Well, it's been just about a month since our last competition of the season. I've been thinking about a lot of things, but specifically BBQ classes and smokers. Let's examine these thoughts.
Why take a class, don't I already know how to BBQ? Well yes I do thank you, but there are always new techniques, methods and recipes to learn. Doesn't it make sense to take a class from someone who consistently wins on the circuit. Why not pick the brains of people who've been doing this a lot longer than I and speed up the learning curve so to speak. There are only two drawbacks that I can see.
One is cost. You see it's typically costs about $500 for these classes, not counting the travel expenses and possible time off work. I know that sounds like a lot of money, but I think that a lot of the costs can be made up with prize money that the new knowledge will help you win. Wishful thinking?, maybe but it doesn't hurt to dream.
Another drawback is deciding which course to take. There are about 4 - 5 highly skilled cooks out there who are currently giving classes. I suppose you could choose the one who's giving the closest class, or you could take the cheapest one, or the one whose accomplishments you respect the most. You could always pick the one that cooks on whatever is closest to your own cookers, or go in a totally new direction and take someones class that cooks on something drastically different than you.
This leads me to the other thoughts I've had so far this off-season. If I got a new cooker, which one would I like to get. Do I make that decision on cost or what I see as the best suited cooker for my needs. It's no wonder I have sleepless nights. It's not only the competitions, but all aspects of BBQ that have taken over my life. My wife just shakes her head and mutters when she sees that far away look in my eyes. As of now, I think I'm leaning to a Stumps "Classic" cooker. It's a gravity fed smoker with 5 shelves that would give me plenty of cook space for both competitions and catering. Here's a link to their website: http://www.stumpssmokers.com/about.html
Now can"t you just see me cooking on that beauty? I know I can. Oh well, let me get back to daydreaming. I'll let you know what if anything I decide to do.