Tip Top Cutting Boards

The average person can lengthen the life of a meat block or cutting board from 5 to 10 years by observing several simple rules:

Keep moisture of any type from standing on the block for long periods of time.

Use a good steel scraper or spatula often when using the board. This will have the tendency to keep the cutting board clean and sanitary. A steel brush will ruff up the finish and should be avoided.

Every so often, depending upon the amount of use, apply an even coat of vegetable oil.

Do not cut fish or fowl on the cutting surface unless you have treated the board as shown in the step above! You must maintain a moisture barrier prior to such use. Always clean the board thoroughly after cutting fish and fowl.

Never cut continuously in the same place of the board.

Never wash your block with harsh detergents of any type.

When finished for the day, and after it has been cleaned, scraping the board will remove 75% of the moisture. After scraping, immediately dry it with a dry towel and your board will be ready for the next cookout!


Keep It Clean

Clean your smoker and grill regularly. Not only the smoker and grill surface need to be cleaned, but also the inside lid and body cavity. Use a wire brush on the grates and a scraper on the solid parts of the equipment. Remove all coals and any liquids which either accumulated or were placed in the smoker or grill. This keeps prior cooking from flavouring the new cookout. Hot & Cold

Wood burning smokers provide the best means of controlling the heat. The firebox is usually large enough to accommodate three sticks of wood. We see little need for more wood. This also allows for maintaining a small fire in the box. Too large a fire then the heat is too great. The best means of controlling the heat is using the adjustment on the air intake located on the fire box. Allow the air outlet to remain open so the meat does not become excessively smoky. You may close it if the fire grows out of control, however we recommend using water on the fire to cool it down and then restricting the air coming into the fire box


We're Barbecuing Now!

If you barbecuing chicken or turkey and find the smoke flavour too intense, here is a simple remedy. Fact - Smoke cannot penetrate water. Therefore if the meat is frequently basted and moisture is maintained on the outside, then the amount of smoke flavouring will ultimately be reduced.


Rainy Day Cooking

Always cook more than you plan on eating that day. It freezes well and tastes great on those cold and rainy days when the weather really is too bad to barbecue. We realise the weather must really be threatening because very little stops the real barbecue chef


Keep Food From Getting all stuck Up

Have you placed the meat on the hot grill only to have it stick and pull apart when trying to turn it over? Simple remedy. Take a small amount of cooking oil and use a bristle brush to coat the surface lightly. This should reduce or eliminate most sticking to the cooking surface. Smoky guarantees the meat will naturally release from the grill when ready - even before the meat burns - you can take your pick!


Start The Fire Early!

In either the smoker or grill, take 20 to 30 charcoal briquettes stacked in the centre and coated with lighter fluid. Then place the logs or wood chunks on top. Light the briquettes and allow the fire to ignite the wood. The fire should be ready in 45 minutes or so, after the petroleum has evaporated. Do not rush the process. Start early


Beans, Coffee, etc.

Don't forget the top of the fire box. It is an excellent location for a pot of beans, coffee pot or any other item needing to be heated or cooked while at the same time be smoke-free. Be careful, the temperature is extremely hot at this location.


Dry Rubbing

When first starting to learn how to smoke, we suggest using a dry rub. As we always say, 'Start Early!'. Apply the dry rub the night before and keep the meat in the refrigerator overnight. Make sure the meat and fat are covered completely. If you want, some of the fat may be removed, but maintain at least 1/4th to 3/8ths inches of fat on the brisket.


Cutting Spare Ribs

Place the cooked ribs with the bone side up, they are easier to see this way! Carefully slice between the bones so as not to remove the meat. It helps greatly if you knife is sharp! There should be a minimum of 13 great tasting ribs for your enjoyment.


When Are My Ribs Done?

Remember when you used to pinch the girls or boys? The same holds true here also. Try to tear or pinch the meat from the bones. It should come off easily. If not, perhaps cook it some more. It is a matter of personal preference. The internal temperature of the ribs on the thick end should be 68C to 75C


Flavouring the Wood

If you are smoking pork or chicken, add a GENEROUS amount of Onion Powder and Garlic Powder to the water in which you are soaking your wood. The wood will absorb the garlic and onion sensations and release the flavours during the smoking. This works a little better than sprinkling the powders on the hot coals.


Cutting Spare Ribs

Place the cooked ribs with the bone side up, they are easier to see this way! Carefully slice between the bones so as not to remove the meat. It helps greatly if you knife is sharp! There should be a minimum of 13 great tasting ribs for your enjoyment.


Country Style Ribs

Country Style Ribs are not ribs at all, they are from the bone-in loin and come from the end of the loin closest to the shoulder of a pig. The meat is very lean, more so than from the spare rib. There is, however bone and fat portions present. Season like spare ribs and cook until the internal temperature is approximately 70C. Do not over cook!


Baby Back Ribs (Loin Ribs)

More expensive than spare ribs and ironically less meat. They average from 650g to 1kg each. The flavour is excellent and the smaller ones are great for grilling. Again, do not over cook!


Marinating the Meat

You will notice many recipes call for marinating the meat from one to 24 hours, or more. To avoid preparing excessive marinade, place the meat in a plastic container with a sellable lid. Periodically turn the container over and expose the other side of the meat to the marinade. The same results may be accomplished by placing the meat and marinade in a plastic bag. However, be careful. Any sharp edges could puncture the bag and 'marinate your refrigerator'.


Remove the Ashes!

Always remove as many of the ashes from you grill or smoker as possible. While the ashes themselves pose no particular problem, the problem comes in when they become moist/damp/wet. When water combines with the ashes, it creates a very corrosive compound capable of eating through most anything. Your equipment will last much longer when properly taken care of


Tenderising the Brisket

The brisket resides in the chest muscle of the cow directly between and behind its front legs. In order to cook this thick overexercised piece of meat to a desired 75C, many hours of slow cooking are required. Due to the dry heat of smoke cooking, wrap the brisket in aluminium foil for 40 to 50 percent of the cooking time. I prefer wrapping after the smoking has been completed. Others recommend wrapping before. Try each and you decide. Either way you should find a more moist and tender brisket awaits you! Note, don't trim the fat which cooks in the up position.


Use of an Instant Read Thermometer

Almost all of our recipes recite an internal temperature of 'something or the other'. Use a instant read thermometer. If you have a smoker or grill which has only a "Warm - Medium - Hot" scale without actual degrees indicated, insert the thermometer into the exhaust outlet and add about 10 degrees to determine the approximate internal cooking temperature. When nearing the completion open the smoker or grill and insert the thermometer into the meat. When the internal temperature is reached, you meal is complete!


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