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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 08-25-2011, 09:37 AM   #1
sandiegobbq
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Default ThWhat is the Best Thing You Learned While Cooking BBQ?

What was the best thing you ever learned while learning the craft or art of BBQ?

What was a breakthrough moment for you that made you understand how to get more consistent in your cooking?

Maybe it was learning how to perfect for now favorite rub or sauce?

Maybe it was experimenting with different temperatures?

Maybe you are still open to try new things?

I think the main thing I have learned is to keep an open mind and to try new
techniques before I dismiss them as bunk.

A closed mind learns nothing.
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Unread 08-25-2011, 09:40 AM   #2
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Patience. During my time of screwing up meat my grandfather kept telling me to "Be patient, don't get in a hurry! You can't rush perfection." I finally "got it".
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Unread 08-25-2011, 09:41 AM   #3
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I'm always willing to try something new and interesting.
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Unread 08-25-2011, 09:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamabuzzard View Post
Patience. During my time of screwing up meat my grandfather kept telling me to "Be patient, don't get in a hurry! You can't rush perfection." I finally "got it".
Have you tried any high heat cooks?
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Unread 08-25-2011, 09:43 AM   #5
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There are no absolutes when it comes to cooking time for BBQ.

There are general rules (i.e. 1.5 hr per pound for butt) or you can cook to temp. But even when cooking to temp the meat may not be where you want it.

The meat is ready when the meat is ready. So PLAN ACCORDINGLY!
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Unread 08-25-2011, 09:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandiegobbq View Post
Have you tried any high heat cooks?
Yes, and even within high heat cooks patience must be applied to some degree.
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Unread 08-25-2011, 09:47 AM   #7
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Judging doneness by feel, not by temp.

Key words in my realizing this are from bigabytes Basic Brisket Tutorial: "I don't know what temperature it is and I don't care." This led me down the road of letting the meat tell me when it's done rather than a device.

Also, I learned about coolering here. Haven't had a house full of hungry folks wanting to kill me since! Helps give me a bigger target to hit time-wise.
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Unread 08-25-2011, 09:50 AM   #8
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Experimenting on different kinds of levels.
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Unread 08-25-2011, 09:50 AM   #9
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To keep good notes. That way when you get something right at least you know what you did! And finding the great people here to help you when you are lost. Thanks to all!!
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Unread 08-25-2011, 09:53 AM   #10
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How to weld...poorly (still learning)

Yeah, lots of cooking tricks too. And, who knew SPAM was so versitile?
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Unread 08-25-2011, 09:58 AM   #11
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Patience and experimentation
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Unread 08-25-2011, 10:03 AM   #12
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Patience is by far the most important thing I have learned. Yes, experimenting with spices and methods have improved my end results but the reality is - low and slow is all about patience. When you rush BBQ, you ruin BBQ.
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Unread 08-25-2011, 10:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandiegobbq View Post
I think the main thing I have learned is to keep an open mind and to try new
techniques before I dismiss them as bunk.

A closed mind learns nothing.
AMEN to that, and I find that I learn something everytime I do something different, despite what I read and what others say. I learn from doing it myself, but but specific to the wsm, I've learned this year that water in the pan most definately helps keep the bone side (exposed meat) moist when smoking chicken. Ever since I got my wsm I just foiled the pan and shot for higher temps to get "decent skin", since that's what you were supposed to do.

Also, I've mentioned it a few times already in the last couple of weeks, but by cooking a couple of pork butts for 16 hrs and then pulling after practically no rest at all, I finally learned why my old UDS bbq was a little moister. Ever since I got my wsm, I've been overcooking my butts by holding too long in a hot cooler, since that's what I read you were supposed to do. By the way, this was not a subjective thing at all because even though these two butts cooked for 16hrs, were pulled at about 198* IT, and I stretched out the stall...there was still a substantial amount of fat and connective tissue left. However, the meat from BOTH butts was at the PERFECT state of doneness, and juicy as all get out. There goes my notion that you won't have nothing to pull out of a butt but the bone and a piece of gristle if cooked low-n-slow.

To sum up, I don't take somebody's word for something without testing it, and I only learn by doing things differently. I think the most important practical bbq tip I've learned first hand is to cook long enough but don't overcook, and cook as evenly as possible.
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Unread 08-25-2011, 10:10 AM   #14
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That 225 isn't a magic number.
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Unread 08-25-2011, 10:12 AM   #15
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Like many above "IT'S DONE WHEN IT'S DONE".
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