Recently in Grilled Meat Category


Wordless Wednesday, yer doin' it wrong. Not only am I not on "The List", am using words.

Still here, still kicking, should have stopped by and let ya'll know I was "On Holiday". This means I'm a lazy ass and haven't been cooking much. The boys and I have spent most of our summer in front a computer screen, or plinking cans with a BB gun of some ilk. We're doing okay, school starts next week. We can hardly wait.

Happy Wordless Wednesday!

xo, Biggles

ps - Thems is slow, hickory grilled chicken breasts. Slow cause they gots no skin and no bacon. Gotta take it slow, they were so darned juicy!


Nothing more here than love, grilled hickory love. It's more about the grilled chicken pr0n than anything else. Love you all!

xo, Biggles


I've always felt that more often that not, less is more. Tonight was another lesson that proves my point, it was outstanding.


All I ask is get out there and do it.

Meathenge has spoken.

xo, Biggles


The membrane has been removed, entire rack rubbed with kosher salt, marinating. Cooker is nearly ready, great smells. What you gots?

xo, Biggles

Editor's Update (next morning):

Fired up the new cooker last night and smoked these babies! Removed membrane, rubbed with Kosher salt, smoked with hickory. Juicy! Click on the picture if you so choose.

The Biggles Method

| | Comments (12)


Smoke your goodies, over halfway. Load the firebox up, then let it go for a few hours.

Hooyah !!!!

A Preview to A Review

| | Comments (6)


A few weeks ago a major player in outdoor cooking rigs sent me a 55 lb box, they wanted to know what I thought of its contents. It's an interesting piece of equipment and am having to run at least 3 meals through it to see how it stacks up. What you're viewing today is a boar steak from Ted the Rancher of Highland Hills Ranch, located firmly at the Berkeley Famers Markets. Kosher salt only, so creamy smooth with a tender bite that resists a tad then spreads.


xo, Biggles


Yup, it was this good. Surprised the hell out of me too, am very impressed. I'd planned on smoking the fish the next day, this would put the marination at 24 hours. I wasn't able to pull it together due to pouring rain and very chilly temperatures. So, the fish and pork loin roast sat another 24 hours before I could get to it.

Thursday after work the first thing I did was start a fire, I needed every minute to get this rolling so I could get to sleep at a decent hour.

The second thing I did was to pull the 2 meats out of the fridge to warm up a bit. After oven roasting the first fish batch, I found the Soy Vey Very Teriyaki marinade to be a bit on the strong side, figured after 2 days sitting in the juice, it'd be pretty much ruined. The pork loin that Chilebrown of Mad Meat Genius gifted me would be perfect. What I thought I'd do was to wash the marinade off the meats, pat dry.


Got the smoker's temp stable, the meat was at room temp. Just for good measure grabbed a handful of Bledsoe's bacon to install above the fish and pork, baste!

I used hickory chips for smoke action, it's what I had on hand. I used Broad Leaf Maple charcoal for heat, it's all I had left.


Looking pretty good, eh? Wanna see the bacon?


Oh boy! The bacon came off first, the boys and I made that go away. Soon the fish was flaky, juicy, perfect. The pork loin came out later, pulled it at 138 degrees internal temperature and let it rest. While it was absolutely stellar, even better the next day, I have to say the fish was the one to eat Thursday night.



The shot I took of the pork roast wasn't usable, so decided to leave it out this time. Don't worry, there will be more in the future. In any case, you can clearly see the inner meat of the fish was white, the marinade didn't penetrate that far. And since I washed off any bits & juice, the smoke took very well. Tender, juicy fish with flavor of teriyaki, then a warm smoke to finish dialed in this meal precisely. I shared a little of it and was given 3 thumbs up. I can close my eyes, lick my lips and still enjoy this meal.

xo, Biggles


I received this meat for free, I did not pay for it. I was asked kindly if I wanted some free meat to review on Meathenge. I contemplated this on The Tree of Woe until the answer came to me, "Free meat? Shit yeah!"

These two meats kinda surprised me, first I wasn't expecting beef bacon and when I see the word tri-tip I think roast. I held these two little guys and giggled, "This ain't no tri-tip." And brother, or sister, I know tri-tip, I'm from California. It's supposed to have 3 tips to the roast and these were little meat logs. Next, I kinda stared at the beef bacon, a little disdain coming forth. You see, both myself and Chilebrown of Mad Meat Genius are bacon snobs. He and I have been through quite a bit of bacon that was not made from a pork product and it's rarely above mediocre. This isn't because it was bad or whatever, but it's tough to beat grilled pork belly bacon. We'll have to see.

This last week we were lucky enough to have not only a dry week (rain, not booze), but the days got up to the high 60 degree mark. What with the mold problem in our tiny home, I spent each evening grill-side cooking dinner. Even if it was dark and had to cook by flashlight, it was a necessary therapy.

If'n yer interested, click on through to the other side and let's see how all this came out, eh?


Eeek! The chicky is leaking!

Laurel of Mire Poix sent me some fancy Perigord truffles for review, what do to? Maybe I should ask Tinker and Tanker? They knew what to do! (Odd Richard Scary reference, sorry!)

I checked their web site and they had a nifty recipe for using the truffles under the skin of some game hen action. That's something I could do, enjoy and complete without causing myself any undue grief. But where to find decent game hens? I didn't want to buy the ones at my local grocery and my other haunts just don't have them. I rested on my laurels for a few days and decided I was going to actually have to drive a distance to find what I was looking for, or did I?

While picking up the boys out in Lafayette, I remembered and spied Diablo Foods across the street from where I was idling at a traffic light. Diablo Foods isn't for the feint of heart or the low in wallet funds. Their meat department is vast and well staffed, and breathtakingly expensive. I found what I wanted, good game hens, right there in the middle! Just in case I flubbed a run, I bought 4. Only came to 28 bux, sigh. I succeeded though and was on my way.

I'd had such great success with Kevin of Seriously Good's gastrique recipe, i decided to try it with apricots (there were in season at the time). And instead of actually following Mire Poix's recipe (rules are meant to be broken), I decided to smoke the birds instead of roasting them or using their sauce.

I shaved the truffle and slid it under the skins, rubbed with salt-free butter, then a little bit of kosher salt over all. Install to smoker after the temp has settled, easy peasy. When dark meat has reached 160, pull and let rest. The gastrique recipe is dead simple and comes right together. J was lucky enough to be able to attend that evening and we dined like a king and queen on this exceptionally tasty meal. The truffles lend a nice earthy flavor, so delicate, so nice. The gastrique however, was a complete miss. It didn't pair with the dainty truffled bird whatsoever. Don't get me wrong, the apricot simmered with butter & vinegar was amazing, but it completely missed its mark. Oh, we suffer so. All things said, it was a great way to dress up those little birds and we enjoyed the meal greatly.

Thank you so much Laurel for thinking of me and my staff here at Meathenge Labs. Your gift was most certainly enjoyed and appreciated!



As everyone knows, I can cook. I do cook, but I don't consider myself someone who cooks. My mettle hasn't been tested in way too long, sad really. So when Laurel of Mire Poix the premier site for foie gras, truffles & caviar offered to send me a bevy of fresh fancy pants ingredients to review, I jumped in with both feet.

Then I spent a week losing sleep and fretting about every little angle. In my cooler were fresh duck chops, fresh truffles, truffle butter & rillettes du perigord. I decided to break it up in to a few posts so I didn't lose all my marbles (don't have many to begin with).

My first email, then a phone call was to Kevin D. Weeks of Seriously Good, "Halp!" He and I have been online buddies for quite some time and I needed a little reassurance and guidance. Given he does this kind of stuff both in the kitchen, teaching and in written word for a living, I figured he'd calm my squirrelly ass down. He did and I was on my way with a list for a 12 hour brine and a peach gastrique (French sweet & sour sauce), hot smoke that duck!

All seems simple, right? Ha! Yeah sure, later that same day I came home with a few pounds of absolutely amazing FREE cherries. Peaches? Cherries? Duck, oh my. It was then I remembered that Rick the retired butcher used to make a cherry & apple brine for his fowl and it was fricken amazing, I wanted THAT brine. See, if I'm going to take the time to brine something, I want more than just salt and sugar, seems like a waste of time to me.

Ain't it fun taking something simple and throwing a wrench in to it? It's what I do best. Hell, I could have just salted the duck and grilled it. But I felt I should pay some respect to the duck and Laurel for sending over free food.


I really took my time and was careful with it all, got the duck in the brine without any mishap. It was halfway through the brining that I realized, Rick still makes money off this brine. But then I thought, anyone who gives me a recipe or has their picture taken of me surely has to know it's going to be on the internet for all to see. But out of respect (this doesn't happen that often) I called Rick back and talked to him about it. Sure enough, he wasn't comfortable letting his labored over brine recipe hit the streets. Figures. Here I am, Meathenge and I can't give you the exact recipe. I love my life, and what I've done to it.

So, let's just say I brined the duck and leave it at that, eh?

Next up the gastrique, eeek! French cooking oh my! As I found out pretty darned quickly even an anxiety ridden hillbilly with no hair can make one of these sauces. I had planned on doing a test run, but in my traditional way of doing things, I didn't. It was dead simple and can whip one up without even giving it a second thought today. And if you haven't made or tried one? You need to. The absolutely amazing flavors will astound you. The rich bright flavors of the fruit, then the tiny bite of the vinegar muted with the rich love of the butter and shallot cannot be matched.

Oh! I have a funny story! Kevin sent me a link to his recipe, which when I needed it, could not locate. I did what I hate to do, pull one off the net, look over the ingredients and procedure and make it in my mind to see if it might do the trick, I found one! A few days after I'd made it? I noticed it was Kevin's recipe at Dang.

wine or cognac

See? What part of that doesn't totally rock, here's his recipe for: Gastrique - French Sweet and Sour Sauce

When the sauce was done, I waited for the duck to get to 160 and pulled it. Truly smoked it in the traditional sense with a hunk of peach wood for flavor that Chilebrown gifted me. I let it rest a bit, sliced and poured some sauce over it. The duck was fork tender with a solid but not nearly overpowering waft of smoke. The gastrique was a compliment and didn't even remotely over power the duck, oh lovely duck meat!

But now the true test, would my picky 14 and 9 year old boys dig it as much as I did? The 4 chops never left the cutting board in the kitchen, oohs and ahhs were heard during the entire time. They talked to nearly everyone they saw over the next few days saying how good the smoked duck with a peach gastrique was. The look on people's faces, then staring at me. Oh yeah baby, I can cook.

Thank you to Laurel, thank you Kevin, thank you Rick and thank you Chilebrown for an outstanding meal. If you can't get such things locally, then Mire Poix of Napa California can get you what you need.

xo, Biggles

ps - There's more to come from Mire Poix, stay tuned!


Been spending some time on the net reading what others are up to, mostly it seems to be "The Heat" and or humidity. Or at least it seems that way to me, mostly because it's 66 degrees with fresh ocean breezes here near the bay.

Even though it's a work week, there's plenty of time in the evening to stoke up the smoker for a short little jaunt through smoked fowl land. Today we have smoked game hens from Diablo Foods in Lafayette. I can't remember where they were raised, but it sure as hell has nothing to do with the major players usually available (read: I paid dearly).

Rubbed with butter, salted and trussed up to a 217 degree smoker for a little over an hour (honestly can't remember how long it took). Sure it took an hour to get the fire right, but it was worth the wait. All 3 of us remarked at the juicy tenderness of the breast meat, sorry it wasn't dry and mealy.

Cheers to you and yours on this fine Tuesday evening,



Big D emailed me more than a few weeks ago and had stumbled on this new product (came out in June). This new product is a cast iron grate that is a replacement for the old chrome grill in a Weber kettle. Cool, eh? He emailed the guy extolling Meathenge's virtues and said I just had to have one for review. Who am I to argue about such things?


It showed up directly and I monkeyed with it, figuring on dusting off my old kettle and seeing what this new fangled thing could do on a Meathenge Review. The deal was, the following weekend the boys and I were due up in Calistoga for fun and merriment. I usually cook in a hole in the ground, makes things so much simpler and less expensive. Not only do I not have to haul a grill up, but Jeffrey doesn't have to buy one just for me to have when I'm there. Just toss an old grate on a few rocks and we're done. An epiphany, I'll bring the cast iron grate and use that over a hole in the ground! Duh.

I'm glad I thought of it. Sunday afternoon found me cleaning out my hole, the rocks were in fine shape. A fire was started, let it mellow a bit and set the grate down. It's pre-seasoned, all ready to go. I grilled sausages, chicken parts, country style pork ribs, bacon directly and a beef tri-tip roast and all came out perfectly. It was a dream to cook on, although squatting next to a fire pit for 3 hours does have its drawbacks. Ouch!

The inventor contacted all the major players for distribution of this grill and had no takers. Personally, I believe they really screwed themselves. Now it's being sold directly, bypassing all the major corporations, go man go!

I will be doing another review wherein I install this to my kettle, but I felt this product really needed to hit the street sooner than I could get that ready. And this was a perfect opportunity to test its mettle, heh. It performs exceptionally well, the build quality is high and it's a joy to use. I know the 2 guys that have weber kettles at the party will be ordering this very soon. Don't even remotely wait to order yours, you need it. Remember, you're not sending your hard earned money to some large corporation, you're sending it directly to the guy who invented it.

Craycort's Cast Iron Grate replacement for the Weber kettle grill. Price is approximately 85 bux for the 22.5" one.



right now.jpg

A rack of St. Louis style pork spares with a kosher salt marinade with a hardwood charcoal and peach wood from Mad Meat Genius, that's whut. What you gots, foo?

xo, Biggles


A year ago I received a nice email from a guy who was working for a large ad firm, who was in turn working for a grill manufacturing company. He wanted to know if I was interested in posting about some fancy grills. I took a look and they were propane, even the charcoal versions weren't much to speak of. I passed.

Forward to today and the same gentleman emailed me again, wanted to know if I remembered. I did, and had saved his email from last time. This time he's working with Mug Rootbeer, wants to know if I'm interested in a BBQ Sauce recipe. For trying out the recipe, he'll send me a Mug Rootbeer cooler filled with nearly all the ingredients to make it.

Sure, what the hell, count me in.

At first glance the recipe actually looked decent, I was surprised. I didn't really know what to expect. If it sucked, I was going to rework it and see if I could have some fun, post or no post. If it was decent enough, I'd give credit where credit was due. It was good and the other 6 tasters felt the same. Good Sauce.

One of the benefits of this recipe is that while it does have a good list of ingredients, it doesn't lean heavily in one direction. Got a good sweet background, tasty tang where it's wanted with a little swing of fun in the middle. Yeah, yeah, I know. It's got the liquid smoke, a controversial ingredient. As my sister says, "Don't add too much ya bone and it's fine, small amounts." Or just don't add it. And as near as I can tell, it's very reproducible. When I was simmering it down, I lost track of time and volume. Stirred it and tasted, worked out just fine.

If I were to try this again, I'd add a tablespoonful of the red pepper flakes to make it jump. Oh, yes. Please click on, Mug Rootbeer BBQ Sauce Recipe to view and print the card.

I surely have no idea where this recipe came from, I made it and it was good.


Applying the Sauce

| | Comments (8)


Yeah, yeah, barbecue sauce just covers up badly cooked meat. Not in this house! The sauce is good and is revered. So, if one is going to sauce the meat, how does it go?

Brushing sauce is for wimps. You need to submerse the meat in the sauce and caramelize it over the grill about 3 to 5 times! It's gentle, it's wonderful. Here you find chicken parts marinated in a cuban lime action, grilled over mesquite with hickory love. Dredged through the sauce a few times and served!

Here is the rest of the day:

xo, Biggles


Oh goodness me! Listen up, I pay a lot of money to live here, own a home in the San Francisco Bay Area. It rarely gets above 75 or below 40, this is how it is. Oh sure, we get a freeze now and then, maybe a few times it gets up in to the 90's. I love my fog, fresh bay breeze and anything after that. What I don't like is huge, nasty, bucktoothed HEAT.

And brother, or sister, that's what we've had in the last few days. Yesterday at around 4pm it was 94 just outside my kitchen. It dropped to 86 soon enough, but when I was actually cooking dinner for the boys, the kitchen leveled out at 92. I only spent nearly 2 hours in there cooking & cleaning, so it wasn't too bad. Gah!

This is not okay and planned on a different menu plan for Tuesday, tonight!

Chilebrown of Mad Meat Genius sold me a badass propane stove a few years back, so I brought that out. Fired up the grill with some mesquite and hickory chips. The menu? Pork chops, beef burgers, mashed taters with a finish of corn on the cob.

Such a treat for the whole family. It was as though we were out camping in the wilds of Montana, sorta. Everyone got involved in making it go and had a great time. The indoor kitchen was ignored and the outdoor was enjoyed. LOVE !!!

If you'd like to see the rest of the story, please visit here and see Too hot, cook outside, everything!



An impromptu grilling session was set for Sunday. Laura's neighbor gifted her 3 black bear sausages and a nice package of ground venison. It didn't take her too long to figure out who might enjoy such a treat, tee hee. So, her, my sister and her husband Meathead met for a little tasting.

Given it's January, making outdoor cooking/eating dates is dicey at best. But as 2pm rolled around, the thermometer read 69 degrees. Not too cold, eh? Since I wasn't convinced 3 sausages and ground venison would be enough, I picked up a beef tri-tip roast and some brats. And as they arrived, they displayed some home-made potato salad (my sister is a master at this dish), Meathead's No Cookie Ingredients cornbread (cornbread master of all-time), and hotlinks. Lordy.

The bear links uncooked looked pinkish and like any other brat, only a little leaner. Once grilled over mesquite and hickory chips they were ready. I was a little apprehensive about it, the last time I was offered bear, I chose the panther instead. It was the way it looked in the canning jar that was the deciding factor, not the taste or texture. Bud's Meats of Penngrove California made the sausage from the animal. Cheese & jalapeno were added to the mix and I have to say, I liked it a lot. We pretty much decided that if you didn't know it was bear, you'd think it was a regular brat. And while I dearly love the chile pepper, it would have been nice to taste it first without it.

The venison was light on the meat flavor, low fat naturally, and so fresh tasting. Of course the other items were teeerific, but the bear & venison were the stars and nearly the sole reason to have an impromptu meeting of the meaty minds. I would have invited others, but I didn't want to share the bear. Know what I mean, Vern?

Please visit my flickr page, Bear Sausage & Venison Patties for a few pictures from the day.

xo, Biggles

Saturday Fires

| | Comments (12)


Just do it.

And then? I did it.


Blam! Just like that.


Pretty, huh?

I know I'm behind the times, people have been tossing nearly every food product on the grill or in the smoker since the beginning. Yeah well, not me. I know this might sound a little odd, but I enjoy the contrast of the heavily smoked meat product, then the lesser beings (peasant food) to be cooked elsewhere, by others. Understand?

Luckily, Sunday morning found me at the local whatever mart shopping for the coming week's food. Wanted to grab a few racks of ribs so Zoomie could get her fill. I ain't payin' no 18 dollars for a damned slab of pork spares, so it was the country style for me. Almost 8 dollars for a huge mound of fleshy goodness, I picked the one with more fat in it.

I'm not sure what happened or why. But I wanted to go back to the lousy produce section and find me some citrus or a pineapple to toss in the smoker as well. As you can see, the p-apple made it in!

I sat and pondered the unfriendly feeling thing for a while. How to slice? Extra virgin? Salt? Chile pepper? Thin slices and get juice everywhere? Peel? Cut it's head off? I just love cutting the heads off of things. I opted for the simple approach, cut in half lengthwise and use some kosher salt on the inside. I knew the smoky goodness would not penetrate through the thick halves, but didn't want to deal with all these fussy little slices falling all over the place.


It was pretty fricken good, for a fruit. Warm, smoky on the outside, tender on the inside. The heat had broken down something molecular on the inside and tenderized the little dear. Slurp! Guess what? It was excellent cold the next day too. Slurrrphah !!!


ps - I don't know how long it was in there, maybe a few hours or more, not less.


I'm no different from many people who grill or smoke their food, often. I've got a pantry filled with chile powders, herbs and spices that all go in to any rub I care to make at any given meal. I've got versions I like better than others and sometimes just like to strip it down to the basics and enjoy the meat & smoke.

Yeah well, when I was at the Fatted Calf Picnic this year Taylor used 1 ingredient for his dry rub and I've been experimenting ever since. Even took some slabs of babybacks to a food blogger picnic a few weekends ago. So far, I'm at 100% approval rating for this ingredient.

Care to come see?


The argument in regards to wood versus briquette, versus propane, versus electric heat sources in smokers has got to be way older than the one on PC versus MAC, and that's saying something. We know that for grilling, there is an exceptional difference, but does it matter for hot smoking (approximately 200 to 250 degrees F)? It doesn't for cold smoking (90 to 110 degrees F). I've always stood by the age old ways of saying, "Yes nitwit, the fire does make a difference and it's noticeable. Real wood, charcoaled or not, does make a difference."

Over the years I've had quite a few propane lovers extol the virtues of their propane powered rigs. My eyes cross, I hear buzzing in my ears and go back to my old ways of using wood to power my smokers. I never even remotely considered buying in to the procedure, especially after tasting what I pull out of my smoker. Sorry pal, you can't reproduce this, no way, no how.

On Sunday I decided to put my cold smoker to use, finally. Instead of 100 degrees, I jacked it to 212 and hot smoked a slab of baby backs using only an electric hotplate and a smoke generator.

Please click through to read the rest of the story, "Heat source, does it matter?"


This post isn't for you people who are already hip to the love of an old, well used smoker. But for those of you who may feel they need the new stuff, the bells and even a few whistles. As with many crafts, it's about the person wielding the brush, not the brush itself.

Yeah well, before we left for Calistoga Jeffrey said a friend had given him an old smoker that someone had tossed out. It looked complete, but old, rusty and kinda funky. He sent me a picture and it looked serviceable. While I have used and owned a few of those bullet shaped smokers, I'd never actually used one with no visible air vents or access door to the fire.


For the last 10 years I've dreamed about making a cold smoker. Bacon, ham, sausage, pork chops, fish & chile peppers oh my! Cold smoking ain't quite as straight forward as hot smoking, plus the equipment is different. This coupled with being dead lazy, I'm only now taking the project on.

The cold smoking thing all came together when Salvage sent me a link to a Cold Smoke Generator on ebay, I bought it that moment. The wheels spun and I posted last week about making a cold smoker out of a 55 gallon drum. I thought I had it made, but I was wrong. The drum was "lined", that means it's bad for food related craft projects. The protective coating keeps organic solvents from attacking the steel, good for them, bad for us. You want an unlined, clean, steel drum for such things and this was not it. And then? Creepy E took the week off so it was going to be 9 days before the new drum could be ordered. I have an attention span of a gnat and I needed satisfaction, needed it like now.
I figured I could use my hot smoker and talked to Salvage about it. Sure, not a problem, but you have to be very careful about Ptomaine and Botulism. See, with a hot smoker you got fats/juices all over the darned place and they're generally cleaned up by a good hot fire. But cold smoking rarely goes above 120 degrees F. This means whatever nasties are there, they incubate. Here's what he has to say on the subject.

Ptomaine is the enemy you can smell. Botulism is the real culprit in this realm. It wants 3 things, the spores, absence of Oxygen, and temperatures between 70 deg and 140 deg F. You are building the Botulism incubator. Hmmmm It is odorless and tasteless. The good thing is that Botulism and Ptomaine do not get along at all. So, if it smells rotten it will only make you very sick. If it smells good it can kill you dead. Heat botulism to 265 deg F and the organism dies, but the poison remains and you still die. So the moral here is to never grow Botulism. Like genital warts, you have to catch it from somewhere.

Saturday morning's ToDo List:
Clean up a few grates, drill a hole for the generator and find some smokable food stuffs.


Grilled hard over maple charcoal, logs of cherry fer flavors. Set to the side until 127 degrees F, rest and slice. We did have sides, but who cares?


ps - add salt


Cold Smoking. Most of you already know, but for those of you who don't? It's simple, you smoke your food at a temperature of about 90 to 120 degrees F. It's how smoked sausage, bacon & hams and chile peppers are done. Oh, don't forget CHEESE, MmMmm smoked cheese.

Years ago I went through my own trials of cold smoking my own chile peppers and onions. They were the best ever, but it just about killed me. Maintaining temperature & smoke for 24 hours isn't exactly a love trist. I knew then I needed a smoke generator, a device that would combust wood bits for up to 12 hours without reloading. Heat is easy, an electric hotplate does the trick in a pinch. Combine the two and you have a cold smoker that will run unattended for maybe 12 hours, this is what I knew I wanted and needed.

Well, yesterday Salvage pointed me towards a device that would generate hardwood smoke for 12 hours, cost about 1/3 to 1/4 less than anything else I've seen, and it is made by hand by some person I'll introduce to you later (once I find out who exactly he/she is).

What you see here is my prototype. It's a 55 gallon steel drum with an old weber kettle lid on top. This will give me a nice domed lid (promotes good heat/smoke distribution) with an adjustable exhaust that looks good and works great. Multiple horizontal racks will be installed near the upper portion of the drum so we can put slabs of bacon & acres of chile peppers for the most awesome smoking adventure of all time! Each rack will have some type of thermometer so I can see what each level is up to.

Ultimately, I'd like to get an industrial heating element that will allow me to put the temperature adjust on the outside of the drum. And as soon as the ordered smoke generator arrives, I'll let you know.


ps - Please don't leave any comments about Alton's cold smoker in a cardboard box. That is so what I don't want.


Not sure really, on how to start this one. So, I think I'll do it this way.

Oh yes I did.

I had a little rack of ribs all ready to go. It was too icky outside, the wildfires are way out of control and makes being outside just plain miserable. Um, but I had a rack of ribs to cook. I sat around the house with the air filter going, attempting to come up with something simple, good and smoky. Wildfires are kinda inspirational that way.

What if I put the ribs in my kitchen's gas oven, at 250 or so and put a smouldering pan of hardwood dust in there? Jack the exhaust fan way up and let'er go for a few hours?

Oh yes I did. Didn't think Wedgewood made a smoker, did you?


No words required, only purified love.


I'm a Californian, born & raised. This, by sheer definition, means I don't know what barbecue is. I can live with that, but it isn't easy. I've fought through teeth & nails to read, listen and scour the net for help. Most of this I did back in 1998, as far as the net is concerned. In the traditional sense, I just did what I thought was right and to hell with the rest. If my rack of ribs cooked slowly for 5 hours with real wood, that was good enough for me. But I wanted more, I wanted to taste the regional sauces of the Carolinas, Texas and/or St. Louis. I tried, but didn't come up with anything that was worth doing a second time. Until yesterday ...


MmMmMmm, spiiiiine.

They aren't easy to find, you have to really look and even ask around to find them. But when you do? There's nothing like fresh pork spine grilled over a real fire.

How best to grill thine spine?

CherryGrilled01.jpgI feel about as inspired as a white 3x5 index card. With nothing on it. Not even a stack of cards, just 1 card, laying in a pile of clutter. Yeah, just like that. Sitting down at Meathenge is about as easy for me these days as ridding the world of all known diseases at a glance. Heck, at this point I'd be happy with just curing cancer, ya know?

Well, ol' CB stopped by the other day and said I should either go on a Meat Adventure (regular gas is at about $4.50 for 9/10ths of a gallon as of 7:14 am this morning), so that's out. Or fire up the grill?

I can do that, I know how.

Happy Easter everyone, it's been a grand weekend out. Z and I spent most of the weekend on bicycles out and about, along with breaks for meat and happiness (farmer's markets and family meat smoking). See?

Click on pretty meat picture for larger badass version.

Yay, we're in an even numbered year. Thank goodness, you don't know how happy that makes me. You just can't lose in an even numbered year. It's like making sad music with a banjo, you just can't do it. The meaty picture above was from a little meat fest Meathenge Labs hosted on the 26th of December of last year. We did pork spare ribs, baby back ribs and a juicy flank steak. Oh my!

Oh my is right, forgot to buy onion powder. Never been a fan of the garlic powder, but I do love my onion powder. What's my go-to rub going to be without its key ingredient? Pah, I dunno.

4 parts Paprika
2 parts chile powder
1 part salt
2 part oregano
1.5 parts or less of celery seeds
1 or 2 parts cumin seeds, toasted (whiz oregano, celery seeds and cumin seeds together)
1 or 2 parts white/black pepper
1 part cayenne powder
and a little more salt!

Ribs got rubbed. Flank got marinated with the above rub doused with orange juice. Grilled indirectly with applewood charcoal and cherry wood branches for smoky love. Serve with ice cold Schlitz and a few sides.

Here's a pretty photograph of the last sunset of 2007. Goodbye you craggy ol' bastard, smell ya later.

Most certainly click on image for larger one, hey.


Can you see the dragon?

It was a few weeks ago when Steve of emailed me and asked if Meathenge would like a turducken. I'm thinkin', "A turducken for 'review'? A review copy of a turducken? Sheet yeah I do!"

I have a book and a water filtration system in the wings for a review, but this bird wasn't going to wait. It was thawing and needed attention and I'm just the caring soul who's ready and willing. And speaking of willing, let's talk a moment about shilling. Yup, that's right. I know many of us non-professional writers/bloggers are pretty cagey when it comes to accepting free stuff. Let's see what the dictionary has to say about it.

1. To act as a shill for (a deceitful enterprise).
2. To lure (a person) into a swindle.

This my good people, is not what I'm up to. Let's move on, shall we?

There are 2 kinds of grocery shoppers, 1 makes a list and gets what they need. The other (me) makes no list and winds up with a cart full of what he didn't necessarily expect to buy. This is a lot of fun and I enjoy it each time. The downside is that I forgot to purchase soap for the shower twice now. It's kinda funny to scrapple through the bathroom cabinet searching for those lost bars of soap that one might get as gifts from 10 years ago. You know the ones, nasty smelling, in the shape of a monkey or cat. Yeah, those. I fight the good fight.

I hadn't planned on purchasing that little rack of baby pork ribs, I did though. And a day later? I'm sooooo glad I did. I was able to try out a curry based dry rub I'd had in the wings here for quite some time. No really, a long, long, long time.

Come along my pals and we'll get a glimpse of a nice Wednesday evening meal.

I just knew this last Saturday, that Sunday morning I'd fire up the smoker and get that 5 pound picnic portion of a pork roast in there. I wanted a pull-apart roast with my go-to rub. This grass fed fancy roast needed the best and I was just the Biggles for the job.

Yeah well, after 8 hours of smoking, I'd had enough and pulled it. I could tell it wasn't ready, it needed another 4 hous in there. I got a late start in the day and it was time. That was okay, I'd figure it out tomorrow. There's always tomorrow.

And figure it out I did, all in about 10 minutes.

Please take note that my Nikon D70 has taken a nose dive and been sent off for repairs. So until further notice, these images were taken with my first digital camera, a Nikon Coolpix 950.

Damn you to hell Mr. Neighbor Man and your nasty ass fluid, cheap crumbly briquettes and non-seasoned chicken pieces. And how dare you hit me with such vial smells just as I get home on a warm September's eve. While I had planned something ovenny with my whole natural chicken, you sir have forced me in to action. I'm going to totally kick your ass in startup fire smell, grilling smell and finishing smell. And I'm going to do it right now! Prepare for thine beating.

Ever since I took delivery of the fancy charcoal last week, we've grilled and smoked nearly every day. I've still got about 280 pounds, so I need to keep up my head of steam, ya know. Besides, what I don't use will have to be dragged off to the garage before the winter rains set in. And that my good friend, is work. Don't need none of that, sir.

Because of such a grilling frenzy I've been poking about looking for a sauce I haven't tried yet or would like to reinvent for myself. I came up with this one. Come have a gander and see what you think.

There are so many wonderful ways to cook pork. This is one of the many reasons pork and I get along so damned well. I used to be a pain in the ass purist and would beat any passers by in to my figurin' that pork spare ribs needed to be smoked for approximately 5 hours before they were 'correct' or edible. Now I'm just a pain in the ass that enjoys good food. And I have to say that after Saturday's grilled pork rib meal, both Mama and I enjoyed great food. However, it just doesn't happen by mistake. There are a few finer points that needed to be adhered to so your meat makes your teeth smile.

I have several friends that have the name Paul. One drives to Oregon for bacon and one I've known since 2nd grade. Let's call him Uncle Paul, mmm kay?

Uncle Paul has recently purchased a home near Dittmer's Wurst Haus. 2 weeks ago the boys and I drove down and helped him move the large items, umph. We had a great time checking out the new digs and later in the day we did some cold beers with grilled tasty pork. No time for poor Dittmer.

"What to do !?! What to do !?" cried the engineer.

Ah, what's in the smoker right now? A 7 pound lamb leg. Bone removed and butterflyed open. Stuffed with extra virgin, s&p, fresh cilantro, toasted corriander & cumin seeds, special spices (curry like), fresh crushed garlic and lemon zest. Reinstall bone, tie up roast and put way down in the smoker for hours.
This is what it looks like right now. As it happens. You're seeing it. No lie.


Ah yes, the July 4th grilling holiday. Oh sure we have Memorial Day as well, but you have to admit, there's something about July 4th that just screams mesquited meat nuptials. As with Thanksgiving Day meals, this day brings out the home chef that may be better off attending someone else's party. Oh no, not you. You figure you can handle it. How tough could it be? All you have to do is prepare/season/marinade the meat, build & maintain a fire, cook to perfection and serve. What could possibly go wrong?

Here is this week's batch of bacon. We noticed last week it was a tad salty, Taylor thought so as well. So, he did up a different mix on the cure and here we have it. This right here? Is good bacon.

I remember back around 1998, during the early summer it was. I was out in the yard spending time with a grill that I no longer have. It was the best grill in the world, an old charbroiler. It had a rotisserie, access to the coals without opening the lid and cast iron cooking grates. But after 30 + years of service, it rusted out and that was pretty much that. It lived a good life in my yards over the years. I learned how to rotisserie pork ribs, chickens, turkeys, just about anything. Anyway, this was about 8 years ago and I laid my first piece of bacon on a grill. I know, I know, you've been doing it for years. Even so, it was a day that changed my life forever. You see, cooking bacon (indirectly of course) with a real wood fire delivers you flavors and textures you couldn't possibly have dreamed of. It crumbles over beans, salads, vegetables, pasta and just about anything else you could think of. Or do what we did and just stand there eating it, piece by piece.
So, if you have the smoker or grill fired up, throw on some bacon and live the life. You'll be glad you did.


ps - Just in case you think you're smart and quick and decide to cook the bacon directly, don't. It'll create a grease fire that'll cause you a lot of grief and time. Plus it'll ruin your bacon.

It was exactly 2 weeks ago when an email from Toponia rolled in. I noticed it just as the sun was going down on a nice spring evening. One of those evenings when the doors are open, windows are open and the neighborhood is so quiet all you can hear are the mosquito hawks knocking against the walls. Their smoker needed a new home, either mine or someone else's, and we had barely 3 weeks to get it out. Did Meathenge Labs have the room? Was I willing to negotiate this 1200 pound beast out and through our citiy's little streets? In a 1974 Ford pickup truck belching black smoke at every turn?

It was exactly 2 weeks ago when an email from Toponia rolled in. I noticed it just as the sun was going down on a nice spring evening. One of those evenings when the doors are open, windows are open and the neighborhood is so quiet all you can hear are the mosquito hawks knocking against the walls. Their smoker needed a new home, either mine or someone else's, and we had barely 3 weeks to get it out. Did Meathenge Labs have the room? Was I willing to negotiate this 1200 pound beast out and through our citiy's little streets? In a 1974 Ford pickup truck belching black smoke at every turn?

I've been monkeying around Barbara's Tigers & Straberries for quite a few months, reading posts, checking out recipes and leaving odd comments when possible. I stumbled upon this recipe for Char Siu last Thursday and knew it was for me. A quick jaunt to the Asian grocery and we were set, Meathead visits often and knew where everything was, thanks MH.
Are you ready?

I'M ALIVE !!! I'M ALIVE !!! Oh man that felt good, like a warm spring rain or a light jog down a sandy beach in September. I lit a FIRE !!! I think boys & girls need to light fires at least once a week, that's how I see it. Going a month or two just won't do, nope.
I've been in a fog for a little bit and the nasty winter weather hasn't been helping. Well, here we are at day 2 of daytime temperatures in the mid 70 degree F range and I couldn't be possibliy feeling any better. Yesterday at 4:30pm Biggles was at the grill, in shorts and lighter in hand, cool refreshing beverage in the other. It was time to light a fire and cook dinner, wanna see?

Goat Leg Roulade - Smoked

| | Comments (21)

If you look closely, down low and in the near center there? You can see where a Chupacabra got a hold of it.

Last week some time Jlee asked if I'd show up early to the market on Saturday morning, she'd like a hand getting the Fatted Calf meat coolers out of the truck, they heavy. Sounded as though she was going to be by herself selling sausage until at least noon or so. I offered to come play and help out, it's nice to spread the good word of the charcuterie, I am your guide. The weather was pleasant and there was a really cool Native American festival going on in the park 40 feet behind us. We got to hear music and smell flat bread being cooked and sell meat to hungry patrons, a perfect Saturday morning for Biggles.

2 weeks ago, I caught my brain feeding me images of beef meat, roasts to be exact. Not pretty little standing rib roasts or the lean ball-tip roast. But the big and mean looking chuck roast, the caveman type. I know you're thinking, "yeah, so?" Well, I've never been a huge beef eater. Yes, I eat more beef than most beef eaters do. But my meat passion steers towards the piggy and most anything with feathers. Plus I'm a cheap bastard and good beef costs money. In this case though, I am obliged to follow the voices in my head, "Must Get Beef Roast".

If you're eating well and wanting to listen to good music, I nearly always choose fast flowing classical. And if that isn't going, I'll switch to John Denver or Woody Guthrie. This will usually suffice, however when it can't overcome? Clearly Helen Reddy wins the bid, timeless and built to withstand time.
Just like Pork, Mesquite and Hickory. Tonight's meal was delivered by Niman Ranch with their thick pork loin chops grilled directly. Then we have Rick's Hot and Mild Italian Sausage. These sweet sausages are tenderly hand-made with care and forethought. Sure the mild ones are fine, but what will draw you in is the Hots. I know, I know, ewww, hot food! ICK. No, this isn't that. Yes, they are 'spicy' but not hot. What sets them apart is the apparent huge flood of red wine and fat, warm happy pork fat. The stuff that puts the flavor all over your apprehensive mowf.
Real Wood, Real Fire & Real Meat = Real Happy Diners (they don't hassle your ass).
It's summer, get fat.

Rick's Quality Meats
1600 Liberty Street
El Cerrito, CA 94530

You want a meat thrill? Click on the above image to get a much larger version with all kinds of juicy detail.

The logistics of making a decent blog can get interesting at times. One of the basic rules I have is to not post too many times a week, let alone a day. I believe I can give you 3 decent posts a week without getting too weak. And this post I wanted to leave for tomorrow morning, but I can't. It was too tasty, too amazing to leave behind. This is a fresh post from tonight's meal.

Today was a perfect sunny day to start up the grill and try out one of Rachel's recipes. Anything with wild salmon, extra virgin olive oil, smoked chile peppers and some fancy Australian salt. Such a treat since I can get most of these ingredients at one stop.
The Austrailian Murray River Salt flakes I already had, from the wonderful Salt Traders. Look for the Margarita Salt. I got no idea why they named it that, but it's amazing. Smoky, hot and with wondeful cruncy light salty love.
Just before noon I jacked up the mesquite grill and tossed on some hickory chunks. This was let to settle for a bit. One needs to let the grill or smoker get in to its crease before cooking anything.
The fresh salmon was slathered in extra virgin olive oil and the Margarita Salt. On to a searing grill for a handfull of minutes on each side. Pay attention to the initial side, that's for presentation. Let the other side go to hell, who cares.
Even with lighting a fire, I had this meal done inside of an hour, not quite 30 minutes. I believe it was closer to 40 minutes, even so. This was a hands down winner for when you have very little ingredients and no time.


ps - Rachel Ray had nothing to do with anything I did. I was just feeling cheeky, in a positive way towards Rachel. Just venting a little steam, she's been getting such a hard time. I figure people should lighten up a bit about simple, easy to find and cook meals.

Nikon D70 paired with AF-D 60mm f2.8 micro. On tripod and 250 UV balanced flood. Post production edit; photoshop levels, up the white and bring over the black.

The fat from salmon is so cool. Remind you, this is coming from someone who has only been eating fish for 10 years or so and only recently Salmon. Yeah, I know I'm an idiot. But I just love Salmon Fat and had to mention it. The stuff is so sweet & warm, so clean. This lends possibilities, lots o'.

Hey, the crust on the bread had a bubble the size of Chicago in there. Anyone know what that's all about?
Had a nice weekend filled with crazy pork roasts, marinated tri-tips and sausage stuffed quail. The weather was quite breezy, but at least the sun decided to come out before noon. Heh.
Check out these hickory smoked quail that I picked up from Fatted Calf on Saturday morning. I hadn't decided what to get until I walked up. I think I did pretty well, eh.

And look inside the quail!!
That thar is a fig, yum. Figs & Pigs (Hi Kate!).

I entered my pork roast over at The Pragmatic Chef. Today was the last day to get your entries in, I barely made it. I don't think it's up yet, we'll see. I'll let ya'll know. I'm pretty excited about it.
As you can probably guess, the 3 day weekend really had no goals or plans. I knew Paul was coming over Sunday for a meal, but that was about it. Everything was just a toss together situation, now I need some salad and fiber.


Correct grilling placement, gentle meat out of direct evil heat.

There's a reason I can set up a nice grilling session on weekday nights, even though I'm putting in 37.5 hours a week at my place of job. Five and a half years ago we decided to buy a little teeny tiny house in the same city that I commute to. This gives me a 6 minute commute, even in dead tight traffic I can get there in 10 minutes. That's planning right there, just in case you were wondering.
Tonight was the last night I had to grill the Crepinettes & Sweet Italians from last night's post, it was time.
What you're viewing there is a mesquite fire squizzled with spatz of hickory chips. Every 7 minutes I tossed on a Rosemary branch that was semi-dried from the garden. Oddly enough Rosemary is pretty much a Weed here in the SF Bay Area, you can't walk down any block and not find it spouting from some box or yard.
The gifted meat is a Lamb Crepinette with Red Wine and Nicoise Olives and yes, Sweet Italians. Notice they're done and not engulfed in flames. Why? Because they're sitting to the side of the direct FIRE. Do you see any problems? No, you don't.
They're gone now, we et them.


Here is something that worked out pretty well on the Father's Day Smoke Fest. The stuffed pork loin was the highlight, but only by just a bit. The beef brisket was running a close second. All were tender, quite juicy and the smoke ring was wide & deep. I have to say though, the onion was fun because I'd never had one this big.

Instead of waiting until next week to share my meat, I thought I'd step in right now and give you the short low down. I have more pictures, more meat and more love to share.
I got the fire started a little late this morning, 8:30am. The brisket had been marinating all night and went in first. A few hours later went in this Porchetta Pork Loin Roast from Fatted Calf. If you look, you can see where they sliced it open, stuffed it with herbs & spices and sewed the sucker right back up. I'm also doing a few whole chickens, one has a Jerk type seasoning and the other said it was a Singapore situation (had curry powder!). All these babies were installed in to a 200 degree smoker powered by mesquite/hickory and rosemary branches when I'm feeling dangerous.
I haven't done a brisket in years, it'll be interesting to see how this turns out.


I'll tell you why. For the last ... 3 months or so I've been dealing with Gout. What's gout? Well, to keep this short, it's the body (kidneys) inability to handle meat, alcohol, caffeine & legumes (even tofu), these foods are high in purines. Basically, it's an accumulation of uric acid in the blood. When it arrives in your feet (cooler than your body), the salts in the uric acid solidify and settle. Causing immense pain (you limp a lot).
I'm about 14 days out with nearly no meat (a few pieces of ham) and no alcohol and no caffeine and no legumes (not even tofu). At this point I don't have any clear idea as to what the near or distant future will bring.
So, if ya'll could keep that in mind when you wonder WHAT THE HECK IS BIGGLES DOING WITH CARPAL TUNNEL ENTRIES ?!? Or, WHY THE HECK NO MEAT IN THAT BURGER ?!?
You know why. Now now, settle down. This by NO means spells disaster for Meathenge. I'm still going to be smoking, grilling and roasting new and different meat type recipes. Good stuff too, just won't be eating much if any of it.
Please be ready for different types of entries here and understand the reasoning behind it. It's what's going on here at Meathenge Labs. And that is that.
Onward ...

Last week The Bay Area was experiencing a "Heat Wave". This was nice considering all the damned rain we've slogged through over the last few months. We're talking direct Spring weather. Bright intense sunshine with crisp air hovering around 75 degrees. Brilliant green grasses, blossoming fruit trees & wild flowers filled the air. SNEEEZE CHOOOO.


Is everyone tired of winter yet? Tired of the snow, maybe? Tired of the rains? Oh you bet. Those long, day after day rain storms? Yes already.
For whatever reason, they broke this last weekend and we all saw 65 degree + weather, perfect for a morning out. Guess what I found?

Yes Jan, there's skin on that chicken. You bet.

It's still winter, just in case you were wondering. The trees are bare, the sun is going down too early and the days are only warm enough to wear only one sweater outside (I'm in California). Everyone has been spending too darned much time in the house, our little noses are pressed tight to the windows longing for the spring. There's a few things one can do to lift the spirits. One of which would be to spend a morning at the local Farmer's market, that helps. Especially if you're able to pick up a package of Taylor's Bordelaise sausage and fresh bacon. Another thing one could do is to fire up the grill. I did both and by Saturday afternoon I was feeling a bit better.

Click on image for larger explosion!

Where were you on December 26th 2004 at 4:10 in the a.m.? Yeah huh, sleeping or giving up your holiday dinner to the porcelain express. Hopefully not the latter. The above photograph you see is a starting stove rig for getting your mesquite hunks all lit up, at 4:20 Sunday morning. You see, I had a few honored guests coming for a mid day meat gathering. One of which being Joe Bob, our plucky reporter from Denver. I had this really nice stuffed pork shoulder roast that I wanted to smoke, but I was sure it was going to take at least 5 hours. And if the guests were to arrive about noon, I had to be up and ready very early. It was a bit cold and moist, the fire didn't want to blaze. Even so I got the smoker warmed and ready in 50 minutes. Meat in, hickory sparklin', time to pull the chicken and get that pieced out. The effort it took was worth every second, the day was a complete success.

Biggles Viestad's Meyer Lemon Chicken


This area, this year, this month is having a real cold snap. We Californians living in the Bay Area here aren't used to freezing temperatures. Albeit, this is at night. Even so, our daytime temperatures aren't getting much past 50. That ain't right. How do we cope?
Smoke meat.

Meathenge's very own recipe featured above! The Bean Experiment. A rich & wonderful pot of beans anyone can make. So good everyone had 3 helpings.

I know it may not seem busy around here, what with the posting slowing a degree or nine. Meathenge has been working furiously behind the scenes for family & friends. Last Saturday we hosted a birthday party for my father and a celebration for my sister finding a new job. I began the meal by choosing Fatted Calf's Spalla Ripiene, a stuffed pork shoulder. I figured along with 6 of Fatted C's Guinea Fowl Crepinettes, Guinea Fowl Pate and Pepperoni, we'd be set. Nope.
As I was perusing the meat section at our local super market I noticed one of the young butchers attempting to find a place for a lone pork shoulder. I already had one, a really bitchen' one. Ah hell, one more can't hurt. Besides, smoking just one pork shoulder is a waste of smoky goodness. So I bought it.

A few days ago, early in the morning, at work, before coffee, Meathead walked in and handed me a bag with some bloody meat in it. He assured me it was a cut of beef and the label said, Onglet. Since it was from Prather Ranch I figured it must be okay. They gots all that fancy Certified Organic meat. I thanked him & my sister for the gift and ran back to my computer to google "what the HELL is a beef onglet?"

Last Thursday I received an email from Kim, she used to work at Fatted Calf and now works for Stonehouse Olive Oil Company. It was an innocent little email, the subject header only read, "have you seen this?" The body contained an url to an article. SOUTH TO NORTH, Smoking chipotles can become a great habit, written by Jacqueline Higuera McMahan. I read through the article a few times, I love the little smoky beasts. It seemed innocent enough, but I knew better. It isn't easy maintaining a low temperature fire (under 200 degrees) for long periods of time. I wasn't interested at first, but after doing a little research I decided to go for it, immediately.

Yes you are correct. I have posted several ways of dealing with a pork shoulder roast, bone in and otherwise. Yes you are correct, they came out very pleasingly and worth the time and effort. Even so, I would really like to get something mouth watering explosive right out of the smoker. This means you don't need to shred it and fry it in lard with more spices. Which is fine, believe me. But I want a large thick hunk of meat to have stunning mouth splitting flavor from the center all the way out to the edges. This time, I succeeded.

Welp, it was time to smoke the little quails. I spent some time after work cleaning out the smoker, getting things ready. This year has seen a lot of meat run through the beast and it needs looking after. I got the fire started a little later than I had planned, but after seeing how tiny these little stuffed quails were I figured I had more time to fuss.
I used mesquite as my main heat source with large chunks of raw hickory to bring up the flavor side.
And boy did we get flavor, let me tell you whut.

Are you holding on to something? Maybe you should sit down, a good sit. MeatHenge Labs is proud to introduce our very own La Caja China Roasting Box. This year we'll be able to roast a 100 lb pig. Since I figure I'll need a little practice, turkeys get to go first. My eyes are vibrating along with shaky hands as I get this down on monitor. The Caja China is a portable plywood box lined with steel. The marinade injected meat goes inside on a rack over a fat tray. Once loaded, a charcoal tray goes on top. In this tray goes maybe 14lbs of Kingsford charocal briquets. It's kinda like a pressure cooker, a big pressure cooker. There is no smokey flavor, just roasting like in a big fricken' oven. This is a fine wonderful thing.

This last weekend has to have been one of the most exciting weekends in quite some time. Both Saturday & Sunday was filled with shopping, preparing, experimenting & cooking/smoking/roasting meat. There will be a lot of information both informative & fun over the next few days, so please keep yourself propped upright long enough to get through it, K?

The catalyst for the last few days was the arrival of the La Caja China Roasting Box. I purchased it a few weeks ago, maybe 3. I had planned on roasting a pig for my birthday party that's coming up, but realized it was too much too late. I attempted to cancel the order, but it showed up anyway. Fine, I'll find a use for it.
I figure I can do up some turkeys, that's straight forward enough. One of my first rules about cooking for a party is to not do something for the first time that day. This means I have to learn how to inject meat with a marinade (no, I haven't been through that yet) and make a few runs through the roasting box before the following weekend. I can do that. But first I wanted to try out my personal injection technique & recipes before ruining 2 14lb natural turkeys. Which means today we're going to figger out how to inject a marinade in to a Boston Butt Pork Roast. Baby Steps.

If you're a fan of the Henge, there are posts that you expect to see. At the root level, we're talking about cooking food. Just above that, maybe MEAT and then all hell breaks loose.
Well, it's been about 14 months since we went up and this will be our first Is My Blog Burning (IMBB).
Aroo ?!??! you say? It is a game that a fellow food blogger (Il Forno ) put up on
the wall. To play you have to cook the Food Theme called, then either post it directly to the host or put in your URL of your blog. There really aren't any rules, just some people getting together for some fun.
It can be interesting to see what people come up with when you say, RICE !!! Or SEAFOOD. Sure as hell I'm going to cook something with rice differently that someone in Manila.
This time it is all about Grilling / Barbecueing. I thought this might be the time to step in.

Reheating Barbecue

| | Comments (2)

This conversation comes up far more often than you'd expect. Mostly because sometimes there ARE leftovers from cooking out of doors.
Here you find yourself with a rack of pork ribs or 3 lbs of smoked beef brisket. Today we have the 3 lb smoked beef brisket I got from Rick's Quality Meats of El Cerrito. I'm glad I called that second on Monday, because by the time the meat came out of the smoker (82 pounds), it was all sold. I got mine and here it is. But that was yesterday, now it is cold and the fat has solidified. No problem.

Ham, it isn't just for holidays anymore. I picked myself up a brined ham (needs cooking) this last Saturday from the Fatted Calf, just a little one. Not the 9 pound beast like last time, this one was about 2 pounds. Perfect size for a little snack treat. And a wondeful luscious treat it was.

HOOYAH there are some happenings about town today. I know over the past year I've mentioned Rick's Quality Meats of El Cerrito a few times. He, back then, was smoking meats out of the backyard smoker I sold him (he modified it considerably to make it more efficient). This means he was only able to do a dozen half chickens or so at a time. They were usually pre-sold, if not they were gone that day. Times have changed for Rick.

pre-thought side note: Coming soon will be a picture of my new awning for outdoor living. It is almost complete, I just need to purchase and lash down the bamboo roof and what-not. It is 10' x 20.8' and will give us a great space to be. Yay for us.

As far as parties go, meat or otherwise. What pops in to your mind when someone says Memorial Day? That's right, people everywhere, drinks a-flowing and great food as far as the eye can see. I know you expect no less of MeatHenge Labs. Yeah well, we were tired and enjoying the fact we didn't have to deal with acres of friends and/or family. It was really nice to spend a few days just puttering about doing what we wanted, when we wanted. This, and yelling at the children, breaking up fits and fights.
Early Sunday morning I was driving around in my truck for no good reason and the radio told me to go buy some Luscious & Meat Pork Ribs on Sale, $1.99 a lb. Rarely do I buy Grocery Store meat, rarely. I was weak and sped over to get myself one of two packages left. They looked just fine and didn't smell all manky. I had something 'to do' on Monday.

Here we find herby lemon marinated pork loin steaks with Skinny Pork Sausages with Morels, Merguez sausages and a Toulouse or so. I know the Pabst Blue Ribbon should have been a Schlitz, but those are hard to find around here. Hell even the PBR was a true rare find.

Sauce - Unmixed.

I don't know of anyone that hasn't at one time or another had to deal with a barbecue sauce of some kind. Do we grill dry and dip at the end? Do we sauce at the beginning and watch it char? Do we sauce near the end to watch it glaze over with glistenny love? These are only a few ways to handle a que sauce and they are many more. The quest will always go forth.

January in these parts can be wet and tends to be a bit chilly. In the last month it's been quite wet and this last Monday was sunny and about 65 degrees. This was the day I had been waiting for. The previous week I had purchased a small slab of pork ribs figuring on smoking them that coming weekend. I made a fresh home made dry rub and it sat that way all weekend. Oh well, the longer they sit, the more that rub would have a chance to do it's business.

Xmas 2003 Barbecue Meat

| | Comments (2)

MeatHenge hosted the meal this year, sort of at the last moment. We had considered not doing much else other than relaxing and doing what we felt like (watching dvd's). At the semi-last moment we decided to cook and invite. My wife wanted to do a Canadian Pork Pie (tourtière) and I felt like grilling some large amounts of meat. So we did. However, she made 3 tourtières and I grilled/smoked tons of pork meat and chicken. Everything went very well, everyone had a great time and I'd had enough cooking, for Xmas 2003.

For this entry we see the grilled meatses: A leg of pork that had been sitting in a dry rub for 2 days with bay leaves and a bit of olive oil. Two other beasts consisted of chickens marinated in fresh lemon juice with a load of dry rub as well. OH yeah and don't forget about the country style pork ribs. Yes, they had yet another damned dry rub on them. And because we don't want to exclude sausages (we must support our local sausage makers), I tossed in a few of those. Toss in some hickory to the fire, close the lid & walk away for 3 hours.

All DONE !!!

The tourtière portion of this meal will be added over the next day or so.

Hugs to all.

Well, it's been just over a week since MeatFest and I have a mid-week luncheon planned. Maybe once a year or so I have some friends come over for a nice lungeon consisting mostly of ... well ... meat. It's good meat and this coming Thursday I plan on having several chickens roasting in a mesquite grill oven.
I knew it was coming, and wasn't sure if I was up to the task. So the first thing I did was buy a few racks of baby back ribs to hone my skills. They did just fine. I didn't get an after shot because they were so good I just stood over the cutting board and ate what I wanted. Which was mostly all of them. Oh well, what you gonna do?

Meat Fest 2003

| | Comments (3)

The 4th Annual Meat Fest for 2003 on October 11th - If you like food and some of it is meat you must go have a look. It's free you know ...

take me now to Meat Fest!

As the summer winds down

| | Comments (0)

Here we find ourselves at the setting of our summer 2003. Meathenge hasn't been updated much since I took on the job of painting our kitchen cabinets, returning to our jobs after a summer's break and all kinds of other chores for early fall. I find it quite refreshing to bring this summer to a thoughtful close. It's nice. This part of the world doesn't get much of a season change. Sure it gets colder, but we're talking a change from seventy degrees all the way down to 50 during the day. Oh and it rains more during the cooler part of the year.
In this shot we see the last of the summer grilling. The last of the wafty warm days of summer spent in the park hanging out enjoying friends.

Labor Day Meat FEST 2003

| | Comments (2)

It was semi-early Monday morning when I began getting the meat together for the afternoon delights. The beef ball tip roast I marinated in balsamic vinegar, a nice cabernet, olive oil, spices and a few bay leaves. The pork got slatered in olive oil then some home made mexicanny dry rub and a few more bay leaves. Then over all I ground some fresh cinnamon. Yup. Those are my friend the butcher's home made hot italian sausages. They are damn fine. The chicken was halved and marinated in fresh lemon juice, ground black pepper and a few other spices.

Here we see our little buddies roasting nicely indirectly with a mesquite fire and hickory chip flavor action.

Anyone got a match?

Oh man, they're almost done!

They're done. Meat Head made the corn bread using fresh scratch and BACON FAT !!! Mrs. Head made the macroni salad and I'm mad at myself for not grabbing some to keep at home. I wanted some later wiff hot sauce!

And last but definately NOT least is a cherry crisp made by my dear wife. It was AWESOME. Very cherry like. A nice finish to a meaty day.

Happy Meat Party

| | Comments (0)

Here we see a nice plate of sausage and not one made out of chicken or turkey. Some were brats, some were hot links and quite a few were cheddarwursts. Maybe the cheddarwursts weren't so fancy but the sauce was home made from using fresh scratch. Damn fine highly tasty sauced links over a mesquite fire, not a single propane gas was harmed in the making of these dogs.

I believe you've all seen this before.

Sexy Meat Pic ALERT !!!
(term, in part, stolen from FOODBOY)

Meat Attack in Iowa!

| | Comments (2)

You gotta check this out. Meatmeisters Abound.

Guthrie Center, Iowa. About 50 miles west of Des Moines. 1700 folks live here.
This is last week, banking type party at some big wigs pad.
They cook it up in the garbage can! Two cinder blocks with charcoal under going hot.
Then they put in some water and start layering in the meat and veggies.
All kinds o meat, carrots, onions everything goes in there. Few hours later
they git to eatin it. Check out that huge tray o brats. Those wide body
midwesterners peering into the cauldron to see what is next. This
is real cookin. Brats on top it looks like. They use the same
garbage cans over and over, like a ritual of some sort.

This is the virgin premier of Meathead's meat shootin' of Biggle's Meat Mastery.
Tain't mah meat but it's easy to get all "one" with it.

This last weeked, just before the big 4th of July weekend, we all took a trip to the Sierra mountains to spend some time with friends at their cabin. Man, what a nice trip we had. Sure it was 106 degrees in the valley as we scorched our way up, but dammit, look what we came home to! And besides, Arnold California is 4000 feet up and considerbly cooler and far easier to deal with.

Here is what it looks like after you cook it ...

Oh man, just take a closer look. That right there pal is a slow roasted over hickory, beef ball tip roast that had been marinating for six days in a teriyaki sauce. Even that last sentance was a mouthful. This roast turned out to be insanely tender with a little of my homemade bbq sauce glazed over it in the last few minutes of roasting. The links were home made italian mild and hot that were also slow roasted with hickory. And what I mean by slow roasted, is just that. Light a fire, let it even out. Tuck the meat in the Pit away from direct heat, close the lid and walk away. Over an hour later, the links are ready to be dunked in home made bbq sauce, grilled over a fire to glaze the sauce and BAM. Done diddly done. Hooyah.

Links & Burgers

| | Comments (0)

At first read you'd think, ah yummy. But no big deal, right? NOT right. These links are home made mild and hot italian rigs. The burger was fresh ground that morning. And you'd be surprised how good burgers are grilled over a hickory fire. Not a smoldering fire neither, a well made happy fire of love!

Best Shot Ever

| | Comments (0)

Yeah okay, so the ribs came out fine. If you read the entry after this one you'll know the story. But what excited me over this one is the dumb background. Aluminum Foil! Man, this has to be the best Meat Backgrounds EVER. I'm in love with it. The damn stuff totally show cases the meat. It adds, but doesn't subtract. Your eye goes back and forth, but loves the meat. And isn't that what it is all about? Loving the meat.

New Rib Modification

| | Comments (1)

Yeah yeah, I know. It's thursday, a weekday. But I'm home with a chillin and made a trip to Raley's for some hair conditioner. I figured while I was there I would take a look at the meat department. Sure I don't usually buy meat from them, but since I was in the neighborhood. I have to say though, they do have Rosie Organic chickens for 1.99 a lb. That's worth a trip right? Sure. And today they had a sale on pork ribs. (yes, I'm getting to the new modification). I couldn't reisist a large slab of pork yummies. Besides, I saw something on a teevee cooking show where they cut OFF the meat hump that runs the top length of the rib. He said to make it more uniform, for cooking and so forth. And sure enough, it cuts right off. And they look more uniform, more like large baby back ribs. They haven't cooked yet, so I'll have to let you know how that goes.

spread o the table

| | Comments (1)

close chicky

| | Comments (0)

Sure it was marinated in fresh lemon juice, with a dry rub. But it was also bathed towards the end in my home made molasses and tomato and beer and garlic and fresh herb SAUCE !

memorial day 2003

| | Comments (0)

Just a little SNACK !!! There was two chickens marinating in fresh lemon juice and a happy dry rub made by ME. 3 hot italian sausages from Rick's Meats in El Cerrito (the good ones), a hunk of country style pork ribs with a spicy dry rub, sandwiched with bay leaves, tied and bathed in olive oil. Oh and a all week marinated beef roast and a few burgers! As I said, just a little ol' snack.

Gramm's Sauce Finished

| | Comments (0)

Thanks again Gramma, this 'mater sauce really turned out well. I simmered the baby back ribs in the tomatoes for a few hours. Let it sit over night to gather more flavor. First thing I did was warm some garlic in olive oil, toss in some fresh basil and mix it into the warmed sauce. That, some pasta and fresh grilled Atlantic salmon and we were SET. Thanks.


Send Biggles a communication!

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the Grilled Meat category.

Evil is the previous category.

ingredients is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Monthly Archives