Thank you for reading this week’s Operation Melt update.
Operation Melt started as a blog to share my personal transformation and weight loss story. After achieving success with that goal, Operation Melt has evolved into a platform to help inspire, motivate and equip people to achieve their own personal and professional goals so they can live their best lives.
I am trying to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.
My amuse bouche for you today is a light “dad joke” to entertain your mind before we get down to business.
This week I read an article that said that no two people see color exactly the same way. As a man with a form of colorblindness, this was very interesting to me.
The lesson I took away from the article is that colors may just be a pigment of our imagination.
Like any other amuse bouche, you may have hated it, but it was worth every penny that you paid for it, right?
Goal Success by Choice
We can choose to be successful with our goals if we make the right daily choices, build the right habits and behaviors and adopt the right mindsets. Goal Success by Choice shares lessons about the choices we can make that can either move us closer to our goals or hold us back. I hope this post helps you get a little closer to crushing your goals.
Delicious Smoked Goal Success
When you pay close attention, there are things all around us that can teach us lessons about making our dreams come true. There are analogies, metaphors and more that can help us achieve our goals. That’s what this week’s blog is about.
I love eating smoked meats. In fact, I love anything that has a smoky flavor profile.
Over the past few years, I have evolved my love of smoked meats into a hobby of actually cooking my own. Smoking meat presents unique challenges and the outcome can be both rewarding and delicious. But it requires a few techniques and habits that can also be applied to goals.
Do your homework
The first step to achieving good results when smoking meat is to do your homework. There is a lot to know for any particular smoked meat option. Smoking is a function of time (how long does the meat need to cook) and temperature (at what temperature should the inside of the smoker be during the process). Knowing these things before you start is important. It is also helpful to know the ideal temperature for the meat to reach to be fully cooked. The list goes on, but I will stop there because those are the most important.
If you start with doing a little homework about your goal, you are more likely to reach it and achieve the quality outcome you desire.
You don’t just start your smoker and plop a lump of meat on it and end up with a delicious treat (though some newer smokers are getting close to this, that takes all of the fun out of it).
Before you start making your food, you need the proper preparations. This starts with seasoning the meat (it doesn’t come from the animal pre-seasoned) and letting it get to room temperature before starting. Then there is the setup of the smoker including choosing fuel (I usually use charcoal), choosing the type of smoke (I usually use wood chips matched to the particular meat) and getting it all started. Plus, there is going to be some equipment that you will need to have including the smoker/grill, of course, but also a thermometer or thermometers. As I mentioned above, smoking is about time and temperature, so it is helpful to know the temperature of the meat and of the cooking chamber.
Jumping right in without any preparation is the recipe for disaster. If you take a little bit of time to prepare for the journey, the destination is more likely to be met.
Patience and Precision
Once you are all prepped, you are ready to start cooking the meat on the smoker. This is where the fun begins because this process will take some effort and lots of patience.
I have said multiple times now that smoking is a balance of time and temperature. The temperature side of this equation can be maddening. Say, for example, you are smoking a whole chicken and are striving for a 325-degree cooking temperature. Unless you are using one of the fancy smokers I mentioned above, there isn’t a dial that you set to your desired temperature. You have to create it with a balance of fuel (like charcoal), airflow (using dampers) and consistency.
This is where the dance and patience begin. If you try to keep the smoker at exactly 325 degrees you are going to go crazy and be super frustrated, that is not how fire works. The target temperature is a goal, but you need to stay within an approximate range of maybe ten degrees below and ten degrees above. Trying to be more precise than that won’t work.
Understanding that measurement is critical but not a precise target to be maniacally focused on is key to enjoying the process and having a good output and this doesn’t apply to meat.
Problems and Small Changes
As the smoke is cooking and flavoring your dinner, you are certain to have problems with the temperature going too low or too high. If you plan ahead for these moments it will make them easier to react to and you will stay calm in the process.
To correct temperature issues you simply need to open or close the dampers to allow more or less air to flow into the cooking chamber. More air gives the fire more oxygen and thus it gets hotter. But these adjustments have to be slight. When the temperature drops a little too low, you can’t just throw open the dampers or you will be facing the opposite problem in fifteen minutes. You need to open the damper slightly and wait to see if that addresses the temperature issue. Again, patience here is key.
If you expect problems and react quickly by making small adjustments and give them time to take hold, you will be way more relaxed as you achieve your goal.
Partners and Persistence
There are tons of people who love to smoke meat. You undoubtedly know some in your life. As you are getting started, it is good to talk with some of these people about what works well for them. You may just pick up a good technique or tip that will make your next dinner easier and more delicious.
Unfortunately, not every meat smoking session can be a huge success. Sometimes it takes much longer than planned to reach your desired temperature. For some meats, there is even a temperature plateau that gets reached and then the temperature doesn’t change again for a long time. Then there are times where the meat just isn’t as good as you would have hoped. These things happen, but the trick is not to get discouraged. Learn what went wrong and do better next time.
By taking partners you can learn new tips and techniques that you can apply to your goals and, if you are persistent, this will help you reach your desired destination of deliciousness.
There you have it, if you keep your eyes open to the world around you, you can find lots of life lessons in activities that you wouldn’t have expected to be metaphors for achieving your goals. Now I want some brisket!
Here are some other resources related to today’s post that you might want to read:
- Blog: Humans Are Not Computers (11/29/2020)
- Blog: Week 120: Numbers Matter (10/6/2019)
- Blog: Week 90: Data Driven vs. Data Obsessed (3/10/2019)
- Blog: Week 76: My Achiever Brain (12/2/2018)
Did You Like What You Read?
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