Archive for the ‘Hogsmead Visits’ Category

A series about BBQ

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

I have been reading reviews about BBQ places here in San Diego. I am amazed at some of the comments by folks. Most of them are intelligent and right on the point. Their reviews are fair and unbiased, but others are just down right stupid and wrong. Things that ticked me off are reviews like “The food is great, but I didn’t like the look of the owner” Seriously? How is that a food review?

I thought I would start a series of blogs about BBQ and BBQing. In this series I will attempt to dispel myths and legend and try to offer my “not so humble” opinion on BBQ.

Who am I and why should anyone listen to me? Well, that’s a very good question… I am someone that spent close to 30 years trying to figure out how to cook BBQ. I do not claim to be an expert, but I definitely know what NOT to do. I strongly believe the following quote by Henry Ford:

— Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently

I have created amazing disasters trying to produce edible BBQ. Some of it, went straight from the grill to the trash. In 2007, I discovered a BBQ class in San Diego being taught by Pitmaster Konrad Haskins. The class was an all day class taught at the Embassy Suites in La Jolla. Konrad has taught tons of people how to do BBQ correctly. He has even taught some famous people you might know from TLC’s Pitmaster series: Harry Soo of Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ. I would highly recommend take either Konrad’s or Harry’s class. This is money WELL worth it. I am hoping to travel to Texas to take another of his classes this year.

We had 12 student in our class, many of us had the same experience as me. All bad 😉 I leaned some very key lessons that I hope to share over this series. Before I begin, I think it is very important that you understand some ideas.

  1. You can’t learn to cook BBQ from a book. You need to get your hands dirty and fail a few times. You should NOT expect that you will make great BBQ without trying and failing (or succeeding).
  2. BBQ is a style of cooking, not a type of food. BBQ is cooking food over low (indirect) heat for a long period of time.
  3. The average person considers BBQ when cooking over direct heat. This is actually known as grilling. The confusion comes from our age-old tradition of calling our backyard gatherings a BBQ. Most of these gatherings include hamburgers, hot-dogs and grilled chicken. This is a term of an event rather than a style of cooking.
  4. If you start with an inferior product you will get an inferior result. Buy the best quality meat you can find and afford. I will be covering this topic in a blog all its own.
  5. You can BBQ in just about anything. You don’t need expensive equipment to produce good BBQ. although once you start, you will crave it. I have eaten good BBQ cooked inside a 55 oil drum.
  6. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, almost everyone out there loves to share their knowledge and techniques. Yes, there are a few arrogant people out there. I just nod my head and smile.
  7. Less is more!
  8. BBQ is done when it’s done. What took six hours one day, might take eight the next time.

Over the next few months, I hope to cover my opinions (that’s why you are reading MY blog right?) about BBQ and what I think is important. My posts will include how-tos, techniques I have been taught, suggestions and most importantly restaurant reviews.

Please remember, I am starting down this path because I am amazed by the reviews I am reading. Many reviews are out of context, incomplete, or in several cases posts by competitors to slander their competition. This is one of the danger of the Internet. Anyone can post comments without any consequences and MANY people will believe them without fact checking. My goal is to educate people on BBQ and help them understand what makes good or bad BBQ. While most of what I will post is my opinion, I will try to educate with facts and figures about cooking BBQ and try to demystify some of the propaganda we have been inundated throughout our lives.

If anyone would like me to review a specific location or topic, please leave me a comment or send me an update. I will do my best to try and accommodate your suggestion.

too funny…

Friday, August 8th, 2008

For you south park fans, you will appreciate this.

There is a City Wok here in san diego.

I had to stop from laughing as we drove by.

A weekend at the train show.

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

As I mentioned in the previous post, Angie and I went up to Ontario to the The Big Train Show. This was a two day event. We drove up to the hotel on friday and unpacked the bridge. We went over to the show on saturday morning and took a clinic on split jaw products. We learned about their new product line.

After the clinic we went back to the hotel (across the street) and ate breakfast. Yes the class was at 7:30 in the morning. After breakfast we loaded the bridge back up in the truck and took it across the street. We unloaded it and entered it into the scratch built contest.

After dropping off the bridge we drove back to the hotel and parked the truck and walked back to the show. The vendor show was just opening and we walked around the show. You can see some of the exhibit pictures in our gallery.

We bought a number of miniature people and animals for our garden railway. As we walked around the show, we noticed some new vendors and some of the old regular ones. We ended up purchasing a lot of items this year. The list of items are here:

Wireless railcam:
Rail Clamps and reversing unit:

We also purchased some shirts and other small items. On Sunday we went to the Pomona Faiplex to visit their outdoor railroad. The pictures are in the gallery. When we got back to the show, we attended the airbrush weathering clinic. We watched the instructor take a beautiful new engine and make it look like it had been in the outdoors for 20 years. It was quite interesting to watch the transformation.

After the clinic we walked back around the show to buy all the items I put on my list from the day before. I am glad I waited because I got the railcam for $70 less because it was his last one and would not have to ship it out.

We picked up the Bridge from the scratch built contest. The bridge took 2nd place, not to shabby when you compare what it ran against.

We loaded the bridge back up on the truck and headed home. No damage was incurred at all on the bridge.

The Big Train Show

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Angie and I arrived in Ontario, California tonight for The Big Train Show. We will be attending some clinics and have entered our bridge into the scratch building contest.

The bridge was packed in it’s travel box (over 6′ long) and strapped down in the back of the truck. It survived the trip and did not budge an inch in the back of the truck.

More details about the show this weekend.

Busy Weekend.

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

This weekend was a busy one in a long time. On Saturday, Angie and I finished the last day of our Road 1 bike class. This is a class put on by the League of American Bicyclists. The class was great! We road about 9 miles while being graded by the instructor.

On Sunday, we pulled weeds out of the back yard. We only completed the hill. All the weeds around the pond and pool will have to wait until another weekend. I filled 50 gallons (by volume) of weeds.

After lunch, we went Geocaching We found 4 caches, and one survey marker. Two of the caches we could not find 🙁

I have uploaded a few pictures in the gallery.

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