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If You're Going To Be Stuck In Traffic, You Might As Well Smoke Some Ribs While You're Waiting

The biggest mistake people make when they get into smoking meat is underestimating how long its going to take. Even for something like a rib cook which is drastically quicker than something like a brisket, you need to block out at least 30 minutes to an hour before the cook to get a rub on the meat and bring the smoker up to temp. Then you've got somewhere along the lines of a 6 hour cook ahead of you. And then finally you also need to let those ribs rest for a while so that they can stop cooking and start to reabsorb some of that moisture that was cooked out of them. And if you truly want the best possible product in the end, you can't rush any of these steps. You need to give the meat all the time that it needs to break down and get tender. So from the time you start to the time you take that first bite, you could still be looking at a solid 8 hours. 

But sometimes you don't have 8 hours of your day to spend at the smoker. Sometimes some asshole decided to merge without his blinker on and ended up causing a traffic jam. You're low on time to begin with and now Waze is saying you'll be adding an extra 90 minutes to your commute. You don't have that much time to waste. The longer you take to throw those ribs on the pit, the closer you get to "did you cook these in the microwave?" territory. Can't be having that, so your only solution is to fire up the smoker and get that smoke rolling in traffic. 

Now I do think the constant starting and stopping that comes with a traffic jam is going to be tough for the airflow in that rig. That inconsistent airflow is going to lead to some pretty dirty smoke. But as soon as this fella hits an open patch of road and can really start to haul ass, it'll clear that thing out and he'll be working with some thin blue smoke the whole way to the tailgate. Nobody will ever be able to taste the difference. And that's what being a true pitmaster is all about. Just knowing how to handle any bit of adversity thrown your way to still smoke the shit out of that meat.