Why is it that no matter what you talk about, there's always some elitist prick who thinks they know everything?
Yesterday morning Sunny and I bought ourselves a new smoker/grill for our anniversary. As long as the rain holds off we're planning on breaking it in tomorrow by smoking a turkey breast for dinner.
So, I went online to see if there were any interesting recipes or tips on cooking one. I've always smoked meat by soaking the wood chips in water, making a tray for them out of tinfoil and setting it on top of the hot coals, you get a lot of smoke for a lot of time. However, having never had a dedicated offset smoker before, which opens up more options, I was considering using wood alone, or mostly wood with a bit of charcoal. The problem is that this is a little tricky because if you just let the wood smolder, you get creosote depositing on your food…but letting the wood hold too much of a flame gets the temperature far too high.
So, I looked around online… and stumbled upon a nest of assholes.
Apparently, any smoker/grill under $700 is 'worthless' because the metal's too thin and doesn't hold heat. The joints and lid don't seal tightly enough which lets the smoke out and extra oxygen in. I mean, these guys weren't just up their own assholes, but they were that very special type of asshole who thinks contradicting conventional wisdom on the subject makes them seem super clever.
Basically, according to these guys, you should get your $1500 grill then you should fit at least three extra thermometers to it, you should only order charcoal from across the globe at $50 a bag, you should never marinade meat first, or baste it while it's cooking. Blah, blah, blah.
You get the idea. These are the guys who would go on a fishing trip and tell everyone the way professionals fish is hold onto the hook and chuck the pole in the water.
Now, correct me if I'm wrong…but while I'll agree there are levels of quality… aren't we basically talking about a box with a fire lit on one side? I imagine it makes cooking a little easier if you have a grill that keeps a perfectly even temperature, where you can track the temperature by a hundredth of a degree… and it'd be nice to have one made of really thick, high-quality cast iron, but calling a hundred or two hundred dollar grill 'worthless' is just plain having your head jammed in your rectum.
Put it this way, up until now, all Sunny and I had was one of those little kettle-style tabletop grills and I've smoked chicken in that just by cramming all the coals over to one side and putting chicken on the other…and the chicken came out awesome. I'll put my chicken made on my little $30 tabletop grill against grilled chicken from any restaurant any day.
Basically, I think barbecue is a lot like wine…there's not a lot of difference between the very 'best' and the average (most people can't tell the difference between a ten dollar and a two hundred dollar bottle of wine), but elitism and snobbery has lead to people spending an awful lot of cash for no good reason.
Put simply, when it comes down to actually eating the meat you cook, I don't think anyone could tell the difference between a cut of meat smoked in a $100 grill or a $500 grill. It really is just a box with a fire on one side.