Northern BBQ vs Southern BBQ

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by flhrci, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    Is there some "secret sauce" I'm not seeing in the Traegers? My neighbor has a different brand. From what I can tell, the construction is as good or better. Screw feed, digital temp control, feature for feature it looks the same, but about $300-400 less expensive than a comparably sized and equipped Traeger. Is there something I'm missing or is it just a brand thing? I only ask because I've been toying with the idea of buying one this year.
     
  2. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Don't know about that.

    Treager sure has the brand recognition and price to go along with it. I'd prefer a thicker gauge steel.

    What brand are you looking at?
     
  3. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Biggest difference I notice is the BBQ sauce seems to vary based on the region. Most places around here seem to serve more of a vinegar-y based sauce, when compared to places west of the Mississippi. I tend to prefer something that’s right down the middle, not too sweet, but not too bitter.

    It’s pretty hard to screw up a shredded beef plate, but it’s pretty easy to screw up the whole meal if the sauce isn’t good.
     
  4. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    Green Mountain, if I recall correctly.
     
  5. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've heard good things about that brand.

    If I had the bucks, I'd be considering this with the optional pellet system:
    http://www.americanbarbecuesystems.com/Bar-Be-Cube.html

    ABS is pretty much around the corner from me, and I know the owner. That isn't going to get me a discount, but they do pay attention to feedback and incorporate suggestions into their designs. This one is way overkill for most people, though. I like that it's compact and does have a pretty good capacity, like 10 - 12 pork butts.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  6. gdwindowpane

    gdwindowpane Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Green Mountain's are good. You're definitely paying for the Traeger name. One of my sister companies is a dealer for Traeger. I got mine pretty much at cost so I bought it. I really like it, holds temp well, pretty much set it and forget it. Traegers used to be made in the USA. When they were they used thicker gauge metal and were built better. They have farmed it out to the Chinese now which resulted in the thinner gauge steel, etc.

    One thing I will caution you about if you are considering a Traeger. Even though Traeger advertises that it does everything, including grilling, it does not. I can get good sear marks on a steak but it is a pain in the ass. For grilling it doesn't do so well. Hence I have a Weber charcoal kettle that I use to grill. Other than grilling it does everything else really well. Pizza, veggies, meatloaf, etc. are excellent. My pseudo step son is a big whiskey fan. I always have smoked ice cubes on hand when he visits. Smoke plain old water and freeze. He loves it. lol.

    A lot of new owners in the Traeger user group I belong to are getting some error codes quite consistently. The units will throw a code when the temperature drops below 160° for 10 minutes. Not sure what's going on there but I have never had a problem. They make after market controllers that are supposed to be a really good upgrade but they are like $180. My stock controller is working so I haven't upgraded.

    I have my ribs, chicken (spatchcock is the truth) and pulled pork dialed in well. My brisket is good but not great. I'm not a big fan of brisket so it doesn't bother me. Chicken wings are fantastic on the traeger. I smoke year round in upstate PA. Dang it now I'm hungry.
     
  7. SoonerAviator

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    That's why I ended up getting a Camp Chef with the sear box last year for my father. Traeger was just too much money for the grilling area size and features versus some of their competition like Camp Chef and Pit Boss. The Camp Chef was very well designed and pretty stout when I assembled it.
     
  8. Zeldman

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    I have a Traeger. This spring I will be building a lower shelf near the wheels to make the legs a little more sturdy. And taking off the rubber/plastic wheels and add inflatable tires to it. It is top heavy and tends to be unstable when rolling out to the porch, so I will add some weight to the bottom. The legs are straight, so I might engineer some slanted legs for better stability.

    Other than that it is a set and forget. I have a remote meat thermometer and it lets me know what is going on while I am in the house or down at the barn. I have never been able to do ribs any justice until I started using a pellet grill. And folks just love my smoked hamburgers.
     
  9. flyingron

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    I saw a sign for "pigs dressed for BBQ" and headed down to the shop expecting to find a good ol' North Carolina boy and found a whole family of Vietnamese. They do an excellent job of prepping them. Nothing left for me to do but cook 'em. But again it's "which one you want?" as they are running around in the pen. I told my wife I picked out a "cute one" as they will be the tastiest. My wife suggested that perhaps I should take our friend whose the executive director of the heritage farm breeds association along.

    The pig cooker is plenty big for me. The problem is if I pick it up a bit early, I have to get it into my giant igloo cooler and the feet have to come off. One time the daughter was there, probably about 13. She grabs a knife and with four quick strokes she removes the four trotters. I figure she's got nothing to worry about with boys giving HER a hard time.

    The son one day asked what time I was starting my cook and told me just to come over an hour earlier than that. If I'd smart I'd just trailer the smoker over there and let them dump it straight on the grill. I've seen people driving down the road with the fire going but I've never tried that.
     
  10. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I am triggered by your negative comments about NC BBQ ❄️
     
  11. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Here's a cook from a few years back (2015):

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I had a Grill Dome and used a DigiQ and Stoker to blow on the coals. The problem was I couldn't make enough meat for the size parties I was having.
     
  13. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My neighbors used one of those Cuban pig roasters:

    https://www.lacajachina.com/


    And here's a tip I learned a long time ago - don't go to a pig roast and get stuck behind a veterinarian.

    I don't really care about what muscle attaches to what other part. I just want to tear off a piece.
     
  14. Cluemeister

    Cluemeister Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    A kept man. Is it as awesome as it sounds?
     
  15. Unit74

    Unit74 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I have a Grilla Grills Silverbac.... Treagers/Camp Chef are entry level Home Depot stuff. They work OK, but not what id call quality. A pellet grill is cheatin.... set it and forget it pretty much. They are startng to show up on the circuit and the ol skool cats are bad mouthing them. But the judges rarely can tell any difference.
     
  16. PPC1052

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    There’s no such
    There's no such thing as cheating. If it tastes good, then what's the problem?
     
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  17. atbroome

    atbroome Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Our old neighbors were from Cuba and built one from scratch in their back yard. They only cooked pigs, but I swear it was large enough to handle a full cow.

    They had at least 1 blow out pig roast a year with maybe 50 people. At one point they were having problems with their neighbors..said neighbors called the police when they were preparing for the roast claiming they were disposing of a human body in the back yard. I think they offered the officer to stay for the festivities.
     
  18. Fallsrider

    Fallsrider Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    I have the same problem reading a thread like this.
     
  19. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I've never been a huge fan of brisket either, because I've never been able to learn the knack for cooking it properly. It always seems to come out too tough or too dry, sometimes a combination of the two. I bought some tri-tip a few weeks ago and it was tougher than a leather boot. I seem to recall Famous Dave's having a pretty good beef brisket, but it's been awhile since I've ate there. Too many good mom n' pop BBQ places around town. :)
     
  20. JOhnH

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    I can understand how some of you guys can prefer one type of bbq over another. I love brisket, but I love pork too. It can be dry-rubbed, sauced, or even N.C. Vinegar style. I love bbq chicken (actually, I like grilled chicken better; bbq'd chicken is usually too soft for my taste). I love spare ribs and back ribs. I prefer my ribs where they are just almost ready to fall off the bone, but not quite. But I can't think of any bbq I don't like.

    But my very very very favorite is a well done bbq'd beef rib. You know; those giant "dinosaur bone" ribs. But I can NEVER find them. I look all over, especially when I am it Texas. Only one time did I find one in Ft. Worth but it seemed like a tourist trap with tourist trap prices. So I usually wind up cooking my own.

    @Matthew, I would love it if you could share your recipe for brisket (rub and cooking method).
     
  21. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Rubs -

    I sometimes make my own rub, but find it easier to go commercial.

    For brisket, this is the best I've used in a long time:
    https://www.oakridgebbq.com/product/signature-edition-black-ops-brisket-rub/

    Also good:

    (put this on first)
    https://www.johnhenrysfoodproducts.com/product/texas-size-mojave-garlic-pepper-rub-20-oz/

    (then go back with a layer of this)
    https://www.johnhenrysfoodproducts.com/product/texas-brisket-rub-texas-size/

    Brisket -

    For KC Q, I like to separate the flat and the point before cooking, and trim pretty well. That's not always the case for different styles. Sometimes TX brisket, and some BBQ joints, like to simply cook the whole thing, untrimmed, for 14 hrs or more, then slice it thickly all the way through. That's good stuff, there.

    (going straight from memory - for home use, go easy on the rub)
    Season both pieces and put in the smoker at 225. Around 165 we usually pull the flat and add a little more rub. Some folks like to drizzle a little honey and sprinkle a little brown sugar on it, then wrap in foil and put it back on until it hits 190 or so. Remove it from the foil, let it rest, done. Some folks like the foil, some don't. I use it, it also helps collect juice that can be defatted and poured back on after slicing. Slice it, maybe 1/4" across the grain. Other styles will be thicker or thinner. I think TX BBQ contest rules say the thickness of a #2 pencil. KCBS doesn't specify, but I rarely see the thin slices except at restaurants where they use it for brisket sandwiches.

    At 165, do the same with the point, but cook until around 200 to keep breaking down all the collagen in that piece. After that rests, cube it into 1/2" or larger burnt ends.

    Wrapping in foil will tend to steam the bark, so removing it from the foil at the end and putting it back on the smoker for a few minutes can help dry the exterior a little bit if that's what you are looking for.

    Expect around 50% yield or less on brisket. Buying a 14 pounder looks good, but you'll only get about 7 lb at most after trimming and cooking. Look for prime for the most marbling. And if you really want to spend the bucks: https://www.snakeriverfarms.com/ame...e/american-kobe-gold-grade-wagyu-brisket.html

    Might take 8 hrs, +/-. There's lots of room for variations.
     
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  22. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Speaking of BBQ. Here is a Pilots Workshop video regarding flying into and out of BQ1 in NC.

    I guess a Bo is not always the best choice. ;) Never had an issue in a 172.
     
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  23. Half Fast

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    FIFY.

    :)
     
  24. flhrci

    flhrci En-Route

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    Saw that today.
     
  25. flhrci

    flhrci En-Route

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    Soooo, is it ok to make BBQ in an Instant Pot? I don't have a grill. :D
     
  26. Hank S

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    We've cooked ribs in ours, but you sure can't call it "barbecue."
     
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  27. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    Shiner Bock?

    Can't beat those for longevity, either. We've got one that we've had since 1976. Don't use it much these days (I hate to admit it, but propane is much faster and convenient), but it sure had outlasted anything previous to it.

    Sounds like my wife. She grew up on a farm and none of this stuff bothers her.

    I just saw that video earlier today. :p
     
  28. asicer

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    I guess a pellet grill is like using a 2-axis autopilot and syn vis to fly an ILS or LPV down to minimums?
     
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  29. OkieFlyer

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    Can I have your electric smoker? :)
     
  30. Unit74

    Unit74 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Yup..... basically an SR22. Takes almost no skill to BBQ as long as you push the right button when you start and make sure it has enough fuel.
     
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  31. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Make do with what you have. Do you have a gas grill? Make a smoke box out of aluminum foil filled with water-soaked wood chips. Set it directly on a burner, and only light that burner. Add a pork butt and smoke for about an hour or two to get it flavor and color. Transfer to the Instant Pot and finish - or put it into the oven at 225 for another dozen hours.
     
  32. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    But you still have to nail the landing.

    Pellet smokers have the advantage of maintaining a constant temp much easier than hand-flying. But you still need to trim, season, and time everything. Backyard BBQ is one thing, if the weather sucks you reschedule. Contest cooking isn't always that simple. When that thunderstorm dumps and you watch that cooker thermometer go from 225 to 60 in a matter of minutes, you tend to question your life choices, pellet smoker or not. Those turn in times don't get adjusted for weather.
     
  33. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    Here in the great mid-western state of Ohio, we call 'em "grills", and BBQ is the slow cooked stuff with fancy sauces.
     
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  34. asicer

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    Yup, that "almost" is key. There are youtube videos of pilots equipped as such and still messing up the approach. Ditto chefs on a pellet grill still messing up the meat.
     
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  35. flyingron

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    My pig cooker is actually a hybrid. I typically run the first six to eight hours on wood and then I turn on the propane so I can go to sleep (I have an wifi temperature probe with alarm to let me know if the gas goes out or something else happens). The thing isn't going to take any more smoke after six hours.

    I found a commercial rub that was pretty close to what I make from scratch but it comes in tiny containers (and except for the time Sam's Club was stocking it), expensive for what it is. I just get a big bowl and dump turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw), salt, and my other spices in it. Costs me little. I also fitted the needle from a little injector syringe to the handle of a garden sprayer (unused for other purposes) that I inject apple juice into the pig prior to cooking. Works great, you just pump the thing up and jab, pull the trigger, and move along.

    As for sauces, I'm from western NC so I just serve them all on the side. The three I mentioned before and one store bought sticky stuff because there's always that guy in attendance who wants something that sickingly sweet.

    The ribs I made up for the last big party people tell me were the best they've had. Those were all done on smoke and all dry rub (I was a convert a few years back from wet to dry ribs).

    It's not that we don't have BBQ other than pork in NC, it's just that if you say barbecue by itself, the pork is implied. Anything else needs qualification (barbecued chicken, barbecued beef, barbecue sausage). I've been known to grab a bunch of Sams Club little chickens and throw them on while doing the briskets. Margy then vacuum seals them up and throws them in the freezer. A quick run through the microwave on a night we don't feel like chicken and "instant rotisserie chicken."

    I was up at a family reunion (Maine of all places) and the local fire department brought by a big smoker and they had put all kinds of stuff in it including (unsliced) baloney. Wasn't too bad for downeasters. Still, I'd rather have lobster when I'm there.

    I actually do own a grill (combo propane and wood built in thing in the outdoor kitchen). Good for burgers, finishing off the steaks, or my famous Cheerwine-glazed chicken. I've pressed the pig cooker into grilling mass quantities as well. The oddest time was when my wife (who is president of the Airpark HOA) asked if I could cook about 20 dozen baked potatoes for a flyin afterparty. I filled up the pig cooker and both wall ovens inside.
    We had a big igloo cooler (same kind I put the pig in) full of baked potatoes. That and a lot of butter, sour cream, bacon, chives, cheddar, and my "award winning" (I won a benefit cookoff once with it) chili.
     
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  36. Hank S

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    The first time my neighbor in central OH invited me over for barbecue [barbecue? "A" barbecue? I don't recall], he was cooking burgers and brats on the gas grill in his back yard . . . . .
     
  37. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Anyone tried the white BBQ sauces that seem to be prevalent in northern Alabama? Pretty interesting, but I've not seen them available outside of that area.
     
  38. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Nope. Never tried it. I even had to look it up to see what's in it - mayo plus vinegar, horseradish, garlic and other seasonings. It sounds...interesting. I can't think of anything similar, other than some sort of aioli.
     
  39. Fallsrider

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    Same here in NC. Grill can be a noun or a verb. BBQ is almost always a noun. if somebody tells me they're going to BBQ something, I automatically assume they are going to be cooking BBQ (noun).
     
  40. Bill Jennings

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    I need to fly into KDCU, grab a crew car, and hit Big Bob Gibson's again. Good Q.