Remove packaging on the three baby back rib racks.
Remove the membrane from the back of the rib racks.
Now season the ribs using Montreal Steak Seasoning.
Insert the needle temperature probe into the rib rack making sure we do not touch any bone.
Put all three rib racks into a 300F preheated smoker. Then plug in the probe into the Signals thermometer.
We are going to cook these ribs uncovered and in the smoke till they reach 160F.
As the ribs cook we will now make the barbecue sauce. We get a medium-size mixing bowl.
Add one cup of ketchup.
Two teaspoons of brown sugar.
Two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce.
Four tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
Two teaspoons of garlic powder.
Two teaspoons of chipotle sauce
One half a teaspoon of ground mustard
One half a teaspoon of sea salt.
Now if you want you can stop here and use the sauce the way it is. If you want to take it up a big notch then you can add the next three ingredients. I call these the Umami enhancers and the will double the number of glutamates in the sauce.
Two large tablespoons of chipotle in adobo sauce.
One tablespoon of fish sauce. Please note it is not fishy.
One tablespoon of tamari sauce.
Now mix well and put into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
When ribs hit 160F remove and then apply barbecue sauce,
Now put ribs into a large foil pan and then cover the top with aluminum foil.
Reinsert temperature probe and cook ribs till when they hit 195F.
When ribs hit 195F remove foil from the top of the pan and let the sauce turn into a glaze. This is about 30 minutes.
Let ribs rest for about 10 minutes then slice and serve.
While we work on the Umami Sauce we can preheat the Camp Chef Woodwind Grill with Sidekick. We set the temperature to 300F.
Then set the smoke level to 7. So you know 10 is the highest you can set it to maximize smoke.
We keep the rub very simple. We use an SPG or Salt, Pepper and garlic rub. Our favorite one is Montreal Steak Seasoning that is SPG but with a little red pepper, onion, and paprika thrown in. We will use about 1 cup of rub.
Using a foil pan so we can have an easy clean up add the rub to every inch of the pork shoulder.
As I apply the rub I make sure that all sides are covered. The rub not only adds flavor but the salt draws out protein-rich juice that dries on the surface during cooking, creating a crisp, deeply seasoned crust.
Now before I take the butt out to the smoker I need to find where the blade bone is. I need to make sure that I put the temperature probe on the other side so the probe will not make contact with the bone. Now it is off to the smoker.
Here the woodwind grill and as you can see it has the sidekick option. That side burner is going to allow us to prepare everything on this grill. No need to do any cooking in the kitchen. Here I place the roast fat cap down and then insert the temperature probe opposite of the blade bone. So while the pork shoulder is cooking it is time to prepare the umami sauce.
Here are the five ingredients. Each one is loaded with Glutamates and should take our pork shoulder over the top.
We start with ¼ cup of Worcestershire sauce. This sauce is made with fermented anchovies and is full of glutamates or Umami.
Now we add ½ a cup of balsamic vinegar.
Then we add a ¼ cup of tamari sauce.
Now a ¼ cup of fish sauce. Don’t worry it is not fishy.
Finally a can of diced tomatoes. 20 to 28 oz can.
Now mix it all up. Now we have to wait until the pork reaches 160F so we can add this sauce.
It took 3 hours and 10 minutes to bring this roast up to 161 from a very cold 44 degrees. Now we move the roast to a foil pan and then add our special umami sauce.
With the sauce added we need to seal the foil with heavy-duty foil and we need the pan to be airtight. At this time we are actually brazing the roast in the umami sauce. We now come to the final part where we add even more umami but we are also going to add texture that will complement the pork.
One large sweet onion and shitake mushrooms. We want the onion to be diced but rather large pieces so that they can hold up to the pork. You could use any large onion but I like the sweet ones for we are adding no sugar to this pulled pork.
These onion pieces might look large but they will cook down and will be about half this size when done. So why onions? When slow cooked they give off a lot of free glutamates making just about everything they touch taste better.
Now my favorite ingredient for this pulled pork. Shitake mushrooms are king in the world of umami. I bought these frozen and already sliced. All I had to do was put them in the bowl with the onions. Before we can go cook these mushrooms and onions we need to salt them. By salting the mushrooms before cooking will help draw out moisture allowing them to cook firm and not become rubbery.
Here is the cooking set up. Using a 12 inch Camp Chef cast iron skillet and set the burner to medium. I monitor the skillet temperature for I want to cook the mushrooms and onions slow enough so they will not burn or have the butter burn. When outside and it is windy and cold it is hard to know how hot the skillet is. I add the butter when the skillet hits 180F. We want to cook the onions and mushrooms but we do not want to overcook or burn them.
Time to put the onions and mushrooms on the grill box. One thing I really liked about the grill box is I can lower the cover over the skillet and get the food out of wind. Actually, felt I could cook about anything on this grill box. At 30,000 BTUs you could easily sear steaks but you could saute onions and mushrooms without overcooking them..
Well back to the cook. We now take our cooked onions and mushrooms and add them directly to the pork shoulder. Also, I highly recommend some BBQ gloves like these BBQ Dragon extreme temperature gloves. Best extreme temperature gloves I have ever used. After transferring the onions and mushrooms leave the foil pan uncovered and then wait till the internal temp hits 195F.
Now it is time to pull and let the roast rest for about 15 minutes. Now get another clean foil pan and then transfer the pork should to the new pan. I use a spatula but you can use a slotted spoon and transfer all the onions and mushroom over to the new pan.
Now let the shredding begin. I start with the bear claws and brak it into 4 or 5 large pieces. Then I remove the blade bone. Should come out clean with no meat sticking to it. I then use 2 forks and then I put the gloves on and shed it by hand. After shredding I then mix it all together so that the onions and mushrooms are all intertwine with the pork
First, you notice how moist it is. Second, you see the bark and the great smoke ring. But the most important is how does it taste. I took a small piece with some bark on it and gave it a try. Om my god. The best I have even made and the best I have ever eaten. In review, Umami Barbecue is for real and will take your barbecue to the next level.
Today I posted my first Umami Barbecue Video. The first one is all about pulled pork but this is not your ordinary pulled pork. This one has onions, shiitake mushrooms and a boatload of high in glutamates sauces.
Watch it but if you want to see the next video please hit the Subscribe button. If Facebook or Instagram is your thing then go like or follow us at @learntobbq .
So you know the next video is going to be Umami Baby Back Ribs do make sure you subscribe or follow us on Facebook or Instagram.
On a side note, the grill I am using is designed to allow multiple items to cook at the same time. When cooking Umami Barbecue you need to integrate different ingredients at different temperatures and at different times. The Camp Chef Windwood is the only grill I know that can smoke ribs and let me make a special Umami sauce at the same time on the same grill.
Umami is a Japanese word that means “yummy” or “delicious” and it’s the name that’s been given to what is called the fifth taste. The other four tastes are sweet, sour, bitter, and salty.
In 1908 a Japanese chemist Kikunae Ikeda determined the source that stimulates this 5th taste.
Ikeda began trying to replicate the flavor of a traditional soup he made from boiled kombu (seaweed) and dried tuna. He mixed together salty, sweet, bitter and sour, but it was something altogether different. In his lab, he finally managed to isolate the substance that gave the broth its distinctive taste: glutamate, the most plentiful of the 20 amino acids that make up proteins.
Ikeda named the taste of glutamate Umami
Other scientists soon got involved and found that other amino acids compound this deliciousness, These are nucleotides, the molecular building blocks of DNA, found in a wide range of foods, including shellfish, pork and, mushrooms. They impart some umami on their own, but more importantly, they magnify the umami of foods rich in glutamates. Foods like chicken, tomatoes, aged cheeses, fresh corn, and almonds.
When nucleotide-rich foods are added to foods rich in glutamates, the result is even more intense flavor.
So how does this affect barbecue? Big Time. First meats are full of Umami and then when you cook them you get the benefit of the Maillard Reaction and Caramelization that improves the taste even more. Then you use tomato-based sauces. Tomatoes are full of Umami.
So if barbecue is already full of umami then what is the big deal? The big deal is you can always make it better and a better barbecue is what your barbecue enthusiast is always pursuing.
Let look at a standard barbecue meal like pulled pork. First, you season it with salt, pepper and garlic. Garlic is full of Umami.
Next, you cook the pork shoulder until the internal temperature of 200F plus. This allows the outside of the pork shoulder to reach temperatures of 280F plus allowing the Maillard Reaction to kick in. Now you know why the end pieces of a roast always have a more intense flavor.
Now you shred the pork and mix a tomato-based BBQ sauce into the meat and then serve. Tomatoes, as we mentioned before, are full of Umami.
So how do we improve this barbecue classic? How about getting rid of the bbq sauce and add this instead. diced tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, and even some fish sauce. Yes, fish sauce.
I did this recipe and it was the best pulled-pork I have ever had. No one ingredient stood out but the flavor was so intense without being too sweet or spicy. It just tastes great.
Keep coming back to this site for we will be doing a full series of Umami Barbecue recipes and videos.