IMG_2900Of course I am talking about learning to smoke on our new grill.  What other smoking could there be?  This is a good kind of learning.

I read the instructions that came with our grill.  Clearly the instructions matched what the salesman promised me.  I could smoke as well as grill on this versatile unit.  

In the past I have failed and succeeded with efforts to smoke a delicious meal.  Once I did a turkey and it was an instant family hit.  That memorable meal was a great event because it was never to be repeated.

Part of the problem was the smoker.  It was constructed out of aluminum skin walls.  During my subsequent smoking attempts, the cold outside weather made it impossible to control the temperatures.  I threw the bird away after hours of smoking.

Friends have used insulated walled smokers with consistent and amazing results. I did not just envy their culinary skills, I salivated as I indulged on their pork ribs, brisket and chicken.  How was it possible for average guys to prepare food good enough of a classy restaurant?

Common among these grill masters is the same advice.  Temperature control is key.  If you can get a grill or smoker that can finesse the heat, then smoking successfully will be a fulfilling promise.

Then, after turning my back on charcoal grills and propane options and expensive dedicated smokers, I was introduced to wood pellet grills.  This was my entrance into great outdoor cooking for foods that I wanted to serve to my family.

Admittedly, I swallowed hard when I was about to smoke my first batch of wild Texas pork.  A lot of effort went into harvesting these BBQ delights.  Now, with a strong desire to smoke the meat but with a track record of horrible failures, I was reluctant.

I prepared the meat with the mental note that “butchering” may well characterize my lack of ability in trimming the roasts and ribs.  Oh well, my forgiving wife would appreciate my good intentions.  That was my hope anyway.

For nine hours I smoked these large chunks of meat.  I followed the instructions. Afterall, I read them over and over again.  

Finally, at 6pm I served the fare.  My bride and I both smiled, expressed amazement at the delectable results and looked forward to many more repeats of a system that made a smoking BBQ novice like me a success on the culinary path of outdoor cooking.  Miracles do still happen!

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography