The Hampton Smoker

What's up wtih what's going down? Does a tree falling on the ocean with no one around make a sound? Barbecue, BBQ, Bar-b-que. It's all in how you sell it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Apply Some Pressure

Hey kids! I hope you all had a grand holiday filled with too much alcohol, too much food and too much togetherness. The wife and I visited with my brother-in-law, Mark, his wife, Lisa, her parents, my in-laws, and assorted others including their too cute nieces, Megan and Devyn before we shot over to my parents for their 25-guest-strong, 3-table, gobble fest. The strategic separation of the wife and me in the seating didn't dampen our spirits, though I pitied her in the family sandwich between my mom's cousin and my uncle. My dad's bird was fantastic-- moist, tender, flavorful. I think it was the best he ever cooked and, except for a smoked bird I had once (can't remember who cooked it....), it might be the best I've ever eaten. Kudos to him for that and the lovely pumpkin soup.
Saturday, Hiroshi and I took the train out to be with Wubby and cook some 'que for a shindig coming up at our place this Saturday-- I'd invite you all, but we're already beyond seating capacity. We've got ribs, chicken, brisket, pulled pork, ham, sausage, kielbasa, and more. We're expecting 15 or so, but just to be safe, I'll have food for 40 knowing me. It was a goofy cook and we spent more time splitting wood than doing anything else. It's fun to swing the lighter axe instead of the maul. We learned a bit about Wubby's wood eating habits and how she likes to be adjusted, if you know what I mean. I'm talking about getting air to the fire here, people. Get your minds out of the gutter. We set her up in a hodge podge of tarps which you'll see below.

The new job is humming along nicely. Still very quiet, sort of off on my own, but I work at my own pace, listen to the radio and get it done. The people seem just fine so far and the neighborhood (Midtown, East) has turned out to be a little more cool than I thought.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thank Yous

When I was growing up on Staten Island (hey, stop laughing!), alot of people, when referring to a group of people, would say, "Yous." As in, "Are yous guys going to the movies with us tonight, or are yous going to watch Vito fix his car?" Anyways....

I want to wish every one of you a very happy, healthy and joy-filled holiday this year. I can't believe this blog has been going for more than a year already, and that I've made so many new friends out there around the globe. I know not everyone celebrates this holiday, that there are mixed feelings, but I'm trying to put it all aside and just give thanks in my own way, with my family and friends (all of you), that are trying to be happy, too.

My mother is on the mend, and maybe almost out of the woods, and I'm thankful for that. That my wife, my beautiful gift of a wife, is willing to let me have the new (costly...whew!) bbq smoker as my wedding present to myself, even though we haven't gone on a proper honeymoon (though, to me, all of this has been), you know I'm super-thankful for that. My brother who has stood out with me in the pitch dark, also freezing his ass off while I make him wait for the brisket, holding trays and spilitting wood, I'm pretty durned thankful for that. I'm glad to know that the rest of my family is as well as could be, too. So, with all that in mind, I say to you all, find someplace dark outside, with clear access to a nice view of the sky, when it's cold and crisp, when you're with someone you love, and take that moment for yourselves, to just try to be thankful.

Here're some more pics of food from Wubby the Wonder Pit. Brisket, and a few looks at some pulled pork. I have to say that the brisket, though this pic doesn't seem to do it justice, was very moist and tender. By the middle slices, it was letting some juice out. It had rested a while before slicing. We sliced it up, packed it in ziplocks after dousing each slice in the meat's juices, and froze each one. The pork also was mixed up the same way, though I pulled it down, as the ultra-close-up at the end shows. Yum.

I tasted the hickory smoke in a way that I don't think I ever did from the Smokin' Pro. Not to knock the food that we got from the ol' SP-- it served us well, but there was just a total difference with the Klose in every way, from the ease of use to the way it bounced back in temperature so quickly when we added nearly 100 pounds of cold meat. The old pit would've dipped in temperature for at least a half-an-hour-- not to mention that there's no way it could've cooked that much at one time. We were back up and running in 5-10 minutes with Wubby the Wonder Pit.

The brisket, ham and pork shoulder were in the vertical section for a few hours before I moved them over into the horizontal when I took off the chickens, the beef roast, and the ribs. The vertical ran anywhere from 25-75 degrees cooler than the main, from what we've seen with and without the removable baffle between the main and vertical. We also mixed much less oak (much...), apple and pecan into the fire. Anywho....Catch ya on the flip.

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

As Advertised

The most surprising thing about the BYC is that it is every bit the cooking machine that it is supposed to be. These days few things in life ever deliver as promised. Well, the BYC is all that and then some. Hiroshi and I loaded it down to fill some pre-thanksgiving orders and I was worried about not having a chance to do a practice cook on the pit, and I only had one afternoon/night to get it all done. So, we filled "Wubby" our new smoker with a ham, a brisket, a pork shoulder, 6 racks of spareribs, 5 whole butterflied chickens, and a rib roast. She performed like a true champion, and seemed to cook the food by herself.

The seasoning-- rubbing it down with oil, like a cast iron pan-- took a lot longer than we expected, but it is so important to preserving the life of the cooker. We took paintbrushes and sloshed it all over the inside (and outside!) of the pit and the shelves and hardware, too. Then we started a fire and let that go for a while.

While that was going, we made the rubs and prepped all the meats. We weren't able to get things onto the pit until 7pm, and knowing that we had at least 10 hours of cooking ahead of us, we buckled down with some bourbon.

It was a whirlwind weekend without much sleep, so I'll keep this brief and report back more in the next few days. The steel eagle has landed people, and all I can say is, "Don't Mess With Texas!".

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

God Still Reads The Headlines

Been a while since I checked in. I hope to have time for a more full update in the next day or so, but suffice to say that things have been hectic. The smoker has still NOT been delivered. I'll explain that more,too, but I've had more than enough of dealing with inept freight shipping companies to last my lifetime. Did a little cooking on my old Char-Griller this past weekend and had some great eats. Pictures will follow, but we did a turkey breast, brisket flat, bratwurst, hot and sweet sausage, and some boneless chicken breasts. Yum. Shown here are some non-que items that have been eaten around our house recently. Above is Amy's lasagna, and below is an apple pie I made for my mother-in-law while she was staying with us-- I love Jonagold apples!

The insides were just apples, a little cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, brown sugar and dots of butter. The apple flavor burst out of every piece with just a hint of spice and sweet. I haven't made many pies, but the apples in this one were the stars. I think it was a success. It didn't hang around very long.

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