I’m Chris Wilcox. You may remember me from such blogs as “Miracle Mets” and “Blue & Orange.” Or, you know me for some other reason. When I’m not participating in my favorite pasttime (bitching about the Mets), I’m participating in my second favorite pasttime: smoking delicious meats. This year, I got a Brinkman Vertical Propane Smoker for Christmas and so far, I’ve put it to good use.
This new obsession started about a year ago, when I was first introduced to the deliciousness of smoked ribs and smoked brisket. I started doing research about where to go to enjoy some of the best of these foods online, when I discovered that making your own smoked meals was not impossible for the layman, with some practice and some patience. I started small, by making pulled pork in a crock pot. After getting some rave reviews for my pork, I started doing some work with my dad in his BBQ pit in the backyard. We did a brisket and some ribs together, and it was fun, but I would have to go to my parents house if I wanted to keep making smoked meats that way, and that wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted to make these on my own.
So thanks to my parents generous Christmas gift, I now have the ability to make my own smoked meats whenever I want. This blog is going to be used to chart my progress. It’s more for my own use than anything else; I want to be able to log what I’ve done and how I did it, so I can improve upon future attempts. One of the first books I read, Backyard BBQ, the Art of Smokology, recommended keeping such logs. Unfortunately, I’m not the best note-keeper in the entire world, so I immediately dismissed that, but after some thought, a blog like this seems like a good idea.
Prior to the next entry in this blog, I have made two attempts at smoking. The first was a smoked pork butt on New Year’s Day, following much of the recipe listed in the Backyard BBQ book referenced above*. I didn’t improvise much there, as it was my first attempt at any sort of smoke, and the results were quite good; the shoulder was tender and juicy with a great smoke flavor, and the sauce and seasonings were perfect. The Backyard BBQ book is worth its cost for that recipe alone.
* – Just want to let everybody know, if I use a recipe verbatim from another published work, I will not include the recipe on the blog, as I’m pretty sure that’s a copyright violation. If I edit the recipe enough to where it’s my own variation, I will post the recipe, but cite the book as a source. I have two books that I’ve been leaning on more than others, and I expect that I will mention both frequently in the upcoming months.
The second was a smoked Buffalo beer can chicken, with many elements derived from the Chicken on a Throne recipe from the book Smoke and Spice: Cooking with Smoke, the Real Way to Barbeque. The chicken turned out fine, but the attempt at infusing a whole chicken with Buffalo flavoring didn’t really work. I would probably stick with a more standard beer can chicken recipe the next time I attempt that.
I will go into more detail in future entries, including pictures when applicable. If you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to add them. I consider all recipes listed to be a work in progress until I get them exactly right, so criticism is both welcome and appreciated. My goal is not to become a BBQ Pitmaster (though I love the show), but to produce quality barbeque in my own backyard. So far, I’ve been encouraged by the results, and with the help of this blog, I look to improve even more.