As regular readers know, we do have a smoker here in the FAB Whitby kitchen. It’s in the yard actually, but you get the idea. Sometimes though, dragging it out to the middle of the lawn, building a fire and tending said fire all afternoon is a bit inconvenient. To ease that inconvenience, Mrs. G got me a cast iron smoker box for my birthday back in June. The other night I finally got around to checking it out.
The idea is that one removes a grate from the BBQ and places the Iron Box directly onto the flavor bars. The lid is removed and the Iron Box is filled with water soaked wood chips. As the wood dries out, it begins to smolder and the smoke escapes from the holes in the lid. Providing one is patient enough to leave the BBQ lid shut, that smoke then envelopes whatever you are smoking.
As often happens, the decision to test out my Iron Box was made late in the afternoon. That meant these ribs weren’t going to get a really long hit of smoke. I rubbed them with my latest secret home made rub and then let them sit for a while to allow some of the flavor of the rub to sink in. While my meat was soaking up the taste, I put my wet apple wood chips into the Iron Box and lit the Que.
Once the machine was up to 250 degrees, I put the ribs on the opposite side of the grill from the heat so they were smoking over indirect heat rather than cooking over the flame. About an hour in, I had a quick peek and found that my wood chips had burned down to ash so I carefully removed the lid with tongs and refilled it. An hour later and the fam was getting hungry. I made an executive decision and ramped up the heat to finish them off quickly. Just before removing the ribs from the grill, I slathered them in some of Ted Reader’s Sleeman beer BBQ sauce I found hiding in the cupboard.
The proof is in the eating
I’ve gotta say I was impressed with the end results the smoker box provided. While the ribs weren’t cooking long enough to create any sort of bark or smoke ring, there was definitely a nice smoky taste. The meat wasn’t quite as tender as it would have been if I had left them smoking for another hour or so, but then we wouldn’t have eaten until 9. Not the best plan on a Sunday night.
As a side note: Mr. Reader’s Sleeman sauce was a good compliment to the sweet heat of my rub. The sauce is dark and sweet, with a heavy molasses colour and aroma. It’s actually not all that far off the last batch of sauce I made myself!