Food, Wine & Just Good Living With SaucyJoe

It started with a love of food, wine & fun and blossomed into a maddening pursuit of the best recipes, techniques, grills, smokers, wines, crafted beers, rubs, marinades and sauces... We do more than play with our meat though -- we review and discuss all things cooking, drinking, reading, laughing and living at SaucyJoe's.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Stumped by Eucalyptus

I recently received an email from a guy in Australia who had made his own smoker and needed info on possible heat sources for the smoking process. He said he had some Australian Hardwoods and gobs of Eucalyptus wood. My first reaction to the Eucalyptus wood was "oh no, no, no", but after doing some studying I found out some things.

-The main article against using Eucalyptus in smokers has been copied and pasted into the majority of posts out there and it's over five years old. They consider Eucalpytus to have resinous qualities and should be treated more like soft woods.

-It is a hardwood that grows quickly and they got a bunch of it California.

-In an effort to stop the use of Red Oak in the bbq process in California, one Oak protection group is suggesting the use of Eucalyptus for the heat source in bbqing. Just heat source ... Oak would still be used for the smoke flavor.

-Red Oak in some California regions is tough to come by and Eucalyptus has been used in those lean times for cookin' BBQ. Don't think many would fess up to that!

-One place in California is using a mixture of Eucalyptus and Avocado wood to fire their cooking ovens. They're running their ovens at 700 degrees F. Not what you'd call low and slow BBQ

Now I never thought of California as the pulse of the BBQ nation, but it does bring up some thoughts on how things could change based on the availability of wood sources.

I replied to my Australian emailer that he should stay with his Australian Hardwoods and if he runs out of everything then wrap up your food airtight in foil and then throw on the Eucalyptus just to finish the cooking process. I'm glad he wrote me and the information I gained from it all.

What's your thoughts on this Stumping question???

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Birthday ... Hit me two times!

Happy Birthday to fellow purveyors of The Good Life: my dear sis Connie Miller and dear friend David Borzo. The hours we've spent talking, cooking and drinking epitomize SaucyJoes. They are cherished times!!

I wish you a year of good food, good drink and good company!!

Pay no attention to that man behind you.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Dr. Daves Better Half Burgers

Here's a post for Dr. Dave ... again. Blogger doesn't play nice with him for some reason. We've had many discussions about Linda's (his wife) burgers so I'm excited to have and share this recipe with everyone. Any burger that can hold up to the smoker has to be pretty stout! I'll be trying these out this weekend. Be sure and plan ahead as the flavors need to mingle overnight. Great idea for any burger recipe!!


Ground Beef (85%)..........1 Lb
Egg..........1 Each
Worcestershire Sauce.......... ¼ Cup
Steak Sauce.......... ¼ Cup
Pickapeppa Sauce..........2 Tbsp
George Washington’s Rich Brown Seasoning and Broth..........1 packet
Onion (chopped)..........1 Each (medium)
Celery (chopped)..........1 Stalk
Quaker Oats Oatmeal..........½ Cup


On the night before you grill, prepare the ingredients.

• Chop the onion and celery.
• Add the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
• Using your hands, thoroughly mix the ingredients (this is the fun part).
• Cover and refrigerate overnight.

On the day you cook,

• Spray the grate on your grill with a non-stick cooking spray designed for high heat or brush with vegetable oil.
• Prepare the grill for medium heat (375°F). Leave an area of the grill free from direct heat.
• Remove the burger mix from the refrigerator.
• Again, using your hands, mix the ingredients. Some of the juice will have separated from the burger mixture.
• Form burger patties about 1 inch thick and 4 inches in diameter. These will shrink on the grill. This mixture will make 4 burgers.
• Grill, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, turning after an 8 minute interval
• When the fire flares up under a burger (and it will), move the burger to the heat free zone until the flare dies down.
• You will have to give the burgers plenty of attention while grilling. Have your beers readily on hand before you start the grilling process.

These burgers taste marvelous when smoked. To smoke Linda’s burgers,

• Prepare the smoker to cook at 300°F
• Fill the water pan with water. Adding 1 cup red wine adds a nice flavor.
• Soak a mixture of hickory and mesquite chips in water, ¾ hickory and ¼ mesquite.
• Spray the grate on your smoker with a non-stick cooking spray designed for high heat or brush with vegetable oil.
• Add the chips to the smoker box, place in the smoker and allow the smoke to build.
• Place the burger on the cooking grate, cover and (this is the best part) smoke unattended for at least 1 hour(can go longer without drying up). Sit back. Sip a cool one. Socialize.
• Serve. Eat. Sigh… My, oh, my!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Beer Dethroned??

Hard to believe that beer has taken a back seat to anything in college, but for the second time in a decade it has happened. I must admit, I really enjoy my iPod, but there's been a lot of beer consumed during the process. One just goes naturally with the other!!
Here's the official story from CNN:

In a rare instance, Apple Computer Inc.'s iconic iPod music player surpassed beer drinking as the most "in" thing among undergraduate college students, according to the latest biannual market research study by Ridgewood, New Jersey-based Student Monitor.

Nearly three quarters, or 73 percent, of 1,200 students surveyed said iPods were "in" -- more than any other item in a list that also included text messaging, bar hopping and downloading music.

In the year-ago study, only 59 percent of students named the iPod as "in," putting the gadget well below alcohol-related activities.

This year, drinking beer and, a social networking Web site, were tied for second most popular, with 71 percent of the students identifying them as "in."

The only other time beer was temporarily dethroned in the 18 years of the survey was in 1997 -- by the Internet, said Eric Weil, a managing partner at Student Monitor.

Though beer might soon regain its No. 1 spot, as it quickly did a decade ago, the iPod's popularity is still "a remarkable sign," Weil said. "For those who believe there's an excessive amount of drinking on campus, now there's something else that's common on campuses."

Student Monitor conducted the survey the week of March 6, interviewing full-time undergraduate students at 100 U.S. colleges. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Save The Internet

Okay all, sometimes it's appropriate to hop on your soapbox.

Such is the case with the recent lobbying being done on Capital Hill regarding our fair Internet, and measures our service providers are attempting to push through that would regulate, and in some measure strangulate the freedoms and content we enjoy online.

If you'd like to see one artist's protest, and learn more about the counter-measures being taken go to this site and learn more. Moby puts on an informative showing.