Originally Posted by marubozo
Dirty words they are, but this isn't Texas. Partly, it's because the BBQ up here is so far and few between, people aren't going to thumb their nose based on the cooker used, let alone even know the difference. Second, getting the HD to approve a custom pit, outdoor cooking, etc. hell, I've got better things to do with my time and would find another way to make money.
And a lot of it comes down to planning for the future. Teaching somebody how to cook BBQ is hard enough as it is, and when you factor in learning how to manage a fire, or multiple fires, 24 hours a day, that's hard enough for the owner to do, let alone try to find reliable people to replicate for you. Having a system in place that doesn't require as much training means you can replicate if needed, or at the very least, maintain consistent quality even without the savviest help.
Bottom line is I'm not trying to replicate BBQ at the Salt Lick, or any long standing institution down south. Clearly, different methods of cooking yield different results, and often can't even be replicated. But up here, it's largely a business proposition. There's a need for BBQ, and the goal is to turn out consistent product day after day, regardless of who's manning the pit. If people enjoy the food and keep coming back, and enough money is made to keep the doors open, that's all that matters. It's not about being the biggest, best, most authentic, etc. My brisket might be quite good, but I'll still tell people to go down to Austin and have Aaron Franklin's.