BBQ 101

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Sep 1, 2003
Richmond Texas USA
Hey Guys
This week in Badger Matt's thread,which was smoked ribs, in the gallery. I offered to help those that wanted to know how to BBQ. Well Sixshot and Ruger1nut requested my info. So here ya go.
I'm about to told ya how I do mine.
First off lets get into some of the basics. First off there are a zillion types of Q, along with all types of sauces just depends where ya live. Even in Texas a couple of different ways are done. Coopers in Llano does theirs on an open pit, more like a grill. Kreuz Market in Lockhart and City Market in Luling do theirs in Smokers. All of these BBQ Joints are in the top ten in Texas.
I know that there are guys on the Forum that can do better than mine. Well mine is purtty dang good so ya got your work cut out fer ya. I have eaten Q at cook offs done by the Pros that I wouldn't feed to a dog. :wink:
Qing is about the easiest cheapest ways to cook for a crowd or just you and the Wifie.
I do Pork Shoulder/Butt for pulled Pork, Pork Ribs, Beef Brisket Chicken, and Turkey
Now about SAUCES . To begin with I'm not much into sauce. To me it is like putting ketchup on a Prime Rib-eye Steak. Ya don't want to kill the smoke flavor in the meat. Kreuz Market DOES NOT EVEN offer sauce. When I do I use very little sauce on brisket it is City Market's. It isn't to sweet (KC & W. NC.Style) or To Vinegary (E. NC.Style) just right. My Daughter-in-law has relatives that own part of City Market and she can't even get the recipe. :cry:
OK Enough of that stuff lets cook.
All ya need to cook GOOD Q IS either a Pit, Grill, or Smoker, Gas or Charcoal, will detail later. Also ya need LOW HEAT around 210-240 some use 180, plus ya need SMOKE from Oak, Pecan, Hickory, or Apple No Creosote poles or Penta treated. Mesquite is OK, but can have a stronger bitter taste. After about 3 hrs the wood smoke WILL NOT PENETRATE the meat anymore so in gas fired stuff ya don't need to keep putting it in
Ya really need to cook with indirect heat. A few ways to do this. In a Pit the fire box is off to the side, Gas and Charcoal Grills fire on one side meat on other, if ya can't do that put a pan with water on grate and meat on a rack over the pan. A smoker the fire is at the bottom with a pan of water on top and meat is on top of that. That is the way I do it in a grill and the smoker. This will keep the meat moist and you will not have to worry about flare-ups and the pan catches all the grease so no mess.

OK Lets do some Ribs. I use Baby Backs and do not use sauce. One rack of about 2-21/4# is just right for wifie and me. First get a Beer, now rub some Olive oil on the dry room temp ribs. Now sprinkle a dry rub on ribs. There are many or you can make your own. I have but I use Cavender's All Purpose Greek Seasoning. Get the grill about 400 ( you should be able to hold your hand over grate for about 5 sec.) now sear the ribs until brown this will also put the nice burn marks on the ribs. If using a Pit just put ribs on grate and forget about pan of water. OK get another Beer. Now put ribs on rack, turn down fire to 225,put wood chips on burner or the wood CHUNKS on the charcoal and a pan of water under the ribs, and close lid. I spray mine with 50-50 Apple juice and Apple Cider Vinegar about every 45 min or between Beers.
After 31/2 hrs at 225 get ribs off grill get another beer and eat ribs.

Well now lets do a Brined Turkey. If ya want the Bird juicy ya need to brine it. Don't get more than a 15# bird.
First off the Brine 1 cup salt, 1 cut lemon, 1 cut orange, med. cut onion 3 cloves garlic, 4 bay leaves, 1tbl.dried thyme, 1tbl. black pepper. Rub bird with salt then put all the rest in a pot and cover bird with water/brine let soak in refg. overnight.
Now put bird in pan breast side up, set temp around 240 and baste with juices a few times. It will take around 30 min. per #. When temp is 165 take out and let set for 15 min then carve. Set cookers up same as for ribs.
OK Now time to eat some pig. I Get a 8-10# Shoulder which includes the butt or a 5# butt First off make the sauce, which is a little warm. 3 cups apple cider vinegar,1/4 cup salt, 4 tabl. pepper, 2 tabl. cayenne pepper, 1/4 # butter 1qt. water. Bring all this stuff to a boil. Sauce the pig before smoking than about every hour as it cooks. Smoke the pig for 6-10 hrs. then wrap in alum foil so you can pour on one cup of sauce. Put sealed pig in oven or cooker at 350 for two hrs or so. For sliced ya want the meat temp around 180 for pulled around 200.
Let set 20-min and pull into chunks or finer.
When I need pulled pork, I take a 1 pound pack that has been in a freezer bag out of the freezer, throw it in boiling water and it comes out just like new. I've tried other methods, but this, for us, is the best.
Set up smokers as above.
Now I saved the best for last. A Texas Brisket. Get a 10# packer or untrimmed Brisket, lots of fat on it. Wash brisket and while still wet put on rub. Use Cavenders or get a brisket rub you can also make one. 2oz salt, 2oz. pepper, 2 oz. garlic powder, 2oz. accent, 2 oz. chili powder, 1/2 oz. red pepper. Put on smoker after getting a beer with fat side up. Keep heat around 180-225 will take about 1-1/2 hour per # meat temp should be 180. I spray mine with the apple juice/vinegar mixture. Turn the brisket as it smokes a couple of times
You can also take off cooker after about 6 hrs finish in oven or freeze and finish later. Just wrap in heavy foil. Also expect to have 40% shrinkage.
Well Guys sorry this is so long.
You can wrap all this meat in foil freeze and eat later.
Last Thanksgiving I smoked 2 10# pork sholders. 1 15# turkey, 1 brisket and 4 racks of ribs. The other night we had ribs and brisket from that pile. If ya buy stuff on sale this is cheap to do. Pig was $1.00 # Bird was free ribs $5 a rack and brisket $1.50#
Happy eating. If ya have any questions just ask.
Here is a real nice PIT TYPE SMOKER that Matt has. It is a very good size so you can move it and it still has enough space for lots of stuff.
I would add a gas buner in the smoke box so you can to quick stuff and light off the charcoal/wood. This is the one to get if you want a very versatile cooker
A little bigger PIT TYPE I used in VA.



My Kitchen. Frying fish, spilling grease on the floor and slopping wash water all over is the norm. :lol:

Tools required to smoke on a gas/charcoal grill. Upper Rack, pan, wood chips, wood chip holder of some type, and spray bottle.

The Gas smoker use same tools.


There ya go the different type of stuff to smoke some good Q with.
Now a few pic. of my shop. It's kind of a mess haven't cleaned it in awhile




Sep 3, 2006
Honeoye NY
I thank you so much.

I am glad that Beer is such an integral part of this.... I need an excuse to have one or a couple or...... while I cook.



Aug 20, 2006
soda springs, idaho
Jim, thanks, thats impressive! As soon as I get back from New Mexico I'm doing some ribs....Wyandot Jim style!! They look awesome. I'm not a beer drinker but I can find something to keep me occupied while them ribs is a cooking :D

Thanks again, Dick

Badger Matt

Nov 27, 2006
Simpsonville, SC
One of my retirement projects will be to build a brick pit in the backyard, covered of course, just for the age-old art of smoking ribs and such. There's something therapeutic about "watching" the smoker while drinking beer.
Sep 1, 2003
Richmond Texas USA
Badger Matt said:
One of my retirement projects will be to build a brick pit in the backyard, covered of course, just for the age-old art of smoking ribs and such. There's something therapeutic about "watching" the smoker while drinking beer.
Did ya ever notice if ya just sit arond and drink beer people think you are a DRUNK. Now if you got stuff on the pit and sit around and drink beer they think you are the WORLDS BEST COOK. I'm the Worlds best cook :lol: :lol:
I really like your pit.


May 31, 2009
warren mi
nice looking rig smoking should say cooking in general is my first hobby firearms is a close second gotta eat man :lol: