After 2 Decades of Living outside the United States
My American BBQ Roots are back!
After living 20 years in the Philippines, in most ways I got away from cooking BBQ. They have barbeque in the Philippines, but it is different than American style Barbeque.
Now that we are back in the States, and especially since we own our home now, I can barbeque as much as I want!
I didn’t barbeque in 2019
In 2019, when we moved back to the States, we were renting an apartment. Actually, we rented the upstairs of a house, but they called it an apartment. We really did not have a place where we could barbeque, so we did not even buy a grill. We just cooked in the house – oven, stovetop, microwave, or whatever.
I really had my mind on barbequing, though. Within a week or so after buying our new house, I bought both a smoker and a gas barbeque grill. I’ve really been enjoying that.
I decided to get a pellet smoker
Back in around April 2019, Feyma and I went to a Home Show in Indianapolis. We enjoy checking out those kinds of events. At this particular event, one of the first booths we encountered was the Traeger booth, where they were selling pellet smokers.
I had already been looking at (ogling) the Weber SmokeFire pellet grills. They looked really good, and I wanted one. However, as the salesman showed me the Traegers, I was liking them and switched my desire to a Traeger. But, since we were “enjoying” apartment life, well, a pellet grill just was not in the picture, yet.
One thing I knew, though… I wanted a pellet smoker. When we lived in Washington State in the 90s, we had a charcoal smoker. We liked smoked food, and I enjoyed smoking. We also had a pellet fireplace insert, and we liked that. The combination of the two seemed like a natural to me.
One day in Lowe’s
One day in April, before we had closed on our house we were at Lowe’s. I happened to see a Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker. It was about ¼ of the price of the Traeger Pellet Smoker that I wanted, and, frankly, I liked it better than the Traeger, so suddenly that is what I wanted!
I did some research and found that the Pit Boss had gotten some really good reviews. My only disappointment was that the Pit Boss did not have WiFi capability, and I thought that would be pretty nice. But, as I reflected on the decision, I decided that the WiFi was more of a gadget, and not that important to me, so soon after we owned the house, I bought the Pit Boss!
I love it! I’ve smoked in the Pit Boss at least a half dozen times now, and it has never failed me. I don’t regret the purchase at all.
The Gas Grill
About a week later, I purchased a gas grill. I have had some real nice gas grills in the past, and, honestly, I could have easily spent $5,000 or more on a really nice gas grill. However, I decided to get a relatively cheap grill and try it out for a year or two. I really planned to do more smoking than grilling anyway.
I saw several choices of inexpensive gas grills at Home Depot when I visited there. I think the cheapest ones there were $199. I saw some others at $249, and they looked like good choices for a “starter” gas grill, so I chose a Dyna-Glo grill at $249. When I took it home and tried it out, I was pretty surprised at just how much I liked it!
My thoughts that I would do more smoking than grilling were wrong, though, I’ve learned. I do about an equal amount of each. But, just like the Pit Boss Smoker, I have no regrets with my purchase of the Dyna-Glo gas grill. I am sure I’ll upgrade in a year or two, but for now, this is suiting my needs perfectly.
What have I smoked?
So far I have done a lot of smoking. I have smoked the following things:
- Whole Chickens
- Chicken Thighs
- Chicken Wings
- Chicken Drumsticks
- Pork Ribs
- Pork Butt (making pulled pork)
- Various veggies, especially corn on the cob
As far as I can recall, I have not had a single smoke that turned out with sub-par food. Everything we’ve done on the smoker has been so tasty!
What have I grilled?
Pretty much the same things on the smoked list, except for the Pork Butt, that is too big to do properly on the gas grill.
Again, everything I’ve grilled on the Dyna-Glo has come out really nice.
Enjoying the fruits of my outdoor cooking
Here are some pictures of one of my recent smoking sessions. Can you see how juicy that chicken is, even the breast meat? It was delicious.
Here are some pictures from a recent grilling session. I cooked skewers of chicken thighs, bacon, and onions. I sauced the skewers too with a home-made BBQ sauce. It also was super delicious.
Outdoor cooking at our house is a pleasure
With the beautiful scenery in our yard, looking at the river and the wildlife that is common here, cooking on either the smoker or the grill is a real pleasure. I enjoy my time outdoors enjoying the new place. Another advantage is getting back to my American roots. I have always enjoyed outdoor cooking, and am enjoying it even more after such a long absence!
Your smoking list is awesome. Yeah, that pit boss is truly amazing! I started with a master built electric smoker. It was awesome until I met the Pit Boss. For your next piece, look into the Blackstone Gas Griddle. They have different sizes. You will love making breakfast outside.
Hi John, oh boy, you really must be my brother from another mother. I’ve already had my eye on that griddle. The exact one that you’re talking about. I talked to my wife about it, hoping that she would tell me I don’t need it, because I really don’t feel I need it, but I want it. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, she’s urging me to get one. I won’t be surprised if there’s one out on my deck by the end of the summer. LOL
I have been smoking meat for 40 years. For Emily pre-baby shower I smoked 10 LBS and sprinkled with Tony Chachere’s Creole seasonings and it was being ignored. One filipina tried it and said this is good. Emily had to fight save me a few pieces of the chicken. We did away with the out door grill and purchased a Blackstone Griddle we use it all the time if I am not fasting. just got through with a 3.5 day fast.
The Smoker use I call it a idiot proof Smoker is a OLD Hickory Same model I have used for 40 years not going to change it works well.
That’s great, Nathan! I have had several Filipinas tell me they enjoyed the smoked meats. In fact we had a party on 4th of July and the smoked pulled pork was a huge hit!
Keep up the smoking!
I can’t believe a Filipina would go that long without barbecue. I love barbecued chicken on a stick with rice.
I did notice that you actually butcher your chicken instead of the usual Filipino way of chopping meat anywhere with a cleaver. The Filipino way leaves so many bone chips in the meat. Other than that I found I really like Filipino food, especially kinilow.
The only two things I had right after coming back to the US was a Big Mac and a double Fish Sandwich. The stew I made in my Hot Pot and froze was still there in the freezer when I got back and it tasted great.
Hi tony, I was actually talking about American style barbecue, not Philippine style barbecue. I have enjoyed getting back to doing barbecuing and smoking here. Yes, you are certainly right, in the Philippines the way that they cut up the chicken leaves a lot of small pieces of bone, I really can’t stand that.
I hope you’re doing well.