≡ THE “HITCHIN’ POST” ………………Talk About Anything ≡

≡ THE “HITCHIN’ POST” ………………Talk About Anything ≡

Keep it clean, folks! (…more or less.) sausage making

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by Frank L. Visco
My several years in the word game have learnt me several rules:
  1. Avoid alliteration. Always.
  2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
  3. Avoid clichés like the plague.(They’re old hat.)
  4. Employ the vernacular.
  5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
  7. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
  8. Contractions aren’t necessary.
  9. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
  10. One should never generalize.
  11. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what YOU know.”
  12. Comparisons are as bad as clichés.
  13. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
  14. Profanity sucks.
  15. Be more or less specific.
  16. Understatement is always best.
  17. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
  18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
  19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
  20. The passive voice is to be avoided.
  21. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
  22. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
  23. Who needs rhetorical questions?
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677 thoughts on “≡ THE “HITCHIN’ POST” ………………Talk About Anything ≡

    1. HoooBoooy! …nice. Did you get a good trade-in price for your car when you swapped for it?

      Sounds like you’re having pretty good success with it, too. Is it a pellet burner? …and did it use to be fire-engine red until it sat out in the Arizona sun? Can you turn it down far enough to smoke sausages without rendering the fat? It’ll be tough keeping it below 170 (140 for beef) where you live, at least for now. And… yeah, I’m envious.

  1. Hi Duk! I didn’t have to trade in my car, the SQ36 was a reward from my wife for moving to AZ where we have family. Being a offset BBQ smoker it can’t go low enough to smoke sausage, I still have my PS Seasonings PK100 for bacon, hams, and sausage. Yeah, lot of gear, that’s my hobby. The Meadow Creek SQ36 doesn’t burn pellets, I wanted to stay away from anything that needed electrical hook-up. It’s a hand made unit welded by Quakers in Pennsylvania, made out of 1/4″ plate steel. It’s the real deal, the flavor from real oak, hickory, apple, or pecan wood can’t be beat when it comes to smoking brisket, pork ribs, pork butt, chicken, you name it. Wood is kind of expensive here in AZ, not a lot of hardwood trees growing in the desert. RAY

  2. I had a quick look around, but I don’t see the recipe.
    Anyway, if you smoke at a temperature above 78 oC (or is it 72, anyway 78 is safer), you don’t need to use any cure

    1. But of course – Jeez aging is a pain the brain

      Actually it wasn’t a recipe but a comment Duk made somewhere that I kept
      Here’s our central Texas style brisket recipe, which also works for beef or pork ribs. …pretty simple, actually:
      —Trim the big chunks of fat, but leave plenty to keep the meat moist. (You can always trim it as you eat, but you can’t un-trim it!)
      —simple rub: black pepper, salt, plus a bit of onion and garlic powder. (Don’t baste/mop/do any of those other obscene things that people do to pork ribs. …useless.)
      —“low and slow” cooking, 250 to 300 degF stack temperature. Don’t hurry. (Among other problems, it interferes with beer drinking.)
      —finished indication: internal meat temperature 195 to 200. Lower and it’s still too tough.
      —slice to serve, 1/4 to 1/2″ thick. Serve as-is, or as a sandwich. Do not chop. (Chopped beef is actually leftover trim, sold mainly to tourists.)
      —no sauce, although some folks ask for it on the side. (For God’s sake, never chop brisket and then pour sauce all over it. In Texas, this is considered a felony offense.)
      —serve with dill pickle slices and onion slices (Texas Sweet, although Vidalia or similar will do.)
      —potato salad, pinto beans, slaw often are served with it as side dishes. Popular desserts- – apple or peach cobbler (preferably from the Fredricksburg area).

      There will be a temperature “stall” at 140 to 150 degF IMT. Don’t worry- – it’s always there. No need to worry about a “Texas crutch” (foil wrap) unless you want to. The wrap keeps the steam in, raising the temperature somewhat and cooking the brisket a bit faster, but can make it mushy. I wouldn’t wrap for more than two hours. If you do, pull the foil off and save it for wrapping leftovers. If you leave it on, it collects what would have escaped as steam, holding it in the foil, where it extracts flavor as juices and is lost. …but that’s just my opinion.

      …finished cooking early? Wrap the brisket in butcher paper and keep it warm until needed, up to several hours.

  3. Yeah Badjak, there’s smoking, and then there’s smoking. There are folks like us here who smoke meats at low temps after being cured, that’s what I feel true “smoking” is. There’s a whole other world of folks like the Pitmasters and such who feel they are also smoking stuff on a BBQ smoker such as the one I just got, pictured above. The do stuff like chicken, ribs, brisket, pulled pork butts at 225º- 250º and call it “smoking”. It’s all semantics. I can recall a time back in the days when CW was alive and kickin’ where on another forum I stated that what those folks were doing wasn’t really smoking at all. I quoted Rytec, “if it’s to be smoked, it must be cured”. I became somewhat unpopular real fast, those folks thought they were smokin’ up a storm. Like I said, it’s just semantics, and it’s all good. RAY

  4. I met a guy at Sam’s Club the other day and we started talking about brisket, he does competition BBQ stuff. He said when at home and just wanting to do a brisket for friends and family he’ll smoke the brisket for 3-4 hours, then place it in a tin pan and cover the pan with foil, and toss into a 225º oven so he doesn’t have to stay up all night feeding the fire. He said to put a couple cups of apple juice into the pan and the brisket will cook in it’s own juices with all the rub and stuff, be beautiful at about 203º after 15 hours. Seeing as the brisket needs to rest for a couple of hours after reaching 203º-205º internal temp, might not be a bad way to try if a fella didn’t want to have to stay up all weekend trying to get the job done. RAY

  5. Early Thursday morning I’m going to fire up the SQ36 and get on with smoking a Boston butt for some pulled pork sannys that evening. I figure to go at 250º until the internal temp gets somewhere around 195º-200º, let in rest for a hour wrapped in foil, then pull it. Wednesday afternoon I’ll coat the butt with mustard and apply a dry rub to let it sit in the fridge overnight. I’ve got a bottle of some store-bought-rub, just wondering if anyone has a recipe for making a nice rub from scratch. I remember CW had a dry rub for brisket, ribs, and just about everything else a man could put on a BBQ, darned if I can find where it is. I’m thinking I’ll smoke in hickory wood and spray on a little apple cider every hour or so. Who knows, might turn out edible! RAY

  6. What I usually do (Texas “Barbecue Trail” method) is use mesquite coals (or my electric smoker with mesquite pellets in an Amazin’ smoke generator), cook at 250 degF, and go to a meat temperature of 198 – 203. I have a PID controller that maintains temperature and runs the contraption until IMT is reached, then cuts it off. Some folks advocate using a “Texas crutch” and wrapping the brisket in foil when it hits stall temperature (around 140 degF IMT), which shortens cook time by steaming the meat but costs you a bit in meat texture. …not bad, though.

    Our approach in central Texas is to use salt and pepper and maybe some onion powder and garlic powder as a rub, but no sauce. “It’s about the meat,” we say. I go for ten minutes or so at 100 degF to dry things out, then 145 degF for 2 hours to smoke (penetration is better at low temperatures), then crank it up to 250 for the duration. If you have unenlightened people (probably non-Texans, or those idiots from Food Network), they’ll want sauce. Buy one and save some trouble. Serve it on the side. Don’t bother with mopping or cider or any of that nonsense.

    …and that’s my opinion, so there!

    The old admonition about using cure is good for meats which get smoked but don’t get cooked right away (like we do with sausages). BBQ brisket gets cooked right away, so it’s not necessary. However, if you like corned beef, brine it for a few days and use cure #1. From there, you can either cook it or you can pack spices on it and make pastrami. See our recipe index for some good recipes. I prefer ours, based on “Meathead” Goldwyn’s website and book. Ol’ CW and I made that pastrami recipe at his Utah hideout twice, and loved it. (…sure do miss that guy. He was a good friend, and a real character.)


    1. Well Duk you’ve described what I plan for the brisket – I’ll hold the flat for a pastrami and use the point for brisket “central Texas” style.

  7. Brine
    8 ounces molasses
    2/3 cup pickling salt , use only 1/2 cup if meat is “moisture enhanced”
    2 quarts bottled water
    2 1/2 gal. zip-lok bag
    – – –
    Rub: this makes more than what a usual butt requires
    2 tsp whole cumin seed
    2 tsp whole fennel seed
    2 tsp whole coriander
    2 tablespoon chili powder
    2 tablespoon onion powder
    2 tablespoon paprika, not smoked

    I soaked the butt from Tuesday afternoon until Wednesday evening, then rinsed it, patted it dry, and applied the rub for a overnight nap in the fridge. Up at 4 on Thursday morning I fired up the SQ36 and had a bed of charcoal and hickory ready for a 5:30 smoke at 250º. About one in the afternoon the butt hit the stall at 160º so I wrapped it in foil, raised the smoker temp to 275º, and tossed it back on after another dousing with apple juice. I pulled the butt when the IT hit 202º at 4:30 and placed it into a cooler with some old towels around it for a couple of hours. After pulling I served the crowd the pulled pork on some fresh baked buns with tater salad, cole slaw, Bush’s beans, and Sweet Baby Ray’s on the side for those who wanted it. Everyone raved about the flavor, the men went back for seconds, there wasn’t enough left over to make a burrito. Best pulled pork we ever had. RAY


  8. Here in beautiful Gilbert, AZ it’s not all smoked ribs and porkbutt. Now that we’re getting settled in it appears most of my sausage making and meat smoking gear made the move unscathed. Yesterday I managed to find my Sous Vide appliance and large pot so it was time to whip up a steak dinner. I did a T-bone in the Sous Vide at 129º for a hour and a half and then charred it with the blow torch used for firing up the charcoal in the SQ36. Sous Vide cooks a steak to perfection each and every time, evenly done throughout. Life is good! RAY


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