Championship BBQ Secrets for Real Smoked Food

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9780778801306: Championship BBQ Secrets for Real Smoked Food
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A complete guide to the popular favorite of BBQ fans everywhere.

This comprehensive guide to the art of slow smoking on the BBQ will appeal to any outdoor chef. How-to instructions introduce lovers of all things barbecued to smoking methods while the recipes reflect the rich diversity of smoked foods, showing how to smoke almost anything from fruit, nuts and cheese to ribs, brisket and fish.

Smoking takes longer than simple grilling, and requires new techniques to be mastered for best results. The book tells how to use any type of barbecue equipment for smoking, whether a simple kettle grill, a competition smoker, or a cold smoker. It also addresses:

  • Using various types of woods
  • Building an indirect fire
  • Preparing food for smoking
  • Avoiding the Seven Sins of Smoking
  • Using brines, marinades, rubs, slathers, bastes, glazes, and sauces

The 300 carefully selected recipes are organized by ingredients to provide easy access and offer new inspirations for the ultimate in smoked foods:

  • Flower of the Flames Rib Rub
  • Blackberry Merlot Marinade
  • Stuffed Smoked Tomatoes
  • Cold-Smoked Fruit Salsa
  • Apple-Smoked Salmon with Green Grape Sauce
  • Pecan-Smoked Apricot Chicken Wings
  • Smoked Flank Steak with Beefy Barbecue Mop

With its mouthwatering recipes plus handy smoking and doneness charts, timetables, and instructions for various foods types, Championship BBQ Secrets for Real Smoked Food is a superb guide to an increasingly popular method of backyard cooking.

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About the Author:

Karen Putman wass a prize-winning chef and dedicated barbecuer who won many contests on the competition barbecue circuit, including a grand championship in The American Royal and several world championships.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Preface

When I hear the word "barbecue," I don't think of hot and fast grilling over direct heat, as you would cook a hamburger or a steak on your backyard grill. I think of foods cooked next to a fire, low and slow, flavored with wood smoke. Succulent, finger-lickin' ribs. Dark, deep and meaty brisket. Salmon bronzed with alder smoke. That's barbecue!

I got interested in slow-smoked foods -- real North American barbecue -- by a happy chance. In 1984, a man I worked with talked me into entering the American Royal Barbecue Contest in Kansas City Missouri With my husband, Putter, and a few friends, I entered the contest with a borrowed cooker, or rig. We took second place in the lamb category with a smoked lamb kabob served on saffron rice, and I was hooked.

Along the way, I've smoked everything there is to smoke, except maybe watermelon. I still compete in barbecue contests in my free time, having won the "Oscars" of the barbecue world: the American Royal, the Jack Daniels and two international contests in Lisdoonvarna, Ireland. My competition team is named "Flower of the Flames," the same name as the line of barbecue sauces I started to bottle and sell in 1988, when Ardie Davis (known in barbecue circles as Remus Powers, Ph.B. -- that's a doctorate in barbecue philosophy!) called me a "pioneer of fruit-based sauces." I still like concocting new sauce recipes. In my regular working life, I'm a chef who has entered and won lots of recipe contests.

I've smoked on just about every kind of equipment, both good and very, very bad. In the mid-1990s, Putter and I entered a contest in Florida, drove down there with coolers full of 300 pounds of meat, and rented a cooker ahead of time. That smoker was a big rust bucket. It had holes in it everywhere you looked. Putter took 12 boxes of aluminum foil and started rolling up foil into balls to stuff those holes. He patched it all up. We did a test run to see if the temperature would hold, and it did. So we put our food on and hoped for the best. And we won the grand championship that year!

At a chef's contest in Belgium, I wanted to smoke chicken and salmon. But the equipment they gave me was a flat restaurant outdoor grill. So I made my own smoker, again with aluminum foil. I tented the grill and made a chimney.

This is all to demonstrate that you can get delicious results from any equipment you have. It's all in the technique: Keep the temperature at a steady, low and slow heat. Add enough wood for good flavor, but not so much that you have a bitter, acrid result. And flavor your food before, during and/or after smoking with brines, rubs, marinades, bastes, mops and sauces.

Every barbecuer develops his or her own style after a while. Here's mine:

1. I marinate or use a dry rub to flavor the food before smoking.

2. I use fruit woods such as apple, cherry and peach, sometimes in combination with oak, sugar maple or pecan, for a sweeter smoke flavor.

3. I spray my food with a fruit juice or citrus spray during smoking, or use a basting mixture of some kind, or both.

4. I follow up with a sauce with a touch of sweetness that provides a counterpoint to the slightly bitter flavor of the smoke.

5. I use a Tucker Cooker for hot-smoking, a SmokinTex(tm) for cold-smoking.

However, any of the recipes in this book can be modified for the equipment and wood of your choice. The wood you use depends on your area and what is plentiful and not too expensive. You want a hard wood, not a soft one such as pine, which will add a bitter, resinous flavor to food. What makes smoking fun for me is experimenting with rubs, woods, temperatures and so forth. Once you get the basics down, you can let your imagination run wild. Smoking is constant creativity.

The Flower of the Flames team now consists of me; my husband, Putter; my sister, Ronna Keck; her husband, Bill; and my friends Cathy Jones, Tim Lanagin and Kevin Fatino. I also belong to the 'Que Queens, an all-female barbecue team that competes in Battle of the Sexes barbecue contests against a men's team... whenever they can get a team together. Several other barbecue teams have spun off from my team's experience in cooking with me at contests, and I'm happy about that. I love to share the experience. I get excited when people I've mentored end up winning a contest.

Happy smoking!

Karen Putman

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