Rushville Republican

May 21, 2012

Cooks Corner: Barbeque tips and techniques

Ron Tolliver
Rushville Republican

RUSHVILLE — Barbeque. All across America the very word evokes emotions and brings on remembrances of times past. The aromas and the tastes linger in the mind for a lifetime. Ask different folks what a barbeque is and you could get a raging argument. You could even get a debate over the meaning of the word, some contending barbeque means low heat and slow cooking while grilling uses higher heat and cooks faster.

Barbequing in America became popular after world war 2, but cooking out is something that has been occurring for centuries.

However it was the Caribbean people that taught the Spanish to cook with a wooden frame or barbacoa and baste the meat with spicy red mixtures.

This week lets discuss barbecue cooking sauces, rubs, marinades and table sauces.. This changes the flavor, tenderness and juiciness of the meat you are grilling or broiling. There are as many different combinations as there are personal tastes. Sauces can be as hot or mild in flavor as you like them. The secret is using the right sauce for the  meat  you use. You don't want the sauce to overpower the flavor of the meat but enhance it. While a sauce may be very hot to the taste but normally the best sauces have a lot of flavor.

When grilling baby-back ribs you would use a milder sauce the when cooking spare ribs. The added flavor of spare ribs will accommodate a spicier sauce or rub. The best way to go on a pork butt is a rub. After massaging  the rub in thoroughly  wrap the meat tightly and refrigerate at least 24 hours, 2 or 3 days is even better. Always allow meat to come to room temperature before cooking.

There are also a large number of sauce bases. The majority are tomato based while others are vinegar based. This varies by what part of our country you live in. While beef is the object of barbeque in Texas, pork leads the way in the south and mid west. Chicken and seafood is prevalent in the north east and west coast. Lamb and goat has gained some popularity in areas of Tennessee and Kentucky.

As a rule use indirect heat when cooking on a grill. When using charcoal start your coals and when they get a white outer coating separate in half pushing coals to each side. If you are using a gas grill use only the outside burners.

You can place a pan with soaked wood chips of your choice on coals or over 1 burner. This will give you a smokey flavor added to the meat. Never get in a hurry, 250 to 275 degree heat will work just fine and cook until an inside temperature of 165 degrees. Turn and baste meat often as the internal moistness of the meat will rise to the top and evaporate leaving your meat dry on the inside. By often I suggest about every 15 to 20 minutes. When using charcoal you may need to replenish the coals while cooking to maintain heat. Some people brush the sauce on the meat and others immerse the meat in sauce. Either way works and is the cooks preference.

My Absolute Best Pork Rub

serves 8

I wish I could take credit for this rub but I found it

written on a sheet of paper in a cookbook I bought

at Goodwill. I made a couple of changes which I think

works better. For ribs, butts and pork sirloin to me it is

the best I have ever found

10 tablespoons dark brown sugar

4 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons maple pepper

2 tablespoons lemon pepper

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons dried summer savory

4 teaspoons garlic powder

4 teaspoons seasoned salt

2 teaspoons onion powder

3/4teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2teaspoon ground cloves


6 cups apple juice

1 cup apple brandy

combine all dry ingredients mixing well

rub well over all sides of meat

tightly wrap with plactic wrap

refrigerate at least 24 hours

allow meat to come to room temperature before cooking

cook low and slow over indirect heat

butts need 7 to 9 hours

ribs need 4 to 6 hours

sirloins about 5 to 7 hours

combine apple juice and brandy