The doctor gets lots of requests from folks wanting to know how to build a barbecue at their home or business. The doctor doesn't have any blueprints. The best thing is to go to your public library or nearby bookstore and look for books on the subject. Better Homes and Gardens puts out a small book every year on the subject.

We also have many folks who get a new barbecue without instructions. Space does not allow for the doctor to send instructions for a particular brand of barbecue. We wish we could do it all, but it just isn't possible.

The doctor does try to promptly reply to anyone with SCP (Small Cooking Problem) Syndrome. Let's see what's in the waiting room today.

Helen writes: Aloha from Maui, Doc! Any tips, opinions or other helpfulness on the deep-fried injected Thanksgiving turkey method done over the gas burner outside? Just bought one and would like the poop. Thanks Doc!

Aloha: Bury the whole thing in a hole in the sand covered with banana leaves. Dig it up next day.

Nah. Just follow the instructions I hope you got with the fryer. You might want to run a test bird before the big day just to be sure you are doing it right. Later you can experiment with various seasonings. The big thing with these fryers are that they can be dangerous. Do not let any children or clumsy adults near it. Hokopoko hulahula.
Dr. John

Gerard writes: In your column, I read about the S.C. lady who was about to marry a man (British) who would not eat pork or beef. How about lamb, goat, or ostrich, which is also a rich dark meat and available in some parts of the country. Ditto buffalo or venison. All are good meat for chili. Buffalo is available by mail. I don't know the address, but am sure it is on the web.

Gerard: Thanks for the tips. I'll file them for future reference. Thanks for reading.

Mike writes: Hi. I have had some success at CASI chili cookoffs in the past. I took some time off and have recently started cooking again, so far, not so successfully. I know a cook from another city who has been cooking chili for many years, and his recipe is pretty consistent and successful. His chili has good heat, but the basic taste is a mild, almost buttery taste. Like most winning cooks, he has not shared his ingredients. Do you have any thoughts on what he might be using to achieve this mild taste while preserving the good chili taste and heat? Thanks!

Hey Mike: Without tasting or seeing the chili, I don't have a clue. I do know the secret of winning is to have the chile seasoning that the judges like. I think all the cooks use powder rather than processing the dried pods. That stuff will vary from batch to batch. When you find a good batch, you get all of it you can. When the batch runs out or the judges tastes change, you have to start all over. Most of the winners use a blend. Find you some good, fresh New Mexico red and mix it half and half with your regular powder. It's worked for me. Other than that, you just have to keep experimenting. Thanks for writing
Dr. John

Kenneth writes: I would like to have just a simple recipe on catfish and oysters.

Hey Kenneth: Running late, sorry about that. Best and simplest is to fry them. Wash them, pat them dry with paper towels. Season with salt, black pepper and just a touch of cayenne. Roll them in cornmeal and fry until golden brown. This is as good as it gets. Thanks for writing.
Dr. John

Frank writes: I'm North Carolina raised on BBQ Pork, but I love BBQ Beef Brisket. Been reading you articles on cooking. Have seen some receiptes for sauce. I'm looking for a good home mixed sauce. Enjoy reading your articles.

Hey Frank: Sorry to be so long in getting back to you. Texas brisket sauce is sweet and red.

Start with:

Sauté the onion in the butter until transparent. Add the rest of the stuff and bring to a simmer and let it cook about fifteen minutes. Salt to taste. You can add or subtract spice to your taste. I like to add a little garlic and ground cloves (just a pinch). Good luck and thanks for writing.
Dr. John

Jerry writes: I read one time that you can smoke a turkey on a propane grill. Do you know how this is done?

Hey Jerry: It's doable. You will need a source of smoke. Check with your smoker store. They should have a deal that is a metal box that you put damp wood chips in and then put it over the fire to get smoke. You can improvise with wrapping wood chips in heavy-duty foil and poking a few holes in it for the smoke to escape. Use oak or mesquite.

You need a low temperature. If you can run about 250 degrees, it would be best. It will take six to eight hours to get a medium-size bird done. Don't try smoking one with stuffing in it. Cook the stuffing on the side. Thanks for writing.
Dr. John