Thursday, July 3, 2014

Foodie Friday: Home Smoking

Welcome to the July 4th Foodie Friday, where great food is always on the menu.
Bandwidth and I are enthusiastic, year-round "smokers." We've smoked our way through pork, beef, fish, vegetables, and even fruit (peaches--sublime, exotic, hearty). 
So when Schiffer Publishing Ltd asked us to review one of their hot new releases, Home Smoking Basics by Maria Sartor, we couldn't wait to get started.

In Chapter 1, you'll learn the basics--equipment, types of wood, and different ways to smoke (how about a wok?).

A peek inside our much-used Weber smoker.

We use a remote temperature probe (see below). It allows you to read the temperature from the comfort of your house, and it has an alarm that alerts you when the temp has deviated from the cooking range. 

We've prepared two entrees today--one beef, one pork. 
First up...

Smoked Short Ribs

If the angels have a smoker in heaven, they surely eat short ribs every chance they get.
There's nothing "short" about these ribs--they are meaty, moist, and fork-tender. When you add smoke, you end up with steak-on-a-stick (er, a bone). You can be proper and use a knife and fork to eat smoked short ribs, but you'll have to resist the impulse to dig in with your fingers.

Smoked Short Ribs

Cooking Time: 5 to 5 1/2 hours
Serving: 1 rib per person (super filling)

What You Need:
2 slabs of whole ribs
Lump charcoal
oak wood chunks

Dry Rub:
1 part kosher salt
1/2 part ground black pepper
1/4 part chili powder
1/4 part onion powder
1/4 part dark brown sugar

Prepare smoker. Use a charcoal chimney starter and ignite the lump charcoal. 15 minutes later, add to smoker, along with your choice of hardwood. Meanwhile, mix dry ingredients and rub onto the ribs. Place ribs in the smoker on the top rack.
Maintain a temperature of 225 to 250 degrees F. in your smoker.
During the last hour of smoking, wrap the ribs in aluminum foil.
Remove from the smoker and let the meat rest.

Our second dish is...

Smoked Pork Chops with a Fresh Pineapple Compote

What You Need:
Smoker and oak wood chunks
charcoal chimney (starter)

 1 can pineapple slices (Note: we used fresh--and they take a good bit longer to cook, so I'm not sure we gained much, flavor or time-wise.)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup water
3 tablespoons grainy mustard
4  (1 1/2" thick) pork chops
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 jar of fruit mustard.

Cut the pineapple into small pieces and bring to a boil in their juice, along with sugar and half of the water. Skim the foam. Simmer for an hour. Pour the pineapple compote into a bowl and cool. Add mustard. Cover and refrigerate (for up to 3 days).
Prepare the smoker. Smoke the pork chops for 3 hours. Remove from the heat. Brush compote juices on each chop. Serve with the pineapple compote.
Super easy and delicious!

 How to describe another food that the angels surely eat?
Tender and succulent, with a just-right balance of sweet and sour. 

A Note from Bandwidth (the biochemist) about the
Chemistry ("Chem Is Try") Of the Cook:

"When grilling or smoking, the actual chemical reaction of burning is oxidation. The most abundant compound in wood is cellulose (C6 H12 06). 

"Sugar + Oxygen + Heat ---> Carbon Dioxide and Water

"But smoke contains well over 100 different compounds, one of which is nitrogen. N combines with air to firm NO2. Nitorgen dioxide is readily absorbed into the surface area of meats. This NO2 absorbs and creates HN)3 (nitric acid) or NO3, which in turn creates sodium nitrite. This final product creates the ever so desirable smoke ring."

Inside the book, you'll find a comprehensive guide to smoking, including some of the best tips we've seen.

Tips for adding flavor.

Thanks to Schiffer Books for providing a copy of the book. (All opinions are my own.)

The Cook's Resources:
*Note: Rattlebridge is not affiliated with any links.
I hope everyone has a fabulous July 4th! 
Before let you go, I wanted to share a gorgeous Independence Day tree that my friend Judy Cox made for her office. 
 So creative and festive. I've got to have a July 4th tree next year!

Are you contributing a recipe to this week's Foodie Friday?
 If so, locate the blue Inlinkz icon in the lower, left-hand portion of this post. Click on the icon and follow the directions. After you complete the process, you will see a red "x" beside your name. This allows you to delete your link if you made an error; the red "x" is visible to you only.
You can read a complete guide to this linky party HERE.
If you'd like to share your food photos--or photos of other FF participants on Pinterest, join the Pinterest foodie board, Consuming Passions. Leave a message on the most recent "pin" if you'd like your name added to the list.
Every Friday, we are joined at this big, virtual table--thank you for stopping by today. I'm grateful to all of you who spend your days cooking. I'm grateful to old and new friends who contribute recipes every week. I'm grateful to friends who leave a comment. I'm grateful for the silent folks, because you are brought here by your love of all things culinary.

Foodie Friday Link-Up
Have a Safe, Food-Filled July 4th Weekend!

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  1. Oh yummy! We will be having BBQ tomorrow 4th. of July, for both the USA celeb and to watch the Soccer W.Cup, lol!

    Thank you so much for hosting and I am joining in this great party food, because the post is on my kitchen.

    Happy 4th. of July celebration weekend.

  2. Holy smokes, Michael Lee, I'd love to be around when you and Bandwidth are smoking those yummy foods! Thanks for hosting and Happy 4th to you all. xo
    p.s. I love the patriotic tree!

  3. We love breaking out the smoker, it's a party on its on, everything looks awesome. Hope you and your family have a great 4th of July and thanks so much for the party!
    Miz Helen

  4. Happy 4th to y'all, looks like their book found the perfect home! Oh to taste so many goodies! We are non traditional 4th this year, a friend stopped by with fresh halibut , I could watch him fish from my deck this morn, cleaned even, so I I need a red white and blue recipe for it tomorrow. Wouldn't mind a platter of your ribs while I search for recipes, dang you gots some good eats! Wonderful presentation, you know I love books and food, especially FOOD books! Have a great holiday, thanks for making my mouth water!

  5. Your meats have my mouth watering! It looks like a gorgeous and thorough book, I really appreciated the chemical definition of smoking too~ The 4th tree is fabulous! Have a wonderful holiday weekend full of lots of good food!

  6. It all looks so good my mouth is watering. Have a great 4th.


  7. Your ribs and chops look mouth-watering! What a informative and tasty book to have, it would make a perfect gift for my hubby and for his Big Green Egg! Thanks to Bandy for the chemistry lesson :) Wishing you and everyone at Rattlebridge Farm a Delicious and Happy 4th!

  8. You guys are really serious when it comes to smoking on the grill. Those are gorgeous smoked short ribs. Thanks for hosting and I hope you have a fabulous 4th of July.

  9. Happy Fourth of July!!! I never thought of adding dried herbs and things to the wood chips! Also, I definitely need a new thermometer. I've tried an instant read one, but standing there letting all the smoke out while I check the temperature is not working!

  10. Have a very Happy 4th and thank you for hosting!

  11. Hello cute lady! Thanks for hosting such a great party. Please come and party with us. We would be thrilled! HTTP://LOULOUGIRLS.BLOGSPOT.COM/
    Happy 4th! Lou Lou Girls

  12. I'll have the pork please! Smoking foods is so fun Michael! I actually saved the sage branches my son brought me and look forward to tossing them into the coals soon:@) Happy 4th of July!

  13. We've never smoked short ribs. Who knows why not since they have to be yummy, at least yours look that way. Thanks for allowing us to share all these good eats.

  14. That's a great looking smoker and dinner is no doubt delicious. Smoked meat is a favorite here, but we don't own a smoker. ;-(
    Happy 4th to you and the family!

  15. I can just taste those ribs right now! I don't have a smoker (live in an apt) but my son-in-law is extremely talented in this area. So many wonderful recipes usual! I've been having so many technical/computer issues lately and have missed visiting. Hope you and yours have had a great 4th!


  16. Great tutorial on smoking meat. Your ribs look delicious. Love the scientific explanation of the cooking process but don't ask me to repeat it.

    Love the July 4th tree.

    Thanks for hosting.

  17. Thanks for hosting! Your ribs look fabulous! Hope your having a lovely holiday weekend!