Welcome to Barbeque Nation!!

If you are into mouth-watering, "low and slow" BBQ - well, you have come to the right place! Regardless of whether you are a "newbie" simply wanting to know how/where to get started - or a "backyard champ" wanting to improve your skills - or a "pro" competing out there on the BBQ circuit - Barbeque Nation has something just for you...

We go about things just a little bit differently around here. There's no "forum" - therefore, no "bull-loney" to have to wade through... Barbeque Nation is all about "news you can use" - useful information/tips/comments to help make your barbecue experience a much better one. Our mission is to spread the "good news about Que" out to people at all levels of experience and interest!

We also feel we have assembled a wonderful "staff" of guest writers that will help bring a wealth of knowledge and insight regarding BBQ. You just never know who may show up here "at our table" from time to time!

So - pull up a chair, put another log in the firebox - and spend a little time with us as we share some smoke together...


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

QUE TIPS - What's Your Boiling Point?

In 3rd grade science class, we learned that water boils at 212 degrees F - right?? Well, yes - provided you live at sea level. The elevation that you live/cook at - and the barometric pressure on any given day - can have a significant effect on the temperature at which water boils.

Now - you are probably wondering what all this has to do with BBQ. Well, a good cook knows that the pit temperature, the internal temperature of the meat being cooked, and the "touch/feel" of the meat being cooked play an important role in turning out great Que. The "touch/feel" is pretty much subjective, and comes with time & experience... But we can be just a little more objective when it comes to temperature through the use of thermometers.

However, thermometers - especially those that sometimes come "standard" on many pits - can be rather inaccurate (20+ degrees or more). So how do you know if your thermometer is accurate/calibrated? Simply by seeing what it registers when measuring the temperature of boiling water!

However - at the beginning of this post, we mentioned that water boils at different temperatures depending on where we live. So how can you know at what temperature water should be boiling where you live on any given day?

The good folks at ThermoWorks (maker of the ThermaPen) have a web page for helping make this just a little easier. By going to this web page, and simply entering the elevation and the barometric pressure that day where you live, you can know the exact temperature at which water will boil. Then stick the stem of your thermometer into boiling water and see how the two compare!

Where do you get your local elevation above sea level or barometric pressure? Do a "Google search", enter the name of your town/city and state, along with the word "elevation" and hit "Enter". This should give you several entries that provide your local elevation. And/or if you are really into "high tech" and have either a GPS unit or a fancy mountaineering watch (Suunto, etc), you many times can derive your elevation that way as well. As to the barometric pressure, go to any weather web site, type in your town and state, and presto, you will find it listed along with the current temperature!

CLICK HERE to visit the ThermoWorks boiling point calculator.

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