How to Make Perfect Barbecue: An Illustrated Step by Step Guide

Independence Day is coming up, and that creates moral imperative to fire up the grill. There are many things you can do, but none is better than pork barbecue  For your convenience, I’ve gathered together a series of posts describing the five — well, six — steps involved in making perfect barbecue.  They give you a detailed guide, and now you have them all in one convenient place.  Follow these steps and you’ll make some great barbecue. Note:  This procedure involves pork barbecue, and specifically pork butts or shoulders.  Different techniques are involved in cooking beef briskets or whole hogs.  We’ll get to them in the fullness of time.

Here are five steps posted separately on Independence Day, 2016, with notes on what is discussed in detail in each post:

1.  Getting started.   Buying and trimming the meat, using the proper equipment, starting the fire, adding hickory, adding the meat, setting the vents.  Note: never let the coals flare: flames are the enemy.  And hickory is your friend.

2. Watching and adjusting.  Checking the coals, testing the temperature regularly, adjusting the vents.  Note: never let the coals flare: flames are the enemy.  And hickory is your friend.

3. Adding more hickory.   Detailed procedure for adding more hickory, more temperature testing, vent adjustments.  Note: never let the coals flare: flames are the enemy.  And hickory is your friend.

4. Adjusting to inclement weather.  How to deal with rain, high winds, winter weather, and (most likely) extremely hot and humid weather.  I repeat: never let the coals flare: flames are the enemy.  And hickory is your friend.

5. The nearly finished product.  Frequent checking, additional hickory, and final vent adjustment.  (Although lots of the guests want to see the finished product after you close the vents, so the fire continues to get air.  It cools a good bit and keeps the meat warm, but is very slow to go out.)

6.  Serving the finished product.   Serve one butt at a time.  Chop the meat in front of the guests in a very rough chop.  Be careful with the knife, as people just will reach in and grab a stray chunk, and blood adds an unpleasant iron taste to the meat.  Serve with a good sauce, ideally Ollie’s Barbecue Sauce, on hamburger buns with sliced pickles (hamburger chips, please), and/or roughly chopped raw cabbage.

Disclaimer:  The barbecue will be great, but perhaps not actually perfect the first time you make it, but it’ll be very good and it will get better and better every time.  Go ahead and get started.

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And while you’re at it, click “follow” on our front page to receive blog posts in your email box.  Or bookmark us and check in from time to time.  If you’re planning a trip, you can “Search” the name of the city, state, or country for good restaurants (in Europe, usually close to sites, like the Louvreor the Van Gogh Museum, that you’ll want to visit in any event).  Comments, questions, and suggestions of places to eat or stories to cover are very welcome.  And check out our Instagram page, johntannerbbq.

4 thoughts on “How to Make Perfect Barbecue: An Illustrated Step by Step Guide

  1. The tips to make the perfect barbecue are just what I love reading! You mentioned some great steps like using the right equipment and testing the temperature. I’d like to add Food Safety as another imporant step that everyone should follow and avoid any potential foodborne illness. Our blog has some great tips on how you can become a barbecue master.
    Link : https://foodsafe4u.com/be-the-bbq-master-without-poisoning-your-guests/

    Liked by 1 person

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