Being a retailer and an owner of Primo Smokers and Grills, we are often asked the question, “I just got a Primo Smoker and I want to use it to smoke something, what do I do?” Well you are certainly in for some fun! Having been an owner who faced the same daunting thought of ”How do I get started?” I wanted to share some tips with you on how I started learning to use my Primo as a Smoker and not just as the best charcoal grill I have ever used!
- Join the Primo Grill Forum (PGF): Sign Up. Read up and try a few of the processes that they give you. The thing about the Primo that I have learned is that it is easy to configure and can be configured in all sorts of ways. Many of the members of the PGF have thousands of hours and hundreds of successful cooks. So if you are looking for experience and processes to call your own, this a great way to get started. Do some research on what you want to cook first, learn how to configure your grill, start your fire and use your smoker. They helped me out a ton and ultimately I had to dry out a few briskets, undercook some pork butts and burn some babybacks to find my groove. Expect to do the same.
- Heat Control: If you are going to be slow smoking meats, save yourself a lot of time and get yourself a BBQ Guru, call them to help you configure it and no need to go with all the bells and whistles on your first go. Buy a BBQ Guru that makes sense for you. If you are a purest, this may not be for you , but I found my BBQ Guru to be the difference between sleepless BBQ Cooks and sleeping like a baby! It changed my success rate with smoking as I found it difficult to control and maintain the heat with out one.
- Make Sure You Have Proper Primo Accessories: Make sure that you have Ceramic D Plates and a set of Roaster Drip Pan Racks, I use a water pan on top of my D-Plates and have a lot of success with this method in conjunction with the BBQ Guru. Learned how to do this on the Primo Grill Forum, and there are many ways to do this, but having this system in place turns your Primo into a smoker or at least an indirect cooker, which makes all the difference.
- Anything but Brisket: As a beginner, all I wanted to do was cook a brisket, so I dried out a few before I did the research and was told that this was the toughest one too cook! So I started with Pork Butts and Babyback ribs, learned to rub them the right way, start a fire, and hold a temperature for long periods of time. Then after I got all those things working, I cooked a brisket and got better and better at it. So my advice is start with the basics and work your way up to the more challenging cuts.
- Have fun!: Manage your expectations. You are not going to be smoking Myron Mixon style on your first cook, so be willing to experiment and learn from your mistakes. I was told to always take good notes, from the start of the cook, to the end of the cook. This has helped me repeat my success and tweak for improvements when I cook. So if you remember to have fun, and that this is a learning process, your end results will only get better and better.
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So Dean called me a few days ago and asked me how is awesome BBQ Sauce was selling and I told him that we needed to get the word out so I asked him for the Top % Unique uses of Dean’s STS – Smokin’ Texas Barbecue Sauce cooking sauce. Below is a collection of some of the comments he has gotten from his biggest fans on how they are spicing up their recipes.
Here are the Top 5 uses on some unique uses of Dean’s STS – Smokin’ Texas Barbecue Sauce as mentioned by current fans.
1. Vegetable Cooking Broth – Use 1 part sauce mixed with 1 part water and slowly simmer favorite vegetables as normal.
Compliments of V. Mills, resident of “Serenity”
2. Zesty Meatloaf – Substitute Dean’s STS in place of the ketchup when called for in your favorite meatloaf recipe.
- Compliments of D. McCollough, Atlanta, GA
3. Tangier Homemade Pizza – Mix in “a good portion” of Dean’s STS when creating the marinara sauce to be spread on pizza dough before baking.
- Compliments of G. Rygert, Marietta, GA
4. Ketchup Replacement – This stuff is the ultimate replacement for Ketchup, and is just awesome on burgers. Tangy flavor with just a kiss of heat.
5. Lechón baboy is just better - Dean’s spouse hails from the island nation, Philippines. One of her homeland’s treasured national foods is known at Lechón baboy, a spit-roasted whole hog, fired long and slow in a time honored tradition that results in supernaturally crisp teak-colored skin, yet fall-off-the-bone moist meat entrapped within the skin. We’ve had the local (there’s only one here in the Atlanta area we know of) lechón maker add Dean’s STS to the usual host of Asian spices that the hog is stuffed with before cooking, resulting in quite unique flavor combinations.
Dean’s STS – Smokin’ Texas Barbecue Sauce all natural is a deliberate antithesis of the stereotypical sweet-n-syrupy BBQ sauces found in the major retailers. Not a “boutique” sauce but we can tell you that Dean’s Smokin’ Texas BBQ Sauce is not the typical sauce found at your local grocer.
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Mitch Benjamin and his Meat Mitch team received a major shout out on the Rush Limbaugh Show yesterday over 20 Million listeners heard Meat Mitch Praised by Rush on his show. Here is a picture of Rush digging on the BBQ! http://instagram.com/p/YVmTWxO1y0/ You can buy all three of the products by clicking here: Meat Mitch Competition BBQ Kit at BBQ Pro Shop
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Having just sold out of Rooftop BBQ Sauce, we called to re-order and found out that Green Mountain Grills has added it to their line up of sauces and rubs. The best blog post I could find on this which tells the story:
Green Mountain Grills Pitmaster BBQ Sauce
Last week I alluded to a coming announcement about Rooftop BBQ Sauce. Andy announced just yesterday on the Whiskey Bent Radio Show that team’s long time sponsor, Green Mountain Grills, is producing the Rooftop BBQ sauce; repackaged, rebranded and with an improved formula: Pitmaster BBQ Sauce.
Starting next week it will be shipping out nationwide to all GMG stores and beyond. While the team will still be selling the sauce at their events, GMG will be the sole distributor and they will be making it much more available and at a more inexpensive price at $5.99 a bottle. It has also been repackaged in a plastic bottle with a new label and has been thinned out with the addition of apple juice.
Everyone we talk to seems to have an opinion on Andy’s decision to do this, but as I may be the only one who truly knows how much Andy works while running a side business—or two— in addition to a full time job. He never stops. Now, taking and shipping sauce orders has been lifted off his shoulders and he can focus on what he truly loves: cooking amazing barbeque.
Big thanks to Samantha Allen for her beautiful blog and having some information on this exciting announcement!
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After stopping it at the Taco Xpress, for some breakfast taco’s and some food to keep us satisfied, we headed to Franklin Barbecue and arrived in line at 9:15 AM. Franklin’s claim to fame is that they open their doors at 11a and stay open until they are sold out, oh and also that they have the world’s finest Texas Brisket! So they usually run out of food around 2p as the sign says. Our timing was perfect, we were amongst the first 25 people in line and that got is in the door on the first shift. The line just grew and grew as we waited there, people joining people holding spots and the beverage lady coming through the line to serve drinks. The wait was half the fun, and a little tip, you can use their bathroom.
The first person from Franklin’s we met was a really Sweet young lady who came through to gauge our order as to how much, brisket, pork, ribs and sausage you would be interested in having. It is first come serve so she takes your order and then let’s you know whether there will be any left by the time you get inside. Not an issue for us, more of an issue for the folks closer to the end of the line.
We were lucky and got inside at 11a, waited another 20 minutes and was happy to see Aaron Franklin enjoying his morning espresso and watching over the first cuts of brisket hit the trays. We went with a pound of brisket, 1/4 LB of Turkey and pulled pork, two hot links and a pound of spare ribs and went to work. The surprise of the meal and not to be missed is the smoked turkey, we surmised that we may have been the first to order it and we got a fresh breast that was just amazing, nice blend of pepper, salt and smoke, with a delightful bark. Don’t miss it, we shared it with some line mates who made the mistake and they had the same reaction.
The pulled pork was awesome as well, salty, smokey with a hint of pepper and moist. Moist seems to be the seem at Franklin’s, how they do it, I do not know but all our food was tender and didn’t dry out as we ate it. The sausage casing had such a snap and a great flavor. Now the spare ribs had a great bark and a peppery smokey flavor with tenderness that made it easy to separate meat from bone. No falling off, but pulling off was just a delight and an awesome flavor.
Last but not least was the brisket, we asked for fatty and the bark, oh the bark was just amazing. The brisket was not like anything we have tasted thus far in Texas. It was light, fluffy and literally had the consistency best compared to a good birthday cake. The crusty bark mixed with the light and tender meat that was airy and so moist. The bark has a pepper flavor which is the most predominant flavor and it was worth every second in line to taste this Pit Master’s handy work.
Finally, Franklin’s has sauce and the Espresso BBQ Sauce, which is evidently taken from Aaron’s love of a good espresso is the perfect companion to his brisket. Highly suggest taken a few bites on it’s own, but then give that BBQ sauce a try, the mix of the coffee and the black pepper is just not to be missed. Had an almost chocolate under tone and was a pleasant surprise.
Enjoy the photos from the Austin BBQ Roadtrip on BBQ Pro Shops Flickr Page