I got volunteered to barbecue tomorrow. It seems even my dad was impressed by my barbecuing skills, so he wants me to smoke up a bunch of meat for him.
So I went to H.E.B. yesterday and got one of those combination scraper/brass brush thingies and just did a major clean-up on the old New Braunfels Smoker. I just now finished cleaning it up in time for it to start raining hard. Lately the rain has been sticking to the late afternoon, so I'm hoping I have some non-rain barbecue time tomorrow morning. If not, it's not like I haven't barbecued in the rain before. Shoot, I even barbecued in a freezing rain once. They're forecasting a 70% chance of rain tomorrow.
I also stocked up on some mesquite and hickory chunks. I have eaten meat barbecued with oak, and I'm sure I will again, but I won't be the one to smoke it. I much prefer mesquite. I smoke it on a mixture of about 2/3 mesquite and 1/3 hickory. I've also used pecan wood before, and it was nice. It has a much mellower flavor than mesquite. I think next time I do chicken I'll try it with pecan. I haven't tried any fruit-tree wood yet, but I've heard good things about apple wood.
UPDATE: On the menu for today: beef shoulder roast, pork roast, pork ribs, and a sausage made by the local meat market.
UPDATE 2: Success! Also on the menu were mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, zipper peas and pinto beans with butter cake (chocolate icing) for dessert. Whew. Also while tending the smoker, I did a thorough reaming and cleaning of my old Wellington pipe. It really needed it. Once put back into condition, it reminded me what an excellent old pipe it is.