Month: June 2016

CBT’s Helpful Hints for Tourists visiting NYC

The other day I had to head up to a client’s office in the mid 50’s at Broadway. One of my work peeps was tagging along so we were walking and chatting which can be dangerous b/c you don’t really pay attention. We were heading north on 7th Avenue and w/o thinking we walked right into the middle of Times Square. The rep looked at me and asked me “why this route?” and I told her that “Hey you got to keep in touch with the common people!” but she was right, it was crowded as hell. On our way back we took 8th Ave to avoid the crowd and it was a little bit better.

Earlier in the week I was downtown and had appointments at the NYSE, Brookfield Mall and all parts in between. I cut across the world trade center footprints and witness the security guards reminding the visitors that they should be more respectful. You could tell that the Tourists didn’t get it as they were arguing with them. The guards had no choice and kicked them out. So with that here are some friendly suggestions for anyone visiting abroad (not just New York) to that you are not labeled an Ugly American Tourists.

  • The 9/11 Memorial is a reminder of the attacks on September 11th. Please be respectful because the loss of life on US soil was enormous. I get that people don’t put one and one together but that day is a day that all New Yorkers would like to forget.
  • When visiting St. Patrick’s Cathedral please don’t wear a shirt that has the word “Fuck” on it. This is a house of worship.
  • Don’t take offense when someone runs up your back because you decided to stop on the street to look at your map.
  • When the sign says “Don’t Walk” it isn’t a suggestion it is a rule. Those yellow cabs will hit you.
  • If you decide to use one of the Citi Bikes don’t drive that sucker on the sidewalk. We have bike lanes for a reason. And don’t take an offense if Maria is cursing you and giving you “the finger”!
  • If you are in love and feel the need to hold hands as you walk down the street expect dirty looks as you are blocking the majority of the sidewalk.

IMG_1517I had nothing to do with the dumpster fire of stock market crash last Friday. I blame English Mike’s countrymen.

IMG_1521Kind of sad that they have to have this on the grounds at the 9/11 Memorial

IMG_1520This Brooks Brothers next to the Memorial was a Morgue after the attacks.

IMG_1537Stay your ass on the sidewalk until you get the “walk” signal.

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Missing Memphis

I was with one of the Garment District reps yesterday. She had a client in my territory and wanted to know if we could make “joint calls” in my hood. I welcomed her along with the condition that she would help me with a client who was a hard sell for me. First I thought it was my accent was the barrier but after further inspection the other rep confirmed what I thought. The client is Bat Shit Cray-Cray. During our day, I got a couple of text messages from Mrs. CBT.  My personal cellphone was on silent so I didn’t get a chance to see them until we got back to the office. I dig through them and read “attempted robbery at our Citibank.”I shoot her a snarky comment back asking her “if she missed Memphis too” and finished up my afternoon.

I get home and after shredding my sweaty ass suit I dismiss myself over to see the boys at the Cigar Inn on E73rd Street. I walk in the lounge and immediately the ball busting begins. “Hey kid, we know you miss your hometown so we arranged a reminder for you at the corner of 71st and 1st Ave today” said one of the guys in the back who loves to bust my chops. *EDITORS NOTE – sad thing is that I wouldn’t put it past a couple of them who frequent the back room because they really do have “a guy”!*

I sit in the front room where we have declared it “The Non-Trump” room and sure enough every 4th person who walks in starts in on me about the bank robbery and if it reminded me of Memphis. I mean I am starting to get a complex and ask a couple of my buddies if they think that Memphis is indeed dangerous. They tell me that it just isn’t Memphis, they are scared of any joint that allows people to have open carry. I finally look up the crime on my iPad and see that the robbery was by a man in a suit. I proudly declare that “It couldn’t be a Memphis Crime, the only people who commit crimes in suits are politicians! Oh and Go Fuck Yourselves guys! CBT OUT!”

Screen ShotScreen Shot from Mrs. CBT

BankYep, the Boys were in Rare Form busting my chops. Wait till I wear my Seersucker Suit this Friday. That should shut those Fuckers Up!

So I hope you have a good Wednesday!

 

 

 

 

 

Pictures from last week

We had great weather this past week and weekend. Little Baby sister came in town for the weekend with her husband and we got some of the gang together for dinner in Little Italy. Hope you had a good weekend.

IMG_1494Visited Bleecker Street Pizza this past week. Yep, it lives up to the hype!

IMG_1496The Stonewall Inn where the start of the LGBT movement started here in NYC. We bought the NYPD Counter Terrorism guys some bottled water.

IMG_1499Everyone needs a Consultant you know?

IMG_1500Figured my first Chef sighting would be Bourdain, not Anne

IMG_1502Shout out to my boys at Engine 39 Ladder 16 for getting some residents of our building out of the elevator. No I wasn’t the one stuck.

IMG_1513Shout out to my girl DCG!

IMG_1540Got to love an Eye-Talian joint that already puts out the spaghetti spoon on the table.

IMG_1538I wondered why I had MPH on Sunday

IMG_1541Little Baby Sister and her Husband.

IMG_1509Walking down to work temps were in the mid 60’s

 Have a good week!

 

This post will Suck – I already know it

You ever go to an event where people give speeches to a group?  You have that one person who absolutely kills it. I mean they bring the house down with applause and maybe even some crying. Then there is the next person up to give a speech who has to follow that person. It doesn’t matter how good that second person gives his/her speech it won’t hold a candle to the previous guy/gal. This blog entry is that second person. My last Friday entry on how one year our lives turned upside on its head was a pretty good hit with my (now 6 readers) as I heard from a lot of you giving me praise on it. Trust me, I am always humbled when I get a “like” or comment. I can see stats on each day and I am averaging 150 looks from people in the US and in Belize but I am not sure if it the same person who has spotty internet service or that many different readers. Feel free to drop me a line if you have a request, I am pretty accommodating. Anyway without further adieu, here is my Friday post that won’t hold a candle to last Friday’s post.

As some of you know, my office is in Greenwich Village and our spacious apartment is in the Upper East Side. That means I go from the East to the West and down 68 blocks to and from each day. According to Mr. Google Maps it should take me 39 minutes but because I have short legs and the F train can run behind, it actually takes me 45minutes to an hour. I try to be at my desk by 8:15ish so that I can get my paperwork done before the rest of the other office people show up. What can I say, I am a creature of habit and like the quietness in the morning. Basically I am walking out the door at 7AM and heading up to 63rd and Lex to catch the F Train.

Talk about a gumbo of different people and different cultures all riding together in 10 subway cars that is the F Train! The  train originates in Queens and does a U in Manhattan before heading to Brooklyn. By the time I get on it, it is pretty packed but empties out some when it gets to the first Manhattan stop at 63rd where I catch it. If you have never ridden a subway you have to know the code of Mass Transit. Rule 1 is that you never look at anyone in the eye. Look up, down, at your phone, or practice the “David Putty” stare but you never look at someone in the eye or you may get…..wait for it….spoken to. Normally the first thing that I am trying to do when I get on the train is to stop sweating because I just walked down, with an escalator’s help I might add, 11 stories below ground. Below are some general thoughts that go through my head during my daily commute. And no, I was not dropped on my head as a child or any of the houses I lived in have lead based paint. Random thoughts on the F Train;

  • Oh great here it is 90 degrees with the humidity and there is heavy sweater wearing dude. The man must not have sweat glands.
  • Dear Lord please let the person who just grabbed my ass be female. Please Lord let her daddy own a liquor store that specializes in high end cigars. Please let it be a female.
  • There is Mee Maw (older female that maybe 75) rocking her fresh tattoo on her arm and gold anklet. I bet she drinks draft beer!
  • Someone smells like Gold Bond, stale beer and cigars. Oh wait that’s me! 
  • (Older African American male preaching to those of us in the first car about how men should always give females their seat on a bus or subway) If anyone disagrees with that man I am punching them in the throat.
  • 3 days ago that French woman was rocking a business suit, yesterday she was in cutoff jeans and a tank top. Today she is wearing a short skirt and hoochie momma shoes. She has to be a call girl.
  • It is 7:55AM and Mrs. CBT is leaving the apartment. She will be at her desk at 8:00 AM and beat me to work.
  • Everyone on this train has their ear buds in. I wonder who is rocking out to The Highwaymen like me?
  • Is that guy wearing two different shoes? He is! God my day is already better than his!
  • Seriously please let that person who grabbed my ass be a female. I am too scared to turn around. Please be a woman.

IMG_150511 stories down so there is absolutely ZERO cell coverage

IMG_1522All aboard the F Train! Stand Clear of The Closing Doors

IMG_1506One of these days the Upper East Side Q train will be here too! Stop laughing JM

IMG_1501And we have reached our final destination

 

Have a good weekend, little baby sister is heading to town this afternoon.   

 

“We are in! Now where is this place?”

One thing that I find really neat about this island is that there is great pride for your neighborhood. Upper East, Hell’s Kitchen, Tribeca, Little Italy, SoHo, Upper West Side, Greenwich Village, I could go on for pages but it’s great that everyone has an opinion on the best neighborhood to live. As you know, we live in the Upper East Side solely because of the location to Mrs. Trumpet’s work joint. If we were to have it all over again, who knows where we would live.

One part of town that we haven’t really visited or frequented much would be the many of the joints on the Upper West Side (North of 59th Street west of Central Park) but it’s not for lack of trying. For one, because of our location near the middle of the park, the only way to transgress the park is via bus or constitutional yo ass over there via foot. Sadly, no subway will cross the park near our location so I guess that is my excuse. Well all that ended this past Sunday. A friend of ours messaged me saying that they were going over to watch the sunset at the 79th Street Boat Basin and if we wanted to join them. Let’s see; a sunset, cold beer, a full service restaurant and this joint is on the water? Giddy Up, we were in!  I inform Mrs. Trumpet that we would be spending the afternoon with Z squared and her comment was classic Mrs. CBT; “Great, but now where is this place?”  We grabbed an Uber and even the driver inquired if we knew where this joint was so we told him to head west on 79th street and stop when we get to water.

I have to admit that sitting on the terrace watching the boats on the Hudson, this place is really cool. You quickly forget you are in New York. The Boat basin for those of you wondering is a large marina where boats are actually allowed to be stored year round. It overlooks the Hudson river and was the scene of where Tom Hanks kept his boat during “You have got mail” and was used during the filming of “9 1/2 weeks”. A very popular place to watch the sunset and hang out. We shall be back.

NYC%20neighborhood%20mapHere is a map of Manhattan for those of you who needed a reference point

IMG_1490So this is what comes up on Google Maps when you wish to find out where the Boat Basin is located

IMG_1478Huge Rotunda for private events and fun stuff.

IMG_1480Oh yeah, this place  is cool!

IMG_1479Popular place to hang out for Upper West Side folks.

IMG_1481Under the Rotunda and ‘out of the sun for those pale face folks

IMG_1482This does not suck at all! Sadly I lost out on the placement of where Mr. Sol would land so I was out a buck. Hey I knew that if everyone bet the same spot what is the fun in that. Thanks to our friends for the invite, we shall be back.

For those of you wondering how to compare it to M-Town. You remember when F “Red Shorts” W had that house overlooking the river? Seriously this is pretty sweet.

 

 

Look Up

One of the perks with my job, other than I get to steal all the office supplies I can fit into my pockets, is that I get to visit some really cool locations in Manhattan. Now due to a whole bunch of non-disclosure documents I can’t divulge much. The premise of this blog isn’t what I do in real life (Naked Cowboy singer in Times Square) anyway. What I will say  is that I get to visit some really cool offices that have killer views of the New York skyline, and parts of Brooklyn and New Jersey.
Before I put on the BVD’s and strutted myself around Times Square I had to follow some of my fellow street performers and see how they did their act. One day I was following one the reps who had to visit various offices on the East Side of Manhattan. We are finishing up meeting with her client and I asked if I could take a peek out of the clients 53rd floor window. Naturally the client was happy to oblige *I think he could tell by my accent I wasn’t from NYC* and I got a great view of Central Park looking north. We get into the elevator and I could tell that the rep was wondering why I asked that question to her client. I looked at her and said “we are in trenches and underground 90% of the day, it is nice to see how the ‘other side’ views the city. I don’t think she understood my comment or that her Midwest to Southern translator wasn’t working that day. *I am hoping that she isn’t one of my 5 NYC readers or she may punch me in the throat*
When I am with clients downtown or on the west side I am always taking a peek out their windows because it really can humble you when you think about the sheer size of this island. One of my favorite places to view the NYC Skyline is also one of Mrs. CBT and I’s first NYC date places, The Metropolitan Museum of Art on the Upper East Side. This past Friday to celebrate the weekend we headed over to 5th Avenue and headed upstairs to the rooftop. During the summers months they have drinks so one can hang out and drink overpriced beers but also check out the sweeping views of the city *who da fuck is this guy typing this dribble, sweeping views? He should have his ass kicked for saying that*. Anyway enough words, here are some killer pictures from this past Friday.

IMG_1461Looking South. Notice that big ass tall building in the middle of the picture. That sucker when complete will be the tallest residential building in the Northern Hemisphere. Problem is when there is a low cloud coverage the t0p 1/4th will be above the clouds and can’t see shit. Oh that and I hear it sways too.

IMG_1459Mother, you would like her….Yes that is the house from Psycho and pay no attention to that person taking my picture. I think my fly was down.

IMG_1462New Moon between the buildings

IMG_1464My favorite room in the Met.

So as the late Casey Kasum would say at the end of his broadcasts “Keep your feet on the ground but keep reaching for the stars.”

Pictures from the past week

Happy Father’s Day to all those Daddy’s out there. Especially the ones who are first year Daddies and you know who you are!

IMG_1440I really need some inflatable pool floats for the pool that I don’t go to on Friday’s

IMG_1446How cool would it be to watch “House Of Cards” on that sucker. No LZ, & EM I won’t see if you can watch that crappy “Bachelor” show that you rot your brain on. And if either of you get Mrs. CBT to start watching that show it will be on like Donkey Kong!

IMG_1422Hell with shopping at Eataly, I prefer drinking on the roof of Eataly!

IMG_1415Sent this to Ernest Herbet last week and said that I sourced a great Pork Vendor in the Upper East Side. His reply was “Sheeet!”

IMG_1441Ahem MATA – One of your shitty Trolley’s escaped and was seen driving down 3rd Avenue. Oh when are you getting the ones that run on rails back up again? Yeah good luck with that.

IMG_1452My boy Haziff who runs the only drive thru Coffee Cart in Greenwich Village. This is also the same Coffee Cart that I let Will Arnett go in front of me to get a cup of coffee and he thanked me. I didn’t know who he was until a tourist told me.

IMG_1465Cherries are $17.00 a pound at Morton Williams across the street. Here they are $2.00 for a big ass bag of them. Care to guess where we get our produce each day?

Indecently, please don’t hate me if you start to see 3 posts during the work week. With my new position I find that I run out of time at the end of the day. You may start to see 3 posts a week and my pics of the week on the weekends. Keep it light and Happy Fathers day!

 

 

Funny Thing Happened at Work 1 Year Ago

“Carbunkle Trumpet there is a phone call for you.” stated the office manager who was eating bon-bons and drinking “coffee” that smelled of Kahlua *Oh I am so going to take some shit for that one*

Me – “Hello, this is CBT, what do you want?”

Mrs. CBT – “You always answer the phone that way?” *editor’s note – it is very uncommon for me to get a phone call from Mrs. CBT during the day. Text yes but phone call means something is up.

Me – “I saw your number on the caller ID and it was from your work. What’s up? You don’t normally call me in the office, who died?”

Mrs. CBT – “I was calling you to tell you to turn in your 2 week notice to EM, I got the job in New York City!”

Me – *butthole clinches a little tighter upon hearing those words “You mean the job that you just interviewed for and they said it would be 2 weeks before they made their decision?”

Mrs. CBT – “Yep!”

And there it is folks. One year to the date that this whole adventure began. I look back and still I can’t believe it has flown by that quick. From accepting the position to getting our apartment the next day, which was paramount I might add. Then telling all of our friends and family that we were “moving on up to the Upper East Side” and finding a renter for our joint on South Main. Let’s don’t forget that 1600-mile journey with me, momma and a poodle in a U-Haul that had a restrictor plate on it so we could only go 75 miles per hour to now current day. It has literally flown by. I look back on this time and still pinch myself because we certainly have accomplished a lot and I say beat the odds.

Backing up some – If you were to ask me 6 years ago when I was at a very low point in my life that could I ever see myself living in New York City, I would have told you that you were crazier than hell. I had just finished working as a carnie for MIM and went back to being unemployed but yet still had bills to pay. In those 6 years; we both made career changes, the wife got diagnosed and then kicked the shit out of breast cancer, we downsized into a condo and then we uprooted it again and moved to the city that never sleeps. Wow! That is some crazy shit you know?  This road has been bumpy at times but if you were to ask the both of us if we would do it over again I know the answer would be yes. At least for me, I bet that momma would like to avoid all that chemo and neuropathy stuff.

You have heard me reference my US friends who live in Belize and St. Thomas and how I have always admired them for what they did by moving to an island. They left the comfort of home, their friends and went down a path that wasn’t so worn. I have a deep admiration for two special friends down in Belize and their story. These two ladies left Indianapolis, left family, children & friends and started all over again in a foreign country to run a Bed and Breakfast. We met them a number of years back and have become great friends and try to see each other at least once a year. #FuckShobo (inside joke)

It wasn’t until we received an email from RDD or Shuffles that they admired what we did and how our move to New York was very similar to them when they moved to Ambergris Caye Island. I recalled looking at those words and it then hit me “Shit, why didn’t we find an employer that Momma could work for in the topics?” I am kidding by the way. I really was honored and respected those words. I never really thought about it like that.

There are a couple of you who have asked me why I refer to NYC as “that island called Manhattan” it for the above reason. We went out on a limb together and stuck our big toe in a very big pool of water. I can say that this experience has been exhilarating and scary at the same time for the both of us. Much like our friends in Belize it brought us closer to each other and made us better people.

Changing gears now – The first two months that we were living here we would both say to each other “I can’t believe that we live here in New York!” It wasn’t until the third month that it changed into “Why the Fuck didn’t we do this sooner!” Sure there are a ton of things that we miss by moving away from friends and family and it hasn’t always been smiles and dive bars. There have been some tears shed along this path but (I promise I am getting to my point) what are you waiting for? Why not do something as we say at work “Let’s turn this bitch on its head and see what happens?” I am not suggesting you move to a different city on whim, but start small instead. I am challenging you to do what you have always wondered “What if?” Let’s be honest, we all know the worst thing that can happen is that you fail. But if never try then do you always fail?

I will end this deep Hallmark post of a blog with the words of Steve Buscemi from Con Air; “Insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting different results.” Go do something insane folks, who knows what will happen.

FullSizeRender_1I do love that woman! Even if I have to stand on a curb to see eye to eye with her!

IMG_0579And that night a friendship was born. Love you RDD and Shuffles!

IMG_0580I mean seriously Mrs. CBT – Why couldn’t you get a job on this island for me to sell my wares? Is that a FedEx drop box I see next to that Palapa?

mugNipped this off the internet and it speaks volumes.

What are you waiting for?

 

 

BBQ 101 for The Northeastern Pitmasters

I am going to send this link to some of my work cohorts as I hope to shed some light on a very opinionated subject…Barbequing. You see there is a lot of confusion on this subject and maybe this worthless dribble of a blog can educate my fellow friends who live north of the Mason Dixon line on how to properly smoke meats.  First, as always, let me give you a back story and my credentials as a half ass Pitmaster. Here is what is kind of funny about how I learned how to BBQ in that I am in no way on or have been on a competition barbecue team. With my last employer in Memphis I worked closely with some of the greatest pitmasters in the business while running logistics for my employer. My BBQ mentors include Mike Mills, Amy Mills, Cary “Peg Leg” Bringle, Heath Riles, Myron Mixon, Tuffy Stone, Big Moe Cason, Ernie Mellor, Mike Rude, Joffre DiSabatino, Chunky Rinehart, Colin Gage, and the countless others that I have sat down and visited with over the years. The two common important gems that I took away from all of those listed above is that BBQ isn’t about time and temperature but more of a “touch and feel” and that “BBQ is an opinion so have fun with it!”

Let’s start shall we?

  • Selecting the Brand – Duroc Pig, Smithfield Brand, Wagyu Beef or Farm Raised? Have you guys ever listened to car guys argue about Chevy vs Ford? Same thing. Find something you are ok to purchase and if you screw up you may have to throw in the trash. Personally I would be pissed if I overcooked a Wagyu brisket because that would be an expensive mistake.
  • Cut of Shoulder meat – Whole Bone In Shoulder, New York Bone Out Shoulder or Boston Butt. Shoulders are larger and need more pit time as compared to a Boston Butt which is a portion of the shoulder. I say start small and then work your way up.
  • Cut of ‘Pork’ Rib – St Louis, Spare Rib or Baby Back cut of Ribs? Again play around with this and find something you like and have fun with it.
  • Brisket ‘beef’ – Point Cut, Flat, Whole? I am not much of a brisket guy, but as you can now gather, play around with it and have fun.
  • Chicken – Whole Fryer, Split Breast, Leg Quarter, Drummies, Wings, Boneless Skinless Breast or Tenderloin. I prefer a whole chicken because it normally is cheaper and more forgiving. You also can cook this on a grill if you need to. Hell I cooked some up down in Belize on Soup Cans!
  • Exotic Stuff – Bologna, Spam, Beef Ribs, Lamb, Wild Game, Fish and Vegetables – I have seen it all. Some good and some bad.

IMG_1303Hey Kid, you want to eat ribs today? Then you need to rub some mustard on these shoulders for Uncle CBT.

IMG_3580_55_1

Here is when I did some Chicken for a contest down in Belize. Yes those chickens are sitting up on beer and soup cans. The faces were courtesy of Shuffles formally of Changes in Latitudes

To Trim the fat or not? If so, how much?

  • Definitely pull the membrane from the underside of the ribs.
  • For Shoulders I say you should pull that fat cap off but I know guys who don’t do it so it is your call.
  • For Ribs you can do as little or as much as you want to and again it is your call.

Pre-Smoke prep to marinate, inject or leave it alone?

  • Marinades can include juice based liquids, dry seasoning and even salt curing the meat. Depends on what you like and what you are trying to achieve.  If you are going for a tropical themed meal you may marinate it in a sweet citrus juice as compared to a apple juice based marinate. Just a word to the wise, citrus based juice can discolor the raw meat a tad so play around with it.
  • Dry Rub Marinades – the practice where you would sprinkle a spice mixture on the raw meat and allow it to soak into the meat before smoking it. Another word to the wise, be knowledgeable about the spice mixture because if the first 3 ingredients have salt in to you may want to wash the meat off before putting it on the smoker. Nobody likes salty meat. #twss
  • Injecting the meat – again there are schools for and against this practice. I hear that Trump doesn’t inject his meat while Hillary does and poor Bernie Sanders is a vegetarian so pick your poison. I will tell you that Bologna and Spam don’t inject well so be careful.

The Smoker

  • Stick Burner, Charcoal, propane powered, electric powered, stack, water bath, Firebox powered, Kamado Ceramic, Big Green Egg, Backwoods Smoker, 55 Gallon Drum or Bathtub? You can spend as little or as much as you want to. I can spend hours on this subject and there are tons of options. I will say that I know firsthand that if you are trying to smoke meat in a cold climate you better have something that is insulated. More on that later.
  • The name of the game is to practice, practice, practice and then go watch someone smoke on their smoker. Again this is a very debatable subject. I used to have a Big Green Egg and I loved it. I had friends swear by their Backwood Smokers and even had some killer smoked meat on a Weber Kettle so it is very opinionated. There really is no wrong answer here guys and gials.

IMG_1307Classic Stick Burner with a offset Fire Box

IMG_2421_11_1Here is another version of a off set smoker but this one has a rotisserie in it to evenly cook all the meat.

 

Firing up the smoker

  • Whatever your choice of heat charcoal briquettes, lump charcoal, stick of wood, propane or even electric it is paramount you have something creating smoke. You are cooking this meat via heat and smoke so it has to be consistent.
  • Type of wood is also another debate; some swear by Hickory, some prefer Pecan, there are those who love fruit woods and there are even some pitmasters who prefer  mesquite. The name of the game is that you pick one and keep on it. Ernie Mellor preaches “raw meat takes the smoke.” So if you start cooking your ribs in an oven you are defeating the process. Same goes with “par boiling” ribs in water, are you cooking ribs or spaghetti noodles?
  • I have seen some pitmasters who would put garlic bulbs or even onions in the firebox so play around with this.
  • Here is where I debate with a lot of pitmasters in that after the first or second hour of smoking the meat wont take anymore smoke. Keep adding wood to the box and all you are doing is wasting money on the heat source.
  • Editors DISCLAIMER – I was helping my friends in the Atlantic City BBQ contest last fall by being the overnight watch guy. The ambient temperature was in the low 40’s and the two smokers we were using are considered “southern smokers” because they are not insulated and require a lot of heat to keep them going. (Translation – the firebox was roaring but the chamber where the meat was had a big temperature variance) I literally had to burn all the wood in those smokers to keep the temperature hot enough in the smokers. Seriously I considered cutting down the mast off of one of the sailboats that was in the nearby marina for more wood.

IMG_9218NEVER EVER USE LIGHTER FLUID! Say it with me NEVER USE LIGHTER FLUID

Time and Temp

  • Low and Slow? or High and Hard? The biggest thing is that you want internal cooking temperatures that are recognized by health department rules. Pork should be 145 to 160, Beef should be a minimum of 140. Chicken at least 165. How you get there is up to you.
  • I know guys who cook Shoulders for 16 hours, Brisket for 12 hours, and Ribs for 5 hours. Here is where that “touch and feel” comes into play. I recall working with Mike Mills for a vendor sponsored event and the morning of the demo he 86’d the shoulder. “The Shoulder just didn’t get to where I want it to be so we are not serving it” was what he told me. While he was doing the demo I snuck back and stuck an instant read thermometer into the shoulder and the shoulder registered an appropriate internal temp. That is why he is a World Champion folks. The man knows what he is doing.

To Mop, Wrap, Glaze, or Just leave it the F alone

  • Many schools of thought here folks. I know guys who “set it and forget it” and I know guys who spend hours mopping and filling this bottom chambers of their smokers with all kinds of excess dripping. It is your call but again play around with it. The Asian Fireman and I were smoking some shoulders a couple of weeks back and he looked at me like I was crazy when I said I wasn’t going to mop the shoulders we cooked this past weekend. I also am not a fan of injecting the meat but that is why we differ on our choice of president too.
  • Wrapping ribs and shoulders is the practice of wrapping the meat halfway through the cooking process and pouring in some liquid before sealing it up to allow the meat to steam. Lots of different schools of thoughts here so find something you like and go with it.

Gumbo to BBQ Fest 2012 144Good Friend and Pitmaster Ernie Mellor leading a demo at WCBCC

Gumbo to BBQ Fest 2012 152Legendary Grand Champion Mike Mills giving a talk about Sauces

7b748-037

One of the greatest places to ever smoke some meat. Here I am grilling some pineapple for my friends down in Belize.

Pull, Chop, Slice or Rip

  • I say to always pull the shoulder meat rather than chop and slice the brisket with the grain over rip it by slicing it against the grain rather than ripping it which means slicing against the grain. It’s your barbecue so you do what you want to do. There are no wrong answers here.

IMG_9118Boston Butt after slow smoking for 16 hours

IMG_9119I am a big proponent to long strands of Pulled Pork

Slaw, Beans Sauce and Fixins

  • Some will put slaw on their sandwich, some will put it on the side. There are no wrong answers here.
  • I would say that you need to not put sauce on the meat and let it ‘stand alone’. A common cheating method of food service places is to already sauce the meat because they have over cooked it. Let your guests decide.

IMG_9120Doesn’t that look good?

So when are we firing up the smoker?