Simple , Brining, Injection,Spatchcocking Methods for Turkeys

There are many ways to prepare great tasting turkey, we will only be showing you the couple simple ways that we like to cook it – Brining, Injection,Spatchcocking

Brining a whole turkey is a process in which the turkey is soaked in a salt and water solution, resulting in juicy, flavorful meat. Sugar and other rubs are sometimes use to further enhance the flavor. Brining increases the moisture content, ensuring that the turkey will stay moist, even though the long smoking period. The brining process breaks down and extracts some of the proteins from the meat, allowing liquid to be absorbed into the turkey. When the turkey is cooked, the proteins coagulate, preventing the liquid from escaping. When selecting a turkey that is going to be brined, be sure it is not pre-basted or that it is not a kosher turkey. Brining turkey that has been pre-basted is not recommended. Pre-basted and kosher turkeys have been processed with a salt solution to maintain juiciness and if brined, they may end up being too salty. Also, if the turkey is over-brined the result will be meat that is very soggy.

Brining a whole turkey is a simple process that results in moist and flavorful meat, which is generally slightly saltier than turkey prepared using other methods. When brining a turkey, you will need at least 10 to 12 hours of soaking time so preparation must begin 1 to 2 days before cooking. If you selected a frozen turkey, be sure the turkey is completely thawed before beginning the brining process.

A large container is required to accommodate the turkey and the brining solution. A 12 to 16-pound turkey will generally fit in a 20 quart stock pot. A stock pot is not necessary but it is important that the container or pot be made of stainless steel, glass, enamel or other non-corrosive material, otherwise the salt that is used may cause a chemical reaction with the container.

I use the Briner Bucket by LEM  brine with it allows plenty of room for large Turkeys and a unique locking plate insert keeps food submerged for a more effective brining process. Available in 22 quart or 8 quart. Includes pressing plate and lid in each bucket. Made in USA.

Simple Three Little Pig’s Brine

Ingredients: 

1/2 cup kosher salt

1 Cup of Three Little Pig’s Championship Rub

1/2 cup granulated sugar or brown sugar

Small handful of aromatics (garlic cloves, thyme sprigs, whole peppercorns, bay leaves, lemon or orange zest removed in strips)

Method: 

Combine salt, sugar, aromatics and 1/2 gallon (8 cups) of water in a large pot and place over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar, salt and Championship rub are dissolved. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Stir in remaining 1/2 gallon water (or water and ice) and cool completely.

Pour brine into a container just large enough to hold turkey comfortably. (A 4- or 5-gallon vessel should be good for a 10- to 12-pound turkey.) Add turkey; add a little more water or ice to submerge it if necessary. Turn bird a few times and then leave breast-side down in the water; place a heavy plate over the poultry if it floats. Chill 10 to 12 hours. Remove bird from brine, discard brine and roast as directed.

Injection, we all know that turkey tends to be a dry meat especially in the best area. This is a way to push moisture into your turkey while infusing it with great flavors at the same time. Just remember that this is a marinade so it will need some time in the meat to get the flavors.

5- Points of Injections for Turkey or Chicken. 

                       

 Simple Cajun Beer & Butter Injection

 Ingredients:

1/2-pound butter

1/2 can beer

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons of Three Little Pigs Memphis Rub

2 tablespoons Tabasco

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan over a low heat. Stir and heat until salt is dissolved and the sauce is even and runny. Keep warm (but not hot) to inject.  Inject under the keel bone for even distribution and down legs to maximize flavor

 

Spatchcocking, A spatchcock turkey (also called “butterflied turkey”) is a whole turkey with its backbone removed. The turkey is then opened like a book and laid flat before smoking. (And it’s a whole lot easier than it might sound.)

 

   Benefits of Spatchcocking:

Cooks Faster: Flattening the turkey exposes more surface area to heat, so overall cooking time is reduced. A 10-pound spatchcock turkey was done in only 2 hour 45 minutes at 250º F. Compare that with the 4 to 4½ hours it takes to cook an unstuffed 10-pound turkey at the same 250º F.

Crisper Skin:  All the skin is exposed evenly to the heat, with none of it hiding on   the underside. That means it all crisps up evenly. And who doesn’t love crispy skin?

Juicier Turkey: Turkey has two different kinds of meat that are cooked through at two different temperatures. And there’s the problem. Breast meat starts drying out after it reaches 150° F, but dark leg meat isn’t thoroughly cooked until 165° to 170° F. People try all kinds of tricks to keep the breast from drying out while the legs are still cooking, but simply opening up the turkey and cooking it flat brings both kinds of meat to doneness at the same time. Problem solved.

Chris Marks  CBBQE (Chief BBQ Expert) Three Little Pig’s Rubs & Sauces and Good-One Smoker/Grills

 

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Simple Reverse Seared Rack of Lamb

Simple Reverse Seared Rack of Lamb

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Coat both side of the rack of Lamb with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • Coat Rack of Lamb  with Three Little Pigs Memphis Rub. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
  • Add Rack of Lamb to your smoker and cook for about 2 hours or until medium to medium rare.

” I prefer a light smoke so I use either Cherry or Apple wood to flavor the lamb”.

  • Heat grill to medium-high heat and grill for 5 minutes a side, until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F.

Cut and Serve

Chris Marks  CBBQE (Chief BBQ Expert) Three Little Pig’s Rubs & Sauces and Good-One Smoker/Grills

 

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Smoked Pigs on the Beach

       Smoked Pigs on the Beach

Three Little Pigs BBQ Sauce & Rubs 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. If the shrimp are frozen, place them in a colander and run cold water to thaw.
  2. Remove shells & tails.
  3. Place shrimp in a bowl with some olive oil & Championship rub , set aside.
  4. Cut the smoked sausage into ½” circles. Add seasoning and set aside.
  5. Take a shrimp and place down flat, then lay a sausage round right in the center of the shrimp where it curves into a “C” shape.
  6. Push a toothpick or skewer through the sausage & shrimp to hold them together. Repeat process on the remaining shrimp & sausage.
  7. Smoke at 250 degrees 30-45 minutes until warmed all the way thru
  8. Glaze with Three Little Pig’s Spicy Chipolte BBQ Sauce.

Chris Marks  CBBQE (Chief BBQ Expert) Three Little Pig’s Rubs & Sauces and Good-One Smoker/Grills

 

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Smoked Chex Party Mix

               Smoked Chex Party Mix
                (Three Little Pigs Style)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups corn chex cereal
  • 3 cups rice chex cereal
  • 3 cups wheat chex cereal
  • 1 cup mixed nuts
  • 1 cup bite size pretzels
  • 1 cup garlic flavor bite size bagel chips or fritos
  • 6 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Three Little Pigs KC Sweet seasoning
  • ¾ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix cereals, nuts, pretzels and bagel chips.
  2. Add melted butter and seasonings to cereal mixture and stir until evenly coated.
  3. Spread out on cookie sheet and smoke at 250 degrees for 45-60 minutes.
  4. Turn every 15 minutes.
  5. Best to store in an air tight container

Chris Marks  CBBQE (Chief BBQ Expert) Three Little Pig’s Rubs & Sauces and Good-One Smoker/Grills

 

 

 

 

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Smoked Sausage Scotch Eggs

Smoked Scotch Eggs

 

 

Ingredients:

Directions: 

  1. Boil & peel eggs then set aside.
  2. Mix  Three Little Pig’s All Purpose Rub  into sausage and mix well.
  3. (Keep a bowl of water to moisten hands with so sausage won’t stick to hands when forming balls)
  4. Divide sausage into ¼ lb balls and flatten out like a patty.
  5. Wrap patty around an egg.
  6.  Wrap piece of bacon around egg
  7. Smoke at 250 degrees or until the internal sausage temp is 160 degrees
  8. Dip Each Egg into Three Little Pig’s Competition BBQ Sauce

 

Chris Marks  CBBQE (Chief BBQ Expert) Three Little Pig’s Rubs & Sauces and Good-One Smoker/Grills

 

 

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Smoked Potato Salad

Smoked Potato Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boiling potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt and ground black pepper
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or more to taste
  • 2 hard cooked eggs, peeled (we placed in smoker to get smoke flavor on eggs)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1 dill pickle coarsely chopped
  • Three Little Pigs Championship seasoning (2 tsp)

Directions: 

  1. Cut any larger potatoes in half or quarters.
  2. Place all potatoes in a single layer in an aluminum pan.
  3. Stir in olive oil and Three Little Pig’s Championship Rub.
  4. Place pan of potatoes on smoker 275+ degrees and smoke until tender.
  5. While potatoes smoke, make the dressing.
  6. Combine the mayo, mustard, vinegar, chopped eggs, dill, scallions, pickles & seasoning. Cover & refrigerate.
  7. When potatoes are tender, stir the warm potatoes into the dressing.
  8.  Serve warm or cold.

 

Chris Marks  CBBQE (Chief BBQ Expert) Three Little Pig’s Rubs & Sauces and Good-One Smoker/Grills

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Smoked Stuffed Apples

Smoked Stuffed Apples

(Three Little Pigs Style)

 

 

Ingredients: 

  • 6 firm sweet apples, such as Honey Crisps or Galas
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup of Three Little Pigs Touch of Cherry Rub
  • ¼ cup shortbread or gingersnap crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 marshmallows (optional)
  • Vanilla ice cream (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Core the apples using an apple corer or melon baller. Don’t cut all the way to the bottom. The idea is to create a cavity for stuffing.
  2. We had to end up pulling the core out then cut 1/3 off the core end and placed it back into the bottom of the apple to hold the stuffing.
  3. Cream the butter and brown sugar together and Three Little Pigs Touch of Cherry . Beat in the cookie crumbs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the apples. Stick a cinnamon stick upright through the filling of each apple and place a marshmallow on top.
  5. Cut sides down so marshmallow can seep inside.
  6. Place apples in an aluminum pan or on foil.
  7. Smoke apples until the sides are squeezably soft but not collapsing.  250 degrees for 1-1 ½ hours depending on size of apples.
  8. If the marshmallows start to brown too much, tent the apples with foil.
  9. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream.

Chris Marks  CBBQE (Chief BBQ Expert) Three Little Pig’s Rubs & Sauces and Good-One Smoker/Grills

 

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Three Little Pig’s Moink Balls

Moink Balls are basically meatballs wrapped in bacon – and then rubbed, grilled and glazed. They get the name by combining MOO + OINK. These little bites of delicious are perfect tailgate Food because they are easy, quick and folks love them.

 

 

Ingredients

Directions:

  1. Mix the Three Little Pig’s All-Purpose Rub & Kansas City Sweet Sauce with the 5lbs of Hamburger.
  2. Make the meat ball and stuff the cubed cheese square inside and roll.
  3. With ½ strip of back wrap around meatball.
  4. Smoke over indirect heat at 250 degrees for about 1 hour until the bacon is done to your liking.
  5. Five minutes before removing the balls from the smoker, baste them with Three Little Pig’s Competition BBQ Sauce. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Marks  CBBQE (Chief BBQ Expert) Three Little Pig’s Rubs & Sauces and Good-One Smoker/Grills

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Why is Low & Slow Cooking So Effective on Tough Meats ?

MEAT COMPOSITION

Meat – muscle tissues from animals used for food

What makes up meat?

Water – 75%

Protein – 18.5%

Fat – 3%

Carbohydrates – 1%

Mineral – 1%

 

 

 

Meat Structure: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Each layer is surrounded by a connective tissue sheath
  • Typically, epimysium can be removed prior to cooking, however the other two are always eaten
  • Each sheath is comprised of primarily collagen

COLLAGEN:

  • Collagen is a very tough connective tissue
  • Most abundant protein in the body
  • Compound most responsible for tenderness variation among muscles in the animal
  • Muscles high in connective tissue (collagen) are very tough and are subsequently less valuable

 COLLAGEN BREAKDOWN:

  • Collagen will turn into gelatin when cooked correctly
  • Collagen will, with moist heat, turn to gelatin at temperatures from 156oF to 185oF
  • However, this transition takes time, typically hours
  • Low temperatures are needed for cooking so that meats are not fully dried out during cooking
  • Thus, “low and slow” dry heat or moist heat cooking techniques are required for tenderization of tough meats

 

 

Chris Marks  CBBQE (Chief BBQ Expert) Three Little Pig’s Rubs & Sauces and Good-One Smoker/Grills

I want to Thank Travis Quinn PHD at Kansas State University for helping me understand the fine details of meat protiens.

 

 

 

 

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Smoked Paddle-Fish Recipe

 

 

 Smoked Paddle-Fish Recipe 

Paddle fish are a cousin to sturgeon and are also known as spoonbill, spoonbill cat and shovel nose cat.  Paddle fish seldom bite a baited hook, but on occasion are “snagged” accidentally by anglers using treble hooks.

Spoonbill is a great tasting fish – as long as you clean it right.  A fish under 65 pounds is the best tasting; smaller even better.

If you only keep the ones under 10 pounds, you usually do not have to trim the red meat.  At 15 pounds the red meat begins to get oily and needs to be trimmed (in the directions below).  The best ones yield three 4″ fillets from each side.

As soon as you land the fish you would do the following:

Tip 1:  Kill the fish as soon as you have it in the boat (hit it on the head), tie a line through it’s gill plate, cut both sides of the gills off and put the fish back in the water. Let it bleed out.  This will get rid of the soured blood taste.

Tip 2 Keep the fish cold.  This is very important.  If you have ice, put it down into the belly of the fish – you want to cool down the meat as soon as possible.

Tip 3 There are no bones in paddle fish, so filleting them are very simple.  The third most important step to guarantee great taste is removing the long fibrous “cord” (really looks like a spinal cord).  It’s the first thing you remove from the fish so the fillets are not ruined.

You can cut around the tailbone at the tail, then saw the tailbone/backbone off the ribs and pull the tailbone right out.  You cut off all the red meat and gray fatty tissue.  One speck of red meat will ruin the flavor.  Then you can cut into steaks.  Place in salt water for 30 minutes to cool.

You may soak them in buttermilk for a few hours to remove any smell or taste that is left over.  Guarantees great results.  Now on to the recipes!

 

SMOKED PADDLE FISH RECIPE (Smoked Spoonbill recipe)

Paddle fish, 2″ x 3″ x 4″ chunks or small fillets

 

Brine fish for 24 hours.

Brine:
2 gallons’ water
2 cups kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup of Three Little Pigs All Purpose Rub

 

Directions:
1) Dry on a rack in the refrigerator overnight.

2) Lightly cover spoonbill Filet in garlic infused Olive Oil

3) Lightly dust the Filet with Three Little Pigs All-Purpose Rub

4) Get Smoker temperature to 225 Degrees

5) Add Filet to smoker and then add your choice of flavor wood, I prefer Apple of Cherry.

6) Smoke filet to 150-155 degrees

7 ) Lightly glaze the filet with Three Little Pig’s Competition BBQ sauce for a nice finish.

 

Chris Marks  CBBQE (Chief BBQ Expert) Three Little Pig’s Rubs & Sauces and Good-One Smoker/Grills

 

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