As warmer weather moves the cooking from the kitchen to the outdoors, Quincy Person, founder of legendary food truck Black Hound Bar-B-Q, gives his recipe for success in grilling like a pro.
Getting that professional barbecue taste at home
First you have to start off with the right cuts of meat. Decide what types of meats you like. It could be beef, pork, chicken, pork ribs, beef ribs. Everyone has their own tastes; it depends on your palate. Then you have to add your own seasoning to it. You are seasoning it to your taste, to what you like, no matter what other people like. Because if you like it, most of the time someone else will tend to like it too. And if not, then you get to eat it anyway.
Preparing the meat
Once you have your meats, you have to trim them pretty nicely before you cook them. Some people like a lot of fat, some prefer more lean. It’s a matter of personal taste, but too much of it is too much. Back in the day meats did not have a whole lot of fat on them; they had just enough. Nowadays, the way they are raising the animals, you have tons and tons of fat. If you get a 15-pound pork butt, you are going to take three pounds of fat off of it. Although with meat from a good farm source you may not have to do that.
Adding the flavor
Once you’ve trimmed the meat, you rub it in and inject it. For the injection you take a little marinade of some good juices and take a syringe and inject it into the meat to give it more flavor and keep it juicy and very succulent. I make my own rub. I mix anything that I personally like with a little seasoning and salt. I usually include a little bit of paprika, brown sugar, chili powder. If you’re worried to try your own, I am also a fan of the McCormick chicken and steak blends. Just use the different things you like — in moderation — and you can’t go wrong.
Into the heat
Once I’ve rubbed the meat generously I like to foil my meat and put it on the smoker and let it sit, seven or eight hours. A smoker is where you have wood and charcoal in a different spot from where your meat is and it’s a lower heat — low and slow is my motto. You need to take your time with pork and beef; the pork butts, shoulders, beef briskets, beef roasts. I normally cook mine about 260. That is a little high for some people. Some people like 225, but I go about 260, which is still slow. Like I say about seven or eight hours later you are in good business. It is not just throw it on and go. It’s a whole lot of preparation that goes into a proper barbecue.
If time is short
The best things to do quickly are ribs. You can set them, give them a good rub, wrap them up and, depending on how many slabs you need, you can get a good-sized rib and get it cooked in two and a half hours or so at about 300. You can do chicken fast, also. Sometimes chicken only requires an hour. But if you want to get it the right way, you need at least an hour and an half or so. You don’t want to cook chicken too fast because with chicken the outside will burn quicker and the inside won’t be done. I foil all of my meat to keep it moist. Then after it cooks I take the foil off and let the smoke darken up the meat.
Best barbecue accompaniments: Corn on the cob off the grill. If you get it just right you can’t beat it.
What should never be served with barbecue? French fries. You can do anything besides French fries and it will be better.
Dry rub or sauce? Both. I make my own special sauce. You don’t have to have sauce with it, but the sauce complements.
Ultimate barbecue sauce recipe: It is mustard based, with a little vinegar, some sugars, and a few other little sauces. But mine is a family secret, so I can’t tell you all the ingredients!
What are you going to be experimenting with this summer? Pineapples. Those are on my agenda.