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    BBQ SovBo Style

    I decided to smoke some ribs and pork butt over the weekend.  It was over 100 degrees.  I considered just throwing the meat out on the concrete patio.  It was sure hot enough to burn the bottoms of your feet after 15 seconds!  But, instead, I figured I'd put a little more effort into it than that.

    I got home from work Friday night about 1 am.  The first thing to do was clean up the kitchen so I'd have some room to work.


    Then it was time to get some beans soaking for the baked beans.

    Pick out any debris such as rocks and bad looking beans.  A little water and presto!  That job is done for tonight.


    Now get out the ingredients for some rib rub.

    A little stirring with a spoon and then using my fingers to break up all the brown sugar.  Mix it till it's as smooth as a baby's bottom.  Cover until morning.  Wait.  It's 3am.  THAT is morning.

    Now for the piggy.  7 1/2 lbs of pork butt & 5 1/2 lbs of spare ribs.  Yum.  Yum.

    The pictures are a little blurry, but so were eyes.  There was no time to get a tripod.  It was time for bed. 

    After 4 1/2 hours of sleep I was ready to commence fixin' some vittles.  First things first.  Clean out the smoker before it gets too hot outside.  A little wire brush action and a good spraying with the garden hose and it was ready for some fuel.

    What do I have out here in the garage?  2 bottles of propane...nope.  It's not a propane smoker.

     1/4 bag Kingsford briquets.  Yes.  I'll need that.  A 20 lb bag of lump charcoal.  Yes.  I'll need that.  1/16 bottle lighter fluid.  Is that all I have??  Well, it is hot enough outside that spontaneous combustion is right around the corner.  Take the lighter fluid.  What do I have in the wood box?  Eh, just some dried Maple from the big tree out back.  Wish I had some hickory, tho.  Hickory makes the best BBQ, but any wood is better than no wood.  That should be a good start for some coals.  I am on a budget afterall.

    Let's load 'er up.

    A few briquets under the wood and it lit right up.  Be back to check on it later.  Made sure to put the smoker in view of the backdoor window so I could keep an eye on it from inside.  Now let's get those beans started.  They need to cook until soft.  Throw in some chopped onion (from the garden), a few small chopped cloves of garlic (from the garden), and a nice ripe red jalepeno (from the garden) chopped up, seeds and all.  Get this cooking for an hour before baking them in the smoker.


    After rinsing off the meat it's time for a little oil wrestling.  The meat needs to be completely rubbed down with cooking oil.  What's in the cupboard?  Canola oil.  That'll do.


    Once that's done, all that's left is getting every nook and crany covered with the rub.  Viola!

    That's a fine lookin' butt right there.

    Those ribs are lookin' good, too.

    No pictures taken applying the rub.  It's really kind of messy and I didn't want my camera looking like the ribs.  Besides, after not much sleep, the whole idea of taking pictures was wearing thin.  Anywho, let's see how the smoker is coming along.

    That looks great.  The coals are ready.  Uuchi, ouchi!  I don't know which is hotter, those coals, or my barefeet.  Run for the back porch!  Yeeoow!

    Let's get some meat in the smoker.  Here's what it looked like after the first hour.

    Stir the beans.  I know.  No pictures of getting the beans ready.  I said the idea of taking pictures was wearing thin.  Just mix in some Brer Rabbit Molasses, salt and pepper, brown sugar, a little rib rub, and whatever else you have in the cupboard.  Or look up a real recipe online.  I tend to be creative when I'm cooking at home.  Every 45 mins to an hour mist the meat with a spray bottle of water (or apple juice, but I was out).  This will keep the meat moist until the fat of the meat bastes itself.

    That's pretty much it.  Add more lump charcoal as needed to keep things cooking at around 225 - 250 degrees.  I will warn you that the thermometer in the top of a barrel smoker like mine needs to read 300 - 350 degrees in order for it to be 225 at the meat level.  I think this is the one thing that has frustrated more beginners than anything else.  When the heat rises along the top of the smoker lid and out of the exhaust that probe needs to read hotter than what your cookbook might say.  They should really explain that to people from the get go, but they don't.

    Also, for any beginners, burn your wood down to coals.  You do NOT want billowing smoke coming out of the exhaust or your meat will taste bitter.  And keep the exhaust fully open while cooking.  Control the heat down at the firebox vent.

    Stuff is done when a fork easily goes in and back out of the meat without trying to hang on.  No picture taking at the end.  Sorry.  That's real personal...just between the piggy and the eater!


    World's best Grilled Cheese


    Milton's Multi-grain bread

    Sharp cheddar cheese


    Miracle Whip


    Cast iron skillet

    Butcher knife

    2 paper towels

    Skill level



    Heat skillet over medium low heat

    Butter 1 side of two pieces of bread with butcher knife and set aside

    Slice off medium-thick slices of cheese with butcher knife and set aside

    Wipe off knife with first paper towel so as not to contaminate your Miracle Whip

    Put 1 slice of bread in skillet, butter side down

    Spread Miracle Whip on the bread in the skillet

    Wipe Miracle Whip off of knife again using first paper towel

    Cover with cheddar cheese

    Top with second slice of bread, butter side up

    Cook over medium low until brown and crispy

    Flip sandwich in skillet (Yes, use the butcher knife.  You don't want a lot of dishes to wash, do you?)

    When browned, and cheese is melted, remove from skillet using the butcher knife and place on the 2nd paper towel

    Let sit for a minute, then slice diagonally with said trusty butcher knife and enjoy! 

    These are powerful sandwiches.  Eating two of these will put you in a food coma.  You will need a nap.  I buy Milton's Bread at our local Sam's Club.  Search out this bread.  It is awesome stuff! 


    Crock pot pork loin


    Pork loin roast that fits in your crock pot

    1 envelope of onion soup mix (any brand)

    1 can of jellied cranberry sauce (you know, the stuff your Aunt always had at Thanksgiving)

    1/4 cup of water


    Crock pot

    Can opener



    Skill level



    Rinse pork loin and put in crock pot with the fat side up

    Open cranberry sauce and spoon around the roast

    Open onion soup mix and sprinkle on top of roast

    Add the water around the roast

    Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours (until a fork can easily be inserted and pulled out of meat)

    Serve with your choice of sides and a salad 


    Boiling Water


    Water (any amount you prefer)


    Container to hold water

    Skill Level



    Heat water on stovetop until it bubbles and reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit.


    Heat water in microwave oven until it bubbles and reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit.


    Start a fire and follow the above directions.  You are now ready to tackle more advanced cooking techniques, or add the water to your bath and have a nice long soak as you eat a microwave burrito.


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