According To Smoky
Welcome to According to Smoky. Here you will find the latest and greatest from C. Clark "Smoky" Hale notable 'baster', author, publisher, television star in both the barbecue and 'the real' world. And yes, he is a real person and not the webmaster.
Smoky will be offering his talents, techniques and secrets discovered over the last 150 years, or so. He will be to the point, pull no punches and if you suffer through the process, you will become a much better outdoor cook, turning out masterpiece meals for friends and family alike.
In this column, Smoky doesn't waste any time getting into the meat of the matter. Shoulder and butts make the world go round! . . . . . take notes!
So, with no further adieu, we turn the mike to Smoky. You're on Smoky . . . . .
OUTDOOR COOKING WITH SMOKY HALE
By Smoky Hale
Shoulders, pork butts and picnic hams are part and parcel of the same front leg and shoulder of a hog. When the top of the shoulder is separated, it becomes a butt or a Boston butt. What remains is called a picnic or a picnic shoulder. The pork butt is to pork cookers as the brisket is to a Texan. Both pieces have layers of fat interspersed with the meat. When cooked low and slow, the fat melts while basting the meat to keep it moist until it gets done. This is what creates that soft, savory succulence that cannot be had any other way.
When this uncommon alchemy is performed in the dry heat of wood coals,
the meat becomes barbecue. The misinformed, who equate barbecue with pork and vinegar, would mistakenly call it smoking. The unfortunate choice and misuse of this word has led to ruin of many good pieces of meat. Meat cooked in the dry heat of wood embers for 10-12 hours can easily absorb too much smoke. Meat cooked in the smoke and gasses of burning wood will become distasteful to the discerning palate within a very short time.
The best barbecue -- and roasted meat -- is probably cooked over wood coals in an open pit. The juices dripping onto the coals atomize and return as flavor bombs that imbed themselves into the meat and later explode in your mouth. It takes longer; more fuel and more time, but, for those who can afford the time, the results unmistakably superior. Since we don't all have the time to dig pits and burn down all the wood it takes to cook in the open, Man invented the covered grill.
All of them had certain basic functions designed into their form. Barbecue grills must deliver consistent, low temperatures over a period of several hours. Therefore, they must allow replenishing the coals without disturbing the meat; allow the meat to cook at temperatures between 200 and 225 degrees without burning on the outside; allow temperature control by controlling the draft and the distance of the
meat grill from the fire grate.
Continued on Page 2
Smoky's 5th basic position for really great barbecue'n.
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