Well, you asked for it. Here, Smoky answers the most commonly asked questions. He is direct, honest and offers an insight into the time proven techniques to preparing great barbecue that is unavailable elsewhere. If you are unable to locate the exact answer you are seeking, feel free to contact him directly and ask!
He returns all questions . . . . . . .
Topic: I cooked a cooker full if BOSTON BUTTS today and nailed that sucker!
From: Chris Layne,
Subject: Re: SUCCESS
I cooked a cooker full if BOSTON BUTTS today. The top part of the shoulder. I nailed that succer!. I finally hit one right. They came out perfect. They were so good that I couldn't keep the kids and the wife away while I was pulling them. I have to admit I too "tasted " just a couple pieces of MR Brown.
The family and I vacationed in the OUTER BANKS of North Carolina this year and while there I sampled every Barbaque place I could find. I found one guy that had better Q than I make at home. The place is called "PIG MAN" (www.pigman.com) and he has a place on the strip in Nags Head. We talked a bit, without trading secrets, and I discussed the hams I cooked earlier this year. He told me the he only cooks the top part of the shoulder, that the bottom part doesn't have the marbleing that the butt has and is naturally drier than the butt. The same is true of the hams. (You also told me this.)
Well I finally ran out of the the hams I cooked this spring, and it was time to do some more Q. I have found what I think, is that, which I will call my Barbeque. The meat and cooking is just right and the finishing sauce is just about where I am going to keep it. (It is an Eastern Carolina style with vinegar and no tomatoes.)
Thank you for all your kind words of support and wisdom. I worked out many problems quickly thanks to your experence cooking.
Two secrets just for you from me.
1. Hardwood that has partially rotted (fermented) (spalted) will give the Q a slightly sweet taste all its own. (just like tobacco has to ferment before it is mild enough to smoke)
2. Instead of Worchestershire sauce in a recipe, try ANCHOVY PASTE instead (one quarter, by volume). It acts as a catylist and perks up the other flavoring components of a savory sauce, without necessarily adding a taste of its own.
Maybe next year I will look you up at Memphis in May.
Always good to hear of success stories.
Thanks for the tips. I don't cull hickory or oak. Anchovy paste is excellent for, as you say, acting as a catylist. You will find that oyster sauce adds a depth also.
I use very little Worcestershire any more and I used to buy it by the gallon a case at the time. Tastes change.
I also use apple butter in place of tomato and Worcestershire sometimes with pork.