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!

Sweet and Smoky BBQ Sauce

Sweet and smoky sauce!Been a long time since I posted a BBQ sauce recipe, so here is another favorite. Not very spicy, but smoky and sweet. Goes great with sausage, pork ribs, chicken and pulled pork sandwiches, and a favorite at my house for the people who can’t take the heat of a lot of my other stuff.

Time: 30 minutes
Skill Level: Easy

You’re going to need:
3 tbsp dark brown sugar
1/4 cup of honey
1/4 cup of molasses
4 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp liquid smoke
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp maldon salt or more to taste
2 tbsp fine grain mustard
2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups of ketchup

Sterilizing jars in the oven. Easy!How to do it:
This couldn’t be easier. Chuck everything except the ketchup in a saucepan, stir well and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Add the ketchup, bring to boil. Taste. Add vinegar, sweetener, salt and pepper until you get your preferred flavor. Let cool, put in jars. Keeps for months in the fridge if you use sterilized jars.

 

Chipotle Beef BBQ Sauce

Chipotle BBQ Sauce for beef ribs!Came up with a new BBQ sauce today. The plan is to use it for beef short ribs, so that’s what I thought about when coming up with the flavour profile for it. It’s slightly sweet, very tangy, and as spicy as you want to make it. I ordered some delicious dried Chipotles from iHerb. They’re kinda hard to come by in Norway. If you can get them locally where you live, consider yourself lucky. Here’s what I did.

Time: 45 minutes
Skill Level: Easy

You’re going to need:
1 yellow onion
6 dried, whole chipotle peppers
4 whole fresh chillies (I use some medium to mild ones)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup A1 Steak Sauce
1/2 cup of ketchup
2 tbsp bourbon
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp paprika powder (preferably the Spanish, spicy variety)
2 tbsp freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup of brown sugar
2 tbsp molasses

Cooking with chipotles!First thing you want to do is heat up some oil in a saucepan. Then add finely chopped onions, garlic, fresh chillies, and the chipotle peppers. Let them caramelize on low for about 15 minutes, then add the other dried spices and cook another 5 minutes.

Now you can add the A1, the vinegar, the ketchup, and the sugar. let it simmer until you get the desired thickness, and remember the sugar will make it thicker when it’s cold, so if you plan to primarily serve it cold, you should consider that.

Once it reaches it desired thickness, it is time to blend. The cool thing here is you can take out one or more whole chipotles, blend, taste and see how spicy it is. If it’s not hot enough for you, add inn chipotle(s) and blend again until it’s just right for you. How cool is that!?

My wife loves her new Dymo labeller...

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!

Eastern North Carolina style vinegar sauce

Eastern North Carolina style vinegar sauce

This is one of the most basic, old-school barbecue sauces you can make. It comes from the Eastern parts of North Carolina, where they’re pretty adamant about how this sauce should be meady. Those Western North Carolinians put some ketchup in theirs, which I hear is a big no-no in the eastern parts. It is specifically designed with pulled pork in mind, and that’s really the only thing I use it for. Just whisk these ingredients together until the sugar is dissolved in the vinegar. You can always give it a quick boil if you want to, I normally don’t:

  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp ground chili flakes
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

This should be enough for two pork butts. Just mix it in with the meat before serving. Enjoy!

BBQ Gallery – II

Last week’s escapades in grilling and BBQ here at BBQ Viking’s house

BBQ Viking Sliders with caramelized onions

Sliders, homemade chipotle mayo, shakey taters and caramelized onions

These sliders are tasty, juicy (even when you have to cook them through), and are real popular with the kids. They’re easy to make too, and require only a quick sear on the grill. You could always buy some slider buns, but I really suggets making your own, see my recipe for buns here. I realize some of you are going to find it extremely controversial that I put bread in my sliders. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. I mean it. If you grind your own beef, and have a hot enough grill to get a sear on these while they’re still pink in the middle, you can skip the bread. But I often have to use storebought ground beef, and that means it has to be cooked all the way through. That’s where the bread comes in, by soaking up the juices and fat, it makes these sliders a real, juicy treat.

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

Serve with:
Homemade chipotle mayo
Homemade slider buns
Shakey potatoes (recipe to come)

Sliders and Texas style BBQ sauce

You’ll need to get hold of:
Ground beef, about 500 grams makes about 15 sliders
2 slices of bread
4 tbsp of your favorite, preferrable homemade, BBQ sauce. I used Rocket Fuelled Bull BBQ Sauce
Some meltable cheese (I prefer orange cheddar)
2 large yellow onions
2 tbsp butter

How you do it:

  • Have a hot grill waiting, for this I just cover the whole grill grate in white hot coals
  • Slice your onions the way you want them, and caramelize them in a frying pan with the butter, some salt and pepper, and about a tbsp of sugar, on low heat for 30-45 minutes. You can do this the night before, store in the fridge and just reheat.
  • Cut away the crust from your two slices of bread, and let it soak in cold water for ten minutes. After soaking, squeeze all the water out of it
  • Mix the ground beef carefully with the BBQ sauce, the bread and liberal amounts of salt and pepper
  • Form the slider patties. Remember to make them flatter and larger-diameter than you want to be finished product to be, because they will change size when they’re being grilled. Each patty should be about 33 grams
  • Get a good hickory smoke going on the grill before starting grilling, I use water-soaked chips for this to maximize smoke, since they’re only on there a couple of minutes.
  • Put them on the grill. About 2-3 minutes should be enough, flip them, put the cheese on the finished side, and give them another 2-3 minutes. Serve!

Rocket Fuelled Bull BBQ Sauce

I make my own BBQ sauces. It’s fun, it’s a lot cheaper than buying them (at least here in Norway), and it means you can tailor the sauce to your particular tastes. I think it’s good to make as much as possible of my food from the ground up, because then I know what’s in it. Call me paranoid, but I don’t always trust the food industry to make the healthiest choices on my behalf… Also, it’s not a very difficult thing to cook. This is a sweet, tangy sauce with quite the kick to it. Which is just what I like for any BBQ beef dish.

Chillies stringed up on steel string and smoking on the BBQ

Time: 60 minutes
Skill Level: Easy

You’re going to need:
1/2 yellow onion
8 whole fresh chillies (I use some medium to mild ones)
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
0,5 cups of good bourbon
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp paprika powder (preferably the Spanish, spicy variety)
2 tbsp freshly ground pepper
1,5 cups of brown sugar
2 tbsp of liquid smoke (not necessary if you smoke the onion and chillies)

Ideally, I like to smoke and roast the chillies and onion on the grill beforehand, I normally do this while BBQing something else. If you don’t have time for that, just deseed chillies, chop onion, saute in the rapeseed oil, and then put in a blender to make a smooth paste. Combine the paste and the rest of all the ingredients in a saucepan. Whisk once in a while and let it simmer for 30-45 minutes until desired consistency is achieved. Let it cool to room temperature before putting in containers and storing in the fridge. Sterilize your equipment and jars, seal them properly, and this kind of sauce will stay good for many months in your fridge.

The finished sauce. I still draw at a kindergarten level, I know. Thanks.

BBQ Gallery – I

Just some pictures from today’s BBQ-related cooking here at BBQviking’s house…