Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mesquite is for Amateurs

There are a few things that I have learned on my own and through alot of trial and error. One of those things is the art of BBQ'ing. This is not a journey that should be taken by the faint of heart. I was an "epic failure" at this art of southern cooking when I first started. I can remember having a BBQ for some friends in Warner Robins, Ga. and their families at our old home which saw me almost catch our house on fire. I made it a crusade of mine to be the best BBQer in our family this includes the Aikens and Flanders sides of the families. I can say with much assistance from my grill which I received for reenlisting in the Army in 2008 that I have become the best BBQ man in my family and because BBQ in Colorado is not up to the SOUTHERN standard I am the best in Colorado. If you wanna put a little south in your mouth come and see me. I will make it happen.

To become great at BBQ'ing you have to realize that "Only amateurs use mesquite.". Real BBQ men use Hickory and that is all ther is to it. I use a combination of woods to include Jack Daniels Oak Whiskey Soaked Chips but that is only in the last hour of smking a pork shoulder which just puts that lasting touch on what Chris and Brianna Dunn call the best BBQ they have ever eaten. So today is May 1st and not only will I not wear jeans in celebration of May but I will also not miss a chance for me and Ol' Red to get back to what we do best and that is BBQ. It did not take much to convince my sweet Georgia girl that we needed to BBQ because I think she loves it just as much or more than I do.

Rule #1: Develop your Signature Rub- After watching Bobby Flay and reading about the greatest form of cooking in the world, I was able to develop my own rub. Nope. I am not gonna tell you what's in it but it is a wonderful peice of heaven when I need to remember what home tastes like. So I rubbed down my chicken and let is sit for about 20 minutes before putting it on the grill. With chicken you do not have to let it sit long when you rub it. It is not like a pork shoulder. The pork shoulder is an art form that has to sit overnight in the rub for it to be perfect but not chicken. So the chicken is placed on the grill with some good ol' hickory chips for about 40 minutes of slow deliberate cooking.

As you cook your chicken, don't get all flip crazy and keep flipping your chicken over 50 times while you wait for it to finish. You need to leave the lid closed and let the smoke permeate the chicken. This is a marriage that is made in heaven but much like many of our dating relationships' if you push too hard too early you don't stand a chance. Let the grill do the work and go play a game of catch with your kid. When you come back flip it once and go play another game of catch. After the second game of catch stay with the chicken and check it periodically for doneness. This whole process should take about 40 minutes for dark meat and 25-30 minutes for white meat. I am a man who is not a fan of white meat but I will cook it for you so that you can feel better about yourself when you sleep at night. Now it is time for plating.

I am not an artist and I do not create the side dishes. Erin is the wonderful creator of those side dishes you see on this plate. Honey-Roasted Sweet Potatoes (found here- but with a slight heat and time modification) and Green Beans with some butter and salt. This meal is simple, yet wonderfully tasty. Needless to say there was not a single piece of chicken left in the house or a side dish to be found anywhere. We ate this meal like three starving lions devouring a gazelle. This made an excellent ending to a good day. YUM!

So you may wonder why I have a picture of Ed Hochuli (pronounced, Hock-u-lee), the NFL referee in the above picture. However, you gotta hear this story. So, Kalyn likes to play Madden NFL 10 with her Daddy from time to time and so last night we were playing a game together on the same team against the Arizona Cardinals. Kalyn jumps offsides on defense and causes us to be called for offsides. The game cuts to the referee screen and I say to her "Look's like Ed Hochuli just got us." Kalyn says to me "What hockey league?" I couldn't help but fall over laughing.

We are gonna BBQ two pork shoulders next weekend and I will post about that next Saturday night. In the meantime, I am sure Kalyn will do something off the wall funny and I will have to post about it. Have a good week everyone.

Flanders Out.


  1. Love the apron. Bout time for a new one isn't it??

  2. well im not sure about being the best cook on the flanders side. brad had really developed a nack for cooking on the grill. i think his skills on the grill are brillant. i think yall might have to have a cook off.