Cook 56 - NYE Chicken
31st December, 2015 10:43 PM by BBQ Phil
Yes, I'm boring. I'm a parent and in my 40s, so what do we do for New Years ? I smoke a chicken of course. As I was out of charcoal, my son and I went for a bike ride to Bunnings. There I picked up their last bag of charcoal, that was going cheap as the bag was ripped a little. I thought, no worries, little did I realise that taking that 10kg bag home on the bike was going to be challenging to say the least. I also picked up 100 firelighters for $6 ... bargain !

Anyway, when I got home, I then used some leftover rub from the Christmas cooks and some plum wood chunks for the smoke source.


At 3:45pm, in the arvo, the pit went on with the chicken on about 20 minutes later with an internal temperature of 12C and 200F on the rangehood. It was smelling great as I kicked back eating a zooper dooper whilst listening back to The Chill Factor mix from this morning.

At 5:05pm, the rangehood was sitting on 300F and the internal temperature was 60C.

At 6:05pm, it's internal temperature was 83C, time to take it off and rest. We then got stuck into the chicken about 30 minutes later. A rather chilled night for the last day of 2015.

Cook 55 - Pork Shoulder
29th December, 2015 06:14 PM by BBQ Phil
After the successful (except burning my foot) cook at Christmas, it was time to do a repeat performance for my wife's relatives and a Christmas lunch we were having up the coast.

I used my custom rub with lime juice and used apple word chunks as the smoke source. I was on a winning flavour with the last one, so why change anything ... except ... this time I am not using the ProQ water pan but I'm using a small drip tray with fresh water and rosemary instead. I guess you could say I'm gunshy now.


At 12:10am, I fired up the chimney and about 20 minutes later lit the pit and assembled the ProQ.

At 12:40am, the pork shoulder went on. It had an internal temperature of 7C. The rangehood was 150F and climbing fast, guess that's the difference of not using the water pan. It was a very cold and windy night tonight and unfortunately, no moon to light up the backyard. It was then that I noticed that smoke was starting to come out and I got a nice whiff of the light smoke from the apple chunks. It's subtle but I think I'm a fan. It doesn't overpower your meat either and I've used 4 chunks in one cook before.

An hour later, the internal temperature was at 14C with the rangehood at 350F, so I half closed all 3 of the bottom vents. I also added another chunk of apple wood, as the other chunk had burnt out.

20 minutes later, I checked and the rangehood temp was down to 300F and I felt I was pretty happy with that. At 2:40am, everything was going great. The internal temperature was 39C and the rangehood was 290F. I added another chunk of wood and moved the 1/4 slice from before into a heat zone.

I then went back inside to play some more Rock of Ages and then watch some more Ace of Diamond.

At 3:20am, the internal temperature was 56C and going great, smelling awesome. I took a quick peak and the pork shoulder looks like a piece of art, absolutely stunning. So I put the lid back down and the rangehood went down to 250F but pretty quickly got back up to 290F.

At 3:40am, the internal temperature was 66C and should be ready to wrap in by 4:30am, which was way ahead of my timeframe. This is definitely down to not using the water pan and just using the indirect heat method, controlling the vents and watching the temperature.

An hour later, the internal temperature was 75C. At 4:57am, it was 77C -- time to foil it. I then noticed the rangehood temperature had dropped to 150F. I added more charcoal, opened the vents up and added a small chunk of cherry wood to kickstart the fire ... plus who doesn't love some cherry smoke at 5am :)

At 5:40am, the rangehood temperature temp was sitting at 210-215F and I started to worry. I think the charcoal pit had died out. So, I start up a small chimney and then at 6am, I add it and then put some chorizos and onion on with small bit of cherry wood. Figured I should have something yummy for breakfast.

At 6:20am, the chorizos were done. They we're super quick and delicious. At 6:40am, the internal temperature was 85C and I've run out of charcoal, so it'll have to do. The rangehood was 225F, at which point I thought, that's okay.

8:40am rolled around and it's internal temperature was 88C. I took the pork off to rest as we we're leaving for the coast at 9am.

It was another hit. Everyone one enjoyed the smokey flavours. I was chuffed that I had pulled it off again. Pork master !

Cook 54 - Christmas Cook
25th December, 2015 12:58 PM by BBQ Phil
Today's the day of my biggest and longest cook. Not only that, this food is for family lunch, so a lot is on the line. I went to bed around 8pm-ish and then got up at midnight.

At 12:10am, I started off the chimney -- Santa's not coming down this one. Whilst waiting for that, I boiled a big pot of water. As I'm doing a long cook, I figured I would use the water pan to diffuse the overall temperature and to keep it consistent. Also, in case I dose off, the temperature isn't going to really fluctuate. And as a final measure, I also set my fitbit's silent alarm to go off every 2 hours.

At 12:40am, the boiling water was added to pan. Unfortunately, the chimney turned out to be half lit - stupid me for using paper again ... only about half the amount of coals were lit, so I spread them around as best I can and assembled the ProQ.

At 1:17am, I added some additional firefighters to speed up the coal firing process and boiled another pot of water and added that about 5 minutes later.

At this point, I added the pork to the top stacker with a drip tray underneath and 2 small chunks of Apple wood. The Apple wood was purchased a couple of days ago from Aussie BBQ, however, it's pretty moist to the touch when I got It out of the bag. It smelled like it was freshly cut. So not sure how this will go but doing it anyway. Too late now, as they say.

The pork shoulder's internal temperature was 11C. At 1:40am, the rangehood was reading 150F, so I guessed it was actually about 200F. At about 2:15am, the rangehood had dropped to 100F and I was starting to worry, even though the internal temperature of the meat continued to rise. I stoked the fire and even touching the door, I noticed it wasn't as hot as it should be. So, I fired up another small chimney and place those in the smoker around 2:40am.

At 3am, I checked the temperature, still not much higher. Internal temperature was now 25C. 20 minutes later, it was 29C. At 4:20am, it was 49C and the rangehood was sitting in the sweet spot of 250F. I then started to calculate based on the current temperature and time and it's starting temperature and time and when it would be cooked. I estimated it would be cooked by 5:40am.

At 6:20am, it was under temp and looked liked it had stalled, so I put the meat into an alfoil tray with it's jus and wrapped it and put back on. At this point, I removed the water pan and had a little accident whilst doing so. I took the stacker out, which had the water pan in it and attempted to empty the hot water / fat drippings onto the weeds in our garden. Unfortunately (somehow) this boiling hot mixture landed directly on my expose foot, causing me to then burn my arm (yes whilst wearing gloves) on the outside of the stacker I was carrying and had now dropped when my brain realised my foot was covered in boiling water (and some fat). Ouch. It's 6am in the morning on Christmas day and I suffered in silence. Stupidly, I grabbed an ice pack and put that on, before remembering that's the worse thing to do, so I put it under some running water. I can't feel my foot at the moment, which is both a blessing and a curse.


Now it's time for the chicken. I did say this was a multi-stage cook didn't I ? I took the chicken out of the fridge to get to room temperature and then at 7am, when the pork hit an internal temperature of 77C, the chicken was added to the bottom stacker and I shifted the coals to one side and put a water / drip pan next to that. It would be nice to have a second wireless probe for these multi-meat cooks; might have to look into that next year.

Anyway, at 8am, I checked the chicken. It had gotten a little singed, so I put it in a pan and closed 2 of the 3 vents and left the 3rd one half closed. The rangehood temperature started to go down from 350F to 240F. I then added a tiny hunk of cherry wood. Mmm, love that dark, rich smell. At this point, the pork was stilling at 95C. At 9am, I took the pork off to rest.


My foot started to hurt like hell and the pain was sent up and down my leg and through out my body. Then after about 30 minutes, it went dull again. Oh well, big blisters to show up no doubt, time to head over to the family's house for Christmas. We had so much meat there. My chicken and pork, my wife's ham, my brother also made pulled pork in the oven ... so it turned into a little pork-off. I saw him go back for seconds of mine, so I guess he liked it. We then headed home in a meat food coma with heaps of leftovers. All in all, a good cook.

Cook 53 - Practice Christmas Chicken
21st December, 2015 06:27 PM by BBQ Phil
This morning, I went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Not bad, wasn't great, but has definitely left me wanting more, so I guess it can't be that bad. Anyway, when I got home, I decided to do a practise cook of the chicken, I'm planning to do for Christmas lunch. I rubbed the bird down with lime juice rub and the DL Jardine's Steak Seasoning plus a nice helping of smoked paprika.

At 2:30ish, the fire went on with no second stacker or large water pan from the ProQ. I setup my custom drip / water tray with rosemary on one side and the other side had half heat beads / charcoal and a chimney of the same.

At 3:10pm, the chicken went on with an internal temperature of 19C and the rangehood was showing 250F. About na hour later, it was up to 350F and an internal temperature of 64C. I took a quick peak at the chicken and it looked and smelled great. I then closed the vents to 1/3 open to try and bring the temperature down.

At 4:25pm, the internal temperature was 83C and then about 5ish, I took it off to rest and we had dinner at 6pm. Very nice and juicy, the rub was okay but my wife said it was a little bland. Guess the force wasn't strong with this one ... so, I'll go with my special rub for Christmas instead.

Cook 52 - Pork Leg
6th December, 2015 06:56 PM by BBQ Phil
It's the weekend, so time to smoke some pork. A leg this time, though my wife wants pulled pork from it, I thought sure I'll give it ago, even though shoulder is the best cut for pulled pork. Starting nice and early at 8am on the dot, I began boiling the large pot of water in the kitchen and then went outside to start the fire in the chimney. I used a light rub the night before which included salt, pepper, smoked paprika and garlic powder.

By 8:35am, the ProQ was fired up with the water on. At 9:10am, I put the meat on, though wasn't 100% impressed with temperature, as noted before the water pan really seems to be sucking up all the heat up. Don't get me wrong, that's what it's suppose to do, defuse the heat and distribute it evenly, it's just I learnt to cook on my Smokey Joe without one.

Anyway half an hour later, the leg is cooking now with an internal temperature of 12C, however the ProQ rangehood temperature had dropped to 150F. I then started up another chimney of beads using paper. I'd watched a number of videos including one with The Amazing Ribs guy, that all said start your chimney with some paper. I'm calling BS. Paper is pretty useless. It went out and never really lit the beads. Say what you will about firelighters but they just work. Since I'm using 100% chemical free, Aussie made ones, I feel better about myself and I add a firelighter underneath the chimney and it's away.

At 10:00am, I added the additional beads to try and kickstart this temperature. 30 minutes later and the rangehood is that 200F and the internal temperature is 25C. I'm now finally starting to smell the cherry wood and boy does it smell good. An hour later, the rangehood is still at 200F but leg is cooking great, now at internal 40C.

I then grabbed some plain beef sausages and put them on the smoker for lunch. My wife and son had gone out, so I figured I'd have pig in a blankets. At 12:10pm, I add another small chunk of wood. The leg's internal temperature was 56C with the rangehoods at 250F finally.

At 1:10pm, the leg's internal temperature was 65C and it was time to take the sausages and onion off for lunch. They tasted fantastic ... a light hint of cherry smoke too. Not the quickest way of cooking sausages but definitely the tastiest.

At 2:10pm, the internal temperature was 72C and it seemed to have hit the stall. I waited to see how it went and an hour later, it was at 75C, so I wrapped the leg in alfoil. I also added some more sausages.

An hour later, it was 79C internal temperature. 5:10pm, it was 83C and the rangehood had dropped down to 200F.

At 5:40pm, the leg came off to rest, sausages came off too and it time for clean up.

Cook 51 - Smoked Chicken Smokey Joe-Style
28th November, 2015 08:23 PM by BBQ Phil
Not being overly happy with getting my temperatures up on the ProQ, I decided to treat it like the Smokey Joe and take the water pan out of it. Don't get me wrong, the big ass water pan is great at defusing the temp and keeping it consistent, but it also adds a lot of time to the cook.

So, at 3:30 PM, I fired up the pit. I used plum wood chunks as my smoke source. It's a very hot day today, I'm sweating from head to toe, so time to crack a Lazy Yak or two.

At 3:50pm, the chicken went on with an internal temperature of 11C. Mmm ... that dark rich plum wood smell, oh how I have missed thee. Still getting smoke out the edges of the lid of the ProQ but happy with the temps - ProQ rangehood was sitting at 200F and my own gauge in the top vent was just under 250F.

One hour later, it was smelling awesome and my stomach was grumbling. The internal temperature was at 38C with the rangehoods at 300 and 350F ... a little higher than I wanted, so I closed the bottom vents by half. It seems without the big water pan, controlling the temperature by the vents is a must.

At 5:50pm, it hit a bit of a stall and was at 74C internal. I removed one of the stackers to bring it down lower and 15 minutes later, it was at 83C, the chicken came over and it was time to cleanup. And then eat.

On the weekend, my wife went to the $2 shop too and found alfoil trays on the cheap and picked me up a couple. I'll save them for the big Christmas cook I'm planning on doing in a months time.

Cook 50 - Smoked Leg of Lamb
15th November, 2015 08:26 PM by BBQ Phil
It's been a couple of weeks since the last cook and my wife had bought this nice leg of lamb for me to smoke. I rubbed the lamb down with a simple rub consisting of just 1 tablespoon of salt and pepper and some ground dried rosemary from my garden. I used lemon juice to make the rub stick.

At 11:35am, I fired up the pit and put the boiling water in the smoker's water pan. I'd taken the leg of lamb out of the fridge and after about 30 minutes, with an internal temperature of 14C, I put the meat on the smoker. The rangehood temperature gauge was steadily rising too.

At 1:45pm, the ProQ rangehood was sitting at 175F, whilst my other rangehood gauge that I put in one of the top vents of the smoker was reading 225F - it always seems to be able a 50F difference between these two gauges. The internal temperature of the lamb was 53C.

At 3:10pm, I started boiling a new pot of water for the pan as it was starting to look low. An hour later and the internal temperature was 70°C and my rangehood was 250F, whilst the ProQ one was sitting at 190F.

At 4:45pm, I decided to take the water pan out and the temperature when up to 300F. I did this because the internal temperature had stalled and dropped down to 70C. I also wrapped the lamb in alfoil to help getting through the stall.

30 minutes later and it was back up to cooked internal temperature of 77C, so I took it off to rest and began the clean up / shutdown process of the ProQ. So, how was it ? Fantastic. The smoke ring was amazing, The rub was tasty. I got comments from the wife and in-laws that it was the best lamb they've ever had. Guess I'm doing something right.

Cook 49 - Pork Leg Roast
1st November, 2015 08:38 PM by BBQ Phil
Here we go with the second cook on the ProQ. I used what was leftover from my custom rub from last week. My wife made a comment that my previous rubs had been too peppery -- first I'd heard about it, so that's why I thought putting half the amount of normal rub on there, would satisfy.

I setup the coal basket with a layer of heat heads and I thought I'd try out the minion method. Once again, I used cherry wood for smoke. Going to have to go back to Aussie BBQs and get some more I think.

At 9:20am, the meat went on, after spending last night in the fridge with the rub on it. Unfortunately, my wireless thermometer was playing up and wouldn't get any readings. After resetting the devices and the batteries, it came good. Phew !

Whilst the heat beads in the chimney were heating up, I boiled a big pan of water and added it to the water pan in the smoker. I setup a small alfoil drip catching tray with water and fresh rosemary under the roast. The internal temperature of the meat was at 7C at the start.

40 minutes later and it was at 12C with the ProQ rangehood saying 150F. At 11:30am, the internal temperature was up 40C and the rangehood had cracking the 190F mark and was sitting just above 200F. It was smelling really great and I was very happy with the temperatures as if it keeps going up, it should be cooked in 4 hours at this rate.

At 12:30pm, the internal temperature was 53C. At 1:30pm, it was 59C with the rangehood now sitting back down on 190F. I stoked the fire with some tongs and the rangehood went back up to 200F. Not overly happy with the way this gauge is working so far.

I then refilled the water pan with more boiling water and added all the coals I had -- need to do some shopping. I think I've used 2-3kgs of coals on this cook alone so far and the temperature of the pork was only rising slowly.

At 3:20pm, the 6 hour mark, the internal temperature was 69C with the rangehood showing 180F. 20 minutes later, I took the water pan out and the rangehood went straight up to 250F. The internal was then at 71C.

At 4pm, the rangehood hit 300F without the water pan. Half an hour later and it was at 275F and the meat had hit the perfect internal temperature of 77C. I then foiled the leg and added the jus (small foil tray).

At 5:20pm, the 8 hour mark, it was time to rest the meat and start cleaning up the smoker for next use. The pork didn't pull, but it was delicious. It was tasty and tender. My wife reckoned it was the best cook I've ever done -- I think the lack of pepper was a deciding factor here. Her parents also thought it was "one of the best" I've done too. Just wish I could work out what's going on with the top rangehood and getting it up to temp.

Cook 48 - ProQ Smoked Chicken
25th October, 2015 08:42 PM by BBQ Phil
Okay here we go ... the first cook on the new ProQ smoker. I figured I'd do a chicken as I'm pretty comfortable smoking it and thought it's a good baseline for the new smoker.

I used my custom rub on the chicken and for smoking wood, I used cherry. It has a very dark, rich smell to it, which translates well to the food. The instructions say to fill the water pan, I filled it up to half way with semi-warm water.

At 2:15pm, the fire went on. I filled the basket with a layer of heat beads and added two chunks of wood, like the instructions said. At 2:40pm, the chicken went on. At this point, the ProQ's top stacker rangehood was reading at 110F. Ummm not as high as I'd like and errr there's lots of smoke coming out edges of the stackers ?!?

At 3:40pm, I checked out the smoker and the rangehood was sitting at 150F. Hmm, an hour later and it hasn't risen that much. The Internal temperature of the chicken was at 36C, so it was cooking, but the rangehood just wasn't going any higher.

At 4:40pm, the internal temperature was 46C. I can usually cook a chicken in two hours on the Smokey Joe, so at this point, I decided to take the water pan out and put an alfoil pan in there to catch the fat drippings. I also chucked another chunk of cherry wood on the fire. The heat started to go up.

An hour later at 5:40pm, the rangehood was at 190F and the internal temperature was 53C. Not good. So, I fired up another chimney of heat beads and 20 minutes later, I added those. At 7pm, the internal temperature finally hit 77C internal; cooked, but well past time to eat. My wife made some sandwiches, which we had at 6pm. So, I guess we'll have the chicken tomorrow.

Certainly some learning to be done. As this was my first cook on the ProQ, I guess it's going to take me a bit of time to learn it's intricacy. With this cook, I used 3 chunks of wood as it said to use 2 initially and 1 later. I think that's too much as I could taste a bitterness that the smoke had imparted onto the chicken skin.

Seasoning the ProQ
24th October, 2015 02:16 PM by BBQ Phil
So, after watching Back to the Future with my son and assembling the ProQ, I then took the smoker outside to get it ready for a burn in / seasoning session.

Here's the Smokey Joe being used as a place to fire up my chimney.

Getting ready to season the ProQ

Unfortunately, the weather wasn't being nice and it started to rain. However, just like Samantha Fox, nothing's gonna stop me now ...

Nothings gonna stop me now
Cook 47 - Lemon Pepper Smoked Chicken
18th October, 2015 08:48 PM by BBQ Phil
Still no ProQ, I've been told next week, yeah yeah I know, I've been hearing that since June. Anyway, just going on auto-pilot today and doing a chicken on the Smokey Joe.

I found in the pantry this spice pack my wife bought awhile ago, it was Hoyts lemon pepper. Great, that goes well with chicken (and in my youth I was addicted to Masterfood"s Lemon Pepper seasoning).

At 3:20pm, I fired up the pit, with the meat going on about 20 minutes later.

My wireless temperature monitor was playing up and giving me weird temperatures, much lower than it should have been. At 5:45pm, the chicken was smelling great and to me it looked fine, but the temperature reading was saying otherwise.

I then decided to take the chicken off and checked it with the my wife's candy thermometer and it was getting a reading of 68°C. I took a punt and cut into it and noticed that it was cooked all the way through and it was juicy / tender. Time to eat. I'd have to say the rub was pretty average, but was still nice to eat.

Oh by the way, that picture in the bottom left, is me using my old iPhone and an app called ManyThing to have a remote live video feed of my smoker. I was actually inside with the family playing Cinque Terre (I won too !)

Cook 46 - Big Ass Pork Butt
8th October, 2015 08:49 PM by BBQ Phil
I had been told that I was getting my smoker this weekend, so my wife bought a big ass piece Pork butt to smoke. Unfortunately, the smoker didn"t arrive, so I got it ready for a long smoke on the Smokey Joe. The night before I rubbed down the pork with my own special blend:-

1 x tablespoon salt
2 x tablespoons black pepper
3 x teaspoons smoked paprika
3 x teaspoons garlic powder
2 x tablespoons brown sugar

At 8:30am, the pit went on. This meat is way too big for the smoker, going to have to keep monitoring that. For this cook, I used plum chunks and setup lots of heads beads in a half crescent. I put rosemary in the water / drip pan. At 9am, the meat went on with an internal temperate of 6C. 45 minutes later and smoke was billowing out of the Joe, so ran out to check. Yep, the meat was too big and was overhanging, with it's fat dripping directly onto the coals. I did my best to build a heat shield and then kept checking every hour or so.

The meat took on a black / charred look on the outer crust, which was mainly the fat top.

8 hours later and I took the meat off to rest. The fat cap just slide right off revealing the juicy meat on the inside. That night we had the in-laws over for dinner and they enjoyed it too. Hopefully, I"ll have my ProQ for next time.

Cook 45 - Smoked Skirt
3rd October, 2015 06:39 PM by BBQ Phil
So, what happens when you take a crappy piece of meat, like one of the cheap cuts called Skirt Steak (from the plate of the cow) and then smoke it ... will it taste good ? Let's find out.

It is described as "long, flat, and prized for its flavour rather than tenderness" and skirt steak is the cut of choice for making fajitas, ranchera, Chinese stir-fry and churrasco. Now it's BBQ time.

In the morning, I marinated the steak with some DL Jardine's Steak Seasoning rub and then at 3:30pm, the meat when on, using plum wood as my smoke source.

At 4:45pm, it was looking real good, I honestly didn't know what to expect. Then at 5:20pm, I wrapped it in foil and took it off to rest. We ended up having it sliced on sandwiches for dinner with fresh rolls, cheese and pickles. It was so good that, I ended having another roll for a late night snack and then had even more meat on a couple of croissants the next day.

Cook 44 - Smoking Bacon
22nd September, 2015 04:10 PM by BBQ Phil
As it's school holidays at the moment, I had to take the time off work to stay home with my son. Turned out my good friend Mike was on holidays, so he came over for a board gaming session, so I looked for something to smoke for lunch.

There wasn't much in the house, just a package of bacon, corn and veggies. I thought, I've never smoked bacon before, let's see what happens.

At 11am, pit on went on and about 20 minutes later, I added some plum wood chunks and I added the corn, bacon, onion and potato. 45 minutes later, we were eating sweet, smokey corn that my friend said was like candy corn :)

At 12pm, I took the bacon and veggies off and we had that on some rolls. The bacon was rather stiff, but had captured the smoke. It was a similar texture to when bacon is broiled but didn't taste crappy like that broiled bacon does.

That night, I ended up watching an episode of BBQ Crawl with Diva Q and on this episode, she had what was called "Pig Candy" ... smoked bacon with BBQ rub and sugar on it. Very similar to what I did, so, I figured next time I do some bacon, I'm doing some pig candy.

Cook 43 - Party Chicken
19th September, 2015 02:59 PM by BBQ Phil
Today is a special day as I get to test out my smoking skills on a bunch of friends rather than just me and my family. I offered to smoke a chicken for a BBQ being held at my friend's Mike's place for his birthday, his mum's day and his daughters, which were all within a week of each other.

I asked my wife to get me a chicken and man, did she get a chicken. It was a whopping 2.7kg chicken that I marinated in lemon juice and Stubb's Chicken Rub overnight. I figured I'd go with one of the commercial rub flavour profiles, not knowing what they would enjoy, I figured this would be for the best, plus it does have a good herby flavour too.

At 8am, I fired up the pit and by 8:30am, the chicken was on with rosemary up it's butt. I, of course, used Plum chunks as my smoking source; gotta love that sweet smell / flavour. Unfortunately, as this chicken was huge, it didn't fit on the indirect side of the Smokey Joe and at 9am, I checked the chicken and it was burnt on one side because of the overhang :( It was at this point that I flipped the bird :) and made a ghetto heat shield with alfoil. The smoke was smelling great by the way, even though the pit was running real hot getting up to 500F !

At 10:30am, the chicken was just about cooked with an internal temperature of 76C and the rangehood had settled down to 350F. 15 minutes later, I took the chicken off and wrapped it in foil for the journey to my friend's house. The outer skin looked rather black on that one side that got overcooked, so I wasn't feeling very confident. I thought, just typical that I burn something when I've cooking for others.

When I arrived, it had held it's heat and was smelling great, not the disaster I thought. Even one of the attendees was like, food is food and then ripped one of the legs off and devoured it. So, despite the skin taking a bit of a beating, inside it was sweet smokey, juicy and warm.

History of Mesquite
16th September, 2015 02:58 PM by BBQ Phil
"Before the phrase “mesquite-grilled” became a common descriptor on hoity-toity menus of restaurants trying to prove their Texas bona fides, and before backyard cooks bought mesquite chips by the pound to add an “authentic smokehouse” flavor to their meat, the mesquite was a scraggly tree that people in the Southwest considered a nuisance."



Cook 42 - Corned Beef
13th September, 2015 08:57 PM by BBQ Phil
I didn't really have anything to smoke this weekend, but there was some corned beef in the freezer, so the night before I took it out to defrost and then marinated it this morning with some more of the John Henry's rub. Despite the fact I know this is spicy, with such a long cook, there won't be any spice by the time it's done.

It was at this point that I noticed, I'd run out of heat beads ... however, I noticed after getting my father-in-law's pizza oven, he had half a bag of beads, so I used those. I grabbed a couple of chunks of plum wood and at 12:45pm, the meat went on.

I then spent the next 5-6 hours, playing tabletop games with my son such as Flash Point: Fire & Rescue and newly acquired Batman Fluxx. It's a strange game, but I'm sure we'll get the hang of it. I also checked the meat hourly, basting it with it's own jus and some apple juice.

I was getting some great smoke and excellent sweet smokey smells from the plum chunks. At 2:40pm, the meat was cooked, so I took double wrapped it in alfoil, along with the rest of the jus and let it sit. I also did some quick corn on the direct side of heat, turning every couple of minutes. Coated in butter and the BBQ rub, they were delicious.

At 4pm, the smells were phenomenal with the rangehood temp sitting at 300F and the internal had rocketed up to 102C but pretty much stayed there and started to drop in the 90s.

At 6pm, I took the meat off for resting and then half an hour later, was the reveal. My wife was like, what have you done ... it's black ! and I'm was like yeah and push at it and the meat just juiced out and slid away. It was the best damn corned beef I'd ever had.

Cook 41 - Father's Day Chicken
6th September, 2015 06:29 PM by BBQ Phil
Today was Father's Day and we went out for an all you can eat breakfast, so no need for lunch but we'll need something for dinner. I grabbed a chicken and coated it with lemon juice and rubbed it down with the John Henry's Old Stockyard Steak rub I had picked up from American BBQ Australia (same time I got the plum chunks). I'm really enjoying smoking tomatoes and then using them in lots of dishes or just eating them on their own, so I prepped tomatoes, along with some sweet potatoes.

This was also going to be the first time I cooked some meat using the plum chunks, so I was very much looking forward to how it tasted.

At 3:51pm, the chicken went on, surrounded by tomatoes. My son and I then played a couple of gruelling games of Flash Point: Fire & Rescue. First game, the house burnt down and collapsed on us and the next game, we just made it. Also, Netflix had added a bunch of Shaolin Kung-Fu movies to their lineup on Friday, the sign of a good weekend, so I watched a couple.

I think because it was a very calm day with no wind, that the cook was taking a little longer than usually, so at 6:15pm, the chicken went off to rest. About 20 minutes later and no one else was hungry except me, so I dug in. It was very spicy (I liked it but I'm guessing my wife wouldn't have) but full of flavour and so moist, one of the juiciest chickens I've ever eaten. The plum chunk smoke was this lovely sweet flavour too.

Turns out I got a headcold and didn't make it to work on the Monday, so when I got peckish around 2pm after sleeping lots, I ate the other half of the chicken, which was still moist and tasty the next day.

Cook 40 - Tomatoes and Veggies
30th August, 2015 08:44 PM by BBQ Phil
No meat to smoke today, so I felt a little out of sorts, so I said, no problem ... what veggies have we got in the fridge ? I grabbed tomatoes, corn, capsicum and some sweet potatoes. To smoke with this one, I thought I'd try out the plum chunks I bought from American BBQ Australia.

So at 10:40am, I fired it up and at 11am, the tomatoes and capsicum went on. At 12pm, I took them off and the corn went on. This time I didn't wrap the corn in alfoil, I just put it straight on and with no husks. 30 minutes later and the I took the corn off and it was amazing. It had soaked up all the smoke into the corn and each bite was tasty as.

By 1pm, I was all done and had eaten all the corn and sweet potatoes. I saved the tomatoes for later, which my wife ended up using in a meat casserole -- it was good (and smokey flavoured !)

Cook 39 - D.L. Jardine Smoked Chicken
23rd August, 2015 08:17 PM by BBQ Phil
This weekend, I was busy participating in the Ludum Dare Game Jam and so I spent the weekend at a friend's house working on it. The theme for this game jam was You are the Monster and I was working on a board game, more on that later. So, I got home late on Sunday afternoon and at 4:30pm, I quickly grabbed a chicken, marinated it with lemon juice and rubbed it down with some D.L. Jardine's Steak Seasoning, I had picked up from Texas Imports.

At 5pm, the chicken went on and I continued to work on my game - Gammonster. As I started late, it was going to finish late and so at 7:10pm, it came off, ready for resting. I devoured half of it as my wife said she wasn't that hungry and the rub was a little too spicy for her. Duly noted, but I thought it was great.

Cook 38 - Wagyu Rib Roast
16th August, 2015 08:14 PM by BBQ Phil
Today, I'm smoking something very special. My wife surprised me with a Wagyu Rib Roast that she had picked up from Fresh Sensations at Carindale. As this was my first wagyu, I wanted to treat it very carefully and with respect, so for the rub, I decided to use just salt and pepper and use it sparingly. I used mesquite pellets as my smoking agent.

I wanted to smoke some tomatoes so at 1:13pm, the pit went on, with the tomatoes added about 20 minutes later. At 2:55pm, the wagyu meat went on and the tomatoes went into a tupperware container for later. To pass the time, my son and I played a couple of games of Get Bit and Takenoko.

At 5:05pm, the internal temperature hit 77C with the rangehood sitting at 300F. I took the meat off to rest and when it came time to eat, it was fantastic. The smoke was great, the meat was tender and juicy -- in fact, it all got gobbled up that night. I also tried one of the smoked tomatoes and whilst it had taken on the flavour of mesquite, but it was too overpowering and they just didn't taste very good. Too bitter. I'll have to remember that for next time.

We also had a bit of fun today with marshmallows. My son got to try his first toasted marshmallows, but being a kid, he loaded his stick up with mallows and it caught on fire, the stick dropped, I caught it (slightly burning my hands) and then fed it too him. He had melted marshmallow all over his face and he thought it was just great.

Cook 37 - Rack of Lamb
9th August, 2015 09:23 PM by BBQ Phil
The other week, we went to Super Butcher and picked up a rack of lamb. Today, was the day I get to smoke it. After having just done the successful smoked tomatoes, the lamb when on at 2pm. The night before I marinade the lamb rack with lemon juice and rubbed it with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Basically, I didn't want anything too overpowering, I wanted the full flavour of the lamb to come through.

The rangehood was sitting at about 300F for the entire cook and at 3:20pm, the internal temperature of the lamb hit 77C. I then double wrapped it in alfoil and covered it in it's jus. At 3:30pm, it hit 90C, so I spritzed the lamb with some lemon juice and put it back on. Funnily enough, the internal temp went down to 78C and 15 minutes later was back up to 90C. I spritzed it again and it went down to 81C, but quickly went back up.

At 4:20pm, I put the veggies on -- carrots, mushrooms, onions and potatoes. Meanwhile, the lamb's internal temperature was sitting at 84C and not moving.

During this cook, I've found playing the odd tabletop or board game has been a great way to pass the time. My son and I played The Game of Life (80s board game) today ... he ended up with 6 kids ! However, I had a better paying job (Doctor), so I won :) Oh I should also mention that my wife brought out a batch of vietnamese spring rolls she'd whipped up. Nice to have something different to snack on when doing a cook.

At 5:20pm, the lamb went off to rest and I checked the veggies, which unfortunately, weren't ready yet. When it came time to eat at about 6pm, I took them off. The lamb was fantastic and juicy. It didn't get much of a smoke to it, but the rub was subtle and tasted great. My wife also commented that the rub wasn't as pepper-y as usual. I think that's because I've been doing lots of chicken -- note to self, tone down the pepper on the next chicken cook.

Cook 36 - Smoked Tomatoes
9th August, 2015 08:12 PM by BBQ Phil
Recently, I saw an episode of BBQ with Franklin (PBS), where a woman was making a BBQ sauce and she said she was using smoked tomatoes. Me being an absolutely tomato lover, I was intrigued by this and did some research on it and so, today, here we are.

I cut the tomatoes in half and de-seeded them. I then sprinkled some of my bbq rub that I'd made up for the lamb I was doing next and I left them out on plate to dry a little. The salt from the rub, also helped to draw out some of the moisture.

I'm almost out of my Samba wood chips, so I thought I'd use up the rest of those and fired off the pit at about 12:30pm. 20 minutes later and the tomatoes went on. At 2pm, I took them off.

I brought some crackers and cheese outside and sampled the smoked tomatoes. My god ... they were amazing and the smoke tasted identical to the wood chips I used. Nice and strong flavour. I put what was left aside and thought I'd make a BBQ sauce with the rest. Best laid plans and all that, I ended up snacking on them that night. I will be doing this again.

Cook 35 - Pulled Pork Leg
26th July, 2015 08:08 PM by BBQ Phil
Today, I'm doing one of those long cooks. I was getting a bit sick of doing chicken every week, so I'd asked my wife to get me something different and she's got a big hunk of Pork leg for me to smoke. She wanted pulled pork. I had told her that according to, pork shoulder (or butt) is the best cut for pulled pork, but still, this should be fine.

I was a little busy when I fired up the pit just after 10am, as I was also live hosting my monthly radio show The Chill Factor. So, yeh I was running back and forth from the turntables to the BBQ for the first hour, until the show finished. A friend of mine had given me a bunch of charcoal to try, so I filled up the chimney with half charcoal and half heat beads. The charcoal had that nice "campfire" smell to it, thought was a little smokey initially.

For smoke, I decided to use Apple pellets with this cook and around 10:40am, the meat finally went on. I noticed that the charcoal was also causing the BBQ to run real hot, like 400F. By coincience, the meat was too big for the Smokey Joe's lid to close properly, but that helped to disperse some of the heat and bought the temperature down to 250F. I thought I was also going to cook some bacon, so I prepared some wood chips for that, but ended up using those to start a little fire / flare up to do some toasted marshmallows with my son. So good, but so bad too :)

One hour into the cook and the internal temperature was at 39C and one of the fat sides was scorched, probably from the initial heat, so I flipped the leg around. I also based it with it's own juices / water pan and spritzed it with some apple cider vinegar.

At 12:50pm, the internal temperature was 69C. At 1:40pm, the internal temperature looked to be stuck at 72C, so I double foiled it and I also had to add more heat beads as the charcoal was completely used up. At 2:20pm, it was spot on 77C. I pushed at it with my tongs and this one corner, the meat just fell off. I grabbed a chunk of this and ate it. My god it was amazing and I thought, this is why I BBQ. The middle of the leg was still a little tough, so I decided to leave it on longer. At 3:00pm, I did the usual spritzing.

At this point, I feel asleep on the deck outside, so I didn't get to check the meat til 4:50pm. The internal temperature had hit 91C and the outer juicy bit I talked about earlier was now dried out :( however, the inner bits look very juicy and the fat side was jiggling nicely. I took the meat off to rest and waited til dinner time.

The day before, I'd gone to Super Butcher at Birkdale and looked at their nice selection of meats. I picked up a lamb rack and also noticed they stocked all the Stubb's range of sauces that I've been finding hard to get online. I picked up their Original BBQ sauce, which is a very light, tangy and went fantastic with the pork. I also ended up having pork the Monday night for dinner (my wife cooked it in with fried rice, which made it lose all the smokey flavour - boo hiss) and then Tuesday for lunch I had some more on a roll with cheese and gherkins. Oh and that sauce :)

All and all it was great to cook a big bit of meat, as not only do you get a great dinner out of it, but you also get a couple of other meals too.

Alabama White Sauce
23rd July, 2015 06:45 AM by BBQ Phil
Recently over at the BBQ Brethren, someone asked the best way to smoke chicken wings. Whilst a number of people commented, one person jumped in and said they smoke their wings and then dump them in Alabama White Sauce. No, that's not a euphemism. So, what is Alabama White Sauce ?

"It’s the only sauce we know here, because it’s what everyone grows up on," says world barbecue champion Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Alabama. I totally respect Chris Lilly and I'm a fan of BBG's rubs (see my earlier cooks), so I had to find out what's in it.

Alabama White Sauce

Here's one recipe from

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
1 tablespoon Creole mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish

Whisk together all ingredients until blended. Store in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
Cook 34 - Smoked Chicken Thighs
19th July, 2015 08:29 PM by BBQ Phil
Today I took the family to South Bank Parklands for the Regional Flavours Festival and managed to get home by 3pm ... just in time to kick off the pit. Hopefully, in the next week or so, I should have my brand new ProQ smoker, but until then it's Smokey Joe time. I used the leftover rub from Cook 33 and decided to once again use Samba wood chips in a makeshift alfoil smoker box.

I fired up the heat beads and then forgot all about the charcoal that a friend of mine gave me ... doh. Oh well next cook. At 3:55pm, the thighs went on.

At 4:18pm, the rangehood was sitting at 300F and the internal probe's temperate was at 59C. I moved one of the pieces of thighs as it got a little crisped being closest to the direct heat side. At 4:40pm, the veggies on. Then when the internal temperature got up to 90C (83C is when chicken is cooked), I then put the chicken on the direct heat to try and sear them, but they smoked up big time including a few flare ups, so I took them off to rest in a tray wrapping with alfoil.

I spent most of my time reading comics on my iPad, catching up on the Amazing X-Men (2013), whilst listening to Electroriders II. At 5:20pm, the outside weather started to get really cold and dark. That's the problem with winter cooks, I need a flood light or something out here, the torch on my iPhone doesn't overly cut it.

At 5:35pm, the mushrooms and onion were done, but the big ass sweet potato wasn't ready yet. By 6pm, it was. My wife really liked this cook, saying that I hadn't put as much rub as I normally do and she liked it. So, I guess I've been over rubbing it -- is that a thing ? I also told my wife, I'm started to get a little bored with doing chicken, I want some pork shoulder to cook, but it all depends on what meat is on sale when she does the shopping.

Cook 33 - Back with the Chicken
12th July, 2015 08:38 PM by BBQ Phil
Okay it's been a couple of weekends without doing a cook due to other fun events like the Sawtell Chilli Festival. So, this weekend, I'm back with the usual chicken cook. I made the rub up the day before, using this and olive oil on the chicken and putting it back in the fridge.

Rub I used was:-

1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoon brown sugar
3 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
3 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoon cumin

At 3:17pm, I fired up the pit and put the chicken on about 30 minutes later. Rangehood temperature was sitting pretty at 250F. It was a pretty cold and windy day, so I just went inside with my remote digital thermometer and started working on editing the Too Hot to Handle video (Sawtell video linked above).

At 4:50pm, probably a little later than I should have, I turned the chicken. One of the sides of the bird that was closest to the direct heat got a little singed but didn't affect the overall flavour. I also took this opportunity to put the veggies on. I did a couple of sweet potatoes with butter, crushed garlic and fresh rosemary. I did another one coated with Crowley's Hot Sauce - BBQ Onion, one of their new range I picked up in Sawtell.

I also went back to using pellets on this cook, some of the last lot of my mesquite pellets and boy did they smell good. Have I mentioned I think I'm addicted to the mesquite smell ?

Before 6pm, I had everything cooked lovely and we sat down for our Sunday night meal. The Crowley covered sweet potato only had a hint of the flavour and the heat, so it's definitely better to do it after the fact.

Cook 32 - Smoked Lamb
27th June, 2015 08:53 PM by BBQ Phil
I was really looking forward to today's cook, because I finally got my hands on a leg of lamb to smoke. Lamb isn't big in the US smoking community, however, lamb is readily (and tasty) available in Australia. I'd lent my smoker box to a good friend of mine, who was starting to get into smoking, so for this cook, I make a ghetto or redneck engineered smoker box using the Samba wood chips and alfoil. I also put some rosemary in there too.

At 3:23pm the pit went on, with the meat going on about 30 minutes later. The internal temperature of the meat with 9C with the rangehood at 350F.

For the rub, I decided to get my mortar and pestle and crush up some rosemary, but do you know what, it doesn't actually crush that well, it just sorta gets squashed. Anyway, I put that and some of my leftover rub on the lamb.

This was my second time using wood chips and boy was it smokey. At 4:50pm, the lamb was looking great and internally was at 62C, whilst the rangehood was holding strong at 350F -- still a little hotter than I would have liked. I spent the rest of the afternoon re-watching episodes of Heroes on Netflix and listening to the Liquid Tones podcast on my new Jabra Bluetooth speaker.

At 5:26pm, the internal temperature was 77C, so I prepared to take it off the heat and let it rest. Before I got a chance to hook into the meat, my wife asked me not to have too much as we were eating the rest on bread rolls for lunch tomorrow at Seaworld. The lamb was so nice, that we had it for dinner that night, lunch the next day (Seaworld) and then dinner again. Even when it was cold the next day, it still tasted great. Another successful cook !

Cook 31 - Just Veggies (and Bacon !)
22nd June, 2015 02:38 PM by BBQ Phil
Today I had the day off work to rest from the MS Brissie to Bay 25km ride I did yesterday. I wasn't planning to do a cook today, it's just I was home, it was nice day and I was hungry. So, I went looking through the fridge to see what I could cook up. All the big meats were frozen, but I found a bunch of veggies ... and bacon !

As always, I waited til the grill got hot, so I could then give it a rub down with the BBQ scrubber I have and would you believe it ... the bloody thing feel apart. Cheap crap from Lokkii, I won't be buying any of their products anymore.

Anyway, at 12:50pm, the veggies went on to the pit with indirect. The pit was running quite hot (350F to 400F) due to the wind. Whilst doing the cook, I tuned into iTunes Radio, which wasn't that bad, just an ad every 5-6 songs like Spotify -- though apparently Apple only released this service in the USA and Australia.

At 1:42pm, the veggies were nicely cooked in their rosemary, butter and garlic wraps, so then the bacon went on the direct heat. At 2pm, it was time to eat my late lunch :) and boy, it was a feast.

Cook 30 - Direct Heat Chicken Wings
20th June, 2015 05:35 PM by BBQ Phil
After smoking chicken wings in Cook 27, this time I decided to try them out direct heat style. I marinated them the night before with Stubb's Chicken Rub and for this cook I thought I'd also try using wood chips directly on the coals. I'd bought this box of Samba Wood Chips a month or so back and thought this would be a good test of them.

At 4:40pm, after having soaked the chips in water for 30 minutes, I put them on top of the beads. The rangehood temperature was sitting at 300F.

I knew this was going to happen, with the wood chips being directly on the coals, that the smoke would be bellowing out of my Smokey Joe. I just don't think my wife was prepared for it, who was worried the washing would get smoked. However, the smoke was intense, so much so that I needed to wear my sunnies so I could see the food, otherwise my eyes would be watering.

At 4:54pm, the wings were looking real good, just another 10 minutes or so. I pulled them off and we let them rest for about 5-10 minutes and then hooked in. My wife said there was 1-2 pieces that weren't completely cooked all the way through. I guess that's the danger of not having a temp probe and smoking for hours. I was honestly worried I'd burn them.

How did they taste ? Great. The hickory chips gave a rather mild smoke -- I think I still like pellets better.

Cook 29 - Leftover Rub Chicken
14th June, 2015 08:25 PM by BBQ Phil
Today being a Sunday, it was time to get the smoker out and do a chook. For my rub this time, I used rubs, which were leftovers from 2 previous cooks. I also added some garlic powder as well. After all, it is flu season ;)

At 3:30 the pit went on, with me using 3 firelighters instead of 2 -- mainly because I just wanted to use up the last one in the packet I had. At 3:55pm, things were ready to cook, so the chicken went on with an internal temperature of 11C.

At 4:30pm, I rotated the chicken so that it wouldn't get burnt too much on any one side. It's internal temperature was at 67C internal with the rangehood sitting steady at 300F.

30 minutes later and it was ready to take it off, rest it and devour it. And devour it I did. I even had it for lunch the next day.

Cook 28 - Custom Rubbed Smoked Chicken
31st May, 2015 06:20 PM by BBQ Phil
Yep it's Sunday, time to smoke some meat, this time chicken, which has become a favourite in our house. Once, again I tweaked my custom rub and for this one used:-

2 tablespoons sugar brown
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon sea salt
3 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
3 teaspoon garlic powder
3 teaspoon oregano

With this rub, I absolutely coated the chicken hoping to give it a really nice bark. I also got a sprig of rosemary and shoved it up the chicken's butt.

At 3:40pm, the pit went on, with the chicken being added about 20 minutes later. I spent the time listening to Electrowinning and watching episodes of Wil Wheaton's Tabletop.

My wife had also bought a bunch of jalapeños, so I decided to core them out and fill them with cheese and wrap them in bacon. At 5:08pm, jalapeño poppers on but it really was a bit of a mess. The bacon wrapped around the jalapeños wasn't getting cooked evenly enough, so I ended up removing them and cooking the bacon normally and then just putting it onto of the jalapeño at serve time.

My rangehood temperate was holding steady at 250F for pretty much the whole cook. At 5:25pm, it was time to dig in. The poppers weren't too bad though you need big ones so you can stuff them with lots of cheese, onion and bacon.

At 5:40pm, the chicken was cooked and ready to rest and then enjoy. The rosemary gave the chicken a subtle flavour in the breast meat. The bark was amazing.

Cook 27 - Smoked Chicken Wings
25th May, 2015 08:06 PM by BBQ Phil
A few weeks ago, I said to my wife, next time you get some chicken wings I want them to smoke. I then went about doing the usual online research on smoking chicken wings. What I found out is that people don't normally do smoked wings, like smokehouse restaurants will do them, because they smoke everything, but generally people don't. I thought, well it's worth a try and so I rubbed them down with another custom rub. I didn't use any chilli flakes, since my wife had a shot at me for using them on the last rub. So, this one consisted of:-

2 tablespoons sugar brown
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon sea salt
3 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoon garlic powder

At 3:38 PM the pit went on, with the chicken on about 20 minutes later. I decided to use Apple pellets with this, as I want some smoke, but nothing too strong. At 5:40pm, the wings looked nicely cooked and smelled great.

But how did they taste ? Really delicious, but they didn't taste that different from normally cooking them. For the time that was put into the cook, I think the same results could have been achieved doing them on direct heat in 6-10 minutes. Still, you have to try these things, otherwise, you wouldn't know.

Cook 26 - Smoked Porterhouse Steaks
24th May, 2015 02:46 PM by BBQ Phil
This morning my son made the rub for 4 x Porterhouse steaks that my wife had bought. Blake used the mortar and pestle, combined the ingredients together and rubbed down the steaks. He was also licking his hands after, saying that he was going to lick every single finger as it tasted so good. I thought, well that's a good start. For this rub, I slightly altered the rub from last week, basically, doubling the garlic powder and taking out the oregano, as I felt that has a better flavour profile with chicken rather than beef. So, this rub had:-

2 tablespoons sugar brown
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon sea salt
3 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chilli flakes

I didn't have a lot of time to do this cook, as my wife was coming home and wanted them for lunch, so at 11:00am the pit went on, with the meat on 20 minutes later. It was then getting closer to 1pm, with my wife (and myself) starving at his point. The meat hadn't quite reached optimal internal temperature yet, so I wrapped the steaks in foil and put them back on. They then quickly got up to temp and I took them off to rest. I knew they weren't going to be as juicy as the previous time I did Porterhouse steaks, but I didn't overly care, I was hungry and wanted to eat.

My wife complained that they were too spicy to eat and had a shot at me for doing this as our son has to eat them. Turns out, he and I both lapped them up, whilst my wife missed out.

The next day, I figured out why my wife thought they were too spicy. It turns out my son and I had used 2 tablespoons of black pepper instead of 1. I guess, we were going for a Texas-style rub, at least that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it :)

Cook 25 - Custom Rubbed Chicken
16th May, 2015 05:14 AM by BBQ Phil
Today, I decided not to use a commercial rub, but went back to using (and modifying) my custom rub. For this particular rub, I used the following:-

2 tablespoons sugar brown
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon sea salt
3 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chilli flakes

At 3:40pm, I fired up the pit and about 20 minutes later, the chicken went on with a rangehood temperature of 250F. 15 minutes after that, it started to rain. It was only spitting, but still, so I setup the bricks on top with my umbrella covering the BBQ. The rain had started to make it a miserable, cold and windy day. It was so windy that it blew my umbrella over and the bricks. One of those bricks landed freakily on my tongs and split them in half. I couldn't believe that it landed on the one part of the tongs that was plastic. I'll have to get some new ones now.

At 5:45pm, the chicken looked and smelled great and had an internal temperature of 80C. Roughly 30 minutes, later and it was cooked to perfection and taken off to rest. It had an awesome taste with a sweet and mild spice front end and a herby back end. I think I'm definitely on to something with this rub. I do have to work on my veggies though, as I ruined some carrots with honey that, sadly, got burnt.

Cook 24 - Mother's Day Smoked Chicken
10th May, 2015 08:54 PM by BBQ Phil
It's days like today where I definitely remember and honour my mother who passed away last year. She never got to see me get into BBQ smoking which is a shame, I think she would have loved it and been very supportive the only way a mother can.

We'd been to breakfast this morning at the Glen Hotel which was nice and packed. Glad we got there early. We then went to Blake's first soccer training and then home to start marinating the chicken with Stubbs Rub. Still loving the herby flavour profile this commercial rub delivers.

I used some fresh mesquite pellets for this cook as I wanted a strong smoke flavour to go with the rub. Plus I think in addicted to mesquite :)

At 4:18pm, the pit went on with an internal temperature of 9°C and the rangehood sitting just under 300°F. An hour later, I added the veggies. This time I did some carrots drizzled with honey and sweet potato wrapped in alfoil with a sprig of rosemary, butter and salt.

At 6:18pm, everything came off to rest and was pretty soon ready to eat. The sweet potatoes were off the hook. Fluffy buttery rosemary flavour goodness. The carrots turned out awful though. I'm really going to have to work on those. Truth be told I don't put a lot of effort into those. However, the rest of the meal was cooked to perfection. I guess that's what it tastes like when you cook with love.

Cook 23 - Mesquite Smoked Sausages
3rd May, 2015 07:00 PM by BBQ Phil
Just a quick one today, after last time I smoked sausages, I said this is how I'm cooking sausages from now on and so I fired up the BBQ at 5pm and gave them a quick smoke with the BBQrs Delights Mesquite pellets. I'm really starting to love mesquite and the flavour it imparts.

Smoking sausages is easy too, though I did leave them on a little too long and it made the skin a little wrinkled. But that was just cosmetic, the inside was moist as. Smoking sausages is different from direct cooking as the fat helps to cook them from the inside out and as with everything smoked, it tasted great.

I also introduced my 5 year old son to the concept of Pig in a Blanket, which he thought was funny.

Cook 22 - Apple Pellet Smoked Pork Leg
26th April, 2015 07:49 PM by BBQ Phil
Today was a really windy day with 30-40 km/h winds. With that, I knew temperature control as going to be an issue, but I took the plunge anyway. I rubbed the pork leg with what was left of my Big Bob Gibson Dry Rub. I'm almost out, so I'll have to get some more of this stuff. So good. I also decided to use the BBQrs Delights Apple pellets I bought the other week.

At 1:33pm, the meat went on and I noticed the temperature was up around 450F. About an hour later, I rotated the meat, as one of the sides had been well and truly cooked to the point where the fat was produced some really nice crackling. The temperature was running at about 350F at this point. The Apple pellets gave off this really nice sweet smoke, but as for adding flavour to the meat, I couldn't really taste anything special.

This weekend, I took my iPad outside with me and finished off the over the top anime, Kill la Kill and then watched the classic sci-fi, classic Kurt Russell movie, Escape from New York on Netflix.

At 3:30pm, I double foiled and spritzed / basted the meat and used half a brick to keep the lid of the Smokey Joe from coming off. At 4:07pm, the meat was cooked (77C). 4:30pm, I spritzed it again and noticed the internal temperature had shot up to 88C.

After letting the meat rest, my wife then started to shred the meat that she could. There was one chunk on the side of the meat that was tough as, but the rest of it was awesome. So nice and so juicy that I ended up going back for thirds at dinner time and I was going to have some again on Monday night, but turns out my wife ate it all already.

Cook 21 - Mesquite Pellet Smoked Blade Roast
19th April, 2015 06:31 PM by BBQ Phil
Today, still with my swelled up mosquito hands, I went for a nice family walk to Bunnings. The goal was to get to Bunnings and get some pellets after yesterday's bland cook. It just so happens that the Bayside BBQs & Outdoor Centre was on the way back and I'd been wanting to check it out for some time now. It was a good thing I did go there too, but more on that in a sec. First, we went to Bunnings and unfortunately, they don't sell any pellets or wood chunks -- only these boxes of wood chips made by Samba. I bought a box and thought, I'd try these out, but on the walk back home, I went and checked out the Bayside BBQs & Outdoor Centre and they had a very nice selection of smoke sources.

From them, I picked up two bags of BBQrs Delights pellets - Apple and Mesquite. I got the mesquite, because I've been very keen to smoke with it for some time now. After all, the two big woods in smoking are hickory and mesquite and I've used hickory before.

At 12pm, the fire went on and 30 minutes later, the meat when on with a nice rangehood temperature of 300°F. I managed to keep the pit temperature around 300°F for most of the cook, sometimes spiking to 350°F, but then I'd take the lid off the Weber for a few seconds. I then went inside and played some Mario Party 8 with my son Blake.

At 4:15pm, I noticed the temperature started to go down (260°F) and also noticed the briquettes looked like they were out. The meat's internal temperature was also stuck around 74°C. So, at 4:37pm I double foiled the meat adding some of the water pan/dripping pan juices in there as well. It was at this point that it started rain and I jerry rigged the umbrella up (see photo below). About 10 minutes later and the internal temperature was up to 77°C and I was happy.

The mesquite gave off a lovely, dark, rich, earthy smell to it -- my wife actually thought I was brewing beer :) and I thought, she's probably right, it would compliment the beer hoppy smell that you get from brewing. I'll have to keep that in mind.

How did the meat turn on ? Absolutely perfect. It was juicy, it was full of flavour; one of my best cooks to date.

Cook 20 - Stubbs Rubbed Chicken
18th April, 2015 06:51 PM by BBQ Phil
This morning I woke up in a bad way. I had about 10 mosquito bites all over my hands and feet and they were really sore, not like normal bites. My fingers actually started to swell up (by Sunday night, I was in hospital). So, my heart wasn't really into this cook, but my wife wanted chicken for dinner, so chicken it is. I was pretty much running on autopilot, rubbing the chicken with some Stubb's Chicken Rub and putting it onto the smoker not long after that.

I also still didn't have any smoke (pellets or chunks) source to use and I didn't bother with my smoker box and rosemary, so there was no real smoke to this cook. More on that soon.

At 3:50pm, I put the chicken on with a range hood temperature of 235°F and 18°C internal. I then went off to lie down in bed and watch some Kill la Kill on Netflix and get some rest; I found out that my wireless temperature monitor works in my bedroom too. At 5:15pm, I brought some veggies out to be smoked and at 5:30pm, I noticed the internal temperature wasn't up to what I wanted (77°C), so I moved the chicken over to the direct heat to speed up the cooking process.

The chicken came out really juicy, the skin was nice, but you know what ... it lacked flavour ... that smokey goodness. Even my wife commented that it "wasn't as nice" and that it was rather bland. You know they say, if your heart isn't into it, you're not going to produce anything good and that's really what happened. I also said to myself, I'm going to get a smoke source tomorrow ...

Cook 19 - BBG and Honey Rubbed Corned Beef
12th April, 2015 05:16 PM by BBQ Phil
Today, I'm going to try something different with this Corned Beef that my wife loves to buy. I'd had this thought of instead of rubbing it with olive oil to make the dry rub stick, I decided to rub it with honey. I then seasoned it with the Big Bog Gibson's Dry Rub that has that nice sweat flavour to it. I also wanted to smoke this meat for at least 6 hours, so at about 11am the pit was setup with the mean going on at 11:30am with an internal temperature of 11°C. Meanwhile, the range hood temperature had gone through the roof and was sitting at about 500°F !!!

I brought my MacBook Air outside to the deck and was doing a bit of iOS coding when at 12:10pm, I heard a crash. I looked over to see that the lid of my Smokey Joe had been knocked off by the swelling of the meat. This did help some of the heat to escape, which was a blessing in disguise, because when I put the lid back on (and half a brick on top), I'd gotten the range hood temp down to a reasonable 300°F.

At 1:30pm, then internal temperature was 81°C, so I foiled up the meat and spritzed it with some apple cider vinegar and basted it with some of the juices/water that had collected in the drip pan. I spritzed it again at hour intervals, so at 2:30pm, 3:30pm and at 4:30pm, I noticed the foil had ripped (despite me double wrapping), so some of the spritz just went straight into the drip pan.

It was also at this point, I had noticed the coals had gone out, but was still giving about 220°F. I wrapped the meat with another layer of foil, spritzed and put it back til 4:45pm, which is when I took the meat off to rest.

So, how was it ? Still the best style of corned beef I like. I had it when it's boiled, however, when it is, it loses a lot of the saltiness to it. Corned Beef is a salty meat and when smoked, it retained all that salty flavour, which I didn't mind, but my wife said it was a bit much. The crust was nice, but the honey didn't overly add much sweetness to it as I was hoping for.


Cook 18 - Stubbs Rubbed Chicken
11th April, 2015 05:40 PM by BBQ Phil
I love cooking chicken just as much as I love eating it. It's easy to smoke and the results are amazing. With this chook, I rubbed it the night before with some Stubb's Chicken Rub, which has a great herby flavour to it and had let that stay in the fridge overnight.

At 3:45pm, I fired up the pit with about 8 or 9 Heat Beads briquettes and a bunch of old ones from the last cook. They were still okay and good to use, you just have to be aware if you do a long cook, you're going to get more ash in the bottom of your Weber, which could clog up the bottom vents. Smokey Joe Silvers have this issue, the Gold edition (not like Apple's Gold edition) has vents on the side.

At 4:10 PM, the chicken went on with an internal temperature of 14°C. About an hour later, I put the veggies on the direct side. These veggies are wrapped in alfoil with butter and salt. The chicken's internal temperature was around 78°C at this point.

At 5:30pm, the range hood was holding steady at 255°F with the internal at 89°C. Ten minutes later, I took the bird off the BBQ and foiled it and allowed it to rest.

So, there were two things different about this cook than my previous chicken attempts. 1) I'm now using a water pan to catch the fat (saves a little bit of cleaning at the end), but more importantly adds even more moisture to the chicken and 2) as I stated, I foiled the chicken after taking it off and let it rest. With my other cooks, I just took it off and put it on a plate and let it rest. I'm not overly sure if foiling it did anything different to the chicken, but this BBQ is all about trying new and different things.

It was soooo good, I ate up my plate and then starting stripping all the meat I could off the bird and put that in a tupperware container. That's when my wife stepped in and said, hey I haven't had any yet and I said, well it's all there for you, just leave me some leftovers for my sandwich tomorrow. :)

Cook 17 - Smoking Burgers
4th April, 2015 06:11 PM by BBQ Phil
Today I thought I'd try something new, something that generally people grill rather than smoke and that's burgers.

I was still out of pellets for my smoke box, so once again, I filled it with fresh rosemary from the garden. Gotta get my hands on some pellets or wood chunks soon.

So at 4:15pm, I fired up the pit and by 4:38pm, I put the burgers on indirect heat with the range hood temp at around 200°C. About 20 minutes later and the internal temperature of the meat was at 72°C internal / range hood 185°C.

I decided to leave them on a little longer and then at 5:22pm, I took them off to rest. At this point, I got the hamburger buns and put them on direct side (over the coals) and get a little charring to them. It was a nice touch and made all the difference. I think I'll always do burgers like this now.

Oh and that chilli you can see in the bottom corner of the picture, well that's a Trinidad Scorpion from my own bush. I smoked a couple of them, so I could then later make a chilli sauce and get that smokey flavour in it.

Cook 16 - BBG Rubbed Porterhouse Steaks
3rd April, 2015 03:06 PM by BBQ Phil
Happy Good Friday ! Do people say that ... well I just did, so I guess they do now. And what better way to kick off Easter (and 4 days off work) with a BBQ. I know ... I know. My wife said that some religion says you're not suppose to eat meat and the weather bureau was saying 95% chance of rain -- I said screw it, I'm BBQ-ing.

I kicked off the fire at 10:50am and the steaks went on at 11:20am with an internal temperature of 26°C. I had rubbed down the steaks with Big Bob Gibson dry rub again, as it's delicious and I wanted to see what it would be like on beef. I did this about 2-3 hours before and put them back in the fridge. I took the steaks out of the fridge about 30 minutes prior to the cook.

I spent the time catching up on a couple of Wren's BBQ podcasts, which are really good and you should check them out if you love BBQ and then at 12:00pm I foiled up the meat (77°C internal temp). I would have liked to have left them on the pit longer after this but as lunchtime was coming around and people (including me) were getting hungry, I took the meat off at 12:20pm (100°C internal temp) and let it rest for about half an hour.

My wife sliced it up and we used them in flatbread wraps with lettuce and cheese. They were delicious.

Cook 15 - Big Bob Gibson Rubbed Pork Butt
29th March, 2015 07:39 PM by BBQ Phil
Today I wanted to do a long cook. By that, I mean at least 5-6 hours and with that in mind, I grabbed the Pork Butt aka Pork Shoulder that my wife had picked up last week. Of course, I rubbed down that bad boy with some of that sweet/heat Big Bob Gibson dry rub. I really like this rub as it hits all the flavour profiles I like.

At 11:45am, I put the butt on the pit with an initial starting temperature of 9°C internal. For the first time, I decided to, as this was a long cook, use a water pan to catch the drippings but also to ensure the pork kept it's moisture content. I'd also run out of pellets, so I didn't have anything to put in my smoke box, so as I have a fair bit of rosemary growing in my backyard at the moment, I used sprigs of it as my smoke base.

At 12:42pm, the internal temperature of the pork was at 43°C. An hour later it was at 72°C, with me adding rosemary every hour. I got comments from my wife, who said it was sure smelling great.

At 2:00pm, it's internal was 77°C and then at 2:45pm, I decided to foil up the pork and spritz it with both apple cider vinegar and used a baster to get some of that dripping/water from the water pan. It's internal temperate was at 86°C at this point.

Around 3:45pm, I opened up the foil to spritzed it some more and I noticed that the fat had some bounce. I couldn't use the "fat has split" method, as the pork already had slices/grooves made in it by the butcher.

At 4:45pm, the pork had been cooking for 5 hours, so I decided to take it off and let it rest for an hour. Then I did my usual veggies - potato and onion wrapped in foil with butter and salt. An hour later, they were done and it was time to hook into that pork !

Cook 14 - Stubbs Rubbed Chicken
28th March, 2015 06:08 PM by BBQ Phil
This cook was a bit of a do over. Reason is, I had rubbed / prep-ed a chicken last week, but because I grew fists for nipples and became a real man (and consumed too much alchohol), that chicken ended up getting ... oven roasted.

I know, the shock was too much for me, so here we are to make amends by getting some of this deliciously herby Stubb's Chicken Dry Rub and put it all over the breasts and wings (I don't really eat the legs, my son has those). Another thing that I ordered off the net was a good range hood temperature gauge and I thought, why not just drop it into the top vents of the Weber Smokey Joe, so I can get an idea of the heat coming off this pit.

It's pumping out some heat, where it's starting temperatures are around 200°C (392°F) and upwards, so I need to work on getting a better diffuser to try and regulate the heat.

On this cook, I cracked open a 3 year old bottle of homemade vodka (was for my 40th) by a friend of mine, Ben Meares. It was gooood, could tell it had an artificial vodka-like flavour to it, but it still had a nice kick to it.

Anyway, back to the chicken. I ended up getting a really nice bark to this chook and the taste was fantastic. Simple two hour cook, no issues, pretty much on automatic through the whole process as I spent most of the time re-watching Stargate Atlantis on the new to Australia streaming service, Netflix via my iPad.

Brewsvegas 2015: Real Man Masterclass
22nd March, 2015 08:41 PM by BBQ Phil
This weekend, myself and a few mates went along to the Brewsvegas: How to be a Real Man Masterclass, held at Brewski Bar on Caxton Street. There was only 15 limited seats to this event, which promised a day (6 hours) of beer, beef, hipster haircuts and other manly activities.

The event kicked off bright and early on Sunday at 8:30am, starting off right with a Brekky Beer from Newstead Brewing Co. I was feeling pretty shagged but after this full of flavour (and coffee) drink, I was perked up and ready for what was next. Mark from Newstead started off showing the process for making the beer (White Stout) that we had just drunk. Adam from Edge Brewing Project (Melbourne) also spoke about his gypsy-type brewing he does, using someone else's equipment, make a brew and bottle/sell it.

Brewsvegas: Beers

Next up was the Shank Bros, Mikey and Ralphie, showing off their BBQ pits - a nice ProQ smoker, sideways Keg they'd converted and there was a Weber Go-Anywhere for putting their chimney starter on. This was what I was most interested in. These boys mentioned they're heading to Port Macquarie next week to compete at the Blues and BBQ Festival, taking those smokers and an Ugly Drum Smoker (UDS) they have at home. It was also at this point they mentioned their other team mate had been smoking a brisket on that UDS and he'd be bringing that in later (14 hour cook). More on that in a bit.

They cooked up some lamb racks with a special coffee based rub on it. Being someone who doesn't like coffee or the coffee flavour, it was so mild, it didn't bother me and was quite nice. They also cooked up some pork loins in a char siu sauce that was delicious. This has made me want to get some cuts of pork loin and do some funky stuff with it. On the keg pit, they had a lamb roast on a rotisserie with rosemary, that just gave some nice smokey flavours, complimenting the smells coming from the beer brewing.

But it was that brisket that was the highlight for me. They also had burnt ends ! When I heard someone say there's these little chunks of burnt meat, I just finished with my haircut and ran straight outside to try them. Burnt ends were awesome; they had one with a hot chilli sauce that was on the money for me, but I heard a few others say it was too hot for them. Later on, when I was speaking with one of the pitmasters, Alan, we discussed how much we like chilli and how this man loves his hot chilli, so much so his wife says he's broken :)

Brewsvegas: Meat

Anyway, back to that brisket. It had a great smoke ring and the dry rub was simple (salt, pepper and paprika) that it just let the beef flavour of the meat speak for itself.

Max, the chef from Brewski Bar, also made up a chilli sauce using ghost chillies and bird eyes, and at the end of the day, we got to take a small jar of the sauce home. Pity it wasn't the same sauce he made on the day, it wasn't as hot, but was still good.

Thank you to Brewski Bar for putting up with us on the day (and the beers), Shank Bros for answering all my BBQ competition questions, Jimmy Rods for the haircut and the brewmasters, Mark from Newstead Brewing Co and Adam Northdown from Edge Brewing Project.
Cook 13 - Smoked Corned Beef
15th March, 2015 06:42 PM by BBQ Phil
This was a bit of a surprise cook. My wife went out with my son to see his best friend and when she came home, she said, why haven't you started the BBQ ? I said, I didn't know I was cooking anything today.

Truth be told, when I woke up Sunday morning, I was a little out of place, as I thought I had nothing to cook. Turns out I was wrong, so I raced outside and fired up the Smokey Joe.

At 4:25pm, the corned beef went on. Just before this, I quickly rubbed it with my usual rub (salt, pepper, paprika, cumin and brown sugar), so it didn't get as much time as I'd like for it to sink in.

At 5:25pm, the beef had an internal temperature of 48C, 6:25pm it was 75C and then at 6:45pm my wife wanted dinner so it came off with an internal temp of 80C. I then let it rest for about 20 minutes and started to carve it up.

Sure it wasn't cooked long enough to me pulled, but it was damn nice. The best slice of corned beef I'd had. Not that boiled crap and the outer rub, gave it a really nice flavour as did the Jack Daniel's pellets I used in my smoker box.

I'm now keen to do this again ... but with more time.

Cook 12 - Smoked Sausages
14th March, 2015 05:40 PM by BBQ Phil
After seeing my hero, Aaron Franklin, smoking some sausages, I thought, I have to give this ago. For Christmas, I got a Wray Organic Voucher, so off we went to spent that and picked up some organic sausages to smoke.

At around 4:20pm, I put the sausages on indirect heat and the veggies (potatoes, onions) on direct. The pit was already going from the previous cook (ribs) and was reading about 280F (~138C). An hour later, I took them off the pit and the potatoes internal temperature was 100C.

How did they taste ? Delicious. Even my wife said these taste way better than fried. I think we've found the only method we'll use for sausages from now on. Only takes one hour from start to finish and definitely well worth it.

Cook 11 - Aussie Spare Ribs
14th March, 2015 04:35 PM by BBQ Phil
Ribs ... one of the thing I see a lot of American's smoke and technically speaking, I'm not much of a rib guy, probably because they've always been sloppy to eat and little meat on the bone. However, these are Aussie Spare Ribs and what sort of pitmaster would I be if I didn't try them.

So, it started with the rub. I figured I'd go with something sweet and used the following:-

1 Tablespoon of Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon of Salt
3 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
3 Teaspoons of Cumin
3 Teaspoons of Paprika

I was going to add some Chilli Powder, but my wife doesn't like it hot, so I thought, let's keep it simple. At 11am, the rub went on and then the ribs went back into the fridge. At 1:15pm, they came out of the fridge and I left them out to get to room temperature, whilst I started up the fire and the ribs went on about 2:10pm.

About 30 minutes later, my wireless probe in the potato started going nuts, beeping and flashing. When I got to the BBQ, the ribs looked like they were cooked already. I don't know what my cook temperature is, as I don't have a rangehood temperature gauge yet, but I'm guessing it was hot. I then foiled up the ribs and spritzed them with lots of apple cider vinegar. My wife had a candy thermometer that went up to 300 F, so I tried it on the Smokey Joe and it said about 220F (~104 C), which isn't that hot I thought. At 3:35pm and a temp of 235F (~113C), I spritzed the ribs again.

At 4pm and a temp of 260F (~126C), I spritzed again. At 4:20pm, I took the ribs off to rest.

Unfortunately, when it came time to eat them, they were a little burnt. Okay ... a lot burnt. There were some bits of meat under all the charcoal that tasted alright, but mostly burnt and so my wife didn't like them at all.

Ribs fail.

Cook 10 - Fillet Steaks
8th March, 2015 07:58 PM by BBQ Phil
After getting home around 3pm from Seaworld, I decided to fire up the Smokey Joe and do a rather quick cook (~2 hours) on a couple of fillet steaks that I dry rubbed the day before. I think I'm really getting the flavours of my dry rub down pat, as this both went on the Pork Butt from yesterday and the steaks today. Versatile !

The pit was on at 3:30pm and by 4pm, the steaks and veggies (potatoes, onion) were on. At 4:30pm, the steaks reached the internal temperature of 80C, so I wrapped them in alfoil. The temperature then went up to 100C at which (5:15pm) I closed the vents and about 15 minutes later, took the meat off to rest for at least 30 minutes.

Once again, I had cooked some nice pieces of meat, but not long enough for it to start breaking down. I was really tired after our day at Seaworld, so I just wanted to do something quick and that's why I didn't leave the meat on there longer. Still, it was tasty and everything was gobbled down at dinner time.

Cook 9 - Pork Shoulder aka Pork Butt
7th March, 2015 06:50 PM by BBQ Phil
Have I mentioned how awesome my wife is ? She did a small grocery shop on Friday and picked up a Pork Shoulder for me to turn into pulled pork and a couple of thick steaks to do on Sunday.

The Pork Shoulder aka Pork Butt was to be turned into pulled pork, so that when we go to Seaworld on Sunday, we'll have something to eat, instead of paying their high prices.

As I didn't have a deadline for this timeline (ie. not for dinner), I decided at 12:30pm to get the fire started I used about 16 briquettes and put another 6 as the outer wall inside the Smokey Joe, hoping that'll give me a longer cook time. I really had no idea how long I would be cooking for, I guessed somewhere between 4-6 hours. The pork butt only got rubbed at 11am, as I didn't know my wife's plan until then and by 1pm, the butt was on the grill at 13C internal temperature.

At about 3pm, 2 hours later, the pork's internal temperature had reached 79C, so I wrapped it in alfoil and half closed the top vents. At 3:40pm, it's internal temperature was 97C and at that point, I read an article, which said anything over 82C and it can be pulled. Don't do it hotter than that, or it'll dry out.
"Once the meat reaches an internal temperature around 180 degrees F (82C) to 190 degrees F (87C), it is ready to be pulled."
So, at 4pm, I took it off the grill and rested it. Unfortunately, I don't think I should have listened to that article, main reason being, the pork was cooked, but hardly any of it could be pulled. Only the meat directly under the top fat could be partially pulled.

So, it turned out to have a nice smoke ring, great flavour from the rub but didn't pull. Oh well, better luck next time.

Cook 8 - Sweet Chicken with Lemon
1st March, 2015 06:28 PM by BBQ Phil
This afternoon I got my son to help out with the spice rub. For this one, I wanted to go a little sweeter, so we used:-

2 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon of Salt
1 Tablespoon of Black Pepper
3 Teaspoons of Paprika
1 Teaspoon of Cumin

I thought I'd dial back the cumin as 3 teaspoons was a little overpowering in my meat rub. I'll have to try 2 teaspoons next time, as one just didn't really give it anything.

Anyway, as I said I got my son to make the rub and he got it everywhere. All over the floor, the bench and all over his hands. It was kinda of annoying but also pretty funny and a great way of getting my son involved. He also got to tell mummy, that he made the spice rub, which he was proud of.

Another thing I wanted to do was lay it on thick on the chicken's breasts and get a nice bark going. My wife watches cooking shows and one of them said to put a lemon up the butt of the chicken when being cooked. So we tried that, however, it only imparted some of the lemon skin flavour, so those bits of chicken didn't turn out the tastiest.

The bark was great but my wife said it didn't seem as smokey as last week. I'm guessing my hickory pellets are losing some of their smokey-ness. Time to get some more.

Cook 7 - Porterhouse Steak
1st March, 2015 12:00 PM by BBQ Phil
My wife knows I love smoking meats and when she went shopping the other day, she managed to pick up a 4-5cm $20 Porterhouse Steak for just $8. Bargain ... now what shall I do with it. The night before I made up a spice rub that consisted of Salt and Pepper, Brown Sugar, Cumin, Paprika and Garlic Salt. I might have used a little too much cumin, as that was definitely an overpowering smell from the meat, Anyway, I Glad wrapped it and set it aside in the fridge,

I got up early on Sunday at 8am, started the BBQ and by 8:30am I had the meat on indirect heat with a few other goodies (potatoes, carrots). At around 10am, I took the meat off the BBQ and wrapped it in alfoil and put it back on. At 11am, I took it off to rest and it turned out my wife had organised her parents in laws to come around and help hedge the back trees. So, after helping out with that, it was around lunchtime, so I said, who wants some sandwiches ?

It was go-ooo-ood. The meat had great elasticity to it and tasted great. Might have been a little heavy on the salt, but got no complains from the impromptu worker bees :)

Cook 6 - Hickory Pellet Smoked Chicken
22nd February, 2015 06:54 PM by BBQ Phil
It's been raining heavy all weekend but Sunday was looking to be a 10% chance of rain. Good enough for me, so I made up a slightly tweaked spice rub. This time I toned back the oregano, added ginger powder and used Garlic Salt instead of Salt. I did this because I was out of Garlic powder. To me, I thought the rub was nice. It didn't get in the way of the flavour of the chicken and gave the skin a nice bark. My wife wasn't as impressed. She called it bland and said it didn't really add much to it. She preferred last week's rub. I'm guessing toning back the oregano, also toned back the flavour for her.

The only change to this cook, I used the Hickory Pellets in my smoke box. The smoke box only has one (1) hole in it and I was wondering if that was enough to impart any of it's flavour. During the cook, there was definitely a mild hickory smell to the smoke coming out of the weber. As to whether it did anything to the chicken, if it did, it was really mild and most likely helped to mask the charcoal briquette flavour. At the end, only about 1/3 of the pellets had broken down/had a black look to them. I figured, I'll use them again next cook and see what happens.

It's all about trial and error (less trial than error hopefully) in the BBQ world. It's also fun to try new things. I think I'll use some honey or sugar in my next rub to add some sweetness. The only bad thing that happened during the cook, I took the veggies off too early and the larger potatoes weren't cooked all the way through. The small ones were awesome though; cooked with my garlic and fresh rosemary butter. Anyway, I'll know better next time.

Cook 5 - Dry Rubbed Smoked Chicken
15th February, 2015 06:39 PM by BBQ Phil
I had a bunch of major goals for my cook today. Number 1, it was to be cooked by indirect heat not over the coals in alfoil as my previous cooks have been. Number 2, I used a dry rub on the chicken. Number 3, I monitored the temperature of the inside of the chicken from the start, rather than using a potato to gauge the heat.

I think I'll have to build my own temperature gauge for the hot plate as it really is quite different from the middle of your food. I've got a spare Arduino, just need to get a thermostat and temperature probe capable of handling very high temperatures. Anyway, more on that next time.

I smoked the chicken for about 1.5 hours, flipping it at the 45 minute mark. Then when the probe was spot on with it's internal temperature of 83°C, I moved the chicken over to the coals side, so I could help brown up the skin some more. The olive oil and dry rub really helped to give the chicken a nice, crispy skin. And yes, my wife approved.

The dry rub consisted of:-
  •   1 Tablespoon of Iodised Salt
  •   1 Tablespoon of Ground Pepper
  •   3 Teaspoons of Paprika
  •   3 Teaspoons of Oregano

From the smell of the dry rub, I was a little worried the pepper might overpower the flavour, however, it didn't -- it was just right. I didn't do much to the vegies, except used my own garlic butter that I fried up in a pan prior to wrapping them in alfoil. I grabbed a handful of Serrano chillies from the backyard and put them on towards the finale of the cook. They ended up like little roasted capsicums that were packed with heat, so all and all, a nice addition.

Cook 4 - Vintage Smokehouse Chicken
8th February, 2015 06:50 PM by BBQ Phil
Yep it's my second cook this weekend; told you I was hooked. Anyway, not beef, this time another whole chook. I'm getting to be a bit of an expert with the potatoes and onion. Though truth be told, you can't really go wrong with a little bit of garlic butter, salt & pepper and wrapped in alfoil.

For the chicken this time, I marinaded it with McCormick's Vintage Smokehouse BBQ Sauce and alfoiled it. I had a bit of drama during the flipping of the chicken. My son was helping me (he likes to take the lid off) and when he did, some smoke came out and freaked him out, which in turned then freaked me out thinking he'd just burnt himself and I knocked the BBQ slightly and lost some of the sauce on the ground. I also lost about 10°C in heat during this incident, which never recovered.

Still, the bird turned out alright, with a slight hint of the marinaded sauce. The skin of the chicken had that rubbery texture, most likely from the alfoil cooking, so my next chicken I'll be looking to cook it slightly different.

Cook 3 - Rosemary Rump, Potatoes and Onion
7th February, 2015 06:38 PM by BBQ Phil
My wife was kind enough to buy me a nice hunk of Rump Roast Beef to BBQ. Once again, not being an expert on how to actually cook it, I grabbed some fresh rosemary from the garden and dressed the meat in a basic seasoning of oil, salt and pepper.

After letting that set in for a couple of hours, I wrapped it in alfoil, along with some potatoes with garlic butter (can't beat that garlic butter :) ) and I thought I'd wrap up an onion and see how that turns out. Truth be told, it turned out awesome along with everything else.

Great juicy meat with a nice rosemary taste that wasn't overpowering the subtle smokey-ness. The potatoes were awesome as always and actually got a good comment from my wife who said she really enjoyed. Fluffy goodness.

We had a special guest with us today on this cook ... Billington, my son's school bear, was visiting at our house on the weekend and so he got in on the action too.

Cook 2 - Chicken, Corn and Potato
1st February, 2015 03:05 PM by BBQ Phil
So, for my second cook I thought I'd do some corn. I'd bought some corn and it wasn't the best quality, but I figured I'd see what happened. I grabbed them and some potatoes, covering them in garlic butter and salt & pepper.

As I was doing this, my wife said she had a whole chicken she didn't get around to steaming, so she was going to throw it out. I said hell no, I'm smoking that chook. I didn't really know what to do with it, so I just gave it the same garlic butter treatment as the corn and sliced up a lemon and wrapped it in alfoil.

Going by the wireless temperature monitor, it said 83°C was the optimal temperature for Chicken. The BBQ iPhone app I was using called my BBQ timer, said I needed to do 160-170°C for 1 hour. I got the Smokey Joe up to around 105°C-108°C and ended up cooking the bird for 2 hours.

I took the corn and potatoes off after about an hour and they were the juiciest corn and fluffiest potatoes I've ever tasted, with the extra smokey flavour profile. Success.

After 1 hour, I also flipped the chook. At the 2 hour mark, I asked my wife to check it out, as she is the resident Chicken expert in our household. She said, "You've shredded it !" Yeah but do you reckon it's cooked and she was like absolutely, it's all just going to fall off the bone. We'll have that for dinner.

Boy this chicken tasted goooooood. So, juicy and moist and it was indeed shredded. I was on a bit of an endorphin high for the next hour or so. I successfully smoked a whole chicken and it was awesome. Can't wait for cook number 3 now.

Cook 1 - Australia Day
26th January, 2015 04:25 PM by BBQ Phil
This year Australia was being hosted at our house. There was the threat of rain, so as we have a big undercover deck, it was a no-brainer.

Unfortunately, I lost my man card a few years back when my 6 burner BBQ fell apart due to rust and was reduced to using one of those camper butane portable gas cookers. They aren't that bad to use and I have a twin one.

I proceeded to cook up a butt load of meat from steaks, to burgers, to sausages and kevaps. It took awhile (my wife wasn't impressed, but the guests seemed okay with it).

Anyway, it turned out to be a super sunny and hot day and I had prepped the Smokey Joe to cook up my JCBs (Jalapeño, Cheese and Bacon) also known as Jalapeño Poppers or Atomic Buffalo Turds in the good ole USA.

As it was my first cook with the Smokey Joe and a Charcoal BBQ for that matter, I stuffed up the initial setup. By this I mean, I had watched a video saying the heat beads can be reused, so as my dad had given me a BBQ with a layer of beads with a little bit of ash on them, I decided to use those.

I used the Chimney starter to get the BBQ going and then about 20 minutes later, the temp dropped dramatically (using the wireless temperature probe in a potato). All the beads had ashed away, so I had to start again. I took the JCBs off the grill and when the BBQ was ready again I put them on.

Now the combination of drinks and sore feet from having been at the other BBQ grilling away, I sort of neglected the JCBs, to the point where they got burnt on the bottom.

Still, I learnt a bit from that cook and how to handle the BBQ including pre and post cleaning.

More BBQ Supplies
24th January, 2015 12:22 PM by BBQ Phil
Just a quick duck into Masters to pick up a good scrubber brush for the BBQ (update: turns out it was crap as it fell apart on first use). I also picked up that Weber oven glove as it was on special for $13. I think it's usually around $50, so what a bargain.
BBQ Supplies
12th January, 2015 02:17 PM by BBQ Phil
Today I went to Masters and got some BBQ supplies. I got this really nice (and cheap) Chimney Starter, as well as some firestarters, lighter and smoker box that takes pellets or wood chips.

I also ordered online from Kogan a wireless temperature probe for $35. I was going to get the iGrill that talks to your iPhone, however, when I read all the bad reviews about it online, I just decided it wasn't worth and to just start small with the Kogan one.

Wireless Temperature Probe

How it all began ...
5th January, 2015 02:09 PM by BBQ Phil
I was on holidays around at my dad's house watching the NFL Playoffs, when he mentioned to my wife that he was going to throw out this BBQ he had. He didn't really have a use for it, as he had another one anyway.

My wife informed me and when I looked it, it was the Weber Smokey Joe Silver. My eyes lit up and I was like hell yes I'll take it. I then immediately googled "Smokey Joe as smoker" and was pleasantly surprised.

I then decided for my first cook, I wouldn't be too ambition, baby steps and all that. So, thinking either corn or chicken at this stage.