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Prairie Flavors


Barbecue Y


By Laura Araujo


ou don’t have to know what the terms “whitebone,” “Texas crutch,” or “smoke ring” mean to get started in barbecuing. This month, OKL spoke with Brent Terrell, a Beggs, Okla.,-based pit master to bring you some barbecue basics.


Pit master Brent Terrell offers basic advice for beginning barbecue. Photos by Laura Araujo


Barbecue Lingo


Whitebone According to Kansas City Barbeque Society rules, rib meat must be on the bone when being judged in a competition. When it falls off the bone, or “whitebones,” to reveal the white bone beneath the meat, it means that the ribs have been overcooked.


Texas Crutch


Ribs, pork butt and brisket can be smoked for a few hours and then wrapped in a foil “crutch” to continue cooking. This accelerates the cooking process and can yield a more tender, juicy meat. However, leaving the meat in the crutch for too long can cause it to lose its fl avor and become too soft.


Smoke Ring


When meat is well smoked, it often develops a pink ring just under the surface of the meat, about 1/4 inch in thickness.


Terrell, a member of East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, became interested in barbecue a dozen years ago. He started cooking for church events and eventually took his hobby to the next level. He created “Double Barrel Smokin’” and, through the years, has claimed numerous awards for his barbe- cue. Terrell’s specialties include ribs, sausage and his daughter Cassidy’s favor- ite—smoked bologna. In his spare time, Terrell and business partner Dave Moore of Tulsa, Okla., enjoy catering weddings and other events. So what exactly is barbecue? According to Terrell, “barbecuing” or “smoking” uses indirect heat to cook meat slowly at a low temperature. Unlike a grill, where food is cooked directly over fl ame, smokers typically have two chambers—a main chamber where the meat is placed and an offset fi rebox. The smoke from the fi rebox is channeled into the food chamber where the meat cooks, normally between 180°F and 220°F. The low temperature means meats take longer to cook: a pork butt takes 10 to 12 hours; a brisket about 10 hours; and ribs eight to 10 hours. Cooking the meat slowly dissolves its connective tissue and fat and yields a tender fi nal product. Terrell says there are two main types of barbecue—wet and dry. Wet barbecue


uses a sauce on the meat, whereas dry uses a rub. In Oklahoma, most barbecue is dry. Some barbecuers will “glaze” the meat, applying a sauce to it during the last fi ve minutes of cooking. Terrell makes his own signature rubs and sauces. “Everyone has their own secret rub,” Terrell says. “I like to experiment with different rubs—it’s part of the fun.” When it comes to which wood, there are many types available. Terrell primar- ily uses pecan because it cooks longer and hotter. He says a lot of people choose a fruit wood, like cherry, for its sweetness. For those looking to get started in barbecue, Terrell offers some advice. “Like anything else, it takes practice,” he says. “Pick one method and stick with it. A lot of times people will try to do something different, but it’s best to stick with one technique and perfect it.” To get started, a basic smoker can range from $400 to $600. Terrell says craig- slist.com can be a good place to purchase a smoker. For those who don’t want to make an investment, wood chips can be used in charcoal and gas grills to give meat a smoky flavor. See directions in the “Easy Smoked Chicken” recipe.


If viewing our digital edition, click here to view bonus BBQ recipes. Access our digital edition at www.ok-living.coop or fi nd our FREE app at the Apple Newsstand, Google Play or Amazon.


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