Hello World

3 Jul

The ribs I'm going to test run on my grill this weekend.

Well you always have to start somewhere and this is it.  Let me introduce myself and tell you a little bit about why I decided to start a blog.

My name is Graydon McKee and I have decided to start a blog about barbecue and my path back to the world of barbecue.  I say path back because I briefly dropped out of the fold.  You see this time last year I was living in Sugar Hill, Georgia.  I was the proud owner of a Peoria Customer Cooker. (Pictures will follow)   I was building my skills as a pit master (though I wouldn’t claim to be one) and life was good.  Then I get an offer of a lifetime to work for a technology company in Silicon Valley.

I knew that life was going to change drastically and it has.  I knew that the hours were going to be long and that I wouldn’t get the time to barbecue.  So it was with a heavy heart that I decided to say fair well to the smoker that had treated me and my family so well.  I just couldn’t see looking out the window at it every day and knowing that I didn’t have the time to get out there and “fiddle with my pit.”  In the end I gave it to a very good friend of mine and it is currently creating meals to remember in Nashville, Tenn.

I was right.  We moved to California and I began working very long hours.  When I was home I just couldn’t justify spending any time away from my family since I wasn’t with them very much during the week.  I knew I had made the right decision but honestly I missed my pit.  My whole family missed the barbecue too.  I kept telling myself it was for the best but if your a barbecue nut like me you know that won’t cut it for long.

I tried looking for some good barbecue places but you just don’t get good southern style barbecue in California.  There is one place that is pretty good but not great.  Nonetheless it still satisfies the urge when it hits.

Well here I am now almost a year after I got here and I’m admitting that I made a mistake.  I should never have gotten rid of my smoker.  I still work long hours during the week but now I realize how therapeutic barbecue can be.  And I’m not talking about eating it so much as preparing it.  I love the process of selecting the meat, balancing the spices, adjusting the pit and putting the food on the table.

But what am I to do without a smoker.  Well I do have a gas grill that I’ve been using for steaks and such.  It doesn’t taste as good as coals but it is quick and right now its the only thing that I have.  I’ve decided to give “low and slow” a try on my gas grill this weekend.  I figured that even if it tastes bad it will still be better than nothing.

I also have my eyes on a new smoker that I’m going to get as soon as I get my yearly bonus.  Now I’m not going to go back to the traditional smoker that I loved.  I still don’t have the time to really fiddle with a pit so what am I to do?  Well I spent the spring thinking long and hard about it and I decided that I am going to go with a pellet smoker.

Yes, I know that more traditionalists out there will balk at this decision but it does meet my requirements.  It burns wood though be it the ignition system is electric.  It is also easy dial in a specific temperature and it will hold its temperature while there is fuel in the hopper.  That will relieve me of the need to constantly monitor and adjust my pit allowing me to spend that time with my family.  Yes it is the easy way out but I’m looking at a way to have my cake and eat it too.

Right now I’ve narrowed down my choices to a Green Mountain Grill or a Mak 2 Star Grill.  Not sure which way I’ll go but I have a few months before I can buy one anyway.

In the meantime I’m going to use this space to ruminate on barbecue, report on my adaptations of my gas grill to fill in the gap and other things barbecue related.  I hope that you will enjoy reading this as much as I’m going to enjoy writing this.