Monday, November 25, 2013

Things Worth Being Thankful For As A Cook

If you have Facebook (I would assume Twitter as well, but I'm not on there to know), I'm sure you've seen the "Day 14 - I'm thankful for ..." posts. My news feed has been cluttered all month with everything from children to jobs to health to Reese Peanut Butter Cups (my sister). 

This year I thought I would put together my own "Thankful List", but things that I'm thankful for in the outdoor cooking world. 

1. I'm thankful for non-rainy days. Nothing is worse than trying to cook while battling the elements. 
2. I'm thankful for Jessica Lang. Dawn got her something shinny, so I got my something flat black, and I think we both still secretly look at them from time to time and just smile. 
3. I'm thankful for Bullet Bill. As great as Jessica is, Bullet Bill is perfect for the short/small cooks for just Dawn and myself. 
4. I'm thankful for my Pit Bulls "Mean Green" Meat Injector. I haven't mentioned it much on here, but this is one of my favorite "toys". It makes life a million times easier. 
5. I'm thankful for my grill. I haven't come up with a fancy name for it, but that doesn't change anything. This bad boy has put how some amazing food in the year and a half that we've had it.

6. I'm thankful for good meat. There's a saying in the computer world, "GIGO", which stands for Garbage In Garbage Out. The same thing works for meat. If you start with garbage meant, nothing is going to make it taste better. 
7. I'm thankful for great rubs. Maybe not a good item to be thankful for immediately following meat ... but yeah. The Rub Co., Simply Marvelous, and Plowboys fill out my top 3, but we use so many mixes and brands, I'm thankful for them all. 
8. I'm thankful for BBQ Brethren. When I first decided that I was interested in Qing, I googled bbq message boards. BBQ Brethren was one of 2 that I signed up for, but since the Brethren had the same set up as the sports message board I'm on, I leaned toward it more. Over the past 3 years, I've learned so much from those guys and gals, and definitely wouldn't be where I'm at today if it wasn't for their help.
9. I'm thankful for BBQ Pitmasters. For the same reasons I'm thank for BBQ Brethren, I'm thankful for BBQ Pitmasters. I enjoy watching the episodes that have meats that I haven't cooked before, or meats that I'm planning on cooking, and see how "the pros do it."
10. I'm thankful for Myron Mixon's cook books. I've used his recipes for food, rubs, and injections, and everything we've ever made from them has been great.

11. I'm thankful for my injection recipe. Might be tooting my own horn a little, but my injection recipe that I got my tweeking Myron's, has really boosted the flavor in my pork. 
12. I'm thankful for Clorox Wipes. Cleaning up after trimming, injecting, and rubbing down 80lbs of meat is a task of it's own. Clorox Wipes, are amazing because they help speed that process up a bit. When you're ready to crack open that first beer ... this is crucial. 
13. I'm thankful for meat thermometers. I love my digital remote thermometers. On the days that you have to cook, but have other things you really need to be doing too. It's nice to be able to set up the thermometers, and just be able to walk over and look to see what all of your temps are. 
14. I'm thankful for my super duper ultra fast red Thermapen. Nothing beats having to check the temp of your meat, but not wanting to leave everything wide open so all of the heat escapes. 
15. I'm thankful for latex gloves. This is a trick I actually learned from watching BBQ Pitmasters. There's nothing worst then having to wash your hands 100 times a cook. Throw some gloves on and when you need clean hands, just pull them off and throw them away. 

I'm also thankful for everyone that views this blog. It's not the pretties blog, it's not the best written blog, it's not the most updated blog, but it's something I enjoy doing and it would be pointless without each and every one of you checking it out. The goal is to provide recipes, tips, reviews and whatever else for regular people. Nobody stacks their food on top of each other or wipes their plates clean before they eat dinner.

Most importantly, I'm thankful for my amazing wife. When we cook inside, she's the head chef and I'm her sous chef, but when I cook outside the rolls are reversed. Without her support none of this would be possible. I think she's ok with the outcome of all of the food, so it's not like she's suffering or anything. But when a new box of rub comes in, or when I show up with 4 butts because they were on sale, or when I start looking a new grills/smokers "just cause" ... she never complains. I have to say, I'm pretty lucky. 

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