The First 1-2 Hours Cooking Barbecue
The barbecue
moment has
arrived.
The
meat is ready to
go into the
cooker to start
that magical
transformation
from raw
potential to
delectable
realization.

With the
barbecue
technique I use,
the first couple
of hours of
cooking is both
very critical and
one of the
easiest.

It is one of the
easiest
because once
you load the
smoker and
close the door,
you likely won't
have to do
anything for the
barbque for the
next hour or two.

It is one of the
most critical
though
because you
want to start the
smoke infusion
immediately -
'early and often'
as I like to say.

So I tend to
keep the heat of
the coals after
'burn in' a little
on the low side,
letting the
addition of a
decent amount
of wood raise
the temperature
to the ideal
level.
The first hour is also very critical because
of the technique I like to use - with rave
reviews I might add - of putting my smoked
meat in foil for the vast majority of the cook
that remains after the first one to two hours.

I have found nothing so tender as a rack of
ribs that has been smoked naked for 75
minutes, then covered up in foil and
smoked for several more hours. We will
talk a bit more on this process in another
section,
The Low and Slow Cook Phase.
So my advice for the first hour is very basic:
  • get the temperature right
  • get the smoke right.
  • put the meat in
  • shut the door and let it work!
Resist the temptation to fiddle with the fire
or check on the meat. You have all the
indications of success you are likely to
need in the temperature gauge and the
thick column of smoke coming out of the
smoker. Kick back and relax, throw a
football with the kids, watch a the game on
TV - you've got some wait time as you move
to the '
Low and Slow' cook period.
A close up, peeking underneath the water bowl, at a few additional pieces of hickory
that have been added to the fire box
Last glimpse of the raw ribs - covered with our dry rub, they go in naked for the first
hour or so.
Ready to close the door...ahhh, the sweet smell of success...!
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Next Step: Low & Slow
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