Up at the butt crack before dawn, 2:15 am to be exact. Timm didn't even let the alarm go off he was so excited to get started on what is his "first real smoke". I know there was a test run a couple of weeks ago but this has all four meats on it. He made up a time schedule, took notes and everything. A great learning event for sure.
Here's Timm prepping and double checking rib notes before they go in pit. Already, they are smelling tasty!
Butts have been moved to the top rack to make room for the ribs. There's a small brisket in there as well. Butts and brisket were injected before cooking for more flavor.
Ribs need a mop of sauce for a pretty glaze. Chickens were put on also.
Our super cute daughter-in-law came early to help get everything ready but all things come to a halt when the pit opens. I'm checking temps, Timm writing notes. Christy is patiently waiting for a taste test. We tried to cook to meat temperature instead of just time.
Dad looks on with great anticipation. Timm cuttin' up chicken. He's pretty tired at this point, been up for 14 hours tending fire, meat, taking notes, and answering questions from the rest of us.
By the look on my boys' plates, I'd say it was a great success with some yummy BBQ. Timm sat in the shade under the tree and didn't even eat he was so tired. He kinda nibbled and tasted all day anyway.
So what did we learn? Didn't need to start the smoker quite so early. Watch fire closer to maintain temperature. Stoke the fire before opening the pit to work on the meat. Have team mates there to help, especially when the pit is opened. Need to increase the number of water pans so there aren't hot spots. The value of a blanket to keep the heat in the pit during the wee hours of the morning when it's cooler. How minor adjustments affect air flow and heat. You go through lots of rubber gloves. Pecan wood makes for some tasty BBQ. Shade...nead shade. Team mates...get some. There more, but that's it for now.