Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I'll also offer a disclaimer that I do own an 1998 F-150 with the 5.4L engine and a 2004 Ford Explorer V8 . During our first several years of competition bbq, we hauled our WSM, Backwoods Smoker, and equipment in our truck bed. A few years later we graduated to a 16' Doolittle trailer that I towed with the Explorer.
If you're buying a new bbq cooker, it's wise to keep your tow vehicle in mind when making the choice. For example, you probably don't need a 1 ton dually to haul your WSMs. Likewise, I'd advise against towing a top of the line Klose offset smoker with your 6-cylinder SUV.
Think about towing capacity, braking, stability, and comfort when making your choices.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
He made a cold smoker out of three book lockers/gym lockers, flexible tubing used for venting a dryer, a fan from an old computer connected to a battery, some alumimun foil, a cast iron skillet and some wood chips for smoke. He used a Polder digital thermometer to make sure the temperature was monitored. He advised not let the temp in the smoking chamber rise above 80 degrees. He is the MacGyver of food.
If you've never watched an Alton Brown episode of Good Eats, check it out some time on Food Network.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Tomorrow, we're going to take a drive up to Nolensville to visit my sister-in-law. I've been trying to find an excuse to visit Martin's BBQ restaurant since I found his blog two years ago. I've enjoyed reading about his experiences - good and bad. I'll try to take a couple of pictures while we're there.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
I know one thing for sure, if they put a tax on cattle and hogs for this we'll have to add meat to the list of imported products that already includes cars, toys, textiles, appliances, etc. It will put farmers out of business entirely. It will definitely raise the price of bbq too.
The American Farm Bureau estimates "annual assessments could reach $175 per dairy cow, $87.50 per head of beef cattle and $20 per hog.
I mean seriously, $87.50 per cow and $20 per hog?! I doubt most farmers earn that much in net profit per head in the first place!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Linda made rhubarb pie for desert.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
His whole hog article is a favorite. There's plenty of pictures.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Texas BBQ pictures link
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
Here's a detailed listing of all the teams who competed this year. In this invitational event, just being invited is a victory.
EJ’s Q.....Athens, Ala.
Rhythm ‘n QUE.....Phoenix, Ariz.
Habitual Smokers.....Springdale, Ark.
BLQUE, CUTTIN EDGEQN.....Hanford, Calif.
Carcass Cookers.....Pueblo, Colo.
Smoke “N” the Rockies.....Pueblo, Colo.
Buttrub.com.....Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.
“Team Bobby-Q”.....Chamblee, Ga.
Jack’s Old South.....Vienna, Ga.
“Team Ida Q”.....Boise, Idaho
Smokey Joel/Cubby Bear.....Deerfield, Ill.
Ulcer Acres BBQ.....Jacksonville, Ill.
Shigs –In-Pit .....Fort Wayne, Ind.
Show Me Your Bones.....Indianapolis, Ind.
4 Mile Smokin’ Crew.....Pleasant Hill, Iowa
Pellet Envy.....Leawood, Kan.
4 Legs Up BBQ.....Great Bend, Kan.
Smokers Wild.....Paola, Kan.
The Will Deal Catering & BBQ Co......Topeka, Kan.
Tee Wayne’s Cajun Cooking.....Saint Amant, La.
Texas Ribs & BBQ.....Centreville, Md.
Chix, Swine & Bovine BBQ.....Jessup, Md.
I Smell Smoke!!!.....Malden, Mass.
I Que.....Hopkinton, Mass.
All Day Smoke.....Okemos, Mich.
Full Frontal BBQ.....Ham Lake, Minn.
Natural Born Grillers.....Olive Branch, Miss.
Ubon’s BBQ.....Yazoo, Miss.
Charlotte’s Rib.....Ballwin, Mo.
Bubba & Jeff’s BBQ.....Lees Summit, Mo.
Rogue “Q” Smokers of the Sarengeti.....Omaha, Neb.
New MexicoQ.....Albuquerque, N.M.
Outlaw BBQ.....Albuquerque, N.M.
Mountain Magic Country BBQ.....Shelby, N.C.
Quiet Riot.....Minot, N.D.
Eagle River Barbecue.....Dayton, Ohio
Butcher BBQ.....Chandler, Okla.
Twin Oak Smokin’ Crew.....Stillwater, Okla.
Lotta Bull BBQ.....Marietta, Okla.
Ella’s BBQ.....Portland, Ore.
PA Midnite Smoker.....Willow Street, Pa.
Divine Smoke.....Greenwood, S.C.
Parrothead Smokers.....Dakota Dunes, S.D.
Smokin’ in the Dark.....Silsbee, Texas
Blazen BBQ.....Hillsboro, Texas
Smokin’ Triggers.....Alvarado, Texas
Ritter’s BBQ Too.....Point, Texas
It Ain’t Prime.....Krum, Texas
Ritter’s BBQ.....Point, Texas
The Dead End BBQ Society.....Knoxville, Tenn.
Smoky Mountain Smokers.....Sevierville, Tenn.
Checkered Pig.....Martinsville, Va.
Virginia BBQ Pirates.....Springfield, Va.
Cool Smoke.....Richmond, Va.
Stoddard and Brown.....Vienna, Va.
Dizzy Pig.....Fairfax, Va.
Smoking Ty’s BBQ.....Everett, Wash.
Dances With Smoke Barbeque.....Renton, Wash.
2Fat Bikers BBQ.....Nekoosa, Wis.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I think red is the perfect color for a bbq smoker. Black is nice too, but it I am continually amazed at how much attention my red cooker receives at bbq contests.
I was eating at a local bbq restaurant and saw one of these setting out on the patio next to the Old Hickory that cooks everything for the guests. When the owner walked by our table a few minutes later I inquired about the McCullough smoker. He said it's too much trouble for everyday use.
Mine is perfect for bbq contests, but if I had a restaurant I guess I'd have to pony up $20,000 or so for an Old Hickory.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
The O’Reilly Challenge will attract drivers from all NASCAR divisions in search of a prestigious visit to Victory Lane following the 300 miles of NASCAR Nationwide Series action.
This is the first NASCAR sponsorship for La Caja China in its 20 years in business. Owner and President Robert Guerra will be on hand to see the race, as will Alfredo Agonizante, Director Motor Sport Marketing for La Caja China . They will be joined on race day with their partners, Track Side 1 and Tailgater Monthly.
“We are excited to be associated to NASCAR” Guerra said. “Not only are we huge fans, but we feel that NASCAR represents the essence of what La Caja China stands for in terms of quality and entertainment at affordable prices.”
It’s ironic that the O’Reilly Challenge is in Texas , as the Lone Star state is quickly becoming one of the most popular places to find a La Caja China grill.
For 20 years, La Caja China has been synonymous with the best tasting homemade grills and barbeques in the world. La Caja China offers three top-of-the-line roasting box grills at affordable prices, ranging from $249 to $349. They are perfect for parties and large gatherings, as box grills can perfectly cook a 100 pound pig or 6-8 turkeys. They are great for roasting chicken, cabrito and all other types of meats.
La Caja China boxes have been featured on The Food Network and have been used by celebrities like Bobby Flay, Al Roker and Tyler Florence. And now the best grill in the world has partnered with the greatest sport in the world.
“We encourage all NASCAR fans, whether at the race or at home, to cheer on Mike Harmon to victory, and then enjoy a perfect celebration dinner with a La Caja China box!” Guerra said.
For more information, please visit http://www.lacajachina.com/
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup sea salt
- Add enough water to cover chicken
- Refrigerate for 3 hours prior to barbecuing
It's simple. It's easy. It's good.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Sunday, October 05, 2008
I preferred the brisket to the pulled pork sandwich. The brisket was moist and tender, but there was very little bark. My sandwich was a little on the dry side and needed quite a bit of bbq sauce to perk it up a little.
The baked beans were good.
It's kind of funny how your tastes change after you learn to make traditional style barbecue on your own.
Friday, October 03, 2008
The St. Petersburg Times featured Jaymer-Que in an article earlier this year. I found it informative and refreshing. Besides filling in some of the blanks I'd wondered about, the article confirmed what our visit revealed - the folks at Jaymer-Que are good people.
The restaurant is located on Lithia-Pinecrest Road in Valrico. It's a strip mall location, but it has a nice atmosphere. You can eat inside or outside on the side patio. I had brisket and Linda had the pulled pork. Both were pretty good and the staff was very friendly and attentive.If you're in the area and looking for something to eat. Check it out.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
If you're having difficulty maintaining consistent and even burn times in your upright cooker, a simple charcoal maze will probably solve your problems.
The charcoal maze pictured is made from plain old sheet metal and the grate between the charcoal and the ash pan is constructed from expanded metal.
There is about a 2 inch gap between the grate and the ash pan.
This cooker also has 1 inch of insulation throughout the walls and doors, which makes it very efficient. In warm weather I can cook for 20+ hours on one load of charcoal.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I ran across a new Food Network program that is totally fresh and happening. It's called Cooking for Real and it's hosted by Sunny Anderson. She made some cider brined fried chicken and cabbage slaw that looked intersting. After cooking it myself, I'm a big fan of Sunny Anderson.
I made Sunny's fried chicken for supper last night. Linda loved it so much that she proclaimed it the best fried chicken she'd ever eaten. If you're looking for a crispy and crunchy fried chicken recipe look no further. Read the recipe.
I cut back on the cayenne and used 1 tablespoon each of black pepper, white pepper, and cayenne, which turned out well.
Note: The pepper goes in the egg wash instead of the flour/corn starch. Also, instead of rolling the chicken in the flour, you've got to try the brown paper bag shake method. It really works.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I am a member of two bbq sanctioning bodies -- the Kansas City Barbeque Society and Florida Barbecue Association. To get directly to the point...I believe both organizations need to focus more attention on helping cook teams find affordable ways to compete in their contests.
I've written about my own personal strategies to reduce costs and increase revenues from my contest efforts on this blog in the past, but it's not an isolated problem. Affordability issues affect all teams that compete.
To my knowledge neither sanctioning organization has ever held any training seminars that offered step-by-step guides to assist the individual cook teams in obtaining sponsorship for local, regional, or national contests. Doing so would have a three-fold benefit:
1) individual cook teams would have additional methods for offsetting competition expenses
2) sanctioning bodies would benefit by increased participation in bbq contests
3) contest organizers would receive more participation and increased revenues
I'd bet that I'm a pretty good cross-section of the barbecue population that competes in bbq contests on a semi-regular basis. I've competed in at least 25 sanctioned bbq contests during the past several years. I driven thousands of miles to get to them and spent more than $20,000 on bbq related events and equipment.
I've met some nice people. I've seen some nice areas of the country that I would have never visited if they hadn't sponsored a bbq contest. And, I've helped raise money for many, many charitable and municipal organizations. However, if something doesn't change, I'm going to have to stop doing it and I suspect that there are hundreds, if not thousands of teams like mine who have reached the same cross-roads.
The price of gasoline, meat, supplies, lodging, vehicles, contest entry fees, and cookers have continued to rise while the prize money awarded has remained stagnant on the whole. If you don't win first or second overall, you're in the hole at the end of the weekend.
I am not a professional marketer, but I am guessing that the membership of KCBS and FBA has many professional marketers in the ranks who would be willing to offer assistance. If not, I would think that a portion of the membership or sanctioning fees should be allocated to preparing downloadable materials that could be used by cook teams to solicit local and regional sponsorship. Who else other than the sanctioning bodies can provide the kind of economic data that would strengthen the sales pitch to potential sponsors?
If you agree that there is a disconnect, I'd enjoy hearing your thoughts and ideas. Or if you disagree with me and think that sponsorship for individual cook teams has nothing to do with the sanctioning body, I'd also enjoy hearing from you.
In the end, there is another alternative, although I know it's probably not practical or viable economically given the approach the contest organizers are currently taking -- reduce the entry fees to $0 and increase public participation in the contests to offset the lost revenue.
You'd be surprised how far that $250-$300 would go toward increasing cook team participation. In this manner even a top three or four in a category or two would have meaningful effects to help defray cook team expenses.
Friday, September 19, 2008
The entry fee for the bbq contest is $245 for KCBS members who enter early. Early entrants who are non-KCBS members can register for $280. The event is being held at the War Memorial Auditorium located at 800 NE 8th Street in Fort Lauderdale, FL near Sunrise Boulevard.
The winner of the FBA Triple Crown competition will receive a Willie Nelson autographed guitar and $2,000. The weekend event is sponsored in part by Old Whiskey River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and the Perry-Taylor County Chamber of Commerce.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
1. I started off with a visit to my local butcher and picked up a 16 lb. untrimmed brisket. I used to cook the brisket flats from Sam's Club, but after switching to "whole" briskets a few years ago, my results improved tremendously and so did my bbq contest results. A large, untrimmed brisket will cost $30-$35 depending on the weight and depending on whether it's a Certified Angus Beef (CAB) brisket. If it's available, I prefer CAB.
2. Last night I trimmed off some of the excess fat cap on the brisket, pierced the brisket with my Jaccard and rubbed it liberally with my Southern BBQ Rub. If you don't have a Jaccard, you can use a fork and pierce holes in the meat, which will allow the bbq rub to better penetrate the meat.
3. I placed the brisket in a double thickness plastic garbage bag and refrigerated it overnight. This allows time for the seasoning to penetrate the meat and also makes getting it on the cooker faster when it comes time to start the cooking process.
4. This morning I pre-heated the Weber Smokey Mountain to 250 degrees, added water to the water pan, removed the brisket from the refrigerator, and placed it directly on in the WSM. The health department recommends that meat spend less than 4 hours in the danger zone (i.e. internal meat temperature higher than 40 degrees and lower than 140 degrees.)
(I do not subscribe to the theory that allowing the meat to rise to room temperature will somehow improve the cooking results. I think it allows the potential for meat spoilage, although I’ve seen World Champion Barbecue Teams do it at competitions.)
5. Maintain cooker temp as low as possible near 190 degrees for as long as possible. I've found that the slower I can cook the brisket, the more consistent my results are.
6. I foil the brisket after about 5 hours, or once the bark begins to form.
7. I spritz with apple juice a few times during the cooking process as well. This seems to help with bark formation.
8. I continue cooking until the brisket temperature reaches 198 degrees.
9. I let the brisket set in an Igloo cooler for 3 - 4 hours before slicing it up.
10. After slicing, I sauce with my favorite bbq sauce. A brush works well for saucing each individual slice of brisket for even coverage.
Friday, September 12, 2008
I used sandwich sliced ham. You can use boiled ham or cubed/chunked ham as alternatives.
For the potatoes, Linda scrubbed with skins, browned 1 LB of bacon, drained grease, mixed in onions, mushrooms, and added the potatoes to the 12 inch oven. I then added 12 ounces of Sprite, 1 TSP of salt, 1/2 TSP of pepper. I cooked for 30 minutes with the lid on.
I added parsley and cheddar cheese when serving the potatoes and, although not pictured, Linda made homemade bread.
Are you hungry yet?
Recipe for Chicken Bleu Breasts and Sparkling Potatoes courtesty of Lovin' Dutch Ovens by Joan S. Larsen.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
I've been contributing to HomeBBQ.com as a guest blogger for several weeks now and wanted to share an excerpt of one of my recent posts about our chicken turn-in box:
A few years ago while competing in a barbecue event in Arcadia, Florida the unthinkable happened while preparing our chicken turn-in box. We prepared fantastic turn-in samples and were sure we had a good chance to win, but after placing the samples in the box and closing it I discovered that our box had been damaged.
I froze for a few seconds and wasn’t sure what to do next. Should I turn in the sample anyway and take a chance that the box would be disqualified? Should I throw in the towel for the chicken category and start preparing for the rib turn-in?
Read the rest of the article here
Sunday, August 24, 2008
1. Start with 1 pound of pork sliced into 1 inch cubes.
2. Brush with marinade mixture and refrigerate until ready to cook. For best results, marinate the pork in the refrigerator overnight.
3. Place pork on skewers and cook on a charcoal grill for 10-15 minutes. Turn frequently to prevent burning.
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp cummin
1 tbsp ginger
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
Juice from 1 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
Roasted bell peppers make a nice side dish.
Just slice and brush with a little olive oil and Sherry Wine Vinegar. Sprinkle with a little garlic and serve.
I also made some potato wedges. Fry for 10-12 minutes in a frying pan and sprinkle with paprika, cummin, and salt.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I first saw one up close in Brooksville, FL back in 2001. Smokin Triggers used it to win the event. Some of the best bbq teams in the country cook on them and just about everyone else wishes they did.
I'd like to park a Jambo Pit in my own garage someday. But even if I did own one, I'm not quite sure I could make myself mess it up by cooking on it.
Click here for more pictures of Geer pits.
NFL Gameday Cookbook
Monday, August 18, 2008
This past weekend I decided to experiment with chicken thighs without using spice rub and with very little bbq sauce added.
I've been marinating my chicken thighs and drumsticks in Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar since the beginning, but after spending some time thinking about it this weekend I realized that I have never really experimented to identify exactly what the dressing adds to my chicken recipes. I just started using it because I read about it on the web at some point and followed suit.
The thighs in the picture were not trimmed and squared up properly for a bbq contest turn-in, but they were fine for eating here at home.
The thighs and dressing were placed in a 2 gallon plastic bag and were marinated for 4 hours in the refrigerator. I pre-heated the WSM (without the water pan) to 275 degrees and put the chicken on for cooking. The naked thighs were cooked for 1 1/2 hours to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Near the end I brushed on a little bbq sauce for a little flavor, but as you can see from the picture there was very, very little sauce used. That really wasn't the main point of this test anyway.
What did I learn?
The salad dressing helps keep the chicken moist while cooking, but adds very little flavor. The thighs were juicy and tender, but were quite bland. Based on my test, I doubt that it matters what kind of salad dressing is used for a marinade. Anything with olive oil and a little vinegar will probably work fairly well. I don't think the Newman's Own is an absolute requirement.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Barbecue is no different. I meet people at bbq contests, on discussion boards, and via e-mail correspondence that use similar phrases and expressions when talking about their infactuation with bbq as a competitive sport.
I mean no disrespect to anyone when I say this, because I've had these same traits myself from time-to-time, but I'm proud to say that for the most part...I'm in the process of doing, or I've already done many of the things "I've always meant to get around to."
Don't sell yourself short on barbecue. Don't let the naysayers intimidate you, chastise you, or "rain on your parade".
If you've always had a desire to purchase a "real" bbq cooker, whether it's a Lang, Klose, Backwoods, Stumps, or one of the various styles of pellet cookers on the market; bite the bullet and do it. If you've always had a dream of owning your own restaurant, or to start a catering company...develop some goals, write a plan, tie them to a definitive time schedule, and get started on your journey.
It's time to get off the porch and get fired-up about bbq. Don't let it pass you buy. It's fun. It's challenging, but perhaps most of all, your abilities to learn new things and to meet interesting new people will surprise you.
But, when you really get down to it and boil it down to the brass tacks perhaps the most compelling reason is that there's really and truly nothing stopping you.
All things are possible.
NFL Gameday Cookbook
Monday, August 11, 2008
The Florida State Open Chili Championship will be held October 4th this year. So get your recipes ready.
Oct. 4, 2008 - DeLand, FLA. CASI. Florida State Open Chili Championship, 7th Annual Great Bowls of Fire Chili Cookoff. Visit their website: www.greatbowlsofchilicookoff.com. Contact Sally Bohon at SalBohon@AOL.com or Candace Knight Arevalo at email@example.com for more information.
Oct 11, 2008 - Homosassa FL CASI. Southeast Chili Cookoff. Held at Natures RV Resort on the waterfront. Contact Candace Knight-Arevalo firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Oct 12, 2008 - Homosassa FL CASI. Sunshine State Chili Pod Cookoff. Contact Candace Knight-Arevalo 561-795- 5888, email@example.com. Visit their website: www.naturesresortfla.com
Nov 1, 2008- Terlingua TX CASI. Terlingua International Chili Champ Cookoff. Held at Rancho CASI De Los Chisos. Contact Alan Dean firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
You can find out more about chili cook-offs in Florida at the Sunshine State Chili Pod website.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Keeping it cold
When shopping for food, purchase meat and poultry just before you leave the store. Food in the grocery store is stored at temperatures of below 40 degrees and needs to maintained below 40 degrees whenever possible. Food should be referigerated after the drive home as soon as possible. Allowing the temperature of the food to rise above 40 degrees for any length of time increases the possibility of bacteria growth.
Vacuum seal bulk purchases
I often purchase food in bulk to save money. Meat that is not going to be consumed within a couple of days should be frozen. I like to vacuum seal large quantities into smaller packages. For example, if we buy a package of 16 pork chops, I split the chops into packets of 4, vacuum seal them, mark the package with the date, and then place it in the freezer until we are ready to prepare them.
As meat begins to thaw, juices can sometimes escape the packaging and cross-contamination can occur. Vacuum sealing is another way to help prevent cross-contamination between meat and poultry when storing or transporting food. When handling chicken, thoroughly wash your hands and any knives and utensils with hot, soapy water before using the utensils to cut other meat.
Always marinade meat and poultry in the refrigerator. Contrary to some advice I've read recently on a very popular bbq forum, never, never, allow meat to marinade at room temperature. Meat should be marinated in the refrigerator. When removing marinated food from the refrigerator, place it directly on the smoker or grill for cooking.
Pre-heat your cooker to ensure that you attain a 140 degree internal meat temperature within 4 hours. Do not allow meat to remain in the danger zone (i.e. greater than 40 degrees and less than 140 degrees) for more than 4 hours.
For more food safety tips and information, there's a nice article on the USDA website that should help.
NFL Gameday Cookbook
Sunday, August 03, 2008
AZBarbeque.com is all about BBQ in Arizona and they're looking for new members. I encourage you to check out their new website.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Teams can arrive as early as Wednesday and stay until Sunday. This KCBS sanctioned event will also feature an optional showmanship category.
Monday, July 21, 2008
12 inch and 10 inch dutch ovens.
The bacon has been browned. I'm adding the onions, green peppers, and red peppers.
Mountain Man Breakfast
Preheat a 12" dutch oven
This recipe is published in Lovin' Dutch Ovens by Joan S. Larsen. I added the ham and peppers based on my personal tastes. The next time I make it I'm going to add more black pepper.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Besides learning to crack the spine, the hardest part of the entire process might be simply finding a pig. You want one that weighs between 60 and 100 pounds after it's dressed out. Talk to local butcher shops and grocery stores to see if they can order one for you.
The website talks about marinating the pig over night. One word of caution: if you decide to take this approach, make sure you're able to keep the pig cool during this process. If you can't maintain the pig's internal meat temperature below 40 degrees while marinating, you should skip the marinade and proceed directly to cooking.
Increase Restaurant Profits
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Greg Rempe, publisher of TheBBQCentral.com, recently hosted a BBQ Roundtable Discussion with guests including Rod Grey of Pellet Envy, Kevin Bevington of HomeBBQ.com and Jim Minion of Two Loose Screws about personal bias when judging bbq contest turn-in boxes. The trio also discussed the use or non-use of garnish when turning in sample boxes. I hope you enjoy the discussion as much as I did.
Friday, July 18, 2008
I've only been to Texas once...about 18 years ago. My employer (at the time) let me fly from Sikeston, MO with the CEO and a couple of other managers to Dallas on their corporate jet. My boss and I rented a car and drove to Tyler for a week long training event. We ate some bbq here and there, but I don't really remember any of the names or towns.
I received an e-mail tonight from Chuck Sackman and a heads up about an article in Texas Monthly proclaiming Snow's BBQ in Lexington, TX as the "best barbecue in Texas". Snow's is only open on Saturdays and for only four hours. When the meats gone, Snow's is closed until next week.
Some may be surprised that the best bbq in Texas comes from such unlikely circumstances, but it doesn't surprise me in the least. It's difficult to "mass produce" quality anything and bbq is no exception. You can't program a computer to cook bbq, although some keep trying. A drawer full of gadgets and a bank full of money doesn't qualify anyone as a bbq cook.
Three cheers for Snow's and long live the barbecue spirit in Lexington, TX.
Increase Restaurant Profits
To start a restaurant, you'd most likely begin by researching the competition in the market area where the restaurant will be located. You'd pay particular attention to the menu choices, parking availability, pricing, hours of operation, location, and on and on. As a next step, you'd be wise to prepare a business plan and a pro-forma balance sheet and income statement that projects the first three years of expenses and revenues.
Some seasoned business people might feel comfortable preparing these items on their own, but most would want to seek out the services of a professional. Financing is another consideration. A local bank might be able to assist you, but you might have better success consulting a bank and loan officer that has experience loaning money to start-up restaurant operations. If financing doesn't work out, a long-term lease is another option. A good accountant or CPA with experience in working with small businesses can offer guidance and recommendations for all of these items.
If your barbecue goals are less ambitious and you simply want to learn how to cook some good barbecue in your backyard, you might seek out the advice of a friend that cooks barbecue, or you might take a class from one of the multiple guru's that cook barbecue. Or if you're like me, you'd probably take a trip down to the local book store or visit Amazon.com to read some books on the subject. The Internet also provides an excellent source of information through various bbq blogs, barbecue forums, discussion lists, newsletters, directories, etc.
Here's a few to get you started:
When learning anything new, these preliminary steps are the least rewarding part. It's sometimes dirty work and not very glamorous. Many try to skip these basic steps and simply throw money at barbecue by purchasing a turn key business opportunity they know little or nothing about. Backyard barbecuers might purchase the shiniest, newest, latest and greatest most expensive bbq smoker they can find, before they really even know how to use it and if it will work for a particular application.
Take a deep breath and a step back. You just might save yourself some money.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I've been using Blues Hog's Original for several years. Usually I buy the sauce directly from the Blues Hog website and sometimes my parents buy it for me at Snoddy's General Store across the Missouri River from Boonville, MO.
Mr. Arnold and his family could use your support now more than ever. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers and better yet, buy some of his barbecue sauce. Barbecue folks have to
Update: Bill was featured on Good Morning America this morning. Here's a link to the video.
Start a Catering Business
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Monday, July 07, 2008
I planned on eating some meals out at restaurants with Linda doing the rest of the cooking for the weekend, but Saturday night she pulled a pork loin out of the fridge and cheerfully announced that I was grilling it on Sunday. In the true spirit of a three day holiday weekend, I procrastinated and cooked it for supper.
I put the lump charcoal in the chimney starter and it started to rain. Luckily, it was just a slow moving typical Florida summer afternoon shower. I was able to get the charcoal in the pan before it got too wet and extinguished itself. My second lucky moment of the cook was a convenient break in the rain when it was time to put the kabobs on the grill. The rain picked up a little later on, but a golf umbrella works wonders for shielding a kettle grill.
After cooking barbecue in 20 degrees and blowing snow for two and a half years in Michigan, I didn’t dare wimp out over a little rain. Sometimes those gas grills that Linda calls “outdoor ovens” work well when it’s raining, but a little rain adds that extra touch of excitement when going head to head with Mother Nature.
Linda found the recipe on Hunts.com. It was developed by the Culinary Institute of America.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Ginger Dipping Sauce
1 cup sliced green onions
3 tablespoons Pure Wesson Vegetable Oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno pepper
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 ½ pound of pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch pieces
Ginger Dipping Sauce:
1 tablespoon Pure Wesson Vegetable Oil
½ cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 can (14.5 ounce) Hunt’s Petite Diced Tomatoes, undrained
¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons La Choy Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
10 wooden skewers (6-inch), soaked in water
Prepare marinade. Place pork and marinade in plastic bag. Shake to coat evenly and refrigerate for 4 hours.
Prepare sauce over medium heat. When hot add oil and onion. Cook 4 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir occasionally. Add ginger and garlic. Cook 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour sauce in blender and puree 1 minute. Keep warm.
Place pork on skewers and discard marinade. Cook on a hot grill for 5 minutes on each side, or until the pork is cooked and is no longer pink.
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