What can I say about Chris? His blog Nibble Me This was the first blog I read (and knew it was a blog, I probably stumbled on some before that but didn’t know what a blog was or how it worked) and was the first blog I started actively following. In fact, he was the inspiration for me starting up Griffin’s Grub. So you have him to thank for that…or to blame depending on how you see it.
Chris started out like most of us backyard barbecuers. He wanted to replicate a flavor experience he had as a kid. So he went out, bought a cheap offset smoker and went to work “and stumbled into the lifestyle of live fire cooking – all things BBQ, smoking, grilling, fire roasting, cold smoking, “stir firing”, etc.”
Like Chris, I don’t have any formal culinary training, but have spent countless hours on BBQ forums trying to learn more and reading and rereading any grilling or BBQ books I can get my hands on. I like the way Chris stated it on his blog:
I have learned a wealth of information from all of those sources but my best learning experiences have come from the University of Fire, Trial, and Error. And that is what lead to starting this blog. Nibble Me This is a collection of my culinary misadventures in live fire cooking.
Honestly, don’t you think the best way to learn something is to screw it up extraordinarily and then realize, “Wow, I won’t do it that way again!”?
I look forward to the next adventure, the next challenge, and yeah, even the next failure.
In this post, Chris (and his son, Trevor) tackle something I have not yet tried…smoked bologna or simply ‘loney as its called in the barbecue world. I’ve wanted to try this for awhile, but was always unsure of where to find a chub of bologna that wasn’t already sliced up. Guess I’ve got no excuses now.
So if you want to see a true pitmaster and one of my idols in person, read on and then make your way on over to Nibble Me This. If you can’t find something that is calling your name to try on your grill or smoker, then there must be something wrong with you.
When my buddy, Griff, asked for a few folks to guest post while he is traveling I was glad to volunteer. We Eggheads have each other’s back.
Last week was “back to school” week here and Trevor (12) asked if he could smoke bologna to take for sandwiches that week. If you have not had smoked bologna, then you have never had bologna at its best. The smoke and spices form a crispy outer edge that amplifies flavor. Yeah Oscar Meyer, my bologna has a first name, it’s S-M-O-K-E!Plus, it is the easiest thing in the world to smoke. You can smoke it on a ceramic grill, a kettle grill, or even a gas grill set up with a foil pack of wood chips. This was one of the first things Trevor learned to smoke back when he was 8 or 9 years old.
Trevor smoking bologna in 2009.
You should not have a hard time finding a “chub” of unsliced bologna, most grocery stores carry them in their lunch meat section. Some are whole and covered in red plastic. Others are sliced into 1 or 2 lb chunks. Either way works. Note, the measurements given are approximate. This is more of a “by sight” kind of thing, you are going for covering the entire outside of the chub.
3 lb chub bologna
1/4 cup Yellow mustard
2 Tbsp BBQ rub
1/3 cup sweet BBQ sauce
Set your grill up for indirect heat at 250f. In a Big Green Egg, you’ll use a plate setter or other heat shield. For a Weber grill, bank your coals and wood to the sides. For a gas grill, place your foil packet on the one burner that you’ll turn on. Add your wood (see notes)
Use a sharp knife to score the bologna in 1″ intervals. Start at one end and work a diagonal line about 1/4″ deep to the other end. Move the knife 1″ over and repeat. Don’t stress out on it being perfect. You’re going to slice it in the end anyway.
Slather the bologna with the yellow mustard. Nothing fancy here, you don’t need dijon, coarse grain, or brown mustard. Plain cheap mustard works the best for this. We just squirt it on as we go and rub it all over. I’d guess it is no more than a 1/4 cup.
Apply the rub to the chub! Trevor used a rub recipe called Wild Willy’s Number Onederful rub but any general purpose BBQ rub should do fine. You want to cover the rub all over and rather heavily.
Smoke it. Place the rubbed chub on the grill and cover. Let cook for 1 hour.
Glaze it. Use a pasty brush to lightly coat the chub with BBQ sauce. We like to use a sweet sauce for this and today we used Blues Hog original BBQ sauce. Let smoke for another 30 minutes and it is done.
For smoke we used a block of Mojobricks Hickory Mojo-cubes.
Firing up the Egg with a torch and wearing the required safety glasses and gloves.
Scoring the chub. You don’t have to cut off the ends, Trevor just likes it that way.
Cover it all over.
He started seasoning it by sprinkling it with rub.
But then had the idea of sprinkling rub on the cutting board and just rolling it on thickly.
Sliced and delicious!
I saved some of the shavings from slicing it up and I’m thinking of crisping them in a saute pan (like bacon) and then making carbonara…or is that “bolognara”?