Several times this summer I have doggedly grilled or barbecued despite rain. Today is turning out to be one of those times.
I have pork chops on the Weber getting a bath in hickory smoke. A few drops have fallen on the black cover.
Pork chops are easy, because the meat is tender. No all-day babysitting is needed while the low heat sweats away the fat: it’s just about getting the flavor right. Right now, it’s about 3:45 PM Bulova time, and dinner will be on schedule.
Two quick-light charcoal briquets–only two–with regular charcoal forming a “snake” along one side of the kettle. A pie tin of water opposite. Seasoned pork chops above the water, making unhurried progress. That’s all it takes.
You don’t need a vertical smoker, a horizontal smoker, a porcelain smoker, a propane smoker, a super-duper ex-hippie capitalist smoker, a 55-gallon drum smoker, or any other specialized product. You don’t need a thermometer or any other specialized gadgets. A Weber kettle or something similar will work perfectly. Add charcoal, water, chunks of hardwood, meat, and time.
If you use chunks of wood, no need to soak them. Chips are so small they need soaking.
There is an American fallacy about cooking: that it’s more about tools than technique. The truth is otherwise. An expensive smoker is only as good as the chef. A basic black kettle is every bit as good as the chef.
It’s a wonder that anybody discovered brisket with that attitude.