2012 – Christmas

Just a final post to wrap up Christmas, 2012.  We actually slept in this morning and opened presents at 7:00am.  That’s a record for us, and a sign that the girls are getting older.  There have been lots of years when the presents were opened before the sun came up.

Here’s a shot of the girls in front of the tree this morning.  The rest of our Christmas photos are in the usual place over at Flickr.


Here’s wishing everyone a Blessed Christmas and a Joyous New Year!




I was asked to do ribs for a birthday party on Saturday night, so I fired up the Big Green Egg and did what I do best!  BBQ!

The general approach behind the 3-2-1 method is this:

  • 3 hrs on the cooker, using an indirect setup
  • 2 hrs wrapped in aluminum foil with a cup of apple juice
  • 1 hr unwrapped, back on the cooker with sauce if desired.

This would give you a total cooking time of 6 hours, but I’ve found that using a slightly modified version of this method I can have great ribs in about 5 hours.  So here’s the blow by blow on how I do ribs.

  • The first step, and a very important one, is to remove the membrane from the underside of each rack of ribs.  Removing the membrane allows the rubs to penetrate the meat.  It also has a papery consistency when cooked if you don’t remove it.
  • Just like pork butt, I slather each slab with a coating of yellow mustard followed by the BBQ rub of your choice.
  • Setup the cooker for indirect cooking and stabilize the temp at 250 degrees.
  • Put the ribs on the cooking grate with the meaty side up.
  • Cook indirect for 3 hours.  By the end of 3 hours, the meat should begin to pull back from the bone nicely.
  • After 3 hours, wrap each rack individually in foil.  Add a cup of apple juice to each foil pack and return them to the cooker for 60-75 minutes.  I usually put them back on the cooker with the meaty side down.
  • After a little more than an hour, remove the ribs from their respective foil pouches, brush both sides lightly with sauce (optional), and return them to the cooker for 45mins to an hour,  to let them firm up and the sauce get good and sticky.  Be careful removing them from the foil because they will likely be falling apart.
  • That’s it!  Serve ‘em up and enjoy!


Traditional Holiday Luncheon, Brisket & Pulled Pork

We scheduled a holiday luncheon with my new team.  Now with nearly 70 folks in the department, I dont’ really have the capacity to BBQ for everyone.  So when we asked everyone to bring  a dish, I thought heck there’s no reason my dish can’t be BBQ.  I’m glad it was too.  While we had lots of other stuff including sandwiches from a local shop, it didn’t stop the team from plowing through an 8 lb. brisket flat and 12 lbs. of pork butt.

I fired up the Big Green Egg last night at a little after 8:00pm and got the meat on shortly before 9:00pm.  I kept an eye on it until around midnight before I turned in.  Woke up at 3:00am and took a quick look at the temperature guage, tweaked the lower vent, and was back in bed in about 10 minutes.  Got up at 6:00am and took my first reading of the meat temp.  Brisket came off the BGE at 7:45am and the butts about an hour later.  I wrapped them in foil, stuck them in a cooler, and sliced the brisket and pulled the butts right before lunch at 11:30am.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the BBQ as well as the opportunity to hang out and celebrate the holidays.  I know I did.

Rain Gear for the Big Green Egg

A few times each year, I find myself cooking in the rain.  I’ve never had a downpour completely wash out a cook, but I do try to take preventative measures when I get20081017_0033 caught the rain.  Most of the time that means trying to build a rain fly for the daisy wheel on the Big Green Egg and trying to keep it on the leeward side of the garage.  This works okay as long as the wind isn’t gusting too bad.

Now I have a good friend and neighbor who enjoys the fruits of the egg nearly as much as I do and has witnessed my hurried construction of a makeshift aluminum foil rain fly a couple of times.  So last night he presented me with a solution to the problem as an early barfday present.  No longer will I be scrambling for aluminum foil and performing speed origami with it when the rain begins to fall.

Here are a couple of shots of my new rain gear.  Place your orders now if you’d like one before Christmas!  🙂





BBQ Porn

My wife looks at me strangely when I grab the camera to snap some pics of my latest BBQ creation.  I guess I started photographing the process to share with other “enthusiasts” (some would call us freaks).  But I don’t think it’s that crazy.

Anyway, I fired up the Big Green Egg last night and put a 7 lb. beef brisket on for lunch today and sandwiches the rest of the week.  I used a rub that a co-worker gave me a while back.  It’s called Brisket Rub and it’s from the Goode Company in Texas.  I’ve liked most of the stuff from this outfit, but I think there are other brisket rubs that I like better.

I tended the fire late into the night, watched the Nittany Lions knock off the Buckeyes, and saw most of game 3 of the World Series.  I finally called it a night around midnight, slept soundly for 6 hours, and woke to find the egg chugging along peacefully at 235 degrees.  The brisket was done, so I wrapped it in foil, stuck it in a dry cooler, and got another hour of sleep.

Here’s what lunch looks like today.  Now who’s crazy?  🙂

(Phydeaux, check out the bokeh with my 50mm prime!)


Lead by example

Note:  This post should be read with a healthy dose of sarcasm and good nature!

I try to set a good example and help others learn from my mistakes. I really do.  But sometimes people just have to learn the hard way.  Such is the case with my brother-in-law.  We’ll just call him Ed for the sake of this discussion.

You see, Ed’s a bright guy and I could learn tons from him.  I, on the other hand, only have a few areas of expertise where I can reciprocate.  But try as I might, I’ve been unable to impart any wisdom to Ed.

I’m talking about the area of BBQ.  As I’ve told a lot of folks (including Ed), I’ve owned a handful of different smokers.  But it was only when I learned patience and acquired a quality smoker that I began to produce really decent BBQ.  Now you’d think that a guy like Ed who has enjoyed the fruits of my efforts on the Big Green Egg would take my advice.  Especially since he insists on “only the best” when it comes to the other tools that he uses to ply his trade.

I’ve failed you Ed, but I guess sometimes you gotta learn the hard way.  Good luck with your new Charbroil h2O Smoker….at least you’re cooking! 🙂



Each year in October, The Big Green Egg Company holds their annual customer appreciation event at their coporate offices in Tucker, GA (near Atlanta).  It’s such a popular event, that they have to close the event when they receive 1,500 registrations.  They provide “demo” eggs for attendees to cook on and share their culinary creations with their fellow eggheads.  It sure sounds like a lot of fun and I’d love to make the trip sometime.

One of the attendees took this photo the day before the event.  Like soldiers prepared for battle, this year there were 225 eggs used for the event.  Of course they were available at a discount to the attendees.

I guess the BBQ economy is still going strong!  🙂