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Shortribs cooked indoors but with a "BBQ" flavor


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I know that there is only one kind of barbeque...low and slow over live fire.

However, I'm an apartment dweller.

I have some visitors coming from overseas and I'd like to serve an "All-American" main consisting of something BBQ-tasting, coleslaw, and potato salad.

I was thinking about braising some short-ribs, then glazing and finishing in the oven with a BBQ-like sauce.

Do you think that will produce a decent-tasting (if totally inauthentic) result?

Any thoughts how to proceed? I googled and epicurioused around for recipes and struck out.

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Easy-peasy. I lived for years in an apartment (didn't move until a month or two) and was in the same situation.

Get yourself a stovetop smoker. I recommend the Cameron, which I've used successfully for lots of things: chicken wings and salmon (which don't need long smoking) are best, but it'll make a credible pork shoulder and brisket as well. Ribs wouldn't be a problem, either: just smoke them for 45 minutes or so, then finish in a 225 degree oven. You'll get something that isn't quite as good as slow-smoked BBQ, but is still tasty!

That said, if you want something authentic or authentic-esque, I don't know if I'd go for short ribs. If your guests eat pork, I'd do spare ribs; if they don't, I'd try a brisket. But I don't know any reason why short ribs wouldn't work.

edit: how did I not notice that sentence fragment? eek!

Edited by Andrew Fenton (log)
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I'd second the rib recommendation for more authentic barbecue flavor. You can make good ribs by rubbing them with a barbecue spice mixture and cooking them covered with foil in a slow (225 - 250) oven for 5 - 8 hours depending on the size of the rack. I like to add a little seasoned vinegar under the rack from time to time. Don't get the smoke, but still good eating.

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Ribs wouldn't be a problem, either: just smoke them for 45 minutes or so, then finish in a 225 degree oven.  You'll get something that isn't quite as good as slow-smoked BBQ,

Would you leave the ribs in the smoker with the chips (dust?), or would you take them out of the smoker, first?

I've been tempted to buy one of those for years, but have always been hesitant. Would it do bacon, I wonder?

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After 45 minutes in the smoker, the wood shavings have become ash; unless you do something like violently shake the pan, they don't affect the food at all. All you do is take off the lid of the smoker and use it as a roasting pan.

As to bacon: the Cameron only hot-smokes. So you could cook bacon in it, and infuse it with extra smoke flavor along the way. I imagine that would work quite well-- it seems to be optimized for smoking things that only need a short cooking time. But you couldn't cold-smoke bacon, alas.

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Less expensive than a stovetop smoker (especially if you won't use it much) are smoker bags sold at Williams Sonoma, among other places. They're impregnated with wood dust, but don't create smoke outside of the bag itself. Single use -- you just put the food inside the foil packet, place in oven, and let her rip.

Edited by JohnnyH (log)

"All humans are out of their f*cking minds -- every single one of them."

-- Albert Ellis

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An additional idea to consider may be to supplement the stovetop smoke with some smoked paprika in your dry rub (or some chipotle or morita powder if you want things spicier.)

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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Although I received a Cameron Stovetop Smoker as a gift, before I had it, I made my own impromptu smoker: I used a large hotel or roasting pan, sprinkled the appropriate wood sawdust on the bottom (a microplane works very well to make your own sawdust from a piece of wood), put a wire rack into the hotel pan, put the food on the rack, tightly covered the top with aluminum foil, and put the pan on the burners at a low heat to smoke. When I felt there had been enough smoke infused, I removed the food and finished cooking it in the normal manner. This worked like a charm for me, and I still do it occasionally when I don't feel like digging out the Cameron.

Regards,

Michael Lloyd

Mill Creek, Washington USA

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Wow.  If I were doing an all-American meal for overseas visitors, I'd be thinking pork (either a butt or country ribs; pulled), not beef.

With South Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce, squishy white buns, cole slaw and potato salad.  Top it off with a rhubarb pie and ice cream.

Classic, and a sure hit.

My guests are Muslim so pork is forbidden as is alcohol and non-finned, non-scaled fish.

I don't want to do chicken. I read someone's posts about slow roasting short ribs and wanted to try it.

Again...many thanks for all the great suggestions!

ETA: So I would hot smoke the ribs or brisket in the WS bag for 45 minutes or so, then finish in a low, low oven?

Edited by CDRFloppingham (log)
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ETA:  So I would hot smoke the ribs or brisket in the WS bag for 45 minutes or so, then finish in a low, low oven?

I've never used the bags, so I don't know for how long the smoke is active. If it's really well sealed, you could probably cook the meat in there for a long time and let it absorb a lot of smoke flavor. That's just a guess, though; obviously the bag will have some instructions included that will give you a better idea.

But yeah, at a certain point, you'll want to move it to an open roasting pan so that it'll brown and get a little bit crispy. You'll also need to check the meat's temperature, which is a lot easier to do in an open pan.

Have fun, and enjoy! I'm sure your guests will love the finished product.

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The project is underway.

I bought a 7 lb brisket yesterday.

Because I was a little concerned about the slow roast process, I boiled with some onions and garlic x 4 hours.

In the fridge overnight.

I applied a rub (salt, sugar, spices) and put in bags.

Into the WS bag at 480 degrees x 40 minutes.

Rest.

to be continued.

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Looks great coming out of the bag.

I trimmed some for my "western" potstickers and a taste. Not a strong smoky flavor but not bad for all indoor cooking.

I have thrown in the freezer for the lunch with the guests. I plan to glaze with some sauce.

Thanks for all the advice eGers!!!

Edited by CDRFloppingham (log)
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Because I was a little concerned about the slow roast process, I boiled with some onions and garlic x 4 hours.

Gah. I'm happy the bags worked out for you, but you may want to give this another shot without boiling to see what the difference is. As Andrew suggested, I think you'll find it a revelation.

"All humans are out of their f*cking minds -- every single one of them."

-- Albert Ellis

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