BBQ Pitmasters

Have you noticed we haven’t mentioned the Stanley Cup Finals at all?

That’s mostly because it’s been non-competitive. The Kings, despite a 3-1 loss tonight are clearly one of the best playoff teams ever. They’ve simply marched through the playoffs and Finals. That after finishing eighth in the West. Give credit where credit is due. They will win the Cup.

I’m watching BBQ Pitmasters. This is actually pretty interesting, because judging barbecue is much like officiating in the NBA…uneven and questionable at best. Myron Mixon, a champion pitmaster is very opinionated. He’s a good ol’ boy but he’s a sophisticated pitmaster. He grows on you.

Tuffy Stone is a cool cat, and he can really cook some Q. He’s won his share of contests, and he’s the kind of guy who you just think wants to see everyone do well.

Aaron Franklin, well, Aaron owns an outstanding restaurant in Austin, where I’ve eaten before. It’s no joke. When he says in this article he serves food that people can actually eat, he means it. By the way, I have written several reviews on Yelp describing restaurants, hotels and home improvement stores.

I dabble a bit in barbecue myself. I don’t compete, because it’s easy to make great barbecue but hard to make it well enough to get judged successfully. Tonight, I’m going to talk about baby back ribs. Maybe BSP will talk Turkey one day. I have made absolutely superb beer can chicken in this thing.

I use an Orion cooker for my ribs. The thing looks like a convection oven, but you can get some decent smoke on your food if you know what you’re doing…which I do. I’ve only jacked up one set of ribs, which I thought were inedible but my wife and friends really enjoyed them. It wasn’t even the cooker’s fault. I left it in five minutes too long and it softened it up to the point the bones were tearing off.  Despite that screw-up, it’s hard to mess up food in the Orion cooker.

I don’t even mess with the regular ribs. They are too fatty. I stick to HEB Naturals, because they don’t use crazy preservatives with them. I’m sure you can get some similar ribs from a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. Thank you, we are finally getting a Trader Joe’s in this town.

For my rub, I use a variation of Steven Raichlen’s Basic Barbecue Rub. The variation makes it far different. I will tell you one of my extra/different ingredients: Oregano.  Heh, heh.

A negative about the Orion is, it uses a lot of fuel. It’s recommended you use Kingsford Match light (the 13.5 lb bag) for each use of the cooker. Fortunately, we have something called a refrigerator and freezer. I’ll simply get some Italian hot links and cook those after we’re done making ribs or chicken. Since the coals are ashed over, whatever they use to light the charcoal with is long gone before it hits your second meats. Since my other grill is a superb Weber 22″ kettle, we get good use out of that as well. I’ll take some jalapenos out of my garden, stuff them with cream cheese, then wrap them in bacon.

I know, that sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

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About bittersportspills

I love sports. I don't love the hype, homerism, ratings talk, self-important egomaniacs, bias or any of the other nonsense you get with the national media. Nor will you get the two clowns on sports talk radio who stage phony arguments. It doesn't make it entertaining. It makes it time to turn on your iPod and jam instead of listening to white noise generators. This is the sports blog for you, the ones who don't like everything Los Angeles or New York. Just because the sporting media is based there doesn't mean we have to like their teams. We do treat them fairly, though. That means if one of those cities has an average QB who plays particularly well...we'll note it. If they're garbage, we'll say so. Instead of crying "why, why, why" like a certain sports media homer did in his radio broadcast. This isn't my job...I have a real one. Nevertheless, I'll post here when I make an observation. Common sense in sports is nearly dead. Now we're attempting to bring it back.
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