Monday, 10 September 2007

Christmas Turkey

Yeah, yeah, I know it's a bit early, but hey some of us need all the practice we can get.
Right 1st you want to get hold of a turkey, frozen will need to be defrosted completely, or fresh from your butcher or if you're that way inclined go and kill your own bird, just remember that it needs to be at room temperature and the feathers must be removed, before it goes onto the smoker... this will ensure that the smoke penetrates.

Lift the skin of the turkey, and try to loosen as much of it as possible.

Insert pesto/ rub or your own "secret" mixture (we all have one) underneath the skin.

Once you have about 3 table spoons of the mixture under the skin, use your hands to gently massage the bird, in order to get the mixture spread evenly..... believe me, there'll be quite a few blobs off the stuff lying around your work area (it's a messy process), and if your work area was hygiene friendly to start with, use these wayward blobs to rub the outside of the turkey... this'll help whatever herbs and spices you use to stick to it.

This is what she should look like, prior to going on the BBQ/ Smoker

You want to maintain a cooking temperature of between 200 - 250 Deg F for about 5 hours. Throw some wood chips/ chunks on to the coals every 30 minutes or so, depending on how much smoky flavour you require. I usually check the internal temperature of the turkey at about 4 hours into the cook, by inserting a food probe thermometer into either the thickest part of the breast or thigh. The bird is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 Deg F. A point to note is that once removed time must be allowed for the meat to rest and that during this time the meat will continue to cook as the juices re-distribute themselves.

She's done!

Bronze Award

We were awarded the bronze for "Innovative new products" for our ProQ Smoker at a trade show (Spoga) held recently in Cologne, Germany. This is a major achievement for us and we're delighted to say the least.
We have a few new products on the drawing board, so next year, who knows.... we may even get silver or gold.
Thanks must go to all the people who've tried and tested our bbq's, then come back with suggestions, some of which we've included in the latest models.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Steve Raichlen in Germany

We recently attended a trade show in Cologne, Germany (Spoga) where we launched our range of smokers and accessories. As well as being a great event, the largest display of BBQ equipment in Europe, we were awarded the Bronze for "innovative new products"..... just when we thought it couldn't get any better, Steve Raichlen, of BBQ Bible fame, visited our booth. It was an honor and pleasure to meet him, such a nice guy and my only regret was not being able to spend more time with him (unfortunately I had previous engagements, so couldn't take up his offer to go to dinner).

Smoked Foods

There are 2 types of smoking, Hot and Cold. These processes are 2 completely different methods for preparing food. Hot smoking cooks the food, whilst Cold smoking is a part of the process designed to cure food that will, in most cases, be cooked at a later stage. No one can be sure of when it all started, but it was probably discovered, by accident, sometime during the Stone Age. In the case of Hot Smoking, you can imagine a group of hunters bringing meat back to their cave and hanging it above the fire they used for warmth. Cold Smoking/ Curing may have been discovered in this manner... picture freshly caught sea fish, being filleted on site and then left to soak in a rock pool for a few hours, before being returned to the cave where it was hung further away from the fire, possibly nearer to the roof, where the smoke gathered. In both scenarios, man might have been pleased with the resulting flavour (he may even have been given a hearty smack on the back, known as a pat, from the people sharing the meal, to show their approval). He may have also noticed, in the case of the fish, that the food lasted a lot longer, without spoiling. As with most men, he more than likely got impatient, whilst waiting for his meal and ended up by first moving the meat closer to the fire (Barbecuing) and finally, by throwing meat directly onto the fire (Grilling).