BBQ Cooking Tips
Smoker vs Grill vs Oven vs Crock Pot
When making BBQ, most people think a smoker is required. While the smoke flavor is amazing, it certainly is not the only way. Baking in the oven or even cooking in a crock pot can produce great results. Regardless, as you’ve heard many times before, the key to BBQ is to cook it low and slow. There tends to be a lot of fat and connective tissue in popular BBQ meats. The long slow cook times ensure that the fat and tissues break down turning the meat into a juicy tender meal, while not drying it out. The key here is to heat with indirect heat – in other words don’t put a flame directly under or over the racks of ribs.
Any method of heating the meat works, so really there are many ways to prepare ribs. Though a smoker or grill will generally give more of a “crispier” crust on the outside of the meat. The oven (if in a covered pan) and crock pot will produce moister meat and crust as they trap in more moisture while cooking.
A crock pot works wonderfully for the low and slow and keeps the meat moist. A full rack (cut in half) placed in a crock pot results in perfectly tender fall off the bone ribs in 6 hours. And all the juices and flavors of the meat are trapped in the crock pot, which forces the flavor to be infused into the meat.
Keep Your Meat Moist
It is critical though to ensure that the meat doesn’t get to dry. If you are cooking your BBQ on a grill or smoker, I like to add a container with liquid in it to allow it to steam and keep some moisture in the cooking vessel. This can be a cup made of tinfoil or a metal cup if you have one. Fill it with water, lemon juice, apple juice, beer… whatever flavor you like. As the meat cooks, this will produce some steam which will help to ensure the meat stays juicy and tender.
What is AIP?
AIP (as you may have noticed in the title of this post) stands for Auto Immune Protocol. If you’ve never heard of this term, don’t worry – it’s not something that will hurt you, the flavors of your food, or your preparation time. Simply put, AIP is a specific way of eating that is followed by some with auto immune diseases in an effort to reverse symptoms. In essence it’s a more limited diet.
That said, for those not following AIP I guarantee you that you’ll still find this to be a simple and great recipe for your cooking.