Smoked Baby Back Ribs
Picked up a 3 rack pack of Swift Baby Back Ribs at Costco a few days ago and we enjoyed one of those racks yesterday. Used to smoke 3 racks of ribs at a time and then vacuum seal and freeze most of the leftover ribs for future meals but I've since changed my mode of operation now that we are sheltering in place due to the virus that's going around. Besides, since there's only the two of us at home, I don't need to be cooking for 8 people. I'm now doing the opposite - I vacuum seal individual racks for future use. Food freshly cooked always tastes better than leftovers anyway.
In order to save on vacuum sealer bags I have started to cut the racks in half. As this cook has proven, it doesn't make any difference in the smoking/cooking process of the ribs if I cook two half of a rack or a full rack.
Served the Smoked Baby Back Ribs with a side of Pinto Beans cooked in my Instant Pot and freshly made Cole Slaw. There are a zillion ways of smoking/cooking ribs and most recipes produce great results ... I say that if it works for you then go for it and enjoy! Right now, I'm smoking my ribs for an hour at 180ºF and then finishing the ribs at 250ºF for another 4+ hours until the internal temperature of the ribs reach 190ºF. Check out the beautiful smoke rink on those ribs!! Maybe I'll smoke/cook my next rack of ribs at 225ºF, 235ºF, 250ºF or the 3-2-1 method, etc. It's all good ...
Preheat your wood pellet smoker grill to 180ºF using CookinPellets.com Premium Perfect Mix wood pellets. Smoke the rack of ribs at 180ºF for an hour before bumping the pit temperature to 250ºF. Finish smoking/cooking the rack of ribs for another 4+ hours until the internal temperature of the ribs reach 190ºF.
Smoked Bone-In Easter Ham
Smoked Bone-In Easter Ham is one of my favorite ways to enjoy fully cooked Hickory smoked hams. It turned out delicious and moist. I've only smoked a fully cooked spiral ham once because it turned out dry due to the spiral cut. The best part of a fully cooked ham is that you don't need to take it to an internal temperature of 160ºF like a ready to cook ham. You only have to take the internal temperature of the fully cooked ham to 130ºF cause it's ready to eat cold or hot. Plus, you get to use the bone for a hearty Navy bean or split pea soup. Maybe even toss it into a simmering pot of pinto beans.
Preheated my MAK 2 Star wood pellet smoker grill to 180ºF using CookinPellets.com Premium Perfect Mix wood pellets. Smoked the Bone-In Easter Ham at 180ºF for 2 hours before bumping the grill temperature to 325ºF. Cooked the ham for about another 2 hours until the internal temperature of the ham reached 130ºF. Rested the ham for 15 minutes before carving it. Times listed above are for planning purposes only - always cook to internal temperatures.
Served the CookinPellets.com Premium Perfect Mix wood pellet smoked Bone-In Easter Ham with a side of Potatoes Au Gratin and Green Bean Casserole. This has always been one of my favorite meals. Makes for some wonderfully delicious left overs.
Trimmed New York Strip Roast
Buying yourself a New York Strip, USDA Choice Beef Top Loin, from Costco and trimming it to your needs is always a great idea. Not only will you have great steaks and a couple of wonderful roasts but you'll also save yourself a good sum of money!
Trimmed off a good chunk of the fat cap and cut the New York Strip Roast into two 2½ pound roasts and ten 1¼ inch thick steaks. You should always keep an appropriate amount of the fat cap around each steak and roast. During these trying times, it never hurts to be frugal while providing custom cuts of meat for your family.
Buying in bulk is also smart concerning whole Pork Loins. At Costco and/or Cash & Carry you can find 10 pound Pork Loins which will provide you with many custom cuts. Ever see the price of center cut Pork Chops? Your local supermarket meat departments or butcher shops get their center cut chops from the loin. They then use and repackage the ends of the loin as Blade and Sirloin End Pork Roasts.
Bottom line, don't be afraid to buy meat in bulk. Not only will you save a lot of $$ but you'll have custom cuts of meat for yourself and your family. You must have a vacuum sealer to preserve/freeze the meat properly. That last thing you want is the meat ruined due to freezer burn. Properly vacuum sealed meat can easily last 6 months in the freezer.
Smoked Bone-In Turkey Breast
Time to clean out some of the frozen items from the freezer in the garage. First up was a 7 lb Bone-In Turkey Breast that I bought last Thanksgiving. It was one of those loss leader items that my local grocery store was selling to get people into the doors. Buy One Get One for Free! Practiced safe defrosting methods and spent a few days defrosting the turkey breast in the refrigerator. Nothing but pure smoked turkey white meat - it doesn't get any better than this.
Hoping to be able to go to Costco tomorrow morning and get some much needed supplies ... If they have anything left on the shelves. I'll keep a positive thought! Some TP and basic staples would be nice.
In the spirit of keeping my cooks as simple as possible I rubbed roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil on and under the skin and seasoned on and under the skin using a combination of Pete's Western Rub and McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Seasoning. You can find the recipe for Pete's Western Rub rub on page 169 of my cookbook. The Wood Pellet Smoker & Grill Cookbook. Wrapped the bone-in turkey breast in plastic wrap and refrigerated for 4 hours.
Preheated my MAK 2 Star wood pellet smoker grill to 180ºF using CookinPellets.com Premium Perfect Mix wood pellets. Smoked the bone-in turkey breast at 180ºF for two hours before bumping the pit temperature to 325ºF. Finished cooking the bone-in turkey breast for approximately another 2 hours until the internal temperature at the thickest part of the breast reached 170ºF. Rested the turkey breast under a loose foil tent for 20 minutes before carving against the grain. The bone-in and the skin of the breast helps greatly in keeping the breast moist. Try smoking a bone-in turkey breast - you won't regret it!
Smoked Rack of Ribs
With the slim pickings at my local grocery store these days due to the panic buying by people I was actually fortunate to find a rack of ribs on the shelf. No butter, beans, rice, pasta, eggs, top roman, tortillas, cheese, heavy cream, canned goods, etc. - let alone toilet paper ... but I did get a rack of ribs! Unfortunately, times have changed and not for the better right now. I do know that things will get back to normal but don't know when. Drove to Costco a couple of days ago only to find a long line along the whole side of the building cause they're only allowing a certain amount of people in the store at a time. Yes we're sheltering in place and practicing the 6 foot separation when we venture out about once a week for a food run. Right now, it is what it is!!
For this cook, I chose to simplify everything. No, ribs are not difficult to smoke/cook to perfection. Removed the membrane from the back of the ribs. Rubbed roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil on both sides of the rack of ribs and seasoned both sides using Pete's Western Rub. You can find the recipe for this rub on page 169 of my cookbook. The Wood Pellet Smoker & Grill Cookbook. Wrapped the rack in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.
Preheated my MAK 2 Star wood pellet smoker grill to 180ºF using CookinPellets.com Premium Perfect Mix wood pellets. Smoked the rack of ribs at 180ºF for an hour before bumping the pit temperature to 250ºF. Finished smoking the rack of ribs for another 4 hours until the internal temperature of the ribs reached 190ºF ... The ribs turned out fantastic!