Where do beef short ribs come from, what do they taste like and how should you cook them? Short ribs come from the beef chuck portion and not the rib portion. They are the five short ribs from the chuck section that are too small to be used for good steaks. The meat in between these bones is from muscle that is used heavily, and therefore has less tenderness but much more flavor. Since short ribs come from the area between the chuck and rib, they combine characteristics of both cuts. Short ribs get the rich marbling of rib steaks with the deep beefy flavor of chuck roast. Traditionally, beef short ribs are braised (A combination of dry and moist cooking methods where you sear the meat and then bake the meat in a liquid), or smoked low-and-slow till the internal temperature reaches 200º - 205ºF.
Short Rib information courtesy of Lake Geneva Country Meats website.
Trim off the fat cap, membrane and silver skin from the top side of the short ribs. Rub all sides of the ribs with Roasted Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Pete's Western Rub which can be found on page 169 of my cookbook - "The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook". Wrap the seasoned short ribs in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat your wood pellet smoker grill to 225ºF using 100% hard wood CookinPellets.com Premium Perfect Mix wood pellets. Smoke the beef short ribs for 3 hours at 225ºF before bumping the pit temperature to 250ºF. To help prevent your food from sticking to the grill grates be sure to use one or more Teflon grill mat. Continue smoking the short ribs at 250ºF for approximately another 3½ hours until the internal temperature of the ribs reach 200º - 205ºF. The short ribs should be tender and almost falling off the bone. Wrap the ribs in heavy duty foil and rest them for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Smoked Tri Tip Roast
For many decades, Tri Tip Roasts were virtually unknown outside the Central Valley of California. Even today, many of you can't find Tri Tip Roasts and/or your butcher or local grocery store meat cutter doesn't really know what a Tri Tip Roast is. Since I live South of Sacramento I've known about Tri Tips for decades. In the old days you could get a Tri Tip Roast for less than $3 a pound but these days you're lucky to find one for less than $7 or $8 a pound - A Prime Tri Tip Roast at Costco runs closer to $10 a pound. Why? Because the secret is out and people have learned just how great this cut of beef really is and the demand for Tri Tips have soared.
I prefer buying cryovac peeled Tri Tip Roasts in bulk from Costco or Cash & Carry. This allows me to save $2 to $3 a pound per roast. Peeled Tri Tips have the fat cap already removed. Piece count varies by cryovac bag. I like to trim each Tri Tip Roast of any excess fat and silver skin before vacuum sealing and freezing.
Rubbed both sides of a Tri Tip roast with Roasted Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and my Pete's Western Rub which can be found on page 169 of my cookbook - "The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook". Wrapped the seasoned Tri Tip roast in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.
Preheated my Green Mountain Grills WiFi Controlled Davy Crockett Portable Wood Pellet Grill to 235ºF using 100% hard wood CookinPellets.com Premium Perfect Mix wood pellets which is comprised of Hickory, Cherry, Hard Maple, and Apple pellets. The Davy Crockett is perfect for smaller meals, for on the road in our RV and for two people.
Smoked the Tri Tip Roast for approximately 2 hours at 235ºF until the internal temperature at the thickest part of the roast reached 145ºF. Rested the roast loosely under a foil tent for 15 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain(s). As you can see from the photos, 145ºF for us produces a nice medium rare output. For rarer results, pull the roast at 135ºF. Served with a side of potato salad and fried asparagus.
Times are for planning purposes only - always cook to internal temperatures unless you're one of those gifted cooks that can tell when a piece is ready to your specs by pocking it with your finger. Personally, I prefer to test the internal temperature using an instant read digital thermometer.
Smoked Chicken Thighs
It's hard to beat the delicious flavor profiles provided by Smoked Chicken Thighs. The combination of the seasonings and smoke from the 100% hard wood CookinPellets.com Premium Perfect Mix pellets will dazzle your taste buds. To ensure that you always achieve moist results make sure that you pick up bone-in skin-on chicken thighs. I noticed at Costco that they now have their own brand of chickens and chicken parts. At least here, in Northern California, Costco used to carry Foster Farms fresh chicken. Love Foster Farms cause their processing plant is only 40 miles South of my residence.
I have always been a strong advocate of keeping your wood pellet smoker grill as clean as possible for each and every cook. As such I always replace the heavy duty foil covering my heat shield pan and shop vac out any ashes in the fire pot & interior surfaces of the grill pit. If you've ever smoked/cooked poultry you have found that by the time you're done there is quite a bit of grease/drippings everywhere from all the chicken fat that is melted during the cook. In order to facilitate the cleaning process I am using a heavy duty foil boat to cook the chicken thighs and trap all that grease/drippings. Check out all that grease that would normally collect on your heat shield rather than the foil boat. Besides, all that grease/drippings are ideal for a fantastic chicken gravy.
I like to trim the majority of the excess fat and skin from the bone-in skin-on chicken thighs. I then carefully peel back the skin for direct access to the meat. Rubbed under & on the chicken thigh skin with roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil. Seasoned under & on the chicken thigh skin with McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Seasoning and Pete's Western Rub. You can find the recipe for Pete's Western Rub on page 169 of my cookbook. The Wood Pellet Smoker & Grill Cookbook. Repeat the seasoning process on the back of each thigh. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.
Preheat your wood pellet smoker grill to 180ºF with CookinPellets.com Premium Perfect Mix pellets and smoke the bone-in skin-on seasoned chicken thighs for an hour. After an hour of smoke, bump the pit temp to 400ºF to finish the cook and make the skin crispy. Cook at 400ºF for approximately 45 minutes until the internal temperature of the thigh at it's thickest point reaches 180ºF. Allow the chicken thighs to rest loosely under a foil tent for 10 minutes before serving.
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.