My thoughts on the subject.
I agree with
Foamheart Post #15 Sounds to me like the thread itself was baiting an argument.
And I was going to stay clear of this thread since to OP did a hit and Run, but the thread turned into a pretty decent discussion.
From SQWIB POST #9 Folks always confuse Low and Slow with smoking, they are two entirely different things and therefore should not be used interchangeably.
@Hickory Butt post #14 I'd be curious to see what the 'official' definitions of the words are. Is there a widely accepted agreement on what these words actually mean?
It is subjective and to be honest I don't care if these are defined anywhere but for me and as far as temps go, Low and Slow and Smoking are two entirely different things, you can cook Low and Slow in a Crock pot, Sous Vide, Smoker, Oven or in the ground such as a Luau to name a few.
Smoking can be done at any temperature here's a few, cold smoking, hot smoking, fast and hot. Smoking can be used to cure foods, I do my Buckboard Bacon at 50° for 36 hours.
I consider Smoking to cure or infuse smoke flavor into food.
@FWIsmoker Post #13 All HOGWASH lol.
I'd love to know where smoking stops and cooking begins. Lol
My opinion is Smoking and Cooking should not be used in place of each other but can be used together.
@ Diesel post #16 Yes.. I was wrong with when using the word "cooking"
No you were not wrong, when applying heat you are cooking period!
the practice or skill of preparing food by combining, mixing, and heating ingredients.
@FWIsmoker POST #17 These so called definitions are all subjective and will always be subjective.
@Timberjet Post#19 Boy, I hate to step into the line of fire here but to me, smoking meat is all about adding smoked flavor to the meat, That is my opinion as well.
But this is where I say it's Low and Slow...two different beasts... rendering fat into the meat and break down connective tissue while ending up with a quality finished product. That's not to say you cant smoke low and slow but smoking does not always mean low and slow and vice versa.
@Hickorybutt post # 21
I should have had the foresight to just stay off of this topic based on how the original poster started the conversation to begin with
That was my initial intention as well, but since folks are still going back and forth I felt I would add my 2 cents...as usual lol.
@Nouboundaries post #30 Found this in Wikipedia. Seems to fit this discussion.
I'd have to agree somewhat especially for the Pit Roasting for me anyhow. That is why I always try to refer to my cooking on the Pit as Pit Cooking at temps around 250° - 450° and when using my GOSM I feel I am HOT Smoking although my temps are usually 200-250° unless of course I am cold smoking.
@tjs231 post #40 I use the slow-n-low time as an excuse to not do anything else except enjoy beers.
True, I try to look at the time on my pit as MY TIME.
I go into every cook with the following in mind.
You get up before the sun, head out to the pit, it is dark but the darkness is welcome, it makes you feel like you are in your own world.
You open up the firebox door and start a fire. It is very still and dry out, the fire burns upward.
It is silent, almost a deafening quiet, no birds, no airplanes or cars, no air conditioners, the only thing that is heard through the silence is the crackling of the fire, you glance at the temperature gauge on the wall and it reads 36°, you think to yourself , "that's cold", but the warmth from the pit is comforting and you are not cold.
The light from the fire cuts through the dark giving the area a warm soothing glow and the smell from the freshly ignited wood makes you close your eyes and inhale deeply, you loose yourself for a minute, at this point you know its going to be a great day.
You head upstairs and grab the pork, once at the pit, you unwrap the pork and get hit with another welcomed smell... it's of your rub, as you gaze at the slather that has developed from the rub mixing with the meat juices you are fighting the urge to swipe the gooey goodness with your finger and taste it like you would icing on a birthday cake, the whole time saying to yourself, "life is great".
The fire settles down, you look over your shoulder and notice the glow of the sun peeking through the trees.
You set up your pit and place your treasure into the pit, you close the pit and head upstairs to grab a coffee and back out to the pit.
You then place your favorite chair by your firebox and gaze at the thermometer and it is now 42°.
As you sip on your coffee you get a faint smell of your rub alongside a bit of smoke smell, now you get anxious... you spring up and take a peek... not much going on but you take a minute to admire your treasure.
A little while passes and you add some more wood to the fire, as the fire crackles you hear a sizzling sound, you spring up out of your chair and pop open the pit,...whoosh you get plastered in the face with the first signs that your pork is on it's way, you have now just opened Pandora's box, the anticipation weighs heavily on you like a crushing force that can only be lifted by time.
As you admire your treasure you notice the "pork gold" oozing from the surface, you know everything is as it should be and you have aligned with the universe.
too be continued.
Nothing is more relaxing to me than being outside tending the pit on a nice fall morning, kicking back with a fresh cup of coffee taking in all the wonderful aromas from the pit.
As much as it is relaxing, there is also something primeval about cooking meat over a fire, there is also the satisfaction of producing a product that required so much attention and will be enjoyed by many.
When I'm cooking on the pit, it's not just cooking, it is more of an event. Now that I look back I remember my Mother In Law would make thanksgiving dinner, I saw her slaving in a kitchen all day, but to her she was enjoying her event, she was in her element and enjoying every minute of it, to me it looked like a lot of hard work.
When I'm cooking on the pit, folks look at me and say, "man you've been tending that pit all day, that seem like a lot of work", but I'm in my element, so I say, "its only work if you don't enjoy it".
Here is a post from my website and this is sums up my feelings on the subject.
I want to point out to the Smoking enthusiasts that, when Pit Cooking, my goal is not to incorporate smoke flavor, this is a welcomed by-product of cooking with hardwood and I subscribe to the belief , "less is more", when cooking on my pit. So I refer to this as "Pit Cooking", but most just call it "Smoking".
If I want to infuse a smoke flavor I will usually use my GOSM, I usually use the GOSM for my appetizers as well..
The following is how I approach my cooking, this is not to say that this is everyone thought but rather my opinion.
Smoking, desired outcome, to infuse smoke flavor into food product.
Grilling, cooking over direct heat or higher heat to achieve a Maillard Reaction, searing, charring etc...
Cold Smoking, infuse smoke flavor into a food product without cooking.
Low and Slow, desired outcome, to slowly cook product to render fat and break down connective tissue.
Barbecue, to cook food indirectly with the use of hardwood coals (infusing smoke flavor is not the goal here but is a welcomed by product.
4 and 5 play well together.
So in closing this has been an interesting thread and I enjoyed seeing everyones point of view.