Take a breath!
Join Date: 03-19-08
Location: Searcy, Arkansas
MooCow's Make It - Take It Drum Class Review..FANTASTIC
Let me first preference this review with the fact that I am pushing 70 years old and I can well remember when I would walk into an old country store and see some of the local residents sitting around a pot bellied stove eating cheese and crackers from the cracker barrel.
The event was held at Shane Petzold's home at Belton, MO. in his garage with additional covered space being provided by Shane and his Team erecting their competition tent at the front of the garage. The weather forecaster was very accurate and we had a mix of sleet and snow off an on all day but the accommodations provided were more than adequate and just added to the mystique of BBQing. Each participant brought their own chairs and they were set up in a semi-circle inside of Shane's garage thus reminding me of the old time country store get togethers, it was really comfortable and added to each participant getting to talk to, and to know the other participants.
The class started promptly at 9:00 AM with Shane providing us with a goody bag that contained, among other things, rub samples, sauce samples, sponsor ball caps, cooking information, etc . Also, there was a "Release of Liability" document which is something I would have never thought of. But, afterall, we would all be using power tools, hammers, and wrenches and the potential for someone to get hurt was always present ( which never happened, except for one small cut on a finger) which was quickly attended to with a band-aid .
Once this was done Shane and his team got into meat selection and preparation as they wanted to get the meat cooking on the drums so we would have a big spread for dinner later that evening. So all of the briskets, butts, ribs, and chickens were prepped. The briskets and butts needed to go on right away so outside we all went with The Team showing us how to set up the UDS cookers for cooking and then explaining the temperature control options available on the drum through manipulating the large 1" stainless steel ball valve and opening and closing off the two other air intakes with pipe caps.
While the meat was cooking the rest of the morning was consumed by Shane and his Team Members sharing their cooking techniques and recipes that have made them a World Championship Team.
When noon came Shane put together, for lack of a better term, the ingredients for a Fajita which he cooked on his huge 26" diameter disk cooker. Now folks I do not know if this would be called a Fajita or not but, in my opinion Shane had developed a new line of Mexican cuisine as it was beyond being delicious, it was out of this World good. I can tell you that it had ham, bacon, chorizo, fresh cooked pulled pork, red bell peppers, Serrano peppers, onions, green chili's, Rotel tomatoes, corn and then I lost track of the rest of the ingredients. All of this cooked up on his huge disk cooker and served on hot white corn tortilla's, with all of the sides for dressing out the tortilla. Man-o-man was this good. I look for him to get a call from the Mexican President this week asking him to be his personal chef.
After feasting on the Mexican dish all I needed was a big sombrero and an adobe wall to back up to and I would have been fast asleep but this was not to be. Shane announced it was time we start building the drum cookers and we were each instructed to pick out a freshly re-furbished drum WITH NO LINER to burn out...Yipee!!
Now, let me stop here and say that Shane and his Team had already professionally built expanded metal charcoal baskets and he had already purchased and furnished each participant with a new Weber grill rack. All we had to do was to mark off and drill the holes for the grill rack support bolts and then install the bolts. Then we marked off and drilled the air intake holes and then installed the pipe nipples and the nipples for the large on/off ball valve. You would think that for the low cost of this class he would have used cheap hardware, this was not the case, only the best Stainless Steel hardware was used including Stainless Steel Ball valves. How he was able to put this class on for such a low cost is still beyond me.
With the drums built and set aside it was back to him sharing all of his Team's cooking techniques and recipes for the various meats and I mean he barred nothing. The Moocow Team had some new and exciting flavor profiles for their meats and they shared these profiles along with the recipes for the rubs and sauces use to achieve these results.
By 5:30 PM all of the meat was done and it was time for dinner to be served which consisted of perfectly cooked brisket, ribs, pulled pork, chicken, cole slaw, baked beans, pickles, bread, and dessert.
In summary if you went to this class thinking that all you were going to learn was how to build a drum and how to cook on it you were pleasantly surprised as you got the benefit of all of Moocow's cooking techniques and recipes. This is the 4th BBQ class I have attended and I can say without reservation, it is one of the best I have ever attended and I have been to some great ones.
Shane, and his Team, have another class scheduled for the future and I would highly recommend that anyone who wants to have fun, build a drum cooker, learn how to cook on it, and to learn World Class Cooking techniques along with the recipes need to go... I assure you that you will not be disappointed.
WAY TO GO SHANE AND THE WHOLE MOOCOW BBQ TEAM
Pictures to follow at a later date.