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Lemon pepper swordfish steaks on the grill with a roasted pan full of Brussel sprouts, butternut squash, red peppers, and onions.

And tonight, I'm making my award winning chili with my own secret ingredients. I'll be serving that up with made from scratch corn bread made in a big ol' cast iron skillet that's been seasoning for many years. The secret to that one is to get the skillet really hot, like 475 degrees F hot and awash in Crisco before adding the corn bread mixture to it. It fries the bottom and leaves a dark brown crust on it.

You know, since we're all now in agreement that this general chatter section is for off-topic stuff as well, we should start a thread on smokers and BBQ. Now that's a thread I can sink my teeth into. But if we do start such a thread, it will, of course have to include all the appropriate disclaimers about how people new to smoking meats should always start out on the smallest smoker available and not move up to the Big Green Egg or Barrel Smokers until they've gained sufficient experience.

>:)
 

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Lemon pepper swordfish steaks on the grill with a roasted pan full of Brussel sprouts, butternut squash, red peppers, and onions.

And tonight, I'm making my award winning chili with my own secret ingredients. I'll be serving that up with made from scratch corn bread made in a big ol' cast iron skillet that's been seasoning for many years. The secret to that one is to get the skillet really hot, like 475 degrees F hot and awash in Crisco before adding the corn bread mixture to it. It fries the bottom and leaves a dark brown crust on it.

You know, since we're all now in agreement that this general chatter section is for off-topic stuff as well, we should start a thread on smokers and BBQ. Now that's a thread I can sink my teeth into. But if we do start such a thread, it will, of course have to include all the appropriate disclaimers about how people new to smoking meats should always start out on the smallest smoker available and not move up to the Big Green Egg or Barrel Smokers until they've gained sufficient experience.

>:)
I really miss the BBQ from the US
 

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I really miss the BBQ from the US
And at the risk of starting something here... not just anywhere in the US. For example, in Texas they think if you're cooking over an open fire that you're BBQing so burgers or steaks would qualify. Don't get me wrong, I love a good burger or steak flamed over hot coals but REAL heavenly BBQ comes from the pig and involves long hours smoking over hickory, apple, cherry, even red oak or other aromatic woods - well, other than mesquite. What knucklehead first decided that food smoked or grilled over mesquite was a good thing? *shudder* nasty stuff.

Now, here's one of my renditions of pork shoulder smoked on the BGE. Start with about 15 lbs of pork shoulder and sprinkle it generously with some Dizzy Pig Swamp Venom or Dizzy dust, then dab it in with a light coat of yellow mustard (you'll never taste the mustard in the finished product):



Get the Big Green Egg a'rockin' with some organic coals, throw in some smokin' wood, and tune it down to about 235 - 245F:



Then set in the diffuser to hold my pan of onions, apple juice, sometimes some old skunky beer:



The aroma of that wafting up through and around the meat is something to behold. On goes the pork shoulder and set the temp probes:



I'll keep an eye on it all day but it hardly ever needs any tuning once it's started:



About 8 - 9 hours later, it'll look like a couple of meteorites but that bark on the outside is pure heaven to munch on while I'm pulling it apart:



I pull it in big chucks - really all I have to do is mash on it with a big spoon and it just falls all to pieces. That'll be enough pulled pork for a dozen or so with about 3 lbs left over to make some Brunswick Stew.
 

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This was my first attempt at a brisket:



Brisket is a really hard thing to get right. You have to cook it really slow and for a very long time to get the internal temp up to 190F but not dry it out.. I nailed on my first try and then I've ruined my next two attempts. Is was hardly worth eating.

This is the first one where I nailed it:
 

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It dang sure looks good! I used to help a guy smoke brisket for a large gathering. Used oak wood for the smoke. We did them in an oak fired smoker. It was a steel tank of about 500 gal capacity. Fire box on one end, chimney on the other. Air regulation on the box and a flag in the chimney to regulate heat. Could usually put in 3 pieces of split oak every couple of hours. We smoked it for about 12 hours. He always said the secret to his moist brisket was the sop. 1 gal of cooking oil to 4 gal water, with a pound of ground black pepper stirred in. Mixed it in a 12 gal plastic trash can, and sopped it on with a regular kitchen string mop. This was done at adding wood time. Sopped the up side, turned it over and sopped the bottom side. Doing it again next time we added wood. We were doing about 250 lbs of meat and camped out with it all night. I was probably the moistest (if there is such a word) I had ever had. I wish I had the recipe for it and the sauce he served on the side. Unfortunately it died with him in an inverted crash of a Super Viking.
 

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It dang sure looks good! I used to help a guy smoke brisket for a large gathering. Used oak wood for the smoke. We did them in an oak fired smoker. It was a steel tank of about 500 gal capacity. Fire box on one end, chimney on the other. Air regulation on the box and a flag in the chimney to regulate heat. Could usually put in 3 pieces of split oak every couple of hours. We smoked it for about 12 hours. He always said the secret to his moist brisket was the sop. 1 gal of cooking oil to 4 gal water, with a pound of ground black pepper stirred in. Mixed it in a 12 gal plastic trash can, and sopped it on with a regular kitchen string mop. This was done at adding wood time. Sopped the up side, turned it over and sopped the bottom side. Doing it again next time we added wood. We were doing about 250 lbs of meat and camped out with it all night. I was probably the moistest (if there is such a word) I had ever had. I wish I had the recipe for it and the sauce he served on the side. Unfortunately it died with him in an inverted crash of a Super Viking.

That sounds interesting about the sop. I would have thought that after the first 3 - 4 hours or so that the meat would be sealed by the bark. I spritz my ribs and pork shoulder to keep the outside from getting burnt but I've always thought the secret to moist, fall apart meat was low and slow. My next door neighbor is the executive chef at the Annapolis Yacht Club and he's been out in his yard perfecting his baby backs over the last few weeks. I just hang around like a lost puppy taking notes and tasting the final product :)

I hate to hear things like your friend that met his end. Was he trying to do a low inverted pass and it got away from him? We all hear about the spectacular air show crashes but an alarming statistic is that most aerobatic accidents happen when the pilot has no experience doing what they're trying to do. Things look really different when the trees are coming at you at 200 mph and one mistake will kill you.
 

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He was still a green pilot. Signed off on the type. Not IFR rated yet. He was flying to South Texas, got in clouds, and investigators suspect he succumbed to vertigo---did not trust his instruments. He was advised to turn back but thought he could fly through. He and his wife were both deceased. I had their 3 children, all in high school for the weekend. I was only about 26 then. Was a really tough time.:crying:
 

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I cringe when I hear stories like what happened to your friend and his wife in the Bellanca, far too many of those (VFR pilot in IFR) accidents. I often wonder if the requirements to obtain your ticket should include an instrument rating.
My condolences.
 

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“Old pilots and bold pilots; but no old, bold pilots”

Sorry to add a downer here. The brisket thing triggered an old memory.
 

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I cringe when I hear stories like what happened to your friend and his wife in the Bellanca, far too many of those (VFR pilot in IFR) accidents. I often wonder if the requirements to obtain your ticket should include an instrument rating.
My condolences.
You probably already know this but it isn't just VFR pilots flying in to IFR. The really experienced guys do dumb stuff too. Scott Crossfield, yep that guy, after being the first man to fly Mach 2, met his end after he intentionally flew his single engine Cessna into a massive thunderstorm and by all reckoning, it came apart on him.

I'm sure we could have a whole 'nuther thread on pilot stories. It seems like a lot of us that ride BMWs are also pilots.
 

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And switching to aviation for a post or two...

Having the training and knowledge to be able to make good decisions is one thing, making them is another.
It just mortifies me when someone crashes and dies in an aircraft. Especially if applying proper training, which they should have had, could have saved their life.

When you fly into the soup it's hard not to trust your instincts regarding aircraft attitude. It's almost impossible to have logic overcome your seat of the pants feeling for a VFR only pilot. All all of you know who are VMC only pilots is to look at your turn coordinator and execute a 180 degree turn while watching your airspeed and altitude. Every BFR I've had this is part of the review.

This should be practiced. Invite a flying friend along, bring your hood, have your friend say "cloud" or "start" and using only the turn coordinator execute a 180 turn while holding your altitude. Somebody will ask how, just start a coordinated turn (the little black ball in the glass tube needs to be centered) while the wing of the "airplane" is lined up with the mark in the bezel. This will provide a 3 degree per second turn. 2 minutes = 360 degrees, 1 minute = 180 degrees.

That one simple instrument can save your butt.

All of us love to ride motorcycles, not all of us have flown a plane. You can fly, the EAA/VAA offers "Eagle Flights", in contrast to "Young Eagle Flights" where an adult can spend an afternoon (or morning) with a participating pilot, lean about flying and take the aircraft up and fly it. Hopefully this will pique your interest in Aviation. One thing, ask LOTS of questions of your volunteer pilot, no question is stupid. I have done these flights, and I am delighted when my guest gets extremely interested in aviation.

More info here:

https://www.eaa.org/en/eaa/flight-experiences/eaa-eagle-flights-program-start-your-flight-training

Now, back to food!

- Bumblebee
 

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