Thursday, June 2, 2011

Coshon's Sweet Heat Drunken Duck


At first glance you may think that doing a beer can duck would be the same as preparing a beer can chicken, but there are many differences that you should be aware of before jumping in head first. Duck is a darker more fatty meat than a chicken which calls for a longer, slower roasting time. So the main thing you need to keep in mind when doing a drunken duck is keeping the heat lower than you would a chicken. Now I have done this 3 other times and have to admit that it is still a work in progress. All of the other times I failed to make the meat spicy enough to warrant the "Heat" tag in the title "sweet heat". I started out with a 5.5 pound mature duck. I prepared my injection for for the bird by boiling 4 sticks of butter, 5 tablespoons of cruched red pepper, 2 tablespoons of cayenne, 1 tablespoon of paprika, and 1 tablespoon of crab boil. After letting the mixture cool I proceeded to divide the liquid in two equal amounts adding half of it into a large ziplock bag. I removed the innards of the duck and put it in the bag to marinate overnight. The next day took the bird out of the fridge and removed it from the bag in order to inject it. When you remove the other half of the marinade that you kept for the injection you will have to toss it in the microwave to liquify it again from it being hardened from the refrigerator.I injected the bird twice in each breast, once in each leg, and once in each thigh. Then coated it with a basic dry rub of paprika, brown sugar, Cayenne, and Tony's. Next I drank half of the beer and added 3 tablespoons of  Tabasco sauce. Can you sense that I was determined to make this bird spicy? 
   Now on to the coals. I arranged my coals in a pile to one side of the pit in order to allow for the duck to be cooked over indirect heat. I inserted the can in the cavity and fixed it upon the grill. I let the duck cook at 300F while I prepared the "sweet" portion of the sweet heat duck. My ingredients for this is fairly simple and it is:  Smucker's Three Fruit Marmalade, brown sugar, honey, paprika, and Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce. These can be mixed according to your taste. I would advise you to add the bbq sauce last and at small amounts until the right taste is acquired. You don't want the bbq sauce to overpower the sweetness of this glaze. You should end up with a really thick glaze to coat your duck with in the end. During the last hour (4th hour) I coated the duck numerous times in order to build up a thick glaze on the skin. I checked the temperature and pulled it when it read 180F. The end result was succulent, golden brown bird with a delicious sweet crust that complimented the spice perfectly. See more photos on our front page -

        Coshon DeLusher

Well, I know you all found this to be quite different than what we do here on Guam, but you gotta try it. And don't forget to have that local island favorite dipping sauce, finadene' on the side. After a couple of bites of this duck and a few "cold ones", you should be ready to "Cha-Cha".

Thanks to Coshon for this delicious recipe. And don't forget to visit his web site for more fantastic beer can bird recipes. Here is his web site:

Until next time....

Monday, May 30, 2011

Red Oak...The wood of choice for Santa Maria Style BBQ

I am originally from Santa Maria, California, home of Santa Maria Style BBQ. What makes our BBQ so unique is the wood we use for our Qs. And traditionally we use Red Oak wood. That is because it was the most prevalent wood around back in the day in the Santa Maria area.

Red Oak wood is all over in the hills. Check this picture out:

I took this picture over in the Santa Maria area off of Hwy 135. Those are oaks in them there hills!!!

 And those little dots are cattle.

That green patch in the middle is a vineyard. Santa Maria is located in what is call the Central Coast of California. This area is also known for their grape vineyards that produce award-winning quality wines.

Here is another view of the countryside showing the "scrub" red oaks and more vineyards.

Oakwood is a dense wood, burns hot and long and makes for some good coals that hold their shape.

Here are a few photos of the last time I was in Santa Maria, cutting oak wood for BBQ and firewood. I just want you all to know that my two uncles here are in their 70s. I had a hard time keeping up with these two.

We are pulling in to the site where we are going to cut some trees!!

My Uncle Johnny, who is closing in on 80 when this picture was taken, getting the gear ready.

 He's got his working clothes on and he is gung-ho to go.

That pile of brush in the middle is all the small branches that we cut from the larger limbs. We pile it all to keep the debris in one place. Helps with fire control.

 This shows the scale of the size of the oak trees in the area.

My Uncle Joe is surveying the area to pick out which trees we are going to cut. We just don't go and cut down any tree. We cut the larger ones that may be blocking the sun from the smaller ones. This thinning allows the smaller ones to grow faster.

My Uncle Johnny has his system down pat. He is the "equipment man".

Once everything is ready, then my uncles start cutting.

Gentlemen, start your engines!!!

 Just a couple of cranks should do it.

 First the lower limbs are cut.

 Thar' she goes!!!

Then those fallen limbs are cut to a certain preferred length before we go on to the next cut.

Now for the main trunks. See how my Uncle cut the front notch first. This controls which direction the trunk is going to fall.

 Here's another angle on that same cut.

 She's going down....Timberrrrr.....

 Well, I had to put the camera down and do some work. I couldn't let my uncles have all the fun. I love cutting wood. Here are some of the days results.

 A couple of "young men" in their 70s put in a hell of a days work. I wouldn't challenge these two.

Uncle Joe has his truck all loaded up from wood that was already dried from the last time he cut here. He uses this for firewood in the ole fireplace. I think he has two or three in his house.

 We did do some splitting also. Here I am with my Uncle Johnny.

 Though this is a blurry photo, I still like this photo of my Uncle Joe and me. These are great memories.

My Uncle Joe with his best friend. And you know how Jack Russells are, they never get tired.

Here is a pile of oak wood that we split on this outing. It will be left here to dry and picked up at a later date. Those chairs were for me. These guys don't sit. HeHe!!

 Servicing the splitter before we take off.

And of course, after a full day of cutting red oak, it is time for a little vino.

Hope you enjoyed this little post about cutting the red oak that powers our traditional Santa Maria BBQs. Without the oakwood, it would be just another regular "run of the mill" que.

That's just how it is.

Here are a few web sites about the history of Santa Maria BBQ:

Until next time....

BBQGuam Memorial Day Tribute

BBQGuam Memorial Day Tribute