Everything went well with the building of my Ugly Drum Smoker (UDS) and now it's time to test it.
Last saturday, I went to my butcher and picked up the baby back ribs that I ordered from him two days prior. He sold me 3 kilos of beautiful baby back ribs with the spinal bone still intact (usually this bone is cut off when preparing and selling baby back ribs). My butcher impressed me more as he offered me ribs with lots of meat on top, which is not normally done here. See the photo above? You couldn't even see a tinge of any rib bone or as they say, shiner, on it.
I bought some pieces of chicken wings which i plan to bbq and glaze with a hot thai sauce. To further baptize my newly built UDS, I bought a kilo of ground pork to make a home made sausage and stuff it with sauteed carrots and squash, boiled egg, vienna sausage and cheddar cheese. I went to the supermarket and bought the rest of the ingredients and spices that I need for my first weeken bbq on my UDS.
First off was the dry rub. A fellow brethren from bbq-bretheren forum, where I am now a member, gave me a good recipe for a dry rub which I will be applying to the back ribs and fatties. Since ready made dry rubs are not available in all the supermarket shelves (trust me, I've looked everywhere), Michael graciously emailed me the recipe for DR. BBQ'S BIG TIME RUB. And boy, it was really big time because the smell of the mixture of dry spices made my nose tinge with delight!
I washed and cleaned the ribs with cold water and wiped it dry with paper towels. I placed them in a tray, marinated them with unsweetened pineapple juice, covered it with a cling wrap and off to the fridge they went. It was now time for me to prepare my home-made sausage. A kilo of ground pork was mixed with spices like marjoram, sage and dried parsley and together with some other ingredients, I mixed them well using panko breadcrumbs and an egg as a binder. The smell of the sausage permeated around the kitchen. I let it rest for an hour and placed them on a sushi mat covered with a cling wrap and spread it out in a shape of a rectangle.
I thought of our local EMBUTIDO and it struck me that I can adapt the stuffing ingredients to the fatty I'm making. I sauteed garlic, onions, diced carrots and squash and seasoned them with salt and pepper and a bit of dried basil and thyme. After it has been cooled, I spread it out on top of the sausage, added sliced boiled eggs and vienna sausage and sprinkled grated cheddar cheese all over. The sight of it made my stomach grumble already. A western fatty stuffed with ingredients from a local recipe clearly showed that EAST perfectly meets WEST. Like a sushi, I wrapped the sausage fatty with the stuffing and it turned out to be one humongous piece of stuffed sausage, so huge that you have to place it in a tray to carry it well without breaking it apart. There were some excess meat and stuffing so I rolled them into bigger than golf ball size and sprinkled them with panko breadcrumbs. Bbq lovers call them MOINKS (I don't know why they call them as such). I wrapped them in a cling wrap and off they went to the fridge to chill overnight to harden a bit. They will be cooked with a layer of aluminum foil underneath to prevent them from sticking in the grill grates.
I marinated the chicken with a bit of orange juice, sesame oil and soy sauce and placed them in the fridge as well. Seems like I'm on a roll!!! I decided to prepare a creamy coleslaw of cabbage, carrots, raisins and green and red bell peppers. This would make a good side dish for the next day's dinner. All the preparation was done saturday night and I can't wait for Sunday afternoon for my first cook.
After a good night's sleep and a pretty light lunch, I started off with seasoning my drum in preparation for the cooking. I sprayed the inside of the drum with vegetable shortening, placed lump charcoal into my firebox together with a handful of apple wood chips and placed it inside the drum. I used my home-made chimney starter for the first time, added charcoal to it... put some paper at the bottom and at a flick of a lighter there were already burning coals after 10 minutes. I added the burning coals to the firebox filled with unlit charcoals and wood chips. We refer to this process as the MINION METHOD. I closed the drum's lid and in a few minutes I saw the thermometer climbing up to 350 degrees F with 3 intake holes open. What a way to season a drum. I let it stay at that temperature for an hour before I brought it down to 250 degrees F to cook the meat and poultry.
As the drum was seasoning, I finally rubbed the fatty with the dry rub I previously prepared. I patted the baby back ribs with dry paper towels and rubbed prepapred mustard before applying the dry rub. The smell was heaven sent even when it is uncooked. I placed the ribs, chicken wings, fatty, moink and two pieces of potatoes seasoned with salt and pepper inside the drum and started cooking everything at 250 degrees F. I pierced the center of the fatty with the meat probe thermometer and set it at 175 degrees F as the target cooked temperature. Well into the first two hours of the cooking, temperature was still steady at 250 degrees F with the one intake nipple open and the gate valve half open. After 2 hours and 45 minutes, I took out the ribs and wrapped them in 4 individual aluminum foils with unsweetened pineapple juice on it. I placed them back on the drum. The chicken wings and the potatoes were all cooked at the 3 hour mark, the same time the probe thermometer started beeping indicating that the internal temperature of the fatty is at 175 degrees F, meaning it's finally cooked. I took everything out of the drum leaving the foiled ribs behind.
At the 3 1/2 hour mark i removed the wrapped aluminum foils on the ribs, glazed them with the hawaiian sweet sauce that i prepared the night before and placed them back in the drum. Forty five minutes after the baby back ribs are finally cooked! That's a total of 4 hours and 15 minutes of great bbqing.
Here's the plate of my first ever bbq on the UDS. The smell is heavent sent, the taste... ABSOLUTELY YUMMY!!
The amateur photos speak for themselves and the UDS is really a working horse. I'll be cooking again next weekend with my UDS in time for the PACQUIAO-COTTO slugfest. Nothing beats good bbq while watching cable with friends and relatives over bottles of cold beer.