Teresa got me a book from the library called ‘Low and Slow’ by Gary Wiviott. It’s a step-by-step to good BBQ book, and I’ve been enjoying reading it. I’m trying to go through it as it recommends, step by step. The first step was to cook some chicken, but what it’s real emphasis was on making the fire without lighter fluid, how to arrange the charcoal and wood chunks, not to worry about maintaining a perfect temperature kind of thing. A practice run, on something easy like chicken. If it cooks the chicken, then you made a fire.
One thing I noticed was in the smoker he used there were all kinds of airholes around the charcoal pans. Mine, not so much. So I drilled some holes in the charcoal pan. It turned out awesome, if I do say so.
Okay, so I didn’t plan this out ahead of time. I knew I wanted to BBQ, like he said in the book, and the book said you needed a chimney starter and I didn’t have one. And we ran out of Wal-Mart budget two weeks ago. This didn’t deter me, so I grabbed a coffee can.
First step.. cut the bottom out. Makes a nice tin sleeve. Steel sleeve? I have no idea what coffee cans are made out of.
Grabbed a drill and … ever try to drill holes in a coffee can? It was very skittery. Skitterlicious. The drill just skittered across the service so it didn’t ‘bite’. No ‘bite’, no hole, just skitter-marks. Tried several ways of drilling always the same result. I’m nothing if not persistent.
Ended up taking a torque-head screw driver and pounding through the can into a fire log, then prying it out. Did this to the bottom that had been cut out, too. Yeah, it took me a while. Then I pushed the bottom back up a couple layers of holes. It stayed there because of the punch-ins from the holes.
Yeah, I’m sure the effort was more than a $10 Wal-Mart chimney starter. But it sure was a satisfying feeling to hear that crackle and smell the charcoal smoke, and see the glowing coals in the bottom of the chimney starter, being lit from just a couple sheets of newspaper.
The cook went well. Book said check at an hour thirty, but it was windy out so I wasn’t planning on checking it until 2 hours. I’m nothing if not impatient, tho, and so I checked at an hour 45 and the juices were running clear, so I took the chicken off.
My main disappointment is that my water pan is leaking, and I can’t keep it from dripping on the coals. With the new holes in the bottom of the coal pan maybe it’s not as much of a problem as it had been in the past, but my water pan does empty itself a bit quicker than through cooking. Not sure how to fix that. Maybe some liquid weld or something. I get a refreshed Wal-mart budget in 2 days, so I’ll check then.
Sunday’s agenda is generally supposed to take the form of:
1. French toast.
2. Clean the boys room.
We’ve taken a couple weeks off, and the boys room reflected that. Cameron had a scout hike sometime around 1pm or so (I wasn’t exactly sure of the time) and I didn’t even watch the clock since I thought steps 1 and 2 would surely finish before one-ish.
Come downstairs, Teresa asks me what time the hike is, I say 1, she looks at the clock and says, ‘Yeah?’’. It’s around 12:45. Sigh. I so love dashing out the house, late to things. Dash we did and while on the road something pops into my head that maybe it was 1:30pm, not 1pm. Call Teresa, she checks, yup, 1:30pm. I relax… we have plenty of time… to drive to the wrong place.