Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

BBQ Pit Wars: Return of the Patron

A long time ago on a backyard patio not too far away….


IMG_20130828_080259It was a time of year when the heat was beating on our Pits with such strength. For one Patron was going about his summer enjoying the freedoms of his yard and his pit, when completely unexpected, he was taken back by a phone call that would change his life forever. He and his wife were asked to adopt a baby girl who hadn’t been born yet. Fast forward 4 days later, little Isabella Mae was born at 8 lbs 11 oz – about the same size as a prized brisket. Being he and his wife only had 3 days to prepare for their new blessing, their world was turn upside down.



Three months later this Patron was starting to feel very comfortable with the lifestyle of a new Daddy, as he noticed he hadn’t touched his pit once in those three months. Sharing his revelation with his wife she dared to ask a very conniving question,

Are you sure you still know how to smoke anything?

Insulted, yet with a cocky posture he looked at her and said,

“Honey, I am a Patron of the Pit! Smoking is in my blood. I sweat hickory! I enjoy the burn in my eyes as the hood of my pit opens and the sweet aromas of fire, wood, spice rubs and barbecue sauces bellow towards my face. There are not many of us who stand out at their pit during a Minnesota blizzard while the rest of the world curls up on their couch waiting for a microwaved dinner. I will not let three months of not lighting my pit filter this Patron’s good name!”

So with his chest out and his head high, he accepted her challenge unveiled.

With eagerness he took his challenge fervently. He stalked the aisle of the meat market looking for the cut of meat that he was going to shock the family with. And there it was, a 4 pound pork butt! He went in for the kill…even though the choice meat was dead, he paid for it and took it home like any backwoods hunter would, returning to his family with trophy in hand.

That Saturday night he mixed his marinade:

  • 1 beer
  • 4 tablespoons of  hand crushed peppercorns,
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar.

He let the pork marinate for 12 hours in the refrigerator and the next morning the coals were lit at 10 am.

It was a nice day out at his pit. A south wind was blowing at a medium pace and the sun was hitting the cooker just right. Though it wasIMG_20131124_102327 only 15 degree’s out, he enjoyed the cold air mixed with his choice of wood for the perfect smoke. He decided to hit the pork butt with the sweet flavor of cherry wood, offering up a light smoke to taunt his neighbors with. The smoker was a steady 250 degrees as he monitored the temperature and stoked his fire-box as needed. A good 5 hour smoke went by and around 4 pm he took the pork butt off the cooker, wrapped it tightly in tin foil and let it rest for 45 minutes. Once it was done, he slowly peeled back the foil. The pork immediately fell into pieces, thus started the pulling process. With two forks he did just that. He added his favorite smokehouse maple spice rub and mixed it all back in with the juices that collected from the initial smoke.

pulled pork

Later that evening with a full belly, his wife turned to him and at last recognized his craft. She reassured him that he hadn’t lost his skill and stated that she wished for him to continue plying his art of the smoker. And so he sat, knowing that a successful pork butt wasn’t the real prize here. The real prize was sipping from a bottle in his arms. He smiled contentedly…


The End…

26 responses

  1. What a great dinner to welcome you back to the pit and congratulations!

    December 5, 2013 at 7:47 pm

  2. What a beauty she is and such a blessing. Glad you are back at the pit, she will surely be pit master like Daddy!

    December 5, 2013 at 7:59 pm

  3. Fantastic post! Congratulations on the little one. They are truly the best blessing in a man’s life. And I totally understand your world being turned upside down. I knew Turtle (my 2 year old) was on his way months in advance and he’s still rocking our world.

    Thanks for sharing!

    December 5, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    • Thank you, it’s crazy how having your world turned upside down is a wonderful thing!

      December 6, 2013 at 8:19 am

  4. … and the crowd went wild, cheers and clapping, HAZZAH! They yelled!
    ALOHA little girl from Aunite, I hope to see you at the pit next spring with your Daddy, seeing as you obviously have him wrapped around your little precious finger.

    December 5, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    • Aloha! Being wrapped around her finger is an understatement. I will proudly admit, I don’t care!

      December 6, 2013 at 8:25 am

  5. Liz

    awwwww….that is the best story ever! Congratulations and wow. What a beautiful tribute. For a beautiful girl with a beautiful name 🙂

    December 5, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    • Thanks! I think she likes her name. She hasn’t said otherwise!

      December 6, 2013 at 8:25 am

  6. Man that is a great story. The size of a prized brisket. Love it. Congratulations pit man!

    December 5, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    • Thanks Man, it was the closest thing I knew to compare her too.

      December 6, 2013 at 8:26 am

  7. Congratulations brother of the smoke. A truly wonderful tale. I have a similar story opening in front of me, my third child is soon to enter the world, busy but wonderful times.

    December 6, 2013 at 12:15 am

    • Thank you, Your a pro… I need not tell you any tips. I could use some though!

      December 6, 2013 at 8:26 am

  8. Congratulations on your gorgeous daughter …. and on not losing your skill!

    December 6, 2013 at 12:24 am

    • Thank you, yes I hope to not lose the skill, but to gain more as a daddy!

      December 6, 2013 at 8:27 am

  9. debbeedoodles

    WONDERFUL!! Congratulations!!

    December 6, 2013 at 7:29 am

  10. Congratulations my friend.

    The real gift comes some twenty or thirty years down the road when Grandkids come to brighten your senior years. Mary and I (combined family) have twenty-two and counting!

    Life is good and only gets better as children come to teach us the depth of love we men have within. Just needs to be smoked out! God bless you.

    December 6, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    • 22!!! Wow, that deserves a standing ovation. I agree with you, my kids puts more hop into my step. I look forward to seeing them when I get home from work. I also look forward to passing on my BBQ talents to them too. Ahhh… life is so good!

      December 9, 2013 at 10:25 am

  11. Bravo! Welcome to parenthood.

    December 7, 2013 at 9:23 am

    • Thanks, Mimi. This is actually our second adoption. We adopted our first son (Austin) when he was 12. Now he’s a big Brother and loves the heck out of his little sister. Thanks for taking the time to read our blog!

      December 9, 2013 at 10:27 am

  12. Was there anything in your post after the photo of that beautiful baby? I just couldn’t get past your precious little patroness of the pit. Actually, that marinade will be just the ticket for the wild pork ribs I’ve got in the freezer. Savor every moment with your young ones.

    December 9, 2013 at 8:07 pm

  13. You didn’t just adopt a daughter, you adopted the next Patron of the Pit generation. Words fail me of the joys and laughter you have ahead of you. Congratulations!

    December 14, 2013 at 7:40 am

  14. Forces WAY beyond my control conspired against me last month as you know (computer failure, ice storms, power outages) and I failed to see this post ’til just now … WOW !!! CONGRATS my Smokie Brother !!

    January 13, 2014 at 5:56 am

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