Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Dinner

Turkey and Ham for Christmas.

It's 3:45 AM on Christmas morning. Just put the 18 pound turkey on the smoker. Lump charcoal and soaked hickory chunks. Dampers at 1.75 on both top and bottom. . Injected turkey with Tony Chachere's creole butter and rubbed with Fishers roast rub. Beer can turkey.

Cooked for 9 hours and meat thermometer read 165 when done Very juicy and moist turkey. Huge hit.

Ham was a pre-cooked/sliced ham. Put on digital Masterbuilt Smokehouse smoker for 3 hours at 230 degrees. Also injected with creole butter and glazed with sugar rub that came with it. Great smoke flavor and tenderness.

Very pleased with the smoked turkey and cooking process on the Big Steel Keg. Never had a problem with the dampers and the temp getting above 250. Just a few minor adjustments with the dampers during the cook It's getting easier to use.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

First Beer Can Chicken on the Keg

I tried out some beer can chicken on my new Big Steel Keg.  Here are my notes and photos...

2 beer can chickens

Lit fire at 10:40 am. Outside temp is 39 degrees. Smoker got too hot at 375 in about 10 minutes.
Put chicken on at 11:10. Starting temp 200 and should rise soon.
Put all soaked wood chips in at once.

Dampers are both at 2. Put water in the diffuser bowl for the first time.
Time 12:00. Dampers dialed in at 1.5 on top and bottom. 240-250 degrees

Chicken done at 4:00. Overlooked a little. 4 hours would probably do it just fine.

Chicken was a little dry but tasty. Need to wrap the diffuser in foil so it's easier to clean.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Big Steel Keg. My new toy

I just picked up this baby. It's awesome and I am going to have a lot of fun. There is going to be a learning curve for me since I have really never used charcoal before...especially lump coal. I have had two cooks so far and they were both successes. I decided after my first cook that I will take notes so I can track what I am doing and learn.
Today I wanted to grill for lunch. Here's the story.

Grilling ribs and chicken legs.

Rubbed ribs with muenster rub, salt and pepper. Got keg to 200 and put on soaked wood chips. Dampers are at 4 on top and 3 on bottom to get heat closer to 275. Put ribs on at 10:00.
Shit. 10:13 temp rose to 350. Turned dampers to around 1.
Not sure if my fire is out. Put chicken legs on at 10:30. Moved dampers to 2 on top and 1.5 on bottom. Put bottom at 2. Trying to get temp at 275. Time crunch for lunch. Dampers at 2.0 and dialed in at 275. Now11:23

Pulled chicken and wrapped ribs at 12:00. Over cooked chicken. Temp was close to 190 internal for chicken.

Pulled ribs at 12:45. 2:45 cooking time. Final temp was 315 when wrapped and pulled. Waiting for to rest.

Chicken was actually pretty good but a little chewy by being overdone. Kids loved them and that's who ate them so that's good.
Ribs were very moist and fall-off-the-bone good. Used Sweet Baby Ray's sauce and that complimented the rub nicely.
After the cook, open the vents all the way to get to 700 degrees to burn off and clean the grill. Worked nicely. Very happy with my first attempt at ribs.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

It's finally here

It's game day for North Texas. We take on Florida International University in Miami. They won the Sunbelt Conference championship last year so it's a tough task for our first game. Dan McCarney is going to be great. can't wait for kick off.
The yard sign is in the ground (yes, i need to mow)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Facing the Giants

This morning's faith share meeting was very good. Today's Mass reading was about how Jacob and Caleb wanted to take the Isrealites into the Promised Land. Caleb was a part of 12 'investigators' that went to scout out the land across the river. All but Caleb said that the land was too dangerous and that it was invested with giants. The Lord had delivered his people from Egypt, split a Sea, leveled mountains and still they doubted that He would deliver them to safety. So, God made all of that generation wander in the desert and die.
The discussion in this morning's meeting was about how we face our own giants. Do we run away scared, looking to the negative all of the time, play the blame game, etc. Or, do we face them and ask for the Lord to deliver us? I for one tend to do the former much more than the latter. I have to work on that daily.
Being a father of 6 kids is not easy. There is tremendous stress financially and emotionally. I am commissioned only and have the only household income. It's tough...a man should not have as much grey hair as I do at age 33.
But here's the thing...I'm married to a wonderful woman who believes in me, and most importantly, believes in our Lord and that he will provide for us. I believe in Him too but it's such a blessing to have a partner for me to fall back on. We have to face our giant together every day.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

1987 Rules with RBI Baseball

Back in the 4th grade (1987), Nintendo came out with one of the greatest games ever invented...RBI Baseball. My brother, friends and I used to play for hours and hours. We knew every lineup of every team...who to substitute for, and all the intricate details of the quirks of the game. There were many 100 degree summer days where we had games played and tournaments held.
Even in college my roommates and I kept a win/loss tally of games played. I think we did the math once to figure out how many hours we played that all, it was about 2 weeks worth.

Last night, we reunited with several other friends and had a RBI tournament again. This time, some of our kids actually played (that was really weird). We had 17 in the bracket and it took over 7 hours on 2 game systems. One room had a large flat screen TV and the other was a 100+ inch projector screen with surround sound. It was a sweet set-up for some 8 bit graphics.

I finished in 2nd place to my old roommate, Jeremy. It was fitting that he and I would be in the final series. We played a best of 3 series and he beat me two of the three by one run each game. It was a blast. Below is my trophy...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Camping with 6 kids

Well, let's not get too ahead of ourselves...camping is a loose term. We actually roughed it in a 2 story lake house with plasma TVs, fully stocked kitchen, 2 grills, a hot tub, and a media room. To the kids, we were camping because we were at a lake. Don't get me wrong, I love tent camping but with little kids, in 100 degree weather, I'll take cabin camping any day. In all, there were 19 of us and we had a blast. We swam in the lake for several hours (I floated on some noodles), hiked a mountain (small hill), and relaxed. The kids played with their cousins and had a blast. Here are some pics...





Friday, July 15, 2011

Way overdue

I finally remembered my password and log in stuff so I could post. I know that my one reader has been dying to find out what's up.

Well, being a father of 6 in the summer is fun and hard at the same time. You can imagine that our house is a little crowded with everyone inside most of the time. It's still over 100 degrees every day so the kids can't stay out for too long.

Not a lot has changed in my world...I'm shaving my head even shorter now than before so that's good.

We are headed out for a family camping (in a luxurious cabin...not roughing it) next week. I'm sure I'll have some interesting stories when we get back. Peace.