A Toast To Pitmasters

Pork Butt on the Egg
Pork Butt on the Egg

There’s almost something Zen like being a Pitmaster. The feeling only a true diehard who has undertaken the task of an overnight cook will understand. As night settles deeper and the quiet descends, a feeling overcomes you. A feeling that almost can’t be described.

The wife and child have long since gone to bed.

The smoke still wisps out your pit of choice, tantalizing you with glorious food yet to come.

Maybe you have a furry companion by your side, still up, faithfully keeping you company, possible wondering, but never complaining, about when it will be time to retire. To get a few Zs in before the dawn makes its early rise.

You might be sitting outside with a cold beverage close by hand, the condensation dripping down the side as you listen to what nocturnal birds may be astir. Or maybe a dog or coyote off in the distance. Perhaps you are cozy inside with a good book in hand or watching a beloved movie that your wife would never quite appreciate the way you would.

You’ve done all the hard work. Your meat has been prepped. Rubbed down with seasonings, either carefully measured out or maybe store bought. Your fuel was carefully laid out, interspersed with your wood of choice, lit and carefully managed until just at the right temp. There’s nothing to do but wait until morn.

Sure, thought flicker through your head. Wouldn’t it be nice to have somebody up to share the moment? To talk about fond memories of the past and dreams of the future? Or to just sit quietly, to soak up the experience and enjoy the moment.

But alas, those are not the comforts a Pitmaster experiences. And sometimes its just better. The solitude. The quiet. The time to reflect on the past, the experiences of the last week, be it that “Good job” and a pat on the back from the boss, or that milestone your child past this week, or that loving look your wife gave you that said everything you needed to hear without saying a word. And time to reflect on what the future yet has to show you.

So you take one final sip of your drink. Check the pit one last time and make sure everything is just right. Lock the doors, turn out the lights. Slip into bed and kiss her goodnight and hope that the aroma of smoke isn’t too bad.

As you close you eyes, thoughts of the morrow come to mind. Imagining praises over your hard work, you know you’ll mumble some sort of thanks, saying its no big deal, their smile being all the thanks that need, but knowing inside that only a Pitmaster will ever fully understand.

That being said, I check my temp one final time. All looks good, so I raise my glass one final time and toast all the Pitmasters out there still up for the night. Wishing you all the peacefullest o’ nights, my bed is calling, good luck to you all…

3 thoughts on “A Toast To Pitmasters

  1. Excellent description. That solitude is blissful in its simplicity. My pit, as you know, has a big box for wood. Hearing it pop and sizzle as smoke wafts from the chimney toward the nighttime sky is relaxing.

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