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COMMENTARY

Confessions of a “Barbecue Master Pitster ” Wannabe …

By Gary W. Moore

Last week I mentioned that I love online cooking tutorials. There are so many great opportunities to learn, but my favorite is a little less refined than most. Barbecue Pit Boys or www.bbqpitboys.com are a cross between ZZ Top and the Grateful Dead. These “good ol’ boys” live for their grills and have created and collected a mass of great recipes, all cooked in their outdoor barbecue pit. In fact, they’ve become so popular that chapters are popping up all over the world … so I’ve started one and begun inviting a close group of friends to join. We are now officially the “Barbecue Pitsters.”

Oh, before we go on … why isn’t barbecue popular in Italy? Could it be because the spaghetti keeps falling through the grill? (Lump bump)

The plan is to grill once a month, on a weekend. The guys will assemble at lunchtime, have a few snacks on the grill and plan our evening meal. Our wives will join us around 5:00 for appetizers and dinner, all cooked outside. They can then praise us for our culinary excellence at “the pit.” Because as a true Pitster would say, “it’s gonna be guud (not just good).

Oh … “What’s the difference between South Korean BBQ and American BBQ?

South Korean BBQ has more Seoul…”

I’m now in training. Like Rocky Balboa, preparing for Apollo Creed, I’m awake before the sun rises. I grab my phone and begin learning new ways and things to barbecue or smoke. I’m obsessed. I have a beautiful grill and smoker, but as I told you last week, I ordered a new outdoor pizza oven and a special rotisserie grill. I’ve assembled a variety of wood chunks for smoking … cherry, apple, pecan, hickory, mesquite, just to name a few. My stomach cancer battle will prohibit me from eating most of what I cook, and that’s okay. Through it all, I realize it’s the process I love. I’ll get little nibbles here and there. Some of the softer foods I can handle, but if I never ate a bite, I’d still love to cook for others.

So, the pantry is quickly filling with a plethora of spices and sauces. My back patio is beginning to look more like an official “Pit.” I stand in front of my three grills and I’m an astronaut and my grills are my control panels. I stand outside in anticipation and feel like a “Master of the Barbecue Universe.” I’m committed. I’m ready.

Forgive me … but here’s one more. “You know that mouth-watering sensation you get when you’re grilling a steak on the BBQ? I wonder … do vegans get that when they mow the lawn?”

I think my first dinner will be baby back ribs with my special sauce (my recipe), “Red Neck Beans” from the Pit Boys collection, corn roasted on the grill and Hasselback Potato’s. And for dessert, my Moms Pineapple Upside Down Cake in an iron skillet, and yes, cooked on the grill. Nothing cooked indoors.

There’s just something … I don’t know … something Neanderthal that emerges from my DNA when I see meat. A barbecue grill seems to assert a man’s masculinity. I get this irresistible urge to start a fire and go to work. Primitive? I guess. Channeling my inner macho man? Maybe. All I know is that I love everything involved. Just writing about it has my testosterone flowing.

A friend of mine suggested that slaughtering a cow for food is murder. He is a vegan of course and I respect his choice. I love animals and am very soft-hearted, but uncharacteristically responded, “If God didn’t want us to eat cows, He wouldn’t have made them out of beef!”

Thank you for reading the meanderings of my “inner-griller.” That’s right. I’m a shameless “Barbecue Master Pitster” wannabe.” I’m firing up the grills and I’m ready for summer. If you’re hungry, just step outside and follow your nose to my pit. I’ll greet you with a cold drink and a charred chunk of flesh.

My straw cowboy hat is firmly on my head. The charcoal is blazing, and I’ve got my “Barbecue Shoes” on.

Gary W. Moore is a freelance columnist, speaker, and author of three books including the award-winning, critically acclaimed, “Playing with the Enemy.” Follow Gary on Twitter @GaryWMoore721 and at www.garywmoore.com

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