Monday, August 26, 2013

Competition Tme! Award Winning Ribs and Chicken

The opening debut of the Smokin' Flannels BBQ team is finally out there!  We, the Artisan Bros, entered our first competition and did quite well. Here is what went down. We are still perfecting recipes and the like so little information will be given regarding our methods but enjoy the artisan way!
Funny story, several years ago the Artisan Brothers decided we would buy a motorcycle. Funny thing was none of us knew how to ride one.  Thanks to the internet we watched some videos, read some articles, and we were off.  A couple failed attempts in the ladies driveway we bought it from her and 25 mph down the main road we got it home. This competition felt like bike story all over again.  Borrowed smoker, never cooked ribs before, little chicken experience and we were off!

Preparation made for a terribly long night. We decided to do this competition only a week before it was scheduled... this was not very much time.  We decided that chicken was easy to practice with and that we would just wing the ribs when we got there.  Here is from the night before the competition...




We did chicken thighs for this competition.  We tried bone out.  So we removed the bones, took off the skin, scraped off the fat then wrapped the de-boned thighs back in the "fat free" chicken.  The membrane was stripped off the ribs and those were good to go. One in the a.m. rolled around and it was time to go to sleep!

Car loaded up we were ready to go have some fun and try out our luck with the ribs and chicken on a borrowed smoker!
We rushed in, started setting up our borrowed smoker and little Weber grill and got to work.  We went with a mustard glue and the 3-2-1 method.  This means 3 hours of smoking, 2 hours in a tin foil wrap, and finishing it off the last 1 hour on the heat to firm it back up and add sauce.


 After this we put a brine on our chicken thighs let them sit, put tons of butter in there to braze them and get the skins soft. 
 
On with the chicken! we put them under the heat, removed them and then put the chicken rub on.

About now the ribs were ready to go to the 2 hour stage explained earlier.  Here is snap shot of the process!! Amounts in tin foil are lessened just to give a preview of what we put in there.




After the two hours in the foil, the meat should pull back and expose the bone.  The meat will also be very soft so be careful taking it out of the foil.  We let it rest for a little bit and and put it back on the smoker (no smoke, don't want to make it bitter) and went for the last 1 hour of the 3-2-1.



On to the chicken submission.

  
Now the rib submission...


 




Everything turned out great.  We did really well for working on a borrowed smoker and for never having smoked ribs before.
We got fourth place in Ribs!


 Even the nephew couldn't get enough!

Look forward to our next competition next month at the Utah State Fair!!
Thanks,
Artisan Bros



Wednesday, August 21, 2013

How to Spatchcock a Chicken

 
Yeah, probably thinking the same thing I am... what a weird name... and if you are not already familiar with it, what is a spatchcock chicken?!
 
Said to have come from 18th century Ireland area, it is a combination of the words "dispatch" the "cock." A tradition of cutting out the backbone of the bird to create a flat easy to use bird. Chickens are roundish, hollow (when innards are removed) and harder to grill or smoke when they still in that cylindrical shape.  In fact, a spatchcocked chicken cooked traditionally in an oven usually takes 15 minutes less to cook through than a whole chicken. 
 
It has a weird name but it is very easy to do.  Take your chicken, if you are smoking (especially for a competition) try and get a bird around 4lbs.  A little easier to manage.
 

 
Find the back bone (feel inside if you cant tell from the outside).  Using 
chicken shears, cut along both sides to fully remove it from rest of the bird.



 
Traditional spatchcock methods will not remove the breast bone or keel bone from the bird.  We like to because it is easier to manage the bird once cooked.  You don't have to cut through a bone to get a full half chicken.  We are bigger boys and like a whole half to ourselves (and competition BBQ sometimes requires a half chicken). Some will tell you that you might as well cut the chicken into two halves if you do it this way. We disagree. Looks beautiful and it's easy to manage. No special way to do it just dig around the bone and pull it out.  Careful not to cut all the way through chicken.
 
 
 
Turn bird over, push down, and flatten.  Here you have a spatchcocked chicken!
 



Throw it on the smoker!


 
A couple hours later you have the best full chicken of your life!
 
 
 OH and while your at it... throw a couple potatoes down in the smoker... they come out to die for.  Make a smoked mash potato if you want! AMAZING!



 
Thanks,
 
The Artisan Bros



 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Buffalo Wild Wings - Hot Wing Eating Challenge

This past weekend, it was my privilege to take part in the East Lansing Buffalo Wild Wing Hot Wing Eating Contest sponsored by Buffalo Wild Wings and our apartment complex owners.
 
I am pleased to announce that I took 3rd place in that contest and received a gift certificate to Buffalo Wild Wings.
 
Check out the video and photos!