Hopefully you paid attention to the instructions or directions about how to use it ‘effectively’….meaning, you’ll be able to maintain a stable temperature for a LONG time and you understand the effects of a load of protein on the cooking chamber! – If NOT…there’s your first task!
Once you understand your smoker…it’s airflow (or lack thereof), baffling, hot and cool spots and you can hold on to an even temp…the next step has NOTHING to do with tossing some meat on it and going to town! At least NOT in MY Book!!! I am a firm believer in understanding not only the ‘technique’, but the ingredients as well! In this case…PROTIENS!
You should get a book, find a butcher, make a friend on a farm or find a place to learn ALL about the types and cuts of meat that you’ll be using. There are a number of American BBQ ‘Staples’…most notably those in the KCBS Sanctioned Competitions; Chicken, Pork, Beef and Pork Ribs and there is MUCH more!
As an example…our Pulled Pork typically starts with the ‘Whole Shoulder’…in other words the front leg of the hog! It includes the top part of the shoulder which is known intermittently as a ‘Blade Roast’ or ‘Boston Butt’ AND the lower half of the leg to the middle of the first long bone…known as the Picnic Roast and typically featured ‘skin on’ in the Butcher cabinet! – We cook the whole leg with the bone in which (in MY opinion) adds LOTS of flavor and moisture and also helps the cooking process.
Why not use the HAM??? (Rear End) Some folks do! I don’t because it’s typically too thick for the ‘Low & Slow’ cooking process and it tends to dry out on our smokers! SO…that’s just ONE meat option, there are MANY…whatever your fancy…learn as much as you can about THAT cut…where it’s most often cooked and how they do it!
Beef Brisket is another example…they don’t do THAT any better than they do in TEXAS anywhere I’ve ever been…AND they typically keep it pretty simple in Texas…Salt, Pepper and Heat! Some cook it ‘Low & Slow’, others know some trick to cook it over higher heat with great results…a LOT of it’s in the meat!
Learning more about the best cuts of meat for the BBQ Process, how to cut and prepare them for ‘the smoke’ and then just how to cook them is a tasty process that should be a requisite ‘First Step’ for any new BBQ enthusiast and isn’t a bad ‘review’ subject for any of us who have been doing it for a while!
We’ll be teaching an upcoming series on the proper selection of equipment, meats and other BBQ ‘Stuff’ as well as the preparation and presentation of all four KCBS meats this Winter at YorKitchen in the York Central Market…look for upcoming details soon…you’ll be the first to know!
Until then, you can visit us online (GreatQ4U.com) or give us a call at 717-254-1937 to schedule your 2012 Event or to see what kind of BBQ Class we can do for you!