Braddog’s Journey

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.

2007 05 27 004

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,

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