This post is about simplicity. So if you are making real low and slow BBQ, let's first start by talking about the three things you need.
Now that's clear, let's move on to what you don't need. This will be simple list of things that are dumb and don't work, along with something of an explanation. Let's get started.
1. Fancy Rubs - You don't need them. Ever. Aaron Franklin, proprietor of only the greatest BBQ joint in the history of food, uses salt and pepper on his brisket. Daniel Vaughn of Texas Monthly posted a long and detailed article with the basic math on why rubs are a ripoff. Buying rubs denies you the experience of making your own, which in all likelihood is a good as the one in the store.
2. Soak your wood chips - Oh lawdy lawdy. This, my friends, is a question for science. See Meathead Goldwyn's post on the subject. The case is closed on soaking wood chips. That doesn't stop Martha Stewart and hundreds of others from recommending it.
3. Poke my meat with a fork - It's true that you'll only dry it out a little. But why do it, when tongs are always there? Hell I use my hands way more than most people would recommend. Real cooks feel no pain.
4. Use wood chips for flavoring - People please. You may get a small amount of flavor, but you'll inevitably be frustrated.Use chunks or logs. If you're trying to smoke with chips, you're doing it wrong. That's right, Martha Stewart is wrong. In truth, if you are cooking fish or vegetables you can get away with it if you put the chips in close proximity to your food. Like, touching your food.
5. Use BBQ sauce to cover up lack of flavor - Your food should taste great right off the grill. If you need to sauce it, you aren't eating healthy and you aren't grilling right.
6. Boil meat - You know who boils meat? The British. Don't be like them.
The goal here is to simplify your cooking experience but still cook great food.The truth is that most people worry too much about details that aren't important. Most important is to pay attention to what the food is telling you. Use your five senses. Don't sweat the small stuff and you'll still make great food and you'll have a lot more fun.