Memorial Day Barbecue, Stately Tanner Manor, Washington, DC: Managing the Heat

Once the cooking starts, the next eight or nine hours involve managing the heat: low and slow is the rule. I keep it low and slow by controlling the oxygen available for the fire.  I usually do this by adjusting the upper vents, opening them a bit to raise the temperature, and closing them a bit to lower the temperature.  I’ll adjust the lower vents … Continue reading Memorial Day Barbecue, Stately Tanner Manor, Washington, DC: Managing the Heat

Memorial Day Barbecue, Stately Tanner Manor, Washington, DC: The Cooking Begins

It’s 10:00 a.m. and people are coming over at 6:00, which means that we’ll eat somewhere close to 7:00.  It’s time to start cooking. When grilling most things — steaks, chicken, burgers — I wait until all of the coals are fully engaged before I empty the smokestack starter onto the grate.*  That creates far too hot a fire for barbecue.  For barbecue, I empty … Continue reading Memorial Day Barbecue, Stately Tanner Manor, Washington, DC: The Cooking Begins

Memorial Day Barbecue at Stately Tanner Manor, Washington, DC: Preparation

We’re having a few people over tonight and I’ll be cooking barbecue.  I have the key ingredients: a couple of medium pork butts, about 6.5 pounds each; well-soaked hickory chunks; hickory chips; and French Market coffee (for me, not for the meat): And for the fire, Kingsford Charcoal and a Weber grill (there are no substitutes). I use a smokestack starter which I’ve filled about 5/6ths … Continue reading Memorial Day Barbecue at Stately Tanner Manor, Washington, DC: Preparation

Grill-Smoked Shellfish

Jim Shahin’s latest column ventures afield to discuss the easy way to cook shellfish adding smoke flavor to oysters, clams, and mussels. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/when-bivalves-hit-the-grill/2016/05/23/decfc4f6-1917-11e6-924d-838753295f9a_story.html?postshare=3931464011309777&tid=ss_fb-bottom First of all, pay attention to Jim’s advice on grill techniques.  He knows what he’s talking about. Okay, now let’s focus on oysters for a minute.   Why would you want to cook oysters in the first place?  Once you’ve taken a … Continue reading Grill-Smoked Shellfish