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About BayouQ

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  1. I had a similar experience ordering from Fisherman's Central last year. I ordered a combo and paid for expedited 2 day shipping so I would receive it in time to take on a trip. It arrived 19 days later in the in the first picture below. I called to complain that I didn't get the rod in time for my trip and it was broken. They apologized and said they would send a replacement. The second rod arrived in two days in the second picture below. I called again and they said they were out of stock. They wanted me to ship them back if I wanted a refund and begrudgingly agreed to pay for return shipping. It took 5 weeks to process the refund. I switched to Tackle Direct and have had no issues. They ship in tubes that you could probably drive over with a truck.
  2. That Vegan Hipster is about to become a pirate.
  3. My dad gave me a #8 and #12 Ahab with matching rods years ago. I have never had an opportunity to fish them though. I am guilty of saving them for a "special occasion" that never materialized.
  4. On Amazon Prime: Faster Faster revolves around a world as competitive as it is dangerous: championship motorcycle racing. Filmed throughout the 2001 and 2002 seasons, the documentary delves into 16 annually held races. Covers the season that they converted from 2 cycle to 4 cycle engines.
  5. Thank you very much. Pardon my ignorance, but I assume "OSV" = On Sand Vehicles? or is it Oversized Striper Validation? Off-Shore Vegans?
  6. Hey Folks, I grew up on the Gulf Coast fishing in the marshes for reds, black drum, flounder, and specks. I moved to VA a few years ago and have not been able to do near enough fishing. I have done a couple of charters on the Chesapeake and tried some freshwater fishing. It's not scratching the itch. I decided I wanted to try surf fishing this year and discovered SOL in January. Over the winter I have been reading here and watching YouTube. In a couple of weeks, I am taking the kids to Busch Gardens and VA Beach for the weekend. I won't have time to fish but was hoping to scout out a few spots for later summer/fall trips. I am not asking anyone to "spot burn" but would appreciate any general directions/advice you could offer. Are there sections of beach that are specifically open or closed to fishing? Are there areas that are less crowded? Are there designated access points? Also, is there any etiquette or generally accepted practices for surf fishing at VA beach? For example - in the marsh, it is considered very rude to come within ~150 yards of another boat. I have seen YT videos of people at the OBX point where people are standing shoulder to shoulder but have read that that the point is an exception. I have also read that braid is frowned upon at the point but not necessarily so elsewhere. At VA beach to fisherman observe a certain amount of space? Thanks in advance, BayouQ
  7. Saute' until crisp, drain (and save) the grease, mix in chopped grilled chicken, diced jalapenos, and 3 blocks of room temp (softened) cream cheese. Top with grated cheddar and bake until bubbly. Use as a chicken popper dip for tortillas.
  8. @jjdbike, Each type of cooker works differently. Texas-style offsets burn a lot of wood and depend on high air-flow. Reverse flow stickburners (what I currently have) are more efficient. WSM's are medium flow, but more efficient than stickburners. Kamados are low-flow, but are the most fuel efficient. You can make great Q on any of them if you learn how to use it properly. Go to a comp sometime as an observer. You'll see $15K trailer rigs, WSM's, Green Eggs, and idiots like me cooking on cinder blocks. Again - It's not the cooker - it's the cook.
  9. I'll give you the same advice I give everyone who asks, yet no one listens to it. If you are truly a beginner or newb, don't try to cook a brisket yet. Even if you are somewhat experienced and just bought a new pit, don't start with brisket. My advice for beginners is to start with chicken thighs. They are cheap and almost impossible to mess up. Do several cooks to see where your smoker likes to be. Every smoker has its own "happy place". See how it cooks in different conditions. Example: When I had my offset, it always seemed to run perfectly at 275°. One day it jumped up to 325°, then 350°. I couldn't get the temp down. I was using less wood and the temp stayed high. Finally, I realized that there was a gentle breeze coming straight at the firebox. It was stoking the fire. I turned the pit 90° and the temps came right back down to 275°. Once you are comfortable running your pit, switch to ribs. See if you can run it for 5-6 hours. Then do pork butts. They can take 8-12 hours, but are very forgiving. When you get comfortable with long cooks then try brisket. Brisket is the trickiest cut to cook and there are wild variations in quality. I could do a whole separate thread just on how to pick one out of the meat counter. Plus, they ain't cheap anymore. When I got into Q (back in the days before "Pitmasters" and all of the YouTube channels, brisket was $1.79 - $1.99. I don't know where you are, but they're currently $4.59 on sale for Choice ($5.99 regular price) and I can't even find Prime unless I want to order online. Nothing stinks like inviting all of your friends over a ruining $75 worth of meat. Another True Story: I started back in the early 90's with a Smokey Joe from Wal-Mart. Then I upgraded to a Weber Kettle with charcoal baskets. I wanted a "real" smoker, but couldn't afford one. One day a guy down the street put a New Braunfel's El Dorado on the curb for trash day. I snagged it and brought it home. I was dirty and rusty, but in-tact. I spent a couple weekends sanding it down a repainting it. I did a burn-in and seasoned it. For my first cook I invited a bunch of friends over to watch an LSU game. I bought to large pork butts. The game was at 6:30, so I started cooking at 6:30 AM thinking that everything would be ready by halftime. I meticulously tended at 250° the fire all day. The bark was a bit weak, but looked ok. Just before kick-off, I brought the butts in to rest. A half hour later, I went to pull the pork and it was tough. I took a knife and cut one open and it was raw. Not undercooked - raw. I was stumped. How did this happen? I had to scramble to order pizzas for halftime and my buddies gave me a very hard time. The next day I was trying to figure out what happened. I was reading the old Smoke Ring FAQ and it talked about the importance of calibrating your thermometers. I removed the thermometer from the El Dorado and stuck the probe in a pot of boiling water. It jumped to 350°!!! My thermometer was off by over 100° and I had spent the whole day cooking my pork butts ~140°-150°. Lesson Learned. I bought a new thermometer and learned to cook on that pit. I really liked cooking on that pit, but ultimately lost it in Hurricane Katrina. They have long been discontinued, but I would buy another one in a minute.
  10. BTW - Here is the block cooker. These pics were from a Superbowl party I hosted one year.
  11. A couple of thoughts to level-set: first, competition Q and backyard Q are two different animals. I have cooked, placed in, and won comps, but I would never serve you competition Q if you came to my house for dinner. In a comp, the judge is going to score you on taste, tenderness, appearance, and overall impression. Your cuts have to be smooth and straight. You need a glossy and appealing glaze. He's only going to take one bite, so you have to over-season without blowing his brains out. All of the TV shows and YouTube channels have everyone overthinking their cooking. IMHO, Barbeque is meant to be simple. It **was** poor man's food - taking less desirable cuts and making them into something edible. It used to be that brisket was an undesirable cut that was ground into chili. Even the term eating "high on the hog" comes from plantation pig roasts where the wealthy got the choice cuts (loin & chops) and the servants (or slaves) got the less desirable cuts (ribs, shanks, etc.). It is intended to be messy. It's OK to lick your fingers and spill sauce on your shirt. I would disagree with the H-n-F people foiling more than S-n-L. Wrapping helps you push through "the stall". People that cook S-n-L struggle with the stall more than people who cook H-n-F. The higher temps push through the stall and start rendering fat and collagen. I foil ribs in comps because the judge needs to be able to take one perfect semi-circular bite. I never foil ribs at home because I just cook (and spritz) them until they are done. I recently started wrapping briskets in butcher paper at the 6-8 hour mark and leaving them in it through the rest (you are resting your briskets, I hope). Water serves as a heat sink and does help even temps. However, this is another area where people overthink it. I have a friend who has a wifi-enabled computer fan on his Green Egg. He can hold his egg at precisely 227° all day long. My reverse flow is a log burner. I generally try to stay around 275°, but I am actively tending my fire and my temp will range from 250° to sometimes as high as 325° (If it gets above that I open the lid for a "heat dump"). Does he make better Q than me? I don't think so. I believe a Backwoods cooker is a gravity fed smoker. I have never cooked on one, but I have heard good things about them. I have seen the Old Country cookers at Academy. I think the ones that are welded 1/4" plate are a good value for the money. This is another area people overthink it. It's not the cooker - it's the cook. True Story: When I was cooking in comps, one I entered had whole hog as a category. You had to cook in all categories to be eligible for Grand Champion. At the time I had a 20" x 48" offset, which was big enough to cook the other categories, but there was no way I was fitting a whole pig. I learned to cook whole pigs on a cinder-block pit like they do in South Carolina and Georgia, but had never cooked one in competition. I bought 42 cinderblocks and had a drip pan and grate fabricated for the comp. I hauled all of my materials out to the cooksite a day in advance and cooked the way I knew how. There were sponsored teams out there with $10K and $15K trailer rigs. Guess what? My hog came in 6th place and I finished 4th overall out of 92 teams. All that said - I don't think you can go wrong with a Backwoods, Old Country, or a WSM. Think through how you want to use it. If you are a Ron Popiel acolyte and want to "set it and forget it", the Old Country may not be for you. Personally, I enjoy the act of barbequing. I like spending the day splitting wood and tending a fire. When I have time I always cook on my offset. However, I do have a WSM as well. When the Saturday is packed with "Honey-Do's" and kids sports events, it is nice to be able to start a pork butt at 7:00 AM and come home to dinner in the evening. Once your WSM is seasoned and dialed-in, you can literally leave it running all day. In sum, pick a cooker, practice, practice, practice and hone your skills. The best advice I can give you is to learn how to maintain a clean-burning fire.
  12. RE: "over smoking" This is usually the result of a fire that is not burning cleanly. On my reverse flow I can tell you everything about the cook by watching the stack. You want what is know as "thin blue smoke" (or even no smoke at all!). This is a sign of clean combustion. If you see thick or billowing white smoke, you have a problem. Heavy, dirty smoke tastes bad. Thin wispy, smoke tastes good. Also, some woods are more assertive than others. I generally prefer pecan and oak. I occasionally use cherry, hickory, and mesquite. I personally have never been happy with the results using apple, but some people love it. Even with my WSM, I use the minion method and let the smoker run 45+ minutes until it settles down. I never use chips, I bury fist sized chunks of wood in the charcoal basket.
  13. Hey jjd, I have been Q'ing ~25 years. I have had multiple smokers - off-sets, verticals, reverse flow, etc. I used to be focused on slow-n-low and try to cook at 225°. I got into competitions for several years and learned a lot. The comp guys protect their seasonings and sauces like crown jewels, but are more than happy to share techniques. From them I learned to cook hot-and-fast (275° to 300°). In a WSM, a water pan absorbs a lot of heat during evaporation and keeps the temps down. With the terra cotta base (or sand as someone else posted) you can get your temps up. I can run my WSM all day at 275° - that works best for me. As an old timer once told me "There's nothing magical about 225°, except waking up earlier and eating later." I don't find that the water pan does anything significant for "moisture" in the final product. If your cooker is reasonably full, the drippings create a good amount of humidity. Sometimes I'll use a spritz if I am only cooking 1 or 2 racks of ribs to help with bark formation. You can use straight water or water with a bit of ACV and brown sugar. What people consider "moist" is actually rendered fat and collagen, not water. What a lot of people don't know is that oftentimes a "dry" brisket is actually undercooked. The fat and collagen have not been sufficiently rendered.