Well, barbecuebible.com to the rescue. This month, we’re focusing on budget grilling—and in particular, two cuts that deliver a big bang for the buck: turkey legs and country-style spare ribs.
We have some other exciting news: in May, we’re re-launching our barbecuebible.com site—with a way cool new design, a lot more community participation, and a new focus on the tools, fuels, flavors, techniques, and recipes you need to take your grilling and smoking to the next level. More smoke. More fire. More actionable information.
The taxman commeth. Grilling well is the best revenge.
Makes 8 drumsticks
1 quart apple juice or cider
3 quarts cold water
3/4 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon pink curing salt such as Prague powder or InstaCure
3 whole cloves
3 allspice berries, crushed
2 bay leaves, broken into pieces
1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
8 turkey drumsticks, each weighing 1 to 1-1/2 pounds
You’ll also need: 5 cups wood chips or chunks, preferably apple, soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained
Make the brine: In a large stockpot, combine the apple cider, kosher salt, brown sugar, curing salt, allspice, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over high heat to dissolve the salt and sugar. Add the 3 quarts cold water. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Add the turkey drumsticks, making sure they’re completely submerged in the brine. You can hold them down with a dinner plate or a resealable plastic bag filled with ice.
Brine for 24 hours.
When ready to smoke, drain the drumsticks and discard the brine. Remove any clinging solid spices. Blot the meat dry.
Preheat your smoker to 250°, following the manufacturer’s instructions, or set up your grill for indirect grilling. Place a drip pan in the center and preheat the grill to medium-low, 225°-250°.
Place the turkey drumsticks in the smoker or on the grill. Add 1-1/2 cups wood chips to the coals. Smoke the turkey until darkly browned and very tender, 4-5 hours, adding fresh charcoal as needed and wood chips every hour for the first 3 hours. You’re looking for an internal temperature of 165°. (Make sure the instant thermometer probe doesn’t touch bone or you’ll get a false reading.) Do not be alarmed (on the contrary—be proud) if the meat under the skin is pinkish: That’s a chemical reaction to the cure and the smoke called a “smoke ring.” Serve hot or at room temperature. In the unlikely event you have leftovers, store in the refrigerator (will keep for at least 3 days).
Note: Added advantage—this is one rib you can direct grill, so it’s great to make on a weeknight.
For the ribs:
2 to 2-1/2 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs
2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried sage
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the Lemon-Lime Barbecue Sauce:
1 cup lemon-lime soda, such as 7UP or Sprite
1 cup ketchup
1 cup of your favorite sweet red barbecue sauce
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Arrange the pork ribs in a baking dish just large enough to hold them in a single layer.
Combine the salt, oregano, granulated garlic, pepper, and sage in a bowl and stir with your fingers to mix. Sprinkle the rub over the pork chops on both sides, patting the spices onto the meat with your fingers. Drizzle the chops with oil on both sides, rubbing it into the meat.
Let the ribs cure in the refrigerator, covered, for 30 minutes to 1 hour, while you light the grill.
Make the barbecue sauce: Place the soda, ketchup, and barbecue sauce in a saucepan and whisk to mix. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat and let it simmer gently until thick and richly flavored, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat it to high.
When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange the ribs on the hot grate at a diagonal to the bars. Grill the ribs for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature when read on a meat thermometer is at least 145°.
Transfer the chops to a platter or plate. Serve at once with the lemon-lime barbecue sauce.
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