degress F, but I need to get it closer to and even above 300 degrees F. I think this will be the challenge of the day. I am going to head off to a place where I should be able to get a bag of hard wood charcoal which usually burn hotter that briquettes, and get some of that started in my Weber Grill just in case.

The Weber Smoking Away.

03:00pm - The smoker seems to be holding at exactly 300 degrees when measured in the hood. Since the ham is on the lower rack, I assume it is hotter there, which should be just about right. I can tell the outside fat is starting to sauté as opposed to just render, so for now that is exactly what I want.

Fresh ham about 1/2 through the smoke.

The meat temperature is only at 107 degrees F, but there are still a couple hours left before I have to address the situation. Let's see how it goes.

06:30pm - I got a little side tracked and didn't get to pull the ham until it reached 155 degrees F internally. I don't think for such a large ham it will make too much difference.

Fresh ham, finished.

It looks mighty tasty.

07:00pm - Just letting the ham rest while I prepare the rest of the meal. My friends just showed up. Looks like everything has somehow come out on time.

Fresh ham, close up.

07:30pm - Carving Time.

Fresh ham, sliced.

The fresh ham appears more like a pork roast on the inside than one would expect a cured ham to appear. It smells superb. The hickory smoke was a good choice I think. The whole house has a great aroma - my guests are very excited.

07:45pm - It's eating time.

The Ham tastes great, but not as you would expect a cured ham to taste. Sort of a cross between a pork-butt (cooked to slice not to pull) and a pork roast. It is really really great.
Thanks to everyone, especially Kevin Kruger, over at The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board.

A fresh ham is a very different experience than a cured ham, but one you should definitely give a try.

09:30pm - Our Dessert: Mississippi Mud. Made from scratch while waiting for the smoke to do it's job.

Mississippi Mud

Now that is a good way to finish off this meal.
blue skies,

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Fresh Ham for Easter Dinner


Thanks to this thread on The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board, I feel pretty confident about smoking a fresh ham for dinner tomorrow night.

Since the ham is not cured, I am going brine for as long as I can before I have to place it in the smoker. Following the sage advice I was given, I have made a very aromatic brine that seems like it will go well with the flavor of the ham.

I will update you tomorrow and let you know how it goes and, if I like it, I will post the brine recipe that I used.

blue skies,