8 Tips for Making Excellent BBQ

Updated on August 23, 2019
profile image

Nick was born and raised in the epicenter of great BBQ: Kansas City, Missouri.

I smoked this brisket for the Chiefs vs. Patriots game that ended the 2018-19 season.
I smoked this brisket for the Chiefs vs. Patriots game that ended the 2018-19 season.

I'm from Kansas City. There were three world-class barbecue restaurants within walking distance of my childhood home. So I've had some great BBQ. When I was in my early twenties, I started learning to make it myself. That was many years ago, and I’ve smoked a lot of BBQ since.

Although I have more than a decade of experience smoking meat, I never really knew what I was doing until recently. I've learned more about making good BBQ in the last year than in all of the previous years combined. Why? Because I’ve been cooking with friends.

I'm mostly a lone wolf, a do-it-yourselfer. So I try to learn things on my own. But there's a lot of trial and error in that approach. Everybody needs guidance at some point, and I’ve cooked a bunch of crap BBQ because I didn’t seek help from somebody with experience. Fortunately, a few friends at work got the BBQ bug recently, and then everything changed.

Now I’m part of a group of people who cook BBQ often, chat about it at work, and discuss it online when we’re not at the office. We share pictures of our food at various stages in the cooking process: prepping, smoking, wrapping, slicing. We talk about what we did well and what we messed up whenever we cook. Best of all, we share food. When someone cooks a brisket over the weekend, the rest of us get samples on Monday.

I’ve learned so much from my fellow BBQ chefs. Because we talk about everything from proper smoking temperatures to getting good bark on brisket, I’ve been able to hone my techniques and correct errors I’d been making for years. I know why I wasn’t getting a dark, crispy bark on my pork butts and brisket. The perfect texture for pork ribs is no longer a mystery. I've learned some important lessons, and I'd like to share them here.

8 Tips for Making Excellent BBQ

  • It’s best to focus on perfecting one thing at a time. You can concentrate on managing smoker temperature or on producing delicious food.

  • The ideal approach is to focus on the food, first. This requires a low-maintenance smoker. Electric, gas, pellet, or drum smokers are best for beginners.

  • A probe lets you understand what’s happening while the meat cooks. Always cook with at least one probe in the meat. Use another probe to monitor the smoker temperature until you know how hot your cooker tends to get, how long it will stay that way, and how weather changes things.

  • Try to get thin blue smoke, not billowing white smoke.

  • Brisket should jiggle like Jell-O when it’s ready to take out of the smoker.

  • When you bite into a pork rib, it should come away from the bone completely.

  • For a good bark, cover the entire surface of a piece of meat with any rub that contains salt, sugar, and black pepper.

  • When you know what good BBQ is and can produce it reliably on a “set-it-and-forget-it” smoker, you can upgrade to an offset smoker.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, delishably.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://delishably.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)