There isn’t a long list of products that I’ve purchased that have revolutionized my life. Without a doubt, the BBQ Guru PartyQ is certainly on that list.
The PartyQ is, quite simply, a temperature controller. It regulates the cooker temperature by controlling the flow of oxygen to the coals with the use of a small fan. More oxygen, the cooker gets hotter. Less oxygen and the cooker cools off.
Unlike other temperature control products (like the DigiQ or pitmasterIQ), the PartyQ is battery powered which means it’s portable. That’s an extremely attractive feature for me since I like to take my Weber Smokey Mountain around with me everywhere I go.
I should mention that a ~9 hour cook drained 8 AA batteries easily. In the future I’ll likely replace the batteries every 4 hours on the dot in addition to using only Energizer Industrial batteries since they seemed to perform better than the regular ones. Additionally, I admit that it was extremely cold (started the day at a balmy 8ºF) and it’s possible the cold contributed to decreased battery performance.
During the cook I was super nervous about the cooker temperature, checking it maniacally every 20 minutes. I used the Minion Method which normally has me tweaking dampers all day to adjust for wind flow. However, with the PartyQ I did almost nothing. It was glorious! My WSM held 250ºF (121ºC) pretty much the entire time without issue.
Using the PartyQ was beyond a pleasure; in fact, it was one of the best barbecue cooking experiences I’ve ever had. With hardly any effort, I turned out some of the best brisket I’ve ever made.
It’s time for a confession: I love watching binge TV. I don’t love it quite as much as barbecue, but still I adore it.
And there is no TV show more binge-worthy than House of Cards. You haven’t heard of House of Cards? It’s a Netflix original show starring Kevin Spacey who plays a member of Congress trying, at all costs, to increase his power and influence.
But, what does this have to do with Valentine’s Day?
Right now, Austin is the center of the barbecue universe. As Texas style cooking becomes more prevalent across the country, folks are looking toward Austin and Central Texas as the example for perfection.
Many chefs, connoisseurs and barbecue lovers flock to Austin to take barbecue tours. They arrive with a list in hand and adventure in their heart. The only problem is that they quickly realize that all inclusive lists are overwhelming. It’s quite difficult to have a plan for touring barbecue joints if you don’t know the area really well.
Here’s where this page comes in handy. I have made a number of suggested tours for the area. You’ll find map links and descriptions of each joint below.