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Posted: 3/22/2006 4:58:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2006 5:43:27 AM EDT by macro]
Ok, this is from a few days ago, but I couldnt exactly post this from where I made lunch, so it had to wait until I got back home.

Went camping the past few days. Decided to try something a little different.
I wanted to fashion a smoke hut and slow cook some ribs.
After trying a few ways to construct a hut, I decided that I was able to get more smoke on the meat from simply making a tripod and suspending the meat above an open small fire.

Here is what I came up with....

I started out with 3 branches about 8 feet long, some cordage and a knife, light duty gloves to deal with hot stuff, and some cooking stuff. The tongs I keep in the toolbox int he back of my truck year round, for situations like this. The grill top stays between the toolbox and the back wall of the bed of the truck and is also with me everywhere I go. It cost me less than $10 and gives me an instant grill any time I go off-road, camping, tailgating at foot ball games, etc. (The green canvas was originally going to be used to enclose the smoker, but I found that I got more smoke on the meat without it, so it was used to build a wind break instead - see that thread in the survival forum LINK)



Using the cordage and the grill mesh, I formed a tripod with the branches and now have a platform the smoke the meat from...



Back home about 2 weeks ago, I picked up two nice racks of spare ribs. They got dry-rubbed with a variety of spices, pepper, and salt - then got wrapped up in plastic, tin foil, and went into the freezer until we left. Here they are still in the plastic getting ready to become a meal...



We built a heat reflector (also discussed in the survival forum thread) for other reasons but it worked perfectly to direct smoke up through the rack. The heat was kept so that the right under the meat was just warm enough to be uncomfortable to a bare hand but not hot enough to sear the meat. The end product was a very slow cooking and smoking process that took about 3-4 hours for fully cooked and flavored ribs. The wood being burnt was apple. The first day we looked around for some kind of fruit tree to get aromatic wood to use for this project - we were lucky enough to find an apple tree only 150 yards from camp with several fallen branches. They were added and left to smolder on top of a low bed of coals...



And in the end, after a few hours of tending the fire...Lunch!


Just before serving them, I lowered the grill top on to some rocks that I made a platform with, then kicked some coals under to just put a nice crisp on the meat. Dont have any pics of that part as it got a bit hectic, and once the food was ready to eat, it was all about the the meal - less picture taking - more rib eating!

If you want to do a more purist version of this, you could substiture the metal grill for some woven vine or other natural cordage, suspended above the open fire. You will get the same end result, and all with things you can find in the woods. Of course, bringing the meat made life easy, but you could certainly just bring the spices and a rifle and get your own meat out on the trail

Smoked BBQ ribs are hard to beat



Link Posted: 3/22/2006 5:12:15 AM EDT
omg wow.... I'm hungry now
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 7:21:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Illinigunner21:
omg wow.... I'm hungry now



Me too, I'm drooling.

Great pics and thread!

Merlin
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 7:32:56 AM EDT
Man, now I have to clean drool off of my keyboard. Great pics.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 7:36:04 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 7:37:27 AM EDT
Well, that pretty much decided what I'm having for lunch.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 7:39:49 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 7:56:25 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 7:57:56 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 7:59:47 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 8:02:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRedGoat:
Cooking catfish on a brick.

www.tvcc.edu/faculty/ballen/Camp/catonbrick.JPG

TRG



Great picture...and great idea.
We have used flat rocks like this to heat tortilla shells and melt cheese in them.
Hot rocks make great warmers around the cooking area.
I had a big flat top rock just to the side of the fire in the mornings to put a kettle of boiling water on - kept the water nice and warm until we needed refills on tea, or for soup mix.

Outdoor cooking with campfire is hard to beat.

Great stuff in the fireplace above as well!
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 8:09:28 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 8:44:06 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 8:53:10 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 9:04:20 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 9:15:57 AM EDT
Think I will "stick" with the grill!!!
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 9:30:42 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 10:01:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRedGoat:

Be careful what rocks you place in a fire. Damp rock, or those known for high water content, can sometimes explode as steam pressure builds. Steam expands 2700 times it original volume, so the explosion can be very serious.

TRG



Learned that with some sedimentary rocks several trips back.
We constructed a heat shield and backsplash to a makeshift stone grilling area...a few minutes after the fire got going my friend asks me if that was the wood popping

A few minutes later, after the stones got hot enough....BAMM!!!! the whole damn side blew out of the pit we built. We kicked down the fire, pulled the stones and let them cool, and rebuilt it using different rocks that we found far away from the river. Let them set by the fire over night and built a new pit in the morning. After that we had no problems.

Wet stones = dangerous fire!

Link Posted: 3/22/2006 10:05:06 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 10:30:50 AM EDT
How about some more beans, Mr Taggart?
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 2:31:54 PM EDT
bump for the dinner crowd
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 2:48:26 PM EDT
Oh damn here I am stuck in a hotel room thinking about popping a Nuke it dinner in the microwave, oh well there is a Applebee's down the street. About the only good place in podunk.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 2:51:04 PM EDT
Sweet thread.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 3:01:01 PM EDT
Best damn dinner thread yet.


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