This page is dedicated to those of you out there that are trying to figure out where to start down the path to creating great BBQ at home and in a competition. These resources will continuously update, however, here’s a few sites and tips we found useful when starting our own journey.
One of the biggest decisions you need to make when you start is what kind of smoker you will use to create your Barbecue. There are a number of companies that provide a wide variety of smokers. Of all the types, they break down into two categories: The Stick Burners and the Vertical Smokers.
What the heck is a stick burner you ask? They’re basically a side-car smoker with a fire-box on the side, a mechanism to deliver the smoke and heat to a cooking chamber in a controlled fashion, and an exhaust. A number of manufacturer’s produce them, and they range from something that can be used in the backyard to full professional rigs. In my opinion, these are best for Barbecue cooks with a little more experience, as they tend to be more finicky when it comes to controlling temperature and ensuring proper fuel levels. A few good examples can be found at the following links:
Now for the Vertical Smoker... This type of smoker, in my opinion, is the best place to start if you’re a beginner Barbecue cook. These smokers are fairly easy to maintain and offer a very easy and consistent way to maintain temperature throughout a long cook. These smokers often consist of a charcoal pit, a water pan, and often two levels of cooking grates, along with adjustable vents on the top and bottom to maintain temperature. Not only are these cookers a good place to start, but a number of people have been known to win some major Barbecue competitions, and swear by them professionally. My preferred type of smoker in this category for those just starting out is the Weber Smokey Mountain. I’m probably breaking a cardinal rule of BBQ by saying this, but I abuse the heck out of my Weber Smokey Mountains, and they still put out a great consistent product every time I use them. If you’re looking for a fancier version of the vertical smoker, a number of people rely upon the Big Green Egg to win competitions. This brand of smoker is made out of ceramics, and really holds in the moisture of the product you are cooking. I have also come across one of the best versions of a vertical smoker at Jack’s Old South recently. While a mix between a stick burner and a vertical smoker, and a bit on the pricey side, these are some of the best cookers in the country. A few good examples can be found at the following links:
Fat Daddy Joe’s BBQ is proud to announce the latest addition of a La Caja China Pig Roaster! This is a very simple and easy to use pig cooker that uses a bed of charcoal to roast the pig within an aluminum-lined box. La Caja China will accommodate up to a 100 lb. pig, and cooks it within 4-6 hrs. For more information, check out www.lacajachina.com. The best part of this style of pig roaster is the crispy skin. Don’t take my word for it, check out the pics below:
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