Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Smoked Rib Roast

For some time, I did not know the difference between a rib roast and a prime rib roast.  After doing some research, Prime Rib Roast and Rib Roast come from the same cut of beef...the Ribeye. The main difference is the meat grade and price point.  Prime rib roast is pricier than regular rib roast because it has more marbling on the meat, but at the end of the day...they both are still really good as long as you get USDA Choice or USDA Prime.

For Friendsgiving 2017, my buddies and I chipped in to buy a huge luxurious 15 pound boneless prime rib roast for me to smoke on the Weber and for us to celebrate Friendsgiving with each other and our families.  We ended up eating about 15 pounds of  delicious smoked prime rib with a bunch of other tasty pot luck side dishes, drank two bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue, and washed it all down with pickle juice.  It was definitely one unforgettable Friendsgiving with the homies.

After Friendsgiving, I ended up making prime rib a few more time over the holidays.  After a few cooks, I prefer the boneless prime rib roast over the bone-in prime rib.  With the boneless prime rib, I think it looks prettier because the meat cooks more evenly and you get more meat for the amount of money you are paying.  However, there is nothing wrong with bone-in prime's still super good and at $7.99 a pound during the entire holiday season, that is a steal.

There are so many ways to prepare prime rib, but at the end of the day, getting the internal temperature of the meat to your desired temp/taste preference is the BEST way to go.  Please go ahead and cook this sexy piece of meat for your next gathering!

8 pound Boneless Prime Rib Roast
2 tablespoons kosher salt. more or less to taste
1 tablespoon crushed black pepper
2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
1 ounce fresh herb mix (sage, thyme, rosemary), finely minced
1 garlic bulb, finely minced

4 ounces cherry wood chunks


Dry Brine Rib Roast-  Pat the ribs dry with paper towels. Evenly sprinkle 1.5 tablespoons of kosher salt on all sides of rib roast. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight (or longer) uncovered. At least an hour before smoking rib roast, remove rib roast from the refrigerator and bring roast to room temperature.

Prepare Compound Butter- In a medium bowl, mix together the softened butter, remaining 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt, crushed black pepper, finely minced herb mix, and finely minced garlic until evenly combined.  Rub the compound butter all over the rib roast and set aside.

Smoke Rib Roast-  Set up smoker and bring the internal temperature inside the smoker to 275-300 degrees. Add four ounces of your favorite wood chunks.  Smoke the boneless rib roast in the smoker until the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees.

Carve Rib Roast - Remove rib roast from the smoker and rest for at least 15 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. Carve rib roast to desired thickness and serve with your favorite side dishes.

  • Rib roasts are very thick so don't hold back on the salt.
  • I like to cook the rib roast to medium so I remove the rib roast at 135 and allow the carryover cooking to bring it to 140-145 degrees.
  • To make a quick gravy with the drippings, whisk 3 tablespoons of dripping and 2 tablespoons all purpose flower until smooth and add 2 cups of beef broth.  Season with salt and pepper to desired taste.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

No Limit Baby Back Ribs

When I smoked ribs for the first time, I used a Weber Kettle accessory called the Smokenator to convert my Weber Kettle into a smoker to smoke my Baby Back ribs.  For the past few years, I've been happily using Selena, my Weber Smokey Mountain, to smoke my ribs and meats.  I still believe it's the best BBQ investment ever!

As mentioned in my previous blog posts, my family loves ribs and we smoke ribs here at the No Limit house pretty regularly.  I researched countless online recipes, watched quite a few YouTube videos, and played around with different techniques, but this has recently been my consistent go to technique to smoke ribs.  I believe that adding butter, brown sugar, honey, and BBQ sauce to the ribs during the wrapped part of the smoking process adds a savory and sweet richness to every bite of the ribs and making the ribs go from good to great real quick!

Serve up these Baby Back ribs the No Limit way with white rice, salad, pickles, and jalapenos for a complete meal.

1 Full Rack Baby Back Ribs (About 3 Pounds)
1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon No Limit Rub
2 tablespoons BBQ Sauce
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey

4 ounces wood chunks, combination of cherry and oak wood


Prepare Ribs -  Pat the ribs dry with paper towels. Evenly sprinkle both sides of ribs with kosher salt. Wrap rib with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. At least an hour before smoking ribs, remove plastic wrap from ribs, slather both sides of ribs with yellow mustard, and generously sprinkle No Limit rub on both sides of ribs.

Smoke Ribs -  Set up smoker and bring the internal temperature inside the smoker to 225-250 degrees. Add four ounces of your favorite wood chunks.  Smoke the ribs in the smoker for about three hours.  After about three hours, remove ribs from the smoker and place the ribs on top of a long sheet of aluminum foil. Sprinkle brown sugar, squeeze honey, pour bbq sauce, and unsalted butter on top of the ribs and wrap the ribs tightly in aluminum foil. Smoke the foil wrapped ribs in the smoker for an additional 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove ribs from foil, brush ribs with the leftover liquid from the foil, and smoke uncovered for an additional hour or until the ribs are ready.

Slice Ribs - Allow ribs to rest for at least 15 minutes. Slice ribs into individual rib segments and serve.


  • Rack of ribs are perfectly done when you pick it with tongs and it slightly cracks
  • Spritz ribs with apple juice (or water/juice) if it looks like it's drying out
  • If using St. Louis style ribs allow for at least an additional hour of cooking time
  • If smoking more than one rack of ribs, allow for longer cooking time
  • If you want the ribs to cook faster, set smoker temperature to 275-300 degrees

No Limit Rub 2017

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup smoked paprika
1/4 cup coarse black pepper
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


Prepare No Limit Rub - Preferably in a shaker, combine all the ingredients and shake until combined.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Smoked Beef Brisket

In 2015, I was so inspired after reading Aaron Franklin's book, Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto, that when I smoke brisket, I will religiously follow Aaron Franklin's simple Texas style seasoning and smoking techniques to smoke the brisket.  IT'S AMAZING!

To date, my longest cook is this beautiful, juicy, and beefy Smoked Brisket.  It not the most difficult thing I ever cooked, but it definitely required the most patience and time to complete.  From start to finish, it took over 14 hours before the succulent beefy goodness was ready to eat.

Overall, brisket is one of the most rewarding and satisfying cooks I've done on the smoker.  My favorite part during the whole process is finally getting to sit down and enjoying the end result with my family and friends.

14 pound USDA Prime Beef Brisket, trimmed
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons plcoarse black pepper

8 ounces of Oak wood chunks

Season Brisket - After trimming off excess fat on the brisket, season the brisket liberally with salt and pepper.

Smoke Brisket - Set-up smoker and bring smoker temperature to between 225-250 degrees.  Add wood chunks to smoker.  Place the brisket in the smoker and smoke it for 6-7  hours or until internal temperature reaches 170 degrees.  Remove the brisket from the smoker and wrap it in pink butcher paper or foil.  Continue smoking brisket (wrapped) until the internal temperature reaches at least198 degrees.

Rest Brisket - Remove wrapped brisket from the smoker and place it inside a cooler covered with towels for additional insulation.

Slice Brisket - After two hours, remove the brisket from the cooler, unwrap it, and place it on a cutting board.  Slice brisket against the grain and serve.


  • Monitor the internal temperature of the brisket with a thermometer probe during the smoking process and avoid unnecessarily opening smoker during the cooking process.
  • Pink butcher paper can easily be purchased on  Foil works fine as well.
  • Use the highest quality brisket you can get.
  • Season the thicker parts of the brisket with more salt and pepper.
  • I generally use 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt for every pound of meat.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Vietnamese Braised Lemongrass Chicken

When I was a kid, my mom braised lemongrass chicken pretty frequently.  She used to buy whole chickens from the store, cut it up into bite-sized pieces, and braised in fish sauce and coconut juice until most of the juices evaporate and tons of flavors get absorbed inside each chicken piece.  I remember enjoying the flavor explosion in every bite.

These days, instead of cutting up a whole chicken, I use boneless chicken thighs and not have to deal with chicken bones while eating.  This is also much easier for the kids to eat as well.  In our house, we love eating lemongrass chicken with steamed white rice and a side of freshly cut crunchy cucumbers.

1.5 pounds boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup coconut juice
1/2 cup lemongrass, finely minced
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
3 green onions, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon coconut syrup
1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
2 thai chilies (optional)
1 cucumber, sliced

Marinate Chicken - In a medium bowl, combine lemongrass, fish sauce, garlic cloves, sugar, coconut syrup, and crushed black pepper.  Add chicken and mix well.  Cover and marinate in fridge for at least 2 hours.

Braise Chicken - Heat a large skillet high heat.  When skillet is smoking hot, add oil and chicken. Sear and cook chicken for about 10 minutes.  Add coconut juice and bring contents in skillet to a hard boil.  Reduce heat to medium low heat, cover with a lid, and cook covered for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, increase the heat to medium heat and continue cooking uncovered for about 15 minutes or until about 3/4 of the liquid evaporates.  With about 5 minutes left in the cooking process, add green onions onions and mix well.


  • For a spicy kick, add minced Thai chilies or throw in whole chilies during the last 5 minutes of the cooking process.
  • Bone-in chicken works very well for this recipe.  Cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Substitute water or chicken broth for coconut juice.  
  • Substitute molasses for coconut syrup.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs

Hot dogs are the perfect BBQ food.  It is easy to cook, scrumptious, and people love it! I always keep at least a pack of hot dogs in my fridge when I host BBQs just in case I run low on food or underestimate the amount of people coming over.

Recently, there are a few Mexican hot dog stands popping up around San Jose and the vendors are wrapping their hot dogs with bacon and loading it with delicious toppings. This inspired me to turn my hot dogs up a notch by wrapping it with some bacon and loading it up with my favorite toppings.

Over the past year, I’ve loaded bacon wrapped hot dogs with Vietnamese sandwich toppings, chili cheese, mustard and relish, but my favorite way to top bacon wrapped hot dogs is with Mexican food condiments like pico de gallo, crema, and jalapenos. I love the way the freshness of the pico de gallo balances out the saltiness of the hot dog and makes it taste so good!

This recipe is just to show you how I make bacon wrapped hot dogs and I encourage you to be creative and top it the way you like!

8 all beef hot dogs
8 slices of thin bacon
8 hot dog buns

Optional Ingredients:
Cotija cheese
sour cream
shredded cheese

Prepare hot dogs - Wrap each hot dog with a slice of bacon.

BBQ hot dogs - Setup up grill for indirect cooking.  Bring the grill to 350-375 degrees. Place bacon wrapped hot dogs on indirect side of the grill and cook covered for about 25 minutes or until bacon is crispy.  Flip hot dogs about half way through cooking. Remove lid and sear hot dogs, one minute a side, to crisp bacon even more.

Assemble hot dogs - Place bacon wrapped hot dogs on a bun.  Load the bacon wrapped hot dogs with your favorite hot dog toppings.

  • I personally love topping bacon wrapped hot dogs with pico de gallo, jalapenos, sour cream, and Cotjia cheese, but the options are endless!
  • To prevent bacon from falling off during cooking, you can secure bacon with a toothpick on each side of the hot dog.
  • Be very careful of flareups when cooking hot dog over direct heat.
  • If BBQing is not an option, roast bacon wrapped hot dogs in the oven on 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

BBQ Beef Tri-Tip

When my cousins from Texas visited us last year, I was surprised to find out they never tasted Tri-tip before. They have plenty of briskets, ribs, blue crabs, and crawfish in Texas, but no Tri-tip. Before their flight back to Texas, I barbecued a few USDA Prime Tri-tips and introduced them to the beautiful, juicy, and beefy cut of meat we know as Tri-tip here in California.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to seasoning and/or marinating Tri-tip, but this is a quick way to season it for ridiculously good flavor.  What's most important is to cook the Tri-tip to the desired internal cooking temperature you like and to slice the Tri-tip against the grain.  If you don't pay attention to how you slice it, it can be really tough and chewy.  I like to cook my Tri-tips to 145 degrees...the perfect medium for the family.

3 pound Tri-tip roast, trimmed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1-2 tablespoons BBQ Rub

Season Tri-tip - Coat Tri-tip with a single layer of vegetable oil.  Mix kosher salt and BBQ rub and liberally season Tri-tip.  Refrigerate for at least four hours.

BBQ Tri-tip - Setup up grill for indirect cooking.  Bring the grill to 350-375 degrees. Place Tri-tip on indirect side of the grill and cook covered until internal temperature of Tri-tip reaches 130 degrees. Remove lid and sear Tri-tip, two minutes a side, over direct heat or until internal temperature of Tri-tip reaches 140-145 degrees.  Remove Tri-tip from the grill, tint with aluminum foil, and allow Tri-tip to rest for 15 minutes.

Carve Tri-tip - Cut Tri-tip, against the grain, in 1/4-1/3 inch slices. Serve with your favorite sides.

  • If possible, purchase only trimmed USDA Choice or USDA Prime Tri-tip.  
  • You must cut Tri-tip against the grain or it will be tough to chew.
  • If you have time, dry brine with kosher salt the night before to allow salt to penetrate through the meat
  • Cook tri-tip on indirect heat until internal temperature is 15 degrees less than desired temperature.  Finish Tri-tip off by searing over direct heat.