N00b timings question & how to cook Burgers & Sausages

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N00b timings question & how to cook Burgers & Sausages

Post  Qpid on Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:59 pm

Hi Folks,

I'm still a complete newbie at smoking - not even had a test run or seasoned my shiney new Excel 20 in yet!! But I've a pretty big first time run with it... Daughter's birthday on Saturday so I will be cooking for about 12 - 15 people, most around the ages of 18 - 20.

Now I have to be honest, I think everyone has eaten smoked food before but I bet not many have eaten smoked food thats been cooked there and then for them in a garden! Wink So most of the guests that are coming this weekend are expecting the plain old burgers in a bun and hot dog type BBQ, and even though a post probably already exists on here about cooking normal burgers and sausagesI havent seen one and wondered if you have any tips or experiences with cooking them. I am guessing I would smoke them / cook them over indirect heat for say 30 - 45 mins then sear them off grilling in direct heat at the last stage? We are only talking supermarket burgers and sausages here as well, not my home made massive ones Wink


Anyway my dilema is - with the main cooking - the timings... I am cooking quite a few BBQ Ribs, 2 whole chickens, a small lamb cut of some description for kebabs and the veg for the kebabs, with obligitary corn on the cobsto top it all. Now I am a bit annal (I blame my job) so have 'almost' come up with a plan... but its all theory from what I have read and wanted your opinions on it...


Food is served at 15:00 - thinking the ribs need the longest cooking time 5 - 5.5 hours?

08:30 Light Smoker (got a chimney and plan on running it the minion way with coconut briquets)
09:30 Check Temp and if ok add wood and Ribs (leaving the stacker off so smaller space to heat)
11:30 Check Ribs
Add two chickens and stacker below the Ribs (to get the juices and they need less attention?)
Add the lamb cut depending how big / what cut i get - its only to chop down and put on kebabs so only needs to be small but nice quality (ideas?)
12:30 Check Ribs and wrap in tinfoil (spray, add cider, etc)
13:30 unwrap ribs and if coming off the bone, baste with BBQ sauce
14:00 Check chickens to see if done (if they are, wrap in tinfoil then towels and in cool box they go otherwise leave cooking)
Baste Ribs again
14:30 Baste Ribs again
Check chickens and Lamb again - both should be done i am hoping by this point
Add burgers and Sausages to start to cook
Somewhere between here I guess I need to add the kebab veg (mushrooms, peppers) and the corn cobs.... but no idea when?

15:00 Take out ribs and if done serve with chickens which should be done by now, Kebabs, salad, etc
Direct heat / grill the burgers and sausages to just sear off if up to internal serving temperature
15:30 this will be a total cook time of 6 hours for the ribs and 4 hours for the chickens - also giving me extra time to fit in the veg and stuffed pots if i can fit it all on!!
cheers


What do you folks think? Is it viable? Any good? Any advice? It feels like a very complicated attempt for a first go, but i am hoping to get a chicken cooked the night before after seasoning the unit in which hopefully will give me a (tiny!) bit of practice, so any advice will be welcome! Smile

Will let you know how it goes and attempt pics in between my panic attacks on what needs doing and when! lol


Graham.

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Re: N00b timings question & how to cook Burgers & Sausages

Post  ThomEmery on Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:46 am

Sounds like a plan

You can cook the Ribs then cool them down
reheat and sauce em while the adoring bbq fans cheer
that would take pressure off the cook
you have a lot of items on the menu
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Re: N00b timings question & how to cook Burgers & Sausages

Post  Qpid on Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:19 am

I'm cooking the ribs the 3-2-1 way, so when you say "cook the ribs and reheat them", do you mean I can complete the '3' and '2' stages, then just leave them in foil on the side until ready for saucing in the last hour?

I guess that way I can start the cooking earlier then when only the small bits are left (Veg, burgers & Sausages) I can sauce up not having to worry too much about heat loss from opening up the unit - I could even reheat once the chickens and lamb are completed and foil wrap the lot into a cooler box to keep them hot until the ribs are completely finished. Then the burgers and sausages would surely be done, maybe just a quick sizzle over the coals to brown off...

Hmmm

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Re: N00b timings question & how to cook Burgers & Sausages

Post  ThomEmery on Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:03 pm

We cook Ribs days ahead of time when catering
Refrigerate then day of event warm them adding BBQ sauce at this time
Your cook is a very ambitious one
Are you sure you need to do so many items?
Breaking it into different parts will help to simplify
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Re: N00b timings question & how to cook Burgers & Sausages

Post  Qpid on Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:15 pm

If my water bowl & charcoal basket arrive in time tomorrow I may cook the ribs the night before, but the BBQ is on Saturday so it's got very tight... Just spoken to Alyson at Hot Smoked and Mack is actually sending out the bits today so huge fingers crossed they arrive tomorrow Smile

The Mrs is also talking about smoked banana as well now...

I was wondering how long to put the veggies on for as a rough estimate? Any tips for corn cobs?

Well in the supermarket carpark now to try and get ribs and the rest of the drinks so even if the BBQ isn't as good as I hope, everyone might be intoxicated enough not to notice! Lol

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Re: N00b timings question & how to cook Burgers & Sausages

Post  Mack on Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:23 pm

I'd give the corn cobs and veg around an hour.
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Re: N00b timings question & how to cook Burgers & Sausages

Post  Qpid on Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:40 pm

Hmmm looks like the ribs might be off the menu unless I can get some from the Market tomorrow... One bonus... Just been to Tescos and picked up 4 pork leg joints half price! Bargain!

Just talking it over with the better half and we are abandoning the spare ribs, causing too many time issues and I want them to be perfect, so probably better to cook them when I have more time and a little practice. Although saying that it could now be one of the pork leg joints lol

We will see Surprised)

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Re: N00b timings question & how to cook Burgers & Sausages

Post  Qpid on Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:23 pm

At home now and its started raining again so the gardening is off until tomorrow when it will be all hands on deck to get it done otherwise there will be a tonne of gravel sat on my drive all weekend Crying or Very sad

The final decision on the menu has been made and even though its still ambitious for a first cook I think it is simpler than all the stop/starting with the ribs, going to have a go anyway;

4lb bonless leg of pork joint seasoned simply with just salt & pepper rub and Thyme stuffed into the cuts in the skin with a mop of apple juice in the last 30 mins
2 x whole chickens (one stuffed with Pesto under the skin and the other with a BBQ rub & beer butt)
6 x bonless lamb leg steaks for the kebabs
6 x pieces of frying steak (no idea what to do with these but probably a yellow mustard and BBQ rub)
16 x burgers (Asda premium ones so similar to home made)
18 x sausages (Tescos premium range - 6 x pork & chorizo, 6 x pork & chilli, 6 x Lincolnshire)

I think she has basically taken all the bits in the freezer that have been sat in there over a month and expects me to work miracles with them...

My plan is to give the 4lb joint 5 (or 6 hours??) hours sat with the chicken upto 4 hours on the bottom shelf, the steaks, burgers and sausages 1.5 hours, on the top shelf with the corn and the veg added for the last 1 hour. Then sear off and finish the steaks, burgers and sausages on direct heat. I have quite a worry about the heat loss with all the opening and closing of the unit by adding all the food, although most of it at least is in the last 1.5 hours when I guess I should be basting anyway... at least I think so?

I also had an idea Shocked Dont know if anything is about already but, a hanging basket that drops from the fish hooks for the small items... Just thinking from the stuff I am cooking I could put burgers, steaks, sausages (which are all relativly flat) on the top shelf with small items such as shrimp, veg, etc, sitting comfortably in the basket hanging above - Just a thought and I will look at this as an adaptation when i get some time.

Anyway what does my plan of action sound like? Am I estimating the right times or should i give the leg of pork longer - thats what i feel is the weakness in the above schedual.

Speak soon,


Graham.

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Re: N00b timings question & how to cook Burgers & Sausages

Post  ThomEmery on Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:00 pm

Qpid wrote:
The Mrs is also talking about smoked banana as well now...

TMI Brother
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Re: N00b timings question & how to cook Burgers & Sausages

Post  Qpid on Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:30 pm

LOL

TMF more like... thats a new acronym I just invented - Too Much Food!! hehe

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Re: N00b timings question & how to cook Burgers & Sausages

Post  Qpid on Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:39 pm

Hi again folks, well amazingly it pretty much all turned out great, didn't manage to crisp up the crackling but the meats came out great... Best chicken I've ever had infact!

I took some pics during the day although not as many or of maybe what I should have for a write up, but got some along with times and Temps. Got to admit though that all fell appart when guests started arriving and the mrs was getting ready which left me to Q and entertain - wasn't a biggie but the pics and recording went out the door Sad

Anyway I should get some time tomorrow to get on and post it all up - so long as she isn't hogging the PC anyway! Lol

Graham.


Last edited by Qpid on Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:42 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spelling / typing from my phone so loads of mistakes!)

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Re: N00b timings question & how to cook Burgers & Sausages

Post  ThomEmery on Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:06 pm

Looking forward to seeing the eats Smile
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Re: N00b timings question & how to cook Burgers & Sausages

Post  Qpid on Thu Sep 02, 2010 7:32 pm

Right here is a breakdown of the day - or at least half the day Smile

08:20 After boiling the kettle and filling the water bowl to about halfway I added a 1/2 full chimney of hot coconut briquettes to the centre of the half full charcoal basket (planning on minion method). I straight away added the 1.9kg pork leg joint. Vents set to 100% all around (top never closed).

08:46 Lid Temp was 270F but the internal digital temp was only 226F
The temp varied between 250F and 290F with closing and opening the bottom vents

11:20 Added the chickens, topped up the water with more boiling water, topped up the coals with raw unlit ones and added Oak and herb wood pellets - these did seem to burn out fairly quickly in the tin.

Pork joint has been in for 3 hours and the two chickens (Beer Butt with BBQ seasoning dry rub & a Pesto stuffed one) just added:
http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif

The Lid Temps varied now between 240F to 300F

13:00 Topped up water bowl & Charcoal, Pork had an internal meat temp of 165F and I added the Burgers , Sausages and large diced lamb for kebabs (actually lamb leg steaks cut up) as you can see, I cooked the lamb in its red wine and garlic marinade in a pyrex dish sat on top of my rib rack:
http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif

***Guests Arrive and beer is opened***

14:00 Temps are still between the 220F to 260F range, Took out the Pork joint, wrapped in tinfoil and towels then placed into a cooler box to keep hot, the internal temp of the pork was 175F (so unfortunatly well done so the kids were happy). I moved the pyrex dish of Lamb down to sit in the now vacant spot on the bottom shelf and added a basket of veg - Sweetcorn with marg wrapped in tinfoil, peppers, onions and a tinfoil wrap of mushrooms olive oil and garlic. All the veg sat in a veg/shrimp basket and sat ontop of the rib rack for stability.

15:00 took out and served up the whole lot Smile

The two chickens straight out the Excel 20 (I think you can tell which is which Laughing ):
http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif
http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif


The pork joint (cooked for 4 hours 40 mins)already cut and attacked before i remembered to take a shot! I have to admit i did not use near enough salt on the rind, and as my Aussy nephew said "Use S**T loads!!", I evidently 'only' used lots Shocked I marinated the joint over night in cider (which i poured into the water bowl when i put the joint on) then injected flat cider about half way through the cook into the joint:
http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif


Sausages (2 hours seems to be a good time) these were Chorizo, Cumberland and some chilli ones:
http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif

Burgers (again 2 hours seems a good time) - these were Tescos premium burgers straight out of the chiller:
http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif

The diced Lamb did come out a little dry and that was cooked in its own marinade for 2 hours!:
http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif

The Veggies cooked for 1 hour as per Mick's recomendation:
http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif

I did end up cooking some Frying Steaks but to be honest they came out as dry as anything so I actually cut the rind off the pork joint and rubbed in more salt (S**T loads this time!) and added that to direct heat along with the frying steak.... Voila! Jerky and crunchy crackling!! Thank god for Aussy relatives that grow up with BBQs! lol

Anyway, I think I will be having another go this weekend at another Pork Leg Joint on its own so I can get it better without worrying and juggling times etc. All in all everything came out great, Veg were perfect, the chicken was the best I have tasted I think in my life and the pork tasted fantastic but a bit on the dry side for my liking from over cooking i think.

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Re: N00b timings question & how to cook Burgers & Sausages

Post  Mack on Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:24 am

Sounds like an excellent result for your 1st outing with the Excel. Food looks fantastic too!
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