Ya’ll, I feel like I have mastered the grill. Alright, “mastered” maybe a bit of a stretch but I certainly feel more comfortable with it than I did last year. If you remember last year’s post about my grill journey then you will remember that the grill and I have always had a “love hate” relationship (more like, one day I love it, the next day I hate it). I’ve always wanted to master the grill but the whole idea of using lighter fluid (I don’t believe in gas grills), cooking over an open flame and trying to manage temperature is intimidating and scary, but this year I decided give it another try.
Last weekend, I pushed myself to learn how to smoke meat using my charcoal grill. I love the taste of smoky and tender meat and I figured that it couldn’t be that hard. I mean after all you’re not really cooking with an open flame. I figured the only challenging part would be managing the temperature and making sure that the meat stayed moist and tender. After reading a few articles, watching a few YouTube videos and praying really, really hard, I gathered up some courage and headed out to my backyard with a well seasoned rack of ribs.
Ya’ll…SUCCESS!!! After about 5 hours of not so patiently waiting, I emerged with a perfectly cooked rack of ribs. Now, these ribs were by no means “Pit Master” worthy but they were pretty good. They were perfectly cooked, well seasoned, moist and flavorful.
Like I said, in preparation for my first “smoke” I read up on different smoking methods and I ran across the 3 – 2- 1 method. This method calls for cooking the ribs for 3 hours uncovered, cooking them with butter and juice for the next two hours and cooking them sauced and uncovered for the last hour. I did shorten the cook time of the last two steps. Instead of cooking the meat in butter and juice for the full 2 hours I scaled it back to 1 hour and I cooked it uncovered and sauced for about 30-45 mins. Towards the end, I felt that the meat was fully cooked and I was scared that I was going to over-cook it and dry it out.
All in all, it was a great experience. It went so well that the next day I marinated a chicken and smoked it on the grill. It was honestly the best chicken that I have ever had. Hands down!
If ya’ll out there are thinking about tackling the grill, please do. Start off small and work your way up. Find some great articles to read and watch a ton of YouTube videos. They are priceless!