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When I was learning how to cook barbecue I often wished somebody could be there with good products, recipes, and advice. I wasted money on poorly designed cookers, recipe failures, contest losses, and trial-and-error attempts. I hope you avoid my mistakes. If you want to improve your cooking then consider my products in the Spice Catalogue . They work. The picture says it all; what more can I say except "Wow!"?

- Woody "ww Prime Cuts"

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Barbecue

 

Q: Iím just a casual backyard cook, how can the cooking classes help me?

 

A: If you want to learn how to cook good barbecue then the classes should help you. I recommend you study the section titled "Bar-B-Q Cooker Operation and Processes." It provides an overview for any type of barbecue cooking. After you finish that section select the category of barbecue that you are interested in and try cooking it. Chicken is the easiest place to start out.

 

Q: Can I use my existing gas grill, electric grill, or kettle charcoal cooker for barbecuing?

 

A: Yes, they can work fine for barbecuing at home.  At a sanctioned barbecue contest only the kettle style charcoal cooker meets the requirements. It will cook barbecue if the charcoal is pushed over to one side and the meat is set on the other side with a water pan under it to stabilize the temperature and catch the drippings.

 

Q: What is barbecue?

 

A: Barbecue is pork, beef, chicken, and other meat products that are cooked slowly at a temperature less than 250F with the addition of smoke flavoring hard-woods like hickory, oak, cherry, pecan, or the fruit woods.  Meat that is cooked above 250F is roasted.  Meat that is cooked below about 165F is smoked.  Barbecue is cooked by convection, meaning that it uses indirect heat.  In simple terms, when you cook with indirect heat, the fat does not drip into the fire.

 

Q: Whatís the secret to great tasting barbecue?  Is it the sauce or what?

 

A:  The best sauce in the world wonít make a bad cut of meat taste good -- you need a good cut of meat.† Many of the pros agree that the essential elements to good barbecue are the slow-smoke-cooking process, quality cuts of meat, and a good rub recipe.   Some of the great barbecue masters donít use sauce. ††

 

Q: How much money must I spend to buy a good charcoal/wood cooker?

 

A: Around $200 for a Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker (model #2820, True Value Hardware Item # 000555953); much less than that for a Brinkman Cooker.† If price tags arenít a big issue, then Oklahoma Joe makes fine cookers in the offset firebox variety.† Backwoods makes good box-style cookers.

 

Q: Where can I go to learn more about cooking barbecue?

 

A: There are many resources available.  If you have a specific question, then ask the "Barbecue Mentor" on this web site (currently that's me). If you want to ask other experts, then go to the Kansas City Barbecue Forum at the web site address, http://www.rbjb.com/rbjb/rbjbboard/ , and post your question.  Better yet, search the forum archives because just about every question you can think of has been asked, answered, and filed.  If you want a good book for a cooking reference, there are many books, some good, some not so good.  Barbecue and Sausage-Making Secrets is a highly recommended resource.