Howdy from Texas.

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by wmka89, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. wmka89

    wmka89 Newbie

    I currently live in Rockwall, Texas just east of Dallas, but I grew up in West Texas south of Amarillo.  I was very fortunate growing up because we cooked out all the time.

    My first experience in BBQ was when my father was going to slow cook a goat for a bachelor party.  I was 7 years old and he sent me out to the migrant camp at the potato shed he ran with a 72 year old man from Mexico.  I was not told what I was going to do.  He had a goat in the yard and had me sit there and pet it.  He went into the house and got a big bowl and a couple of knives.  We proceeded to bleed the goat out and dress and quarter it.  I have never looked back since.

    I was fortunate that most of my early experiences were cooking goat and lamb.  Two meats which are not very forgiving like beef and pork.  And to this day I prefer goat over any other type of meat.  And the older the goat the better.  They have so much flavor if dressed out and cooked properly.  My father also had a sheep feed lot back in the day so we ate a lot of mutton.  When a ewe was past fertility she would end up in our freezer.

    We always cooked over a "real pit" style cooker back then.  It was a 8x4x4 angle iron frame outfitted with corrugated metal and a door in the middle to feed in the coals.  We would use a heavy tarp to cover it to hold in the heat and moisture.  There was a large fire built with mesquite wood, we would use long handled shovels to feed the pit with coals.  A very labor intensive process when compared to an offset cooker.  And fairly wasteful of wood.  But fun for us kids because we were in  charge of keeping the tarp moist.

    I was in my late twenties when I built my first large bbq cooker.  I used 16' of .500 wall 22" casing.

    It has a smoke box which feeds into a long grill then a stand up smoker on the end.  My family had to eat a lot of really bad brisket until I finally learned how to use it properly.  Cooking over a real pit style is not that difficult compared to an offset.  But the difference in taste makes using an offset really worth it.  You cannot get a smoke ring from a real pit, the meat is just dull gray.  The offset can put a beautiful red smoke ring in almost anything you cook.  And in Texas that is almost as important as the sauce.

    I have also started smoking and curing salmon, bacon, and sausage.  I really enjoy making sausage and then semi-dry smoking it.  Though I have done some fermented sopressato type sausage as well.

    I catered for years for different events cooking for from 30 people to 300.  And several times I cooked for a 4th of July celebration where we fed 1200.  We cooked 1800 lbs of gooseneck round over a real pit style cookers.  It was a 36 hour process and a lot of fun and beer.

    Like I said, I have been very fortunate in my BBQ life.  I was a long time lurker on this board and a few others.  I find smokingmeatforums to be the most informative and professional, so I took the leap and joined.  I look forward to sharing ideas with all of you.
  2. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welcome to SMF

    Enjoyed reading your story, thanks for sharing. Looking forward to reading more.

    Glad to have you on board!
  3. one eyed jack

    one eyed jack Master of the Pit

    Welcome to the site W.  That is a fascinating history you've got going there.  Sounds like a fun upbringing to me.

    Do you have any pictures of your first smoker build?  I'd like to see it if you do.

    I look forward to reading about some of your smokes.
  4. halfsmoked

    halfsmoked Master of the Pit Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG]   To SMF glad to have you on board. Looks like your already a pro from that nice story. Th gang here loves to see pictures of what you cook and do.
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Welcome to SMF!

    Sounds like you have a ton of info to share.

    Can't wait to see some of your work.


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