I have learned how to BBQ. In the very beginning, I didn't even know how to work with charcoal, let alone wood. My transformation has brought BBQ into my life in ways I never expected. However, still today BBQ is more of a weekly big cook than a way of life. That is the next step I am taking on my journey.
As much as I love BBQ, in many ways, it is a labor of love. It certainly is not particularly easy or convenient. At the same time, the meals you get are well worth the effort you put in. The problem for me is simply life. I like to think of the life after winning the lottery when my biggest concern in life is what cook I am going to spend all day on. In my real world though, BBQ time competes with so many other things.
A large number of cooks simply take time. Time for a cook doesn't really fit into the schedule of someone who works and also has a massive schedule of kid's activities I need to carpool for. It is really next to impossible to come home from work and start a real cook for that night's dinner. So how do I shift this?
First off, I am not about to give up charcoal. It may take more time to get the grill ready, but cooking on gas to me is more just cooking outside, not BBQ. So I started dividing up cooks by how long they need to be on the grill. Things like burgers are quick. So for starters, I can get home and immediately start the charcoal. While that is starting to burn, I can prep. Then, an hour after I get home, we are eating a real meal.
Short cooks like this get a bit boring though. So this week, I did a little experiment. Rather than a big Sunday dinner cook, I cooked a ton of meat to eat throughout the week.
I got a pork shoulder and ten chicken breasts. I started this whole cook the way I would a normal slow cook for Sunday dinner. I prepped the shoulder and got the cooker going. Then I started to prep the chicken breasts. About an hour into the cook, I added some chicken breasts on. Cooking them at 250 until they were about 10 degrees from being done. At that point, I reverse seared them.
Once off the grill, I simply let the chicken slowly come down to room temp. When the shoulder was finally done, I brought that in and pulled it. This ended up leaving me on Sunday night with a large container of cooked chicken, and another large container of pulled pork.
Now, my week's dinners had a couple short cooks, plus pulled pork and chicken to last throughout the week. It takes a little creativity to pull this off. My family doesn't want to eat pulled pork every night. But, pulled pork sandwiches with slaw one night followed up with making mac and cheese with pulled pork a couple nights later works.
I realize that this comes very dangerously close to left-overs, but so be it. All I know is I spent an entire week eating BBQ and never had to have a 10 pm dinner because a cook took so long. All in all, I was really impressed with how well this worked. Which leaves me planning all sorts of weekend cooks I can do this with. BBQ a chicken, which gives you chicken obviously...but pull some of that for tacos. There are so many possibilities I am anxious to explore!
Until next post, remember kids.....CHUNKS not chips!