Thursday, May 14, 2009

SWITCHING IT UP

You'll remember my posts last summer concerning barbecuing. If you don't, follow this link to one of my barbecuing posts in which I discuss heat and smoke control: http://livingstoncooks.blogspot.com/2008/08/bbq-chicken-101.html This is important and relevant to what I am about to discuss.

I own a state-of-the-art barbecue. It is a stainless steel monolith that has given me endless hours of happy grilling and has produced much great food for many friends and loved ones. I love this barbecue. Actually, I traded my decorating services for this rig to a man who owns a barbecue store in British Columbia where I use to live. It was a $1700.00 win fall for me. It was a good trade.

The barbecue is the Enviro Bistro 4500. She bangs! It has 3 burners plus one long back burner for indirect heat during spit roasting. It is nice and big for pumping out the food for a lot of guests. And it gets hot fast. As I said earlier...I love this grill.

I've had a dilemma for quite some time however. You see, where I live now there is no natural gas hookup. And, I don't want to convert the Enviro over to propane just yet. So, I've been cooking on a shitty little barbecue over hot coals for the past two summers. But I'll tell you...the food has tasted much better on that shitty little barbecue than on the Enviro! And that has led to a change in my thinking.

What I have been doing on the Enviro is grilling, not barbecuing. There is a huge difference between the two. Grilling is cooking over high heat quickly. Barbecuing is cooking over low heat slowly. And, there is the smoke.

Barbecuing involves slowly smoking meat over an indirect wood or coal fed fire that releases smoke and flavors the meat as a result. The smoke flavor cannot be achieved by gas grills because no smoke is generated by gas.

So...here is our new barbecue. It is the CHAR-GRILLER Super Pro.

It is know in the barbecue world as a "pit smoker." That's kind of like pit fighter or pit bull, huh? Sounds sort of tough, right? "Hey dude, whatcha doin'?" "Ahhh...just throwing some meat down on my pit smoker...you?"

Anyway, it sort of looks like two barbecues in one, right? Well it is and it isn't. The big can on the left is the barbecue. You can load it up with coals and cook on it no problem. But when you want to slow smoke something, you build your fire on the fire box and leave the big cannister cool. The fire box is the little can on the right.

I'm going to get into this in more depth in future posts. Actually I think quite a few of my next posts will deal with the smoking aspect of barbecuing. It should be interesting.

As a chef I appreciate the skill that goes into producing great tasting food. I have to admit, however, that I'm in new territory here. I am not a pro barbecuer. I am learning a new skill on this one. But I am very excited and confident that I will do my homework and be producing some great meals in no time.

Future dishes will include slow smoked ribs and chicken, brisket, pulled pork and salmon for sure.

Well...it'll be fun. Ya'll take care now.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Chef Livingson!

For a while there I thought we'd never see another post from you. Felix here. Nothing better than a BBQ in my opinion so really looking forward to seeing how it all works out. I have a charcoal BBQ myself so bring on the recipes!
Felix

Expressions by MBG said...

So when are you guys having us over ... lol ...

M & H
xo

Mark said...

Yeah, I have to apologize for the layoff Felix. I went at the blogging pretty hard for a long time and I needed a break for a little bit. But rest assured, I'm back in the saddle again now.

I've been playing with the new BBQ and I'm still getting acquainted with it. Controlling the heat is the main issue. I feel like I'm getting the hang of it though.

I'm planning on slow smoking a pork shoulder (Cuban style) for pulled pork and I also really want to slow smoke a brisket. I will be posting the entire procedure on LIVINGSTON COOKS.

I'll be making a special cookie that I've been thinking about for a couple of years and have recently been experimenting with. I want to perfect it first beu I will be posting that as well. Keep your eyes peeled for my "Lemon Sandwich Cookies."

Also...I'm going to share my recipe for Filo Bananas. I developed this recipe when I was an apprentice and it has been on the dessert list of Toronto's finest restaurant and several menus in Whistler, British Columbia. It's killer!

So...I have a couple of posts in the works now and I just have to upload my photos. Keep looking in!

Marko

Mark said...

MBG:

I think that will happen eventually. Keep smiling kiddo!