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Howdy from Texas.

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I currently live in Rockwall, Texas just east of Dallas, but I grew up in West Texas south of Amarillo.  I was very fortunate growing up because we cooked out all the time.

 

My first experience in BBQ was when my father was going to slow cook a goat for a bachelor party.  I was 7 years old and he sent me out to the migrant camp at the potato shed he ran with a 72 year old man from Mexico.  I was not told what I was going to do.  He had a goat in the yard and had me sit there and pet it.  He went into the house and got a big bowl and a couple of knives.  We proceeded to bleed the goat out and dress and quarter it.  I have never looked back since.

 

I was fortunate that most of my early experiences were cooking goat and lamb.  Two meats which are not very forgiving like beef and pork.  And to this day I prefer goat over any other type of meat.  And the older the goat the better.  They have so much flavor if dressed out and cooked properly.  My father also had a sheep feed lot back in the day so we ate a lot of mutton.  When a ewe was past fertility she would end up in our freezer.

 

We always cooked over a "real pit" style cooker back then.  It was a 8x4x4 angle iron frame outfitted with corrugated metal and a door in the middle to feed in the coals.  We would use a heavy tarp to cover it to hold in the heat and moisture.  There was a large fire built with mesquite wood, we would use long handled shovels to feed the pit with coals.  A very labor intensive process when compared to an offset cooker.  And fairly wasteful of wood.  But fun for us kids because we were in  charge of keeping the tarp moist.

 

I was in my late twenties when I built my first large bbq cooker.  I used 16' of .500 wall 22" casing.

 

It has a smoke box which feeds into a long grill then a stand up smoker on the end.  My family had to eat a lot of really bad brisket until I finally learned how to use it properly.  Cooking over a real pit style is not that difficult compared to an offset.  But the difference in taste makes using an offset really worth it.  You cannot get a smoke ring from a real pit, the meat is just dull gray.  The offset can put a beautiful red smoke ring in almost anything you cook.  And in Texas that is almost as important as the sauce.

 

I have also started smoking and curing salmon, bacon, and sausage.  I really enjoy making sausage and then semi-dry smoking it.  Though I have done some fermented sopressato type sausage as well.

 

I catered for years for different events cooking for from 30 people to 300.  And several times I cooked for a 4th of July celebration where we fed 1200.  We cooked 1800 lbs of gooseneck round over a real pit style cookers.  It was a 36 hour process and a lot of fun and beer.

 

Like I said, I have been very fortunate in my BBQ life.  I was a long time lurker on this board and a few others.  I find smokingmeatforums to be the most informative and professional, so I took the leap and joined.  I look forward to sharing ideas with all of you.

post #2 of 5

Welcome to SMF

 

Enjoyed reading your story, thanks for sharing. Looking forward to reading more.

 

Glad to have you on board!

post #3 of 5

Welcome to the site W.  That is a fascinating history you've got going there.  Sounds like a fun upbringing to me.

 

Do you have any pictures of your first smoker build?  I'd like to see it if you do.

 

I look forward to reading about some of your smokes.

post #4 of 5

:welcome1:  To SMF glad to have you on board. Looks like your already a pro from that nice story. Th gang here loves to see pictures of what you cook and do.

post #5 of 5

Welcome to SMF!

 

Sounds like you have a ton of info to share.

 

Can't wait to see some of your work.

 

Al

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