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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.

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Old 10-22-2011, 08:20 AM   #91
somebody shut me the fark up.

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Join Date: 06-05-09
Location: Mooresville, IN

The biggest one I can imagine is NOT finding/hanging out here. Or, more specific....trying to figure everything out on your own and not asking questions of those who The BBQ Brethren.
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"Oh, I don’t reject Christ. I love Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ."
-Mahatma Gandhi
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:28 AM   #92
is Blowin Smoke!
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Join Date: 05-09-11
Location: Granite City, Illinois (Near St. Louis "GO CARDS")

I mix up T for tablespoon & t for teaspoon
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:48 AM   #93
Ole Man Dan
is one Smokin' Farker
Join Date: 07-24-11
Location: Gadsden, Alabama

I started smoking about 30 years ago in a pit made out of builders blocks, with a Piggly Wiggly metal sign for a top. We didn't have a temp gauge.
We put the meat on when it felt hot enough... Same for telling when it was done. When it looked done, we cut off a slice to check it... Good Q...
T H E N...
I tried to go fancy about 10 years ago and ruined meat when I tried to cook strictly by temp.
Lesson learned.
I had forgot my ole Daddys advice: 'It's done when it's done...'

I went back to the basics and the BBQ was again good...
The same advice I see here all the time.

My mistakes were many:
Wet wood
Checking the Q too often
Swabbing the meat with BBQ sauce the whole time it was smoking
and lastly... Tearing apart the bld.block pit
(I'm going to build another... just smaller)

Until then I'm using the UDS. It is easy to maintain steady temps, and I get good Q...

My biggest regret is using a computer since the 80s, but not finding this forum till recently.

Last edited by Ole Man Dan; 10-22-2011 at 11:50 AM.. Reason: format
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Old 10-22-2011, 03:36 PM   #94
Babbling Farker

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Join Date: 02-17-11
Location: Chicago north 'burbs IL

Not having fun. Damn-it, this is fun. Have fun. If you screw up, well, try to fix it, or move on. Sometimes, even when you think everything is right, it's not. You just have to go with it and work on it next time.
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Old 10-22-2011, 03:58 PM   #95
is One Chatty Farker
Join Date: 07-23-11
Location: Ontario, Ca

Originally Posted by thirdeye View Post
This is a good idea for a thread. Two of the biggest errors I see are

1. Not evaluating your own product and making small changes to improve it. Too often other folks are just plain too polite and will always tell you to your face how good your Q is. Ask a few of them what do they really like and also ask what could be improved. Get opinions from folks that are good cooks, they have no reasons to lie to you. Compare that information to how you size it up yourself. I'm not saying to always cook for the other persons taste, but I have a few small changes I make depending on who I'm cooking for.

2. Using smoke correctly. I just cringe when I see a guys pit that is puffing white smoke and he sez something like .... "my butts are really smokin' NOW!!!"

I edited some of the other things I think are important from an article on my site called Introduction to Barbecue, and here is the short version.

First off, you need to allow plenty of time for barbecuing. Don’t get in a hurry. You will find that many times, preparation the day before will be worth the extra effort.

Great barbecue is a journey, not a destination. Barbecue may look easy when someone else cooks it. The recipes generally don't have a lot of ingredients. The cuts of meat are very common. Don't be fooled, there are a lot of hidden variables. There is a BIG difference between good barbecue and great barbecue. You will be very lucky if you make good barbecue on the first couple of cooks. It may take years before you make great barbecue. So before you serve barbecue to a house full of guests or the preachers wife...practice, practice, practice.

Do get in the habit of recording the details of your cooks. If you make changes, change one or two things at a time.

Many pit masters agree that “it’s the cook, not the cooker” but you must figure out your cooker and its capabilities.

Use a good quality hardwood or hardwood charcoal. Let the fire become established before adding food to the pit. Until you get the hang of overnight cooks, keep an eye on the fire.

Make sure to let the smoke from wood chunks or chips settle down before loading your cooker. Keep a watchful eye on your top vent or stack. A white smoke plume, billowing from your vent will most likely impart a bitter flavor and maybe a residue on your product. A light gray or blue smoke whiff is what you are after.

The goal is to compliment the flavor of the meat, without overpowering it. Use good quality seasonings or rubs. DON’T apply sauces too early during the cook, wait until the end or serve them at the table.

Start out with easy cooks. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature at the grate as well as your product.

Allow your meat to rest before slicing or pulling. The juices need time to re-distribute into the meat.

Ok, now you are ready to dig in. If you are slicing beef, pay attention to the grain and cut across it for tenderness. When pulling or chopping beef and pork, remove some of the fat but be sure and mix some of the crust or “bark” in with the meat. Don’t be alarmed if the meat, especially chicken, has a pink color. Don't be too eager to slather on the sauce, it is not always necessary. I like to serve a couple of kinds at the table.

For reheating barbecue use an aluminum pan. Add a diluted sauce, CocaCola, apple juice, broth or a mixture of any of these to keep the product moist, cover and place in a 250° oven for about an hour or until warm.
great post. I need to learn to be patient before adding the food
UDS, Smokey Joe
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Old 10-22-2011, 05:48 PM   #96
Knows what a fatty is.
Join Date: 09-29-11
Location: Madisonville KY

My biggest mistake was wanting to fiddle with my smoker temperature too much. I was constantly adding wood, changing the vent, stirring the fire, popping the lid to compensate for spikes... Sometimes, you just gotta get it to a stable temperature and leave it the heck alone. Don't worry about small spikes and dips. That was hard for me to get used to.
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:13 AM   #97
Lake Dogs
Quintessential Chatty Farker
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Join Date: 07-14-09
Location: Lake Sinclair, GA

Fire control, fire control, and then FIRE control...

That, and I'm still amazed how many here dont know that the temperature shown on your external mounted thermometer (the one you can walk up to the smoker and read) is likely to be 20 to 50 degrees OFF from your actual cooking surface temperature. When we talk about cooking temperatures, it's on the cooking surface itself. I cannot tell you how many pieces of meat I ruined before I learned this simple lesson and that I'd been trying to cook meat (unsuccessfully mind you) at 180 degrees rather than the 220 showing on the thermometer. AND that this doesn't mean that the thermometer is broken or wrong. Darned if heat doesn't do this funny thing; it rises. In my case my thermometer was towards the top, where heat accumulates...

Afterwards, work on fire control.
Hance - Lake Dogs Cooking Team - MiM/MBN/GBA CBJ and comp cook
Lake Sinclair, GA (strategically about an hour from darn near anywhere)
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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Old 10-24-2011, 11:50 AM   #98
El Ropo
Babbling Farker

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Join Date: 10-06-10
Location: Austin, TX
Name/Nickname : Roger

The two worst mistakes I made is way too much white billowing smoke and smoking chicken at low temp (rubber band skin mod)
Rescued 22.5" OTS. SJS Mini-WSM. HEB briqs (rebranded Royal Oak). Pecan/Hickory/Cherry/Apple/Peach woods.

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