Why a Smoker?
01/26/06 - 15:21 Filed in: Smoker | Smoking
Let me make a confession: I LOVE BBQ. That is a big problem living here in New England, a region not exactly known as a BBQ Mecca. For many years I used to travel for my work and I’d seek out good ‘Que whenever I could.
When I bought my latest gas grill, it had a smoker drawer. I figured things would start looking up. They did to some extent, but to my surprise I was finding I wasn’t getting that rich smoke flavor I loved. I attended a Smoking class taught by the owner of Firefly’s, a local BBQ joint. I figured I would pick up some pointers and get to where I needed to be with the gas grill. I was sadly mistaken. The teacher, Steve Uliss, said that he had nothing against gas grills, but there was no way they could produce true ‘Que. This was a bit of a blow since that was what I owned, but I figured I’d hang around until the end to sample the wares.
After 4 hours or class it was time to eat. The food we were served was started in the wee hours of the morning, so we could get a sample of true low and slow BBQ cooking. The food that came out of the various smokers was some the best ‘Que I’d ever tasted. I struggled mightily not to make a total pig out of myself.
Since Firefly’s restaurant was less than a mile away, I decided that was my next stop. When I got to the restaurant, I ordered my favorites from the class. To my surprise, there was a HUGE difference in the taste and texture. Even though these were the same items, using the same ingredients, recipes and possibly the same chef-the difference was like night and day. I realized then, that a restaurant would have to cook this stuff up ahead of time and reheat it. That was the big “AH HA” moment.
I realized that the only way I was going to get ‘Que in the same ballpark as the cooking class, was to do it myself. I actually had my checkbook out to buy the CharGriller Smokin’ Pro that was talked about in the class, but I chickened out. I was afraid of the amount of time required to cook this food and was terrified of charcoal cooking. It took me a year and a half to get past this. Now that I’ve got my smoker, I can have great ‘Que whenever I want. I’ve still got LOT to learn, but some future Blog entries, will talk about what I have learned so far.
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