Do You Have Enough Smokers or Grills?

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Published: March 12, 2012


Last week my wife joked that our house (and our backyard) was becoming a big storage facility for all things BBQ. And since we’ve shared this house, I have to admit that it does seem to be slowly taking over.

I’ve got a nice arrangement of different smokers and grills out back, a 4,000 pound BBQ rig in the driveway and a garage full of equipment.

Some of these things are essential for competition BBQ. And the rest – everything from that old, rusty grill to the frayed extension cords – are simply just my prized treasures. But you don’t need a garage full to produce quality BBQ. You just need to know how to properly use the equipment you have.

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Whether it’s a home-made UDS or a top-of-the-line Ole Hickory Pit, if you don’t know how to use it, you’re not going to get the best possible BBQ.And if you’re heating up wood chips with a hot plate, you’re not smoking BBQ… (and I don’t care who tells you any differently).

I don’t care what type of smoker you have; I guarantee you that good BBQ can be created on it.

  • Before you put any meat on the cooker, fire it up and see how it performs.  I do this with every “new to me” cooker I use.
  • Watch the temperature gauge and make sure you can hold a steady cooking temp.  It’s the most critical part to producing good BBQ.
  • Learn how the air vent positions affect the temperature, and figure out where the hot spots are at grate level.

Once you have a handle on controlling temperature, you’re ready to smoke some meat.  Just remember one thing:  A little smoke goes a long way.  Thin Blue Smoke is all that’s needed for flavor.  Anything thick and heavy will give the meat a terrible taste that you just can’t get out of your mouth.  Add a few chunks of wood at a time to hot coals, and you want have to worry about over-smoking.

Cooking BBQ is all about spending time with your pit, learning how to operate it and being able to look at a piece of meat on the rack and just know when it’s done.

It’s not always something you can be taught… it’s something you have to learn. It takes a little time – and a little practice to get it right. But at least it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

Don’t forget to Join us every other week for Malcom Mondays! You can always follow what is happening on Grilling with Rich by following him on Twitter and also “liking” Rich on Facebook! 

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