Everyday Barbecue: At Home with America's Favorite Pitmaster

Everyday Barbecue: At Home with America's Favorite Pitmaster

by Myron Mixon, Kelly Alexander

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Overview

“Barbecue is a simple food. Don’t mess it up.”
 
As the winningest man in barbecue, a New York Times bestselling cookbook author, and a judge on the hit show BBQ Pitmasters on Discovery’s Destination America, Myron Mixon knows more about smoking meat than any man alive. And now he’s on a mission to prove to home cooks everywhere that they can make great barbecue any day of the week—in the comfort of their own backyard or kitchen, no matter their skill level. Across the country at competitions and in his Pride & Joy Bar-B-Que restaurants, Mixon has proven that no other pitmaster’s food can touch his when he’s behind a smoker. But he doesn’t need fancy equipment to do it: He can cook delicious barbecue with any grill, smoker, or oven, even on the busiest weeknight, and you’ll be able to, too, with the nearly 150 recipes in Everyday Barbecue. Armed with Mixon’s advice and tips, you’ll discover that barbecue isn’t just for the Fourth of July and Labor Day; it’s for any day you feel like cooking it. So fire up your grill and get ready to cook incredible barbecue favorites such as Ribs the Easy Way, Myron’s Dr Pepper Can Chicken, and The King Rib sandwich and adventurous backyard fare like Pork Belly Sliders and Barbecue-Fried Baby Backs, plus leftover inspirations, delectable deserts, and even some drunken recipes!

In Everyday Barbecue, you will find some seriously finger-lickin’ good barbecue recipes, including:
 
• The Essentials: Turning any backyard grill into a smoker—Brisket the Easy Way, Ribs the Easy Way, The Only Barbecue Sauce You Need
• Burgers and Sandwiches: Classic Hickory Smoked Barbecue Burger, The King Rib, Barbecue Pork Belly Sliders, Brisket Cheesesteaks, Barbecued Veggie Sandwiches
• Smoked and Grilled: Perfect Grilled Rib Eyes, Whole Roasted Turkey with Bourbon Gravy, Myron’s Dr Pepper Can Chicken
• Barbecue-Fried: Yes, first you smoke it, then you fry it—Baby Backs, Chicken Lollipops, Cap’n Crunch Chicken Tenders
• Swimmers: Finger-Lickin’ Barbecue Shrimp-and-Cheese Grits, Smoky Catfish Tacos
• Drunken Recipes: Bourbon Brown Sugar Chicken, Whiskey Grilled Shrimp
• Barbecue Brunch: Pitmaster’s Smoked Eggs Benedict with Pulled Pork Cakes, Backyard Bacon
• Plus, Salads and Sides, delectable Desserts, and Leftover inspirations! Baby Back Mac and Cheese, Tinga-Style Barbecue Tacos, Chocolate Cake on the Grill, and Grilled Skillet Apple Pie
 
Loaded with nearly 150 recipes and mouthwatering photographs throughout, Everyday Barbecue serves up barbecue’s greatest hits (and more) in a fast, efficient way that you’ve never seen before.

Praise for Everyday Barbecue
 
“Mixon does an admirable job of showing grillers, smokers, and barbecuers how they can turn labor and time-intensive grilling and barbecue projects into weekday meals with a minimum of fuss in this to-the-point collection of 150 smoke-centered recipes. . . . It’s his ingenious use of leftovers that will make readers take notice as he offers suggestions for mountains of leftover brisket, pulled pork, or chicken. This approach—rather than a multitude of variations on ribs, pulled pork and a bevy of sauces—sets the book apart and make it a keeper.”Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345543646
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/07/2013
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 163,119
Product dimensions: 7.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Myron Mixon is the star of Destination America’s BBQ Pitmasters. He has appeared on the Today show, Good Morning America, Conan, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and QVC.
 
Kelly Alexander is a former editor at Food & Wine and Saveur magazines and co-author of Smokin’ with Myron Mixon. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Gourmet, and Newsweek, among other publications. She also teaches food writing at Duke University, and is a graduate of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.

Read an Excerpt

9780345543646|excerpt

Mixon / EVERYDAY BARBECUE

one

HOW IT’S DONE



Remember this, folks: My job here in this book is to show you that barbecue is food that you can enjoy every day. I’m going to break it down and make it as easy as possible for you to make at home.

Six different cooking methods work for the recipes in this book:

1. Smoking on a smoker

2. Smoking on a charcoal grill

3. Smoking on a gas grill

4. Grilling on a charcoal grill

5. Grilling on a gas grill

6. Using an oven

Now I don’t want to confuse you with too much information up front. So what I’m going to do is offer up a general primer right here, right now, and give you all the steps you need to adapt just about any recipe in this book to whichever your preferred cooking method may be. And along the way if there’s additional information you need about cooking methods, I’ll give it to you then and there.

How to Ready a Charcoal Grill

Spread coals on the bottom of the grill.

Using lighter fluid: Pour the lighter fluid on the coals as directed in the instructions, and move away from the grill before you strike the match.

With a chimney starter: These are the very popular 6-­ to 8-­inch-­wide cylindrical canisters with handles attached that make good fire starters. To light charcoal (or wood, either way), place a few sheets of newspaper or some lighter-­fluid-­touched charcoals in the bottom. Place the chimney on the charcoal grate, touch a lit match to the newspaper or charcoals, and the coals will begin to blaze. When most of the coals are white-­hot, lift the chimney and dump out the coals into the base of the grill.

Spread the hot coals on the bottom of the grill. It may take up to 30 minutes to get to 500°F (for high heat). Use the hand-­pass test to determine the heat: For medium-­high heat, rake the coals into a slightly thinner layer and let them burn 5 to 10 minutes longer, so your hand can linger over the coals comfortably for about 5 seconds (count to 5 slowly: one-­one-thousand, two-­one-­thousand, etc.); if you can make it to five without having to pull your hand away, the temperature is right. For medium heat, spread the coals even wider along the bottom of the grill and do the hand-­pass test for 7 to 8 seconds. For medium-­low heat, let the coals burn for 10 to 15 minutes longer than you did for medium-­high. You should be able to hold your hand six or so inches above the hot coals for 10 seconds.

The last thing to do before laying your meat on the grill: Make sure your grill grate is clean. The kettle itself can be smoke-­and-­spice seasoned, a condition that imparts another layer of flavor onto your meat, but you need for that actual grate to be pretty free of encrusted leftovers. When the grill is heating and you’ve already lit the coals, it’s in its “preheated” state: First, brush the grate with a long-­handled wire brush. Then use a spatula to scrape off any pieces of debris. Now oil the grates, and there are two methods that work for me. In a hurry: Using heavy-­duty potholders, carefully remove the cleaned grate from the grill and spray it with nonstick cooking spray or some olive oil from one of those misting canisters. A little more time: Leaving the grate on the grill, take a couple of sheets of folded-­over paper towels, dip them in about ¼ cup vegetable oil to coat, and, grasping the oil-­soaked paper towels with tongs, rub them up and down the bars of the hot grate.

How to Ready a Gas Grill

Set all burner dials on high. Preheat until the temperature reaches 500°F. This usually takes 10 to 15 minutes. For medium-­high, preheat the grill to high, then turn the burner dials down to medium-­high. The temperature should read about 400°F. For medium, preheat the grill to high, then turn the burner dials to medium. The temperature should read about 350°F. For medium-­low, preheat the grill to high, then turn the dials down to medium-­low. The temperature should read about 325°F.

How to Prepare a Smoker for Smoking

Smokers are made for smoking, but there is a wide range of options from the charcoal-­burning “bullet”-style smokers to the ceramic Big Green Egg. In any of these you need to choose which wood you’ll smoke, and I recommend fruit woods because they’re mild in flavor, and high in sap, and generally have fewer impurities in them; you can choose from whatever is easiest to find near you: apple, cherry, grape, and my personal favorite, peach. Soak your wood chips an hour before you plan to light your smoker. Start your charcoal in a charcoal chimney as described above. Place the coals in the bottom third of the smoker (the firebox). Scatter the pre-­soaked wood chips on the coals. What I want you to do that you may not already know about is to put a pan of water in the bottom of your smoker. A water pan is not a requirement to cook barbecue; it’s a stylistic touch that I like. I like it because it has a significant benefit: The water pan creates a steamy water bath inside the smoker that helps maintain the meat’s moisture, which is found naturally in its marbling (or fat). The water helps maintain a moist juicy texture in the meat and prevent it from drying out. To set up a water pan, simply fill a medium heavy-­bottomed pan (no bigger than a 13 by 9-­inch lasagna pan) about halfway with water and place it in the bottom of your smoker. The grill racks (there are usually two) fit above the water pan. Close the lid and monitor the fire until it reaches your desired temperature.

How to Prepare a Kettle or Other Charcoal Grill for Smoking

Take about a cup of your favorite wood chips (I like peach wood, being from Georgia) and soak them in enough water to cover them for at least an hour or, even better, overnight. When you’re ready to cook, drain the wood chips. Wrap them in aluminum foil and seal the edges; the best description I’ve seen of this technique is to make it like a “burrito”—­a packet of soaked and drained wood chips. Using a long wooden skewer or a sharp-­tined fork, poke several holes in the top of the packet. Set the packet aside. Then prepare the grill: On a standard kettle grill, bank your charcoal to one side, leaving a cold area for the meat to be placed (an “indirect” heat area, where the meat is not directly over the flame but is still being cooked by it). Then place that packet of wood chips underneath the charcoal. Place the lid on the kettle and control the level of the heat with the kettle grill’s vents, opening them up more to cool the smoker and closing them to raise it.

How to Prepare a Gas Grill for Smoking

Most models of gas grills have either two or three burners that can be controlled individually. Here’s what you do: Take about a cup of your favorite wood chips (I like peach wood, as I mentioned above) and soak them in enough water to cover them for at least an hour or, even better, overnight. When you’re ready to cook, drain the wood chips. Wrap them in aluminum foil and seal the edges; the best description I’ve seen of this technique is to make it like a “burrito”—­a packet of soaked and drained wood chips. Using a long wooden skewer or a sharp-­tined fork, poke several holes in the top of the packet. Set the packet aside. On a two-­burner gas grill, light only one side; on a three-­burner unit, light the two outside burners and leave the middle one cold. Place that packet of wood chips on the lit section (or sections). The flame will smolder the wet chips, producing smoke to cook and flavor your meat. Then you will place your meat on the unlit section of the gas grill and cook it under indirect heat. That’s it. Don’t worry about the grill’s side vents and making them closed airtight; do the best you can to shut them, but don’t worry; none of my smokers are what you’d call “airtight” either. And I win money with my food all the time.

Indirect Versus Direct Heat

You will hear me talking about “indirect” and “direct” heat throughout this book. Direct heat is simple: The food is cooked directly over the heat source. Food is cooked fast and hot—­like my Perfect Grilled Rib Eyes (page 83) or my Mexican-­Style Grilled Corn (page 245). Indirect heat means the heat source is a bit removed from the food. If the left burner is lit on your gas grill and you’re cooking Myron’s Dr Pepper Can Chicken (page 88) on the right side of the grill, that’s cooking with indirect heat. In that case, we’re not creating smoke, but if we were, we’d be smoking. Here’s the important difference: We’re not always smoking when we’re using indirect heat, but we’re always using indirect heat when we’re smoking. Got it?

How to use a Kettle or Other Charcoal Grill for Direct-­Heat Grilling

In other words, you’re using high heat to cook thin (or thinnish) pieces of meat like steaks and chicken breasts, kebabs and veggies, and the grilled sandwiches and French toast in this book.

Regulating the heat is particularly important with direct grilling: Too hot and you’ll char your food, too cool and you won’t cook it at all. Real barbecue guys use the “hand-­pass” test: Hold your hand about six inches or so over the coals. Count to three slowly (one-­one-thousand, two-­one-­thousand), and if you can make it without having to pull your hand away, the temperature is about right for the kind of fast, hot cooking you’re about to do (you’re looking for about 500°F here). Direct grilling almost never requires you to close the grill, so you can stand right by your steaks and make sure they don’t, God forbid, catch on fire.

How to use a Kettle or Other Charcoal Grill for Indirect-­Heat Cooking

Even if you don’t plan to smoke something, if you’re making something large on the grill—­a whole chicken, say, or a pork roast—­you sure can’t cook it at full fiery blast. What you’re going to do is follow the steps above to light and prepare your grill down through oiling the grate. Then what you’re going to do is bank the heated coals on either side of the grill and leave the bottom of the center of the grill empty. Next you’re going to arrange the food in that center cool spot, above but between the hot coals. Then you’re going to close the grill and control the temperature using the vents. The temperature you’re aiming for in indirect grilling is about 350°F.

Regulating the Heat in Any Smoker or Grill

As I’ve said time and time again, cooking over fire is not complicated. And making sure your temperature stays consistent is very important but not very difficult after you understand how it’s done.

Obvious fact #1: As charcoals burn, they cool. This starts to happen after about an hour. If you’re cooking something for less than an hour, don’t worry about it. If you’re cooking something that requires more time than that, you’ll have to do something.

Obvious fact #2: When you’re using a smoker or a grill for indirect-­heat cooking, you’re going to need to replenish the coals about every hour, or every time the grill temperature dips 50 or more degrees below what you need it to be.

Obvious fact #3: This is as easy as watching the temperature, opening the grill, adding the new coals near some already well-­lit ones, and making sure they catch fire. Monitor the cooker’s temperature and then add your new coals when necessary, and you’ll be able to maintain a consistent temperature in your cooker.

Myron’s Backyard Barbecuing Tips

When you’re smoking and grilling, don’t open the lid if you don’t have to. Every time you open it, you lower the temperature inside it by about five degrees or so—­and it’ll take several additional minutes of cooking time to make up for that loss of heat. In using a grill and a smoker, maintaining consistent temperature is very important.

Make your life easier with aluminum foil baking pans. Now some folks in the world of barbecue look down their noses at cooks like me who use aluminum foil to wrap meats and who put meat in aluminum pans. They don’t think this is “authentic” enough—­cavemen didn’t have foil, that’s their attitude. Well, cavemen didn’t have satellite television either, and I do. I use aluminum pans because they’re the easiest ways to convey meat from the house to the smoker and then from the smoker to the table. They keep the meat from falling apart, which you risk when you transfer it from a prep station to a smoker, and they make cleanup a whole lot easier.

Use charcoal and lighter fluid to start your fire. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a whole lot of time to waste rubbing sticks together to get a so-­called natural fire burning. On the barbecue circuit I’m a “stick burning competitor,” which means I cook meat over smoking whole sticks of wood, which I believe flavors it like nothing else. However, I start my fires with charcoal to get a blaze going to burn the wood, and I start the charcoal with lighter fluid. Some of my fellow competitors protest and scrutinize this method, saying it makes the meat taste like lighter fluid. That’s only true if you don’t read the damn directions on the bottle of fluid about how to use it. After you apply a small amount of lighter fluid to coals, don’t do anything until the coals burn white. Then the fluid has burned off, and you’ve started your fire as easily as possible while still having the benefit of cooking over real wood.

Let your meat rest after you pull it off the grill or smoker. Transfer your beef, chicken, lamb, or pork from the grill or smoker to a cutting board, loosely cover it, and let it rest for at least a few minutes before getting into it and serving it. This seals the juices in and keeps the meat from drying out. Do not cut until you are ready to immediately serve and eat it. Keep those juices flowing till the last minute—­you’ll thank me.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Make It Easy xiii

1 How It's Done 1

2 The Lucky Thirteen: The Essentials 15

The Only Marinade You Need 21

The Only Barbecue Rub You Need 22

The Only Other Barbecue Rub You Need 23

The Only Barbecue Sauce You Need 24

The Only Other Barbecue Sauce You Need 25

The Basic Pork Butt, No Ifs, Ands, or Butts 26

Pork Shoulder the Easy Way 28

Brisket the Easy Way 31

Barbecue Whole Chicken the Easy Way 33

Ribs the Easy Way 35

Coleslaw, the Only Side Dish You Need 37

Cornbread, the Only Other Side Dish You Need 38

Grilled Fruit Crisp, the Only Dessert You Need 40

3 Burgers and Sandwiches 43

The King Rib 48

The Classic Hickory-Smoked Barbecue Burger 49

Brisket Cheesesteaks 52

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Burgers 54

Smoked Turkey Burgers 55

Lamb Burgers with Feta, Onion, and Tomato 56

Barbecue Pork and Slaw Burgers 58

Spicy Salmon Burgers 59

Grilled Smoked Sausage, Pepper, and Caramelized Onion Hoagies 61

Barbecue Pork Belly Sliders 62

Grilled Pimiento Cheese Sandwiches 65

Barbecue Bologna Sandwiches 67

Bacon-Wrapped Hotdogs 68

Grilled Reuben Brats 69

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches 70

Grilled Tuna Sandwiches 71

Smoked Bacon BLTs 72

Barbecue Veggie Sandwiches 73

4 Smoked and Grilled 75

Perfect Apple-Glazed Barbecue Pork Chops 81

Perfect Grilled Rib Eyes 83

Barbecue Flank Steak 84

Forget-About-It Eye of the Round Roast 85

Smoky Barbecue Chicken Legs 87

Myron's Dr Pepper Can Chicken 88

Smoked Turkey Drumsticks 90

Smoked Meatloaf 92

Grilled Balsamic Chicken Breasts 94

Grilled Ginger-Peach Chicken Breasts 96

Grilled Lemon Pepper Whole Chicken 98

Grilled Hamburger Steaks with Onions 99

Apricot-Glazed Slow-Smoked Leg of Lamb 100

Barbecue Sweet and Sour Rack of Lamb 104

Barbecue Steak Fajitas 106

Spaghetti and Smoked Meatballs 108

5 Barbecue-Fried 111

Barbecue-Fried Baby Backs 116

Barbecue-Fried Chicken Lollipops 119

Buttermilk Fried Barbecue Chicken 121

Barbecue-Fried Catfish on a Stick 122

Barbecue-Fried Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches 124

Barbecue-Fried Cap'n Crunch Chicken Tenders 126

6 Swimmers 129

Barbecue Shrimp Cocktail 134

Finger-Lickin' Barbecue Shrimp-and-Cheese Grits 136

Barbecue Bacon-Wrapped Scallops 137

Pitmaster-Style Smoked Scallops with Slaw 138

Real-Dill Lemon Tilapia 139

Grilled Clams with Barbecue Butter and Baguette 141

Barbecue Tuna Steaks 142

Blackened Barbecue Catfish 144

Smoky Catfish Tacos 145

Smoked Bluefish Spread 147

Barbecue Smoked Salmon 148

Grilled Cod Kebabs 151

7 Drunken Recipes 153

Smoked Rib Eyes with Bourbon Butter 158

The Bourbon-Bacon Burger 159

Smoked Whiskey Wings 161

Bourbon Brown Sugar Chicken 162

Smoked Turkey with Whiskey Gravy 164

Whiskey Grilled Shrimp 167

Bourbon Smoked Salmon 168

Bourbon'd Sweet Potato Casserole 170

Whiskey Creamed Corn 172

8 Barbecue Brunch 175

Slow-Smoked Sunday Ham 179

Pitmaster's Smoked Eggs Benedict with Pulled Pork Cakes 181

Grilled Egg "Muffins" 184

Backyard Bacon 186

Grilled Egg-Stuffed Peppers 188

Smoky Bacon Bloody Mary 189

Smoky Bacon Dry and Dirty Vodka Martinis 193

Grilled Honey-Vanilla French Toast 194

Blueberry-Buttermilk Swirl Grilled Coffee Cake 195

Smoked Egg Salad English Muffins 197

9 Leftovers 199

Baby Back Mac and Cheese 203

Barbecue Eggrolls 206

Barbecue Brisket Potato Soup 208

Barbecue Brisket Chili 210

Boss Cobb Salad 212

Barbecue Stuffed Mushrooms 213

Barbecue Chicken and Egg Salad with Bacon 214

Barbecue Pasta Salad 215

Barbecue Pork and Black Bean Burritos 216

Tinga-Style Barbecue Tacos 219

Barbecue Brisket Wraps 220

Pulled Pork Burgers 222

Barbecue Pizza 224

Barbecue Chicken Cakes 227

Barbecue Pork and Mashed Potato Pie 228

10 Salads and Sides 231

Grilled Hickory-Smoked Caprese Salad 235

The Pitmaster's Wedge 237

Hail Caesar Smoky Salad 238

Watermelon, Feta, Red Onion, and Mint Summer Salad 240

Spinach Salad with Peaches, Pecans, and Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing 242

Grilled Hickory-Smoked Summer Squash and Zucchini Salad 243

Mexican-Style Grilled Corn 245

Smoked Potatoes 246

Pitmaster-Style Grilled Veggie Kebabs 247

Smoky Collard Greens 251

Barbecue Jalapeño-Cheddar Hushpuppies 253

Barbecue Smoked Cabbage 254

Slow-Smoked Barbecue Cherry Tomatoes 256

Vidalia Onion Relish 257

Grilled Sweet Onion and Green Tomato Chowchow 258

11 Dessert 261

Chocolate Cake on the Grill 265

Grilled Skillet Apple Pie 268

Fried Peach Pies 271

Grilled Bananas and Maple Rum Sauce 274

Grilled Strawberry Cobbler 275

Grilled Peaches and Bourbon Cream 277

S'mores Cheesecake 278

Georgia Peach ice Cream 280

Georgia Peanut Peanut Butter Ice Cream 281

Grilled Pound Cake 282

Grilled Banana-Chocolate Boats 283

Acknowledgments 285

Index 287

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Everyday Barbecue: At Home with America's Favorite Pitmaster 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
IlRosso More than 1 year ago
Mr. Mixon provides a lot of useful information in this book. The techniques he describes are great and he shows a lot of creativity in his recipes. But, there are several things he wrote that don’t seem consistent. For example, he says his recipes require no brining but some of them require marinating overnight in his marinade. Most people would call his marinade a brine as it is contains 4 cups of liquid with 3/4 cup each of salt & sugar. When I used it to BBQ a piece of pork, the meat came out extremely salty. On TV, I have heard Mixon say numerous times that he doesn’t want to taste sugar on a piece of BBQ beef. But, in this book, the rub he says to use for beef is half sugar! In his first book, he recommended a beef rub which had only 1 teaspoon of sugar in a recipe that produced 3/4 cup which is more consistent with his taste. But, I have one caveat. All the rubs, sauces, and marinades in this book require a lot of salt and sugar. For example, the BBQ sauce he recommends tasted a lot like tomato ketchup with the addition of salt, black pepper and a lot of sugar. Furthermore, some of the recipes call for additional salt, sugar or both. So, if you don’t like overly salty or sugary food or are cooking for people with diabetes or high blood pressure, you should think twice about following the recipes completely. Personally, I prefer to leave out all the sugar and most of the salt.
ERRNC More than 1 year ago
Husband is enjoying the storytelling and recipes
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Hello?"