What's more summery than cooking outdoors? For a new twist, think beyond the grill this summer and try your hand at a smoker. These three mouthwatering recipes will get you started.
Barbecue Pork Ribs
Make a dry rub by mixing together ¼ cup seasoned salt, 1/4 cup paprika, 1/2 cup white sugar and two tablespoons packed brown sugar. Next, add 1 teaspoon each garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder, dry mustard, black pepper, salt and oregano. If you want an extra kick, stir in a teaspoon or so of cayenne pepper. Season 10 pounds of pork baby back ribs or spareribs with the spice mix. Wrap the meat in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes.
Using a fruity wood, smoke the ribs for one hour at 270 degrees Fahrenheit.
Stir together ¼ cup of barbecue sauce, ¼ cup of applesauce and one cup of apple juice. After the first hour or cooking, brush this sauce onto the meat every 30 to 45 minutes. The final application should be about 30 minutes before the ribs finish cooking.
After the first hour of smoking, it may take another three or four hours for the ribs to finish cooking. Pork should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Wrap the ribs in aluminum foil to rest for about half an hour before eating.
Adapted from Sweet Smoked Pork Ribs recipe
Whip up an easy chicken marinade with ½ cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, one clove of minced garlic and one tablespoon Italian seasoning. With an injector, inject 3½ pounds of chicken pieces with the seasoning. Sprinkle a mixture of paprika, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, chili powder and onion powder over the poultry. Seal the chicken in a plastic bag, and marinate it in the refrigerator overnight.
Using hickory or apple wood, smoke the chicken for about four hours at 250 degrees. While it cooks, spritz it with apple juice every half-hour. It will take about two cups of juice.
The chicken is finished when the juices run clear and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
Adapted from Smokemasters Smoked Chicken recipe
Select about a 10-pound cut of beef brisket, and trim the fat down to about half an inch.
Make a dry rub by stirring together 1/2 cup brown sugar; 1/4 cup paprika; and 1 tablespoon each red pepper, black pepper, salt and cumin. Rub this into the meat, wrap it tightly in plastic and refrigerate it overnight.
Before smoking, bring the brisket to room temperature while you heat the smoker to 210 degrees. Smoke the meat for one to 1¼ hours per pound of brisket. The smoker temperature should remain between 180 and 220 degrees during the cooking process.
A mop sauce will keep the meat from drying out. During cooking, apply it once every hour. Make an easy one by mixing three parts cider vinegar with one part water and adding chopped onion. Season it with salt, dry mustard and just a bit of black pepper. If you have any leftover rub, add that, too.
Beef needs to reach an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees. Let the brisket rest for 20 minutes before slicing it.
Adapted from The One and Only Barbecue Brisket
Meghan Ross is a freelance writer covering all things home and living. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.
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