Greetings from a Thai Texan

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Jan 11, 2023
Ban Ko Kaeo, Thailand
Hello All,
I’m originally from Texas and have, after 30 years with the company (valve mfg), been retired for about two years now. Last year I relocated to Thailand and married a nice Thai woman. Now she is retired after 29 years with her company (fabric printing).

We are building a house in rural Surin Province and ‘I want a BBQ Smoker’! I miss BBQ! Not available anywhere near me. (I also miss Étouffée but that’s another story)

I expect to become the new family meeting hub and want to entertain regularly. She is the youngest of 10 and we are building on the family land. Mother, siblings and their spouses, niece/nephews, their kids young and old. We’re surrounded 😳

I’m going to be bugging the forum about all manner of things from:

1) alternate woods (the oaks, mesquites, etc… are imported and sold online by the kilo (expensive), with shipping (more expensive)). I’ve heard coconut husks are okay. What about dried banana stem? Waa? (Java Plum) I know it’s a fruit tree, but learned recently Mango is not suitable. So, once bitten, twice shy…

2) integrated Smoker/Pizza Oven design (if even possible). We both want a Pizza oven, and I’m trying to keep the footprint down.

3) finding beef brisket. (yeah, I know, can’t help me there. *sigh*) Local beef looks like round and trimmings. Get blank looks when describing brisket…

We will be raising a handful of goats for milk and meat as well as chickens and pangasius catfish. Pork is plentiful so there’s that at least.

Third time this has ’reset’ and I’ve had to restart from half edit. Please excuse any errors.

Looking forward to hearing you opinions…
Welcome from Nova Scotia

I am sure folks here will jump in with any help they can give you.

Great story on your life as it is now.
That is great to retire and start again in a new country. Sounds like you will be busy with building a new home and life
with all the new family

Good luck and post up everything you can , and we love pictures also, lol

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Good luck and post up everything you can , and we love pictures also, lol
Will do. Amateur photographer with a bad YouTube Channel. I’ll post when I have something.

It will be about a year before I get round to building the smoker, though. Planning an outdoor kitchen/trellis with seating on a deck beside a small goldfish pond…

Bear in mind however, ”No plan survives contact with the enemy”. The enemy in this case being an empty wallet…. So, we’ll see. 😉
Greetings from Virginia and welcome! Really cool story, I have a good friend that retired to Thailand and now works with humanitarian de-mining companies. Talking with him from time to time, the rural area he lives in (Isaan?) is all charcoal and he only does direct, indirect, and had a Santa Maria style set up fabricated. I would recommend that approach, still legit BBQ flavor and technique, just one suitable to your reality. According to him, hanging around the BBQ and drinking beers isn’t an option due to heat.

For the beef question, I would recommend finding a missionary farm and talk to them. That’s what I did in West Africa to get the pork cuts we wanted. The Western missionaries did well with slaughter and butchering and understood what I was looking for. That would probably be most cost effective. Another, probably more expensive, option is finding a Resturaunt catering to tourists or Americans, probably American Expat targeting US service personnel. They may have a source. From what my buddy told me, if you are inclined and some aren’t, getting tight with the expat community quickly opens access to western “luxuries.”

For pizza oven? I’d just get the design you want and have locals build it using local firebrick. As a hint, but you may know better than me now, is to have your wife negotiate for material and builds. Maybe even a friend or relative of hers. I’ve been all over the world and the one constant (in poorer countries) has been as soon as they see an American the price markup goes at least 500%. Which, I don’t have a problem with usually, but if it’s your home and you have a fixed budget, it is a problem. You are getting prices aimed at “rich” tourists there temporarily, some of my friends foreign wives even take a few years to understand the limitations sometimes.

Good luck! I hope you keep posting!
Welcome from Iowa! Look forward to your pics as well!

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