The Smoke Artists®
A collection of serious barbecue hobbyists
skilled at the task of infusing foods with smoke.
the | [called the definite article ]
(pronounced stressing “the”) used to indicate that someone or something is the best known or most important of that name or type
smoke | noun
a visible suspension of carbon or other particles in air,typically one emitted from a burning substance
ar·tist | noun
a person highly skilled at a particular task or occupation
TheSmokeArtists.com is a site dedicated to the art of barbecuing foods. Its members believe that there is a distinct difference between grilling and barbecue.
According to industry statistics from 2007,there were 17.4 million new grills shipped in North America. 77% of all American households own a grill or a smoker. Of those,just over one third of them are charcoal,the rest are gas or electric. To The Smoke Artists® that means one thing:Everyone grills but few truly barbecue.
In our eyes real barbecue must meet three specific requirements:
- Cooking temperatures no higher than 250° F (121° C)
- The generation of smoke from natural hardwoods to both flavor and cure foods
- The use of hard combustible cooking fuels (charcoal and/or hardwoods)
It’s obvious that different methods and vessel types abound. Both fuel and smoke sources vary tremendously. The different items that can be barbecued or smoked are limitless.
The Smoke Artists® believe that one thing remains consistent among all true barbecue enthusiasts:Whatever you’re making must be prepared over low temperatures for extended periods of time while being infused with hardwood smoke.
Whether to use sauce or no sauce is your call. To rub or not to rub is one of the best debates in this science. Does the best pulled-pork come from using butts,picnics,full shoulders or whole hogs? Everyone has an opinion. But all true ‘cue maestro’s agree on one thing,low and slow is the way to go.
You’ll see blog pages here that deal with grilling too because it has its place. You can’t barbecue a steak,hamburger or hot dog. Why would you even want to? Having that big gathering on the deck or patio in the summer calls for food cooked fast and served hot. All of your Smoke Artists® own at least one grill themselves and appreciate their place in the cooking arts.
However,the majority of what you will see documented,photographed,linked and discussed on this site will be things that cannot be accomplished by just anyone with a grill using ingredients from the local supermarket. They are instead,likes all works of art,masterpieces created as a result of practice,experience and above all,proper technique.
So come on in and look around. We hope you enjoy what you find and are inspired to take up smoking/barbecuing yourself. Just remember,while all are welcome,few are ever chosen to become a SmokeArtist®.