The Zen of Q

I smoked a brisket — which isn’t my BBQ specialty — for Labor Day and was rewarded with the most tender, flavorful briskie I’ve ever cooked. And I again was reminded why I enjoy cooking big hunks of meat for ridiculously long times until they are falling-apart tender.

Most people can’t make good BBQ, even if they want to, because it’s just too easy for them. The concept of cooking a piece of meat for 12 (or even 18) hours while hardly ever messing with it at all is anathema to most folks. They just can’t wrap their arms around the concept of cooking something that requires almost no intervention. They want to prod and poke and peek and measure and turn, and what they usually end up doing is ruining and giving up.

Making Q is all about the art of slowing down. I know that once I get the temperature stabilized on my smoker, I might need to visit it once every four or five hours. My Q doesn’t need my help; it needs to be left alone. There’s a lesson in that for a lot of hyperstimulated people these days.

Since I had the smoker fired up, I also made pastrami (which is just smoked corned beef, covered in coriander and black pepper) and smoked a link of Texas sausage I had sitting around. I’ve now got meals for at least the next three days.

Slow down. Cook some Q. Have a beer. Enjoy the day.