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This easy-to-make sweet and savory glaze packs a punch of flavor when added to smoked meats. If you’d like to watch Jason make it go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE39xYR49zE
1.5 cups of dark brown sugar
3 tbs. apple cider vinegar
3 tbs. beer
1 tbs. Jack Daniels (to taste)
1 tbs. Blus Agave syrup
1 tsp. Mustard powder
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. red pepper
Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring with a whisk in a hot pot. Stir rapidly for 3-4 minutes until the sauce thickens, lower the heat to medium-low and continue stirring for a couple more minutes. Turn the heat to low and rapidly stir until fully combined.
These beef rib tacos are a feast for the eyes and the senses. The rich, juicy rib meat is complemented by a chunky salsa made from roasted tomatoes, onions, jalapeño and garlic. The result is “crunchy, fresh, acidic, smokey and just the right amount of spice,” says Andres Padilla, who cooked these up on his YS640.
For the beef ribs:
I used beef ribs from the plate, not the chuck. I removed all the silver skin from the meat side but left the membrane on the bone side intact. I seasoned them with my own rub for beef ribs and briskets (Recipe below) and let them sit overnight wrapped tightly in cling wrap. I smoked them on my YS640 overnight at 230F with oak pellets for approximately 16 hours. I rotate them in the cooker as needed to try and cook them as evenly as possible. I smoke them unwrapped and no spritzing until they reach 190 internal temperature. At this point, I spritz them with a 50/50 mixture of water and apple cider vinegar and wrap them in butcher paper. Doing this will help soften the amazing crusty brisket like bark that they will have slowly developed overnight. I place them back in the cooker and let them reach an internal temperature of about 203-209 (I’ve found that between these temps is when beef ribs will be perfectly probe tender). Pull them off the cooker and let them rest in a cooler for an hour before cutting them with a scalloped slicing knife (these knives make slicing brisket and ribs effortless, and you won’t ruin the bark).
The Beef Rub
1/2 cup kosher coarse salt
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp coarse black pepper
3 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp Hungarian paprika
2 tbsp ancho chile powder
2 K cups Colombian coffee*** A MUST
1 tbsp celery seed
Fire Roasted Salsa
5 vine ripened tomatoes
1 small spanish onion
1 large garlic clove
I couldn’t decide if I wanted a pico de gallo for the tacos to cut the richness of the beef rib a bit or if I wanted a fire roasted sauce, so I said why not both … I coated all of the above in a little olive oil and took them to an open fire on the YS640 to get a good char on them (I didn’t want to cook them through, so I left the chamber open). The idea was to get a good char on the outside quick and keep some texture to the onions and tomatoes as a good pico would have. I let the jalapeño cook through a bit and deseeded and stemmed, and the garlic clove I let cook until completely softened. I removed the pulp from the tomatoes then diced them along with the onion … the jalapeños I minced finely and the garlic clove I mashed into a paste with a bit of kosher salt and a couple of minced cilantro stems. I combined everything together in a bowl, adding some fresh chopped cilantro and lime juice. The results were exactly what I wanted for the tacos … crunchy, fresh, acidic, smokey and just the right amount of spice, the mashed garlic added a lot of depth to it all.
For the tortillas:
I like to use Mission with corn tortillas, and I use my lodge cast iron pizza pan to heat them up. I heat the pan on high for about 15 min with NO oil then I quickly dip the tortillas one by one into a bowl of ice cold water, shaking off the excess before dropping them on the smoking hot pan for approximately 1-1.5 minutes. This steams the tortilla through and also gives them visually pleasing brown spots on one side. Once the tortillas start to curl up slightly around the edges, I flip them and let them go about 30 seconds … just enough to steam off any remaining water. Quickly place them in a tortilla warmer or in an aluminum foil packet lined with paper towels (this will soften them up just right). Repeat the process until you have enough tortillas.
Start by using poultry shears to cut along each side of the backbone of a whole chicken and remove it. Then turn the chicken breast side up and press on the breastbone to flatten the chicken. This method helps cook the chicken evenly.
Season above and under the skin with a SPG rub and a BBQ rub, then hit the YS640. Using 100% cherry pellets, start at 225° for 1 hr then bump it up to 325°. Spray the skin with cooking spray and take it to 165° in the breast meat, which is about 1-1.5 hrs. depending on your bird size.
For the corn:
Rub down ears of corn with Parkay squeeze butter and hit heavy with a SPG rub. Wrap the corn in foil and put on the smoker with the chicken when you take it to 325° for about 30 min or until tender. Then pull out of the foil, reapply butter and sprinkle heavy with grated parmesan cheese and a sweet and spicy BBQ rub.
Successful BBQ competitor now prefers Yoder Smokers pits over all others
If someone would have told award-winning BBQ competitor Randy Robinett two years ago that he’d primarily be cooking on a pellet grill, he would have laughed.
But since being introduced to Yoder Smokers pellet grills, the co-owner of R Butts R Smokin’ – a Kansas City-area BBQ company and competition team – has sold his other grills and is finding great success cooking exclusively on Yoder pits.
Whether it be smoking, baking, grilling or searing, Randy said he’s discovered Yoder Smokers pellet grills do it all, and he’s impressed with the pits’ quality and consistency, along with the award-winning flavorful food they produce. He uses Yoders on the competition circuit, at home and for BBQ catering he offers for weddings and special events.
“Even my charcoal grills – I got rid of them,” said Randy. “My Yoders have amazing versatility. I can grill as good of a steak on them as I ever have.”
And the flavor …
“I am so impressed with the flavor I get out of my Yoders,” he said. “I use a combination of pecan and cherry pellets. I get amazing color, perfectly-cooked meat and a nice, clean smoky taste. I’m just thoroughly impressed by the quality of food these things are putting out.”
The winner of 19 BBQ competition grand championships, R Butts R Smokin’ rolls into BBQ contests with a 22-foot bright red trailer, featuring a 14-foot enclosed area and an 8-foot porch. After the last BBQ contest season, Randy said R Butts was looking to upgrade their trailer with new grills.
“I was wanting a change,” he said. “I had cooked on the same smoker since 2007. It was getting old and having issues.”
A good friend recommended Yoder Smokers, and after doing some research and talking with others, Randy was convinced.
R Butts had Yoder Smokers customize the porch area with a YS480 pellet grill and a Cimarron pellet smoker, both mounted on custom storage enclosures. Randy picked up the trailer from Yoder Smokers’ manufacturing facility in early March and didn’t skip a beat in winning more grand championships.
In late April, R Butts was awarded the top honor of Grand Champion at the Rock N’ Ribs BBQ Festival in Springfield, MO, – the first time the team competed with their upgraded rig. They also earned second place in chicken and brisket, 7th place in pork and 8th in ribs.
Competing against 38 other tough competitors, including the top BBQ cooks in the country, Randy said it was taste that pushed R Butts to the top. Judges gave the team top marks in flavor.
“My new setup is simply amazing,” he said. “I cook brisket, pork butts and ribs all on the Cimarron. The meat that comes off my Cimarron is moist, flavorful and has amazing color.”
The YS480 produces perfect chicken, Randy said.
“The YS480 is an amazing chicken cooker,” he said. “It’s hard to get chicken skin to render out so you have bite-through skin. With the YS480 that has not been an issue at all. It seems that the design of the YS480 was meant to be a chicken cooker.”
Randy has been so taken with Yoder pits, he bought a YS640 pellet grill for catering and his own personal use and recommends the grills to friends.
“Two of my buddies have bought a 1500 and a 640,” Randy said.
Randy and a college buddy formed R Butts R Smokin’ in 2004 as a competition BBQ team. The operation soon morphed into a full-fledged business, which now includes the sale of six signature BBQ rubs Randy developed in his kitchen.
“I never would have dreamed that we would have a line of products we sell all around the world,” he said.
After more than a decade of competing, Randy said he was slowing down in the world of BBQ competition. But being introduced to Yoder Smokers has reinvigorated him.
“It’s put a fire under my butt, and I want to do more contests,” he said.
The wonderful advantage of the Yoder Smokers pellet grill is that you can turn it on but not start the pellets, which simply turns the fan on and moves the smoke over the cheese and out the chimney. I’ve found this minimizes the bitterness cold smoke can impart on cheese.
I load the tube smoker up, place it on the bottom grate to the left side of the pit above the firebox, light it, let it burn a few minutes and blow it out. Place the cheese on the top rack of the Yoder away from the heat of the smoke generator to avoid melting.
Temperature is a huge factor in cold smoking. I’ll cold smoke when the ambient temperature is between 40-60 degrees Fahrenheit. A true cold smoke is 90 degrees or less, but in my experience, if you hit 70 degrees outside temp, the heat from the smoke generator will actually start to affect the quality of the cheese. You can help alleviate this issue with a tray of ice water on the bottom grate, but I find it easier to just plan my time to cold smoke accordingly.
When it comes to wood choice, it all comes down to preference. I prefer a mix of hickory and cherry for an all around nice smoke. If I’m just smoking hard/semi hard cheeses such as cheddar, swiss, pepperjack, colby, I may just use straight hickory. On the soft cheeses such as bleu, feta or cream, I’ll use cherry, alder or even apple.
When I cold smoke cheese, normally I size the cheese down to no thicker than a cube of butter. The pictures I have here are from large loafs that I cut to the appropriate width, but I should have actually cut them in half again prior to smoking. Having the cheese the size of a quarter pound stick of butter allows for amazing smoke penetration.
Time for smoking. The length of smoking time varies by the amount of smoke flavor a person likes and the type of wood being used. I, personally, like a heavy smoke flavor, so while others may only smoke their cheese for a few hours, I will smoke it until I start to see the color I like, as I know it will have the flavor I’m wanting. Generally speaking, I cold smoke cheese for up to 8 hours.
Once done, the cheese will have a bitter flavor, and it will need to rest. The longer you let the cheese rest, the more the smoke flavor will mellow. I normally vacuum seal the cheeses and let them rest in the refrigerator for at least a month. After that if the cheese is still too bitter/smoky, seal it back up and let it rest longer. Having said that, I’ve used cold smoked cheese within a week and enjoyed it. One of the best cold smoked cheeses I’ve done is pepperjack. The smoke flavor was so strong, I ended up resting it over 6 months.