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Smokin' with Steve

Tips to help make your backyard summer BBQ the talk of the neighborhood

Article by Scott Bell

Photography by Nicole Bell

Originally published in Gallatin Lifestyle

For Gallatin resident Steve Moore, backyard BBQing has become somewhat of a religion in his circle. It’s become a way to bring friends and neighbors together for fun and fellowship as well as a creative outlet to try to perfect various dishes that deserve attention and elevation. Steve, a United States Marine Corps veteran, takes pride in his creations and shares with us a few pointers for your next outdoor BBQ. Whether you’ve been smoking and grilling for years, or even if you’re looking for your first smoker, Steve shares a few stories of his own experiences and other helpful tips to make sure your next BBQ is the talk of the next neighborhood gathering.

What’s your background and how did you fall in love with outdoor cooking?
I started getting into smoking/grilling about seven years ago. I had some BBQ in Texas and soon was hooked on the idea of trying to make it at home. I went through many recipes to understand how I liked the flavor, as well as a few different smokers and equipment until I found what fit me and my cooking style. The results I saw began to support my many trials and errors and I finally had my own system that I felt comfortable replicating.

What are some beginner foods that you recommend people try to master?
The most forgiving dish to try to perfect is pulled pork. It’s typically a large piece of meat that you can season as much (or as little) as you want and you won’t be able to overdo it as the meat takes a lot to absorb all the seasoning. The next item I would suggest is chicken. You can do so many variations with chicken like legs, beer can, thighs, breasts and wings.

What are some general tips on smoking and grilling for beginners?
It’s all about time and temperature. This requires patience as meats tend to cook differently, at different temperatures and for different times. Having a time in mind helps with keeping things as controlled as you can.

What's your favorite food to make? What’s your most popular food people ask you to prepare? 
One of the most requested things I make is my smoked chicken wings, but my favorite thing to cook is brisket. It’s a more challenging cook to get right and no one piece is the same when cooked. The right piece of meat is important but time and temperature are huge variables in the taste as well. But, when you get it right, to me it’s the best taste in BBQ.

Why do you choose pellets over charcoal, propane or electric?
Mostly for consistency. It may not get as much smoke flavor as real wood or heat up as quickly as propane or electric, but you get the same consistency every time. It provides just enough smoke flavor to give anyone that woody smoke taste they are looking for while keeping temperature well-regulated and consistent.