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I bought an on line BBQ book titled "Competition BBQ Secrets", just cause I'm a sucker for this kind of stuff. It is written by the Chatham Artillery BBQ team, so some of you may be familiar with them.

It's only a 55 page book that talks about smoker types (By the way. They highly endorse Cookshack's FE 100), wood, brining, rubs, marinating, etc., and their techniques for each barbecue class of cooking. I'm not endorsing the book or their techniques but several things in it caught my attention, and I thought I'd like to share some with the group.

They make an interesting comment on applying rubs, which I've never heard before--"With the meat on the plastic wrap, we shake the rub onto it. We don’t want to rub the seasoning into the meat because this clogs the pores of the meat and keeps the smoke and flavors from being pulled down into the
meat." Some say rub. Some say sprinkle the rub. Clog the pours? Any thoughts? I actually do both.

In placing their pork butts into the smoker after injecting them, they place it fat side up. OK. Not unusual, but the reasoning is eye catching. "As stated previously, we cook the butts fat cap up during the entire smoke. By keeping our inject holes on the top (they inject through the fat cap only) there is less chance of the solution cooking out of the butts. The injection holes also allow the fat cap to render and flow down into the butts. All of this helps to keep our pork butts very moist and flavorful."

We've heard of their pork butt rub before, but maybe not like they use it. "Once we are ready to smoke the butt, we remove it from the
cooler and plastic wrap and apply a dry rub all over the butt. The rub we use is Cook Shack Spicy Barbecue Sauce Mix (we use it as a dry rub). Most pork rubs use heavy paprika and red peppers as their base. The rub we use doesn’t have a heavy red/orange color, but rather a light brown color. It compliments pork better than any rub we have used previously." I'm getting me 5 lbs. of this stuff. Father's day. Big Grin

Anyway, I enjoyed the reading. Any thoughts?
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When they first started promoting the booklet about a year ago,with their "successes" to support it,and the pictures to help understand it,they got blasted by the types that would do so,and brought some laughs from those that cook in the area and knew them.

I thought it had pretty much disappeared, after the initial chuckles.

Most folks don't think it would warrant the space for discussion,except that they had the good judgement to use excellent products like Cookshack.
Last edited by tom
On big meats,like shoulders/briskets ,the goal may be to get as much on the meat as it will hold.

Some folks will have used a marinade,or have injected,so they have a wet surface.Some folks may wet the surface with worcestershire sauce on beef.Some folks like to make a heavy paste with wooster sauce,or apple juice and keep in Tupperware.

Some may wet the meats and roll them around in an Al pan of rub,let set until wet and do again.

Some may also run their boning knife deep around the bone in large butts and pour rub down around the bones.

When you say "sprinkle" it brings to mind how you would evenly coat chicken thighs ,or St Louis ribs.How we might use the salt and pepper shakers on a 1/2 in porkchop on our dinner plate,along with our tossed salad.

Big meats,you are trying to build your bark,so volume of "rub" and sugar is your approach.

Think about a 4-5 inch thick brisket,that you may be making an even 1/4 in slice thru.

Your whole flavor,as you pick up that slice,and take a big bite,has to be in that toothmarked area.

You can use a medium hole shaker to coat your brisket,let it set a couple hrs ,until it becomes real wet and then coat it more heavily.

Many of our discussions here are about how to season one small anything,while understanding might be easier if we thought of doing 50 slabs,four dozen butts,three dozen packers,a couple gross of thighs.

Another example,the head cook,and one of the greatest,that helps Smokin',Fast Eddy,drbbq,etc teach the Cookshack classes is Paul/ Head Country BBQ.

For comps,Paul cooks two 10 lb trimmed briskets,two eight lb butts,two chicken halves,two slabs of St.louis ribs.

He uses their standard 2.5 lb bottle of rub and the one lb box of sugar in the raw.
Think about the meat and getting 3.5 lbs of seasoning on the portions.

I ,personally, am not into rubbing,or smearing pastes,because I have more on me than the meat. Big Grin

Yes,others pour rub onto HD plastic,set the meat on the seasoning,then pour more on top of the meat and wrap tighly.About an hr before going on the cooker,open the plastic and evenly coat again.Others leave the meats in full Al pans in the coolers,after seasoning,and then reseason again,before cooking.

Some cooks may then reseason half way thru the long cooks,and again at the finish.

There are lots of variations,to suit the cooks needs,so I hope I have helped you visualize some approaches.

As Smokin' always says,take good notes,try multiple ways on the same cook,adjust to suit your overall technique.
Hey, aren't you the guy that bought his Chicken Secrets Book?

Thought you would have learned by now... Big Grin

Guess all those emails he sent you got you hooked...

If you want to get into a physical discussion of rubs blocking pores, how come rub on top doesn't block it but rubbing in does? I don't get it, doesn't make sense.

And if the rub doesn't clog the pores and flavor the meat, how does the flavor get in there?

I think that sounds like a bunch of hokum to fill up the pages of a book.

What does he say about if you don't rub, but let it sit there for a few minutes and it liquifies. Doesn't the water plug the meat pores? As the rub liquifies, doesn't it clog the pores?

That's the think about many books, they make some general statement like that, but can't back it up.

Can I prove him wrong. Nope. Can't PROVE it.

Do I think it's blowing smoke? Probably.

Pags, you're thinking too deep. Relax, some and eat some Q this weekend, no reading allowed.
Last edited by Former Member
You guys are great. I knew I'd get some responses. I'm just looking for conversation and knew your experiences would enlighten. I've always rubbed and HEAVILY sprinkled on top of it. Then more on top after moisture develops within a couple hours (courtesy of Tom). No arguments about them liking the FE 100 or Cookshack's Dry Mix.

I don't remember buying his chicken book. Doesn't mean I didn't, but I don't honestly recall. I do tend to want to get a hold of as much reading as possible. Understand, if you're a 10 on the cooking experience and reading scales, you won't get anything from more reading. May even seem kinda simple to you. A 1 or 2, like me, will gain some things.

Let me illustrate, as embarrassing as it is. They talked about injecting. When injecting, slowly pull the injector back as you squeeze the injector needle. This helps spread the fluids instead of pooling it. Seems to make some sense. I've always just stuck the needle in one spot and fired away.

OK Smokin. I'll take your advice. I'll chill this weekend and smoke something. Planning on almonds, jerky (in brine now), cold smoking 4 cheeses, and some more St. Louis ribs (yesterday's batch was good, but not great). No reading. Well, except maybe on the internet. Big Grin
Originally posted by Pags:
....I don't remember buying his chicken book. Doesn't mean I didn't, but I don't honestly recall.

Now given you've only got 1392 posts, and it was last summer, you DO read too much if you forgot it.

here's the reminder:

Originally posted by Pags:
OK. I bit, besides I was bored last night. He didn't make me sign a confidentiality agreement so here goes.

See we do pay attention to what you say.

Not imagine 10,000+ post, hell yeah I don't remember what I type.

Now what were we talking about Big Grin
Same guy? I probably forgot it on your advice. Big Grin

Funny, how my memory improves when given evidence. LOL.

Want to really laugh. I recently signed up for his newsletter. So, that means I signed up, cancelled and resigned. Oh Boy. Roll Eyes And I'm cancelling again.

Will you hurry up and write your book Smokin? See what you're putting us through.
Pags, Pags, Pags. The force is strong with you young Jedi. Trust in it and stop sending your money to the dark side. KISS is the only true path to enlightenment. To paraphrase Tom, learn to cook, then everything else will fall into place.

And I say this somewhat seriously: Imagine yourself standing in a field full of different cookers. You've got everything from green eggs, to offsets, to Brinkman water smokers, to FEC100's, to old brick pits, to metal trash cans with a hot plate. Maybe even a big hole and a sheet of tin. You've also got a load of pork butts. When you can "see" the finished product in your mind that each cooker will produce, and you know how to get there, you sir, have fully mastered the force. The rest is just icing on the pork, so to speak. Smiler
Last edited by Former Member
Originally posted by Pags:
...Different seller I believe.

Oh, young BBQ Padawan, you doubt my strenth with the force... It's the same Bill.

You need to find that PDF he sent, I'm sure he's trying to sell you the other book.

But back to the original thread.

Given all you've read, etc, do you think it was worth it? I'm not going to cut the guy down, as I haven't seen his book in 2 or 3 years.

Maybe he's update it.

Would YOU recommend this to anyone else and why?
To tag onto,my,and other posts above,ya'll notice I mention building bark.Is there a balance/dividing line between increasing/improving flavor and decreasing/hurting flavor by the volume of rub added?
Is bark a flavor/taste,or merely texture/tenderness?

Can if be both/all?

Could some volume,or type of rub,decrease flavor,or smoke absorption?

Could it increase,or decrease smokering?

While on this path,could type of wood,or ambient temp-or maybe even relative humidity increase/decrease smoke absorption-or smokering?

Aw,all this prethinking makes my head hurt.
Let's go cook something for the weekend to honor our military fallen heroes.

Maybe even lift a glass in gratitude for their sacrifice that allows us to bbq for our families and friends. Big Grin
I'll take your word for it cause when I went back to check, both electronic receipts were different. I buy a ton of stuff online. Big Grin

Would I recommend? Not really. Well organized and laid out. It does teach the basics of good barbecuing. It's overpriced being it's only 55 pages and he charges $29, which is the price of a 285 page hard bound book. For that kind of money, I would recommend one of the other 15 books I've got on barbecuing. His hook is competition barbecuing techniques. And I was pulled in. But realize, I would buy it just to see what he had to say so I would understand when folks like you and Tom talk about it. Barbecuing's becoming a hobby with me, that's what you do.

Like I said, the basics are there. We joke about rubbing or sprinkling spices and whether it clogs the pores of the meat. But that stuff is not really that important cause he still turns out decent barbecue compared to 98% of the world. After all, he has won using his techniques.

My very first recommendation to anyone is to join this forum. First, it's valuable. Second, it's free. Third, when reading a book you naturally have questions, here you get answers.
Just in googling them,since we hadn't seen them for a couple years,it appears they are FEC 100 distributers and maybe Cookshack products distriutors,and quite a retail operation.Seems they have jumped in and become the newsletter for different folks,and are working hard developing sales pitches,as they have the computer and media expertise to do this.

Seems folks that know them,in their area,feel they post wide areas of expertise,while having minimal understanding to base their opinions.

Kinda glad Pags opened the topic,as I'll pay a little more attention to the folks in the future.

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