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Howdy From Rural North Georgia

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    Howdy From Rural North Georgia

    My name is Brad, as the title suggests I live in rural North Georgia. I am very new to BBQ and smoking, but I really gotten into it big time lately! In fact I ain't even been cooking at all very long, honestly. I never learned to cook growing up, but in 2015 my then-girlfriend now-wife encouraged me to start learning and I really took to it fast. I liked the prep, I liked the procedure, and most of all I liked that I could fix my food and flavor it just the way I wanted. I was sick of eating out all the time and fixing processed/frozen junk at home anyways. I started out by taking in the basics on YouTube, learning by doing, that sort of thing. I started learning and loving cast iron, and quickly I started grilling and really took a liking to that.

    I just had a super cheap charcoal grill, but it was enough to learn the very basics and I made a lot of good stuff: hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, etc. I was grilling out several nights a week, at this point the girlfriend who encouraged me initially to learn to cook had married me, and she was encouraging me even more by now...we were starting to eat pretty good around here, after all! It soon became imperative to upgrade, as that old cheap grill was falling apart. It was rusting all over, there was screws loose, one of the wheels at the base was missing. It was "well used," I would say, in the same way that a book you've read so many times the spine is completely cracked is "well read." Time to get a new one.

    I had no idea what to look for in a new grill, we just started to going to places like Home Depot and looking in the grilling section, but I didn't really know what all I was browsing and honestly it all looked good to me. Also, we didn't have a whole lot of money, we're just ordinary working class folks and money was and is always tight. BUT, Christmas was coming up, and my parents were starting to ask us what we might want for Christmas that year. I said "we'd really love a new grill, ours is falling apart." What I didn't know when I told them that, was that my dad at the time was really wanting to buy himself a Big Green Egg. He'd been looking at them for a few weeks and was about to pull the trigger on one. I didn't know what a Big Green Egg was then, and lord knows we wouldn't have been able to afford one, but fate is funny sometimes...and so when they heard that gift request my dad decided to be extra generous that holiday season and instead of buying a Big Green Egg for himself, he bought two of them, one for himself and one for us. So for Christmas 2018, we got a Large Big Green Egg. This is the best Christmas present I've ever received in my entire life!

    This thing changed my life, it took my journey of learning how to cook from a hobby to a full-on obsession. I was cooking on the Big Green Egg every chance I got. It didn't matter if it was raining, I would cover it up with a giant deck umbrella and cook on it anyways. When I had downtime at work I was watching Big Green Egg videos on YouTube. I would scout town for the best deals on lump charcoal, and I meticulously cleaned it out and made sure to not waste an ounce of the leftover fuel. I would (and still do) separate my lump charcoal according to big pieces, smaller pieces, and even used lump charcoal to add back later. The spent ash goes into my wife's compost for our gardening; waste not, want not. Everything I had previously made on the cheap charcoal grill I made on the Egg, but it was better and I made so many new things, it was world-changing for me. I started to level up my game in various ways including, crucially, stopping trusting the dial thermometer on top and getting an internal temperature probe. It wasn't long before I discovered and dived straight into smoking on it...

    The first thing I smoked was ground beef, as part of a recipe "over the top chili." This is where you put your chili guts in a dutch oven below the grill grates, then smoke the ground beef on the grates on top of that so all the drippings & goodness falls into the chili, then when the ground beef is done smoking you mash it up and add it into the dutch oven with the guts. It was so good, I was blown away! My wife loved it too, I made it quite often -- so frequently we started getting tired of chili lol. I smoked various stuff; some veggies, I even did some brisket which despite being told was very difficult turned out great after doing lots of research ahead of time & following directions, being prepared, and being patient. All of this bring us to the topic that led me to discover this website and behooved me to post all of this here...RIBS!!

    So for ribs, I hit up YouTube and the internet like usual, and I frequently encountered the "3-2-1 method" and/or the "2-2-1 method”. Throw the ribs on for 3 or 2 hours depending on the cut of meat, then wrap it up in foil with some beer & other stuff and put that on for 2 hours, then another hour out of the foil. This advice is all over the place online, and tutorial videos about it abound. So I tried this with my first rack of babybacks. I put 'em on for 2 hours, wrapped in foil and put some beer + brown sugar & stuff in there with them and put that on for 2 hours, then a final hour out of the foil again. The results were...underwhelming. Not awful but not what I expected from ribs. They were kinda mushy, they'd felt as if they'd almost been steamed or boiled or something. I wasn't demoralized or deflated, but I knew they could have (should have!) been a lot better so I just started watching a lot more videos and reading more.

    The breakthrough came when I saw a video where a guy did it for like 2.5 hours initially, then 1.25 hours only in foil, then out of the foil to finish. I tried this, only an hour and a quarter in foil and the result was noticeably better. I started doing my ribs with less time in the foil, and they started getting tastier. The trend was obvious, so I hit the internet researching the issue. That's how I found this site. I stumbled across Meathead's "Famous Last Meal Ribs" recipe, and I dove into a lot of the other links and resources on this site including how to know the ribs are done, and a whole lot of other stuff. One reason I was doing ribs research at this time, is that my wife and I were having two friends up for the holidays (this was yesterday), and I had bought two racks of babyback ribs from the local butcher that I was gonna smoke for them.

    I decided to forego the foil entirely, as suggested by the Famous Last Meal recipe, and I followed it to the letter. My god, they were the best racks I ever done. They were delicious, truly amazing...our friends were blown away! It was a great night, we had good drinks, my wife had made some collard greens & cornbread to go with it, everyone had a full belly & a smile on their face. At one point during supper they started asking me about "what is Georgia BBQ like compared to other regions?" which confused me as I had no idea why they'd ask me this or how I would answer. I was kinda perplexed by the question honestly. Then it hit me...the ribs were so damn good they assumed I was some kind of expert or pitmaster or something, LMAO! I told them I didn't really know, wasn't an expert, just a home cook who could follow directions online haha.

    So I wanted to make an account here, and share all of this. Sorry the post was so long, but I was really passionate about sharing all this and I can't wait to get more into this site and this forum. I intend to sign up for the yearly subscription once I get my paycheck at the end of the month, and I look forward to getting to know y'all and learning a whole lot more. I included a pic of those ribs from yesterday. I took this picture right before I added the sauce to glaze at the very tail end. You can see, I put a small spattering of extra rub on, this was right before I sauced them. In case you're wondering, I cut both racks in half to make them fit easier over the drip/water pan. I don't know if that's necessary, but I figure it probably didn't hurt much. They sure were tasty!
    Attached Files
    Last edited by BradNorthGA; December 12, 2020, 10:32 PM.

    For my next thing I'm hoping to work on for the Big Green Egg, I was recently at Kroger and they were having their turkeys on sale at a deep discount (since Thanksgiving is over). I snagged this one for like 15 bucks. I am hoping to smoke it on the Big Green Egg, not really sure the best way to go about prepping and doing it -- would love some recipes and tips from y'all!
    Attached Files


      Hi and welcome from north Texas.
      And we have a winner! Longest post I’ve ever read. Your passion for smoking is great. I don’t have an egg, but I’ve never wrapped ribs. Good luck with the turkey. You’ll get plenty of free advice and direction here. Meathead has several article and recipes on turkey.


        Welcome from Colorado, Brad ...


          Hello from Chico, Ca!


            Take a look at this for the turkey



              Wow. What a great intro. I am so glad you are here and welcome from Chicagoland! Looking forward to seeing more of your cooks.


                Welcome from Farmville, Va...


                  Welcome to the pit from the bbq capital of New England, Massachusetts


                    Welcome from Wisconsin. Glad you could join us!
                    I love your enthusiasm and passion! Can't wait to hear more. Just remember, the rule here is, without pictures, it didn't happen. For instance, you say you got married, but I didn't see any wedding pics... Just saying.


                      Welcome from Virginia!


                        Howdy from Kansas Territory, Welcome to Th Pit!

                        Lookin forward to learnin along with, an from ya!


                          Welcome to the pit from Southern Illinois!


                            Welcome from Minnesota. Enjoy The Pit!


                              Welcome to the Pit from Dallas! I love my Big Green Egg, too!



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