smoking in NYC

Do we live in Downtown Brooklyn or Boerum Hill? Another Seinfeld Episode Comes To Life

If I have said it once, I have said it a dozen times. Until you move to New York you don’t really appreciate the subtleness of Seinfeld episodes. I realize this post may go over the heads of some of my Memphis readers but here is a good analogy for you. How many times do you get defensive when the media says that there was a shooting in Downtown Memphis when it was actually in North or South Memphis?

Remember the Seinfeld “The Pothole” episode when Elaine was trying to order a specific Chinese dish but was outside of the delivery zone? Even though she was on the other side of the street they still wouldn’t deliver it. Welcome to our life folks. When we were moving in our new dog walker came up to us and was doing her best sell job. When she was walking off she said “You will love living in Boerum Hill it is so different than living anywhere else.” I didn’t really give it much thought but later I started thinking; “I thought we lived in Downtown Brooklyn.” I asked Maria about it and she said that the other side of the street is considered the Boerum Hill neighborhood.

When we lived in the Upper East Side we had a similar situation because how you looked at it we could have lived in the; Upper East Side, Lenox Hill Neighborhood, or even  Yorkville. Not that it is a big deal but I have had to explain a couple of times where we live to native New Yorkers as they can’t identify the area. Normally when I say that we aren’t too far from Juniors Cheesecake they know exactly where we live.

The past week we have done some walking around Downtown Brooklyn and it is all good. We have the Fulton Street Mall (think Main Street Mall in Downtown Memphis) where we can get us a late night Papaya Dog and also shop for a new wig. We have the DeKalb (You don’t pronounce it like the owner of The Vault) Food Court and Mall where we can visit Target, Century 21, Trader Joes and have all kinds of food choices. And let’s don’t forget Smith Street where it is a cross between Overton Square with a Cooper Young Neighborhood feel and Brownstones. Oh did I mention that we have Liquor Store in our building, a stones throw from a Fresh Market and are one subway stop from killer bagels.

More on this later.

where we liveSo the Red Shaded Area is Boerum Hill and the Crude X is our building. Oh and for those wondering Cobble Hill is where the Gnome Lover lives. Wait till he gets back from BBQ Fest and then we start doing some drinking.

IMG_3151Look for the Birdsnest atop the tall ass building and that is our building.

IMG_3157Kind of refreshing to know that there isn’t a CVS or Duane Reade on every corner here. Shop Local!

IMG_3128Not Photo shopped folks, I took this last weekend on my way to….wait for it….a bar!

IMG_3108LVD when should we anticipate your arrival? Oh by the way Lauren 2.0 is heading your way this weekend for WCBCC.

IMG_3159Cannonball!

IMG_3158Smith Street on my way to get a bagel

IMG_310937:03 – that is the time it takes me to get from the UES (more specifically The Cigar Inn) to our new joint. Sadly cigar smoking parlors is frowned upon in Brooklyn. They don’t have any joints like they do in Manhattan.

IMG_3130First Sunday Funday we went to this establishment thanks to Mr. 3 First Names

IMG_3129I have to stay close to my Budlight roots, I do enjoy a good craft beer but when you are going to drink a ton of something it helps having something familiar.

I have about 3 blog entries just about dive bars still in the que.

 

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What do you do when you circle the Sun 48 times?

You celebrate it just like you came into this world: Naked, Confused, and Hungry.

One of the positive things about Facebook is that Facebook Birthdays ARE FRIGGIN AWESOME! I have been having a love/hate with this social media platform as of late but to all those who sent me a message (even some of inappropriate ones) I appreciate you and them!

So for this birthday I decided to cash in on one of my personal days and I am really glad I did because the weather sucked balls. I started the day off by heading over to the West Side for some work shoe shopping. Following that I decided to pamper myself and got myself a “Royale Shave” from my barber Mark. I figure that I started shaving around 14ish so 34 years is about time to have someone else give you a decent shave and hold a straight razor at your neck. For those of you who are wondering what all this is, it is pretty much a facial but with a shave. Any my face feels fabulous!

When you have a 48 year old face that feels like a baby’s butt after a shave what do you do then? Why you get a cheeseburger at Finnegan’s Wake! I have heard ramblings that this Irish UES joint in addition to serving a proper pint of Guinness also has a great burger. It didn’t disappoint.

To finish out the afternoon I headed up to Adult Daycare on E73rd street where I was welcomed by some of the boys while we watched the Yankees Home Opener. I smoked a $30 dollar stick, drank a Nespresso and busted balls with the best of them.

I assure you that a Royale Shave, Burger from Finnegan’s Wake and fancy cigar and all of your shout outs was the best damn birthday I have ever had! Thank you!

Oh and I have 2 more years on the warranty until I have to start to find a General Practice doc who has the smallest hands in Manhattan! Anyone got the number of “The ASSMAN”?

MW40_40ZC_03_COLE_HAAN_BROWN_SETI got to be hip is what they told my old ass today at the shoe store. They look funny and my former boss is laughing at me right now!

best-world-wide-barber-Old-School-Barbershop-tattoo-ink-Gdynia-PolandLie back and have a hot towel on your face while you DGAF > a good day at work

5887911559_7c6b1da84b_o.0We drank here one time and for some reason it didn’t click. Granted half of the patrons are old(er) than us but they serve some good food here.

IMG_2912Disclaimer – I attempted to get a full Pastrami sandwich but I forgot that it was RAB’s holiday!

IMG_2914Cigar Inn on a cold rainy afternoon with the boys watching the Yankees Game while smoking a $30 stick and (allegedly Embargoed) cigar from a country that is 90 miles from our border KICKS THE ASS OF YOUR DAY!

IMG_2907I miss my favorite Mixologist who is older than me by 1 day. This was the greatest!

Again Thank You for all the E-Mails, Texts, Calls and Obscene videos!

Come on Lightbulb – Pics of the Week from Isla Mujeres y Manhattan

Merry/Happy Christmas, Happy Hanukah/Chanukah or Happy Holidays to you and to  my readers(all 14 of you!) If I have learned anything by living up here is that you always appreciate understanding someone’s heritage and or traditions. It is no lie that I grab my fair share of cabs but trust me when I say that I love asking the back of the head who is driving my cab; “So Boss Man….Tell me about your country.” If you come to NYC I implore you to please do this. Seriously please do it and you will find all kinds of country/family pride.

So I am going to get to the pics because I have had a helluva week and you guys (all 14 of you) hate my diatribe.

 IMG_2300Had a small fire on E70th a couple weeks ago.

IMG_2302Hey Guys is the Asian Fireman or @AB670 on board….yeah I know the answer.

IMG_2347RJ & Mal-O-Rie – So if we get this joint can you please promise not to procreate in the pool? #askingforafriend

IMG_2357I was warm here. I didn’t have to wear a bunch of cold weather gear.

IMG_2389Hey Staten Island S – Can you get us a bottle of this?

IMG_2394Tastes like Sambuca but its pretty good!

IMG_2411Maya is pissed and let me tell you how upset I was considering I was wearing shorts 2 says ago!

IMG_2412Maddy was not happy either!

IMG_24016 days in Mexico and I was offended that my beard was coming in grey. Pay no attention to the hairs on my head mind you! Hashbrown – at least I have hair!

IMG_2434Don’t blame me Maya….Blame the other one who put you in this outfit!

IMG_2440It screamed that I should come in and have a drink but it was 9AM and I had service issues. I will see you next week Village Tavern!

Seasoned Greetings to all my readers. All 14 of you!

“I have made a huge mistake” or “I am going to finish this Mother Fucker!”

Sorry for the profanity right off the bat. Those were the two very different comments from Marathon Runners said to the Asian Fireman and I yesterday. Happy Marathon Sunday Folks! From what I learned yesterday there are two huge events in the UES that one should attend; St. Patrick’s Day and Marathon Sunday. The previous two Marathons were either spent in bed with MPH or last year when Ba and “The Lady Killer” came to town.

This year the Asian Fireman and I hung out on First Ave to cheer our friend Stuart who decided to fly across ‘the pond’ and pay good money to run in 5 boroughs. The weather was great for the runners this year. Well aside from the rain but it wasn’t too hot nor too cold. If you have never ran a marathon you probably won’t get what this post means. Hell I wogged (walked & jogged) the Memphis half Marathon about 5 years ago and I hated it. I couldn’t imagine doing 26 miles much less a 5K these days.

Regardless, there were a bunch of significances and noted stories for this year’s marathon. One was the retirement of Meb Keflezighi who is one of the most celebrated US long distance runners in history. Second was the return of Katherine Switzer who was the first woman to run in the Boston Marathon. If you don’t know who she is, go ahead and google her. She is pretty special with regards to women’s rights. Oh and she was running the NYC Marathon at age 71 years young. My 47 year old ass got tired standing there in the rain yesterday.

And finally we were there to celebrate our buddy Stuart who was running on behalf of the MacMillan Charity. Stuart did a fine job yesterday and finished the beast. Also running in the marathon was Jessie who was also a friend of Mrs. Trumpet and mine. Great Job gang! Hope you had a blast and enjoyed the ride!

IMG_2047To say that security was tight is an understatement. We were not allowed to cross the street starting at 8AM and the cops didn’t play.

IMG_2052Here come the ladies. The order of the race is; wheelchair, ladies elite, men’s elite, general masses X5

IMG_2053Blonde haired runner in the middle of the pic, yep that is Shalane Flanagan and she won the women’s elite!

IMG_2058To say that the women were running fast is an understatement.

IMG_2060One of the wheelchair marathoner’s

IMG_2063Here come the Men’s Elite division

IMG_2065Tight Pack of runners, how they didn’t knock into each other I will never understand.

IMG_2066There he is folks, 42 years old and running professionally. He finished 11th this year.

IMG_2068Meb had more press and security around him than anyone! I am glad to say that I saw him run by me at 8mph!

IMG_2084The rain was a pain in the ass but I was ok with the temps

IMG_2090Snapped this pic as to it seemed a strange outfit to run in. Then Katherine Switzer ran by. Obviously he was security, or maybe he liked running in jeans.

IMG_2091How one person can run and still talk is amazing to me. How one who is 70 years old and can finish a marathon is fucking amazing!

IMG_2092#261 was the bib she was wearing when the race organizer tried to remove it from her. Her boyfriend at the time hip checked the race official to the ground. In 1972 Women were allowed to run in Boston.

IMG_2094Lots of St Jude Hero Runners at the Marathon today. Shout out to my good friend Photo Nikki who did a flying trip this weekend to photograph them. I cheered each and everyone of them as they ran by. *Nikki – I hope we get to see you at Christmas!

IMG_2075There goes our friend Jessie in the Blue/Purple Top!

IMG_2102Here comes Stuart!

IMG_2103He doesn’t look like he has run 16 miles does he?

IMG_2106Dude, you are the hero, we are just two shmo’s standing in the rain smoking cigars!

IMG_2113After 2 hours of standing there when Stuart ran by the parade was coming to an end.

IMG_2115Here is the quitter bus. Trust me when I say that if I ever did decide to run this fucker I would be riding in this by the end of the race

IMG_2120 (1)And then there are these 2 assholes!

Congrats to all the runners and finishers!

“You live the glamorous life in Gotham don’t you?”

I get that a lot from different people who don’t live here. Trust me when I say that our life isn’t always going to Dive Bars, eating at fancy places and driving around in a Rolls with our own driver. Well…..we do like Dive bars but scratch numbers two and three. Anyway here is what my ‘Typical’ Saturday looks like. Mind you I don’t have a car so all of these errands are done on foot and I have to lug this shit back to the apartment.

IMG_1835First I bang out any remaining work ish. That way I don’t have to worry about doing any of that on Sunday. I ‘try’ to get my stuff done during the week but stuff happens.

IMG_1840When I die, I want to come back as a Monkey Head. Tough life as they ‘struggle’ to survive on the mean streets of Manhattan. *the white dog is snoring like a freight train right now as I type this*

IMG_1843I became someone this week. When I hit the door the guys at the Coffee Inn know to get my Pumpkin Spice Latte ready. They also shine up their shoe to kick me square in the balls too!

IMG_1823I know that we have all the delivery services for groceries but every once in a while you just like to go squeeze the produce. Tomatoes are now out of season but I am still jonesing for BLT’s in October.

IMG_1824Looking North on First Avenue – That was the street that we saw the Pope by the way.

IMG_1827I had to swing by my physicians office to get my flu ‘shot’ *KLC Man and RMT – You see what I did there?*

IMG_1826There is Maria’s beloved Citi Bike station. Notice how it is empty. They can’t keep a bike up here in the UES. It was a great day on Saturday also.

IMG_1830Got to swing by and pick up my dry cleaning and say hello to Ms. Nguyen

IMG_1831This place is no bigger than a shoe box. They do laundry by the pound, offer dry cleaning and she does my alterations too

IMG_1828On this past Saturday Momma went all the way to Westchester county to Apple Pick but they had major logistical issues so she promptly came back. Roughly she spent 6 hours for nothing so I figure she could use some flowers. According to ‘my guy’ the flowers were good this week since the hurricanes are not stopping flights.

IMG_1825Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Hospital

IMG_1839Had to pick up some Paper Towels since we were on the last roll. *Insert President Joke here*

IMG_1833Trust me when I say that bag weighs roughly 40 pounds. You have to plan out your trip if you don’t want someone to lug your stuff for you.

IMG_1834Since it was 86 degrees this week, I had to have a suit cleaned since it was kind of ‘stinky’ I will be ready to start bitching about being cold soon!

IMG_1836Finally Some Carbunkle Trumpet Time!

Keep it light folks!

Memphians – Be careful what you wish for! #carbunkletrumpetcares

This post is for all of you who would bitch on Social Media about how Memphis should bury their electric lines underground rather than put on telephone poles. Shout out to a couple of you who asked if I was really dead because I hadn’t penned anything in a while. Ironic that my first post back from my 2 week hiatus is about something that could make me ‘join the choir invisible.”  Do you recall when I talked about the FIVE THINGS THAT CAN KILL YOU IN NYC well I seemed to have forgotten about one. What in the hell am I talking about here you wonder…….the ole NYC exploding Manhole cover. For those of you who do have power in Memphis let me explain what makes manhole covers explode in the summer.

New York is famous for putting everything underground; subway, electric, gas, fiber optics, dead bodies and sewer. As you can imagine with the street vibration both above and if you are lucky to live under the 4-5-6 line below will jostle things loose. Add rats chewing on electric lines, the salt and brine from the winter snow storms and you have some exposed power lines. Now that it is getting warmer in the city people are starting to use Gold Bond air conditioning more and the power demand is starting to spike and those cables below ground are starting to get warm. If you are one of those lucky tourists whom have ever gathered at the Times Square subway station you may have gotten a whiff of that wonderful NYC aroma. EDITORS NOTE – It is always funny to listen to tourists try to describe the smell they encounter at a subway station. Nobody has the heart to tell them that it is probably urine or poop.

So you have a brine soaked, overworked and frayed electric line below ground, you also have all kinds of gasses that are accumulating below ground and then there is a spark of electricity and BOOM! Thankfully the infrastructure below ground is pretty solid so at some point there has to be a relief valve or escape for this explosion. Hey is that a 90 pound manhole cover? Lets see how high we can blow that fucker into the air!! From what I understand there are some warning signs that New Yorker’s pay attention to. One is a manhole cover that is unusually warm or ‘hissing’. Yeah you want to stay the hell away from that joker, she can blow at anytime. Next is the manhole cover who is smoking like it spent Sunday at the Cigar Inn. You want to avoid that one at all cost because as they say, where there is smoke there is fire.

So last week I was heading over to pick up my dry cleaning and I notice one of those evil Bilco doors that was “catawampus” so I naturally took a picture of it and posted it on Instagram. As I head home I see the Engine 39 and Ladder 16 FDNY boys at the corner of 72nd and 1st Ave. I ask Pete what is up and he tells me that a Manhole cover exploded when an SUV was driving over it.  Naturally my first question was that everyone was ok and then asked if a pair of shorts was needed because the driver soiled his shorts.

IMG_1004That shiny building on the right. Yep that is Casa de Carbunkle! I texted Mr. 3 first names and the Asian Fireman to see if they were nearby. The answer was negative but as one of them told me “you should see when a manhole cover blows 30 feet in the air”

exploding-manhole-boomThis scares me that they actually have a graphic for this.

IMG_0972Con Ed Guys cutting out all the burned wire from the wiring harness. Smells like crap too!

IMG_0971No we are not electing a new pope this is to relieve the heat and pressure below

Taxi-Manhole-Explosion-NYCIt is all fun and games till a manhole cover blows and takes out a yellow cab.

 

Hope you have a good Monday and for those of you still without power at your home hang in there. I guess my readers who say that Memphis “should bury all their power lines” now may be rethinking that comments.

 

 

That is cute and everything but when is this shit going melt?

First and foremost, My hats off to KLC Man, Nova, Farmer Ted and anyone who lives in the ‘snow belt’. I now know what you go now through from October to June. Remember back last year when New York got the 30 Inches of Snow. What you didn’t know was that right after the snowstorm my ass headed to Memphis for 2 weeks so I didn’t have to deal with the aftermath. Do you know how much of a bitch it is to move around the city with snow that is piled up on the sidewalks? Trust me, it is a pain in the ass. And you are talking about someone who only has had to endure roughly 2 major snow storms since living up here.

Tuesday we got Snowstorm ‘Stella’ and it was supposed to be a snowstorm and a Nor’easter at the same time. The city prepared for it by cancelling school on Monday, announcing that exposed subway lines would be closed and the 3 airports cancelled flights like it was nobody’s business. Monday night the snow was to start and as we were walking the dogs on their evening Pee/Poop I kept telling them “enjoy that sidewalk, the shit is about to get real’ tomorrow. Thankfully Manhattan didn’t get the 18 inches it was supposed to get but we did get 9 inches of snow and ice. Hats off to NY Sanitation because with a travel ban they were able to get the main streets cleared and New York was able to get out of ‘limp’ mode fairly quickly. By the way ‘limp’ mode in New York would have been ‘Full Fucking Stop’ in Memphis or anywhere in the south.

Now if you are reading this in Memphis or parts south of the Mason Dixon line this may not be a big deal to you but when a plow pushes snow to the side of the street it piles up. Sadly there isn’t a ‘snow fairy’ who comes in and waves its magic wand and makes it go away. This stuff packs in and is harder than a high school oil boy at a Hawaiian Tropic Swimsuit competition. You see what I am getting to here? Eventually someone with a tractor makes ‘curb cuts’ to allow pedestrians to make their way across the street. The passageway are maybe 2 feet wide if that and with all the people walking around, you get the picture. It is a pain in the ass.

I am going to show the pictures to give you an idea of what I am talking about. I assure you that this southern boy is ready for spring and summer because trudging in this crap sucks. Maria, I am now bitching about the snow and weather do I get the next New Yorker badge? I guess you need to take me to your favorite Pizza place next. Enjoy the pictures. 

IMG_0503This was on Tuesday Morning when I came down to bring the dogs out to Pee. Pay no attention to Paul’s arm on the left side of the picture. He is laughing at me because I was saying to myself “At least it isn’t rain, at least it isn’t rain!”

IMG_0504Traffic was light on First Avenue on Tuesday Morning to say the least. Notice the street, they already plowed it earlier in the morning.

IMG_0505See the path on the sidewalk? That was Manny on the John Deere Tractor/snow plow who made that to push some sidewalk snow onto the street.

IMG_0506Hard to tell but the snow by the curb is about a foot deep. This was taken about 9AM on Tuesday and we had a full 8 hours of snow and sleet after that!

IMG_0501Here is my little snow bunny about to head to work on Tuesday. She is giving me ‘the look’ because my ass was in pajama pants and was checking to see what time the cigar joint opened that afternoon.

IMG_0509This poor Bastard got stuck on the shore during the storm on Tuesday. He getting rained on and the wind was a bitch. I bet that he was late to a staff meeting so they gave him this duty.

IMG_0510Wednesday they were digging out cars and this is reason number one that I am glad that we don’t own a car here. E72nd @ 2nd Ave

IMG_0511Call the ACPCA on my ass, I don’t care. If I had to put booties on the Monkey Heads they would bite me and it would be more trouble than what it is worth. Here this is the norm with dogs.

IMG_0512Taken on E73rd as I was…..wait for it….coming back from the Cigar joint.

IMG_0514Imagine 40 people coming and going trying to walk past in this little ass path in under 15 seconds.

IMG_0513This is a great way to make sure your bike doesn’t get stolen. Bury it in snow.

IMG_0515No curb cut? This is why we wear hiking boots in New York during snow days.

IMG_0520I see one of my work cohorts on Wednesday in a shared building and he takes one look at me and says “You going to work at Texas D Brazil?” I am fine with losing cool points, at least my feet are warm compared to your frozen toes.

IMG_0522Makes it damn near impossible to Jay Walk when we have snow piles.

IMG_0524Clearing the snow on 5th Avenue. They happen to have a little parade today and the Asian Fireman, Mr. 3 First Names, AB, and Skippy don’t want snow tickling their balls as they walk up the street in their kilts.

IMG_0525Yeah your ass ain’t getting your smart car out anytime soon bud.

IMG_0499As seen on Monday when I was making 19 calls to offset being home on Tuesday. I should have asked these guys on Monday if they needed anyone to sell Tour Bus Tickets on the Beach instead of Manhattan.

I will probably post some pics this weekend from the weekend’s festivities. Happy St. Patrick’s day folks. We are going to The Yonkers St. Patrick’s Parade on Saturday with Zsquared, Enimily the International Charleston Belle, Mel the IU Fan, and DC.

 

 

The Boogie Down BBQ on World Famous 236th Street!

You have probably heard me reference my friend RJ who lives in Memphis. RJ was originally from Pennsylvania but moved to Crime-Free Memphis as he wanted to be a shuttle driver at Graceland. RJ found himself a great woman (Let me rephrase that, Mallory, his wife,  is an effin saint) and they lived behind our house in South Bluffs. When we decided to sell Bar 595 he and Mallory bought it after we suckered hard sold JL (not Angry JL the one who can’t ride the majority of the rides at Disneyworld) into buying the house on Madewood to make the Ponzi scheme work. RJ’s best friend is the Asian Fireman and a whole bunch of other players who live near and around our vicinity. The Asian Fireman would come down each year for Memphis in May BBQfest so naturally they got the indirect smoking fever and sure enough some stick burners smokers have been purchased and reside in the Bronx and Glenside Pennsylvania.

A couple of years back the idea of The Boogie Down BBQ was born and a bunch of  Memphians headed up to 236th street and took over the house when the Asian Fireman’s wife was pregnant with C-Man. Can you believe we cooked all the food on just one smoker and a grill for 40 people?  After a trip to Glenside last year we headed back to 236th street and we were expecting a hungry crowd of 100 invited guests. We had 3 smokers and the grill and the menu included; Pork Shoulder, Baby Back Ribs, Spare Ribs, Beef Brisket, Beef Ribs, Chicken, Red Snapper and BBQ Nachos. The crowd came hungry and we delivered. A good time was had by all.

IMG_1718We must have elected a new Pope last weekend. Like a million of them

IMG_1717Prepping the Ribs

IMG_1719Loading the Smoker with Championship Ribs

IMG_1729Good to see Butchie who was in town for the day.

IMG_1732Me – “Um I smell something burning.” Asian Fireman – “Carbunkle, you need to lay off the sauce, there isn’t anything burning.” Me – “You were saying…..”

IMG_1710Pepe bossing us around from the chair

IMG_1708My buddy RJ, can’t wait to hoist a couple Cerveza’s down in Mexico!

IMG_1734The Spread for Dinner Service.

13697082_10154377130171214_6349630965306790063_nThe Backwood’s Smoker ish smoker. I could so use this sucker down on First Avenue.

13707714_10154377130246214_6399415964770970517_nBrisket’s being sliced.

IMG_1733Little Baby Priscilla Presley H is going to be the cutest girl in the Convent till she is 25!

It was a good time and I am glad to be enjoying some dinner that isn’t Hickory Smoked.

 

 

 

 

 

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

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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?

Memorial Day Weekend Recap

It started last week with various friends and coworkers asking; “You doing anything for Memorial Day Weekend CBT?”
“No, we are staying in the city over the weekend.” Not that there is anything bad with staying here but we are going to be out of town next weekend and needed to save our pennies.
FYI Memphis Friends – No we will not be at the Annual Italian Fest in Marquette Park this weekend. The truth of the matter is that I have not completed my “Speaking Northern 101” class yet but I am happy to report I am rocking the dark socks, sandals and a wife beater like a M’Effer!*
Now unlike my friends and coworkers who went to the beach or the Shore *why do New Yorkers say “Beach” and New Jersey folks say “Shore”* we stayed close to home and had a helluva weekend;

Friday night we went out to celebrate 19 years around the sun staying married to each other. We dined at Delmonico’s down in the heart of Wall Street and had a great meal and time. Part of this blog’s mystique is that I spin real stories and protect the names of the innocent. I will say that 19 years with Mrs. Trumpet has been a helluva ride and I look forward to the next 19+ years with her. Or at least until she figures out how to program the DVR and set up the WiFi connections then my ass is on the street.

Saturday we ventured up to see the Asian Fireman and his family and did a little BBQ’ing. *Remember New York Friends – BBQ by southern terms is cooking something indirect and utilizing smoke or vented heat. Grilling is cooking the same item over a direct heat source.* We had a good time up in Woodlawn and even the Monkey Heads got to enjoy running on grass and being outdoors.

Sunday we got to sleep in (well Mrs. Trumpet did) and tried to see “Manhattanhenge” where the sun lines up and is in full view of all cross streets. It only happens a couple times a year so naturally we celebrated it with beer! Sadly the cloud cover made for a no go of the sun peeking down the streets. Maybe next time.

Monday we chilled at home and again tried to see Manhattanhenge and again had cloud cover so no go. Fell asleep watching the Golden State game and now we have a two day work week!

STREET SHOTS-19You have to appreciate a joint that has been around for a while.

 IMG_1301When I worked at the Fancy restaurant in Memphis it amazed me for those who wanted Baked Alaskans. Naturally I had to have one for good measure.

IMG_1306We put “ole Blue” (the name of the smoker) through her paces on Saturday.

IMG_1313It gets any hotter then I will be telling C-Man to move over.

IMG_1308Got to love Fi, she is going to be a handful when she grows up.

IMG_1314Shoulder 1 is off the smoker

IMG_1316Smoker Two is off the smoker. *The reason for the cigars is that we were trolling a couple of our friends. We both know not to smoke a cigar while handling food.

FullSizeRenderAwww This makes me nostalgic for Memphis!

IMG_1322Manhattanhenge – FAIL!

IMG_1324Not a view down a cross street but this is up First Avenue. Love the way the buildings frame the street.

Have a good week!