|Low Slow: Master the Art of Barbecue in 5 Easy Lessons|
|Rush, Colleen Wiviott, Gary|
|Perseus Books Group (2009)|
Table of Contents
FROM GARY WIVIOTT
TO MY SWEET, PATIENT AND BEAUTIFUL BRIDE ELLEN,
you make my heart grow a little each day.
Longtime friend Andy Bloom gets credit as idea man behind gifting me my first smoker.
Thanks to Colleen Rush—writer, friend, drinking buddy, and GPS to my low and slow wandering.
Because one must learn before he can teach, a tip of my hat is in order to Bob in Georgia, Big Jim in Central Florida, Kit Anderson, Bill Ackerman, Dan Gill, Danny Gaulden, Garry Howard, Dave Linebeck, and the participants on the BBQ Porch.
To the many friends, LTHForum members, and
users who completed the original 5-Step program, your willingness to follow, learn and question was critical in helping me refine the program.
Thanks to Scott B. Orr, nephew and friend, whose simple statement “thanks for the gift, now what do I do with it” signaled the start of this journey.
To friend and 5-Step program graduate Subha Das, your brilliant input on chapter 8 demonstrates a clear commitment to barbecue.
To Cooper’s in Llano Texas, where god goes when she is in the mood for Texas-style brisket. One small taste nudged me down the true path of BBQ enlightenment.
Finally, a thank-you to my parents, Howard and Joanne—always encouraging and supportive even when they are not quite sure what they’re encouraging and supporting.
FROM COLLEEN RUSH
FOR MY MAMA—
you may have been Miss Mansura High, but you’ll always be the Pig Queen to me.
Vive le cochon!
To Gary, my barbecue sensei—you have an uncanny ability to incite aggro-ness, but also to ease it. I can’t imagine working on a project like this with anyone else. This book was meant to be.
MORE THAN TEN YEARS AGO, MY WIFE, ELLEN, GAVE ME A WEBER SMOKEY
Mountain (WSM) cooker for my birthday, thinking I’d make smoked salmon or maybe the occasional rack of ribs. She never anticipated that it would inspire a complete obsession with low and slow barbecue.
How did it happen? I went through many phases while learning this form of cookery. It started out innocently—I made some chicken or ribs for dinner, and they were just fine. Then I did a little research and learned a few more things. So I bought some new tools and experimented with wood flavoring and vent closures. Next, I started making different types of sauces and rubs. Finally, looking for a magic bullet to make my barbecue better, I bought another cooker. And another one. Pretty soon, I was parking on the street. My garage was stuffed with barbecue equipment and bags of charcoal. I was also reading and participating in a few of the major barbecue Web sites and newsgroups, swapping ideas with and learning from the other barbecue-obsessed out there.
My point? I’ve gone overboard in every possible direction—learned everything I
needed to know about barbecue, made every mistake (at least twice), and got suckered into buying all the bells and whistles—so you don’t have to. I’m not the guy who learned how to barbecue and decided to join the competition circuit to win a few trophies or bragging rights for an award-winning sauce. Nothing gives me greater pride or pleasure than teaching someone the simple art of low and slow.
This program started out as an e-mail to a nephew who wanted to learn how to use a WSM, and it is still guided by the same K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid) philosophy I preached to him. Do exactly as I say, and you will be able to make better barbecue than 95 percent of the so-called barbecue restaurants out there. More than anything, this program is about gaining confidence in your instincts—learning to trust the senses you were born with to create tasty barbecue.
The techniques and instructions for the five dinners are designed to gradually build your understanding of low and slow. You’ll learn how to set up and use three different types of charcoal cookers for low and slow barbecue. You’ll learn the single most important element of barbecue: how to build and maintain a clean-burning fire. As you make the five dinners, you’ll build faith in your cooker’s ability to burn for hours without you constantly fiddling with vents and thermometers. And let’s not forget about the food. You’ll learn how to impart pure, clean smoke flavor and make tender, delicious barbecue. You’ll also learn valuable kitchen skills along the way, from the basics of making your own marinade to how to toast and grind spices for signature rubs.
Now, for a stern lecture. It is strictly an issue of publishing limitations that there isn’t a system of locks attached to this book. If I had it my way, you would have to sign a legal document swearing you had successfully completed each dinner before moving on to the next. Then I’d give you a key to access the next lesson, and another, and another, until you had followed my instructions to the letter through the last dinner. I can’t stress enough how essential it is for you to turn off your brain and simply follow the instructions exactly as I outline them. And they are simian-simple instructions—the product of years of my own trial and error with backyard low and slow barbecue. You will take no shortcuts. You will not borrow tips from some Hawaiian shirt–wearing fool on the Food Network or your half-wit uncle, Pete. You will not invite all of your friends over the first time you attempt a dinner (because there will be failures along the way). Rest assured, the path to great barbecue is yours in just five dinners. But until you successfully complete the Five Easy Lessons Program, you are mine. Do you swear to do as I say, no questions asked? Good. Pupil, prepare to begin your journey.