Grillstock: ribs and brisket are rubbed


We’ve rubbed our ribs and brisket. I’m a bit disconcerted to see the team next door forensically trimming the fat from his brisket, whereas I just lopped off the bit which was about 3 inches thick. And he’s even made it so it will fit the competition box and everything! Anyway will be interesting to see what the final result looks like….

Grillstock: fire is lit!


We’ve lit the first chimney of the weekend, tunes are playing, it’s not raining .. and we’re about to cook some sausages!! Bring it on grillstock!

Grillstock: cook’s meeting


We’re in DrBBQ’s cook’s meeting. Shock news is that the competition boxes are a bit smaller than the KCBS regulation 9″x9″ size. We’ve had a good 10 minute discussion on that so far. Will Lap be able to fit his 7 ribs in the box?! Find out tomorrow at 3pm. Now we’re talking garnish! Can you put a pickle in the box? Can you put a sprig of rosemary? (yes)

Grillstock: setting up!


We’re here! After a slow crawl in traffic we’ve unloaded our gear and will now set up our pitch. Excited to be neighbouring Bunch of Swines, Newman’s own and Bodeans!

Grillstock: Brisket n’ beans practice

A few questions I want to answer with today’s practice:

  • how does brisket cooked without the “Texas crutch” compare with foiled brisket?
  • can I cook a 3kg brisket in under 10 hours this way?
  • how does Lap’s smoked andouille work with beans?
  • does adding coffee to the rub improve it?

280g pinto beans, soaked overnight
1 large onion
1/2 green pepper
andouille links
tomato paste
molasses sugar
worcestershire sauce
chipotle ketchup
beef stock
cumin (whole)
cinnamon (ground)

So my killer, secret ingredient here is Lap’s smoked andouille links … and it’s only a secret because he won’t tell me the recipe! I got some chipotle ketchup from and bunged in a load for heat.

3.1kg- very fatty

brown sugar
fresh garlic
cayenne pepper

apple & pear
worcestershire sauce
white sugar

9am fridge 100%
11am 200 145 100%
11.30am 240 100%
12.15am 250 50%
13.30 235 160 90%
14.00 225 169 100%
15.00 240 170 100%
17.50 260 180 (thickest) 200 (thin) 80% – opened
18.20 260 195 (foiled)

#MEATTHROB2012: BBQ for 80 peeps

This weekend, as part of our intense Grillstock practice regime we set ourselves a slightly different task – mass-catering.

We decided to serve a diverse menu which would all be (relatively) straight-forward to serve to such a large number of people. Although this did require a fair amount of prior preparation – the spare ribs were smoked the day before, and the pork shoulder was smoked overnight.

The menu was:

  • grilled chorizo
  • asparagus with rapeseed oil mayo
  • smoked jerk chicken
  • pulled pork sliders with coleslaw
  • meaty ribs
  • baby back ribs

Grillstock Timed Practice 1: Ribs and Chicken

In a parallel universe, or maybe just in another part of Birmingham, two full racks of pork spare ribs have been rubbed down with the special Hall Green blend of spices and herbs. One rack is from a Gloucester Old Spot and the other from a Berkshire. Hopefully I’ll be able to tell which one is which when they’ve been smoked tomorrow.

One whole chicken has been cut into two and is in the brine to ensure moistness. I’m not doing chicken portions or the ubiquitous chicken pillows. The chicken category has caused me many sleepless nights. Grillstock being our first competition I’ve read up on what is expected in this category and the general consensus is that chicken thighs is the way to go. It seems that everyone has jumped on the boneless chicken pillow bandwagon, a kind of bland uniformity which I feel goes against the spirit of good que but more importantly there’s just no skill in reproducing what everybody else is doing. I’m going whole chicken, the breast will be moist and the legs juicy. It’ll all be served together and you see that chicken will look and taste like chicken!

Luckily for me I don’t need any overnight smoking, so see you in the morning.


The fire has been built, the smoker is up to temperature., the ribs go on for 5 hrs with oak and hickory doing it’s magic. The ribs will get the occasional spritz of apple juice to give it a nice glaze but that’s it. I’ll make the sauce later, I’m having a nice relaxing Sunday morning.



Finished Product