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June 02, 2004
Playing With Fire

Yesterday I fired up my smoker. The pork shoulder was brined and seasoned/rubbed, the weather was perfect, and I had a real hankerin' for barbecue.

About an hour into the cooking, I noticed that smoke was not issuing forth as it ought to have done. A glance at the thermometer showed the temperature was falling. So naturally, I grabbed a handful of hardwood charcoal chunks and opened the hatch.

Ever see the movie "Backdraft"?

The charcoal and wood-chunk fire had apparently been starved of oxygen (I later realized that I had not opened the vents. Dumb mistake.) Meanwhile, flammable fumes had apparently built up in the smoker... helped, I would imagine, by alcohol from the bourbon added (for flavor, of course) to the water pan inside.

I opened the hatch... letting in the aforementioned oxygen.

For just a fraction of a second, flame shot out of the opening. Even as brief as it was, it resembled the exhaust of an F-14's jet engine on afterburner. Fire like that could have done some damage if it had been directed at something flammable.

Fortunately, my hand was in the right place to keep the flame from escaping into the wild.

Result: almost no hair left on my arm. Oh, and there's also the little matter of first and second degree burns on my hand and wrist.

Everything I know, I learned in the Army[1]. My old drill sergeant would have been proud of me as I applied my first-aid training. Either that, or he'd have been berating me as an idiot, I'm not sure which... but I probably deserved both.

So now I'm keeping my hand smeared in antibiotics and bandaged up. What a nuisance. This post took nearly an hour to type.

But the barbecue was amazing.

[1] Yes, everything.

Posted by Russ at 08:05 PM, June 2, 2004 in Barbecue & Personal Stuff

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Posted by: Ith at June 2, 2004 08:25 PM

Wish I could have seen it.

I spent a fair amount of Memorial Day playing with with my father's new flame thrower. Because every family should own a flame thrower.

Posted by: Beck at June 2, 2004 09:33 PM

I have to admit I was torn. I sympathize with your burns. Been there...ouch!!

But had I witnessed the event...I fear I may have been useless whilst rolling on the ground, laughing.

Hope you heal soon...At least the meat was good...

And my old drill sergeant told me, "Trainee, if you want sympathy, you can find it in the dictionary between sh*t and syphilis!"

Posted by: mostly cajun at June 2, 2004 10:00 PM

Next time, more bourbon for the pork, and less for the chef? *heh*

And damned sure, more for the guests!!!

Sloop New Dawn
Galveston, TX

PS. And thank you sir, very much, for linking my Memorial Day post. Way overdue, but better late than never, I've upgraded my templates to allow for more links. I'm proud to have you aboard.

Posted by: Jim at June 3, 2004 03:47 PM

Speaking of such things, Santa's getting a new letter this year:


Posted by: Brian B at June 4, 2004 01:36 PM