The trouble with barbeque

“Trouble” might be too strong a word, really. It’s more of a minor inconvenience.

The problem is this: the large smoker – which, by the way, I adore – is more suitable for large jobs. A wide expanse of grill area, a large smoker box: it’s perfect for smoking 40 pounds of ribs at a time. Or even about 20. But the smoker is fickle. It also requires babysitting, to keep the fire fed and to try to keep the temperature in the desired range. Things that take quite a long time to smoke, like a pork butt, which can take up to 18 hours, require a lot of fuel and a lot of attention every 20 minutes to keep things where they should be. If the weather changes abruptly, as when a sudden storm rolls up from the west, bringing much cooler with it, even more adjustments have to be made to keep the smoker aimed at its target. In addition to that, for smaller jobs like the aforementioned pork butt, or if I wanted to smoke a chicken or small turkey, or anything else, it leads to a lot of waste (of heat, of fuel, of time) for a smaller portion. This is why we as a family don’t have homemade barbeque more often. And forget about cold smoking anything, like bacon or sausages or fish. It just isn’t suitable for that kind of job.

Continue reading The trouble with barbeque