Santa Maria-style Tri-Tip!

With weekends (and mountains) of smoked pork in the rearview mirror, I wanted to shift things into a local-style BBQ, the Santa Maria-style smoked tri-tip.  You can read up on this regional culinary marvel here, but short version, this style of BBQ originated in 19th century Santa Maria Valley when ranchers prepared a seasonal feast […]

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Pulled Pork Two-Rub Throwdown!

As summer begins to wind down here in Livermore, CA, I’ve been reflecting on the meat-smoking learning experiences picked up over the last few months.  While the results have steadily improved, I’ve realized the successes are more attributed to learning to fine-tune my heat and smoke management skills, and less about specific rubs or cuts of […]

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Beer, Wine, and Both.

Beer and I have a long, sometimes cantankerous, at other times warm and loving relationship history. My earliest memories of beer are pegged in the ‘tragic’ end of the spectrum, sneaking swigs of warm, unfortunately Salem Light butt-soaked Rainier from my old man’s half-empties. Somehow those experiences didn’t prevent further experimentation with malted hops and barley in […]

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Apple & Hickory Grilled Chicken

After several straight weekends of fun with the WSM, I felt like throttling things back a little with some simple grilling on the Weber Performer. Bone-in chicken is one of my favorites for grilling therapy, as you can drive things as simple or complicated as you want.  Regardless of whether you’re going smoke or no […]

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Einstök Icelandic White Ale

For the Labor Day weekend brisket-smokefest, I wanted to try out a new beer or two. I hit the friendly neighborhood Bevmo and wound up getting two sixers: the first, a forgotten favorite (San Antonio’s Lone Star Beer), but was really surprised and pleased with the other, Einstök Icelandic White Ale (ABV 5.2%). Brewed in Akureyri, Iceland […]

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Conspiracy Theory Brisket

There are moments in life that defy description. Brief instances when the fabric of reality has surely been folded in some abstract, chaos-arithmetic implosion of quantum contemplation. Like dreading the drive to LAX from the San Fernando Valley and encountering light traffic.  Or settling into a dentist’s chair for an hour of tooth-scraping and are […]

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Perpetual Pork

Stall (v): to stop or cause to stop making progress. Today was my introduction to the much-maligned pork shoulder roast “stall”, a trippy phenomenon in which the temperature gain of the meat on the smoker stops for a significant amount of time (sometimes several hours), usually around 155-165F. I had plenty of time to read up […]

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