I grew up in Northwest Indiana and as a kid, I don’t remember anyone cooking meat in a smoker. During the 1980’s everyone had a charcoal grill, and it seemed like gas grills were starting to become the rage, but then again, I was a teenager then and didn’t pay much attention to it. I do remember that everyone was grilling hotdogs and hamburgers, and, on occasion, an overcooked steak or pork chop was the norm but I didn’t know what true BBQ was until I moved to North Carolina.
That was 1990, when I had my first real BBQ sandwich, and yes, it was a life-changing experience! Here I was experiencing something that everyone in the South had been feasting on their entire lives! It appeared that I lived a sheltered life when it came to food, and I was going to find out more about this so-called BBQ!
Holy moly!! I never realized there were so many different styles of BBQ and techniques for cooking it, and what woods are used, to even the source of the heat, makes a difference in the results! This was all so fascinating to me and I wanted to try as much different BBQ as I possibly could!
Fast forward to 2014, and I’m living in middle Tennessee, enjoying smoked brisket and pulled pork whenever I can find it when my amazing wife suggested that I get a smoker to try my hand at making my own brisket and pork shoulders. I had been having a good amount of success on a gas grill cooking chicken, pork, steaks, and the summertime-staple hamburgers. I told her that I’d think about it, and I did, but the truth was that I was a little intimidated by it. I mean, that’s a lot of responsibility to cook a big piece of meat in a smoker, and what happens if I ruin it or it doesn’t taste good? Well, being the ever supportive woman that my wife is, she finally got tired of me trying to talk myself into it and made the decision for me by giving me a Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker for Christmas in 2015!
With each smoke I’m getting more and more confidence, especially when my wife says things like “this is the best pork butt I’ve ever had” or “that was the best thing I bought for you!” And I’m getting more and more daring to try new recipes and techniques. Now, smoking food on the weekends has turned into a full-fledge passion!
Thank you for believing in me Baby, and for pushing me into a hobby that’s been more fun and rewarding than I ever thought possible!