BBQ101 – Perfect, juicy smoked chicken breast filets (with bacon!)

Tastes great with some grilled corn salsa, coleslaw and homemade bourbon-pickled jalapenos!

Tastes great with some grilled corn salsa, coleslaw and homemade bourbon-pickled jalapenos!

The last year I have had a personal focus on eating healthier and working out. Does that have to mean less BBQ? No, of course not. It means more BBQ. And one of the most protein-rich, low-fat foods you can put on your smoker is the chicken breast. However, due to the low fat content and the temperature levels you have to cook them to, they can easily end up being dry and bland. Some months ago I saw a (stupid) comment from someone about how you “had to” employ sous vide techniques to make a good chicken breast. Of course you don’t, as we all know EVERYTHING tastes better smoked or grilled (don’t get me started on the whole sous vide first and then smoke it debacle, it doesn’t even come close to real BBQ, and you know it). So I have experimented for a while, and believe now that I have found a very good (perfect?) way to make chicken breast! We will combine low and slow BBQ with the method known as the reverse sear, and some glazing in the end to achieve perfection while cooking outdoors. Let’s go!

 

What you will need for 6 filets:

  • 6 large chicken breast filets
  • 6 strips of quality dry smoked bacon
  • Some BBQ sauce for glazing (I like to use this one, but you can buy a good one too of course)

Serving suggestions:

  • I like to serve with some good coleslaw, maybe some grilled corn salsa (recipe to come later…) and some good homemade bourbon-pickled jalapenos. Some bratwurst is never a bad idea either!

Preparations (15 min):

  • Set up your grill or smoker for indirect cooking and try to stabilize grate temp at Chicken filets on the Primo Oval XL. Yum!around 100C/212F
  • I like to rinse the filets under cold water and then pat them dry with kitchen towel. You can brine them too if you like that, but I don’t find it necessary using the method we will use
  • Season the filets. I use salt and pepper only for this, but you can use your favorite rub for more spiciness too if you like.
  • Once rinsed and dry, roll/fold the filets lengthwise into a ball that is uniform as possible. This together with low temperature smoking will aid in even cooking throughout, plus it looks cool. Wrap a strip of bacon (or two, cross-wise if you’re feeling like partying) around the filet, and use a small wood skewer to hold it all in place.
  • Chicken is now ready to go!

How to cook it (120-150 min):

  • Place your chicken balls safely on the cold side of your grill smoker. Throw some (cherry/apple) wood chips on if you like, I don’t find it necessary on my lovely Primo Oval XL, I get enough smokiness just from the lump charcoal I use. Either way go easy on the smoke, poultry is easily oversmoked.
  • Stick a thermometer probe in the largest one and keep an eye on the temperature throughout cooking. On around 100C/212F grate temp it usually takes a bout 90 minutes to get to the desires temp, which should be about 65C/149F (not safe for eating, but we are not done yet!)
  • Once the chicken has reached 65C/149F, take them off the grill, and get the temp up a bit. Heat up a grate over the coal side of the grill, because we will do some searing next
  • When the grate is nice and hot, get the chicken balls nicely seared on all sides. ThisChicken safe temp reached and resting commencing should bring them up to around 70C/158F.
  • Once searing is done move them over to the cold side of the grill again, and brush them with the BBQ sauce selected earlier. I normally have a grate temp of around 150C/300F at this point, try and keep it at that or lower, or the sugar in your BBQ sauce will burn and create bad flavors
  • Let the filets glaze for 5-10 minutes. At this point I check each one with my ThermaPen, to see if I have reached the safe temp for chicken (USDA says 165F/74C, and I agree)
  • Winner winner. Chicken dinner.Once they reach the correct temp, take them off the grill and let them rest 5-10 minutes. Serve it up and enjoy the juiciest, most delicious smoky chicken filets you have ever eaten. Perfection!
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BBQ Grunnkurs – Perfekte, saftige kyllingfileter med nydelig røyksmak (og bacon!)

Tastes great with some grilled corn salsa, coleslaw and homemade bourbon-pickled jalapenos!

Smaker fortreffelig med grillet maissalsa, coleslaw, hjemmelagde bourbon-pickled jalapenos og en iskald IPA

Det siste året har jeg hatt en personlig fokus på å spise sunnere og trene masse. Betyr det mindre BBQ? Nei, selvsagt ikke, det betyr mer BBQ. En av de mest proteinrike, magre tingene du kan slenge på grillen er kyllingfilet. Men, pga det lave fettinnholdet og den forholdsvis høye kjernetemperaturen vi må tilberede filetene til for å unngå sykdommer, ender kyllingfileter ofte opp som tørre, smakløse greier. For noen måneder siden så jeg en (idiotisk) kommentar om at man “måtte” bruke sous vide teknikker for å få til ett godt kyllingbryst. Det må man selvsagt ikke, og som vi alle vet smaker ALT bedre når det er røykt og grillet (og ikke nevn disse sous vide først og så røyking teknikkene, det er ikke engang i nærheten av ekte BBQ, og det vet dere!). Så, nå har jeg eksperimentert noen måneder og mener å ha funnet en metode for å lage veldig god (kanskje til og med perfekt) kyllingfilet på grillen. I denne oppskriften kombinerer vi “low and slow” BBQ (varmrøyking) med teknikken kjent som “reverse sear” (dvs at vi brunner kjøttet til slutt istedetfor først), før vi avslutter med å glasere filetene.

Hva trenger du for 6 fileter:

  • 6 store kylling brystfileter
  • 6 remser med tynn, røykt kvalitetsbacon
  • BBQ saus for glasering. Jeg liker å lage og bruke denne, men du kan kjøpe en også selvsagt.

Serveringsforslag:

  • Jeg liker å servere disse med litt god coleslaw, litt grillet maissalsa (oppskrift kommer senere), og noen gode hjemmelagde bourbon-pickled jalapenos. Litt bratwurst er aldri en dårlig idé heller!

Forberedelser (15 min):

  • Sett opp grillen eller røykeren din for indirekte grilling og prøv å stabilisere en temperatur (målt på risten) på ca. 100 grader celsius.
  • Jeg liker å skylle filetene i kaldt vann og så tørke dem med kjøkkenpapir. Du kan legge dem i saltlake noen timer også, men jeg synes ikke det er nødvendig med den metoden vi skal bruke for tilberedning her.
  • Krydre filetene. Jeg bruker kun salt og pepper på disse, men du kan bruke din favoritt-rub også for litt mer krydret smak.
  • Når filetene er klare, rull eller brett dem på langs og form dem til en ball som er så uniform/rund som mulig. Dette sammen med den lave temperaturen i røykefasen vil hjelpe oss til å dem jevnest mulig ferdig, og dermed få ett ekstremt saftig sluttresultat. Legg en stripe bacon rundt “kyllingballen” (eller to striper på kryss om du er i festhumør), og bruk en cocktailpinne til å holde alt sammen.
  • Kyllingen er nå klar til å tilberedes, og bør legges i kjølen om ikke alt er klart til røyking enda.

Hvordan du griller dette (120-150 min):

  • Sett kyllingballene pent på en ren rist på den kalde siden av grillen/røykeren din. Hiv inn litt eple- eller kirsebær-flis om du ønsker det, på min nye Primo Oval XL har jeg ikke behov for dette, fordi jeg får nok røyksmak fra selve grillkullet. På en vanlig kulrgrill er litt flis å anbefale. Vær uansett forsiktig med mengden røykflis, det er lett å overrøyke fjærkre, og det smaker ikke noe særlig godt..
  • Putt en termometer-sensor i den største kyllingballen, og hold ett øye med temperaturen mens du røyker filetene. Med en temperatur på 100C på grillristen, pleier det å ta cirka 90 minutter å komme til ønsket temperatur, som er rundt 65C (ikke trygg temperatur for konsumering, men husk, vi er ikke ferdige enda!)
  • Når filetene har nådd 65C, ta dem av grillen, og få temperaturen opp litt i grillkammeret. Varm en rist på kullsiden av grillen, for nå skal vi brune filetene litt.
  • Når risten er passe varm, bruner du kyllingballene pent på alle sider. Dette bringer vanligvis temperaturen i filetene opp til rundt 70C.
  • Chicken safe temp reached and resting commencingNår bruningen er ferdig, flytter du filetene til den kalde siden av grillen igjen, som nå bør holde rundt 150C. Pensle dem med ett strøk BBQ saus eller to. Pass på at du ikke går over 160C her, for da kan du svi sukkeret i BBQ sausen, noe som lager dårlig smak.
  • La filetene glaseres for 5-10 minutter. På dette tidspunktet pleier jeg å sjekke hver av filetene med ett termometer (jeg bruker ThermaPen), for å se om de har nådd sikker temperatur for å spises, som bør være minimum 70 grader. Jeg pleier å gå ett par grader over, for sikkerhets skyld.
  • Winner winner. Chicken dinner.Når filetene har nådd korrekt temperatur, ta dem av grillen og la dem hvile 5-10 minutter. Server og nyt den søte, røykfylte smaken av den saftigste, deiligste kyllingfileten du noengang har spist!

BBQ Gallery – III

Gallery

This gallery contains 18 photos.

Here it is! The third installment in my popular BBQ Gallery series. Enjoy!

ABT’s with hot chorizo and vegetable filling

ABT’s are great as an appetizer or side dish if you’re cooking something low & slow and have some extra space on your grill. Why they’re called atomic bomb turds, I do not know. It’s kind of a weird name for a food item, but there ya go. That’s what it means. You can use all kinds of stuff to put into the chillies, but in this recipe I went for a simple filling with some vegetables, cream cheese and hot chorizo sausage. I also used some good pancetta instead of the traditional bacon to wrap them, but you can use either, and it will be fantastically good. The union of hot chillies, bacon and tons of apple smoke is a tasty one indeed. Just make sure you make enough of them, I’d say 3-4 per person as a minimum for a starter.

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Time on the grill: 90-120 minutes
Grilling method: Indirect, with smoke
Grilling temperature: 130 Centigrade lid temp (266F)

What you need:
5 Largish peppers of your choosing. I found some large chillies at my local market
10 strips of good bacon or pancetta
Some cream cheese, I used Philadelphia with much success
A little bit of hot chorizo sausage
A little yellow onion
One green pepper
Two mushrooms
Some toothpicks (not the ones with mint flavor…)

How you do it:

  • Slice your chillies lengthwise, and deseed them
  • Mix cream cheese with some finely chopped mushroom, green pepper and onion. You can use almost anything in here, I’m sure shrimp or crab meat would be good, different cheeses, have fun with it and experiment
  • Spread a thick layer of the cheese mix in each chilli half
  • Wrap each chilli half in bacon or pancetta, use toothpicks to secure the bacon if it doesn’t work out without them
  • Put them on the indirect side of your grill and smoke them using apple or cherry wood for 90-120 minutes
  • Enjoy, and watch out for any heart attack symptoms

Bacon-wrapped tenderloin and grilled vegetables

Grilled, Bacon Wrapped Tenderloin with Zucchini and Tomatoes

There’s some real nice South American tenderloin to be had at my local store here in Oslo this year, thanks to the Rema 1000 chain of food stores. This meat is of much better quality than what you normally can get here in Oslo for a decent price. So I plan to take advantage of that this summer. So, I went and bought myself a piece of tenderloin, cut it into some nice large steaks and gave it a quick sear on the grill. This is what chef/author Steven Raichlen likes to refer to as “millionaire grilling”. You’re really buying yourself success, because you have to be an idiot not to get tenderloin right on the grill, all it takes is quick sear, to serve this meat done anywhere over medium rare would be a crime to bovines everywhere.

Time: 60 minutes total
Skill level: Easy
Grilling method: Direct
Grill temperature: About 250 degrees centigrade, or more  (480F)
Equipment: Hickory wood chips for smoke

Serve with:
Ember-roasted yams
Grilled zucchini and vine tomatoes

You’ll need to get hold of:
A piece of tenderloin, two pounds should easily serve 4
A squash
4-6 Vine tomatoes
Some strips of quality bacon
Some hickory wood chips for a quick smoke
Some yams, 1 for each person eating
Weber’s thin, double-pronged skewers, or some wooden skewers

How you do it:

  • Have a hot grill waiting, for this I use a two-zone setup
  • Chuck your yams on the coals as described here, and turn them every 10-15 minutes or so
  • While the yams are cooking, cut your tenderloin into nice tall steaks, wrap them in

    Griled tenderloin with Zucchini and Tomatoes


    good bacon, and put a skewer through the whole thing to keep the bacon in place during cooking
  • If you want your steaks rare, keep them in the fridge until grilling, if you want them medium-rare, you can take them out of the fridge 1-2 hours in advance
  • Slice tomatoes in half and zucchini in thick slices and skewer them. I use Weber’s double-pronged thing skewers for this, they’re great. If you don’t have those, use two wooden skewers soaked in water
  • Season the vegetables with salt, pepper and marjoram, and brush them lightly with canola or rapeseed oil. When they’re seared leave them in the indirect/resting area of the grill
  • Let your grate heat up until it gets that white-gray colour, so you can get a good sear
  • Season the steaks (I use salt and pepper only for this one), and sear the steaks about 2 minutes, then turn them 45 degrees to get nice grill marks, another 2 minutes, flip, and repeat
  • Take the steaks off the grill to a plate (not the one you kept raw meat on), and let them rest under foil for 10 minutes while the vegetables finish
  • Plate everything, and serve. I just slice my yams in two and serve them on a separate plate to not get yam coal on my food, with a herb butter

BBQ Viking’s Turbocharged Canned Beans

Turbocharged can beans!

Beans are real good eats. They’re also a side that work well with almost any BBQ meal. Great on burgers, hot dogs, with steak, pork, chicken… Yup, definitely an essential BBQ side dish. Now, you can make your beans from the ground up, using dried beans and making your own chilli or BBQ sauce from the ground up, that’s phenomenal. But sometimes there’s just not enough time for doing it that way. That’s when I turn to my turbocharged canned beans recipe. It’s basically about going to the store and buying some quality canned beans, and then doctoring them with some fresh chillies and some other stuff, to get to a great side dish with little time and effort. This should recipe is for 4-8 people, depending on what else is being served. Here’s how I do it.

Time: 45-60 minutes + some baking time (optional)
Skill level:Easy

You’re going to need:
3 cans of quality beans (I use S&W’s Texas Ranch Recipe Barbecue beans)
4-8 Fresh chillies of your choosing
4 Scallions, spring onions or even some leeks
A good chunk of quality bacon (about 250 grams or 0.5 pounds)
A couple tbsp of your favorite BBQ rub (optional)
1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (optional)

How you do it:

  •  Usually I will do this a day ahead, to let the flavours really combine in the fridge overnight. Also, that makes for less side dish focus on BBQ day, and more time to focus on heating meat and drinking beer. Important.
  • Dice your bacon chunk, and heat in your pot on low, so you render as much fat as possible
  • When the bacon is starting to crisp up, finely slice your chillies and scallions, removing chilli seeds and stems if you like less heat
  • Chuck them in the pot and continue frying until everything’s nicely golden, making

    S&W Barbecue Beans cans

    sure not to burn the chillies and scallions

  • Open up and pour in your three cans of beans. Add 0.5 cup of your favourite BBQ sauce. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes. Let it cool and store in fridge overnight, or optionally if you’re short on time, serve as is
  • Next day, I put the beans in a grill-proof vessel, or just leave in the cast iron pan if I have enough space on the grill, and bake the beans with whatever I’m cooking. Before I put it on the grill, I sprinkle with my favourite BBQ rub, which helps form a nice crust on top. Put some wood chips on the coals and you’ll have fabulous baked beans with great flavour in about an hour.
  • Enjoy!

Spicy Bacon Potato Salad

Spicy Bacon Potato Salad

A good potato salad is a great side for almost any BBQ dish. It’s also something that can be made the day before, stored in the fridge, and served cold.

Which in turn means you can focus on the preparation of meat when you need to, which is good. It also means it’s a great side to bring to the park, the beach or camping.

Time: 20-30 minutes
Skill level: Easy

You’re going to need:
12-15 Medium-sized red-skinned potatoes
About 1 cup of Homemade Chipotle Mayo (you can always substitute for store bought mayo mixed with chipotle hot sauce, but it won’t be as tasty then)
4 tbsp of Honey Dijon Mustard (I use Maille brand, the French know their mustard)
4 Scallions
6 thin strips of quality bacon
Salt/pepper

How you do it:

  • Slice your bacon in small slices, and fry in a pan over low heat. I like to grind some pepper on it while frying
  • Wash and dice your potatoes (I leave the peel on, it looks nice, and I’m also lazy)and boil them until they’re just about soft, not too long. Rinse in cold water and let drain in a colander
  • Whisk the mustard into the mayo
  • Slice your scallions in thin slices
  • Put potatoes in a bowl and mix with scallions, bacon and the dressing
  • Serve lukewarm of refrigerated and enjoy!