There were a ton of preparatory things that needed to happen before we could leave Austin with the smoker. One that didn't really need to happen, but I simply insisted on, was picking up a few cords of the local wood most used for Central Texas BBQ: Post Oak. It burns clean and hot, and is abundant in these parts. Up home, I'll more than likely have to use White Oak. Still, having some of the tried and true stuff doesn't hurt to practice with!
Once we picked up the wood it was time to prepare the smoker for travel. This came as a minor feat of it's on.
In Austin, the smoker had been enclosed to protect it from the rain and to keep bugs out. And while the structure built around it did a good job at that, it wasn't so ready to make the 1,700+ trek to NYC. So, we broke down the walls, folded up the roof, de-screened it, and were left with a smoker that seemed to grow in size when exposed!
For the first time I realized just how massive this thing is. It's huge, really. A whopping 16 feet of heavy, heavy steel. It's no-bullshit appearance is quite impressive, I think. In no was does it feel like a toy.
When we finally pushed off, we drove 1/3 of the journey and settled down for the night at a small hotel in Meridian, MS, where I'm writing to you now, and where we'll soon leave, smoker in tow, for North Carolina, our next destination.