Marshall Cooper

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smoked-lamb-01

We wanted lamb burnt ends and got great smoked lamb instead

Skewered lamb strips and veggies ready to go on the Jambo for the smoked lamb cook. (Photo ©Marshall Cooper) This cook was definitely an experiment. We wanted to produce lamb burnt ends. Didn’t get ’em this time. But we did get some damn good smoked lamb. Some people like lamb and some don’t. If it’s not fresh or cooked right, it can be gamey. I like it as long as it’s fresh, seasoned well and cooked right. We eat a lot of rack of lamb and lamb chops, cooked on our PK Grill. My plan for this cook was to…
 - 12/19/2017
Jambo-smoker

Tips for choosing a backyard smoker

Marshall Cooper fires up his two main backyard pits, a Jambo J-3, front, and a custom oversize Pitts & Spits smoker. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) You have visited plenty of stops on the Texas BBQ trail and know what good barbecue is. You’ve experimented on the grill in the backyard, but need to buy the proper equipment to take the next step of becoming a serious backyard smoker and pit master. Here are a few simple tips and options to help you make the right choice of backyard smoker. Determine how many people you want to cook for at…
 - 11/30/2017
brisket-burnt-ends-01

Recipe: How to cook brisket burnt ends. . .’five pounds of absolute heaven’

Brisket burnt ends cook on the smoker, held together by steel shish kabob rods. (Photo ©Marshall Cooper) The first time I ever had brisket burnt ends was in 1967 at a barbecue shack on Maury Street located in the 5th ward of Houston, Texas. They cost $1 for a small brown paper sack full. They were really damn good and that’s when I fell in love with them. They were real, authentic, not sauced, you know cut straight off the ends, aka bark, of a brisket that had been cooked low and slow in a stick burner. Sonny Bryan would give…
 - 11/28/2017
johnsPITSweb

Cooking backyard BBQ with John Mueller & John Lewis

Last Sunday I hauled my Jambo pit to Austin. The first stop was John Lewis’ house. Both Lewis and I had been invited to a backyard BBQ with John Mueller the next day. John Lewis is a pitmaster (I call him The BBQ Genius, food critics call him the BBQ savant) who works at Franklin BBQ in Austin for Aaron Franklin. Franklin’s has been named the best BBQ joint in America. That also means best in the world, says John Mueller, because no place else cooks real BBQ except Texas. I help John Lewis on national KCBS BBQ competitions. John’s…
 - 03/09/2012
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John Mueller challenges Aaron Franklin to one-on-one cookoff

UPDATE: I phoned Aaron Franklin earlier today and he quickly agreed to do the showdown with the only hesitation being his busy upcoming agenda. We planned to talk again soon about the details and coordinate a date that works for everyone. We talked how the showdown will be a very positive spirited thing, something that would be really be cool and fun to do, with proceeds donated to charity. Afterwards John Mueller replied via text, “it sounds cool and think it would be best to wait til summer because thru June there is something every week”. We are planning on…
 - 03/07/2012
marhall01W

Smoke brisket in your backyard

  Smoked brisket in your backyard is, without a doubt, one of the hardest things to cook perfectly. Despite all the articles, books and videos out there telling you how to do it, there is no magic to the process. You need tremendous patience and you need to know the specific characteristics of your pit. That takes practice and experience. The more you cook, the better you’ll be. The approach may sound simple and straightforward, but getting there is not. 10 Tips – Smoke brisket in your backyard Here are my 10 essential steps to smoking a backyard brisket on an…
 - 02/13/2012
PECANmeat2

Pit Talk: The 7 essentials of damn good barbecue

What makes good BBQ? I consider successful barbecue to be the combination of seven basic characteristics happening at once: tenderness, juiciness, smokiness, proper fat rendering, enhanced rub, good exterior bark, all with a firm texture. Good-tasting brisket, ribs and pork butt are s-l-o-w smoked at l-o-w temperatures using a real wood fire. Most importantly, BBQ should be left undisturbed on the pit and should not be hurried at all. Be aware of smoldering fires, which produce bitter tasting creosote that destroys the natural flavors of properly cooked meats. The meat is done when it’s tender, the fat has rendered and…
 - 02/04/2012

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