What to Write…?
Whether you’re new to the world of Low and Slow barbecue , or a well-seasoned Pitmaster, it’s fair to say we’re all pretty hooked on the craft. Please join me on my barbecue journey. I’ll be (hopefully!) moving from a novice backyard barbecue smoking enthusiast, to a fully blown master of the flame.
I’ve toyed with the idea of what to focus this article on for a few days now. Would you like to hear about competition style Barbecue and share ideas on how to get that perfect 180? Or perhaps it’d be good to cover the basics of fire management and how this affects your cook? The more I bounded these concepts around the more I realised something. These are important points, and we’ll certainly cover them from week to week. Firstly though, it’s good to address the why. By that I mean why is it we all love this hobby, or way of life, so much?
Who Am I?
To introduce myself, I’m Reece, lovingly known as Bear by my wife (Hence Smoking Bears BBQ!). My smoking journey started a little under a year ago. I’d been furloughed for a month from my job (Yes, the dreaded F word). Although my wife and I were renovating our house, we needed something for the downtime and to relax. Now, as we all probably know, this passion can be pretty expensive. Due to the aforementioned house renovation, expensive, was not ideal…Enter Lidl. Sitting at the kitchen table one sunny day, my wife’s voice came over the air. There was an exclamation, ‘The Lidl Middle, they have Mini Kamado Smokers on sale!’ Needless to say, half an hour later, and a lot of heavy lugging around the store, we’d secured the last unit for £80. Absolute bargain! (A gift from my wife I must add).
Cook 1 to Now
The first cook came a couple of days later, and it was terrible! Not knowing anything about smoking, I had effectively grilled a brisket for about 8 hours. Burnt base does not adequately describe it! But I loved it, and carried on learning and growing through both new helpful pieces of equipment, and online learning from seasoned Pitmasters, both are key factors in helping to hone the craft. I’m now happy to say that tender, juicy brisket, Pork and Ribs are all things I’ve managed to achieve. This is across both the Mini Kamado, as well as the Oklahoma Joe Highland I had invested in during November 2020. So why do we love this craft so much?
Well, there’s a lot of talk about our primal instinct. Cooking meat over fire speaks to those instincts and awakens something within us that we have moved away from during our evolution. However, for me personally, the love I have for Barbecue (Aside the taste and tenderness of the food!) is the company. Feeding family and friends. Bringing everybody together around great food that has been painstakingly cooked for hours and hours, well, there’s no better feeling. Now due to lockdown we haven’t been able to have that feeling much over the course of the last year! However, with 2021 looking like a better year for seeing people, this looks like a much more achievable goal! So please feel free to follow me on my journey, I’ll be posting on a weekly basis about the ups, and inevitably downs, of the BBQ world as I discover and continue to improve towards that coveted goal of the title ‘Pitmaster’.