Dizzy, Smokey and the Gang

This weekend I spent some time doing something I rarely do: actually cooking barbecue instead of just eating it and writing about it.  Who was my muse for this barbecue session?  Although she remains nameless thus far, my muse was without a doubt my new Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker, which I purchased a few weeks ago.  Some BBQ rub that fell into my hands was another motivator.

I can’t say enough good things about the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker, despite the needless “e” in the name (it’s the Smoky Mountains, folks!).  At any rate, the WSM is well built, affordable, and holds heat well.  I cooked during a rainy, 70-some degree day and used just one batch of charcoal, which lasted me from 10:45 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. with plenty of charcoal left at the end. Better yet, temperature control was quite simple and I stayed between 225 and 275 degrees with minimal tinkering.

If you’re looking to upgrade from a basic charcoal grill or, gasp, gas grill to something better for the relatively low, steady temprature preferred for barbecue then this cooker is a terrific choice.  Also, you can educate yourself on the ins and outs of the cooker at The Virtual Weber Bullet, a terrific instructional website that features everything from recipes to ways to customize your cooker. (AmazingRibs.com is not focused on the Weber Smokey Mountain, but is also a tremendous resource, and includes a buyer’s guide, which is where I found out about the WSM in the first place.)

Aside from wanting to give my new WSM a test ride, my other motivation for cooking barbecue yesterday was found in the spices I’d recently received in the mail.  As I’ve mentioned before, one of the benefits of being a barbecue blogger is the ability to get ahold of free samples of barbecue-related products.  The good folks at The Dizzy Pig Barbecue Company in Manassas, Virginia sent me a sampler pack of their fresh-ground rubs–11 types in all, including traditional rubs like Dizzy Dust all-purpose BBQ seasoning and more exotic ones like Pineapple Head, which is sweet and spicy and meant for grilling fruit.

I tried out several of the rubs while cooking and was impressed.  Honestly, I think it is easy and fun to make rubs at home, so rarely purchase pre-made products, but next time I do I will certainly consider Dizzy Pig.  The product tasted very fresh and the blends of spices worked well.  Check out the Dizzy Pig online or send them an email at info at dizzypigbbq.com if you want to learn more.

Backyard BBQ Season is Here

As I write this post it is one of those remarkably beautiful North Carolina spring days.   The temperature and humidity are perfect, the sky is Carolina blue (even for a devout Duke basketball fan like myself), and the swarms of summertime mosquitoes have yet to come out of hibernation or wherever the heck they are over the winter. In other words, it’s the perfect time to cook some barbecue.

If you want to become a master barbecue cook, or at least not embarass yourself too badly, I highly recommend reading through the great info at AmazingRibs.com.  The chief blogger/cook/all around BBQ guru over there, Meathead, offers a ton of free advice on everything from cuts of meat to buying guides for grills and accessories.  Really valuable info that ignorant wanna-be BBQers like myself can’t match.  If good old fashioned cookbooks are more your speed, I highly recommend Peace, Love, & Barbecue by Mike Mills or pretty much anything Steven Raichlen has written. Sure, he looks like a bit of a goofball but he knows his stuff.

You can spend a ton of money on a grill or smoker, but if you’re a newbie I recommend starting with something basic.  Cooking barbecue isn’t easy but it’s not all that complicated either.  There are lots of places to buy a grill, and online shops have started offering a lot of choices at competitive prices.  For example, CSGrills.com offers everything from entry level charcoal Brinkmann Smokers to top of the line Weber Gas Grills, as well as a range of other BBQ grills (with free shipping on most).  In my opinion, the only thing better than using a grill is dreaming about what a darn good pit master you’d be if you just had the right set up.  (Okay, maybe that’s just me).

Anyway, enough about my fantasies.  The bottom line: if you need a grill, buy one; if you have a grill, use it; and if you are planning to cook a bunch of barbecue, by all means save me some!  Happy cooking.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 760 other followers