Georgia Boys BBQ

(Photo courtsy: Georgia Boys BBQ)

Nick Reckinger and Matt Alexander, owners, Georgia Boys BBQ.

Nick Reckinger and Matt Alexander, owners, Georgia Boys BBQ. (Photo courtesy: Georgia Boys BBQ)

What’s the number one thing you’re doing wrong on your home smoker? 

Georgia Boys BBQ cofounder Matt Alexander says that most people using traditional smokers with logs are not controlling the heat. “They’re getting it too hot too fast or opening up the smoker. That’s a big one. You’ve got to leave it shut as long as possible.” Being careless with the temperature means it can vary 90 degrees from one side to the other. What to do? Alexander – known to his coworkers as “Chief BBQ Guy” – gives our readers some great tips and tricks for making great barbecue at home.

Tip #1

“If you’re using a barrel-style offset smoker, place an aluminum pan full of water on the hot side. This dissipates some of the heat to the cooler side, making for a more even temperature throughout.”

When a couple of Georgia boys, Matt Alexander and Nick Reckinger, opened the Longmont location of their eponymously named restaurant in 2011, the goal was to get Front Range barbecue neophytes to fall in love with the slow-cooked barbecue they grew up eating, along with amazing Southern sides and hospitality. Thirteen years later, with locations added in Frederick and Greeley, a food truck and a catering option, their Georgia barbecue is here to stay. 

And what is Georgia barbecue, you ask? 

At Georgia Boys, the melt-in-your-mouth meats are dry rubbed although the ribs are cooked with barbecue sauce and the turkey gets a mustard bath before it’s rubbed. But what sets them apart is the love and care given to the delectable Southern sides. Beans, hand-breaded fried okra, sweet potato casserole, seasonal green bean casserole and more are prepared with comfort and hospitality top of mind.

“Part of the reason we’re still here is that we’ve stayed as true as we can to our roots,” Alexander says. “We haven’t changed recipes or quality, we’re still using the same spices that we started with, and we’ve never downgraded the quality of our brisket. We keep the culture of Southern hospitality and being of service to people.”

Speaking of brisket, it is by far the hardest one to get right at home. It is notoriously tough to nail it. If you’ve become an angry grill master because of brisket, take the following advice from Chief BBQ Guy.

Tip #2

“Use the whole brisket. The whole muscle has more fat content. Get the flat done before the point. Let it cook roughly 12 to 14 hours (the flat should have reached 192 degrees internally), use a knife to separate the top point muscle, clean it up and put the point back on the smoker for another hour or two. And then you’ve got the burnt ends that everyone loves.

Grillin’ season is nearly upon us, but we know some of our readers are out there tending the barbecue or the smoker in the dead of winter too. Respect! You hardy lot have unlocked Matt Alexander’s third tip.

Tip #3

“Toss a moving blanket over the smoker in the winter to help control the heat. Low and slow, 225 degrees, is ideal. Again, don’t open the smoker and don’t spritz the meat with a spray bottle. Just leave it be. And this is important: Pick a good, solid wood. We use a 50/50 blend of hickory and apple. Hickory makes Southern barbecue what it is. So start with hickory or oak as your base. Then, cherry, peach or apple are great additions.”

We hope these expert tips have given you the confidence to do some great low-n-slow cooking at home. But if you want to leave it to the pros, Georgia Boys BBQ in Longmont, Frederick or Greeley will treat you like family and make your tastebuds dance. Tell ‘em Longmont Magazine sent you!

By Darren Thornberry, Longmont Magazine. Photos Courtesy: Georgia Boys BBQ