It is an unfortunate reality that there are a lot of folks out there that seem to think putting barbecue sauce over some meat and rendering it into “fall-off-the-bone” compost in a crockpot all day is somehow something that can be called “barbecue”. Sorry folks, that is FauxQue and doesn’t even closely resemble what real barbecue is all about. Never mind that “fall-off-the-bone” is another name for “over-cooked”, you essentially boiled your meat, not cooked it over flame and smoke.
In spite of this, I’ve been wondering lately if perhaps I have been too hard on the crockpot crowd and set out to see if I could find a real crockpot barbecue. An exhaustive search of Google images led me to believe that such an animal did not exist, so it was up to me to take one in the name of science and waste a Saturday creating the prototype crockpot barbecue.
After making the rounds of the local thrift stores, I had the necessary materials to begin. First off, a large crockpot with removable crock and glass lid. No way plastic is gonna hold up to higher temperatures…
Ain’t she a beauty? You gotta love the pictures of all the veggies. I suppose they show the names for those in the crockpot crowd that have trouble identifying them. I have to ask though, if these are suggestions of foods that can be cooked in the crockpot, what the heck is leaf lettuce doing on there?
Back to the science experiment. While at the thrift store I happened across another FauxQue cooking tool, an electric grill. Which just so happened to be about the same size as the crockpot, so it solved a few other challenges I was concerned about (like where I might find a grill to fit on the crockpot properly).
The FauxQue grill gave up the important parts without so much as a whimper. The drip pan should work as a diffuser for low-and-slow.
And with a little bending and twisting, the grill fit pretty well once the crock was removed.
You’ll notice that the crockpot has a little hole in the bottom. This solved my concerns about airflow to the charcoal from below, although it did require me to take some extra precautions when it came time to fire it up. As a further safety precaution I removed the cord so that no one would be tempted to plug this in at any time during the process. Or ever again for any reason.
Now it was time to cook something. What better to break this in with than some more FauxQue fare: soy burgers that some health-conscious person snuck into the freezer and hid behind all the meat.
I fired up about 20 or so blue-bag Kingsford in a chimney. No sense wasting some good lump for this effort…
In went the coals; just enough to cover the bottom of the crockpot.
Since these things have burger in their name the diffuser was left out and the FauxBurgers went on the grill directly over the coals.
A couple of minutes later they were flipped. Funny looking grill marks if you ask me…
Apparently FauxBurgers aren’t made to be grilled over a flame. The looked like cardboard coming off the grill and tasted worse. Neither the kids nor the dog would eat them, and the dog isn’t exactly known for her sensitive palate (she’s been known to eat poo). They even left a nasty cardboard-looking mess on the grill.
So much for FauxQue, now it was time to test the low-and-slow capabilities of the crockpot grill. What better to test it with than MOINKebabs?
A few more coals were added, and in went the diffuser. Can’t have that bacon dripping right over the coals…
On went the MOINKebabs. MOINKebabs are essentially MOINK balls on punji sticks; todays were sprinkled with a combination of mesquite grill seasoning, Cajun seasoning mix, and some red chili powder. (I was out of rib rub.)
On went the lid, a handy Weber aluminum drip pan from stock on hand.
The MOINKebabs were left on for about two hours before they were ready to be sauced. I was concerned about the temperature at the grill, so I measured it with the Thermapen about an hour into the cook.
As you can see, we pretty much achieved normal smoking temps; part of the reason this took so long was all the heat escaping from all the air gaps and taking the lid off every 15 minutes to check on things. At the two hour mark, it was time to sauce the MOINKebabs.
Rather than waste good pepper jelly on these, I went with some off-the-shelf SBR that I found in the refrigerator. There have been some odd smells coming from the crockpot BBQ during the cook, and we may have encountered some toxic fumes along the way. If I have to ditch the MOINKebabs in the name of public safety, no sense in putting the good stuff on them…
I have to admit, they came out looking pretty good.
They didn’t taste bad either, but they weren’t as good as those with the pepper jelly. I noticed the kids complained a bit, but then went back for seconds. I get the feeling the dog won’t be getting any of these. The only thing left to do now is clean up…
So there you have it, real barbecue cooked on a crockpot. Look close, because it might be the only time you’re ever going to see something like this. Not that you would want to again anyway…