I’ve discovered that I can smoke two large slabs of St. Louis-style ribs and four large chicken breasts at the same time in about 3 to 4 hours. That beats the hell out of 16-hour briskets. Not that I have anything against briskets–it’s all about staying awake, and frankly that’s a pain in the ass when you’re a senior smoker like me.
Okay, there wasn’t actually a hurricane at this year’s National Fiery Foods and Barbecue Show in Albuquerque. We had wind and rain with a healthy dash of chaos to really set off the event, though. There just wasn’t any of the downside you get in an actual tropical storm.
I gave up smoking meat a few years ago because it was getting to be too much trouble. First I had to locate the wood, which meant calling firewood lots and asking if they had any pecan or fruit woods around. And then, during the smoking process, was the constant adding of the wood to the firebox, which interrupted anything else I was trying to do. The best time to smoke was during a football game when I could add wood during the timeouts for commercial breaks. But football isn’t on during the summer, which is the traditional time for smoking. Finally, I gave it up and just went to the Pork and Brew Cookoff and bought a year’s supply of pulled pork and brisket from my friends, the Texas Rib Rangers.