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BBQ How-To

 

Cheat-Sheet

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Smoke-Roasting

 Whole Chickens

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Smoking Spareribs

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Smoking a Whole Shoulder

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Boston Butt or Picnic Shoulder?

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Collagen

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Fat's Role

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Fat Types

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How Long to Smoke?

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Propane or Charcoal?

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Dead or Alive?

 

 

Dead or Alive?

“How would you like that cooked sir?”…we hear it all the time.  Working in restaurants as a grill chef for many years brought me every request from “Sear it for fifteen seconds on each side” to “Burn it, simply burn it, please.”  If you like steak, and you eat steak, then the most important thing is having it cooked how you like it.  If, however you are one of those citizens of our otherwise delightful country, that utters such things as “I don’t want to see any PINK or BLOOD, and I don’t want it TOUGH, and do you have any STEAK SAUCE?”, then PLEASE CONTINUE READING.  There are five degrees that most associate with beef; rare, medium-rare, medium, medium-well, and well.  These are actually specified by the USDA as 145 degrees for medium rare, 160 degrees for medium, and 170 degrees for well done.  Basically, there are three classic schools of thought that people subscribe to when asked the big question of doneness. 

 

The first encompasses safety.  Many people think that unless beef is well-done, then it’s not safe to eat.  Well, that just wrong.  It is a fact that the bacterium we associate with food poisoning and, in rare cases death (no pun intended), dies at 160 degrees.  It is also a fact that the most frightening bacterium (E.coli 0157:H8) is aerobic—that means it needs oxygen in order to survive.  Therefore, to sum up, all areas of the meat that can house the bacteria need to be brought to 160 degrees.  A steak can simply be seared on all of its edges, and it is safe!  Hamburger, being ground and porous, should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees no questions asked.  Safety is on all our minds, but with a little science in you back pocket, ease of mind can be restored.

 

The second school of thought is palatability.  Some people just eat what feels the best.  This is usually associated with either medium rare, or medium.  Steak is at its toughest point when it’s raw, as it cooks it begins to climb the tenderness curve until it peaks at 145-150 degrees.  After that, it begins to toughen up again until it lands on well-done (which is still more tender than raw.) 

 

Last, are the people who just can’t stomach the thought of eating meat that looks like blood.  To these people, God love’em, they’ll either have to wear a blindfold or just not eat tender steak.  But just so you know, Arby’s cooks their meat to medium-rare. mmm...

 

Let’s not waste the ranchers’ time.

     

Payne County Rust, LLC

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