Did you know that barbecue isn’t just about hurling meat onto a fiery grill? We didn’t either.
True barbecue is a leisurely process of smoking meats using different woods at low temperatures and indirect heat for anywhere from four to twenty-four hours. “Barbecue usually uses tougher cuts of meat or whole animals, which require a slow process to make the meat moist and tender,” explains Pam Gram, one of the founders of The Pit Stop BBQ in California.
If you’re having a summer cook-out, you can get away with tossing some dogs and patties on a well-stoked grill. But if you want real, southern-style barbecue, you need to hire a professional. Unless you happen to have a smoker and four different types of wood handy.
“Pete gave me a smoker for a birthday present – it was kind of like getting a drill for Christmas,” Gram laughs. “But eventually we thought, ‘Maybe we should learn how to use this darn thing.’” So they took classes and seminars and eventually started entering competitions up and down California to help them hone their craft. Now, they boast accolades for their baby back ribs, beef brisket, pork shoulder, tri-tip, rib-eye, chicken and filet mignon.
Why You Want To Hire a Professional Instead of Manning the Grill Yourself
A professional’s idea of success is wowing people with award-winning beef brisket. Your idea of success is not getting a visit from the fire department.
Parties involving food are stressful enough without the potential for fireballs. Why race around making sure you have enough potato salad and unearthing the fire extinguisher when you can hire a professional, especially a professional with a crowd-delighting recipe for mac and cheese in their back pocket? (Gram’s mac and cheese secret: “We bump up the flavor with seven cheeses, white wine, nutmeg, mustard and our spice seasoning.”)
“Producing truly great barbecue requires a strong knowledge of woods, cooking temperatures, and time. Using the wrong wood will make you sick. Using the right wood but oversmoking the meat will leave a bitter taste,” explains Gram. They make their own rubs, their own spicy sauces – even the salad dressing is made from scratch. Everything is shopped and prepared fresh for each event – just like you would for your own party. Only now you don’t have to. Look at that, you just got your weekend back.
Besides, What Could Be More Awesome Than a Barbecue Truck?
Nothing like peering out your living room window to see a custom kitchen/smoker/trailer pull up in front of your house, smells of succulent barbecue already wafting. Plus, that custom trailer means they won’t need to commandeer your kitchen. Table cloths and chafing dishes will be set out, and your guests will be served award-winning barbecue and made-from-scratch sides like collard greens with ham hocks and corn bread muffins. Heavy duty paper plates and utensils are provided, along with the thick napkins required by barbecue devourers. “We take the stress out of the event,” says Gram.
Once you have heaping plates of slow-cooked, succulent meat, “good friends and a beer are the only things that can make it better,” says Gram.
Do you have an upcoming end of summer barbecue that could use some professional assistance?