Learning the art of BBQ
I'm looking for a course - a day, maybe a couple days- in 'how to really BBQ'...you know, get the pulled pork and brisket just right. I don't know enough to say whether I'm looking for Kansas City, Memphis, Texas, etc. style- but the hang-up is, the course needs to be a reasonable drive from northern NJ. Any ideas? I'd like to send my husband and perhaps a couple friend for his upcoming 50th. Easy if we want to fly him somewhere but not so easy here.
Having dabbled in BBQ for a number of years I'm not sure it is the type of thing you can simply pick up in a couple of days, as the true essence of BBQ is by necessity patience. I started by finding other folks who were good at it, as well as hanging out on some of the mailing lists and forums devoted to BBQ and volunteering to help out teams at some local BBQ competitions . It is more a matter of starting with basic principals and then developing a learning curve by trial & error. This sounds a bit daunting but many folks discover that more often than not a session that did not meet expectations still turns out BBQ better than 95% of the commercial joints out there.
I realize that this does not conform to something that can be given as a gift, in that case you could spring for the best inexpensive commercial smoker on the planet, the Weber Smokey Mountain (Known as the WSM in the trade). I've seen teams use it to win countless BBQ competitions, beating custom rigs that can cost tens of thousands of dollars. There is also a
website devoted to using the WSM called "The Virtual Weber Bullet" at:
Having a top notch smoker and the resources devoted to using it will in the long run provide a better chance at mastering good BBQ than a one time course that would be of limited use if there is no access to a decent smoker soon afterwords.
I've also set up a site devoted to BBQ that has links to many other BBQ resources out there:
Hope this helps some...