Grilling and smoking in Southern Maine
Good afternoon, all!
I am a Virginia native who spent four years in Louisiana, then moved to Maine. I've been here just over four years now, and this summer is the first time I've really gotten to grill at home. As an apartment-dweller, getting a good place to set up just hasn't happened. I am finally somewhere that has a large enough parking area to bust out a tiny grill and a chair.
When I say tiny, I mean tiny... I'm cooking on a Kingsford kettle that might be 18"-24" tall... This is small, wheel-less, and a little sad... and it was free.
Right now, I am using Kingsford charcoal (original), and (I know, I know) lighter fluid. I've read already how to build a chimney, and as soon as I get a good enough sized can, I'll use it. What I really want to move towards is smoking. I've always enjoyed well-smoked meat better than almost anything. I recognize that my current grill probably isn't conducive to smoking meats, so I'm just getting better at grilling for now.
I have plans to upgrade my rig over time, but our financial priorities aren't on my cooking out right now, and in Maine, you have to be more than a little crazy to grill outdoors for at least half the year. (I'd like to eventually be using a barrel that could feed up to 10-12 folks, but for now space, money, and a household of two make it impractical.)
I'm still learning my way around the forums, but have experience with the power of "search". For now I'm just trying to soak up everything I can, and finding ways to work with what I have. Even "the basics" may be new ideas for me, and I welcome your pointing me to existing threads that will help further my education quickly. I have made fast progress over my few cookouts this summer (lots of reading here in between), but there's a lot of room to grow.
I've been using Stubbs Texas marinades and sauces so far, and they've worked well.
My first time out I didn't even get all of my coals going properly, and ended up half-smoking, half-grilling my chicken. It was well-cooked, but I could definitely taste the chemicals from the fluid and basic charcoal, so I'm holding off on smoking until I can try it without poisoning my food. It's gotten better since then.
Anyway, I welcome your advice (beyond "go buy x tomorrow") and look forward to continuing to grow in the community.
Low and slow in the North-- Nostradamus never saw it coming.