It is distinctly possible, if not probable, that you have been to your favorite barbecue joint at least once and found that things tasted a bit “off”. Maybe the brisket was a little overcooked or the ribs were a little under. You probably forgave them because you can’t get everything perfect every time, but that is actually not true in the barbecue world. This world is one of tradition and repetition. However, there is one culprit that can ruin otherwise great food, and that is humidity.
If the humidity levels of an area change dramatically or if it starts to rain, it can cause great changes on the barbecue. It means that the pit masters have to adjust their times based on how much more humidity is present. When there is more humidity present, the meat cooks faster. This means that when the weather suddenly changes, pit masters have to scramble to change their cook times, a variable that they are not used to dealing with.
As you can imagine, only legendary masters of barbecue know exactly how much time to add on or take off according to the humidity level. This is why some of the best barbecue comes from areas where the humidity is stable. Areas like the south where the humidity is consistently high, but also stable. It is the same in areas like the Pacific Northwest, which is highly underrated for barbecue because of the constant rain, but the consistently high humidity makes for stable cook times as well.
So next time you head to your favorite barbecue joint or whip up some good barbecue of your own and it comes out just over or under how you expected it to be, don’t blame the cook, blame the rain.
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