We showed up around noon on the Thursday before Christmas Eve to pick up two smoked turkey breasts from Cavonna Holcomb. The moment we walked through the doorway of the smoke house, we knew something very special was taking place inside. Cavonna immediately began to talk about her operation. She knows we love to photograph her and hear all that she has to say. I was amazed and not at all prepared to see the size of this smoker!
“That’s the truth!” Anne said.
This thing was smoking good and smoking hot. Built by her dad years ago, her family has been smoking meats for the “folks” of Toccoa a long time. So long that it has become a tradition. “Maybe, I’ll smoke hams at Easter,” she said casually and with a laugh. I thought “Maybe, Boston Butts, too!”
Like any good Southerner, Cavonna’s Dad loved BBQ and would visit some of the best masters in the business.
“He never asked them what they did right,” she said with a laugh. “Instead, he asked them to tell him what they had done wrong and what they had learned from their mistakes.” Plenty of notes were taken and kept. The result was the construction of a smoker that fills a smoke house and has the ability to cook a very large amount of meats for a large number of people.
Hickory and Oak are used to create a very smooth and consistently hot fire. “If we can get it, we sometimes use pecan, but it is very hard to find because pecan trees grow slow and downed ones are hard to come by.” Still I bet pecan is a wonderful wood to smoke with.
See what I mean: There was enough meat to feed an army! It made us giggle as we saw the inside of the double-sided smoker and smelled that wonderful wood smell. If you are a Southerner, you want to stand up and salute this thing but you also realize quickly that smoking means a lot of hard work.
After a few moments, we left with huge turkey breasts and BBQ sauce thinking as we walked back to the car, “Life just doesn’t get any better than this.”