Yesterday dawned clear and cool after the rain that came through on Friday afternoon. It was the promise of another beautiful day in Central Texas so we figured we should make the best of it. Over breakfast my wife and I decided to pull out all the stops and do a large, diverse menu for the afternoon. I have never done ABT's or a beer can chicken but have wanted to for years so these were added to the menu right off the bat. We also agreed on a pork roast and yet another turkey breast. The turkey has become a staple around here because it has always been absolutely incredbile and the pork is so diverse with what you can do with it after cooking. It's always nice to have in the fridge for a quick meal during the week so we try to keep some on hand. With the menu agreed upon we called a few friends and made the mandatory stop at the grocery store ont he way home. It's always amazing how easy it is to round up some a group of friends with good beer and slow cooked BBQ :-) Here is the required evidence:
Turkey breast lightly seasoned and ready to go on the smoker
My first beer can chicken just hitting the smoker. Seasoned with black pepper, cayenne pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. I actually used a 1 pint mason jar as the "can" and filled it with a home brewed golden ale from the keg-o-rator in the garage.
My first shot at ABT's. The only variation from Jeff's recipe is a chunk of Andouille sausage on top before wrapping with bacon.
Pork roast as it hits the smoker....this is gonna be a good piece of meat!!
The ABT's and turkey go on last. Chicken and pork roast are coming along nicely
I managed to time this so everything came off the smoker at the same time. All of the meat was wrapped and put in a cooler to get happy and we tore into the ABT's. WOW!! Those little puppies were outstanding
Perfect pork roast. The smoke ring, the moistness, and the flavor were simply over the top. This was a huge hit. Most folks are used to pork being somewhat dry I guess and they all marveled at how juicy and tender this was.
The Executive Chef was exhausted but content after another full day of cooking and entertaining. She just loves to party with good friends...and she loves everybody
Now for the quick summary. The chicken came out extremely well. It was the most juicy and tasky chicken I have ever had. The only drawback was that there was no way to slice the stuff. It was so tender it literally fell off the bones so we kind of ended up with "pulled chicken"...which was fine. My only take-away on the ABT's is that 3 hours on the smoker seemed to lessen the zing of the Jalapenos considerably. We like spicy food and I was expecting a lot more pepper spice. I think next time I will try one at 2 1/2 hours and see if that makes a difference. We had two friends join us that love BBQ but had not yet enjoyed dinner prepared by our Executive Chef. Sadly for them, they are now ruined and will never eat at a commercial BBQ joint again. There is just no comparison between what we cook at home and food that is bulk prepared and cooked for the masses. the ABT's were simply astonishing!! They take some prep time to put together but it's well worth the effort. Those will become a regular menu item. I just need to figure out a way to get them spicier. Perhaps some cayenne pepper in the cream cheese mix would make a nice touch.
That's all for now. Have a great week folks!! I gave the Executive Chef the day off today so we will be eating left-overs...which are probably better than the food most folks will be eating today