Fire up the pits

Barbecue - "a large animal (as a steer) roasted whole or split over an open fire or a fire in a pit"
Recently I started a running blog. I run all the time, but I really do not have a lot of material to post on there all the time. So I decided to start another blog on my third passion. I love eating and smoking barbecue. I have actually lost friends over it. I feel like everyone who has lived in Texas should get it, but sometimes they do not. What I am talking about is the difference between barbecuing and grilling out. People will post on Facebook that are hosting a BBQ. When you show up, they are grilling hotdogs and hamburgers. That is what I call grilling out. At that same moment, I also get disappointed. I was expecting brisket, sausage, or ribs.

The point of this blog is for me to review BBQ joints we visit, talk about my adventures in smoking meats, or anything related to barbecue. I was going to start this blog a long time ago. I have taken pictures every time I go to a barbecue restaurant. The only issue is I have forgotten what I was going to write about each place. I guess I will have to revisit them again. Darn...

When I was growing up, my family did not eat barbecue very often. If we did, it was mainly ribs. I grew up in Cleveland so that was a hotbed for BBQ. Not. We moved to Texas when I was 14, but I did not taste the holy meat known as brisket till I was in college at The University of Texas at Austin . I felt like I was sheltered from certain foods when I was growing up. I did not really eat Tex-Mex till college as well. The first time I ate brisket was at Rudy's. I remember getting the moist cut and thinking this was one of best meats I have ever eaten. Of course now, my opinion of Rudy's is completely different now. In college, I also loved PoK-e-Jo's (mainly because of the sides), Bongo's (now closed), and Green Mesquite. Yikes! What was I thinking back then?

When the wife was in law school in Lubbock, we did not eat a whole lot of barbecue there. We mainly ate a lot of Tex-Mex and chain restaurants. That also explains why I was almost 40 pounds heavier. There were about four BBQ places, and they were all forgettable. Tom and Bingo's became our favorite place, but we did not try them till after we left Lubbock. They made the Texas Monthly's Top 50 BBQ List back in 2008. Their brisket was very good, but the portion was small and not cheap.

In the summer of 2007, we moved back to Austin. We would often to go out to the Salt Lick with friends. I am a big fan of the place. I will write more about it more someday. Who does not like all you can eat barbecue and BYOB? Amber and I would eat at various BBQ places in and around the Austin area. We ended up building a house in Kyle in 2009. Kyle is about 15 minutes away from the barbecue capital of Texas, Lockhart. After visiting Lockhart multiple times at the different restaurants that it had to offer, my love for barbecue started to swell. I wanted to be able to smoke my own meat. I feel so wrong for writing the last two sentences.

For my 30th birthday, Amber got me an electric smoker. I did not want her to spend a whole lot of money on something I might not be committed to. I know an electric smoker is not the best way to go, but it is a lot easier to control the temperature. I just needed to make sure I have enough woods chips in there to create a thick smoke. I normally use oak or pecan wood. One of these days I will invest in a traditional smoker with room, but I am happy with what I have now. I have made brisket, ribs, chicken, turkey, and pulled pork. I am quite satisfied in what comes out of the smoker.

So this was a small start to my barbecue blog. I have a lot of posts lined up that I sort of feel overwhelmed. I hope you guys enjoy it.

Until next time, happy smoking...

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