After the horrendous winter storm this year, you’d think Central Texas would be happy about warm weather. Don’t get me wrong, when it was below freezing in my living room because the criminally inefficient* ERCOT was unable to sustain power in the state, I was longing for hot weather, too. Now the highs are hovering close to triple digits and everyone is melting, but guess what? We are okay. We will complain, because it is rough, people, rough. I touched the metal at the top of my driver’s side window inside my car yesterday and almost burned my finger (with my a/c on, of course). I have an outdoor thermometer on my partly shaded back porch and it’s been tracking triple digit heat off my concrete this week.
Extreme heat is what Texans are built for, otherwise how would we have the stamina to stand watch over a pit, slowly turning a tough cut of beef into a meal that leaves you dreaming of your next bite of brisket? Texas BBQ is legendary, just like our weather. Festival season is the nicest, with brilliantly blue skies, white puffy clouds and temps that stay in the 80’s at the highest. That’s when all the visitors fall in love with our city and decide to make the move here permanently. But this time of year and the next few months are why I’ve purchased a misting system for my back porch. I like to sit out there in the early morning and late evening, when it’s warm but not sweltering. Misters make it so much more comfortable.
This is the time of year that I cook in ways that won’t heat up my house. I plan my favorite Instant Pot meals such as chili chicken verde and roast beef with veggies. I also plan for outdoor cooking on my Orion Cooker or our BBQ grill. I absolutely love to use the Orion for ribs and chicken or turkey as the combination of steam/smoke/convection makes for a quick cook. Up to three racks of ribs take an hour and fifteen minutes, while chicken cooks at 7 minutes per pound. Y’all know I throw steaks, burgers, hot dogs, stuffed jalapenos, fish, shrimp, portobellos and pretty much anything that can’t crawl away from me on the BBQ grill. So easy, so delicious. What are your favorite cooking methods that don’t raise the heat in your kitchen?
*At least 151 people died as a result of the winter storm, says Texas Health & Human Services Commission, Division of State Health Services.