The Most Important Ingredient in BBQ

While I’ve always appreciated good BBQ, I haven’t always been able to create good BBQ.  Over the years, I’ve tried my hand at it with a variety of different BBQ pits.  My failures usually left me thinking that it was an equipment problem.  Finally, after going through a couple of ECB’s (El Cheapo Brinkman water smokers) and an off-set cooker, I finally decided that maybe the common denomenator was the guy running the show.

I began to read a lot of the BBQ forums on line and decided to give it one more shot.  My folks had a gas powered, bullet smoker that they’d never used.  I pressed it into service and applied the techniques I’d read about and much to my surprise, I turned out some awesome pulled pork.  I finally realized the most important ingredient that I’d been missing in my previous attempts.

You see, I’d been following the FDA guidelines regarding safe temps for food preparation.  You know, those numbers printed on the back of meat thermometers and such.  I’d always pulled pork shoulder off of the cooker when it reached 165 degrees.  What I failed to realize is that while no one will die from eating pork cooked to 165 degrees, that doesn’t mean it’s done.  In fact, the magic is only starting when pork shoulder hits 165 degress.

The ingredient that I’d been missing all along wasn’t a rub, a sauce, or a cooker.  It was patience.  It turns out that you can’t rush good BBQ.  You can’t cook by your watch.  You have to cook by temperature (for the most part) and pork shoulder isn’t done at 165 degrees, it’s done at 195 deegrees.

So grasshopper, now that you know the secret.  Be patient, cause great things come to those who wait!


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