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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ohio BBQ Cookoff

I like to promote new bbq competitons when I can. Rollingsmoke.com is announcing a new cookoff in Kettering, OH scheduled for July 13 and 14. I believe this first annual event sponsored primarily by the Kettering American Legion Post 598 is unsanctioned this year.

The entry form doesn't provide specific details regarding the potential prize money, but it does say that there is a "100% payout". I am guessing that if they get 10 teams and each pay $100 entry fee, then there is $1,000 in the prize money pool. It's not enough to offset expenses for the bbq cook teams, but by taking a long-term view of the event it just might payoff for those that decide to support this new contest.

BBQ contests are few and far between in Ohio, so a well-run and well-supported event with KCBS sanctioning has the potential to grow into a bone-a-fide bbq "happening" within a few short years. If you don't already have something else planned for July 13 and 14, consider joining ZZ Que, Ribs and Bibs, Frying Pan and others to cook some bbq to benefit the VA Hospital.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Rotisserie BBQ Pit for Sale

If you're in the market for a serious bbq pit for competition, here's a proven winner.

This pit is listed for sale at $5,900 and is mounted on a 6 x 10 trailer complete with chrome wheels and a steel plate floor. The pit is 5 feet wide and has 6 rotating racks for plenty of options for competition cooking.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Regional Barbecue Traditions

There is no "perfect" bbq meat. Pork ribs or pork shoulder, beef brisket or beef ribs, chicken thighs or chicken breasts....it's all good. Some areas of the country lean more toward pork and others tend to favor beef. There are even a few that split it down the middle. It kind of reminds me the "red state" versus "blue state" debate.

In the southeast, pork is defnitely king. Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama are traditional "pork states". Pulled pork sandwiches are hugely popular. They also favor vinegar in their bbq sauce. Mustard-based in South Carolina; thin and spicy in North Carolina. The sauce starts to thicken a little in Tennessee.

The closer you get to Kansas City, the thicker the sauce. In the midwest, you'll find a more even split of pork and beef, whether it's ribs, sandwhiches, burnt ends, or sliced brisket. It's kind of ironic, but when I lived in Missouri I had never heard of bbq brisket. Now it's all the rage.

In Memphis they love their ribs and cook them "dry" with a spice rub, or "wet" with a heavy dose of bbq sauce. They like their blues and rockabilly too.

Beef rules in Texas. Brisket is the definite meat of choice in the land of the Lonestar and armadillos. And lest you not forget, "Bob Wills is still the King" (Ray Benson and Dale Watson are fairly popular too.)

Here in Florida, we've got sunshine, Space Shuttles, armadillos, alligators, hurricanes, and....we've got a little barbecue too.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

E Z Legs & Wings



Today I tested the E Z Legs & Wings chicken rack from Mr. Bar-B-Q. I give it an enthusiastic thumbs up. The rack is constructed of stainless steel and is well built.
I cooked the drumsticks at 275 degrees on my Weber Smokey Mountain (without the water pan) for 45 minutes. The drumsticks reached an internal temperature of 177 degrees when I pulled them off for a late supper.
The drumsticks were difficult to remove from the rack after cooking, but this could have been eliminated if I'd just followed the instructions and sprayed the rack with some type of cooking spray like Pam or Wesson.

L-P-Que BBQ Championship

Smokin' Triggers made KCBS barbecue history this weekend by winning the $15,000 grand prize and a Harley Davidson motorcycle at the L-P-Que BBQ Championship, a bbq contest featuring LP gas bbq pits. This new breed of contest is part of the KCBS Competitor Series.

Competitors cooked the four main KCBS meat categories including chicken, ribs, pork, and brisket. Prize money totaled $75,000.

Top Ten Results:

1st Smokin' Triggers
2nd Ulcer Acres
3rd BarBQuau
4th Jack's Old South
5th Baby Gators
6th Pork Patrol
7th Pellet Envy
8th A Boy and his BBQ
9th It Ain't Prime
10th Smokin Clones

Full results are available, click here.

Durkee Steak Dust Seasoning


I know some of you most likely read The BBQ Forum published by Ray Basso on a regular basis. Just in case you missed last week, Mr. Basso posted a tip on the Grill Forum regarding his method for grilling great tasting steaks. It's receiving great reviews.
Durkee products are available at Sam's Club and other retailers that stock groceries.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Fried Catfish Recipe

My doctor broke the bad news to me on Thursday -- I've got high cholesterol. Since I should be cutting down on fried foods, I thought I'd live vicariously through Home Sick Texan tonight.

Here's a nice sounding recipe for fried catfish from her web blog.

Ingredients:

1 pound of catfish fillets, cut into inch-wide strips
1 cup of yellow cornmeal
2 eggs
1/2 cup of milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying

Method:

Salt and pepper fillets and let warm to room temperature. Heat up about three-inches of oil in an iron skillet or a Dutch oven. Beat eggs and milk together in a bowl. Put cornmeal on a plate. Dip fillets in egg-milk mixture and then dredge in cornmeal, covering both sides. Place battered fish into hot oil and cook four minutes, turning once.


Read more from Home Sick Texan.

Friday, June 15, 2007

BBQ The Movie

The North Iowa Up in Smoke BBQ Bash is offering a $3,000 grand champion prize at the OFFICIAL Iowa State Championship contest.

Download an application. The entry deadline is June 30, 2007.

Past participants include Smokin' Clones, Parrothead Smokers, The Heat is On, and many other championship teams.

BBQ Movie

500th BBQ Post -- Thank You!

The BBQ Blog has reached a milestone today--the 500th post.


I'd like to thank the faithful readers and bbq fans that keep returning again and again to read the latest news, recipes, contest information, and products reviews about barbecue.

Linda and I are approached at bbq contests by many people that read about us here and stop by our cook site to say hello in person. Through the wonderful sport of bbq, we've met a lot of great people.

During the three years that I've been publishing this website, the daily traffic on this blog has increased from 1 or 2 page views per day to an average of more than 400 daily page views. I have visitors to the site from all over the United States and around the world. The feed from this site has more than 70 subscribers. I receive e-mail from enthusiasts and competitors every day that found me through this website.


Thanks for your support! I'll do my best to keep earning it on a daily basis.

Tanya Tucker

I know this is a barbecue blog and that folks visit this web site to read about bbq topics, but....I ran across some information about Tanya Tucker tonight while searching for barbecue topics on Google.

Did you realize that Tanya Tucker is not a member of the Grand Ole Opry?

I don't know how many country music fans read this blog, but I suspect there are several who lean a little more to the traditional side of things and might find that unbelievable.

Tanya recorded multiple smash hits including:
  • Delta Dawn

  • Texas (When I Die)

  • Two Sparrows in a Hurricane

  • Down to My Last Teardrop

  • What's Your Mama's Name
I realize that in the 1980's Tanya made some mistakes that put her on the outs with some long time fans, but she later returned to the top in the early 1990's with Grammy nominations, a Female Volcalist of the Year award, and wide-spread radio play.

This country music legend and inspiration for many of today's female stars including Gretchen Wilson, Miranda Lambert, Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, and many others deserves her due reward.

E-mail to the Grand Ole Opry to let them know that this country music icon deserves membership.
Here's another web site about Tanya Tucker that provides more "little known facts".

Thursday, June 14, 2007

U.S. Barbecue Index


Famous Dave's of America and it's franchisees operate 145 bbq restaurants in 35 states.

It appears that Famous Dave's barbecue concept has been generating hefty returns for investors with the stock price soaring from $13 to nearly $22 in the last 12-months. An investment in 100 shares of DAVE for $1,300 in June of 2006 would be valued at $2,100 now in June of 2007. That's a return of more than 60% in the last year.

Here's the complete list of bbq stocks that I wrote about in a bbq blog post last year.

U.S. Barbecue Index

Archer Daniels Midland................$ 24.52, current = $34.47
Clorox Company............................$ 54.29, current = $22.27
Darden Restaurants......................$ 36.09, current = $46.76
Famous Dave's of America...........$ 10.93, current = $22.17
Fleetwood Enterprises..................$ 11.13, current = $9.36
H.J. Heinz Company......................$ 35.70, current = $47.07
Hormel Foods Corporation...........$ 32.62, current = $37.33
Pilgrim's Pride Corporation..........$ 31.97, current = $34.90
Seaboard Corporation...................$1,685.00, current = $2,444
Smithfield Foods............................$ 30.38, current = $32.00
Tyson Foods...................................$ 16.78, current = $21.86
Wal-Mart Stores............................$ 50.49, current = $49.28
Index Total...........$2,019.90, current = $2,801.47

Only two of the stocks out of the twelve declined. The index generated a 39% total return in 18-months. The BBQ Guy's U.S. Barbecue Index is currently growing at a 24% annual rate!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Florida Chili Cookoffs

FloridaChili.com is a website providing online links and contact information for Florida chili contests. International Chili Society ( ICS ) and Chili Appreciation Society International ( CASI ) sanctioned contests are listed.

Florida Chili Pod also provides additional specific information about Florida CASI chili competitions.

If you like bbq contests then you should try a chili cookoff.

Blue Ridge Barbecue Festival

Byron Chism of Buttrub.com earned first place honors in pork, pork ribs, and brisket at the Blue Ridge Barbecue Festival in Tryon, NC last weekend finishing ahead of 85 other teams at the event. Charles Fretwell of B.S. Pitmeisters finished in second place for the second straight year.

Linda and I cooked next to Byron at the KCBS event in Brooksville, FL a few years ago and cooked next to Charles in Lakeland, FL at the Tiger Town event. If you ever have the honor of sharing the neighboring cook space with either team, you're in for a treat. Byron let us borrow a fan when the temperatures neared 100 degrees as we were packing up after the event and Charles gave me some tips on storing lettuce that we still use today with great success.

Congratulations to both teams!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

BBQ for Troops at Houston's Ellington Field

I received an e-mail today from Scott Weinstein of www.skippypbbq.com to make me aware of a Welcome Home! event for our troops serving in the armed forces that is being held in Houston on July 15. I applaud what he is doing and wanted to share it with everyone. Contact Scott if you need more specifics.

Friends:

Once again we are on track to provide a free meal for the men and women at Ellington Field in Houston. These hard working troops represent the Air National Guard, Army National Guard, and US Coast Guard. Many have recently returned from Iraq while many of their friends are still there. The Welcome Home! event is scheduled for July 15 - just a month away.

We need your support to make this event as successful as the 2005 Welcome Home! event. While Operation BBQ For Our Troops has already received a large donation to help cover food costs, we are a long way from making this a free service to the base. Please consider a donation to help us help those who serve us each day.

A
link for donations has been set up and an account is in process at a local bank. If you would prefer to donate an item ‘in kind’ we can happily provide you a list of items needed to support this event. If you have any questions whatsoever, please to not hesitate to ask.

Many thanks,

Scott Weinstein
www.skippypbbq.com

Monday, June 11, 2007

Blount County Big BBQ Bash

This amateur contest being held this upcoming Friday and Saturday, June 15-16, benefits local community groups including the Blount County Children's Advocacy Center and provides amateur bbq cooks an opportunity to compete for fabulous prizes.

I especially like the concept they've chosesn whereby the winning team is awarded prizes and their favorite charity receives an equal sized donation. What a great concept!

First place in each category: $3,000
Winning team: $1,500
Winning team’s Charity of choice: $1,500

Second place in each category: $1,500
2nd place team: $750
2nd place team’s Charity of choice: $750

Third place in each category: $750
3rd place team: $375
3rd place team’s Charity of choice: $375

Click here for directions to the event.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Beef Jerky Barbecue

I made some beef jerky yesterday on the WSM and it turned out great! I used the Smoke & Spice recipe for High Plains Jerky.

The recipe contains Worchestershire sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic cloves, freshly ground black pepper, ground red chile, and onion powder.

We purchased thinly trimmed round steak from the butcher and sliced it into thin strips about 1 inch wide. The steak was refrigerated and marinated for 2 hours in a Ziploc bag.

I put the meat on aluminum foil and into the WSM at 225 degrees. After 30 minutes on the cooker, I placed a "tent" of foil over the meat and cooked an additional 45 minutes.

Voila, tasty beef jerky!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Humdinger Hamburgers on WSM

Smoke & Spice, a barbecue cookbook by Cheryl and Bill Jamison, has some delicious recipes.

Their recipe for Humdinger Hamburgers on page 133 is a nice example of some of the book's basic smoker recipes that have been "spiced" up a little to make them all the better to eat.

We started by making the spice mixture. It's called Wild Willy's Number One-Derful Rub in the book and contains paprika, black pepper, kosher salt, sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and a small amount of cayenne.

Next we prepared the Basic Beef Mop, which included beer, vinegar, vegetable oil, a chopped onion, a minced garlic clove, Worcestershire sauce, and an additional small amount of the Wild Willy's rub.

I prepared the Weber Smokey Mountain for smoking at 225 degrees, removed the water pan, and put the hamburgers on the top grate for cooking.

You don't have to use the beef mop, but I decided to try it out and basted the burgers every 15 minutes until the internal temperature reached 165 degrees.

I have never "smoked" a hamburger before, but they were delicious. I am not sure I'll ever "grill" my hamburgers again.


Concession Trailers


Here's a nice looking concession trailer for sale at RacingJunk.com manufacturered by Kodiak.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Kamado Yard Art

I already own three barbecue smokers (Backwoods, WSM and McCullough) and a kettle grill (Charbroil), so I doubt if Linda will go for this, but I ran across some pretty nice Kamado grills on eBay tonight.

The sales literature for the listing referred to the Kamado as a piece of "yard art". Most art I've seen is expensive, high-end, and beautiful; so in those regards I guess they do qualify as "art".

Check them out at Kamado.com. My favorite finish is the Mosaic tile.

They also sell some very good Kamado Extruded Coconut Charcoal.

Big Green Egg

According to information posted on the Virtual Green Egg website, Big Green Egg corporate has decided to put a stop to online sales of Big Green Egg products.

I can see both sides of this issue. On the one hand there are dealers that have retail storefronts and no interest in selling online. On the other hand there are online retailers that decided to sell Big Green Egg products exactly because they could sell them online.

I guess this is a fine example of the risks you take when you decide to put all your eggs in one basket.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Great Barbeque Sauce Book

Ardie Davis wrote a book about bbq sauce that's a must for your bbq reference library. It's available for preview on Google.

Whether you like sweet sauce, tangy sauce, or fiery sauce; The Great Barbeque Sauce Book has 109 pages of recipes just for you.

Where There's Smoke There's Flavor

Richard Langer's book Where There's Smoke There's Flavor provides 272 pages of information about cooking bbq and smoking meat. This preview available via Google should help you decide whether you would like to add this book to you bbq book collection.

There are a couple of recipes in the book that particularly caught my eye--one for smoked hamburgers on page 106 and another for jerky on page 111.

In fact, I'm going to try them both this weekend.

Do you have an interesting recipe for smoke hambuger that you want to share? I'd love to try it out.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Free BBQ Grill

I've got great news. Some the largest grocery stores and discount retailers in America are giving away free bbq grills. Isn't that exciting! I can't believe it.

Hurry before they are all gone. If you're lucky, you can still pick-up one one of the metal ones, but don't delay because once they are out of metal ones, all that will be left are the plastic ones, and they don't hold up as well.

I received this e-mail today and thought it was so funny that I'd pass it along here on the bbq blog.

Cookshack Smoker For Sale


If you're looking for an affordable electric Cookshack BBQ Smoker, there's a listing on eBay that you might be interested in. The current bid on this smoker is $153.39. The listing states that it's a $450 smoker.
I'll admit that I'm not that knowledgeable about this particular model, but it sounds like it might sell for a very affordable price.
Based on the pictures, it appears to be in good condition and includes a cover, two cooking grates, and thermostatic control.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Pork Barbecue Spice Rub

I am interested in your thoughts about what makes a good barbecue rub. As hint, I have listed some basic ingredients that are prevalent in many commercial bbq rubs available today (in no particular order) and purposely left off the specific quantities of the particular ingredients.

black pepper
sugar
white pepper
oregano leaf
salt
paprika
chili powder
onion powder
garlic powder
cayenne pepper
chipotle pepper

If you've never tried to construct a barbecue rub from scratch, I urge you to try it and test it out on your own bbq the next time you're in the experimenting mood. Please respond back to this post or via e-mail re: what you think the quantities should be for your ideal tasting pork bbq rub.

I'll post the recipes to share with everyone.

Beautiful Charleston RV by Forest River


We attended an RV show today at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

This Charleston model manufactured by Forest River was our favorite. Here's an online brochure, virtual tour, and photo gallery. These diesel pusher's are built on a Freightliner chassis and are available in the standard Mercedes 926 turbo diesel rated at 330 hp at 2,000 rpm and 1,000 lbs of torque at 1,600 rpm. They also have an optional Cummins ISL turbo diesel rated at 400 hp and 1,200 lbs of torque.
As we entered the coach to take a closer look a gentleman asked me, "well, have you found the one you can't live without?" I responded that we already had one house and we'd have to sell it first before we could purchase another one.
As much as I'd love to own one of these beautiful machines, it's probably a pipe dream at this point. But hey, what would life be like without a few dreams here and there?

Here's one that's probably more realistic for our budget and tow vehicle capabilities. Priced at less than $18,000 and weighing less than 5,000 lbs., these little Fun Finder travel trailers are light weight and small, but surprisely roomy inside.

This Cougar by Keystone was our favorite light-weight travel trailer. Priced at $30,000, it is pretty close to my idea of the perfect travel trailer for long-term RV living. Now if I just had a crew-cab diesel F-250 to tow it with we'd be all set to go. Oops....you caught me dreaming again.