Originally Posted by Steve W
For better or worse, there'd be no lighter fluid without some chemist somewhere. Most likely for worse, in that case.
The article still brings some interesting points regarding techniques such as foiling or not. I'm just starting out in this hobby, but articles like this put my mind to rest when I'm cooking.
I know that a lot of you have done this a thousand times and have honed your technique to always have excellent food, but I still need some guidance. Knowing what to worry about is important to me at this point, especially since I monitor my meat with a thermometer. I'm that kind of guy, someone with an engineer or scientist mindset. As Meathead had said, newbies can get freaked out about tons of things when they don't expect it.
I'm pretty new to this, so having a deeper explanation is invaluable. After all, I really don't have an experienced pitmaster to tell me what to do. None of my friends know what good Southern BBQ is where I am. They think Famous Dave's is fantastic. All I can do is figure out things from what you guys and others on the net say, and the more information I have, the better I feel about what I do when I'm cooking. I don't have a "gut feeling" with my experience. I've already found out the hard way about low n' slowing lean meats. Learning about the minion method from you all has been invaluable. BBQ ain't hard, but there are the things you do to get something that's darn good instead of just ok. All it takes is some reading, understanding, and experience.
This must be why I like watching Alton Brown's show so much. Most everything has a how and why in my head and he feeds that, just like Meathead is doing.
There IS a lot of science behind cooking. And this article can be extremely helpful. However, this was the topic of a thread just a few days ago, and it was throughly hashed out there. Look up in this thread and you'll see what I mean.
More often than not, I discover amazing new cooking techniques by accident, and then learn the WHYS of how it works afterwards.
My first competition brisket I put on WAY too early. By 8:00 the night before turn in, I was cruising past 160 degrees which means my brisket would've been done by 10:00 or 11:00... I panicked, pulled the brisket off, foiled it, wrapped it in a blanket, and stuck it in a cooler overnight. When I pulled it out the next morning it was down to 100 degrees, I threw it back on the smoker, and cooked it to temp. When I pulled it off it tasted fantastic, and was SUPER tender. I took 2nd place! Missed first place by ONE FARKNIG point!
I learned that denaturing takes place between 120 and 160, and holding my brisket at that temp was pure genious!
(read more here http://steeltownbbq.com/3.html
Whatever you're doing, have fun with it. Science is about conducting your own expiraments too. You can use the same techniques over and over again, and end up with varying results each time. Figure out what you can do to be consistent, and you'll put out great bbq everytime you fire up the pits!