Thursday, April 12, 2018

The 3-2-1 Process *Exposed* With A "Twist

The 3-2-1 Process *Exposed* and How You can make Professional Barbecue Beef Ribs with "Twist" thrown in. Well just about everyone in the US has had their hands on a beef rib at one time or another with the exception of vegetarians. And at least 50% of them has had the opportunity to make beef ribs or be at a barbecue or some restaurant serving beef ribs.  We all know that beef ribs done right takes time to make.  In fact they can take two to three times what it takes to make exceptional pork ribs.  And unlike pork ribs which can be cajoled into better taste beef ribs are less forgiving.  Sometimes it seems as if they have a mind of their own. 

Well today I'm here to demystify that process and to teach you an amazing step that will blow the roof off the 3-2-1 process.  Some say life changing and life affirming and even stupendous but I wouldn't go that far.  In fact what I would say is once you work this process you'll never want to have beef ribs any other way.  

Now lets get to the basics of beef ribs.  Almost everyone knows that beef ribs come from the ventral section of a cow.  That's a mouthful and actually means that ribs are taken from the lower mid section of the cow from about the 6 to 10 rib segment known as the plate.  And since the plate only consists of about 10 ribs they are commonly called short ribs. The short part having more to do with the length of the ribs as opposed to the quantity of the ribs available.  

Since you can get two segments of the best sections of ribs that being that the cow has two sides then the ribs are segmented and displayed usually in sections of between 4 and 5 rib bones per segment.  Beef ribs are fatty and by that we mean that they are usually left with the inner bone fat on the ribs.  Unlike pork ribs where one pulls back the silvery membrane to remove the layer of fat film beef ribs require cutting and shaping.  I find the best time to trim beef ribs is when they come out of the standard part of the refrigerator.  The beef ribs are cooled and firm whereas if they were warm they might feel greasy and slick and harder to trim.  So consider temperature if you decide to trim your ribs. 

Regarding the trimming process and the fat actual trimming is relatively unnecessary.  You might want to trim away some of the overlapping fat at the top end of the bones and maybe just a little of the fat on the inner curve of the ribs.  Because the cooking process is not high heat grilling then one does not need to remove a large portion of fat as in the case of the pork ribs or other spare ribs.  We will be taking our time with these ribs so you might want to consider that when purchasing beef ribs. 

To the process of grilling which term is basically a misnomer since grilling refers to high heat and barbecue refers to slow time and low heat cooking we will actually barbecue this ribs.  And since we're going to use the 3-2-1 process with a twist one must be prepared to spend at a minimum 6 hours in the process not including the time it takes to get your charcoal up to speed or the movement time in the process. 

By the way this 3-2-1 process with a twist as discussed will apply to charcoal barbecue.  Yes, you can easily use your gas barbecue for beef ribs but in this discussion we're going to use a smoking method that is usually easier in the charcoal barbecue method.  

Let's talk rib preparation.  Let's say you've trimmed some fat from the ribs and have cleaned and washed them thoroughly to remove any bits leftover. Now what?  Well if you seen any of the online videos there's lots of discussion about how you prepare your ribs.  Some say just add good quality kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper.  Some say add a little onion powder, black pepper and table salt and some say just put the ribs in a container with a marinade.  Now of course the quality of the ribs you buy will probably determine just how you prepare them.  If you buy ribs that are in the $5 to $8 range for a rack then you might want to prepare them in some basic marinade.  If the ribs run $10 to $30 for a rack then you're getting the better section of ribs that don't need as much preparation and a nice dash of kosher salt and pepper will do. 

We are going to focus on the $5 to $8 dollar ribs that almost everyone buys.  Let's start with the most basic of marinades.  We like Yellow Mustard.  Why because it really helps tenderize and break down the muscle fibers of the meat I know some will argue with that but we've done hundreds of racks and we've done them with and without and each time we used the mustard the end result and taste was always better.

So, let's get the mustard on the ribs covered completely front to back and side to side.  Now let's allow the ribs to rest.  I find that if I rest the ribs for at least 3 hours then the next step drives the flavor profile even higher.  After resting it's time for the dry rub.  Of course we'll be using our Jake's Famous Righteous Tri Tip Steak and Rib Rub.   We use it because it contains kosher salt, coarse ground black pepper, garlic, onion and some nice herbs to bring up the flavors of the meat.  So, let's get that on then allow the meat to rest at least another 2 or more hours.  Ideally if you prepared the meat in the morning at say 7 AM you could easily get the ribs on the barbecue by 12 Noon and have the result for dinner around 6:30. But if you can't do that then preparing the ribs the night before is the best bet.  

With the ribs all prepped and ready to go let's focus on the bbq grill.  We'll be using a standard Weber kettle about 18 inches across.  Since we're going to focus on the low and slow process we want to make sure that we manage the burning of our charcoal.  Now, again we've performed this process at least 150 times and we've learned how to manage charcoals and heat so follow along carefully.

The charcoal bbq grill is easy to use if you work methodically to ensure some basic action steps are followed.  First ensure that your bbq grill is cleaned and all debris removed. Second ensure that the bottom and top vents are wide open. Third we'll be using standard non-infused charcoal.  Get some of the traditional stuff in your local area.  We're going to make a charcoal ring inside the grill and by that we means we'll place charcoal cubes side by side following the circular shape of the bbq grill.  Layout your charcoal into two rows side by side then place one charcoal briquettes on top of the row all the way around until approximately 3/4 of the grill has a row of charcoal.  

Wood smoke which we have not covered but will cover here.  We like the flavor add of wood smoke and so we add about 8 ounces of wood chips spread evenly around the charcoal ring.  If you have small chips you can place them evenly.  But if you have larger segments like Red Oak then decide if you'd like the meat to receive the maximum amount of heat at the front end of the cooking process or at the near end.  With larger segments of red oak we place those near the front when the meat is tender and receptive.  

On heat management we're focusing on a temperature range of 225 to 250 degrees.  A good digital or remote thermometer will help you determine the heat level but if you don't have one a decent kitchen thermometer will work as well.  So, how do we start this thing you ask? Easy and it all depends on if you have a charcoal chimney or not.  But no matter we'll go over the ways with and the ways without.  With a charcoal chimney we take about 10 charcoal briquettes and place them in the chimney.  We take newspaper or some other balled up paper and use that.  A really good item if you don't have either is to take lint from your dryer.  Get a big ball of lint and place that under the chimney which lights amazingly well. 

If you don't have a charcoal chimney you can place the paper or lint in the center or the grill.  Place the briquettes on top of the paper or lint pile leaving enough of it for lighting.  Then light the charcoal in either method.  Allow the charcoal to burn until most of the coals are ashed white.  This can take up to 20 minutes.  You must ensure that the vents are open in the bottom of your grill if placing the charcoal in the center ring.  After the charcoal has reached an ashy state place at the head segment of the charcoal ring.  Keep in mind the charcoal will create a domino effect burning charcoal around the grill as the cooking process continues.  Give the charcoal an additional 5 minutes to burn in the open then place the lid on the grill.  Allow the charcoal to burn at least 5 minutes then measure the temperature through the open vent holes.  If you've achieved your desired temperature around 225 to 250 then it's time to place the meat on the grill.  If the temperature has not been achieved allow the charcoals to continue burning for a few more minutes then check again.  In extreme cases if you've spread the coals too far apart they will burn out so you'll need to check them to asure they are touching.  

Now with the charcoals ready it's time to place the meat on the grill.  Position the beef ribs so that they will be opposite the burning charcoals.  Keep in mind over the 3 hour cooking process the charcoals will burn in the circular pattern.  When positioning the ribs it's a good idea to consider where the charcoal will burn next then place the ribs so that they won't get scorched or part of them overcooked. 

Now comes the monitoring time.  A couple of things to keep in mind.  As the charcoal burns and as it starts to burn the wood chips the temperature will rise.  This is natural and if you've done it correctly once the wood is burned the temperature will drop down again until it reaches the next segment of wood.  Adjust the top vent only if the temperature exceeds 260 degrees and do that by adjusting the vent by a 1/2 inch turn.  This will reduce the airflow out of the grill which means that the entering oxygen from the bottom of the grill is burned up leaving carbon monoxide and when that happens it slows down the burning rate and thus the temperature is decreased.  The reaction happens quickly so since you are outside there is no effect as oxygen is constantly regenerated by trees, grass and plants.

Fantastic, three hours have gone by.  Now comes the *TWIST*.  Take a large segment of foil and lay that out on your counter.  Curve the foil inward as we will be adding some ingredients to the foil to complete the cooking process.  Now you can decide if you want your ribs to have a sweet flavor, salty flavor or savory flavor on completion.  We like to flavor our ribs.  We do this because over time ribs will just be plain old ribs if you grill them enough.  So to make the process exciting we experiment with different syrups and flavors.  We've found some killer combinations which take rib making up to a whole new level.  So, we'll take some concentrated pomegranate syrup like what they use at bars and restaurants.  We'll also layer some brown sugar approximately 1/4 cup along with 2 tablespoons of honey and 1/4 cup of orange juice.  You'll need to be careful when placing the ribs in so that you don't tear the foil.  In fact you might want to place two layers of heavy duty foil before adding the mix of ingredients.  Here's a key step in the process *remove the ribs from the grill and place them meat side down on the foil.*  

Now wrap up the ribs folding the foil over the top. The foil does not need to be hermetically sealed but seal enought to allow some steam to escape. Place the ribs back on the grill and close the lid.  After about 10 minutes check to ensure that the temperature of the grill is steady at around 225 to 250 degrees.  Now most in the barbecue world tell you to follow through with the two hour wrapped in foil process but we're going to change that step completely.

After 1 hour and 30 minutes open the foil and turn the ribs over so that the meat side is up on the foil.  There will be a lot of liquid below the ribs so be careful not to tear the foil when turning the ribs.  Fold the foil over the ribs again loosely.  Ensure that there are still some wood chips on the burning section of coals.  Now replace the lid on the grill and allow the ribs to smoke for about 40 minutes. 

After the ribs have completed smoking remove them and place them in a container.  Some have dry coolers that can take the ribs.  I just use my oven.  I've placed them in an aluminum pan as they were slightly sealed then I close the door of the oven but place some folded paper between the door and the frame to allow moisture and steam to escape.  This is the resting process so we'll allow the resting process to take a minimum of 30 minutes.  If you have more time you can rest the beef ribs for an hour.  But if you add up all the time used in this process it's now around 6 pm and believe me if you're not hungry by then I sure am. 

One thing I'm sure you've done while this cooking process is going on I've been making a side salad and some baked potatoes or while I was changing the ribs I place some asparagus on the grill.  Why not take advantage of some prime charcoal heat. 

Now if you haven't burned through all your charcoal a good way to save the left overs is to pull out a few of the charcoals between the burned and un-burned section.  Once the charcoals are pulled out close both the top and bottom vents so that the oxygen is burned up and the coals put themselves out. After about an hour the grill will be cool to the touch.

With the beef ribs properly rested they can be sliced and placed along side your dinner items.  Press lightly on the top of the ribs and notice how juicy they are not to mention the aroma of the ribs is just heavenly. 

This 3-2-1 Beef Rib Process with a *Twist* is absolutely, hands down the best way I've ever made beef ribs.  Once you make them a few times you'll get the hang of it and it will become second nature

Enjoy your ribs! If you have questions on this process or comments please don't hesitate to let me know.  You can contact us with your comments at

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

When Memphis Barbecue Sauce Takes Center Stage

Over the last few years Memphis Styled Barbecue Sauces have reached new heights. Our Memphis Barbecue Sauce for baby back ribs is the culmination of many months of travel and constant focus.   Living in California we knew that it was difficult to get a traditional Memphis barbecue sauce in our state.  So, after weeks of planning we set out to create a true Memphis inspired Barbecue Sauce.  We traveled, stop and talked with the brothers in the professional trade and along the we learned what truly makes a Memphis Barbecue Sauce great.  Memphis barbecue sauces are great not so much for their ingredients but for their single minded focus on creating a truly great experience for their customers.  We can all get just about the same ingredients but what we can't all get is the secret bits and pieces that the most inspired creators have come up with.  Well folks we are here to tell you that we have cracked the code.  Through our association with Memphis pitmasters and sauce creators we have confirmed what is the traditional Memphis BBQ Sauce for sale for baby back ribs.  While we'll keep the secret ingredients to ourselves what we will do is offer the best, authentic, inspired Memphis Style Barbecue Sauce for baby back ribs West of Colorado.  Although you may not be able to go to Memphis In May each year you can have our outstanding, inspired, traditional Memphis Style Barbecue Sauce.  The barbecue sauce is sweet and tart with subtle hints of celery seed, garlic, mustard, molasses and more. When you pair it with baby back ribs you get hints of Old Memphis combined with sparks of pepper and touches of molasses.

Memphis is known for the great notables who lived and traveled through its great land.  And while they focused on music and perspectives close to each of them there was always one prime  Memphis BBQ has a long and storied history that dates way back to the 1800s with its keen eye focus on driving the Southern style of living and lifestyle forward through it culture and its people.  Our Memphis BBQ Sauce captures the essence of true Memphis BBQ Sauce.  A sauce that is a hint spicy, a hint sweet and of course a great deal flavorful.  Pour our Memphis on Brisket or Pulled Pork or lather it on BBQ Ribs and chicken.  This is a sauce that marinates and reaches deep down into the meat to deliver flavor and taste.  Put just a bit on sandwiches or burgers.  Add it to chili or just plain hold it over for dips.  Keep it on the table for the all to enjoy.

We've experimented in many different ways with this wonderful Memphis Barbecue Sauce. We found that the sauce is excellent on ribs and really stays on the meat working to get deep down into the muscle fibers. The Memphis barbecue sauce never disappoints and always delivers rich smooth flavor to every item we've ever tried. A few weeks ago we decided to give sweet potato fries a try. We used the double fry method. But before we get into the double fry method, our friends practically swear by the standard fry method. That method involves slicing the Sweet potatoes into thin long slices. They hand wash the slices then place them in a large bowl to which they add cold water. The fries are allowed to rest in the water for about 30 minutes. Following the cold water bath they dry the fries completely on paper towels. The fries are then placed on a cooking sheet and baked in the oven for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Once done the fries are removed and oil is then allowed to reach a temperature of 350 degrees to which the fries are then placed. The fries are then cooked for about 6 minutes due to their softness after coming out of the oven. Once out of the fryer the fries are allowed to drain for about 2 minutes then they go directly to the Memphis Barbecue sauce. They actually reserve half of the fries coating them in the Santa Barbara Smoked Rub then join those with the other half for the barbecue sauce. They enjoy the somewhat cleaner cooking process although they still use the oil to finish the fries. I found the fries to be very crispy but still prefer my double fry method.

In the Double Fry method First we slice the sweet potatoes then we wash them thoroughly. We put the sweet potato slices into a water bath and placed them into our fridge for about 5 hours. The water helped stabilize the fries and remove any starchiness that might remain if not cooked properly. Second we used about 1-1/2 quarts of clean cooking oil. We used vegetable although many have said that peanut oil is cleaner and delivers a better flavor to the fries. We brought the oil up to 360 degrees making sure to have a lot of air movement to draw off any smoke so we turned our fans up to high and opened out doors. We also drained the fries while the oil was warming. You can do this by placing a couple of paper towels in the bottom of a large bowl. When you think you've removed most of the water by hand wringing simply toss the fries into the bowl on top of the paper towels. Shake the bowl from side to side which allow them to turn and dry within the container. Now with the washing done and the oil ready we moved to step three.

Step three we slow place the dried sweet potato slices into the hot oil and allow them to fry for about 4 minutes. After 4 minutes we remove the fries and place them on a rack so that excess oil will drip off. We them allow the oil to rise back up to temperature. This time we will allow the oil to rise to 400 degrees. Once the temperature is reached we take the fries and place them back into the oil. We cook the fries and additional 6 - 8 minutes. This will allow the fries to cook thoroughly and to crisp nicely in the oil. After frying we remove the fries and place them back on the drainage rack. We let the excess oil drip off for about 2 minutes them we sprinkle with Jake's Famous Santa Barbara Smoke Rub. At this point we filled a small bowl with Jake's Famous Memphis Barbecue Sauce then we set that next to the fries as a dipping sauce. We love the tanginess of the Memphis Barbecue sauce paired against the Santa Barbara Smoked Rub and the subtle sweetness of the Sweet Potato Fries....Excellent.

Our Memphis BBQ Sauce has received numerous awards for originality and taste.  We recommend that you get your hands and your grill on this BBQ Sauce for baby back ribs by clicking add to Cart.

Here's what people are saying about Jake's Memphis BBQ Sauce for sale:

Phil Marlowe wrote: "Having traveled to Memphis many, many times for business with of course the diversion for BBQ I've had my fair share of Memphis BBQ Sauces, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Jake's this is definitely the good! Great flavor, wonderful taste makes this an exceptional sauce. I made Crockpot pulled pork following your recipe and it came out perfect. Thanks Jake for making another fine product. For those on the fence I recommend Jake's Memphis BBQ Sauce...."

Sherman Honline wrote: - "I buy many different types of BBQ Sauces but I must say I like Memphis the best. Jake’s sent me his latest creation and I've got to say, it fantastic. It’s wonderfully rich, and full of flavor with just the right balance of vinegar, molasses, mustard, garlic, onion and more. I use it on pork ribs, chicken and steaks. Great Job Jake."

Are you ready to break from the monotony of bad sauces and try something truly great?

The long and short of this conversation is what kind of steak are you going to cook and how do you want it to turn out. The best steaks are planned especially where the cooking/grilling process is concerned. The best marinating bbq sauces have a decent level of vinegar and mustard to break down muscle fiber. Most chefs and grill masters typically don't marinate steaks in bbq sauce but actually prefer salt and pepper shaken onto the steak about 5 minutes before grilling.

Along with our Jake's Famous Memphis BBQ Sauce we've made some really nice Barbecue Sauces that are excellent on steak. Follow these links to get your favorite Steak Barbecue Sauce:

Really Good Mild Barbecue Sauce
Really Nice Medium Hot Barbecue Sauce
Really Hot Barbecue Sauce
Maple Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
Texas Style Inspired Barbecue Sauce
Asian Style Barbecue Sauce
Sriracha Ketchup Spicy Sauce

Get one or all of these great bbq sauces Today!  Don't hesitate to get ahead of the pack by choosing the right sauce for you.  When it comes to making steak for you and your friends, do you want to experiment or deliver proven results?  Right, you want to deliver proven results.  We've taken all the guesswork, efforts and time loss out of the equation.  Just use our code: 1707200910 now to get an extra 10% OFF at Checkout.

Learn more about Memphis and Memphis Style Barbecue

Are you ready to break from the monotony of bad sauces and try something truly great?

Learn more about Memphis and Memphis Barbecue

Here's a quick way how to make ribs using our Memphis Barbecue Sauce

1. Clean ribs and remove the white membrane from the back of the ribs. Tip: Use a paper towel to grip the edge of the membrane and remove with a slow steady force.
2. Season the ribs generously with the seasoning.
3. Wrap the ribs and let rest in your refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours and not more than 8 hours.
4. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
5. Place a layer of foil in the baking pan to catch juices from the meat.
6. Remove the ribs from the wrapping and place on the layer of foil.
7. Add the cup of Orange Juice to the bottom of the pan under the ribs.
8. Seal the ribs in the pan so that the meat will braise in the liquid.
9. Cook in the pan for 2 hours.
10. Collect the liquid from the ribs into a cooking pot.
11. Add the Honey, Memphis Blues BBQ Sauce, and Thyme.
12. Cook on High heat and reduce the liquid to a syrupy consistency.
13. Pour the syrupy sauce over the ribs.
14. At this point you can use your grill or your broiler to create a glaze on the ribs. If using the grill bring it to a medium high heat then place the ribs on the grill for 10 minutes until grill marks show up. If using your broiler turn it to the broiler setting and place the ribs in the pan under the broiler for about 5 minutes. Check to ensure that the sauce does not burn.
15. After your perfect slow cooked ribs have completed cooking let rest for 3 minutes.

16. Serve.

OUR STANDING GUARANTEE: At Jake's Famous we guarantee you an exceptional barbecue experience. We promise to treat you like friends and family and to serve you our products that have been prepared with focus, uncompromising quality and our thorough standards. If you are not completely satisfied, just let us know, and we will honor our guarantee.

Order Now!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Making a Great 4th Of July With Excellent BBQ Recipes

The 4th of July is a special time for these United States.  And while we’re gathering with our friends and family we want to make sure that we thank all those who placed themselves in harm’s way for our freedoms.  So take a second to thank our fallen and also be sure to thank the military on this day. 

In addition to thanking our military we’ve put together a couple of honest to goodness recipes that almost any weekend barbecuer can use to make their day special.  We’ve laid down our easiest rib recipe along with a great chicken recipe and of course an easy to make drink recipe.  For over 100 additional recipes see our website at and go directly to the recipes section.

Lee’s Lazy Man BBQ Rib Recipe:
This is a simple recipe for cooking barbecue ribs.  The best part is that it works every time and doesn't take much effort at all. All you need is a stove that can cook at 425 degrees, country style bbq baby back ribs, and about 4-1/2 hours of cooking time.  Once everything is cooking I prepare potato salad and cut corn as sides.

Ingredients - Instructions:
Start with Country Style BBQ Pork Ribs and follow these steps.
Clean and trim off any excess fat if necessary.
Peel off the thin membrane on the back of the ribs.
Generously sprinkle on some of Jake's Tri-Tip Rub Barbecue Seasoning 
Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
Place rib in deep well cooking pan big enough to fit all the ribs.
Place pan in oven and let the ribs cook for 1 hour.
Then turn oven down to 325 degrees and let cook for 2-1/2 hours.
Remove from the oven and brush with Jake's BBQ Southern Style Original , Texas Medium or Really Hot BBQ Sauce whichever you desire.
Turn the oven up to 350 degrees.
Place the BBQ ribs back in the oven for 30 more minutes. 
Remove from the oven, let sit for 2 minutes


Barbecued Chicken Thighs
A simple barbecue chicken recipe that is can be used again and again......
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon salt

Remove chicken skin, if desired. In a small mixing bowl combine paprika, turmeric, and salt; rub over the chicken.

Grill barbecue chicken on an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 20 minutes. Turn chicken; grill for 15 to 20 minutes more or until barbecue chicken is tender and no longer pink. (Or, place barbecue chicken on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 5 to 6 inches from the heat for 28 to 32 minutes, turning once.) Brush with Jake's Mild Barbecue sauce during the last 5 minutes of grilling or broiling. 


Add Ons:   Thread chunks of red sweet pepper, barbecue corn on the cob, and zucchini on skewers for a quick partner to grill with the barbecue chicken thighs.

This barbecue chicken thigh recipe will be a barbecue recipe that will delight your family and fellow barbecue chicken recipe grill thighs lovers everywhere.

Recipe: Cranberry Iced Tea
4 Cups of Cranberry Juice
1 Cup of Pomegranate Juice
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
8 Cups of Sweetened Tea
2 Lemons Juiced
2 Limes Juiced
10 Fresh mint leaves

Take the lemon and lime juices with the brown sugar and mix together thoroughly. Add a few slices of mint leaves to the juices. Afterward add the sweet tea, pomegranate juice and cranberry juice and mix well.

Pour into container and chill or serve over ice and garnish with fresh mint.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

5 Practical Tips for The Barbecue and Smoker

Over the past few months since the introduction of our Smoker and UDS (Ugly Drum Smoker) units we’ve collected information which we believe will be useful to anyone that is new to Barbecue and Smoking.  This is a short post so we’ll get right to the action.
  1.  Preparation is key.  When beginning the process or readying your smoker and the meat you’ll use you’ll want to plan the area for preparation, the area for meat storage and the area in which you’ll get the job done. If space is at a premium then this step is critical to your success.
  2. We can’t say enough about safety around the smoker.  When we started our series we advocated starting the chimney starter with charcoal.  After the charcoal was ready one would dump the lit charcoal on top of the charcoal basket after making a small well for the lit charcoal to reside.  One would then lift the basket placing it in the UDS very gingerly while making sure not to come in contact with the hot coals.  Well, we know that most would not be as careful as we are about the process so we’ve changed our stance on handling the basket.  The firestarter is fine when started on a metal surface over concrete.  As for the charcoal basket, we now advocate pouring the lit charcoals over the basket after it has been inserted and positioned in the UDS.  This will ensure maximum safety while reducing any potential for burning. 
  3. Use only Non-self ignitable charcoal.  That’s a mouthful but essentially you want to have charcoal that does not carry its own lighter fluid.  Charcoal with lighter fluid will burn too fast causing overcooking of your meats.  This type of charcoal also makes it very difficult to manage heat.  Choose standard non-self ignitable charcoal when purchasing.
  4.  Have a good set of heat resistant gloves handy when using the smoker.  If you use the hanging method for meats which we love then you’ll want to make sure that you’re able to get the meat off the hooks when necessary.  If you overcook the meats or they simply shrink around the hooks, separating the meat from the hooks can be an issue.  Gloves will protect you against the heat of the smoker and will assist you in the meat removal process. 
  5.  A table as simple as it seems is a big help when smoking meats.  The process of smoking requires a number of steps and somewhere to hold things while you check on the meat, examine the temperature, add more coals and so on.  A small 3 X 5 table will ultimately make your job easier and less tiresome.  
Of course we can’t end this discussion without mentioning the use of a great barbecue seasoning rub or bbq marinade as well as time for preparation.  A good seasoning such as Jake’s will break down the muscle fibers of the meat allowing the seasonings to do their job of marinating.  The same goes for bbq marinades, should you use them?….Of course. 

For more tips and suggestions on using your UDS or barbecue be sure to check back often.  Or simply go to our website at for homemade bbq sauce recipes as well as dry rub recipes. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Lock, Stock and One Smoking Barrel....

Jake's Red Top Smoker Grill

With the onset of warmer weather comes the blooming of the flowers, the tweeting of birds and the obvious hints of sunny days ahead.  And as predictable as these signs are, so are the signs of barbecue season.  But wait, there’s a new old wave that’s coming through this season.  And that wave is the rise of the USD (Ugly Smoker Drum), or plainly enough smoking in barrels with removable tops.  Now Jake’s has been smoking meats for generations and we’ve been building smokers for the better part of 40 years but recently we decided to begin selling what we make so often.  While all that’s good and fine what’s been missing for most is the practical uses of these USD units. Many can tell you how to build one or what to expect and even where to buy the parts but there just seems to be a shortage of easy to use, convenient recipes and instructions for cooking.  So, to get you on your way I’ve included one of our easiest smoking recipes, smoked barbecue ribs.  In this recipe I take you from the front door to the back porch and ultimately to the table with these step by step instructions.  Keep in mind smoking meats is wonderful but takes time and planning.  One should begin the planning process at least a day in advance of the smoking to get things perfect.  When the smoking begins try to dedicate at least 6 hours to the entire process.  While you’re not standing around staring at the barrel for 6 hours, you are in fact monitoring the process for that period of time.  So, let’s get started. 

Smoking Jake’s Barbecue Ribs:
There are many ways to smoke ribs making them succulent, sweet tasty and full with a natural smoky flavor. This method uses a water smoker which not only delivers the richness of smoke but adds additional juiciness to the ribs through the use of water.  The process cleans up nicely and the results are fantastic. Because we are using a USD we will focus on the use of charcoal and the components necessary to make that work. If you have a smoker with a heat element or gas system you can still achieve the smokiness that you desire. Most of these steps translate directly to your preferred method. 

Preparatory steps:
-Assumptions:  We’re going to assume that you’ll either be smoking the ribs on a Saturday or Sunday.  That would mean that either on Friday or Saturday you’re going to have all the necessary materials at your disposal to ensure that things go well on the DOS (Day of Smoke).  In addition to the USD we’re going to assume that you have some way of hanging meat in suspension over the charcoal as it’s cooking either by hooks or by some other hanging method.  We’ll also assume that you’re going to be eating your meal on the DOS in the afternoon of either day.


1 USD (Ugly Smoker Drum)
1 Standard Bag of Regular or Non-Matchlight® Charcoal**
1 Rack of Ribs (at least 13 bones in a standard rack)
1 pan/dish to carry at least 1 Quart of Water
4 Tablespoons of Jake’s Tri Tip, Steak and Rib Rub (All Natural)
4 Tablespoons of Standard Yellow Table Mustard
2 Cups of Wood Chips (Hickory, Alder, Cherry whatever you prefer)
1 Roll of Foil Wrap Aluminum
1 Chimney Fire starter

Rib Rubs
Seasoning pork or beef ribs beforehand enhances the flavor when the ribs are finally cooked.  The best Dry Rub Rib mixture will allow the meat to marinate evenly throughout the ribs.  Since Jake’s makes and sells it very own  Tri-Tip, Steak and Rib Rub this is an easy one for us.  But if you don’t have a dry rub there are a couple of ways we can remedy this.  One, you can simply go to our website at and order your dry rub using code: 1501062009 at checkout which will give you a 10% discount.  Or you can go to our website at and search for a copy of one of our open source recipes for dry rubs that we have available free for any site visitor.  Just type in “dry rub recipe” in the search box and you’ll be taken to the web page listing the recipes.
Before applying the dry rub you’ll need to clean your ribs.  Take the ribs if they’re pork and simply use a paper towel and your fingers to remove as much of the white membrane on the backside of the ribs.  This membrane barrier when removed allows you to deliver more flavors from the dry rub directly to the meat. After cleaning pat the ribs dry with a paper towel to remove any excess water moisture.  Lay down a long piece of aluminum foil enough to wrap the ribs in when completed.  Following the foil lay the ribs on top of the foil.  Coat the rib with the yellow mustard on both sides of the meat.  If you used your hands to coat the meat you must thoroughly clean your hands to prepare for the next step.  Follow the mustard with the dry rub coating both sides thoroughly.  When done coating cover the ribs with the foil wrap.  Seal as much of the ribs as possible with the wrap.  Now, take the ribs and place them in your refrigerator where they will rest overnight.  The combination of dry rub and mustard will help tenderize the meat and make it juicier when cooked. 

Next Day DOS: 
Since you’ll need at least 6 hours of smoke time it’s a good idea to get the grill ready by 9 AM.  We’ll assume that you’ll have all the items and ingredients you need and that you’ll light the fire at 9 AM.  First position your USD so that you will be upwind from the unit.  Remember it will be smoking most of the day so ensuring that you’re not in the smokes’ crossfire will run favorably in your direction especially if you have a few sensitive family members or a testy neighbor. 

Remove the charcoal basket from the USD and fill with Regular Non- Matchlight®  charcoal.  Place the basket back into the USD and ensure that the vents which provide air to the unit are about half way open. Take a handful of smoke chips and place them onto the charcoal.  Also, take the soaked chips and split them into two piles. Do not discard the water from the chips as we will use this later in the process.  Take each pile and wrap them in aluminum foil.  Tear a hole in the foil to allow smoke to rise from the foil.  Take the packets and place on the outer edges of the charcoal.  Take enough of the charcoal left to fill the Chimney fire starter.  Take a couple of strips of newspaper and ball them up.  After balling or wading them up place them under the starter.  The starter should be placed on a stone or metal surface.  Remember this unit will get hot, ensure that it is not placed anywhere that kids or adults may accidently come in contact with the unit.  Also, ensure that the unit is not placed in doors when starting or on any surface that might catch fire.  These steps are critical to your health and safety, do not take them lightly.   Once the fire starter is placed take either a match, lighter or barbecue lighter and light the paper underneath the chimney starter.  Within moments you’ll see the smoke from the burning paper rise up through the charcoal.  The intense heat of the flame against the bottom charcoals feed by the open vents of the starter will allow the charcoal to begin burning and will ultimately act to start the fire on the surrounding charcoals. 

**Charcoal: Note, we recommend using non-matchlight® charcoal.  This use will allow the charcoal to burn naturally.  If you use matchlight® or similar then all the charcoal will light as one unit which converts your smoker from a smoker to a grill.  Since we’re attempting to smoker and not grill this would be detrimental to our process.  Now, you can use a few matchlight® briquettes at the bottom of the chimney starter if you’re having trouble getting the first started.  Beyond, using matchlight® in the chimney starter I would hold it aside for the days in which you intend to grill and not smoke.

Once the Chimney starter is going let it burn for at least 10 minutes.  The objective is to get about half or more the charcoals lighted without having them burn white all the way.  This will help start the fire in the charcoal basket when transferred.  After the charcoals have reached their desired burn level use a heat protective glove or towel around the handle of the chimney to pick the unit up and dump the charcoals onto the charcoal basket.  When dumping the charcoals keep in mind there may be sparks for the charcoal or embers which may float around.  Be aware of the wind temperature and the area in which you are transferring the coals so as not to send sparks onto dry grass or brush.  Dump the coals over the center of the charcoal basket.  While the charcoals settle they will come in contact with the existing charcoals which will catch fire and begin to smolder.  As the heat builds you will begin to see smoke rise from the wood chip packets.  Once this the packets are smoking take a metal container or bowl and fill it with the water from the chips that were soaked.  Place the metal container on top of the charcoals directly in the center.  Make sure the container is level and keep in mind as the charcoals burn they will reduce in size causing the dish to change position.  Don’t let the dish shift too much because it may spill causing the water to cover the bottom on the smoker. If the water comes in contact with the smoker it may put your fire out.  A good way to determine something is wrong is by monitoring the temperature gauge.  If there is a dramatic drop in temperature then you know something is wrong and should be attended to. 

Options for water smoking include wine, juices or even beer. No matter the liquid or liquid combination you choose to smoke with, first soak your wood chips in this liquid. Depending on the flavor you want, you can vary the type of chips used. Alder, Mesquite and hickory are three of the most popular. Soak the wood chips for no less that 1 hour.  After soaking the chips, use the same liquid which will be poured in the water pan and used for the smoking process.

Once the charcoal is set remove your ribs from their foil and insert the hooks to hang the meat.  Transfer the meat to the smoker and hang.  Place the lid on the unit carefully and monitor the temperature.  A good smoking temperature is 200 degrees.  A great smoking temperature is closer to 250 degrees.  The best way to manage the amount of heat is through the movement of the air vent.  Adjusting the vent either open or close will deliver more or less air to the burning charcoals.  More air equals faster burn and of course less air means slower burn and longer cooking.  If you are cooking pork always be aware of the temperatures necessary to full cook the meat.  The temperature must be high enough to move the meat out of the know danger range to kill bacteria and allow meat to cook.  If the meat stays in the danger range too long one can get sick or ill.  Having your smoker at 250 will ensure that bacteria and illness never become a problem. 

It is a good idea to take at least one additional cup of smoking chips and have them soaked and ready for use.  After every 2 hours you should check on the water in the dish and also the wood chips.  If you need more water carefully pour more into the container without spilling or turning it over.  If you need more chips simply take a small handful and sprinkle them over the burning charcoals.  You may not need more charcoals but if you see them burning awful fast do two things, first close the vent door a bit to slow the burn process, second, prepare more charcoal by filling the chimney starter.  Once the charcoal reaches its desired temperature fill the charcoal basket as necessary.  When filling the basket watch for charcoal dust spray as the charcoals land on the ones beneath.  If you have a large enough access door fill the basket from the access door. 

Monitor the temperature and allow the smoke to perform its magic.  Once the meat is cooked add barbecue sauce after removing the ribs from the smoking process.

Slice the meat accordingly and plate with condiments, salsa, garlic bread and other items. 

Things to Avoid
Things to avoid are smoking on windy days or in areas where the smoke will drift causing irritation to neighbors or family members.  

One key issue that can't be repeated enough is heat management.  Keep the doors closed unless absolutely necessary.  Remember, open doors mean heat loss which means longer cooking periods which can also make meat tough.  Manage heat to improve the overall end result.

If you follow all these steps your ribs should turn our perfectly, just remove, cut, and serve.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Bringing Europe Into The Barbecue Union

We've been off the blog circuit for the past few weeks as we've been focusing on introducing our products to Europe. We officially kicked off our European tour with travel to Norway where we presented our premium line of Jake's Barbecue Sauce, Dry Rubs and Marinades. This event was many months in the planning stage focused on taking full advantage of Norway's very limited summer period which amounts to approximately 10 weeks. Our key entry location Jacobs Markets. Jacobs is a very high quality market and grocery targeting superior service and support for its customer base. The market specializes in delicacies we don't normally see in the United States with things such as alligator, buffalo, wild game and including whale meat along with their standard offerings.

We focused on a two day event just outside the front entrance to the market with a long flat grill chocked full of burning white oak charcoal. Our faire, country style cut pork ribs, ground beef burgers and Norwegian sausages.

The crowds were amazing as lines formed around the market. Sales of Jake's Barbecue Sauce moved at a brisk pace simply by way of the extra barbecue emphasis.

The second day saw even more people come out for the event as well as purchase Jake's fine barbecue sauces. While there we had the opportunity to talk with customers, chefs, store managers and more. We also shared our recipes and the great American experience of Barbecue. Our Burgers were mixed with Jake's Barbecue Sauce, Jake's Dry Rubs and ground beef. The ribs were marinated in Jake's Barbecue Sauce and sprinkled with our Tri-Tip, Steak and Rib Rub. The sausages were a wonderful blend of Jake's dry rubs, ground meat, curry and cheese, a really wonderful taste.

Following the outside barbecue we brought our operations into the market where we met with customers and discussed ways to Barbecue especially in areas where the weather isn't always the best. As well we discussed distinct barbecue styles, methods and recipes.

The photo at the right is an image of one of the shelves holding Jake's Barbecue sauce. Note, the pricing of items is a fair bit higher than prices in the United States. With conversion rates a small 8 oz jar of Jake's BBQ sauce is effectively $8.00 which goes along with their outrageous $10.00 a gallon gasoline. Now we clearly understand why Europeans prefer their sauces in small containers...simply cost.

In the coming months we plan to visit more European countries and further extend our support for the European market as we truly work to Bring Europe Into The Barbecue Union.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How To Use Marinades

Marinating meat can be one of the simplest and easiest ways of bringing flavor to foods. The only real limitation is "time". Planning ahead is crucial to determining the tenderness and impartation of flavor that meats experience. In this article we discuss some suggestions regarding the use of marinades, planning and the do's and don'ts to watch out for when marinating.

Regarding the actual time needed for marinating that time is usually determined by the type of meat to be marinated and the size of the cut. Typically it can take from two hours for chicken, and as long as eight hours for pork or beef. The focus being that the pork or beef has not been sliced into thin strips. When the meat is sliced into strips the marinade can cover and coat more of the surface area of the meat and will require less time to do its job.

There are some basic common sense rules that one can use to ensure that you get the maximum use out of your marinade.

  •  First consider the type of container to be used when marinating. Marinate meat in a glass, heavy plastic or heavy plastic bags. Using metal aluminum and copper containers may cause the marinades' acidity to react with aluminum or copper and cause both the metal and the meat to darken leaving behind a metallic taste.
  • Remove the meat after marinating and discard the leftover liquid.
  • Use about 1/4 cup of marinade per pound of meat. For example, for 2 pounds of beef or chicken strips, use 1/2 cup of marinade.
  • Make extra marinade and set it aside if you want some of the mixture for basting.
  • Planning ahead by starting the marinade in the morning before work or school will ensure that the meat is properly marinated by the end of the day.
  • Once the meat is prepared and covered with the marinade place the meat covered, in the refrigerator.
  • Don't leave meat in marinade longer than 12 hours. Over marinating can make meat mushy.
  • Never allow marinating meat to sit out at room temperature -- even for a short period of time.
  • Discard all marinade that has touched raw meat. Do not use it in cooking.
  • DON'T use marinade from raw meat or fish as a sauce.
  • DON'T reuse leftover marinade for other food.
Try teriyaki marinade for an Asian dish, a red-wine based marinade for steak or a yogurt-based marinade for a Middle-Eastern dish.