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: Barbecue in 3 Hours . . . . From: Jeff,
Subject: BBQ Wood & The Utah State Fair
I come before You, Lord of Life, Descendant of Buddha, Supreme Arbiter of the Ebb and Flow of the Tide, Brother of the Moon, Half-Brother of the Sun, Possessor of the Twenty-Four Gilded Umbrellas, Spitter in the Golden Spittoon with two questions.
1. Out here in Utah good BBQ wood is pretty hard to come by. (Walmart 5 bucks for ten pounds. Got any good sources? Will charcoal and a few baseball pieces of hickory do the magic to a brisket? It'seems to be working... but if there's a better way , I'm all ears.
2. The fine folks at the Utah State Fair have decided to hold their first ever BBQ Cookoff. I got so excited I almost spilled my sauce. That's the good news. The bad news is that they're only allowing 3 hours for prep and cooking-including the marinade.
Got any suggestions on what to cook?
It's always nice to hear from a properly respectful devotee.
1. Actually, what you are doing is the best way. Too much wood spoils the meat. Good charcoal is really sufficient to provide the flavor in most cases. A handfull of green twigs from oak, hickory, maple, alder will give a boost.
Indigenous Gambrel Oak, Boxelder (maple family) and Quaking Aspen ought to work. I've never cooked with aspen. Why don't you burn some down into charcoal, try it and tell me how it works. I'm certain other suitable species, apple, pecan, etc have been transplanted to the area. Offer to help their owners trim them up.
2. I don't care what the fine folk at the Utah State Fair call it, it won't be barbecue. You might be able to barbecue small chickens, quartered, in 3 hours, but that's about it. Why don't you download the definitions in "According to Smoky" and send it to the high mucky-muck. You have my permission to tell them that even Joseph Smith would not try to barbecue in 3 hours. As long as you post a sign on your cooking site "This is a grilling contest - not a barbecue contest" I roast a well seasoned prime rib. That way you and your friends would have a good meal and you might collect up enough folk to organize a real barbecue cook-off.