Don’t despair—your prized grill may be hibernating under a bleak blanket of snow, but that sure as heck shouldn’t smoke your barbecue game. The way we see it, ribs are a year-round necessity and pulled pork a hearth-sitting pastime, and thus crockpots, homemade smokers and ovens are mighty-fine stand-ins for your grill.
The barbecue-obsessed folks at the National Barbecue Association (NBBQA) agree—and if these kings of the smokers and grills say you don’t need a grill for good barbecue, you can take it as gospel truth. In preparation for the NBBQA’s 2015 National Conference and Trade Show, we asked three of the pros for their top tips and recipes for barbecue in the winter. The following are their words (and recipes) of wisdom.
Tip #1: Try Liquid Smoke
Roy Slicker of Slick’s Que Co. Says…
People who want to use a oven or slow cooker for pork shoulder or other typical BBQ cut of meat can use a very small amount of liquid smoke, either hickory or apple, to lend some outdoor BBQ flavor.
Roy’s Recipe: Oven Baby Back Barbecue Ribs
Tip #2: Cook Low and Slow
Dennis Sherman of DennyMike’s Sauces and Seasonings Says…
I am very comfortable cooking winter barbecue via my slow cooker, stovetop or oven (baking, roasting, broiling). Oftentimes, the old barbecue maxim of “low and slow” will still apply even though it’s not outdoor barbecue.
Dennis’s Recipe: Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Tip #3: Make a Homemade Oven Smoker
Patrick Murty of Company 7 BBQ Says…
In the winter, you can make a makeshift smoker box for the oven to get some smoky flavor.
What You Need
- Wood Chips
- Metal pan/cookie sheet
1. Soak whatever wood chips you will be using in water, (vinegar or apple juice if you want to add some flavor textures).
2. Let the wood chips soak for at least a few hours; this helps them not to burn up in the oven.
3. When you are ready to make your smoker, take a large piece of foil and wrap your wood chips up nice and tight with it creating a rectangular shape to fit your pan.
Take a knife and slice the foil in three places, enlarging the tears slightly so that smoke can exit.
4. Place the smoker in the bottom of a pan. Place in the oven and allow the smoker to generate smoke before placing protein and/or vegetables on top. Hint: adding smoked salts, black pepper, and other spices to the protein will add additional smoky flavor.
5. To keep some moisture during the cooking process put some water or juice on the bottom of the pan, this helps create humidity for the meat.
Patrick’s Recipe: Low Country Shrimp Chowder
Want to learn more about the National Barbecue Association? Check out the 2015 National Conference and Trade Show in Nashville, TN March 3-7. The four-day extravaganza will host business workshops, barbecue competitions and a whole lot of mouth-watering samples. If you are interested in becoming a member, visit NBBQA.org for information.