Lessons from the Grill

Lessons from the Grill

By Tom Lambotte | October 22, 2020

At the beginning of summer, I invested in a fancy wood pellet barbeque and smoker and I was excited to try it out. It had a 5-degree temperature range, you click the button, walk away and it preheats the temperature and maintains the proper temperature the whole time.

Latest tech.

Sounds amazing, right?

What could go wrong?

Did I think I’d cook finger-licking, perfect ribs my first time out of the gate?

Of course.

I picked up some short ribs from our local farm and smoked them for 5 hours at 220 degrees.

I assumed it would be super easy since I had the latest whizz-bang technology.

Before this, as meat smokers know, smoking was always an active sport.

You need to check the temperature every few minutes, it was a non-stop endeavor.

Up and down goes the temperature.

And with 4 kids running around it was not an easy task.

But now, with this new smoker, everything would be great. Life would be simpler.

Fast Forward Five Hours

Cook time is done. Took out the ribs and…they were awful.

My ultimate test for properly smoked ribs is when the fat renders and the meat falls off the bone, right?

Not this time. The fat did NOT render and the meat was tough and dry.

What Does a Smoker Have to Do with Technology?

Have you ever gotten a new tool, a new piece of technology, a new app, maybe a brand new Macbook and thought to yourself:  

“I’m done, I’m there. Now, I’ve got a cutting-edge law firm!”

But you quickly realize that’s not the case.

All technology; whether a new MacBook Pro or a fancy Louisiana Grill wood pellet smoker, shares this in common: Owning the tool doesn’t mean you know how to use it.

I got the smoker, and I was excited to use it. I figured it would be easy because I had the right tool. Just press the button and whammy – delicious BBQ!

But the meal came out horrible.

I assumed the technology would get me there.

“I’m good with technology,” I told myself. “I don’t need the manual.”

So I skipped using my internal meat thermometer to track the actual external and internal temperature separately as I normally do. (big fail, I know)

I didn’t check in on the meat and the progress.

I thought I could press power and walk away.

Have you ever purchased new technology, thought, “this is going to solve my problem(s)!” yet, shared a similar experience.

You may have realized buying the technology was the first step, but you had to invest the time to learn how to use and leverage it properly.

After that experience, I went back to the basics. I learned best practices and used both the new tech (the temperature controls and pellet feeding thingy) and the old tech – a separate external and internal thermometer. Since then, my briskets and ribs have been delicious. Consistently.


Owning the latest technology does not directly translate to you knowing how to use it.

You can’t just get an app, or a new computer and think you’ll get full use out of it right off the bat.

Slow down.

Invest the time to become familiar and learn the basics.

This goes for ALL technology.

You’ll make far more progress – and create better stories than I did with my smoker.

  • October 22, 2020

About the Author

Tom Lambotte is a legal technology expert, author and the CEO of GlobalMac IT. He helps Mac-using lawyers with super simple technology, security and efficiency strategies that work. He’s on a mission to help attorneys using Apple computers reduce their security risk and get more out of their technology. Get his free 33 Stupid Simple Mac Tips and score some quick wins to boost your productivity.