'Tis the season ... so be sure to see our Holiday Entertaining Recipes for some terrific ideas. And, it’s not too early to start thinking about our Country Christmas menu for any of your holiday meals! For something different, how about mixing it up with our Light Southern Meal with Grilled Catfish and Watermelon Salsa! Happy Holidays!
I buy Lazzari from Herman's Boy in Rockford (probably a drive for you but worth visiting if you're ever on the west side of the state). I get 2 bags at a time, one mesquite and one oak. They're $25 for 2 bags, IIRC.
Smoking a 10 pound pork shoulder tonight for an end-of-the-season golf league party tomorrow which will consist of 8-10 guys watching college football on a patio all day. Can't wait. It'll go on at 7:00pm tonight and come off hopefully around 10:00am tomorrow, just in time for Gameday.
If you're looking to get into smoking, a Maverick Dual Probe Temperature Gauge is a must (around $60 on Amazon).
Other tips? Find a lump charcoal you like and stick with it. I experimented with a few and found Royal Oak to be my favorite but everyone has their own preference.
Start with something low and slow, maybe a single rack of ribs. This allows you practice without blowing $30 or more on a brisket for a ton of people. Practice makes perfect so make sure you get comfortable with the dampers, daisy wheel and lighting methods.
Being in Michigan, I am spoiled with a TON of great breweries. I'm a big fan of IPA's - easily my favorite style of beer. More so American IPA's with Cascade/Centennial/Chinook/Citra hop profiles with low malt.
My current favorites?
Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Sumpin'
Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA
Short's Huma Lupa Lucious
Founder's Red's Rye
Founder's Harvest Ale
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (perfect in every way)
Founder's All Day IPA
Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPA
New Holland Ichabod (awesome fall beer - nutmeg/pumpkin tones)