Epic ABT failure! Avoid doing this.

Discussion in 'ABT's' started by addertooth, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. I mentioned ABTs to my wife a couple weeks ago. To my surprise, she fixed a batch of them which she made in the oven.  They were very good.  And this is where things went wrong; you see, I am quite competitive and had to try to one-up her. 

    My spouse does not like really hot food, she had used mild peppers.  I thought jalapeno peppers would be a better choice, once some of their heat had been taken out of them.  Some people soak the peppers in Sprite to take the edge off them, but I had to try something different.  Juice was made from 4 medium oranges and a pound of key-limes.  The juice, along with the de-seeded jalapeno peppers were put in a food saver vacuum seal container for 12 hours.  The intent was to take some heat out, but it went way too far.  All traces of heat was eradicated from the peppers.  It also changed the color of the peppers to have a faint orange (over ripened) cast.  Worse yet, the peppers had a massively pronounced citrus taste.  Next mistake, the cream cheese filling.  Cream cheese was mixed with jack cheese to give it some variety, which was a good choice.  Where it went really bad was when I decided to mix some seasoning with the cheese blend (smoky chipotle paprika).  At one and half teaspoons of seasoning, it was too much; especially when paired with the citrus-tasting un-hot peppers.  The final failure was the Bacon and Temperature choice.  At 280 degrees, the thick-cut bacon ended up with a chewy texture.  This could have been fixed by either regular cut bacon, or a higher smoking temperature.  Needless to say, they turned out as a major disappointment.  These approaches might have worked, had they been moderated, or reduced to a level where they were a hint, instead of the sledgehammer to the pallet.

  2. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sorry they didn't work out, but that's part of the process. We try, we fail, we try harder next time. I've never tried the soak to remove the heat. Best way I've come up with is to scrape the entire membrane off with a spoon. This way you get the flavor and a tiny bit of heat. My wife doesn't like hot foods either, but she loves ABTs done this way. Word of caution though, wear gloves and some sort of eye protection during te scraping process. That pepper juice finds my eyes every damn time I scrape the membranes. And it hurts. A lot.
  3. grillmonkey

    grillmonkey Smoking Fanatic


    How can I say that? You always want your wife to be a far superior cook to you. It forever gives you an excuse to have her do the real cooking and frees you up to play and experiment with your smoker and just cook what you want to cook. Even when yours turns out better than hers, don't admit it!
  4. knifebld

    knifebld Smoking Fanatic

    Too bad on those ABT's bud...

    I am not a big fan of heat either...but gave them a try a few weeks ago and found that they do lose a lot of the heat on the smoker...for me they had just the right amount of heat.

    I also did not want soggy bacon, so I pre-cooked some to make sure it came out nice and crispy when I pulled them off the smoker.

    Hope your next try turns out better. Cheers.
  5. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I agree that it's not a failure, because it was a learning experience.
  6. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you wife doesn't like the heat a good option is mushroom caps. I have the same issue, my wife doesn't handle heat at all, so I make 1 dozen ABT's using jalapenos and 1 dozen mushroom caps.

    Same basic process: remove stems from mushrooms and use a spoon to clean out the gills, fill with cream cheese filling, wrap with a piece of bacon, cook.

    For my cream cheese mix I do the following: 1 pack cream cheese softened, 1 Cup grated sharp cheddar, and about 1/4 Cup of my BBQ rub. That is enough mix for one dozen ABT's or mushrooms.
  7. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Sorry to hear they didn't come out the way you wanted. Wife and I can't take the heat any more OLD AGE

    We have found soaking them in ice water, for a few hours after cleaning them out, takes away a lot of the heat.

  8. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Wait, what happened to that citrus-jalapeno juice? Was there no chicken to marinate?

    Just kidding. You're right, too many variables at once. The mushroom cap suggestion is good because jalapenos have unpredictable levels of burn. Maybe try the recipe using a long 4-lobed bell pepper cut into quarters, or a 3-lobed pod cut into thirds - either way, so you get pepper canoes that you can fill and wrap.

    You can play with the heat in the filling. Maybe split the batch and fill the mild half first, then mix in your heat and fill your hot half. Make sure you can tell them apart when they're served.
  9. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Your citrus would work for removing the heat, but you soaked them way to long. Much like making ceviche you cooked the jalapeño and infused the flavor into them. A good trick for removing the burn from your fingers after working with peppers is to rub your hands with fresh limes.

    We like ours hot so we don't soak but we do remove the seeds and most of the veins. Some of the other peppers like Anaheim poblano and banana peppers are milder. For the ultra mild the mini sweet bells are the best.
  10. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That's too bad about the ABT's, if you like them , make some for you (hot) .You can now find Mild Chiles in the Mkts, , they loo like a Jalapeno , but are real mild . They come in colors red , orange, yellow , and are great for the 'Tenderfoots' and are 'totally'  distinguishable from the  Hot ones.

    Have fun and . . .
  11. We live we learn!! My wife who deosn't like "smoking hot" food loves my ABT's and I have never soaked. I find that most of the heat is taken away while smoking and just that earthy jalapeno flavor with a tinge of heat is left over.

    Nice thing about ABT fails is that it's not SUPER expensive.


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