Many moons and episodes of Jersey Shore ago, my boyfriend bought me a smoker.
It’s the sort of thing not every gal would want for her birthday, but I did, so he got a special treat that night. Wink, wink. Nudge, Nudge. Yup. Jello.
He got jello with whipped cream the year he bought me a snowblower.
This particular smoker he bought used, off of a champion BBQ guy. It was a fluke really. My fella was looking in various stores and on Kijiji and Craiglist for a smoker and came across Mike Callaghan’s listing for a Bayou Classic Smoker. Of course he didn’t list the smoker as “The Smoker of a Champion BBQ guy …” . He just listed it as “a smoker”. We found out the “Champion” part upon picking it up.
Turns out Mike “Big Dog” Callaghan is serious about his smoking. He’s the 3 time undefeated National Chili Champion and his team The Black Pig BBQ team have won countless awards in your BBQ staple categories like ribs and brisket and chicken. Did you read that last one as children? I did during my proof read of this post. Anyhow … in the months since I got the smoker Mike’s been incredibly helpful and patient with me and my questions. Plus he’s offered up some info without my even asking for it.
I think he’s a BBQ psychic, which of course is the very best kind of psychic to be. Would you rather be able to predict natural disasters and death, or where in the neighbourhood the best pulled pork was being cooked?
One of the greatest tips he’s ever given me was something he probably doesn’t even realize I’ve come to cherish. Yes. Cherish. Like your childhood blankie, or my very first set of tools.
It’s how to quickly light a charcoal BBQ.
Observe … (even if you don’t have sound, ’cause you’re reading my website and watching my videos at work when you’re supposed to be … well, working … you’ll get the gist of the technique)
Please note I’m using “lump charcoal”. It’s 100% wood, as opposed to the briquettes you often see which are part wood and part filler which are then compressed into lumps. Lump charcoal does light more easily than briquettes, but it also burns hotter and cleaner than briquettes. You have to fiddle a bit more in terms of temperature because lump charcoal burns less evenly than briquettes. It’s slightly more expensive than briquettes but if you’re serious about BBQing, lump is the way to go.
Tune in later next week to find out how to remove vegetable oil from your patio. Seriously.