Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: cooking

Getting the Barbecue Pit Ready for a Cookout

Barbecue pit on a trailer with a smoker

The other day a buddy called and asked if I wanted to bring my barbecue pit to a get-together he was planning. The event will span two days and have around 100 people in attendance.

It had been awhile since I had got to use the barbecue pit to cook for a bunch of people, so of course I said yes.

Decades ago my parents had a camp house that used butane. They eventually swapped the stove and hot water heat out for propane, so the 250 gallon butane tank was pulled out to a field. In the late 2000s I asked dad whatever happened to that butane tank. He told me it had been sitting in a field for the past 25 years. I went out to the field, waded through the chest high grass, found the tank, and brought it home.

Over the course of several months my son and I, and sometimes one of my nephews put the pit together. The flat bar and expanded metal were bought from a steel supply in Beaumont, Texas. The fire box and smoker were made from a 250 gallon air tank.

When my buddy needed someone with a barbecue pit, who do you think he called?

However, there are a few things I want to do to the pit before the cookout.

Cleaning the Cooking Grills

Bug Out Box Essentials

Cooking hot dogs on a coleman stove

While my wife an I are camping at Martin Dies State Park – which is close to Jasper Texas – I thought this would be a good time to talk about our Bug Out Box. We do not call it a Bug Out Box per say, we call it our camping box. But it would serve either purpose.

If some kind of SHTF event happens and we have to bug out to the homestead, the box contains everything we need to prepare, cook and eat a good meal – pots, pans, coleman stove, propane, utensils, plates, radio,,,.

As my wife and I use the equipment in the box while we are camping, lets talk about how things are working out.

The Box – My wife and I use a Rubbermaid 36 gallon / 136.3 liter green tote, which measures 29.75 inches long, 20.25 inches wide, and 20 inches tall.

After several years of camping with friends and family I think the Bug Out Box is tuned enough for me to share my experiences.

Two burner stove – in my case I have a two burner coleman stove. But any good quality stove will work. Please do not think of this as a sales pitch for coleman, because it’s not.

Old Fashioned Potato Recipes

Bushel of potatoes

PARSLEY PIES

Mash and season with butter and salt half a dozen boiled white potatoes, add a little grated onion and chopped parsley.

Sift together in a bowl 1 cup of flour, 1 teaspoonful baking powder and a little salt.

Add a small quantity of milk to one egg if not enough liquid to mix into a soft dough.

Roll out like pie crust, handling as little as possible. Cut into small squares, fill with the potato mixture, turn opposite corners over and pinch together all around like small, three-cornered pies. Drop the small triangular pies into boiling, salted water a few minutes, or until they rise to top; then skim out and brown them in a pan containing a tablespoonful each of butter and lard.

Germans call these “Garden Birds.” Stale bread crumbs, browned in butter, may be sprinkled over these pies when served. Serve hot.

These are really pot pie or dumplings with potato filling.

Meat Recipes Part 1: Beef

Beef cow

“SAUERGEBRATENS” OR GERMAN POT ROAST

Three pounds of beef, as for an ordinary pot roast. Place in a large bowl. Boil vinegar (or, if vinegar is too sharp, add a little water, a couple of whole cloves and a little allspice); this should cover the piece of meat.

Vinegar should be poured over it hot; let stand a couple of days in a cool place uncovered; turn it over occasionally. When wanted to cook, take from the vinegar and put in a stew-pan containing a little hot fried-out suet or drippings in which has been sliced 2 onions. Let cook, turn occasionally, and when a rich brown, stir in a large tablespoonful of flour, add 1-1/2 cups of hot water, cover and cook slowly for two or three hours, turning frequently.

Half an hour before serving add small pared potatoes, and when they have cooked tender, serve meat, gravy and potatoes on a large platter.

HUNGARIAN GOULASH

2 pounds top round of beef.
1 onion.
A little flour.
2 bay leaves.
2 ounces salt pork.
6 whole cloves.
2 cups of tomatoes.
6 peppercorns.
1 stalk celery.
1 blade mace.

May 5 2012 Crawfish Boil

Boiled crawfish

Man oh man, what a great time we had on May 5, 2012. My wife and I stated the day off early Saturday morning with an egg, mayo and cheese sandwich, with sausage on the side and a low carb monster drink. After breakfast we loaded up the ice chest and made a trip to Jasper Quality Meats in Jasper Texas where we bought 2 bags of crawfish.

Then is was to the Exxon at the corner of HWY 190 and HWY 96 to get a couple of bags of ice.

After my wife and I got home the two bags of crawfish were opened, poured into a 120 quart ice chest and put on to purge.

By the time the crawfish were put on to purge, it was around 10am.

Around 1:45 the cooker was fired up and the water was brought to a rolling boil.

Coleman PerfectFlow Grill review

Coleman perfectflow stoveThis article is a review of the Coleman PerfectFlow Insta Start Grill Stove. The unit has 2 names – “grill stove”, because there are 2 burners, 1 with a stove top and the other burner has a griddle.

Last christmas I added a Coleman instant start grill to my wishlist, and sure enough someone got it for me.

The reason why I picked the grill was because of the built in griddle. That way I did not have to worry about cleaning any pots and pans, just wipe the griddle down and the stove was cleaned up.

I liked the idea of using the griddle to cook more food then can fit in a typical skillet. With a cooking surface of 12 inches by 10 3/4 inches, a lot of bacon and/or sausage can fit on there. The plan was to use the stove top with a small skillet to cook eggs or make toast, and use the griddle to cook bacon, boudain or sausage.

Purpose:

The whole purpose of buying the stove was to have a propane stove that my family can bring on camping trip to the local parks. For camping on the river I have a small single burner stove, but the Coleman Perfectflow stove could also be brought out to the river on camping trips.

My wife and I keep a large plastic tote box filled with camping supplies. Instead of packing liquid fuel that can spill, we decided to get a propane stove.

But that is not the way things worked out.

Cooking after TEOTWAWKI / SHTF

cooking after shtfWhat is your long term cooking solution post SHTF? We are not talking 2, 3 or even 5 days after the power goes out, we are talking about cooking for the long term – 1 year, 2 years, or even 3 years.

Most of the people that visit the forum know about my long term survival cooking solution, its a pit on a trailer with a cooking surface 6 feet 9 inches long and 29 inches across. The main pit is built out of a 250 gallon butane tank, the smoker and fire box are out of a 250 gallon tank. When I built my pit, I wanted something that was big enough to put a whole hog or deer on. With the smoker, maybe I can even make my own sausage.

Not everyone is going to have a pit with a built in smoker, so what are your choices.

Charcoal grill that can also use wood
Fire ring
Propane grill – but propane will run out sooner or later
Single burner propane or butane stove
Wood stove
Fireplace
Solar oven

Smoked Briskets for Memorial Day

Smoker on wheels

Memorial day is next weekend, so lets talk about smoking / cooking briskets. Brisket is a tough cut of meat, but if you cook it on a low heat, and for several hours, the meat becomes tender, and the brisket turns into a great appetite pleaser. Briskets can usually be bought for about $20, and will feed maybe a dozen people depending on how big the brisket is.

Marinate the Briskets

I like to marinate my brisket for at least 12 hours before cooking. For the rub, I am currently using a liquid marinate out of the mexican food section called Goya Mojo criollo Marinade for chicken, pork and beef. While at the deer lease on opening weekend of 2010, a buddy of mine told me about Goya mojo, so I thought I would give it a try. Other ingredients of the rub are a cajun spice and steak seasoning.

The brisket is marinated overnight, put it on the smoker for about 4 – 5 hours, then wrap in foil with the fat layer up. I like to put the fat layer up so that the good meat is in the juice. This helps keep the brisket moist. A lot of people put the fat layer down, which makes the best cuts of meat dry out.

Crawfish Boil for My Wifes Birthday Party

Eating crawfish sausage and boudain

My wifes birthday is next week, and my step daughters birthday was a week ago, so we held a happy birthday party together for both of them this weekend.

The plans started Tuesday of last week when my wife and I reserved 70 pounds of crawfish at the local meat market.

Thursday my wife and I went to the local grocery store to pick up some supplies for the weekend, and for a mylar bag project I am working on. We bought of crawfish boil spice, AAA energizer lithium batteries, powered pancake mix, sausage links, potato salad (red skin), boudain,,,, and a few other supplies

Friday night we had a friend of the family and her 2 kids spend the night with us. Her husband is serving in Afghanistan. It was nice to visit with her and just talk about life, kids, and just life in general. Our friend was passing through, and does not get to eat crawfish very often. So my wife and I invited her to spend the night and to join the celebrations Saturday.

Communal cooking post disaster

cooking post shtfSome type of disaster has rolled through – lets say there has been a hurricane, the power has been knocked out and its going to be off for a week or so. How are you going to cook your food? You have some ribs, chicken or steaks in the freezer, but no way to cook it.

You walk out your front door and see your neighbor with his pull behind bar-b-q pit cooking some food. Smoke is coming out of the stack, and he looks like his is turning over some ribs, is that sausage you see and some pork chops? Then the thought runs through your head, “will my neighbor let me cook on his pit?”

The above description happened after Hurricane Rita and Ike passed through southeast Texas.

On Thursday, October 14, 2010 my wife and I made a trip to Houston to take care of some business. While we were in Houston, my wife and I went to a book store where I bought a book about life in a medieval village. One of the chapters of the book talks about how villages are laid out, and how 1 certain village had 2 communal ovens for baking bread. Instead of each villagers house having its own bread oven, the community had communal ovens setup.



Cooking Considerations After a Disaster

Pit at deer camp

After a disaster such as a earthquake or hurricane, chances are the power is going to be cut off. From previous examples set by hurricanes Katrina, Andrew, Hugo and Rita – in some cases it could take weeks or months to rebuild the power lines. Its during this time that a simple hot meal can really boost the moral of the group. Just for the sake of discussion, “Group” is defined as friends, family or neighbors.

Some people of the community are ill prepared to cook without a power source, while others may be able to cook for a few days with no power. It is the job of the survivalist to make sure that they have the means to cook for not only your family, but for the neighbors. This can be a daunting task, but with a little planning it can be done.

With a little welding skill and some hard work, a survivalist could build anything from a pit on wheels to a grill that goes over a camp fire. Once the power goes out, the first thing that should be cooked and eaten is the meat out of the freezer and refrigerator.

Another investment that should be considered is a high quality ice chest, like a coleman 7 day ice chest. If kept out of direct sunlight, frozen foods will remain cold for 5 – 7 days. But this is dependent on the outside air temperature.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018