A couple nights ago we had some friends over to our “house” for the evening, so I decided to smoke some ribs. After visiting Uncle Billy’s in Austin and having just about the best dry ribs I have ever eaten, I came up with a rub that I’ve been playing around with. It’s not a very sophisticated process, I just go through the spice bin and grab the stuff that I think would sound good. I really need to look up what others are doing and spend some time looking for spices at the store, but until then this has been working.
We have an el-cheapo Brinkman smoker that I picked up from Home Depot last summer for use at home and have been carting around. It’s light weight and I can store some of the supplies inside it so it’s not a huge pain, but I am starting to get dissatisified with how it cooks. The problem is that there’s no dampers at all so you can’t control the temperature very well, and the way the lid sits on top LOTS of smoke escapes. I know you need some to travel out, but you also want to be able to control how much.
So now we need to find a new smoker. We have a cheaply-built-but-not-as-cheap-as-it-should-have-been-to-buy Coleman propane stove/grill combo and for just charring up some chicken or even steaks it works slightly worse than OK as long as you watch it and move the meat around to avoid or take advantage of the hot spots. I like the idea of a grill/stove combo though, and if I were to do it again I would get the one made by Camp Chef and try my luck with that one. My biggest complaint about the Coleman is that the gas control valves/dials have about 4 full turns in them, but the difference between off and full takes only about 1/16 of one turn. I think they design it that way on purpose so everyone has to buy a lot of disposable Coleman propane bottles.
I’d like to find a smoker that can also be used as a charcoal grill when I want to put in the effort to make things taste better. Lately I have been eying the Old Smokey 14-inch. It’s not a true smoker, but I wonder if I can’t make it work. I don’t plan on smoking sausage, just ribs mostly and maybe even a brisket one of these days. It’s small, light and durable and kind of an iconic BBQ, and the price is right for sure. I just don’t know if I’ll end up having buyers remorse again, and wish I would have gone for something like the Weber Smokey Mountain instead. I’ll keep thinking about it I guess, till I make up my mind. If any ya’ll (getting ready for Texas) have any suggestions I’d love to hear them. Preferably I’d like charcoal fired and something that works both as a grill or a smoker, although smoker only would be acceptable. Electric won’t work since we will be in places with no power, and propane is okay but I’d really have to like the size and quality of it since we already have a propane grill and I really prefer the flavor from charcoal much more.
If you’re curious about what I use for the rub, here is a list of ingredients:
- Brown sugar
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Chili powder
- Garlic salt
- Ground black pepper
I don’t measure the amounts so you’ll have to play with that, but don’t go dumping equal parts of everything. I can say there’s more brown sugar than any of the other things since it clumps up easily and I think it helps to keep the bitter edge off the taste. Maybe next time I’ll measure them out (prolly not, don’t hold your breath)