The BBQ Guy Blog 

BBQ Smokers

A lot of people ask me about smokers.

I've got three of them: a custom made McCullough 2 x 2 upright water smoker with 5 cooking grates and commercial door latches, a Backwoods Smokers Party model upright water smoker, and a Weber Smokey Mountain water smoker. For the money, it's hard to be the Weber Smokey Mountain, affectionately known as the WSM or bullet smoker.

It looks like R2D2, but turns out some unbelievable bbq, if used correctly.

It's a versatile smoker and perfect for beginners. With two cooking racks you can easily cook up to 4 pork butts, 2 briskets or about 6-8 racks of ribs without too much difficulty (more with a rib rack). I started with a WSM and cooked on it a couple times per month before I started competing and still use it today.
Whether in competition, or in the backyard...the WSM is a quality smoker for a low price.

Some Information About Honey

I am sure many, if not most of you, use honey in one way or another when you bbq. You should carefully consider where you purchase your honey.

I purchase my clover honey from by brother-in-law. The bee hives are located in a remote area on a farm with huge fields of clover and a fresh water spring nearby. It's some of the best honey found anywhere. He's been keeping bees for about 10 years, has a biology degree and works for a government agency. He's a part-time beekeeper, but I consider him very knowledgeable. After being around the beekeeping process for a few years, I will never purchase honey from a grocery store again.

Some interesting facts about honey:

Much of the store bought honey is being sold with corn syrup mixed in it. It's often labeled as "100% domestic". Some of the honey is being cut with corn syrup to make it go farther.

Even honey labeled as "100% pure" can still have chemicals in it.

Use caution if purchasing "imported" honey.

Beekeepers use chemicals or "medicine" in their hives to help the bees. However, these chemicals should be removed from the hives prior to the honey-flow. If you purchase honey from a private producer, ask them what types of chemicals they are using and how they use them in their hives.

Dark honey is more common than honey with a real light color, especially in the southeastern U.S.

Ask your beekeeper where his hives are located. Better yet, visually inspect the location if possible. The surroundings have a profound effect on what potential contaminants might be in your honey.

Children under the age of 3 or 4 should not eat honey. It can be harmful to their digestion and, in some cases, serious consequences can result.

Honey doesn't spoil, but it can ferment if harvested too early.

A little known honey fact: The ancient Egyptians used honey as a antiseptic. They used it on cuts and abrasions to help fend off infection.

Building a BBQ Trailer

For two years I have dreamed about having a bbq trailer to use in competition and to haul my equipment in. This past winter, Linda and I decided that it was time to make the dream a reality.

Here are a few pictures of the construction process. It's not a completed trailer yet, but stage one has been completed including insulation, white board, lights, breaker box, electrical outlets, and linoleum.

bbq trailer construction.jpg

bbq trailer.jpg

bbq trailer2.jpg

You'll notice that was the one doing most of the supervising and not much of the working. I'll be the first to admit that I am not very good with tools. I'm lucky that my father, Tom, and brother-in-law, Jeff, were able to do most the work for me. My brother, Brent, also pitched in.

Stay tuned for more pictures as the process continues.

Whole Brisket

I just picked up a 11 lb Certified Angus Brisket (CAB) brisket on Thursday evening. I plan on cooking it this weekend. I think the CAB is better for competition, but sometimes I've had to cook non-CAB "Choice" packers and flats. It pays to call ahead for the CAB, because there is certainly a noticeable difference.

We're tuning up for our first contest scheduled for Winchester, TN the weekend of April 20.

New BBQ Trailer Has Arrived

Here are some pictures our our new competition bbq trailer.

Backing in.jpg

BBQ trailer.jpg

Test drive.jpg

I hope to post some pictures of the interior soon.

Gardening, peppers and poker

Linda says I always go overboard on everything, but it’s the only way I usually do anything—to excess. It keeps life interesting.

Today we purchased several packets of pepper seeds and a germination tray. We’re going to have pepper plants coming out of the woodwork in 10-12 days I guess. I got some jalapenos (medium), a mixture of grand bells (big variety), purple bells, standard bell, serrano (hot), sweet banana, jalapeno (hot) and a packet of chili pepper. We threw in some bunching onions for good measure. Most of the packets suggest planting in late April-early May and the time to harvest is about 70-80 days. Come September we’ll be rolling in peppers I guess.

I think we’ll have more pepper plants than we need, but I can give them away if we can’t find a place to plant them. We’ve got a pretty good sized bed of soil and I’m going to make another patch behind the garage in an area that isn’t really being used for anything (and it’s kind of out the line of sight).

I told Linda this is my attempt at farming in the city.

When I was a kid we always had a huge garden. It really cut down on the grocery bill. We would work our garden and then go work both grandparents’ gardens too. We were big potato eaters (and still are). We had about 15-20 rows of potatoes to hoe and hill every year. I hated doing all that back then, but looking back on it, I kind of miss things like that sometimes.

Last night I went to play Texas Hold’em in a friendly home game. It was fun. I hope I get the chance to do it again sometime. I was a “fill-in” for a guy that was on vacation in Florida. The group has been playing for a couple years and I’ve only watched in TV and played it on video games here and there, but it’s kind of fun. I definitely learned a lot.

BackYard Chef's BBQ Blog

I've added a new link to the links section. Check out BackYard Chef's BBQ Blog.

Backyard Chef Blog

The BBQ Hobby

My goal is try to show people that you don't start out winning. Winning takes time. Unfortunately, bbq isn't a hobby that you can throw a lot of money at and be guaranteed success. A lot of people do that, but end up disappointed. We do it for fun and if we get our name called here and there or a trophy or a check or too, then that's a bonus.

Added A New BBQ Blog Link

I have added the following link to the external links section of this site.

Visit Ford Alison and check out his new bbq blog.

Ford Alison's BBQ Blog

Wusthof Knives

I have always heard the the difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.

I just ordered a new Wusthof 10 inch slicer for slicing up brisket. I have been using an electric knife, and it works pretty well, but I am looing forward to the option of slicing it by hand too.

A word to the wise, shop around for this type of knife because they are not cheap. I have been looking for a couple months and saved myself about 20 bucks by shopping around.

Also all knives are not the same quality. Just because it might say Wusthof or Henckels, does not mean it is really a Wusthof or Henckels quality German made steel. There are people that license the name, but that do not use German steel. I have seen China and Spain stamped on those knives for a lot less money, but they are not the real deal.

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