Inspired by Patrons of the Pit, hubby Dean recently decided he was going to become a master smoker of the BBQ pit as well. His enthusiasm was catching and the next thing I knew, I was on eBay scouring the pages for a Weber Charcoal Kettle BBQ. Within a couple of days, a $38 Weber BBQ had found itself a new home.
It was obviously meant to be as smoking has become an obsession. One weekend without a smoke and he goes into withdrawal. He even has a special smoking flannel jacket.
Of course, the only way to accurately capture his thoughts as he smokes away is to ask him. He has been smoking for a while now but here he talks about his first smoking experience.
You now have a wood fired oven, a weber kettle charcoal and smoking BBQ and a weber q gas BBQ. Is there anything else you think you need to complete your outdoor cooking life?
More BBQs of course! Is there such a thing as too many? It’s like different colours to a painter – a bit of this a bit of that. They’re just tools and a man can’t have too many tools.
What is your experience with the weber kettle?
I’d imagine it’s like flying an old plane. No fancy stuff – just a lid and two vents. They are temperamental but reliable as hell. Turn your back on it and it’ll steal your beer! I think you should be allowed to wear flying goggles to work one.
What were your first thoughts when you realised the meat was done?
How unbelievably easy and basic it was. Just a man, his vents and the meat! I cut it to see if I had done it correctly and there they were – the infamous smoke rings!! It was akin to taming a great white shark in my mind.
You made your own smoker. How did you go about achieving that?
Well I got the idea from YouTube. It’s basically a bent piece of sheet metal with some holes in it. I like eBay and the like but if I want something I don’t have the patience to wait by the mailbox for 3-7 working days! So I set to making one. I cut, drilled and bent this piece of metal into a sculpture! Well – I had a guy bend it for me. He has a machine that does that so there was instant respect between us – me as artist and him as artisan…
What would you do differently next time?
Well – Michelangelo I’m sure had no regrets with David. My smoker as a sculpture will be the only one. No regrets – it’s perfect
What will you smoke next?
Any dead animal is fair game. Free range dead animals of course.
Explain the process
It’s more of a state of mind than a process. Low and slow is the rule we smokers follow like disciples. Very low temperature for a looooong time. Light up a few coals – add them to the rest of the coals in the smoker. Add the water and add the meat. Throw on some wood chips and watch the smoke fire up. Then it’s like flying the plane. Turning the vents one way and another to keep the temp as low as possible.
How long did it take to get going, light the coals ready for the meat?
Oh fucken days – it’s like waiting for something off eBay! But I use that time to meditate myself into the place I need to be. In that place you’d be booked for speeding if you were doing 12 miles an hour! It’s a place where eyelid muscles operate independently of your mind.
How do you ensure the temperature was maintained?
Well there’s no App for that! It’s something you learn and pass on to future generations. Like flying the old plane. You have two vents and that’s it! Open and close them in different increments and combinations and she swings around like a big ship. The temperature rises and falls and then steadies…maybe! Once she’s steady there is usually eye-lid malfunction.
Can you describe how you felt when you first tasted the meat
Well there’s smoked meat and then there is YOUR smoked meat! One of the proudest moments in your life. Best enjoyed on your own – just the smoke, the meat and you.
Were you pleased with the result?
Was Michelangelo pleased with David? When he stepped back and had a look at the finished thing – it had taken him a few years. There’s a smoker right there – a guy in no rush. Imagine how many BBQs he had in those couple of years.