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Thread: Clark Crew BBQ

  1. Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    Quote Originally Posted by RedDollar View Post
    Clarks Crew separates their brisket ..............IG post of flats on the smoker . Interesting
    Not that uncommon for a KCBS cook to do that.

  2. #277

    Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger S View Post
    Not that uncommon for a KCBS cook to do that.
    Well, I was thinking using the point for burnt ends is more KC style.

    Sort've gives central Texas brisket the middle finger

    And to add, I guess the brisket is also injected ?

  3. Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    Quote Originally Posted by RedDollar View Post
    Well, I was thinking using the point for burnt ends is more KC style.

    Sort've gives central Texas brisket the middle finger

    And to add, I guess the brisket is also injected ?
    Considering Clark is a KCBS cook. Yes that is what he is doing... On all counts.

  4. #279

    Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    This might also explain much of the complaints about " dry " brisket.

  5. Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    Quote Originally Posted by RedDollar View Post
    This might also explain much of the complaints about " dry " brisket.
    I can't speculate about that... I've judged a lot of KCBS brisket and it's not typically dry.

    Restaurant brisket tends to dry the longer it's held though... So that could explain it but I don't know if Clark Crew is staggering their cook or cooking it all at once and holding it all day.

  6. #281

    Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    Separating the point and flat can still have nice juicy brisket. I am still guessing they are cooking it all at one time and keeping it in warmers.

  7. #282

    Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    Quote Originally Posted by FighttheGoodFight View Post
    Separating the point and flat can still have nice juicy brisket. I am still guessing they are cooking it all at one time and keeping it in warmers.
    I got in as they opened for business and it was still dry.

  8. #283

    Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    I think if you order the Burnt Ends with the Crü Sauce, you won’t ever be disappointed

  9. #284

    Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    Quote Originally Posted by FighttheGoodFight View Post
    Separating the point and flat can still have nice juicy brisket. I am still guessing they are cooking it all at one time and keeping it in warmers.
    But depending upon the cooking temp, and because the flat does not have much intramuscular fat, the done window can be pretty narrow.

  10. #285

    Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    Quote Originally Posted by catcherinthewry View Post
    I got in as they opened for business and it was still dry.
    Ouch.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedDollar View Post
    But depending upon the cooking temp, and because the flat does not have much intramuscular fat, the done window can be pretty narrow.
    Yes but most experienced BBQers can do it with no issues after knowing your equipment and meat. I know Clark knows his stuff. No one wins that many awards for making bad BBQ.

  11. #286

    Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    Quote Originally Posted by FighttheGoodFight View Post
    Ouch.



    Yes but most experienced BBQers can do it with no issues after knowing your equipment and meat. I know Clark knows his stuff. No one wins that many awards for making bad BBQ.
    True

  12. Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    I have been itching to get to Clark Crew BBQ since I first heard they were opening. Friday night (24 Jan), I finally got my chance, and I'm going to toss in my $0.02 of a "review" of my visit.

    Now, let me preface this by saying up front I am no BBQ expert. I couldn't begin to contribute intelligently to any debate or discussion about BBQ Method X vs Style Y vs System Z, or This Region vs That Region, or Uncle Bob's Secret Method vs Cousin Jimmy's World Best method. Don't know any of 'em, don't dispute any of em. I just know what I like, including what comes out of my own smoker, and what I don't like. So I'm going to present what I had tonight in that vein, knowing that BBQ is just slightly this side of religion when it comes to whats right vs wrong. My take may not square with yours. That's cool.

    So, with all the legal caveats aside, let me dive in.

    We showed up at about ten to six on Friday evening, and the wonderful, unmistakable aroma of barbecue smoke wonderfulness permeated the room and welcomed you like a grandmother on Christmas Eve. My wife and I were promised a 40-45 minute wait, which I thought was great, given stories of waits up to two hours. So we put our name on the list, and we waited - and the timer on my wristwatch told me 45 minutes had passed when they called my name. And when they did, the lobby was absolutely packed, and I'm sure that two-hour wait was well in hand.

    I ordered the two-meat tray ($20), and I opted for sliced brisket and ribs for my meats. I chose coleslaw and "competition" beans for my sides. My wife had a one-plate salad bar ($11) and a jalapeno sausage link ($5). We splurged at the end for some peach crumble ($6) with a scoop of vanilla ($1). I had a 50/50 sweet/unsweet tea ($3).

    My platter was the following:

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    Let's go over each element, and I'll start with sauce as a teaser. Each table has three bottles of sauce, labled "Original," "Competition," and "Spicy." "Competition" didn't do anything for me - just kind of a non-descript pepper+vinegar blend. Meh. On the other hand I'm not a "spicy" fan in general, but I was surprised to actually like it, and didn't find the "kick" too overwhelming. In the end, however, the "Competition" flavor was my favorite. Disclaimer: I'm not much of a BBQ sauce guy. I don't dismiss it, but I tend to lean toward good BBQ not really *needing* it. If you like it, great. I don't *dislike* it.

    Okay, enough teaser. On with the good stuff.

    1. The brisket: It was fantastic. It was moist, served perfectly warm with a great smoke ring. The meat was rich with hickory smoke flavor, and man, it didn't need a drop of sauce. It was fork tender. Of the four slices I had on my plate, I could only down two of them. (No, I'm not a world-class eater in terms of volume). But I loved every bite. I was amazed to discover the general taste was *very* similar to what I, as a total and completely ignorant amateur, produce out of my own backyard smoker. What surprised me even *more* was to discover how much the rub on that brisket tasted much like the rub I put on my own briskets - even my wife concurred that the similarity was unmistakable. It was delicious.

    2. The ribs: Clinging to the bone, these baby backs were super. They offered almost no resistance as I plunged the ol' choppers into 'em, releasing their own smokey goodness with each bite. Again, they needed no sauce. They were exactly moist enough, exactly done enough, and *not* overcooked at all. I finished one rib and about half of another.

    And now, the sides:

    3. "Championship baked beans": Now, BBQ beans are another one of those subjective things where I'm right and everyone who disagrees is wrong (or something like that ). And I know that beans vary greatly from BBQ place to place, so I approach them cautiously no matter where I go. Different strokes for different folks. But let me tell ya, there's a reason they call them "Championship" beans - these were perfectly cooked in a rich sauce unashamedly tomato-influenced with just the right balance of richness and sweetness, but not so much sweetness to make them seem "ketchupy." They had a great flavor and I could easily consider sitting down to a bowl of these guys with a big slab of their cornbread. I finished about 3/4 of my serving and put the rest in a take-home cup.

    4. Coleslaw - I admit I'm a bit of an oddball when it comes to coleslaw, and it was the only disappointing thing on my plate. I'm personally not a fan of the course-chopped, peppered slaw that I have been served at most BBQ places, and this very much fit into that mold. Not my favorite, and not my wife's either. I took a few bites - meh. It was okay, just not my taste. Your mileage may vary . It was the only thing we didn't put in our go-home boxes.

    5. Cornbread - As a side, cornbread can be a little tricky. Plain cornbread can be a little dry and harsh, but if you sweeten it too much, it starts to taste more like a dessert than a starch. But somehow the Clark Crew folks have hit the magic bell and found the, ahem, "sweet spot" with this muffin-tin size side that comes standard with the dinner plate and my wife's salad. It was sweet and moist enough to avoid just being plain "cornbread," but not so sweet that it crossed in the line to would-be dessert. It was warm, rich, and wonderfully tasty. As I said before, I could easily see myself sitting down to a bowl of their baked beans and that cornbread on a cold winter evening.

    Now, I can't very well review my wife's salad. It was a salad, and I don't go to BBQ places to eat salad and more than I go to Long John Silvers for lasagna. She also opted for a jalapeno sausage link, and that's just not my personal favorite variety of meat - link sausage just isn't in my personal wheelhouse (or is that tastehouse)? To be fair, I sampled it, and it was OK. I'm just not the right person to ask about sausage in that form. Not my thing.

    Having enjoyed our dinners so much, we were stuffed, but somehow we were persuaded to try a finishing dessert of peach crumble and ice cream. In all honesty, though, I think the Mrs. and I were either too stuffed to enjoy it, or just didn't think it was much of an all-star. It was as much "crumble" as it was "peachy," and while it tasted good, we both thought it needed a bit more in the sauce (peach, not BBQ) to be a real all-star. Don't get me wrong - it wasn't bad. I don't think anything with peaches is bad. But this was, overall, only OK. Would we get it again? I wouldn't rule it out, but I kinda doubt it. But it surely didn't do anything to diminish our meal.

    As for price, our final pre-tax bill was $46. And that is inflated by the fact that I generally NEVER get drinks at a restaurant, but this was a special, first-time visit, so I exempted myself from that rule for a $3 glass of iced tea, and my 50/50 sweet/unsweet mix was pretty darned strong and actually NOT terribly sweet - it was fresh and pretty darned good for restaurant iced tea. And the other rule we "violated" was the dessert rule, and that set us back another $7 that we likely wouldn't repeat. So our "core meal" was $36, and for the overall quality of the experience, I think it was MORE than worth it. The value proposition is 110% there. No "this is too expensive for BBQ" comment from me at all. It was just too good.

    Bottom line: My wife and I were totally impressed. This was a wonderful BBQ experience and I can't wait to go back and try some smoked chicken or turkey, or pork; but passing up on that brisket will be awfully hard anytime I go back. I think this is a fantastic addition to OKC's growing restaurant repertoire, and I hope they have every success. I'll contribute as often as my checkbook and waistline allows. I encourage anyone who likes BBQ to at least give Clark Crew a try, even if they find it not to be in line with their own personal preferences (which would, in this case, obviously be wrong )

    I hope you enjoyed the overview, and I hope you give CCB a chance to see how it matches up to your own tastes. We loved it. Thanks for reading

  13. #288

    Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    ^^^

    SoonerDave,

    Wow, what an awesome review. Thanks for taking the time!

  14. #289

    Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    Agreed, excellent review for an excellent establishment. This place is a true gem for OKC.

  15. #290

    Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    Is it just me, or is Clark Crew's brisket more brown on the inside than what is typical? I still think it's very good, just an observation. It almost has a caramel color to it.

    It must be extremely difficult for them to keep up. The amount of diners and food they are serving daily is simply insane. They are actually doing a very good job as I have only observed a couple of issues after six visits.

  16. #291

    Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    I made it back last Saturday. We got there before 6:00 and had an hour and 15 minute wait. It was nice weather so we waited on the patio. It will be a great place to hang out when it gets warmer. I tried the chicken for the first time. It was a leg and a thigh which are not my favorite cuts. Plus they put sauce on it. I prefer to decide if a meat needs sauce or not. The brisket was moister this time and was pretty good. The service was good and the atmosphere is great.

  17. #292

    Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    Quote Originally Posted by soonerguru View Post
    Is it just me, or is Clark Crew's brisket more brown on the inside than what is typical? I still think it's very good, just an observation. It almost has a caramel color to it.

    It must be extremely difficult for them to keep up. The amount of diners and food they are serving daily is simply insane. They are actually doing a very good job as I have only observed a couple of issues after six visits.
    For the color of brisket I think it depends on the meat temperature when placed on the smoker. I know that the absurdly coveted smoke ring is caused by nothing more than placing the meat on cold. But I barely know what I'm talking about. I just know that all the best brisket I've had had this same coloring.

  18. Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird View Post
    For the color of brisket I think it depends on the meat temperature when placed on the smoker. I know that the absurdly coveted smoke ring is caused by nothing more than placing the meat on cold. But I barely know what I'm talking about. I just know that all the best brisket I've had had this same coloring.
    The smoke ring is a result of a chemical reaction between pigment in the meat and gases put off by the wood/charcoal used to fuel the cooker.

    A smoke ring can also be created with other methods and is why KCBS judges are taught not to judge the smoke ring when they score for visual presentation.

  19. #294

    Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger S View Post
    The smoke ring is a result of a chemical reaction between pigment in the meat and gases put off by the wood/charcoal used to fuel the cooker.

    A smoke ring can also be created with other methods and is why KCBS judges are taught not to judge the smoke ring when they score for visual presentation.
    Please go in to depth on other methods to create a smoke ring.

  20. #295

    Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    We went for our first time Friday. About 4:00 since we both get off earlier than most. No wait at that time but we went to the bar which is our usual M.O. We got deviled eggs and split a three meat dinner with chopped brisket, chopped pork and ribs. Got beans and potato salad as sides and added a side of okra. I can be accused of being easily pleased but we LOVED it. All three meats were tender and tasty. All three sauces we liked. The beans were great. The okra was crunchy on the outside without being over-fried, but not squishy in the middle like under-fried okra is. The potato salad is just potato salad but it’s good. The cornbread would be worth going in for just for it. Our usual M.O. is to to sit at bars because we think you get more personal service at the bar top. They did not disappoint. We were very well taken care of. We’ll be back often.

  21. #296

    Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    Quote Originally Posted by jccouger View Post
    Please go in to depth on other methods to create a smoke ring.
    roger may have some other methods in mind, but i do know that a little curing salt will do the trick

  22. Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post
    roger may have some other methods in mind, but i do know that a little curing salt will do the trick
    Yep curing salt and TenderQuick are used and that's why KCBS judges are taught not to judge a smoke ring.

  23. #298

    Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    Lol yep, I always use curing salt and it makes a great looking ring.

  24. #299

    Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    Just smoke a piece of meat the right way and you get the ring. I don't consider myself an expert by any means and I never have a difficult time getting a smoke ring.

    One OU gameday this last season I was smoking some pork butts and I had to leave for the game before they were ready so my wife had to pull them from the smoker. She sent me two pictures to ask if they looked the way they were supposed to. She was also trying to cut them with a knife. lol. This was just pork shoulders, with dry rub on them, smoked on a Weber Smokey Mountain for about an hour and a half per pound until the internal temp was 200 degrees. I also barely used any wood chunks since my wife doesn't like heavy smoke flavor.

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    Again, smoke ring isn't difficult to create and is actually not usually truly indicative of good smoked BBQ either. It's the same as perfect cross hatch grill marks on a steak. It's pretty, but doesn't need to be there for a steak to be seared properly and taste very good.

  25. #300

    Default Re: Clark Crew BBQ

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeLucky View Post
    Just smoke a piece of meat the right way and you get the ring.
    those pics are making me hungry! as for the smoke ring, there's a little more to it than that. your fuel source also determines whether or not you get a 'natural' smoke ring... if you're running an electric or propane cooker, then you're not going to get a ring from the cooking process.

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