I'm an ex-pat, a good ole boy originally from near Savannah Georgia. I have lived in Ireland for over a decade now. I am a classically trained chef, with two culinary degrees but have not worked as a chef for some time. My family was always big into pig pickings. My family's own BBQ sauce has been passed down to me and currently, I am the only person left alive that knows how to make it. It has been a challenge, working with different ingredient brands, and finding some ingredients here in Ireland, but I have finally found a combination of ingredients that makes the sauce taste the way I remember it. My family never really used spice rubs, just salt and pepper, and a mop made from cider vinegar and water. I have during my time as a chef, developed my own spice rub that along with my family BBQ sauce, makes some darn good ribs. My family never used smokers. We had this old bed frame, one of the old ones where the base that the mattress sits on is cross-hatched like a grill. We would dig a shallow pit under the bed frame. We then had a barrel with a slot cut out of the side, at the bottom. We would put wood in the top of the barrel, light it on fire, and as the wood turned to coals, we would scoop them with a shovel, out fo the slit in the barrel, and spread them under meat which sat on the old bed frame. Every spring, my uncle would buy a young pig to fatten up, he would slaughter it on July 3rd and we would scald it, scrape it..and saw it in half. He would start before daylight on July 4th and literally cook the pig all day. This is the BBQ I grew up with. I would love to try to bring something similar to Ireland. There are a few lads here who try it but they just don't get it right...most get it way to dry and smoke is just way too strong, all you can taste is the smoke. The cuts of meat are cheaper here than they are in Georgia....a rack of Pork Ribs here only costs about 8 euro and pork shoulders or butts have to be specially ordered from butchers as they don't really use them here but are generally about 7 or 8 euro as well...the same for beef brisket but it is a little more expensive. Wood here is way more expensive though and getting hickory or pecan wood is almost impossible...my grandparents in Georgia had a huge pecan orchard so we always had lots of pecan wood and that was the main wood we used. Because I rent my home and don't own it, I am looking to have a smoker built since the landlord will not let me dig a pit in my back yard lol. I am not a welder and no one over here knows how to make a smoker...the few that do think very highly of their services. I'm hoping to get some help and advice on coming up with a plan that I can take to a metal fabricator and say here...make this. I'm looking forward to learning a lot.
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