According To Smoky
A Glossary of Outdoor Cooking
Words and Terms
Welcome to According to Smoky. Here you will find the latest and greatest from C. Clark "Smoky" Hale notable 'baster', author, publisher, television star in both the barbecue and 'the real' world.
Smoky will be offering his talents, techniques and secrets discovered over the last 150 years, or so. He will be to the point, pull no punches and if you suffer through the process, you will become a much better outdoor cook, turning out masterpiece meals for friends and family alike.
He begins our education with some important definitions in order for everyone to begin on the 'same page'. Each month he will be offering more information than you can get on a large size grill. We will archive each article so viewers can catch up with him. So, with no further adieu, we turn the mike to Smoky. You're on Smoky . . . . .
When I barbecued my first whole beef, Jacques Cousteau was still wearing water wings. I continued to barbecue and thought everybody else did until a good friend fractured that fantasy in the early '80s. I tried to buy a good book on barbecue as a gift for him. All I found in print was pretentious pap, prissily penned by pompous magazine food editors who didn't know barbecue from burgoo. To remedy that unacceptable condition, with the help of competent old basters and hard research, I produced "The Great American Barbecue Instruction Book," in 1985. In response to questions that kept coming, I wrote a weekly newspaper column on outdoor cooking for a few years and sort of become a non volunteer missionary for truth in barbecuing.
Central to the code of barbecuing is the canon of sharing. It is, in order to share, that barbecuers always cook more than they and their families can consume. The code also requires that those of us, to whom the basting mops were passed by the ancient keepers of the coals, share our knowledge of the art and science of barbecue.
When there were enough old basters, we could personally reach out and teach anyone who wanted to learn. We only paused to snigger at the modish melanges of meats and faddish fruits, grouped on a grill and artfully glistened with glycerin by fawning food stylists, and proffered as barbecue. We were content to let them simmer in their own catsup confections. But the metrics of Malthus no longer allow us the luxury of personal contact with all who really want the truth.
Therefore, we will use the newest technologies to pass along the ageless truths about outdoor cooking. I pledge to do that to the best of my ability and let the ashes fall where they may.
On occasion upon which food is barbecued.
Meat cooked in the dry heat of wood coals at temperatures around the boiling point of water (212*F at sea level). An essential distinction from other forms of cooking is the temperature at which it is cooked. The lower temperature allows the meat to become tender while preserving its natural juices and the exterior does not dry out before the center becomes done. The long cooking period allows for myriad savory seasonings and provides ample opportunity for pleasurable activities. The consummate barbecuer excels in the latter as much as the former.
Roasting over coals at temperatures in the 250-450*F range has been going on since mankind learned that meat tastes better:
(1) without the grit and ashes picked up from throwing it directly upon the coals.
(2) cooked over wood coals after the flames and smoke of noxious gasses
Broiling, 475-700*F, has only gained popularity since we started penning up range fed cattle and clogging up their arteries with cholesterol while adding enough fat interspersed with their muscle so that certain parts became chewable after quick cooking. Only cuts of beef from little used muscle are tender enough for broiling. The same goes for chicken. If you doubt me, find an organically grown, range fed chicken and throw it on the grill for broiling. Do that often enough and you will develop jaw muscles that even Arnold would envy.
Barbecue has been going on since certain southerners with a distinct fondness for strict compliance with the laws of conservation of energy discovered that a whole hog could be rendered tender, delicious and healthier by long, slow cooking while basting with a seasoned sauce.
Continued on Page 2
Smoky's 5th basic position for really great barbecue'n.
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