The Best and Cheapest Cuts of Meat to Smoke

Smoked meats are terrific because they do not have to be the fanciest cut to taste great. In fact, barbecue is rooted on the knack for turning cheap cuts into mouthwatering masterpieces. If you are on the hunt for your next smoked barbecue meal, you do not have to empty your wallet for a successful turnout. Instead, focus on using traditional cuts of meat that are top in quality and cheap to buy.

Continue reading to learn some of the best picks for your upcoming barbecue!

Smoked Meat Dinners 317-688-7290

Smoked Meat Dinners 317-688-7290

Chicken

Chicken is as traditional as it comes when it comes to cheap cuts of meat. Not only can you purchase all sorts of different varieties of chicken (i.e. cage-free, organic, corn-fed, etc.), it is one of the cheapest and most cost-effective options. Smoked chicken is an easy cut of meat to smoke, making it perfect for beginner smokers. Furthermore, you can cook chicken in an endless array of spices, seasonings, marinades, and flavors. Currently, you can visit your local grocer and purchase a whole chicken for an average of $1.09 per pound.

Turkey

Poultry is cheap, and well suited for the smoker, so it should be no surprise that turkey is another option on the list of top quality cheap meats. Turkey is a great candidate for smoking because it absorbs flavors well and cooks evenly. It is inexpensive, and can be seasoned any way you like. Right now, your local grocer is selling turkey for an average of $2.19 per pound.

Brisket

If you love beef, but cringe at the price of your favorite steaks, brisket is the way to go. Beef brisket is simply divine out of the smoker, and fortunately, still one of the most inexpensive cuts of meat that are also high in quality. Currently, you can pick up a 3 pound brisket for less than $25, as they sell for around $7.99 per pound.

Ribs

When looking to smoke a good cut of pork, ribs will certainly deliver. Not only are they easy to cook, everyone loves them. Just be sure you choose a cut that has a lot of meat and little fat. Right now, you can purchase St. Louis style pork ribs for around $1.79 per pound, and boneless pork ribs for around $5.99 per pound. Beef ribs are actually a great, inexpensive choice too, at around $2.69 per pound.

Pork Shoulder

Pork shoulder has been one of the most admired cuts of meat to smoke for centuries. Its natural deliciousness and versatility makes it easy to work with and difficult to turn down. Whether you go for a picnic roast or a Boston butt, pork shoulder is a reliable, inexpensive, top-quality cut to use for pulled pork sandwiches, roasts, and more. Right now, you can buy a full 2-part pork shoulder for around $3.49 per pound.

🍅 Prices derived from Kroger® Grocery

Looking for a Great BBQ Meal Near You?

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ
317-688-7290

If you are craving delicious barbecue smoked meats and homemade side dishes, come to Rackz BBQ in Carmel for authentic flavors and great prices! We offer a wide selection of barbecue classics, house-made sides, and tasty desserts, all prepared using the freshest local ingredients. We also offer call ahead and take out ordering and catering! Call 317-688-7290 to learn more about our current menu selections and specials, anytime.

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How to Enhance the Flavor of Smoked Brisket

If you wish to add flavor to a brisket, it is important to choose your seasonings carefully. After all, your primary goal is to enhance, not overpower. With the right knowledge, you can easily create a beautifully balanced flavor profile that leaves your mouth watering for more.

Continue reading to learn some helpful tips for seasoning and smoking beef brisket.

Smoked Meat Dinners 317-688-7290

Smoked Meat Dinners 317-688-7290

Whether you are someone who prefers rubs or marinades, there are some basic brisket standards you should follow.

Start With Good Wood

The fundamental component for smoking barbecue brisket is the smoke, which starts with the wood. Most professionals recommend using a wood option that does not render a strong or bitter smoke profile, since beef brisket is already cooked for a long period of time. Stick to mild flavored woods like oak, which is a staple for brisket. From there, you can add other varieties of wood that pair well with brisket without overpowering the flavor, like apple or hickory. If you are someone who really loves mesquite flavors, it is recommended to do so sparingly with barbecue beef brisket.

Rubs and Marinades

Dry rubs are very popular for smoking meats, especially beef brisket. That is because all seasonings are great for flavoring a brisket. Get creative, or simply stick to your favorites. Common go-to rubs include seasonings like garlic, herbs, and spices. Just be sure to take it easy on the rub so that your brisket doesn’t come out too salty. If you plan to mop or baste your brisket while smoking, be sure to coordinate the flavors properly with your rub.

Marinating is another option for smoked brisket. It is a general rule of thumb to marinate beef for a full 24 hours to ensure the fibers have absorbed the flavors as much as possible. For tender beef, you want to stick to an acid-based marinade, which is why lemon juice and vinegar are common choices. Use either lemon or lime juice, or use a vinegar-based marinade; then simply add the seasonings and spices you love most. For sweeter brisket, add brown sugar; for something spicy, go with some cayenne or crushed red pepper. See our blog about recommended tips for marinating cuts of beef.

Bastes and Mops

In the world of barbecued smoked meats, a “mop” is not something you clean with. Instead, a “mop” is a colloquial term used to describe a thin, sauce-like mixture used to keep the meat moist during the cooking process, which enhances the overall flavor of meat. This sauce is also called a “baste.” Traditionally, large cotton cooking brushes are used to baste meats, but there are several other cooking tools that work just as well. Mops should be thin like water. They should not contain too much acid-based seasoning because it can make the meat too bitter. It is important to not use too much sugar-based ingredients, like tomato cause, because too much sugar can make a brisket burn (this is especially true if you are using an offset fire box smoker).

Table Sauces

Sauces are added to smoked briskets after they are done cooking, which is why they are commonly referred to as “table sauces” or “finishing sauces.” They can come in a wide range of viscosities and flavors, from sweet and tangy to spicy-hot. Most table sauces for briskets are tomato-based, but since they are not exposed to heat, they will not burn, so they can contain whatever you want them to.

Come to Rackz BBQ for Lip-Smacking Beef Brisket!

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ
317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ is eager to impress you with our delicious beef brisket meals and barbecue cuisines. As a Carmel BBQ restaurant dedicated to quality and value, you can trust us for exceptional customer service, neighborhood prices, and most importantly, authentic barbecue fare that you will love. Contact us at 317-688-7290 to place a call ahead order, or to learn more about our menu selections, prices, and specials.

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How to Clean a Barbecue Smoker

If you really love to barbecue and smoke meat, it is safe to say that your most valuable tool is your smoker. Smokers are designed to last, making them appear resilient and steadfast; but without proper cleaning and care, your smoker will not continue to perform as it should. More importantly, a dirty smoker can pose health and safety risks. Because smokers seem so durable and resistant to damage, it can be easy to forgo a cleaning use after use. Nonetheless, the chore is important and imminent.

If you have never cleaned your barbecue smoker, or have only cleaned it once or twice since purchasing it years ago, it is highly likely that it is in need of a good cleansing. In fact, it is recommended to clean the insides of smokers every 6 to 12 months, and the outsides every other time it is used. Continue reading for some more important tips like these, including a quick guide to cleaning your smoker.

For Great Smoked Meats and BBQ, Call 317-688-7290!

For Great Smoked Meats and BBQ, Call
317-688-7290!

Rust and Grease

The biggest and most imminent threat to your smoker is rust. Although smokers are built with a protecting coating, it does not last forever; eventually, rust will get through. Rust will deteriorate and corrode the inner and outer components of a smoker, which weakens its structural integrity overtime. At this rate, you can expect to replace your smoker before you should have to. A great way to protect your smoker from premature rust formation is to oil it after every use. Use a store-bought cooking spray, like Pam®, to lightly spray the surface when it cools to around 150 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also apply cooking spray to partly rusted surfaces.

Special Note: As an iron oxide, rust forms when iron, oxygen, and water (air moisture) combine. When these elements come into contact with one another, the iron loses electrons to oxygen atoms; a process called oxidation. Oxidation produces a chemical reaction that forms Fe203, or rust.

Aside from rust, grease is another major threat to both the structural and performance integrity of your smoker, as well as the health of those consuming the barbecued meats cooked in the smoker. Leftover food deposits, grease, and sludge can all accumulate at the bottom and on the cooking rates; Eventually, the sludge can begin to grow mold. Fortunately, a dirty, moldy, smoker can be cleaned with a few common supplies and a little labor.

How to Clean Smokers

What You Will Need:

Old Clothes (or protective apron)
Long Rubber Gloves
Small Shovel
Paper Towels
Scrubbing Brush
Large Bucket Lined With a Garbage Bag

Getting Started:

Cleaning a smoker is a dirty job, so be sure to don all of your protective gear and clothing. This includes old work clothes, long rubber gloves, and large aprons. Once you have all of your gear and supplies ready to go, you can get right to work!

First, remove the cooking grates from inside your smoker. Now you are ready to clean out the sludge and grease. Be very careful to not scrape the metal surface with your shovel. You do not need to scrape the sides. Only scrape from the bottom.

Use your small garden shovel to gently scrape the sludge out from the BOTTOM of the smoker, but do not remove all of the sludge. Leave behind a thin layer to keep the surface slightly oiled to prevent rust. Once you removed as much grease as needed, use paper towels to wipe out the pit. You will get dirty during this part, so be sure you are not wearing anything you care about salvaging, including jewelry.

Now it is time to clean the grates. Do not use soap. Soap is too harsh and will remove too much grease; grease that is needed to keep your grates from rusting. Instead of soap, heat your smoker up and then allow it to cool down. This makes it easier to remove the grease.

Once they are cooled enough to safely handle, wipe them clean with paper towel. For extra dirty grates, use a clean scrubbing brush to gently removed caked-on food debris and sludge. After the grates are wiped clean, give them a light coating of cooking spray to keep them nicely oiled.

Be sure to clean the ash out of the firebox to prevent rust formation. When ash mixes with water or moisture, it can create the reaction that causes rust to form. Ash absorb water overtime, so regularly cleaning it out of the firebox is highly beneficial.

After the inside is finished, it is time to clean the outside surface. Use damp paper towels to wipe the surface of your smoker. Repeat this step as many times as it takes until the paper towels are no longer brown after wiping. Once you are finished, you may choose to spot paint your smoker to make it look like new. Just be sure to use a heat-resistant paint.

Enjoy Smoked Barbecue Meals and More!

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ
317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ is eager to impress you with our delicious smoked barbecue meals and barbecue cuisines. As a Carmel BBQ restaurant dedicated to quality and value, you can trust us for exceptional customer service, neighborhood prices, and most importantly, authentic barbecue fare that you will love. Contact us at 317-688-7290 to place a call ahead order, or to learn more about our menu selections, prices, and specials.

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Which Meat is Best for Pulled Pork?

Pulled pork is a great place to start your culinary learning curve of smoking and barbecue. Not only is it relatively inexpensive and incredibly delicious, it is a forgiving meat that can still taste good even if you serve it slightly over or under-cooked, unlike cuts such as brisket and ribs. These reasons and more makes pulled pork one of the easiest smoked meat recipes to learn as a beginner.

Although it may seem intimidating at first, anyone can “pull off” a pulled pork dinner. But the first step to a good pulled pork is selecting the proper cut of meat. Continue reading to learn which cut of meat is the most popular for pulled pork and why.

Smoked Pulled Pork Dinners 317-688-7290

Smoked Pulled Pork Dinners 317-688-7290

Pork Shoulder is the Good Choice

By far, the most popular cut of meat to use for smoking pulled pork is pork shoulder. This is for a few good reasons. First, pork shoulder is pretty affordable compared to other cuts; you can purchase quality pork shoulder for a little more than $3 per pound.

It is also readily available at most grocery stores, butcher shops, and artisanal meat shops. At grocery chains, pork shoulder is generally sold in two cuts: pork butt and pork shoulder. At your local butcher, you can request a whole shoulder (which can weigh between 12 and 16 pounds) or a custom cut if you like.

Another reason why pork shoulder is a great choice for pulled pork is that it doesn’t dry as quickly as other pieces of meat. If you accidentally overcook it, you can still serve it and enjoy it with your favorite sauce. So long as you maintain within safe temperatures, you can even get away with under-cooking it a bit.

Also, the amount of collagen and fat in pork shoulder help a lot. The collagen breaks down into simple sugars during the smoking process, making the meat sweet and delicate. And the amount of fat that melts away gives the meat a tender and juicy consistency that builds a flavor without using any rubs are sauces.

Pork Shoulder Vs. Pork Butt

Pork shoulder makes up the whole front leg and shoulder of a hog. If you are shopping at the neighborhood grocery store, you can expect to find pork shoulder divided into two cuts. These two halves are the pork butt and pork shoulder, also referred to as the “Boston roast” and the “picnic roast.”

Pork butt is also known as “Boston butt” because it is the thicker section of the hog shoulder where there is more concentrated marbling, or fat running through the muscle. Sometimes pork butt contains shoulder blade bone, but most of the time, it does not. These monikers are where many people get confused. Pork butt actually comes from the shoulder of the hog, not the rear end. The term, “butt”, in this sense, is used to describe a blunt or thick end of something, like a gun or cigar.

The actual pork shoulder is from the same cut that the pork butt comes from, but at the thinner, triangle-shaped end. It has more bone than Boston butt, but will weight around the same, which is between 5 and 6 pounds. Picnic cuts can come without bone, but it is recommended to get one with the bone. As for champion pulled pork, pork butt is the top choice cut to use. Picnic cuts work just as well, but some compare it to unprepared ham.

Get Ready to Try Some Pulled Pork!

Pulled Pork Dinner at Rackz BBQ

Pulled Pork Dinner at Rackz BBQ 317-688-7290

Visit Rackz BBQ in Carmel, Indiana for delicious pulled pork entrees, hand-crafted barbecue sauces, and homemade side items, like peach baked beans, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, and more. From appetizers and sandwiches, to salads, entrees, and desserts, there is much to choose from on our comprehensive BBQ menu, so be sure to try them all! Contact us at 317-688-7290 to ask us about our menu prices, weekly specials, and more. We accept call-ahead and takeout orders too!

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3 Reasons Why You Should Tie a Roast

It is a common culinary practice to tie up various large cuts of meat prior to cooking, including chicken, beef tenderloin, pork loin, prime rib roast, and more. Although it isn’t a must, tying a roast can give your dish the extra “wow” factor you’ve been missing; it can even add a little convenience. In fact, if you give it just one try, you may never go back to your former roast preparation methods!

Continue reading to learn when you should tie a roast, and how to do it right!

Smoked Meat Dinners 317-688-7290

Smoked Meat Dinners 317-688-7290

Why Tie?

There are several reasons why tying a roast is beneficial. Usually, the reason stems from necessity. For instance, if you are preparing a stuffed entrée, binding the meat will help keep the filing inside during cooking. Likewise, if your roast is greatly misshapen or irregular, tying it up can give it a more uniform look and ensure even cooking.

Here are the top 3 reasons why it may be useful to tie a roast:

A Misshapen Roast – Often times, cuts of meat are uneven in shape and girth. Beef tenderloins, for instance, are usually thicker in the middle and thinner at the ends. By binding the ends beneath the roast, you can ensure even cooking and create a more appealing presentation.

A Filled or Split Roast – If you are preparing a roast that has been split down the center and filled with a stuffing of sorts, you risk losing a large amount of that stuffing during the cooking process. By binding the meat together, you can enclose the roast and keep the filling inside.

A Prime Rib Roast – For a truly lovely prime rib roast, many chefs remove the rib bones and tie them beneath the roast to create elevation during cooking without the use of a rack. This allows the heat to cook the roast evenly, all around.

Choosing a Twine

When it comes to using a twine to tie your meat, consider a butcher’s twine. Also referred to as “kitchen twine”, these products are made of cotton and grip the meat particularly well. Most culinary professionals use and recommend butcher’s twine. Although you may also use linen twine, it is generally more expensive. Avoid using colored, synthetic, or poly twine; but if you are in a pinch, you can substitute unwaxed dental floss.

Steps to Tying a Roast:

Create a slip knot on one end of your roast as the anchor. A slip knot will allow you to adjust the placement and tension of the string while tying up your roast.

Connect the twine to the anchor and begin wrapping it in a series of loose loops around the roast at one inch apart. You may need to shimmy the loops up to ensure you are covering the entire roast evenly.

Once the width of the roast is wrapped, create another piece of twine down the length of the roast, winding around each loop. Pull it tight at the end (do not squish the meat) and then secure it to the anchor knot.

It should look like this:

For Great Smoked BBQ, Call 317-688-7290!

A Tied Beef Tenderloin

Get Great Pork BBQ in Carmel!

If you are craving delicious barbecue and smoked meats, come to Rackz BBQ in Carmel for authentic flavors and great prices! We offer a wide selection of barbecue classics, house-made sides, and tasty desserts, all prepared using the freshest local ingredients. We also offer call ahead take out ordering and catering! Call 317-688-7290 to learn more about our current menu selections and specials, anytime.

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A Basic Recipe for Seasoning Baby Back Ribs

When you are new to smoking barbecue, it is wise to start with the basics and work your way up the learning curve. One great way to do this is to memorize some fundamental “ground” recipes for certain cuts of meat you intend to work with. A good choice for beginners are baby back ribs since they are an easy cut if meat to season and prepare well.

Continue reading to learn a rudimentary recipe for seasoning pork ribs.

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290


Whether you are cooking with a conventional smoker or Weber-style kettle grill, baby back ribs will turn out juicy and delicious if you use the right combinations of seasonings and technique. They are a real crowd pleaser, so mastering this recipe and then building on top of it will lay the foundation for you to become a meat smoking expert. There are infinite ways to season and dress pork ribs, so get familiar with this basic recipe, and then make it your own by changing it overtime!

Starter Baby Back Rib Rub:

Firmly-Packed Brown Sugar 1/4 Cup
Sweet Paprika 1/4 Cup
Black Pepper 3 Tablespoons
Coarse Salt 3 Tablespoons
Hickory-Smoked Salt 1 Tablespoon
Celery Seeds 2 Teaspoons
Garlic Powder 2 Teaspoons
Onion Powder 2 Teaspoons
Cayenne Pepper 1 Teaspoon

Notes:

✏ This recipe calls for 2 to 3 teaspoons of seasoning per pound of meat, and makes around 1 cup.

✏ If you do not have hickory-smoked salt, you may use more coarse salt instead. If you are looking for hickory-smoked salt, you will find it with all the other seasonings in the grocery store.

✏ You can substitute hot paprika in place of sweet paprika if you want a spicier finish.

✏ Be sure to follow instructions for your smoker or grill to properly slow cook your baby back ribs.

✏ This seasoning recipe is also a great starter for pork shoulders, chicken, and other types of pork ribs.

Preparation:

Mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl; no need to use a sifter or blender. In fact, your hands are the best tool you can use for this part. Just be sure to break up all the lumps really well. To store this seasoning rub, place it in an air-tight container and keep it in a cool, dry place. It will be good to go for up to 6 months.

Looking for Premium Baby Back Ribs in Carmel?

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ
317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ offers a wide selection of delicious smoked meats and southern comfort foods that are sure to please the entire family. If you don’t have time to sit down at our Carmel BBQ restaurant, place a takeout order for a hot and fresh meal on the go! Contact us at 317-688-7290 to place a call ahead order, or to learn more about our menu selections, prices, and specials.

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Tips for Using Charcoal in a Smoker

Although many barbecue professionals might urge you to use hardwood logs in a smoker, there are many ordinary people out there that are perfectly fine heating theirs with charcoal. However, there are some proper ways to use charcoal in a smoker, otherwise, you risk jeopardizing the taste of your smoked meats.

Continue reading to learn some recommended methods of using charcoal in a smoker, as well as, some additional meat smoking tips that will have you cooking like a pro!

For Great Smoked BBQ, Call 317-688-7290!

Choosing a Quality Charcoal Product

Not all charcoals are a good fit for smoking meat. For instance, some self-starting products contain lighter fluid additives that induce and accelerate burning. These are not the type of chemicals you want to be cooking with. Not only are they bad for your health and the environment, they will cause meat to taste bad. So when it comes to choosing a charcoal product, the primary objective is to find one that burns for a long time at a continual high heat, and is free of additives.

Charcoal should be as clean and straightforward as possible for the best results. Beware of cheaper brands that add in anthracite or coal to make them burn hotter. Additionally, you want to avoid purchasing charcoal products that advertise “authentic flavors” of hickory or mesquite; charcoal should not have flavors at all. Instead, you can add some wood to your smoker, in addition to charcoal, to produce added flavor.

Modern,” briquette-style” charcoal is the most common on the market. These are manufactured using a natural, clean-burning, sugar-based binding agent that works well with smokers. Just be sure you choose the most wholesome product possible.

Storing Charcoal

Not only is it highly encouraged to use the cleanest, purest charcoal available, it is strongly urged to keep it protected in order for it to remain this way. Be sure to store your charcoal in a dry, temperature regulated area that is free from contaminants. It is not recommended to store charcoal in sheds or garages, since there is a high risk of contamination. Likewise, if charcoal becomes wet, it can be prone to mold growth; it won’t burn very well either.

Lump Charcoal

Lump charcoal is a great compromise between smoking with hardwood and smoking with charcoal, being that it is the closest alternative to smoking meat with hardwood, but without actually using real wood. Lump charcoal is made from real pieces of hardwood that have been fired into charcoal. When used in a smoker, it can render more authentic smoke flavors. Because it burns longer and hotter than standard charcoal products, it is usually more expensive; however, these attributes allow you to use less, which can make up for the initial cost overtime.

Got Barbecue on the Brain Now?

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ
317-688-7290

Visit Rackz BBQ in Carmel, Indiana for delicious smoked meat entrees, hand-crafted barbecue sauces, and homemade side items, like peach baked beans, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, and more. From appetizers and sandwiches, to salads, entrees, and desserts, there is much to choose from on our comprehensive BBQ menu, so be sure to try them all! Contact us at 317-688-7290 to ask us about our menu prices, weekly specials, and more. We accept call-ahead and takeout orders too!

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Did My Chicken Go Bad?

Can’t remember how long ago you put those chicken breasts in the refrigerator? Attempting to figure out whether or not meat is still okay to eat can be confusing; you don’t want to take a risk, but you also don’t want to waste perfectly good meat. Rather than going back and forth, and potentially making the wrong choice, simply take the time to do a little investigating.

If you are wondering how to tell if your fowl has gone foul, continue reading to learn what you can do to make a safe judgement.

BBQ Smoked Chicken 317-688-7290

BBQ Smoked Chicken 317-688-7290

Consuming spoiled chicken can certainly be unpleasing to the palate, but more seriously, it can be detrimental to your health. For this reason, it is important to know the difference between “good” chicken and “bad” chicken.

The “sniff and stare” test is usually the go-to method of determining the quality of raw chicken. Many people assume they can tell if meat has gone bad by detecting changes in smell, texture, or color. However, this may not be the most accurate approach. Changes like these simply indicate that the meat is aging and losing quality. It is the internal, food-borne bacteria to watch out for, and these are not detectable with a “sniff and stare” test.

Food-borne Bacteria

There are two primary types of food-borne bacteria; one type can make you sick, while the other simply spoils food. Spoilage bacteria will not necessarily give a person food poisoning, but it can cause a stomach ache or digestive issues. You can tell when raw meat has this form of bacteria brewing because it will look and feel slimy, and may have a white film. Eating it will not be a pleasant experience, but it will not send a person to the hospital either. In contrast, bacteria that makes a person sick is not visible to the naked eye, so you cannot tell if it is present in your chicken or not.

Avoiding a Food-borne Illness

The best way to avoid contracting a food-borne illness from such bacteria is to follow the recommended storing and cooking methods for all kinds of poultry, including turkey, duck, quail, and pigeon. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA), it is important to always cook poultry to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you have raw chicken in your refrigerator for a few days, you can put it in your freezer to preserve its quality, so long as the freezer is set to 0 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Bacteria will not grow in the freezer under these conditions. After thawing your chicken, the USDA suggests cooking it within two days to remain safe. If you thaw out your chicken, but do not use all of it, you can re-freeze it again as long as it wasn’t cross-contaminated in any way. When it comes to any kind of raw meat, just remember:
When in doubt, toss it out!

Come Try the Excellent Smoked Chicken at Rackz BBQ!

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ
317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ offers a wide selection of delicious smoked meats and southern comfort foods that are sure to please the entire family. If you don’t have time to sit down at our Carmel BBQ restaurant, place a takeout order for a hot and fresh meal on the go! Contact us at 317-688-7290 to place a call ahead order, or to learn more about our menu selections, prices, and specials.

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The Types of Connective Tissues in Meat

When discussing meat preparation and cooking, “connective tissue” is used as an umbrella term to describe a variety of connective tissues found in a cut of meat, such as ligaments, tendons, silver skin, fibrous tissues, and more.

Continue reading to learn about the difference types of connective tissues in meat, including their purpose and how they react to being cooked.

Smoked Meat Dinners 317-688-7290

Smoked Meat Dinners 317-688-7290

Most Common Connective Tissues

In a standard cut of meat, the type of connective tissues present will vary depending on various factors. The most common connective tissues are ligaments, tendons, silverskin, and muscle fibers. Ligaments connect the bones together, while tendons connect muscle to the bone. Silverskin is a white layer of fibrous tissue that encases the entire muscle. Then there are individual muscle fibers that are sheathed within the connective tissues, and are not as easy to see.

What They Do

The purpose of connective tissue is to pull bones into movement when muscle fibers contract. This is why they need to be strong. Additionally, the harder muscles are forced to work, the thicker and tougher any sheathing will be around the muscle fibers. This is why cuts like shoulders and legs have more connective tissue than cuts like ribs and back portions. Shoulders and legs tend to experience higher activity levels than the back and rib areas of an animal.

Connective Tissue Composition

Not only are connective tissues assigned different roles, they are made from different organic components that respond in a different way when cooked. The two most common organic components found in connective tissues are proteins called elastin and collagen.

Elastin is a protein that forms the silverskin and ligaments in a cut of meat. It is what we would consider the “gristle” part on a steak or other cut of meat. Regardless of cooking method or approach, gristle will always be tough and chewy as a result of the elastin proteins. For this reason, it is common practice to remove as much elastin connective tissue, or gristle, from a cut of meat before it’s cooked.

Collagen is another common protein found in meat. It is responsible for sheathing the elongated muscle fibers that make up a cut of meat. You see, meat is made of these long muscle fibers, and each individual one is encased in coat of collagen. Furthermore, these elongated muscle fibers are bunched together to form larger muscle masses, which are also encased in collagen. These “bundles” of meat fibers are known in the culinary industry as the “grain” of the meat. Interestingly, cartilage also contains collagen, but it is not a type of connective tissue.

Cooking Down Connective Tissue

Collagen is similar to elastin in that it is quite tough in its raw form. You would have a really hard time chewing up a raw piece of beef because all the collagen sheathing is still intact. However, unlike elastin, which has a texture that cannot be changed, collagen can be melted away with the proper cooking styles. Perhaps this is where the real invention of great barbecue and smoked meats originally came from!

You see, collagen will soften and melt when cooked low and slow, between 160 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. It is usually done this way using a smoker or a technique called braising. After being cooked, collagen turns into gelatin, which is the jiggling, translucent substance you see on a prepared cut of meat. Although it doesn’t look appealing, the gelatin coats the muscle fibers, giving meat a moist and succulent texture.

Visit Rackz BBQ for Tender and Juicy Smoked Meats!

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ
317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ is eager to impress you with our delicious, made from scratch barbecue cuisines. As a Carmel BBQ restaurant dedicated to quality and value, you can trust us for exceptional customer service, neighborhood prices, and most importantly, authentic barbecue fare that you will love. Contact us at 317-688-7290 to place a call ahead order, or to learn more about our menu selections, prices, and specials.

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Recommended Tips for Marinating Cuts of Beef

Can’t decide what to make for dinner tonight? You can never go wrong with beef!

Beef is a delicious and highly versatile meat that is easy to prepare, even for the typical novice cook. However, it is a stronger, tougher meat, which means it could use some tenderizing. A great way to tenderize a cut of beef, and enhance its flavor at the same time, is to use a marinade.

As an added bonus to using beef marinades, there are endless combinations of spices, sauces, and other ingredients to use, so you can get as create as you like! Continue reading to learn some helpful information about beef marinades, including popular recipes and recommended marinating times.

BBQ Smoked Meats 317-688-7290

Beef Brisket Dinner 317-688-7290

A Strong Marinade and the Right Timing

The two most influential factors to tenderizing a tough cut of beef is a strong marinade and time. With these two factors in perfect balance, you can amaze your friends and family with a juicy and flavorful beef roast, brisket, steak, and more! If you are already working with a tender cut of beef, you can still benefit from using a marinade in terms of taste and nutrition.

The General Rules for Marinating Beef

The general rule of thumb is to use a quarter cup of marinade per each pound of beef. So if you are working with a 7 pound brisket, you would need to use 1 ¾ cup of marinade for the entire cut. You can use any container with an airtight seal to marinade your meats, however a 1 gallon zipped-locked plastic bag works wonders, and it is disposal so you have less clean up. Larger cuts of beef that cannot fit into a 1 gallon bag can be placed in a sealed container instead.

Do not use a metal container if your marinade contains an acid-based ingredient like vinegar, citrus juice, and tomatoes. This will make the meat taste very unpleasant since metal reacts with the acid. When storing and marinating your beef, be sure to turn the meat periodically so that the mixture contacts all sides, equally. Keep your marinating meal in the refrigerator between 32 and 37 degrees Fahrenheit.

Beef Marinade Recipes

The most effective marinades are those made from a universal base of liquid and acid. From there, you can add any herbs, spices, sauces, and other ingredients to build a flavor profile. You can combine them all together naturally, or you can blend them together in a food processor (or blender) to create a puree. Here are some tasty beef marinade combinations you can try:

BrisketWorcestershire sauce, garlic salt, onion salt, pepper, liquid smoke, ketchup, brown sugar, lemon juice, mustard, and hot pepper sauce.

Rump Roast – Soy sauce, vegetable oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, and pepper.

Chuck Roast – Soy sauce, orange juice, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar.

Pot Roast – Soy sauce, red wine vinegar, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, fresh rosemary, and garlic.

Steak – Soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, basil, parsley, pepper, hot pepper sauce, and garlic.

Standard Marinating Times

The amount of time you marinate your cut of beef is important, but it is also dependent on the type of meat you are preparing. Use the guide below for some average marinating times for the most popular cuts of beef.

Brisket (Trimmed) 10 – 12 hours
Brisket (Untrimmed) 16 – 18 hours
Chuck Steak 4 – 6 hours
Chuck Roasts 8 – 10 hours
Flank Steak 4 – 6 hours
Rib Steak 30 minutes – 1 hour
Rib Roast 1 – 2 hours
Round Steak 4 – 6 hours
Sirloin Steak 2 – 4 hours
Tenderloin Roast 1 – 2 hours
Tri-Tip Roast 4 – 6 hours

Visit Rackz BBQ for Mouthwatering Beef Brisket and More!

BBQ Smoked Meats 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ Brisket Dinner
317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ is eager to impress you with our delicious beef brisket meals and barbecue cuisines. As a Carmel BBQ restaurant dedicated to quality and value, you can trust us for exceptional customer service, neighborhood prices, and most importantly, authentic barbecue fare that you will love. Contact us at 317-688-7290 to place a call ahead order, or to learn more about our menu selections, prices, and specials.

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