Today, finally, after months of delay and procrastinating about getting firewood, I will use my smoker.  I will smoke baby back ribs.  And they will be good.

If I were honest about my doubts about my ability to build a fire suitable for several hours of smoking, I would not be so certain of the outcome.  But I have chosen to allow my optimism to overcome my self-doubt, so I am confident the ribs will be extraordinary.

If I were smart, I would have bought lump hardwood charcoal to serve as the source of the smoke that will make these ribs so tasty.  But, let’s be honest, I am not smart so, instead, I bought a bag of mesquite logs to serve as the heat and smoke source.  Mesquite is an insanely hard wood and one that is notoriously difficult to burn, but my machismo requires me to overcome those difficulties.  To use lump hardwood charcoal would be much easier and, therefore, less manly.

If I were less strident in my insistence that eating mesquite-smoked meat is, by far, the most flavorful experience a carnivore can have, I might have selected hickory or oak or apple wood.  But there are elements of food snobbery lodged deep in my psyche that must be fed, so I allow my strident insistence to overcome any other practical matters.

Tomorrow, perhaps, I will write about the experience I have today; how I built the fire, what it took to keep the heat inside the cooking chamber near the target of 225 degrees, how the odor of the smoke permeated my skin, my hair, and my clothing.  Perhaps I will share photos of the masterpiece of meat that comes out of the smoker after four to five hours of exposure to heat and mesquite smoke.


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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