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100 tips from pitmasters

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  • Sephon
    Club Member
    • Jan 2017
    • 198
    • NW, PA
    • Setup
      • Primo Oval XL
      • Charbroil 990 w/ Custom Firebox
      • Fireboard w/ Fireboard Drive
      • Pit Viper Fan
      • iGrill 2
      • Thermapen Mk. 4
      • FOGO Premium Lump Charcoal
      Favorites
      Beer: Sam Adams Octoberfest
      Whiskey: Bulleit ; Weller 12
      Cook: Wings or Spare Ribs
      Hobby: Saltwater Fly fishing; Warhammer 40k

    #31
    Your results will only be as good as the quality of meat you use.

    Comment

    • au4stree
      Former Member
      • Aug 2018
      • 554
      • Birmingham, AL

      #32
      Can't add much that hasn't already been said, but for me when I mastered 2 zone cooking, I felt like I arrived.

      Comment

      • GirlGrilling
        Former Member
        • Oct 2019
        • 13

        #33
        Trim your packer brisket (or any other kind of beef) while it’s SUPER COLD. So many You-Tubers bring the brisket out of the fridge and then start talking interminably about what they’re going to do, and why. By the time they get around to trimming the dang thing, the fat is at room temp. Good luck keeping your fingers with that technique.

        Comment

        • DurhamBuckeye
          Club Member
          • Jul 2019
          • 20
          • Durham, NC

          #34
          Never "yuck" other people's "yums"

          Translation: Like what you like and let someone else like what they like without critique

          Comment

          • Bkhuna
            Club Member
            • Apr 2019
            • 466
            • Merritt Island Florida

            #35
            Don't be in hurry.

            BBQ will almost never be ready at the time you invite everyone over. Start earlier than you think.

            Comment

            • Cheef
              Club Member
              • Oct 2015
              • 587

              #36
              Cook to YOUR liking and the liking of your guests. Competition is a whole different game than enjoying at the table.
              Throw the rules and expectations out the window and go for it.
              (NEVER forget to throw hot dogs or good sausage into the mix.)
              Last edited by Cheef; October 29, 2019, 09:07 PM.

              Comment

              • tbob4
                Charter Member
                • Nov 2014
                • 2259
                • Chico, CA
                • BBQ's
                  _____________________
                  California Custom Smokers Intensive Cooking Unit
                  California Custom Smokers Meat Locker
                  Santa Maria Grill
                  Vision Grill

                  Beer
                  _______________________
                  Sierra Nevada IPA

                  Wood
                  _______________________
                  Almond
                  Oak
                  Madrone
                  Cherry
                  Peach
                  Apple

                #37
                Everyone else's advice is much better but I have found that the Cambro has become one of my best friends. It used to be a device I used when I cooked too early. I now use it as a tool. I rest large meats for at least an hour any many times more, on purpose, in my Cambro. I have found it has added a dimension to my cooking.

                Comment

                • Ahumadora
                  Club Member
                  • Oct 2015
                  • 2051
                  • Pilar Buenos Aires, Argentina

                  #38
                  Still working on the 100 tips page for my site.
                  Found some good ones the other day. @thesmokybird on instagram

                  The hotter you cook a brisket, the higher the finishing internal temp will usually be. This particular brisket was smoked between 275-300 and as you can see didn’t probe fully tender in the thick part of the flat until 208 degrees. That is admittedly a little higher than they usually finish for me when I cook more in my normal 250-275 range. If I had pulled it at 203 or even 205, it would have not been properly done and ended up on the tougher side. Cook a true “hot and fast” brisket (325-375) and it will most likely need to go up to 210-215 IT to reach a fully probe tender state. When you cook hotter (nothing wrong with that BTW), the meat temp will rise much faster but it still needs enough time to break down the connective tissue and render the fat...and this does not occur as early as it normally would. In this scenario, collagen that has not converted to gelatin is the visible filmy like substance that holds the meat strands together while unrendered fat will look more white in color. Conversely, cook one at 200-225 degrees for the entire cook and your finishing IT will most likely be in the high 190’s to low 200’s (200-201). The opposite is true here as the “low and slow” brisket has ample time to take care of all that connective tissue and intramuscular fat. The science is in how the meat cooks. The art is knowing how to cook it. Change your cooking method and you better understand how that will affect the actual cook. This is only one example. One other suggestion is to absolutely make sure you rest any brisket you cook hotter (275+) long enough to allow the IT to come down quite a bit so as to not exacerbate the carryover cooking situation that will come with it. If you cooked a brisket at 350 degrees it wouldn’t be a surprise to see it rise another 5-10 degrees when done if thrown heavily wrapped right into an airtight cooler...you could easily end up in an overcooked state at this point.
                  Last edited by Ahumadora; June 11, 2020, 09:05 AM.

                  Comment


                  • ecowper
                    ecowper commented
                    Editing a comment
                    this story makes the point that consistency, time, AND temperature all matter for BBQ. It's not just one or two of those things, but all three.
                • ecowper
                  Founding Member
                  • Jul 2014
                  • 3192
                  • Maple Valley, WA
                  • Grill = Hasty-Bake Gourmet Dual Finish
                    Smoke = Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5"

                    Thermometer = FireBoard FBX11 with 2 ambient and 6 meat probes
                    Thermometer = Maverick ET732
                    Thermometer = ThermoWorks Chef Alarm
                    Thermapen Mk IV = Light blue
                    Thermapen Classic = Grey
                    PID Controller = Fireboard Drive + Auber 20 CFM Fan

                    Favorite cook = Tri-Tip for the grill, whole packer brisket for the smoker
                    Favorite wine = a good Bordeaux with steak, a good Syrah with pork, or a nice bottle of Champagne or California sparkling wine
                    Favorite beer = Sam Adams Boston Lager or Shiner Bock
                    Favorite whisky = Lagavulin 16 year old single malt

                    Best Cookbooks - Meathead's "The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", Chris Lilly's "Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book", Aaron Franklin's "Franklin BBQ"


                    Eric Cowperthwaite aka ecowper

                  #39
                  Biggest learnings I've had

                  - plan your cook before hand, know what you are going to do, and mise en place.

                  - Consistency is the critical element, especially when cooking with live fire. Whether we are talking wood, charcoal, or gas .... do it the same way, maintain the temperature consistently ..... this does not, by the way, mean to chase a precise, exact temperature. Get to where ou want your temp and then do the things that keep your temp at that point in a consistent way (vents, additional fuel, etc)

                  - Everything can be grilled or smoked. Cooking over live fire is what all cooks did until the past 100 years, or so.

                  - BBQ is always better with beans :-)

                  - BBQ is the ultimate comfort food

                  - Learn how to make your own base ingredients, like chicken and beef stock, sauces, rubs, bacon .... they taste far better than anything you buy that was made in a food factory and the joy of doing it is amazing

                  - Mastering BBQ is mostly about experience. You won't get experience without trying, and trying will mean failing sometimes. That's okay. I've learned far more from my failures than from my successes.
                  Last edited by ecowper; June 11, 2020, 12:46 PM.

                  Comment


                  • Mr. Bones
                    Mr. Bones commented
                    Editing a comment
                    All very good tips, an I definitely agree!

                    An, yup; BBQ is always better with Beans! lol!
                    Last edited by Mr. Bones; June 11, 2020, 02:22 PM.
                • smokenoob
                  Club Member
                  • Dec 2017
                  • 1021
                  • Gulf Breeze, Florida

                  #40
                  Know “your” cook temp. Often times I look up cook temps and find they suggest higher than I like. Especially on pork, I like a little pink and haven’t ever got that trickynosis granny warned me about.....


                  and eggs.......sunny side up please!!!
                  Last edited by smokenoob; June 11, 2020, 01:04 PM.

                  Comment

                  • FireMan
                    Charter Member
                    • Jul 2015
                    • 7620
                    • Bottom of Winnebago

                    #41
                    If’n ya don’t use sugar, as in rubs or sauces, BBQ becomes the ultimate health food.

                    Comment


                    • smokenoob
                      smokenoob commented
                      Editing a comment
                      If’n ya do use sugar, as in rubs or sauces, BBQ becomes the ultimate food!
                  • BBQPhil
                    Club Member
                    • Sep 2017
                    • 200
                    • San Diego, CA
                    • Yoder480, BGE, WeberGO, WeberGas

                    #42
                    Don't rely on built-in thermometers. For bbq meats, use quality probes to monitor the meat and then rely on softness before temperature.

                    Comment

                    • RichieB
                      Club Member
                      • Apr 2018
                      • 1367
                      • Western Mass

                      #43
                      Yep, beans and a campfire are a perfect match ecowper. Here is proof.

                      https://youtu.be/UsY5LcocgQ4

                      Comment


                      • Dan Deter
                        Dan Deter commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I was so hoping that's what you were linking to. Love that movie!

                      • smokenoob
                        smokenoob commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Crap! I can’t unhear that.......
                    • ecowper
                      Founding Member
                      • Jul 2014
                      • 3192
                      • Maple Valley, WA
                      • Grill = Hasty-Bake Gourmet Dual Finish
                        Smoke = Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5"

                        Thermometer = FireBoard FBX11 with 2 ambient and 6 meat probes
                        Thermometer = Maverick ET732
                        Thermometer = ThermoWorks Chef Alarm
                        Thermapen Mk IV = Light blue
                        Thermapen Classic = Grey
                        PID Controller = Fireboard Drive + Auber 20 CFM Fan

                        Favorite cook = Tri-Tip for the grill, whole packer brisket for the smoker
                        Favorite wine = a good Bordeaux with steak, a good Syrah with pork, or a nice bottle of Champagne or California sparkling wine
                        Favorite beer = Sam Adams Boston Lager or Shiner Bock
                        Favorite whisky = Lagavulin 16 year old single malt

                        Best Cookbooks - Meathead's "The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", Chris Lilly's "Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book", Aaron Franklin's "Franklin BBQ"


                        Eric Cowperthwaite aka ecowper

                      #44
                      Last thought that might be interesting to your folks ....

                      What we call BBQ today, and treat as some unique cooking art, 100 years ago was just known very simply as cooking

                      Comment

                      • JoeSousa
                        Club Member
                        • Sep 2016
                        • 852
                        • Spokane, WA

                        #45
                        Even if you aren't 100% happy with the final product it will probably be the best barbecue your guests will eat this year. Make no apologies.

                        In the end we are cooking weird hunks of tough meat over a controlled natural disaster. It won't always work out the way we want but even in those situations it can be pretty darn good and sometimes better than if everything goes right.

                        Comment


                        • TripleB
                          TripleB commented
                          Editing a comment
                          How true. I seem to always be apologizing for my BBQ when we have guests. They love it, but I’m whining that it’s too overdone (falls off the bone) or underdone (too much tug), too little heat, not enough salt, too dark, etc, etc. It’s just not perfect according to my standards. My brother once told me to “shut up and pass some more chicken”.
                          Last edited by TripleB; June 12, 2020, 03:15 PM.

                        • Ricardo
                          Ricardo commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Excellent points here. We are our own worst critic!!! It’s best to try and turn that switch off. I get the same from my family. They enjoy my BBQ fixings and that’s very rewarding, but I seem to always start off finding something I could have done better.

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