I have worked hard to up my BBQ game. After a few years of missteps and ruined meals, it all started to make sense and the recipes were getting better. Many pages of notes, and a pile of receipts from my butcher shop later, I began to be recognized locally as a pretty good BBQ cook. I then progressed to competing in some cook-off events, where my real education began. I learned methods and styles of BBQ that I never knew existed. Slowly, I caught on to this style of BBQ and started placing with good finishes in the events. After learning the competition side of this kind of BBQ, I had to bring it back to my beginnings as a backyard cook. As much as I enjoy competition-style BBQ, it is much more expensive and time-consuming to do. For these reasons, it is not really good to do it for a church group, or a small catering job for a wedding or birthday party. We, my wife and I, also cook for some community events to support different causes and charities. These are usually the BBQ cooks that we enjoy the most. My goal here is to bring new cooks into the BBQ world with a little knowledge that hopefully cuts down on the trial and error of developing their own recipes. I wrote these recipes to be easy to follow and understand. I encourage the new cook to be brave, try new stuff, and keep notes. Remember that even a total mistake and unrecognizable finished product is still a valuable learning event. Do not be afraid to experiment a little; you will soon have your own book of BBQ secrets to guard. As you begin to be known as the BBQ guy or girl/lady in your neighborhood, be proud of what you have accomplished. Also, remember that you do not need the biggest, most expensive equipment out there to be a good cook. I always tell folks to buy what you can easily afford now, and upgrade later. Have fun, be brave, and use common sense when cooking. Welcome to the greatest community of cooks in the world!
Smoke on, my BBQ brothers and sisters!