In June 2012, my wife got me a smoker for my birthday. I definitely loved BBQ and smoked meat–hence the reason for the gift. Did I know how to cook it myself at the time, not so much! We had a rack of beef ribs from my in-laws. They had bought a half cow of meat so beef was a plenty. I don’t even think that I put a rub on it. I simply placed it on the smoker and when I felt it was done, took it off. Those ribs were nasty. It could have been the quality of the meat, but my process, or lack thereof, didn’t help.
Now it’s almost 2 years later and there is so much you can do with a smoker. You can make good to great; and great to better. That first Thanksgiving since getting the smoker, it was my job along with Sous Chefs Sam & Jesse to cook the turkey. We brined them for 3 days and smoked them Thanksgiving morning. Wow! The culinary scale had been raised. Lately it was been a weekly event of cooking either ribs, chicken, pork shoulder, brisket; or a combination. My wife never thought that she liked BBQ, but she is now a convert.
It has also been a great experience to find some places around Salt Lake where they are almost deity in the smoking world. Here are just 3:
Pat’s BBQ: Pat is a legend around these parts. For 28 years now, he has been smoking meat. He started on the street by towing his Oklahoma Joe’s trailer around and catering for people. He then got a just a small space in his current location where people could walk up and order food. Now you can enjoy live music and any number of great smoked delights. Try the smoked meatloaf. I have cooked with Pat and the man has a PHD in BBQ.
Charlotte Rose’s Carolina BBQ: When I wrote this article, a couple of people gave me some grief. They went there and weren’t impressed. This reminds me of a lesson my wife taught me. Last summer I was working with 10 real estate clients. 8 were moving forward and 2 were not; yet those 2 were taking all my time. I wanted to throw it all away. She told me to get rid of the 2 and keep the 8. Don’t get rid of all because just a small portion are not moving along. I did just that.
Same idea applies to Charlotte Rose’s Carolina BBQ. Far more people love this than not. Trae makes some delicious food, much of it with copious amounts of butter and sugar. You can’t just get out of here with a meal, you will have a new friend.
Pig Out BBQ: This was a recent article that I wrote for City Weekly. Meeting the owner, Toko, was a wonderful experience. He has had a lifelong passion for food and only after an injury in his previous profession, did he turn to cooking full time. They make some delicious Island and Southern BBQ at Pig Out. They also have one of the most addictive sauces around.
Looking for things to smoke may have a bad connotation, but I do it daily. Seeking out those who have smoked for years, only encourages me more. As they say, “once is one too many, and one more is never enough” may also apply to meat.
Here is to the next mouth-watering creation.