Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Dinner With Ahboo

One of the major perks of the new house is the huge brick barbecue grill that was built by the previous owner.

It took some research to figure out exactly what was going on with this thing, but once I worked it out, I decided to fire it up and cook the crap out of some dead animal carcass.

The previous owner left a stack of hickory logs in the storage shed out back, so I decided I was going to attempt a nice slow cook. I started a roaring fire in the left hearth area and let it burn until it produced some nice coals, then transferred them into the bottom right compartment.

In went the deceased mammal. I was not at all confident that my first attempt using the new grill was going to result in anything edible, so I picked up a rack of spareribs that were on super-sale at the grocery store.

Three and a half hours (and nearly five logs) later, the ribs were ready. The interior temperature had reached a safe level, so I decided to declare them fit for consumption.

Things I learned:
  • Logs are really hard to light, even when you toss them on top of blazing charcoal. It took a liberal application of cooking oil to get them burning initially.
  • It's possible to be way too liberal with the airflow. I didn't have any way to measure the air temperature at meat level, and I'm pretty sure I had it a lot higher than the recommended 225 degrees. Next time I'll definitely have a thermometer ready so I can regulate the temperature much better.
  • I shouldn't stop at the minimum "safe" temperature when slow-cooking. It needs a lot of time for the collagen to break down, and the ribs probably could have gone another couple of hours to get them nice and tender.
For my first attempt, I have to call it a success. The ribs were nowhere near as tender as I'd hoped (it took a good bit of gnawing to get the meat off the bone), but they were incredibly flavorful. We could taste the smoke in every bite, and the barbecue sauce we added after the fact was a nice complement but really unnecessary.

Even Ahboo approves!


At 4:20 AM, Blogger HEWY said...

I love the outdoor fireplace. It's so old school!


Post a Comment

<< Home