Growing up in the southern half of the US, I’ve always loved good BBQ. Now BBQ in the south has lots of variations (we’ll cover that in a later post), but I grew up with a taste for Memphis style BBQ. For the uninitiated, Memphis style BBQ is slow smoked with a dry rub. BBQ Sauce is strictly a condiment and pulled pork sandwiches are served with a sweet slaw.
But I digress. My uncle was the family BBQ’er and he became a pretty fair hand at smoking turkey, beef etc. But I don’t think he ever pulled off really good pork butt. It was after I got married that I decided to try my hand at BBQ.
I started, like a lot of people do, with a Brinkmann bullet-type, water smoker. I tried both the charcoal & electric varieties. I turned out some decent chicken, but really good pork butt & ribs eluded me. I decided that I must need a better cooker, so I moved up to an off-set New Braunfels. This was an impressive looking unit compared to the bullet smoker and much more involved. I could make the entire neighborhood crave BBQ with the smell of hickory smoke, but still good pork butt & ribs eluded me. In fact, I sold the pit and gave up the quest for a couple of years.
About 5 years ago, I decided that I would try to do pulled pork for the family reunion. My dad had a brand new gas smoker that he’d never used and offered it up for my use. I had spent my BBQ exile reading a lot of information on the internet about BBQ and knew that I probably hadn’t approached the elusive pork butt & ribs the right way. So when presented with this opportunity, I was prepared. In fact, that day was a defining moment for my BBQ career. When I put a huge tray of pulled pork on that buffet table and saw the reaction of my extended family, I was hooked.
That year, my bride presented me with a gas smoker of my own and we enjoyed some really nice BBQ over the next couple of summers. But with my interest growing, I couldn’t enjoy this hobby in the winter using the cooker that I had due to the winter weather we have in the mid-west. It was about this time that a co-worker introduced me to the Japanese Kamado style cooker. Cold weather, rain, wind, none of these were a problem with the ceramic cookers. After 6 months of yearning for a ceramic cooker, I acquired my large Big Green Egg. This is what I cook on today and it affords me year round enjoyment of my favorite past time and favorite food.
The journey has been a lot of fun. Like many folks, I’ve always got my eye on my next cooker. When I know what the next destination is on my BBQ journey, you’ll be the first to know.Cheers,