And thus it begins..

…not with a whimper but with a bang. Or rather a thud, as my brand spanking new smoker was unceremoniously dumped on my front porch by the UPS guy.  Thanks to my pal/tattoo buddy/partner in Porknography crime, Danielle, I’ve caught the fever.  BBQ fever.  It’s an insidious beast, creeping in slowly from the periphery.  First its dinners out at rib joints, drooling over smoke rings and perfectly varnished slabs of baby backs.  Then researching regional sauces and rubs to try at home on the grill.  But a grill?  Thats…..not nearly enough or even correct.  The full blown fever hits and you’re powerless.  The smoker arrives at your doorstep. You’re ordering wood chips you didn’t know existed in forms you’ve never heard of.  You become a charcoal snob.  “Additives?!?! In MY smoker??”  You’re hooked.  So what does any reasonable person do with sketchy information and just the bare basics down?  You enter a local competition of course.

Welcome to this, my/our personal journey – through trial and error, real vs. anecdotal science, recipe disasters, barks that wouldn’t form and coals that wouldn’t light.  I hope we all learn a thing or two along the way…


How Glamorous Girls BBQ

Happy Easter Everyone!  I hope you all had tasty meals and family time!

I on the other hand, spent quality time with my WSM

Still in my church wardrobe..




Okay, even the glamorous get smoke in their eyes..Sheesh..

Well I guess I should introduce myself now.  I am Danielle and the other half of Porknography.

You have already heard from Laura in the previous posts, so here I am, hello 🙂

Today I took advantage of the beautiful weather and started my BBQ practice.  I decided to throw on some ribs and chicken thighs.  I used the same method Laura posted about earlier for chicken thighs.  Boned out, scrape skin, butter bath, high temp smoke.  I must say, they came out absolutely gorgeous.  Perfect moist bite to them, skin pulled away beautifully. My only complaints were that maybe the smoke was a bit strong for a delicate piece of meat.  I used cherry mojobricks, which was a gift that was given to me when I attended Operation BBQ Relief at Sweet Baby Rays.  The product is great and the smoke smells amazing.  I may have used a bit too much for the little thighs!  They were also a tad spicy for my taste, but overall, I was very happy with the end result!  The method is flawless so far, now its just a matter of tweaking sauce and rub.

chix1 chix2 chix3

Now this was what they mean when they say “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!”

Now for the ribs.  Im warning you, this may get porknographic (ha, get it?)

For the ribs I started with two slabs of St Louis style ribs, slathered them with yellow mustard and used the Three Little Pigs rub for pork.  I had recently taken a BBQ class for chicken and ribs and it was run by the man behind Three Little Pigs rubs, I figured for learning sake I better do everything he did.  I need to learn some how, ya know?  Plus his rub is pretty delicious.  They did smoke at a slightly higher temp that I would have preferred but they still turned out great!  I did the no-fuss method with my ribs.  I didn’t flip, butter, wrap, brown sugar, spritz, or sing to them.  I just let them be their little rib selves.  This proved to be a pretty good method.  Why worry myself with 10 steps when I can just do two?

Season & Cook

When did this method become strange to so many people?  These ribs were one of the best I had ever made.  I found many more flaws with the ones I fussed around with more.  My only complaints on this was they could have maybe stayed in a little bit longer, and only about 30 minutes at most.  They pulled away cleanly from the bone without falling apart, nice smoke ring, great flavor.  The cherry mojobricks were more kind to the ribs than they were to the chicken.  Overall, a success for a practice day!




Happy Easter!

The trouble with charcoal or how I redeemed myself through chicken thighs

About that charcoal that wouldn’t light.   Remember that bit where I said I was armed with sketchy information?  Yeah, that.

The smoker is assembled.  I’ve got my meats all prepped and rubbed and ready to go.   The fuel is lit and we finally get up to the requisite smoking temp.  Ribs on.  The smoke smells fantastic and we go inside to prep the chicken thighs.  Only thing is, we can’t maintain proper temperature in the smoker.  Add more coals, poke them with a stick for good measure.  Aaaaaaaaand, nothing.  Upon further research on the interwebs we not only learned how NOT to make salsa but that our whole fuel setup was dodgy at best.  Chalk it up to the learning curve, have a cocktail and move along.  Nothing to see here.  Day two will be much better.

And day two was exponentially better.  The coal setup was spot on this time.  The temp was maintained beautifully.  Now all we needed was something sexy to put in the smoker and we’re golden.  So how about those chicken thighs we were prepping?  Each thigh was boned out, skinned and trimmed into as uniform a shape as possible.

BBQ Thigh

But what about all the leftover skin?  Here comes the truly exciting and pain in the butt part of it: get your trusty knife and scrape all of the fat off of the inside of the skin.  Yep, all of it.  Be careful not to scrape so hard you rip the skin – it’s pretty forgiving but it will rip under duress.  Please note that if you’re doing this on a crazy hot day, the fat will render itself out of the skin while you’re scraping, making it nigh impossible to get a handle on the slippery little bits of flesh.

BBQ Thigh Skin

OK – so our chicken is trimmed, we’ve liposuctioned the skin and we’re ready to assemble our pieces.  We sprinkled our seasoning mix over the meat and then its on to bundling.  Think of it as a delightful little poultry present – folded up chicken wrapped in skin so it forms a little square.

Now it needs a bath.  In butter.  Well, margarine but butter sounded sexier.

Thigh Bath

Some more seasoning mix was sprinkled on the top for extra awesomeness before the chicken hits the smoker to braise in its own buttery goodness.  When it comes off heat the submerged skin needed a little help as it was a little…well…flubbery.  A quick grilling to crisp up the skin on the bottom followed by a glaze with your favorite sauce and you have these:


Tender, smokey,  juicy and slicked with the sweet/spicy glaze.  I may be catching on to this smoker thing.