Dad's Bar B Q
Southern Style

In the deep South where I live, most every little town has a bar b q house where on any given day you can enjoy pork, beef, or chicken bar b q, and usually each Pit Master has his own special bar b q sauce.

     I have been cooking  and smoking different types of meat for over 40 years now, and have a yard full of hungry people when the dinner bell rings when I am cooking  8)

     This site is for those of you interested in learning how to smoke meat, the different flavors and recipes, plus many varied and different techniques for making mouth watering bar b q.

The first step is to understand that there is a big difference between cooking on a grill and cooking bar b q; grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, takes 30 minutes and you are ready to eat; pit cooked bar b q, depending on what you are cooking, can take up to 12 hours.

Being from the south, bar b q was a fairly regular part of our diet. During my teens I discovered a show called "Louisiana Cooking" and a fellow by the name of Justin Wilson; it wasn't long before watching his cooking show on Saturday afternoon was a given. My Dad used to pick at me because I would sit there with pencil and paper, taking notes on how he would prepare each dish, especially if it was something he was putting in the smoker.

I bought my first smoker, a Brinkman vertical barrel smoker, when I was 17 years old; 42 years later I have one the size of a pick up truck bed 8)

This first one is a good starter setup for home use, sold by KingsFord, is relatively inexpensive, and can be used as both a grill or smoker for the weekend cook.

Kingsford Barrel

Now this one is for serious cooking, manufactured by Old Country, and can be used to cook several different types of meat at the same time.

Old Country Vertical Pit

The type of pit you use doesn't make that much difference once you become skilled at smoking; however, the type of wood does play a major role in the way your bar b q tastes.
The type of wood used dictates flavor of the meat, and there is a wide variety to choose from; traditionally, in the south the wood of choice is hickory; for a sweeter flavor pecan can be used, or apple wood, peach, cherry, mesquite, or white oak, maple, or alder.

 To smoke meat for bar b q you want a slow steady heat with a lot of smoke, somewhere around 225 degrees; you can either burn straight wood as used in traditional pits or use a combination of charcoal and water soaked wood ; you want the smoke to penetrate into the meat as it slowly cooks.

When you cut into the meat the outside should be a rich caramel color and the smoke color should be a quarter to a half inch deep; you want to keep the heat around 225 for a number of reasons; it allows the smoke flavor and seasoning to penetrate the meat, it slowly roasts the meat without drying it out, making for tender eating.

For pork barbecue, the preferred cut for sandwiches and general use is shoulder, or Boston Butt as it is commonly called; it cooks out and renders well, is easy to pull or chop, and has enough fat to make cooking it relatively easy; hams and tenderloins,whether boneless or pork chops/standing rib roasts, require more diligence and attention to prevent over-cooking or scorching.

Ribs are another matter; perfect ribs are a work of art, require no sauce, and are so tender the bones fall out when you pick them up, leading to sticky fingers and a pile of bones.

In each section we will cover different types of meat, different cuts of each, varied styles of cooking, and various seasonings and sauces along with the myriad diverse types of cookers available.

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