Blog

  • Saddleback Staples - Pork Rinds

    Still cracklin' because they're so fresh, with a nice zip of heat. 

    Pork Rinds are made from pork skin sliced and boiled before getting deep fried. A 1989 New York Times article, sites the invention of the pork rind to over two centuries ago when the Spanish arrived in Mexico, introducing pork. 

    The Mexican roots is where we get the idea for the sriracha seasoning on our pork rinds, which is atypical for most barbecue recipes.  Our customers were initially suspicious of the pairing, but grew to love the pork rinds, and it’s something that is here to stay.  What’s more, Saddleback is rare in the sense that we sell fresh pork rinds, which is not how most customers consume this classic food, and is not routine at most barbecue joints. 

    *** Pro Tip: Use the Pork Rind as a chip while eating baked beans, mac & cheese, or french onion dip. It sounds crazy until you try it. 


  • Saddleback Staples - Collard Greens

    Collared Greens are a traditional and timeless barbeque side that have grown to be a staple at Saddleback. We create ours with a chicken base that provides a little heat that customers have grown to love. We also add in pork belly that we personally cure and smoke ourselves for 7-10 hours. This is not a side that Saddleback has always offered, and we started selling Collard Greens when we opened our Okemos location.  Along with Deviled Eggs, this is one of the only new sides to survive through the present!

  • Saddleback Staples - Deviled Eggs

    Our Deviled Eggs are a customer favorite, and we try to put our own spin on a classic recipe. The filling is stacked with Saddleback staples, including a blend of our Michigan Mustard Sauce, Spicy Vinegar Sauce, and Pork Rub.  We also top each egg with a piece of candied bacon, which is pork belly that we cure and smoke ourselves for 7-10 hours.  Each egg is finished with a little bit of paprika. This heat combines with the tanginess of the mustard sauce, bite of the vinegar, and smokiness of the pork rub to present a delicious pallet that the customer experiences on each and every bite. 


    The Deviled Eggs Saddleback sells today originated from a number of new sides we tried to implement with the opening of the Okemos location. After the grand opening, these new sides were met with mixed reviews, but the Deviled Eggs were instantly loved and continue to be.  We have maintained a consistent recipe over the years, and want this to continue to be a hit at Saddleback for as long our doors are open!

     

  • How to Reheat Beef Short Ribs

    Cooking the perfect short of rib is hard enough. Now try to cook them, then reheat them and still have them be good. It’s difficult, but we believe we have a workable solution. Saddleback takes a contrarian point of view with ribs, we don’t believe they should “fall off the bone”. This helps when it comes to reheating because the ribs will have more room to be cooked before becoming overdone.

    Our Process:

    1. Wrap the ribs in aluminum foil.
    2. Place them in oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
    3. Take rib(s) out of oven, check for 165F.
    4. If not done, put back in and check every 5 minutes.

    We’ve tried multiple blind taste test with this process and have been unable to distinguish between the fresh ribs and the reheated. We hope you enjoy as much as we do!

    Click Here for More Interesting Information on BBQ

    To order our BBQ Sauce, check out this link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082P7WZ99?ref=myi_title_dp

  • How to Reheat Spare Ribs

    Cooking the perfect rack of ribs is hard enough. Now try to cook them, then reheat them and still have them be good. It’s difficult, but we believe we have a workable solution. Saddleback takes a contrarian point of view with ribs, we don’t believe they should “fall off the bone”. This helps when it comes to reheating because the ribs will have more room to be cooked before becoming overdone.

    Our Process:

    1. Wrap the rack of ribs in aluminum foil.
    2. Place them in oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
    3. Take ribs out of oven, check for 165F.
    4. If not done, put back in and check every 5 minutes.

    We’ve tried multiple blind taste test with this process and have been unable to distinguish between the fresh ribs and the reheated. We hope you enjoy as much as we do!

    Click Here for More Interesting Information on BBQ

    To order our BBQ Sauce, check out this link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082P7WZ99?ref=myi_title_dp

  • Best Tips for Smoking a Brisket

    We try to hold our smokers at a temperature of 250 degrees for our briskets.

    Very rarely do we go above that temperature but we have cooked at a lower temperature, around 225. I think anywhere in there you are pretty safe. We fire up our pits half an hour before putting our meat on the smoker. Once the pit is hot I place the point towards the hottest part of the grill. Most of the time that means where the heat is coming from. I smoke at that rate till about 160-170 degrees. At that point I wrap.

    To learn more about wrapping and finishing the brisket, check out this article!

  • Tips for Wrapping a Brisket

    Wrapping can be done with either butcher paper or aluminum foil. Wrapping helps keep moisture in and also helps the brisket get through the stall. The stall is the time when moisture leaves the brisket and the brisket actually cools in the process. It can be a painful time when using a stick burner. You are constantly loading the firebox and nothing is happening inside. It can be hours of no movement in temperature.

    After the brisket is wrapped, it’s back to smoking as normal. We pull our briskets off the smoker when they reach an internal temperature of 203 degrees.

  • How Does Brisket Get a Bark

    The rub is the key to creating a great bark. There are thousands of rubs out there and all of them are probably pretty good. The bark is what you want to make of it. It can be as simple as the Texas Style “Salt and Pepper.” Here at Saddleback, we use a blend of brown sugar, salt, chili powder, garlic, and onion powder

    You can spend a lot of time trying to develop your own personal rub recipe. In my opinion, do not reinvent the wheel. Just go with someone else that you can order online or snag a recipe from the internet. I think the process is more important than the rub.

  • A BBQ Restaurant Owners Guide to Trimming a Brisket

    Everyone trims differently. Not only does everyone trim differently they do it for a purpose. I categorize all things barbecue into three categories. Profit (Restaurants), Backyard, and Competition. Most BBQ can be broken down one way or another into those categories.

    I also think that you can take little things from each but the Restaurant guy most likely won’t survive following the methods of the competition guy. Just like the Competition guy probably won’t be winning World Championships using the restaurant’s secret recipe. Everything that we will be talking about is coming from Backyard Guy. A backyard guy can mess around with things. He isn’t handing his perfectly cut, trimmed, seasoned, with his magical wood, secret sauces, and rubs into a table of judges. Chances are he is bringing that bad boy inside and if it’s worthy might make it on on his or her Facebook page.

    Steps to Trimming a Brisket

    Trim Top fat down to about a pencil eraser in depth. When getting it from the butcher it might already be trimmed that low if not lower. If it is lower don’t worry just leave it as is.

    Briskets can have over-hanging fat on them I tend to get rid of that and make it a little more straightforward like a box. It’s mostly for aesthetics but I don’t think a lot of that fat renders into anything.

    The flat can at times be pretty thin towards one side or another. Sometimes it is good to just cut that away. It tends to burn and can be a difficult part to eat.

    On the underside of the brisket, there is a shinny silver skin. This is totally debatable but I think it is worth removing. This can be a time-consuming effort but makes it easier to cut and more enjoyable to eat. The trick is getting your boning knife slightly under the silver skin without taking too much of the good meat away.

    There are two large chunks of what I call hard fat that have to be removed. One is found on the bottom of the brisket and one is kind of between the brisket and the point. Both take some work to remove but with practice, it isn’t as hard as it seems.

  • What is a Packer Brisket? What is the Point and Flat?

    A full brisket can be classified as a “Packer Brisket”. This means it contains both main muscles the point and the flat. Rarely do I hear of people smoking just the “point” but you can find the “flat” at grocery stores. That can be good for pickling and making corn beef.

    The brisket point and flat confused me when I started barbecue. I always got them mixed up. Flat means just what it sounds like, it’s flat. The brisket kind of forms a point and that is what always confused me but the flat part or the part that is slim is considered the Flat. The hump or part that seems a little meatier is the Point. Both are great when it comes to brisket. Typically the flat is known for being a little leaner. The Point is known for being a little fattier. Neither are wrong choices and both have their benefits. For pictures, I like showing off the flat, but to eat I am more of a point kind of guy.

  • How Can You Tell if Brisket is Cooked Well?

    Beef Brisket is what some consider the Cadillac of the BBQ world. For me, the true test of a barbecue restaurant rests with its brisket.

    There are some key characteristics that I am looking for when looking for an ideal slice of brisket. I want a great outer bark, which comes from the seasoning or “rub” that is applied to the brisket before smoking. I love a nice red/pink smoke ring around the edges of the brisket. Lastly, I like a perfectly cooked brisket, not too tough but also doesn’t crumble right in front of you. You will know the perfect brisket if it can be pulled apart with almost no effort. If you place a slice of brisket on your finger, the two ends should be able to meet.

  • What Kind of Brisket Should I Buy?

    One of the things that you should pay close attention to is the USDA grading system. It’s broken down into three main classifications:

    Prime – Best

    Choice – Second Best

    Select – Worst

    The main aspect that separates each score is marbling. The best way to describe marbling is the white streaks that flow in your steak. The more streaks of fat the better the grade.

    When shopping you may notice meats that don’t fall in this category. One example is Certified Angus Beef or CAB.

    Certified Angus beef is a brand that has its own grading scale. CAB comes mostly from black Angus cattle. When graded on the traditional USDA system, CAB typically falls somewhere between Prime and Choice.

    Another example of something outside of the USDA classification system is Kobe/Wagyu. When it comes to these two categories it is good to have an educated butcher in your back pocket.

    Alight, so here it goes…. Kobe beef is actually a place in Japan that is known for its Waygu or translated to “Japanese Cattle.” True Kobe beef is very very hard to come by in the US. Maybe, just maybe the high-end, big-city steakhouse might carry it. If they do, ask for documentation before buying it.

    American Waygu is probably what most people are commonly seeing at their local Costco or maybe on TV. American Waygu is typically a breed of Japanese Waygu crossbreed with an American Black Angus.