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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 01-03-2013, 07:34 AM   #46
Lake Dogs
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So do you consider yourself a pitmaster? Probably to a degree, yes, but I pretty much learn something new most every day. Frankly, the more I know, the more I realize just how little I actually know.


When was it that you became one and how? Becoming one isn't like turning on a light switch; one minute it's off (your not a Pitmaster) and the next minute it's on (you are). Mastery is about bringing to bear knowledge and skill, which are learned over time, trial and with it comes ERROR, success and failure, and paying attention and learning from both those successes and failure. I started failing :-) back in the early 80's...


Was it winning a competition or at some other point? MANY a great BBQ Pitmaster has never competed. Competitions are for guys who enjoy games. Competitors who win know that it's about more than just being a BBQ Pitmaster, it's about understanding "the game" and competing in "the game", in addition to being a fan-damn-tastic BBQ cook and a Pitmaster.

This said above, I do think that the skills learned and brought forth that are needed to compete effectively and win can carry over when making BBQ for other people, whether in restaurants, catering, or in just preparing large meals for friends.
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Unread 01-03-2013, 09:07 AM   #47
NickTheGreat
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Up until March 2012, I considered myself a grillmaster. I could 'grill' burgers, dogs, steaks, chicken breasts, etc on my gas grill with the best of them.

I made several batches of pulled pork in the crock pot

Since then (bought my WSM), I've learned a lot about BBQ'ing. Far from a pitmaster, but I learn lots from the pitmasters on here
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Unread 01-03-2013, 09:34 AM   #48
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If you turn out Q that is at all decent, your new best friends will all call you a pitmaster!
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Unread 01-03-2013, 10:13 AM   #49
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More like a pitmaster wannabe.

I know my way around a smoker or Weber kettle and I generally get pretty good results. I don't have the courage to compete (I fear that the judges will not like what I like.) I get plenty of compliments from those I serve including some along the lines of 'best ever.' But I have to face the fact that many of these people have never had really good 'Q.

There are few restaurants that I can go to where the 'Q is better than mine, but that is more a reflection on the restaurants than my skills. I also realize that cooking for myself in my yard and cooking to serve the public in a restaurant are two entirely different things.

There are those who prepare better 'Q than mine for the trade or to win competitions and they are the true pitmasters. I have much to learn before I could even think of rubbing shoulders with them.
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Unread 01-03-2013, 10:37 AM   #50
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OK, I guess I'll actually make a serious reply for once, and not jsut joking around like normal.

I don't call myself a pitmaster, but if someone calls me that I don't correct them either. I just call myself a cooking enthusiast, with extreme outdoor cooking tendencies. Actually, I don't even call myself that, but if someone asks about any hobbies or whatever, I usually say something like "outdoor cooking enthusiast" and when they ask what that means I say "BBQ, grilling, campfire cooking, etc".

There are people out there who I looked up to when starting to cook, still look up to this day, and I still consider them to be the real pitmasters. In thatcase it's a respect thing.

There are also people out there whose cooking skills, outdoors or otherwise, that blow me away. I consider those in this vein who BBQ to be pitmasters as well, particularly comp cooks as the term fits them very well.

For me, I'm not particularly fond of the term when thinking how to describe myself. There are many reasons for that. Part of it is a separation between comp bbq, comp cooking, and non competitive cooking. I almost sort of liken the term to describe accomplished competition BBQ cooks. However, those who do not compete who can cook the absolute living bejeesus out of damn near anything at any given moment are equally deserving of the term "pitmaster" when their cooking is BBQ.

Another reason I'm not fond of the term is that since I associate the word "pitmaster" with "bbq", it clashes with the big time grey area of what I define as "bbq". I do not define BBQ as the four KCBS categories, or comp Q for any other organization. I do not consider it to be only smoked pig, beef or chicken either. For me, BBQ can be so much more, and I have strived to broaden my BBQ cooking horizons as far as I can. I do not want any limitations. Not everyone agrees with this though, and if I BBQ up some sort of SPAM Brownies or something (not something I'm proud of by the way), then I like to consider it "bbq", but not something most people would associate with a "pitmaster", nor do I think they should associate it that way.

It's even more complicated than all that, but in a nutshell, I simply don't like the concept of being confined to a definition by some word. Thus I do not call myself "pitmaster" because that automatically creates a boxed in definition in many peoples minds that I liekly do not fit into.

There aer some serious pitmasters out there though. They deserve to be called as such if they wish to be. Or at least called as such by those who wish to give them proper credit.
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Unread 01-03-2013, 01:21 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire_Mgmt View Post
I'm more of a pyro than anything else. 'cue is just icing on the cake!

Did someone say Pyro?



5 inch shells, I was working with a summer ago. Fireworks and BBQ, two of my favorite things.

Mastery of either one, is something I will spend a lifetime trying to achieve.
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Unread 01-03-2013, 02:47 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigabyte View Post
I don't call myself a pitmaster, but if someone calls me that I don't correct them either.
That's what I was trying to say.

Thanks Biggie.
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Unread 01-03-2013, 04:14 PM   #53
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Fark, I've been married for 17 years and I still haven't figured out women. They are so darn complicated. I can't believe so many people on this site claim an understanding. I think in all honesty I'm really more like a sous chef. I would suspect if you gave it a good hard thought, more like 99.9% of us are really sous chefs. Of course if my wife called me a pitmaster, it would certainly make me feel good.
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Unread 01-03-2013, 04:16 PM   #54
bigabyte
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OK, I admit, I'm a soused chef.
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Unread 01-03-2013, 04:24 PM   #55
Lake Dogs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gore View Post
Fark, I've been married for 17 years and I still haven't figured out women. They are so darn complicated. I can't believe so many people on this site claim an understanding. I think in all honesty I'm really more like a sous chef. I would suspect if you gave it a good hard thought, more like 99.9% of us are really sous chefs. Of course if my wife called me a pitmaster, it would certainly make me feel good.
> still haven't figured out women.

For goodness sake, IF you do, then please patent the information, lets sell it! It's worth a freakin' fortune!!!!!
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Started competing in chili cookoffs back in the 1990's and have competed in more than I care to count. I became a CBJ in MiM in 2005, then MBN and in GBA in 2010. I've probably judged 130+- BBQ comps (sanctioned and unsanctioned) over this time. That said, I really enjoy competing more than I enjoy judging, and hope to get back to doing 4 or 5 a year in the near future.
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Unread 01-03-2013, 04:27 PM   #56
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Soused Chef. Ill drink to that
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Unread 01-03-2013, 04:58 PM   #57
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I think pitmaster has become like the term "chef". In a commercial kitchen, the chef is head of something. Everyone else is just cooks. But in general conversation we tend to call anyone who is cooking a chef.

I think John T Edge gave a great talk one time on the term pitmaster which has lots of racial history behind it.

These days, basically anyone with a grill is a pitmaster. Just as people call someone like Rachael Ray a chef.

Incidentally Paula Deen is actually a chef because she's the leader of her kitchen staff.
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Unread 01-03-2013, 06:39 PM   #58
Gore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake Dogs View Post
> still haven't figured out women.
That definitely speaks to my pitmaster abilities.
I deleted the unnecessary information in your earlier answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake Dogs View Post
So do you consider yourself a pitmaster? Frankly, the more I know, the more I realize just how little I actually know.


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(")_(") and the help rabbit baby takes over control of the world!
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Unread 01-03-2013, 06:47 PM   #59
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I'm not a master of anything except bation. I'm just a guy who likes to cook. I don't see people spitting out stuff I cook, and they want me to cook more, so that's good enough for me.
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Unread 01-03-2013, 06:49 PM   #60
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I am not a pitmaster by my definition. Now, I make some dammmmmmmm good Q, but on a much smaller scale and much less often than a true pitmaster. A pitmaster cooks massive quantities on a regular basis and word that he is producing that day makes large crowds come from miles around for an orgasmic taste of heaven.

Now, don't get me wrong...I'm pretty orgasmic! I just like to concentrate on my wife instead of big crowds and I don't do it as often as I used too
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