Thursday, June 22, 2006 

Father's Day BBQ

Hi Folks,

Just a short, boring, pictureless blurb. I hosted the second of an annual tradition this past Sunday - the Father's Day Barbecue!

Unlike many of you who only have one, perhaps two father-type figures in your life, I'm blessed with bunches. I have the good old hereditary father, a step-father, a father-in-law and a bunch of uncles who I bond with. I'm a lucky guy.

Knowing how lucky I am to have so many father figures that I cherish and enjoy, I figured that there's no better way to say "thanks for being part of my life" than a big, fat, barbecue!

So, after I got home from a gig on Saturday night, I sparked up my new baby (see post below) and put on nearly 22# of meat. A beef brisket and a pork shoulder were the meats of the day.

The timing of things forced me to speed up the last two hours of cooking by transferring my meat, foil wrapped, into the oven, but it all came out swimmingly. Alas, I had left my camera at work, so I've got no tasty pictures to show y'all.

But I can assure you - the food was spectacular. Kudos to Farmer Girl for the deviled eggs, baked beans and corn bread. And to our roommate’s mom for the excellent potato salad.

I hope everyone had as great a father's day as I did. Next up for me is some sort of father's day celebration my wife and son want to give me. I'm hogging all their fun with this barbecue, so they're going to do something for me this Sunday as a make-up for not getting to do anything for me on the actual holiday. Truth be told though, just having my family there and getting help from my wife was gift enough!



Friday, June 02, 2006 

Say Hello to My Little Friend!

Well folks, I have finally moved up in the world of smokers! A week ago today, me and fellow HHBBQ Teamster Old Bull made the 2.5 hour trek down to Newburyport Mass to see a man about a smoker, a "Backwoods Smoker" to be precise.

I met my first Backwoods Smoker (BWS) at the Harpoon competition last year. My neighbors, Feeding Freindz, were running two "Party" model BWS's and when I got a good look at them, I was smitten. An insulated smoker with good capacity for under $100? How could I not be taken by such a thing?

So, I've been saving my comp-time for the past three months and finally had enough saved up to cash it out and go meet up with the New England BWS distributers, Rick and D.J. Surrette. Rick and D.J. run the BBQ team "Seabrisket". They now their shit, and have the trophies to show for it. In fact, if you look at this year's Memphis in May results (if you don't know, this is one of the biggest events in the BBQ world - over 200 teams compete), you'll see that they placed #2 in the Tomato-based sauce category. They also were pleased with their 15th place finish in beef brisket - no small feat against nearly 250 teams!

Rick and D.J. are clearly good people, and they treated me and the Old Bull quite well. We got the opportunity to take a look at their BWS setup. They use four of the smallest BWS available, the "Patio" model. One for each type of meat in the competition. Their setup is quite cool. I think the Old Bull has found a smoker that he'd like to buy!

From Rick and D.J. I bought the BWS "Party" model and the "BBQ Guru", a thermostat/fan attachment that will regulate the draft on a BWS (and other smokers as well) automatically. The total price was just over $1000, the most I've ever spent on equipment for Barbecue! I have to tell you, though - it was worth every penny.

Here's a pic of me and my new unit:

I didn't have the time to use the smoker until Memorial Day. I threw an 11lb. Brisket into it, two dozen eggs and an 8lb turkey.

With the Guru running and the well insulated BWS keeping the heat in, I have to tell you that I didn't know what to do with myself! I'm used to having to ride herd on the temperature in my old smokers. This one, though - not so much. I kept a steady temp for at least six hours before I had to even consider adding more charcoal. I think it could go longer.

So, to wrap things up - if you're in New England and you're looking for a new smoker but don't want to pay $2500 for a tow-behind your truck type of smoker, I couldn't recommend buying a BWS from the folks at Seabrisket more. They're selling them as a favor to those of us who dig this sort of thing. I urge you to take advantage of what they're offering!

Keep Smokin'