OK, I admit it. I love to smoke.

I love to smoke outside, sitting on my back porch looking out at my freshly mown backyard.

I love to smoke all day; starting early in the morning and going late into the afternoon and early evening.

Certainly, I’m addicted. You can’t smoke as much as I do and not feel the craving for just one more experience.

It’s more than an addiction, though. It’s becoming an art form, something I look forward to and prepare for hours in advance.

In the beginning, my wife objected because it stinks up my clothes and takes hours of my time, but soon she experienced firsthand the real joy of smoking and now, she’s addicted, too.

I admit it’s probably unhealthy. I smoke so often, it’s got to be taking a toll on my body.

But I don’t care. I enjoy it too much to quit. Even if I wanted to, I probably couldn’t. I’m hooked for life.

You know, I’m not talking about cigs or stogies or those little marijuana cigarettes, right?

I’m talking meat. All kinds of meat. Every kind of meat. Meat, meat, meat.

I’m talking about taking a rack, or three, of baby back ribs and cooking them low and slow for six hours over chunks of cherry wood.

Or how about a nice pork butt, brined in apple cider, covered with rub and cooked for about eight hours over hickory.

You can do chicken over mesquite, beef ribs over oak, or a chunk of pork belly over apple.

Feeling adventurous? Try a brisket. That’s one I still haven’t mustered the courage to try. It means 10-12 hours slow-cooking one of the toughest pieces of meat around until its falling apart tender.

Oh, and don’t forget the sauce. That’s why I started to write this article. To tell you about smokin’ guru Steve Raichlen‘s new book.

Raichlen is pretty much the reason I started smoking–he and my old next door neighbor who went on deployment and left his smoker in my care.

I first saw Raichlen on PBS in a series called Barbecue University. After that, Primal Grill, and then, Project Smoke. I’ve watched them all, bought most of his books, and tried many of his recipes.

If you want someone to introduce you to the joys of smoking, Raichlen is the  guy.

His new book is called “Barbecue Sauces, Rubs and Marinades.” I don’t need to tell you about it. Just click the player above for his interview with anchor Efrem Graham to see the wonders you can perform with a smoker and the right recipes.

Well, it’s Friday afternoon at the time of my writing this article – and now that this piece is done, my weekend is about to begin.

Think I’ll go have a smoke.

 

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