“Why I Grill By Feel” By Chris Sussman

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Guest blog written by Why I Grill Ambassador Chris Sussman, The BBQ Buddha

When I started my BBQ journey many years ago, I often found myself getting hung up on every detail of the recipe I was cooking. When following a new recipe, things like time, temperature and technique translated to steps that absolutely had to be followed to have a successful dish at the end. I treated the whole experience like an engineering project instead of focusing on the cues my senses were telling me. Once I realized that recipes were just a reference, a guide showing me one way of getting to the destination, I felt a sense of freedom.

It took me cooking this way for years and taking copious notes along the way before I realized the things I should be focusing on, which are my five senses: sight, smell, taste, sound and feel. Mapping those senses to the recipes, grills and smokers I was using opened up a new sense of confidence and produced better results. Grilling By Feel™ was born!

Since that breakthrough, I’ve learned to use recipes as a starting point without being constrained by the instructions. In addition, that is how I write recipes for my blog and related social media channels. I want to teach people how to Grill By Feel and gain the same sense of confidence I have when cooking. When you realize that time and temperature are relative, you are no longer held back by the numbers associated with each of them. When you see how to look for and manage the pellicle formation on your brisket, ribs, etc., you gain mastery over smoke penetration and the flavor it produces. Finally, cooking in this way helps the most when you are in a new environment or using a different grill. When you have confidence in the details, you can more easily handle things when they’re different.

Why I Grill By Feel is simple: When cooking this way, I’m in constant learning mode. When you are always learning, you are always improving, and that is a good way to live. So, follow along with me as I teach you how to Grill By Feel and let yourself gain the confidence to be the master of your own BBQ at home!

Want to try grilling like Chris? Try his recipe for Smoked Kung Pao Pork Belly.

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Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), represents and provides professional member services and industry support, for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, representatives, service firms, and allied associates for all types of fireplace, stove, heater, barbecue and outdoor living appliances and accessories. Learn More

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