Category Archives: Kingsford

Time To Brine!!!

Ah yes! Once you have experienced a brined turkey, it is hard imagining having turkey prepared any other way. I did a post last Thanksgiving on brining a bird, and subsequent posts on brined pork. Here are links to some of the better turkey brines I have tried:

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!


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Filed under Brine, grill, Kingsford, Smoker, turkey, Weber

Cherry Coke Beef Tenderloin!

In some parts of the south “Coke” is a generic term for any carbonated beverage. In other places it a specific reference to the drink “Cocola” (where one syllable has somehow disappeared). Anyway, for years Cherry Coke as we know it had to be made by taking a coke and adding cherry syrup. Some called it a “Cherry Suicide” or “Coke Suicide”. I had my first Cherry Suicide in the mid sixty’s and loved it (previous post)! Why did it take the folks at Coca Cola until 1982 to develop their own version? I guess they were too busy tweaking the “Classic Coke” recipe?

On Amazon I recently saw a BBQ sauce based on Dr. Pepper and another on A&W Root Beer. Why not a marinade based on Cherry Coke since I need something different to prepare the beef tenderloin which came out the freezer yesterday? to the rescue!!! Some other genius already had the idea! I borrowed and modified the recipe to be like this:

12 Ounces Of Cherry Coke
5 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Of Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
1/8 Cup Teriyaki Sauce
4 Tablespoons Minced Yellow Onion
1 Tablespoon Frank’s Redhot sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Coarse Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder

The tenderloins have been marinading in this potion since last evening. I will fire up the grill at 5:00 PM today, and then let you know how things worked. I really think we are onto something!

I will be trying out two-zone cooking which is described by BBQ Zen master Craig Goldwyn at:

Monday 11/15/2010

The steaks were great. This is a must try recipe!

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Filed under Kingsford, Marinade, Steak, Weber

North Carolina Smoked Ribs

The “original” BBQ sauce, according to recorded history was a vinegar and pepper mix. It is still used on the coastal plains of both North and South Carolina where it originated, and to a slight degree in Virginia and Georgia. After the vinegar and pepper variation we began to see adaptations with “light tomato”, “heavy tomato” and mustard: in other words, four basic categories. Vinegar and pepper based sauces are linked to early Scottish settlers in the Carolina, whereas mustard based sauces are the fine work of the German settlers.

“Light tomato” sauce is little more than vinegar and pepper mixed with ketchup. “Heavy tomato” sauce is a rather recent occurrence and what we see in the likes of “KC Masterpiece”. Sauce wars have been fought through the years over ownership of the original recipes, and of course, over which is best. After that the debates go to pork versus beef, and even in places like Kentucky, mutton, or lamb in considered best.

Being of Scottish descent, I chose a very basic vinegar and pepper marinade and baste, with a spicy flare:

1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 tablespoon brown sugar

I let this mix sit for four hours to make sure the flavors had sufficient time to emerge and blend. I then put the mix in a large plastic bag along the ribs, and put the whole mess in the refrigerator over night.

Around 11:00 AM I fired up the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker with Kingsford briquets. For smoke flavoring I chose cherry wood which I purchased from, my new favorite retailer (I still love you, too, Costco, but Amazon Prime lets me get most everything with two-day shipping, and no sales tax). I put the ribs on around noon, and have been basting them every so often with the vinegar and pepper mix. These guys are gonna be good!

For more BBQ lore check out:


Filed under Indirect, Kingsford, Marinade, Pork Ribs, Smoker, Weber

Dizzy Dean once said, “It ain’t braggin’ if ya can back it up.”

New Year’s Day we had the best pork we can remember, and I made it (does anyone remember the “Shake ‘n Bake” commercials from 70’s?)! How that’s for braggin’? Well…was it really me, or was it the brine? “We” made a brined pork loin which was absolutely fantastic, and highlighted by great flavoring, incredible moistness and a very evident smoke ring (more later).

As an admitted “brinaholic” I have already dedicated two posts to the process; one on brined turkey and another on brined pork chops. Brining is the process of soaking meat or vegetables in a saltwater and/or seasoned water bath, and has been around for centuries to preserve meats when refrigeration wasn’t available. Brining is best for lean meats such as poultry (chicken, Cornish hens, turkey), pork (roasts, tenderloin, chops) and shrimp that tend to be mild flavored, more easily over-cooked and prone to drying out.

I concocted a “best of” brine New Years’s Eve morning in my new dedicated brining cooler (perfectly sized for a 15 lbs. turkey). The brine included:

2 gallons water
1 12 oz. UFO Hefeweizen (wheat) beer
1 cup kosher salt
3 TBSP molasses
3 TBSP Malabar Table Grind Black Pepper (store brand will work too)
1 TBSP crushed red pepper
4 bay leaves
Ice cubes

A 3 lbs. pork loin was put in the brine for 24 hours. The next afternoon I fired up the trusty Weber kettle grill. The pork was placed center grill at 2:00 with charcoal and coffee wood burning in the side rails. The vents were opened about half way.

I basted the pork at one hour with olive oil. At 1 and 1/2 hours I put the pork in a throw away pan with a 12 oz UFO Hefeweizen. The pan was sealed with aluminum foil and the vents were closed. In another hour I brought the pan inside to allow the meat to rest, as they say. The meat was still warm and moist when I carved and served it at 5:45.

So what is a smoke ring? A smoke ring is a pink discoloration of meat just under the surface crust (called bark). It can be just a thin line of pink or a rather thick layer. The smoke rings is caused by nitric acid building up in the surface of meat, absorbed from the surface. This nitric acid is formed when nitrogen dioxide from wood combustion in smoke mixes with water in the meat. Basically it is a chemical reaction between the smoke and the meat.


Filed under Brine, grill, Indirect, Kingsford, Uncategorized

Thanksgiving Traditions

Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday, primarily due to the absence of commercialism. Granted the “Black Friday” phenomena has recently become a big deal in our consumer-spending driven economy, but each of us has the option to ignore it, without the consequence of being considered a friggin’ scrooge! Plus, we don’t have the bickering over what originated from Christian truths vs. which pagan holidays have had evil influence (where is the Church Lady when needed most?).

Faith, family, friends and food are my focus, and in that order! Consider the Psalms and other scriptures which point to our faithful Creator’s provision. Consider too that family and community are His gifts to us for organization, structure and protection, based solely on unconditional love and sacrifice.

Our immediate families are on the east coast, Chicago and Germany, so we generally holiday together with friends like the Henderson’s (BBQ buddy Lee) right here in plain ole Plano, Texas. Hearing our kids bantering and catching up, and seeing the flow of their friends in and out of the house is really cool, not to mention the aromas associated with cooking, baking and smoking all sorts of food! We start off Thanksgiving Day with sausage gravy and biscuits (fodder for another post), skip lunch and then gorge late afternoon/early evening on turkeys prepared several ways, smoked ham and all the other major food groups.

Lee Henderson’s specialty is smoked ham (previous post) while mine is brined and smoked turkey. The web has many variations of brines posted, but I really like just a few. This year I am doing a modified version of one submitted to “Saveur” magazine. Trust me on this and do the following:

1 cup kosher salt
1 lemon, halved
1 orange, halved
1 onion, cut into wedges
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4 bay leaves
1 tbsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. ground black pepper
4 juniper berries, crushed
4 allspice berries, crushed

Combine dry ingredients in a 12-qt. pot, or large brining bag. Add 1 1/2 gallons cold water and stir. Squeeze lemons and oranges into the brine and add the squeezed halves. Submerge turkey in brine, breast down. (Weight the turkey down with dinner plates if necessary.) Cover pot with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or store in a cooler with ice. Remove turkey from brine, pat dry with paper towels, and let come to room temperature.

Load up the smoker with a heap of Kingsford charcoal (burns best evenly for extended periods). Once the coals are gray, open the vents all the way, put the bird on the grate over the water pan, add hickory chunks, close her up and get a cup of coffee.

About every hour or so baste the turkey with a mixture consisting of a splash of red wine mixed with olive oil. About eight hours later you have smoked a beautiful bird with absolutely moist, tender and flavorful meat. Enjoy while giving thanks.


Filed under Brine, Indirect, Kingsford, Smoker, turkey, Weber

Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is the primary ingredient in a “Barbecue Sandwich”, as it were, in the south from Virginia to Mississippi, including Arkansas and Tennessee. Most times the pork is served covered with cole slaw, on a basic hamburger bun. Along with a splash of BBQ sauce you have a killer sandwich! I ate my first barbecue sandwich in the early 60’s at Chip’s Barbecue in Little Rock, Arkansas, which is located on Markham Street next to the now defunct Ben Franklin Five and Dime. While in college we frequented Bill’s BBQ on Broad Street in Richmond for great BBQ sandwiches

Last weekend we attended the “Bikes, Blues and BBQ” festival in Fayetteville, Arkansas following our daughter Ashleigh’s soccer game at John Brown University in Siloam Springs. Fayetteville is usually a thirty-minute trip, but the 45,000 plus motorcycles around and near our destination made it a little longer, not to mention the rednecks in the ‘hemi Dodge with a twelve pack of cheap beer in the bed (that’s a whole ‘nuther story).

After fighting through the crowds on Dickson Street and an extended wait at a greasy steak joint where we enjoyed a couple of cold beers in plastic cups, we headed to the food garden just a few blocks down the hill. There we found pulled pork served on the ubiquitous hamburger bun, next to a heapin’ pile of ‘slaw! Across the midway we purchased home-made potato chips. We washed the whole mess down with bottled water and then moved on to funnel cakes.

Still inspired, yesterday I got a 10 lbs. piece of Boston Butt at Sam’s Club. Upon arriving home at the house, I rubbed it with a mixture which includes:

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons mustard powder

1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

This morning I put the slab of pork in a throw-away pan and covered it with Reynold’s Aluminum wrap. It went in the oven at 250 degrees ten minutes before eleven as we headed out to church. We got home around 1:45 after lunch with friends. I immediately fired up the Weber kettle grill. The pork was placed center grill at 2:30 with charcoal and hickory burning in the side rails. I doused the pork twice a little bit later in the cooking process with Wicker’s Marinade.pulled pork

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Filed under grill, Indirect, Kingsford, Weber

First try at smoked ribs with Salt Lick dry rub…

Ribs with Salt Lick rub

The Salt Lick is a well known Austin BBQ joint. I bought their tasty dry rub a few weeks ago at our new Market Street store in Plano.

I hit the ribs twice: the night before, and right before grill time. The ribs were cooked over indirect heat on my Weber kettle grill in a coiled configuration for four+ hours. Kingsford charcoal faithfully provided sustained, even heat from the side-rail boxes of the grill, and 10 pieces of hickory were used early on for the smoky flavor.

I learned about the coil configuration on one of Emeril’s early, and cheesy, grill shows. He was drinking homemade lemonade while grilling. What??? No beer or country music while the ribs were cooking??? No wonder he sold out to Martha!


Filed under grill, Indirect, Kingsford, Pork Ribs, Weber