Sunday, December 31, 2006

BBQ Sauce Recipe

I've seen this recipe posted in a couple of places--first at The BBQ Forum and then on BBQ Bob's web site. I've not tried it out yet, but it sounds sooooooo good. I just had to share it here.

"Fat Johnny's Bastardized Piedmont Sauce"

1 quart cider vinegar
12 oz Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 T red pepper flakes
2 T salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp celery seed
2 T Worchestershire sauce
Juice of one lemon
1 T chipotle powder
1 tsp dry mustard
1 T onion powder

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes. Let cool and bottle.

Barbecue Brisket Project

Here's another "Best of 2006" post from earlier this year. It's proved to be the single most popular post about cooking bbq on my blog this year.

Today's project is brisket.

I purchased a 14 lb. Certified Angus Brisket at my local butcher shop. I had to order it because this type of specialty meat is not something they normally keep on hand, but it's one a handful of places that I've found that sells "whole" untrimmed briskets.

This is a picture of the fat cap on the CAB brisket I'll be cooking. At this point I haven't trimmed any of the excess.

I begin to trim the fat. I remove much of the "hard" fat from the brisket. The knife tip is pointing toward a 1 1/2 - 2 inch portion of segment that runs between the "point" and the "flat".

I use a special tenderizing tool called a Jaccard to pierce the meat before seasoning with my "secret" spice rub mixture. Piercing the meat allows the seasoning to penetrate deeper into the meat and also helps shorten the cooking time a little.

I start at one end and liberally apply The BBQ Guy Original Beef Rub to the both sides of the brisket. You can't use too much of this stuff. It's gooooooood.

The rub is applied and the brisket is ready to marinade in the refrigerator overnight before cooking. I prefer to let the brisket set for 8-10 hours before cooking.

Here's a picture of the brisket after I removed it form the refrigerator the next morning just before placing it on the smoker for cooking.

Here's a picture of the brisket cooking in the Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM). I've got a dual probe digital thermometer that I use to monitor the internal meat temperature on whole briskets. Brisket thickness varies quite a bit and like to monitor the flat in two places to ensure I don't over cook the meat.

Here's a picture of the final results.

Brisket Tenderizer Tool

Cooking Baby Back Ribs

I originally posted this article and accompanying pictures in August '06. In the spirit of revisting some of my Best of 2006 articles for the New Year, I thought I'd bring this one back for another viewing.

A couple of Saturday's ago I performed a not-so-scientific taste test consisting of three racks of ribs purchased from Sam's Club rubbed with three kinds of rubs I happened to have in the pantry-- The BBQ Guy's Original Spice Rub, Rib Rub, and Billy Bones' Original BBQ Rub.

Three racks of ribs rubbed up and ready for the cooker. I usually marinate them in the refrigerator overnight, but this time I put them straight on the cooker.

After two and a half hours in the smoker at 225 degrees.
Here's a picture of the ribs after cooking for 3 hours. I turned them meat side down and added some apple juice.
Even though it's upside down, this picture shows the ribs after flipping them meat-side-up. Just prior to the final stages of cooking.
In this picture I'm adding some brown sugar just prior to the last 45 minutes of cooking.

Here's a picture of the finished product. I like to add the bbq sauce during the last 10-15 minutes just prior to serving them.

BBQ Secrets Revealed, Click Here!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Build a Brick BBQ

Here are some plans to build a brick bbq grill courtesy of the Brick Industry Association web site.

It's a simple design for a basic grill, but I think they could be adapted to various other applications, such as adding a fire box and door for low and slow cooking.

Here's an article from CBS News about building a "classic brick barbecue" and another article from about building a brick barbecue.

Finally for those that don't mind spending a little money, here's a link to bbq smoker plans. I haven't purchased the plans myself, but the description from the web site says they are "complete step-by-step plans for the do it yourselfer" with pictures.

Michigan BBQ Association

I'd like to pass the word about an effort to organize a Michigan BBQ Association.

I received an e-mail a couple days ago announcing the lastest effort and wanted to pass along the contact information for anyone interested.

I am trying to pick up where my good friend left off with this endeavor.

If you have any interest in helping to start a Michigan Barbecue Association, please drop me an e-mail note. I would like to get a feel for how many people are interested and then schedule a meeting to discuss the next steps. I would like to have this meeting rather quickly (late Jan, early Feb). So far the response has been very good.

Please contact me at the below e-mail address:

I think Mike is right on the money with the timing for this effort. From what I've witnessed competing in Michigan the last couple of years, Michigan bbq is alive and well.

KCBS Lakeland Pig Festival at Tiger Town

The Junior Leage of Greater Lakeland will host the 2007 Lakeland Pig Fest on January 27, 2007 at Tiger Town in Lakeland, training camp for the defending American League Champions and World Series runner-up Detroit Tigers.

Contact Information:

Lakeland Pig Festival at Tiger Town
P. O. Box 8797
Lakeland, FL 33806

Kristin Phillips

Dara Broomfield

Linda and I have cooked this event in the past and highly recommend it to KCBS competitors and spectators. This is year is sure to be bigger and better than ever due to the success of the Tigers in 2006.

This will also be the first event eligible for my BBQ Fantasy League Championship Standings. If you'd like to participate in the 1st annual 2007 BBQ Fantasy League, please contact me. The league will be limited to approximately 10-teams (first come - first serve).

Wild Pig-n-Pepper Jam - 2007 KCBS competition

Buddy Taylor is kicking off then new year in grand bbq style by hosting a sanctioned KCBS contest on Jan. 1, 2007. Net proceeds from the event will benefit the Harry Chapin Food Bank.

Last year's winners, Bill and the Dixie Chicks, will be on hand to defend their 2006 Grand Championship.

Prize money is as follows:

Grand Champion = $2,000.00
Reserve Grand Champion = $1,000.00
1st Place = $300.00
2nd Place = $250.00
3rd Place = $200.00
4th Place = $150.00
5th Place = $100.00
6th - 10th Place = $50.00

More information regarding the event is available via e-mail.
Click here for driving directions.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Improve Gas Mileage with Fitch Fuel Catalyst

With gasoline at $3.00 per gallon I am looking for options to improve the fuel economy of my V-8 pick-up truck and SUV. I've come across some research this week that opened my eyes.
The Fitch Fuel Catalyst is an aftermarket add-on product that improved gas mileage by 34% in a 5.7 L Chevrolet tested by Advanced Power Systems International.
The test results are impressive. Invented by John Fitch, a member of the Corvette Hall of Fame and Sebring Hall of Fame, a former race driver that dedicated his life to improving vehicle performance and safety.
Fitch Fuel Catalyst is available for small engine, recreational vehicles, cars, trucks, marine, motorcycles, lawnmowers, and commercial applications.
Click here to learn more.
Less money spent on gasoline would leave more money for barbecue.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

BBQ Chicken Video

I discovered this video on You Tube tonight that documents one method for barbecuing chicken on a Weber kettle grill. It's not the way I would do it, but it's a bbq video nonetheless and since this is barbecue blog, I thought I'd share it for pure bbq entertainment value, if for no other reason.

The opening shot shows a kettle grill, a bag of Kingsford charcoal, some lighter fluid, and a charcoal chimney. I would not recommend using lighter fluid and instead prefer starting my charcoal with the charcoal chimney and some crumpled newspaper or a fire starter stick. I also prefer Royal Oak lump charcoal versus the Kingsford. If you do a taste test, I think you'll agree that lump charcoal is superior.

I also think the chicken skin is incredibly dark--too dark for my personal tastes--but maybe the video is distorting the color of the chicken skin and making it appear darker than it actually is.

Here's another bbq video from You Tube that documents pork rib trimming and preparation. I'll offer a disclaimer again as with the chicken that this is not how I do it, but it's certainly "one" way of approaching it.

Stumps Smokers BBQ Forum

This picture was submitted by Rob Bagby of Swamp Boys BBQ. This is the CM-234 model Stump's Smoker.

Stump's Smokers has a new forum address. For those that haven't heard Stump's Smokers has joined forces with Maple Hollow BBQ Company, owners of Viking Stores and distributors of Viking brand cooking equipment.
If you're in the market for a new smoker, be sure to look at the Stump's Smoker. Here's a link to the Stump's gallery. According to their website, the smokers are available in stainless, grey or the more traditional "bbq black".

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Heat Resistant BBQ Gloves

I've got a pair of these leather gloves that are red suede. I like the black suede for the palms and fingers in these gloves because the dark color helps hide soot and dirt. My red suede has turned to black and are becoming an eye sore.
These particular gloves from GO Gloves have a synthetic wool lining and reinforced fingers.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Grand Rapids BBQ Contest

I received a letter today announcing a KCBS judges seminar being held prior to the Taste of Grand Rapids bbq contest. Cost = $75. I don't see it listed on the official KCBS listing of judging classes yet, but since the organizers spent $.37 to mail me a letter, I assume the KCBS web site will be updated soon with the details regarding the class.

I'd like to applaud the contest organizers for realizing that having certified KCBS judges for their contest is important. While it's most likely transparent to the spectators and vendors at the event, as a competitor I like to know that most (if not all) the judges have sat through a judging class.

I've competed in the Taste of Grand Rapids the past two years and I do not believe any emphasis on having KCBS certified judges was placed on the preparations for the event. I do not recall them offering a judging seminar in conjunction with those contests.

Judging bbq may sound simple enough, but there's more to the task than meets the eye at first glance. You might ask, "What's there to know?" There is certainly a school of thought that embraces the "man on the street" theory that if your bbq is really good then anyone can judge it and know that it's good. The other school of thought, and my own personal view regarding bbq judging, argues that for consistency in judging the folks asked to judge the bbq samples need a frame of reference to use as a starting point.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

BBQ Sauce Recipe

Here's a new bbq sauce recipe to try:

1 cup tomato ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 cups water
3 stalks chopped celery
1 clove minced garlic
2 tbsp chopped onion
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper

Cook on low heat for 20 minutes. Strain and refrigerate.

Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings to All

Linda and I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who stops by to read The BBQ Blog and our customers who have purchased our bbq spice rub. Thanks for sharing our enthusiam for the art of bbq cooking.
It always surprises me how many people I meet at bbq contests that read about us on the Internet. Many people stop by our site and introduce themselves because they saw my bbq blog or my other bbq site while searching for bbq information on the web.
We've made many friends and hope to make and meet many others on the bbq trail. If you see us at a contest, by all means stop by and say hello. If you have a bbq question, please send me an e-mail--if I don't know the answer, I'll do my best to find out for you.
We hope you enjoy this time of year with family and friends.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Cajun Microwave aka La Caja China

About a year ago I watched Bobby Flay on Food Network doing a piece about La Caja China, also known affectionately as a Cajun Microwave or Redneck Microwave. It's used to roast pigs.

This "microwave" is a wooden box lined with metal flashing. The pig (or other meat) is placed inside the box, the lid is attached, and charcoal is placed on top of the lid to roast the meat inside. The grease flows out the bottom into a catch pan. It's simple, but very effective.

Using this method, you can roast a pig in less than 4 hours. It's very popular for family reunions, taitgating, graduations, Luau's and anytime you need to feed a lot of people. It's seems very simple to use and is priced affordably.

The Cajun Microwave is a similar pig roaster. Here's an excerpt from that describes the cooking method in more detail:

All grease drips towards one end of the box and out through two holes in the floor (use a catch pan to eliminate any mess). The floor can be lined with heavy duty tin foil before each use (minimizing the cleaning needed). If the box does get grease on it, simply wash out with hot soapy water and let dry.

If you're a do-it-yourselfer, here's a CD ROM with instructions for building a Cajun Microwave. This web site have a nice picture of the inside of the box.

There's more than one way to cook a pig, and definitely more than one way to make a pig roaster. Stay tuned for my own pig roasting project later this year.

The Redneck Grill: The Most Fun You Can Have with Fire, Charcoal, and a Dead Animal

Jeff Foxworthy has co-authored a bbq book.
The Redneck Grill includes recipes for ribs, chicken, hot dogs, fish, hamburgers, pork chops, and numerous marinades. I'm not sure this book will teach you how to win a professional bbq contest, but if Jeff Foxworthy is involved it's sure to be funny.
In addition to hosting a weekly syndicated radio program, he's a spokesperson for Shoney's, and has a very successful line of barbecue sauces.

Best Food Blogs on the Internet

The Well Fed Network has opened nominations for the best food blogs of 2006.

Stop by and vote for your favorite food blogs in the various categories. Some regular contributors to The BBQ Blog are among the nominees.

Congratulations to Men in Aprons and Bucky McOinkum's for their nominations in the "theme" category.

Cooking Chicken Safely

When cooking any kind of meat it's important to adhere to basic cooking safety rules. Undercooked meats can make you sick and sometimes lead to serious illness. This is especially true with undercooked chicken.

According to research conducted by Consumer Reports, organic and non-antibiotics types of chicken exhibited a lower instance of contamination. I've been cooking "free range" chicken for several years. Not only does it taste better, but now we know it's healthier too. I was surprised to read about the percentage rate of contamination for Tyson's chicken in the Consumer Reports article. On the other hand, Ranger's chicken seemed to yield very good results in the testing conducted by the consumer's magazine. I stopped using Tyson's chicken several years ago for different reasons, but based on this article I doubt that I'll ever buy it again.

For the many, many reasons cited in the Consumer Reports article, chicken is best if cooked when it's fresh. If you're not going to cook it for a couple days it's better to freeze it, just to be on the safe side. Remember to cook chicken to at least 165 degrees internal temperature, but to be extra sure we now cook all our chicken to at least 170 degrees.

When cooking meats, and especially when cooking chicken, it pays to use a meat thermometer.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

How to Roast a Pig

"Three Guys from Miami" have a web site that details the art of the Cuban-style pigroast.

The website includes a 10-step method for roasting a pig with tons of pictures to walk you through the entire process from finding the pig, cleaning the pig, building a roaster, cooking the pig and flipping the pig.

The website also includes a "pig roast hall of fame".

This method is very similar to the method used by some old timers in Tennessee that helped turn me on the goodness of tender, juicy, moist barbecue pork almost 15-years ago.

Here's another source of pig roasting information from the Virginia Cooperative Extension that details spit roasting, underground and above ground hog roasting. also has a Pig Roast Manual that details how to roast pigs for profit.

Low and Slow Cooking on a Weber Kettle Grill

I've never tried to cook low-and-slow on a Weber Kettle Grill, but I've seen it done. Here's a link for those that would like to attempt it for the challenge of it, or for those that want to cook some mouth watering bbq ribs, but don't want to spend money on a new smoker.
I've even heard tell of a legendary competition bbq team driving from Tennessee with two unassembled Weber kettles in the trunk of a passenger car and winning a prominent and long standing KCBS bbq contest in Lakeland, FL several years ago. If that's not validation that good barbecue is produced by good cooks and not entirely by good cookers, then I don't know what is.
We had the good fortune to cook next to this gentleman and his son in Winchester, TN a couple of years ago. What an honor. One of the original pioneers of the bbq circuit--Cliff Weddington and his son Donnie, from Tullahoma, TN.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

BBQ Video

I found a link to a 4 minute bbq video recorded by Cypress Cajun Smokers from Louisiana on DaveTV this afternoon. It shows several shots of ribs cooking in their good looking vertical smokers.

One unit has a rotisserie and one is a more traditional shelf construction. The video shows several good views of the fire rings being used in the smokers. Both smokers appear to be covered with an outer shell made of wood and appear to be metal on the inside.

Here's another link from DaveTV that displays a 1939 Chevy BBQ Smoker used at the American Royal Barbecue Contest in Kansas City. For all the bbq fans that are also automotive enthusiasts, this one is a must see.

Also, be sure to check out the wood barrel smoker being used at the 2005 American Royal event.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Mom's Recipes

We're heading into a busy time of year for mom's--the winter holiday season. No matter the holiday, special event, or weekend gathering; if there's food, there's usually a mom involved.

Holidays are not the time for take-out, for pizza, or for fast-food burgers. Holiday gatherings are best enjoyed when the food is homemade and of the traditional variety. Cakes, pies, cookies and turkey, slow cooked hams, casseroles, and breads are some "traditional" holiday fare that I like during the winter time.

I ran across a nice blog today that salutes mom's recipes everywhere. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. There's great pictures, recipes, and a lot of "off the beaten path" cooking information.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Build a Backyard Smoker

Popular has a three page article on it's web site that outlines step-by-step how-to plans for building an offset bbq smoker. Complete with pictures and detailed descriptions, this is one of the best sources I've found on the web for how-to build an offset drum smoker out of 10 ga steel. There's lots of pictures, ideas for handles and instructions for building a chimney.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

BBQ Smoker Plans and BBQ Kits

This smoker was built by Rob Bagby aka "Rub" from Florida. You too can build a smoker. You just need some "how-to" knowledge and a little imagination. The links below should help.

Steel Smoker from Propane Tanks

Welding skills required, but you'll have a portable offset smoker your friends will envy.

Smokehouse Plans

Construct a simple, but effective slow smoking shed.

Refrigerator Smoker

Got an old refrigerator? Turn it into a cold smoker.

Texas Grill

The traditional barrel-style grill.

BBQ Kit from Refractory Materials

A little more money, but real nice barbecues. You'll be the talk of the neighborhood.

BBQ Smoker from Two Barrels

Vertical barrel smoker.

Big Smokey BBQ Pit

Another barrel-style vertical design.

Rich Sterling's Brick BBQ Pit

This is the best of the bunch--especially if you're a brick mason, or know one that works cheap.

How to Publish a BBQ e-Book in 7-days or less

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Beefcember Fest - Stark, Florida - Results

Grand Champion:
Reserve: This Butts For You

3. Bonesmokers
4. Swamp Boys
5. Smokin' Cracker
6. Kick the Tire Light the Fire
7. Smoke and Spice
8. Black Creek Cookers
9. Skin and Bones
10. Woodhouse Grill

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Brian Pearcy

BBQ List From The BBQ Wife

Photo of Austin National bbq smoker is courtesy of ZZ Que, Columbus, IN.

Boy does the BBQ Guy have a large budget for his Christmas want list for BBQ items. Let me give you wives some more economical ideas that will make the Quer in your life happy, maybe not as happy as a new Austin National smoker or an RV, but happy nonetheless.

Whether your BBQ Guy competes in bbq contests, or just likes to cook-out on your patio; I've listed a few things he might like to add to his collection. Most can be purchased with an Gift Certificate.

This BBQ Wife can not stand the smell and hazards of lighter fluid. So I would recommend a Weber Chimney Charcoal Starter. Before Brian started cooking I didn’t know there was such a thing, now we have converted all our family members to this way of lighting charcoal for their grills and dutch ovens. (Sorry to those of you in the lighter fluid industry.)

A good stainless steel bbq grill set is also a perfect idea. It is probably more for the griller and not just the low and slow BBQ’er afficianado. The BBQ Guy loves his set for hamburgers, hotdogs, brauts, etc., but when he is at the smoker they aren’t much use to him, so keep your cook in mind.

Whether a griller or a BBQ’er, it is important to get that meat cooked to the appropriate temperature; especially chicken. Try a wireless thermometer or a digital temperature probe. The wireless remote has worked fine at home, but at competitions we have found that the remote readings can become inaccurate. It must pick up interference somehow.

Try the BBQ Grill Light. (This was a gift for the The BBQ Guy a couple years ago.)

If your griller wants to try the BBQing/Smoking aspect of outdoor cooking a great inexpensive way to get started is with the Weber Smokey Mountain. The BBQ Guy cooks 2 packer briskets in his WSM at contests and has brought home several trophies. They work.

BBQ Aprons and Mitts are also great additions to the BBQ accessories list. I personally have thrown away more t-shirts stained with BBQ sauce and marinade than I can count. If you don’t like the ones linked here you can always go to and design your own for your guy.

If your BBQer is already a little deeper into the hobby, try knives. The BBQ Guy is kind of selfish with his Que knives, keeping them all to himself, so you might want to buy 2--one for you and one for him. We have this Henckels stainless steel 10-inch slicer.

If your family is going to make jump into competition cookoffs in 2007, a canopy is a must for any contest a 12 x 12 or larger is recommended if you will be having more than 3 or 4 folks on your team. Brian and I use a 10 x 10, but would really enjoy the additional space a 12 x 12 would offer. You can buy excellent Caravan canopies at Costco.

Contests are very tiring, so make sure you pick up a couple of Coleman cots to help you catch some z’s.

It seems the BBQ Guy Cooking team never has enough insulated ice coolers. You can turn the cooler into a gift basket and fill it with BBQ accessories, gift certificates to the grocery store or butcher shop, BBQ sauces, BBQ rubs (especially The BBQ Guy Rubs).

Share some of your ideas with me. There are always family members begging for ideas on what to give The BBQ Guy.
This post was contributed by Linda Pearcy, "The BBQ Wife". Read her other posts about bbq from the wife's perspective at BBQ Wife Blog.

BBQ Wish List

At this time of year children and kids around the world are putting together their "wish lists".

When I was a kid I remember flipping through the Sears or Montgomery Wards catalogue and writing a short list of things I wanted my family to purchase.

Almost thirty-years later my wish list has changed a little bit. What do you think of the latest addition?

It's an Isata F-Series Touring Sedan by Dynamax. This Ford F-550 comes with a Trition V-10 362 hp power plant (standard) or a 6.0 L diesel option. It also includes a 40 gallon fuel tank. Let's see that comes to about $92 per fill-up for gasoline and $98 per fill-up for diesel with the prices at my local filling station.

Unless I win the lottery it will never be parked in my driveway, but I sure do like to day dream about it anyway.

What's on your list?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Christmas on the River BBQ Contest

Demopolis, AL has been holding its' Christmas on the River festival since 1972. Overall results from the 2006 event are as follows:

Grand Champion: Lotta Bull
Reserve Grand Champion:

3. Alabama Power
4. Wild Bunch Butt Burners
5. Sweat Hog
6. Big Pig, Inc.
7. Primo Oval Rulers
8 Jiggy Piggy
9. Smokin' Triggers
10. Magnolia Smoker

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Grass Fed Beef or Grain Fed Beef?

You might wonder why a "hard core bbq nut" like myself cares about stuff like this, but in the interest of fair bbq reporting and in making you more aware of "healthy beef alternatives" I feel I must share some research I've been reading this week.

Studies have shown that grass fed beef is lower in fat than grain fed beef, but there are other reasons you should consider buying grass fed beef rather than grain fed beef when chosing your next brisket.

Cattle have a difficult time digesting grains. Their digestive system is much more adaptable grasses. Consider that grain fed beef can cause acidosis in cattle and produce E. coli bacteria known as E. coli 0157:H7. This particular strain of E. coli can cause severe illness, kidney damage, or even death. Not to mention that feedlots that hold the grain fed cattle create secondary contamination caused by run-off into water-ways, streams, rivers, and produce fields (i.e. lettuce, spinach, strawberries, etc.).

Cattle do not naturally eat grains. Their natural food source is grass. Real beef = grass fed beef. Grain fed beef is unnatural. In fact, there aren't many animals that eat grains as a "natural" food source. If the diet of cattle is not supplemented with antibiotics, feeding them grain can actually harm the animal.

Grass fed beef also has less saturated fat and is healthier to eat than grain fed beef. If you want to eat healthier, but love beef, grass fed beef is a viable solution.

If you'd like to read about this subject in more detail and do your own research before you make the switch to grass fed beef, here are some sources of additional information.

The Omnivores Dilemma
University of California Extension Service
Pasture Perfect
Food Revolution

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Hallmark BBQ Grill Christmas Ornament

How many bbq enthusiasts do you know who have a separate Christmas tree devoted strictly to bbq ornaments? Oh, you say you don't know anyone....well, now you do. Linda and I have a small tree that is loaded with bbq ornaments.

The picture above is our latest addition to the collection. This Hallmark Keepsake "Oh, What a Grill" ornament also includes a Christmas poem on the back of the box. I don't know who originally wrote the poem, but in keeping with the spirit of the season I thought I'd include it here.

Oh, What a Grill!

You gotta have passion!

You gotta have heart!

You gotta have turners
and tongs for the meat.

You gotta have marinade,
skewers, and skill.

You gotta have love
for the power of the grill!

And might I've gotta have some barbecue rub from to top it all off.

BBQ Secrets!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

BBQ Essay Contest -- Last Chance to Win!

Today is the last day of the barbecue essay contest sponsored by


The winning entry will receive a bottle of The BBQ Guy's prize winning "Southern BBQ Rub" and a bottle of the The BBQ Guy's "Original Spice Rub".

It's not too late to send in your entry for a chance to win!

  • Submit an original article of 500 words or less.
  • Entries may be accompanied by a photograph.
  • All entries will be published on the bbq blog.
  • Entries must be submitted NLT Nov. 30, 2006.
  • Winners will be announced by Dec. 15, 2006.
Here are some thought starters for article topics:

"I like to bbq because..."
"My favorite bbq recipe is...."
"How to bbq...."
"My favorite bbq restaurant is..."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Barbecue Championship Series TV Show

If you haven't been following the Barbecue Championship Series on Versus, you're missing out on some good television programming highlighting competitive barbecue/grilling. You can even sign-up to receive a reminder e-mail so you don't miss any future episodes.

These bbq episodes feature some of the best barbecue contestants in the country such as Johnny Trigg, Mike Wozniak, Bart Clarke, and Myron Mixon.

If you like the Iron Chef-style shows on Food Network, you're enjoy the bbq episodes on Versus.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Apple Wood Barbecue

I've been using hickory wood chunks with Royal Oak lump charcoal to barbecue pork. Recently I tried some apple wood instead and noticed a big difference in the depth of the smoke ring in my pork butts. The apple wood seems to provide a deeper and more pronounced smoke ring. I used the same rub, the same charcoal, etc.

Besides the smoke ring, I observed that apple wood has a much milder flavor profile versus the hickory and I was dissapointed with the lack of smoke flavor in my pulled pork. Next time I'm going to try a 50/50 mix of hickory and apple chunks.

BBQ Secrets!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

How to Catch Catfish Like Bubba

It's been unseasonably warm this year for Thanksgiving weekend and this morning my thoughts have turned to fishing--for catfish.

One of my web site friends has a tutorial on his blog about jug fishing for white catfish. When I was a kid we used milk jugs and caught a snapping turtle or two, but we caught our share of fish too.

If you like big 'ole catfish check out Catfish Grabblin' web site for pictures of 40 lbs (and bigger) catfish. And here's some pictures about grabbin' catfish. My brother-in-law purchased the video and we watched it last year during Christmas's wholesome family entertainment...something different for the entire family.

Blue Smoke BBQ

BBQ is universal.

If you don't believe me be sure to visit Blue Smoke BBQ from the Netherlands. Counting his cooking influences from several countries, the webmaster has some pictures of some mighty fine looking dishes that he prepared on his Weber kettle grill. The web page design and layout is pretty slick too.

From one Stevie Ray Vaughn fan to another, "I give Blues Smoke two thumbs up".

Blue Smoke BBQ philosophy:

"At Blue Smoke BBQ the emphasis is on indirect grilling and hot smoking in a charcoal or wood fired barbecue smoker. Discover the simple barbecue method and easy barbecue recipes which make grilling whole chicken - or rather: smoking whole chicken - very easy."

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Fork to be Reckoned With

I received an entry today for the bbq essay contest. It's not too late to send in your entry. First prize receives two bottles of The BBQ Guy's genuine prize winning "Original Spice Rub" and "Southern BBQ Rub".

A Fork to be Reckoned With
by Adam Byrd

Next time you are eating at your favorite barbeque joint, take a moment while licking your fingers to observe your fellow barbeque patrons. How are they eating their food? Are they using forks and knives, or are they using their natural abilities? Ever seen a person eat ribs with a fork?

Believe it or not, using a fork to eat a meal was once considered extremely taboo. The 13th and 14th century Turks had been using forks for generations, but were not adopted into Western culture until the 14th century by the Italian elite. Before then, the fork was considered a symbol of Satan, being that the devil himself uses a pitchfork to torture all the sinners’ souls. Even so, people would also say, “Why would I use a fork, when God hath given me hands?” Forks did not appear on dinner tables until the 14th century when the Italian rich began collecting cutlery in silver and gold.

Civilization has come a long way since then, and while we have become more civilized and cultured, there are still some foods that are better eaten with the hands. You could dress up barbeque on white plates, sprinkle sesame seeds on it, and call it haute cuisine. But it is still barbeque, and a rib by any other name would taste just as sweet. Consider the different barbeque foods and how many of them are best eaten with the hands. Pulled pork sandwiches, chicken wings, drumsticks, ribs, and brisket are all hand food. Barbeque brisket slices may not be the best hand food out there, certainly no match for the mighty rib, but if the brisket is done right, the slices are so thin and tender, they can be folded in half and popped right in the mouth. Clean as a whistle.

There is something primal about barbeque, something caveman-like. Eating meat is a carnivorous activity, one in which a person’s incisors and bicuspids are used to tear meat away from the bone. I have heard rib eaters rave about how sweet and tender the meat is, or how finger-licking good the sauce is, but the real treat is the act of gnawing on that bone.

While eating barbeque with a fork may not be considered satanic in modern times, depending on your location, it might be considered taboo. So don’t worry about offending your fellow diner by tearing, slurping, and smacking your lips. Embrace your inner lion and use your paws to eat that meat. If anyone questions your motives, just tell them the devil ain’t got nothin’ on you.

Friday, November 17, 2006

BBQ Pork Butts

Tomorrow I'm going to cook up some pork butts, put them in vacuum sealed bags, and freeze for the Thanksgiving holiday gatherings. Pork butts are inexpensive and add something different to family gatherings.

I'm going to try some apple wood instead of usual hickory wood for smoke flavor.

I like inject the butts with about 6 oz of apple juice mixed with about 3 oz of honey, season them with bbq rub, and let them marinate overnight in the refrigerator before cooking. I cook them at 225 to an internal temperature of 194 degrees.

I wrap them in towels and let them rest for a couple hours inside an ice cooler prior to pulling them. The rest period is very important when cooking pork butts. If you've ever tried pulling them when they are fresh from the smoker, I think you'll find the results less desireable than if you let them rest awhile first.

At bbq contests we hold our pork butts for 4 1/2 - 5 hours and they're still so hot (165 degrees or so) when we pull them it almost burns out hands.

BBQ Secrets revealed

BBQ Blues

The weather has turned colder and things in the bbq world have begun to slow down for the season. If you get the "bbq blues" check out the typoGenerator.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Win the Ultimate Family Reunion from Kingsford

Kingsford Charcoal is sponsoring a Summer Cookout Celebration contest. The best 5 winners receive $10,000 to put toward family reunion expenses for next summer.

Write a 250 word essay and submit it by the deadline--11/30/06--for contest consideration. For complete contest rules visit the Kingsford rules page.

The next 500 winners will receive a Kingsford cookout carryall, a $45 value.

The essays will be judged by sincerity (40$), whether the essay is compelling (40%), and overall relevance to theme (20%).

BBQ Secrets

Rock Cornish Game Hen

I read a post on The BBQ Forum about Beer Can Chicken last night and someone responded about using the beer can method for Rock Cornish Game Hen. The light bulb immediately clicked "on".

I've cooked Cornish Hen in my Dutch Oven and I've butterflyed them on the WSM, but I've not tried the beer can method yet. It sounded like a perfect weekend project.

I stopped by the butcher shop and picked up two frozen hens (2.25 lbs each). While they thawed, I spent some time searching for a good beer can recipe on the Internet. I came across a post about Rock Cornish Game Hen on The Zeinreich Web that details a nice method for brining them and then cooking them on the grill. I attempted to search the USDA website cited on Zeinreich for more historical information about how the meat was developed and could not find the specific information, but has an article explaining that Donald Tyson created the Rock Cornish Game Hen after cross-breeding White Rock and Cornish chickens.

It's interesting that Rock Cornish Game Hens are an actual cross breed. I always assumed that Cornish Hens were just young chickens. It turns out that is partly right, but apparently the "Cornish" really does represent something other than a shrewd marketing method.

Beer Can Chicken Recipe from the Surreal Gourmet on Food Network

1 (4-pound) whole chicken
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons of your favorite dry spice rub
1 can beer

Remove neck and giblets from chicken and discard. Rinse chicken inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels. Rub chicken lightly with oil then rub inside and out with salt, pepper and dry rub. Set aside.

Open beer can and empty so can is half full. Place beer can on a solid surface. Grabbing a chicken leg in each hand, plunk the bird cavity over the beer can. Transfer the bird-on-a-can to your grill and place in the center of the grate, balancing the bird on its 2 legs and the can like a tripod. Cook the chicken over medium-high, indirect heat (i.e. no coals or burners on directly under the bird), for approximately 1 1/4 hours or until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F in the breast area and 180 degrees F in the thigh, or until the thigh juice runs clear when stabbed with a sharp knife. Remove from grill and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

I used olive oil in place of the vegetable oil and it's worth noting that since the Cornish Hens are closer to 2 pounds than the 4 pounds referenced in the recipe, it will require less rub and other seasonings than specified above.
I decided not to use the recipe from Food Network and ended up brushing the birds with olive oil and seasoning with poultry seasoning we had on hand from Zehnder's and from Lawry's (both are very good). I perched the birds on cans of Budweiser Select (1/2 full) and placed them in a 9 x 11 cake pan.

I cheated and cooked these in the oven, rather than the smoker. The birds cooked for 50 minutes at 350 degrees and were removed them when the temperature in the breast was 175 degrees.

We served them up with some buttered corn and cubed slices of pineapple.


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Dutch Oven Cooking


If you or your children have been involved in scouting, then you've probably seen a Dutch oven. But, for those who've never seen one it's best described as a "cast iron" pot.

Lewis and Clark used them to prepare food during their expedition to explore the Louisiana Purchase. Cowboys used them on cattle drives and they are popular with campers to prepare a tasty meal around an open campfire after a day of hiking, canoeing, or swimming.

Choosing an Oven

There are many brands of Dutch ovens manufactured by Camp Chef, Lodge, and MACA and many others. You can purchase Dutch ovens at most large sporting goods stores and I've seen them at garage sales and flea markets.

Many aspiring Dutch oven cooks have been introduced to cast iron cooking by a close relative. If you ask around amongst your family members you might find out that your father, uncle or grandfather has one stashed away someplace just waiting to be re-discovered.

Lodge is probably the most well-recognized brand name in cast iron cooking equipment. A Lodge pot costs more than most, but with Lodge you are not only purchasing a cooking utensil; you're getting a family heirloom. As an example, it's not uncommon for Lodge cast iron pots and skillets to be handed down from generation to generation, spanning many, many decades. During a recent visit to my mother's house, she showed me a Lodge skillet that is more than 100 years old that she received from my grandmother.

I recommend purchasing a Dutch oven with legs on the bottom. The legs will elevate the oven just enough that you can cook by placing charcoal briquettes directly underneath the oven without the pot becoming unstable or "wobbly". Cast iron ovens come in varying sizes ranging from 8" (2 quart capacity) to 16" (12 quart capacity) and in depths ranging from 3" to 5" depending on whether you choose a "deep" oven; typically deeper than 4"; or a standard size oven in the 3" - 4" range.

The depth will determine the type and quantity of food you can cook in the oven. A deeper oven provides room for larger cuts of meat or poultry such as rib roasts, whole chickens, and hams. As a reference point, I have cooked two cornish hens in my 10" Lodge. The birds did touch the lid slightly, but not enough to keep it from closing tightly. My 12" will accomodate a whole chicken and up to four cornish hens.

The MacScouter and Byron's Dutch Oven Cooking were used in researching this article.

Congratulations to Firehouse BBQ!

Firehouse BBQ, our friends from Florida during our days cooking with the Florida Barbecue Association, claimed victory in yesterday's KCBS event in Key Largo, FL.

Top Five Finishers include:

Grand Champion - Firehouse BBQ
Reserve - Fast Eddy
Third - Home BBQ.Com
Fourth - Wild Bunch Butt Burners
Fifth - Bill and the Dixie Chicks

We've cooked against all those teams at various events in Florida and Tennessee and they're all great teams.

Congratulations to Craig, Tom and Ribdog for the victory and to Kevin, Clara, Bill, and Nina for the good showing!

BBQ secrets

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Vote for Your Favorite BBQ Book!

In the spirit of democracy I've decided to hold an election of sorts here on the BBQ Blog -- for your favorite bbq book.

Meet the candidates:

Dr. BBQ's Big-Time Barbecue Cookbook, by Ray Lampe

Slow Smoked Sucess, by Lee Bentch

John Willingham's World Championship Bar-B-Q, by John Willingham

I've read all three and have them in my personal collection of bbq reference materials.

And, as with any election....write-in candidates are welcome. Cast your vote by clicking on the comments button below.

Vote early, vote often. May the best candidate win!


The Cook's Kitchen

Matt Fischer over at The Hampton Smoker, is launching a new web community called The Cook's Kitchen and has invited me to contribute. I'm happy to do it. The Cook's Kitchen is part of the Well Fed Network . The site will focus on cooking, tools and utensils used for cooking and experiences. Read the first post from Matt.

I'll start out focusing on Dutch Oven cooking and once barbecue contest season approaches write about barbecue as well.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to share my cooking experiences and enthusiasm with others.

Thanks Matt and everyone who reads about my cooking adventures (and mis-adventures) here at BBQ Blog .


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Friday, November 03, 2006

Late-in-the-Season Barbecue Cookoffs

In many parts of the country it's getting pretty chilly to compete in barbecue contests, but not in Central Texas.

I've been checking out the home page for the Central Texas Barbecue Association this evening and the 2006 Calendar of Events contains contact information about 8 contests scheduled for November including events sanctioned by IBCA and LSBS in Texas with the last one for the season wrapping up on December 3rd in Angleton, TX.

The Florida Barbecue Association is sanctioning a contest on December 8th in Starke, FL.

The Lone Star Barbeuce Society is another barbecue sanctioning organization that still has a few events remaining on their 2006 calendar with events in Crowell and Rowlett, TX scheduled for November 10th and 17th, respectively.

I'm definitely jealous.

Since the snow has started flying in my neck of the woods this week, I guess I'll have to get my bbq contest fix via the Internet until next spring.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Recipe Contests

If you hurry there's still time to enter the Treasured Recipes Contest for a chance to win $10,000. The entry deadline is November 8.

I spend a lot of time planning, practicing and participating in bbq contests for a chance to win $1,200 - $1,500 and hopefully a couple of trophies if I win. I don't do it solely for the chance of winning, but winning certainly helps offset the cost of cookers, charcoal, meat, gasoline, hotels, auto insurance, the trailer to haul our equipment in, and on and on and on.

It appears that my efforts to qualify for the American Royal and Jack Daniels invitational bbq contests these past four or five years have been misguided. I just read about a lady that won $1,000,000 (that's not a typo) in a recipe contest. Let me say it again in case you missed it....SHE WON ONE MILLION a Pillsbury recipe contest.

Anna Ginsberg's recipe for Baked Chicken and Spinach Stuffing earned her the top prize for 2006. Congratulations Anna!

In the Build a Better Burger contest sponsored by Sutter's Home, Camilla Salsbury, earned $50,000 for their version of 'heaven on a bun'.

As a barbecue contest competitor, I'm thrilled to hear my name called at a contest, whether it's for honorable mention, for a ribbon, for a trophy, or if we're fortunate....a small check. And, if I'm fortunate to hear my name in more than one category, I really begin to think I've accomplished something. I think I might faint if I won $1,000,000.

Linda might not like this, because between barbecue, MBA courses, work, my various internet websites, blogs, and attempts to write the great american novel; I don't really have much free time. But, these "contests" are just too good to pass up. I'm going to have to add them to my list of competitive endeavors next year. You never now, maybe I'll be one of the lucky finalists!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Next Food Network Star Competition

Last year, Guy Fieri, a restauranteur, entrepreneur, and sometime bbq contest competitor from California earned top honors in Food Network's 2nd annual search for their next superstar. Guy was awarded his own television show on Food Network. Not only has he achieved celebrity status with Food Network viewers, but as a result of the publicity he received, his restaurants have never been busier. His Johnny Garlic's and Tex Wasabi restaurant concepts are a huge success.

Well, now it's your turn!

Food Network recently published details of their 3rd season of competition on their web site. Applications are now available and they're downloadable.

Applicants are judged in three areas: cooking knowledge, personality, and teaching skills. Applications must be received by 11/6/06 and time is running out. Don't delay! Send your applications and VHS/DVD video to Food Network this week and, if chosen, you just might receive a chance to compete against 8 other finalists to win your very own six-episode series on Food Network.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Need a BBQ Tow Vehicle? Buy a Ford F-150

If you need a truck, consider the Ford F-150. I'm the proud owner of a 1998 F-150 5.4 L SWB XLT 4 x 2. My father-in-law is fond of telling his friends that I wouldn't drive another brand, even if someone gave it to me. He's right. I wouldn't.

There are a lot of reasons why I'm loyal to the F-150, but don't take my word for it. If you perform your own side-by-side comparision of full-size trucks in the market, I'm sure you'll reach the same conclusion.
Here's a nice link that compares some of the major reasons you're probably considering buying a truck in the first place--for it's towing and/or payload capacity. You wouldn't take a .22 caliber rifle on a bear hunting expedition and you wouldn't take a knife to a gun fight. So, I urge you...don't buy one of the "pretenders", get the real deal.
Superior towing, payload, performance, boxed frame, quiet steel. Just a few of the reasons my next truck will be an F-150.

I took the picture of the F-150, customized by Saleen (above), at the 2006 Detroit International Auto Show.

BBQ Article Contest

I thought it would be fun to hold a bbq article contest and publish the entries here on the blog for everyone to enjoy.

It's a great way to share your passion for bbq with others. BBQ judges, bbq contestants, restauranteurs, bloggers, backyard enthusiasts, and anyone else that enjoys cooking, eating or talking about bbq are encouraged to reply.

Unlike a "sweepstakes" contest, this contest costs you nothing to enter. No entry fee, nothing to buy, nothing to sell; just share your bbq experiences with others.


  • Submit an original article of 500 words or less.
  • Entries may be accompanied by a photograph.
  • All entries will be published on the bbq blog.
  • Entries must be submitted NLT Nov. 30, 2006.
  • Winners will be announced by Dec. 15, 2006.

Here are some thought starters for article topics:

"I like to bbq because..."

"My favorite bbq recipe is...."

"How to bbq...."

"My favorite bbq restaurant is..."


The winning entry will receive a bottle of The BBQ Guy's prize winning "Southern BBQ Rub" and a bottle of the The BBQ Guy's "Original Spice Rub".


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Cooking Up a Story

After 25 years in television news Rebecca Gerendasy has turned her keyboard and photojournalist eye for heartwarming and informative news stories into Cooking Up a Story, a website about ordinary people whose lives intersect with food.

One of my favorite pieces Rebecca has done recently is a short film about Dutch Oven Gatherings (D.O.G. for short). I received a 10 inch Lodge dutch oven as a gift a couple years ago and have enjoyed learning to cook with it.

Last year my brother-in-law and did our own version of the D.O.G. at my in-laws house in Tennessee and this year we're hoping to add some more cooks to the mix. Half-for-fun and half-laid-back-compeititon, we contrived some pretty tastey supper dishes.

This year (to borrow from Emeril Legassee), I'm going to have to "kick it up a notch". Last year my brother-in-law wowed the judges with an upside down pineapple cake and squirrel stew, but I've got some surprises in store this time around.

Who are the benefactors in these D.O.G events you ask? The dinner guests, or course.

2006 Jack Daniels Barbecue Results

After spending 4-hours playing in a charity Texas Hold'em poker tournament last night to benefit Make A Wish Foundation, I came home and eagerly check the BBQ Forum to find out who won the Jack Daniels cook-off this weekend. earned top honors. After being on a hot streak for the latter part of the competition season, the team from Chicago ended the season winning the world's ultimate invitation-only bbq contest affectionately known as simply -- "The Jack".

Overall Results:

10. Bavarian BBQ Boys
9. Lotta Bull
8. Daisy May's BBQ
7. Bar-B-Quau
6. J-Mack Cookers
5. Blazin' BBQ
4. Dirty Dick and the Legless Wonders
2. Oink County Cookers


Saturday, October 28, 2006

Better Barbecue Series: Day 16, Presentation

In the interest of sharing my experience with others who may be thinking about entering bbq contests, I thought I'd post a picture of what to avoid when preparing a rib turn-in box. This box is an excellent example of how poor presentation can affect the scores judges give you on your turn-in samples.

These ribs tasted very good and were probably some of the best ribs we've ever turned in at a contest. Unfortunately though, the ribs themselves were bigger loin backs than we usually like, but when buying cryovac ribs sometimes you just don't what you're getting until you cut them open.

To make matters worse, I got in a hurry when preparing the box for the judges and the ribs are uneven in the box. The lettuce was very crisp and "green", but the best looking lettuce in the world cannot makeup for poor rib selection.

In this case I think we'd have done better to turn-in only six samples and to attempt to make them as close the same size as possible. Normally I like to turn-in more than the required number (six in KCBS events) and usually turn-in eight ribs, but I think this box is an example of a "less is more" scenario.

Previous article in the series

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Rocky Top Tennessee

Here's a preview of what to expect for those traveling to Lynchburg, TN next weekend for the Jack Daniels BBQ Championship Cookoff. These pictures were taken near Beech Grove and Murfreesboro in Tennessee.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

BBQ and the Process of Self-Discovery

"I'm a lover, I'm a looker, I'm a BBQ cooker." This popular phrase is something I first heard said by Butch Lupinetti of "Butch's Lip Smackin' Ribs". It kind of reminds me of the Steve Miller song Joker with the well-known chorus: "I'm a picker. I'm a grinner. I'm a lover. And I'm a sinner. I play my music in the sun."

I've not been featured on a Food Network program (not yet at least), but I've been a student, stockbroker, insurance agent, business analyst, vending machine operator, car salesman, manager, blogger, short order cook and a janitor. And most recently....a certified bbq nut.

Barbecuers come from all backgrounds, vocations, and bring a litany of experience to the hobby. Whether you've worked as a French chef, a preacher, a teacher, or a factory worker; bbq doesn't care. The fire, smoke, seasoning and sauce are equalizers.

The best way to learn to cook bbq is by a trial and error and hit or miss approach that will help you learn what works and what doesn't. Recipes and cookbooks can help jump start the process, but ultimately it's up to your own imagination and ingenuity to discover what works for you and what doesn't work and what you like and don't like.

Read books, read websites, and buy the best bbq smoker that your budget allows, but don't take anyone else's word for what's good bbq and what's not so good. Learn it by doing it. Immerse yourself in it, add a little of this and a little of that, try hickory wood, try apple wood, try Kosher salt and Seasalt, black pepper, white pepper, garlic salt, onion powder, pellets, charcoal and gas if you must, but most of all....enjoy the process of discovering your own definition of bbq nirvana.


Friday, October 20, 2006

The Perfect BBQ Entree for Any Occasion

I worked in retail automotive sales for several years and we had a sales manager at one point that was fond of saying, "There's a butt for every seat boys." He used that phrase to impress upon the sales consultants that successful automotive sales people are able to identify customers' "buying signals" and "hot buttons" in a very non-confrontational, efficient, and friendly way to make sure sales people showed them the correct vehicle for their tastes, preferences and plans for use.

Now 10 1/2 years laterI find myself using a smilar analogy to expain why different types of bbq meat lend themselves to certain situations and why some folks prefer chicken to beef and pork butts to pork ribs. "There's a bbq meat for every taste, budget and occasion."


BBQ chicken thighs are a very affordable, easy to prepare bbq entree, that won't break your budget. They can be prepared quickly for those spur-of-the-moment backyard dinners when guests stop by unannounced and you're scrambling to find something to feed them. Just trim, season, bbq on a grill or slip them on the bullet smoker for an hour at 350 degrees until the skin turns golden brown and the internal temperature reaches at least 170 degrees and you'll have a light, but tasty bbq treat.

Pork Butt:

If you need to serve a lot of food to a lot of people, bbq pulled pork butts are definitely the way to go. A two-pack of seven pound pork butts cost about $23-24 at the local Sam's Club and will easily feed 30-40 people depending on the serving size and side items available. I like to cook them the weekend before (set aside 7-8 hours for this), pull or chop the meat, vacuum pack/seal, and pop it in the freezer. You can then transport the frozen pulled pork in an ice cooler for the family reunion, wedding reception, graduation party, or similar occasion. Reheat the vacuum pack in the oven or in a pot of hot water on the stove top. Serve the pork on a hamburger bun with baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad, apple sauce, corn on the cob, or just about anything else that sounds good; for a stick-to-your-ribs meal that will please even the heartiest of appetites.

Pork Ribs:

BBQ pork ribs, whether baby backs or spares, are a couple rungs up the bbq ladder from chicken and pulled pork. Slightly more elegant than pulled pork or sliced brisket, ribs lend themselves to casual dining or something a little more formal like a sit-down dinner party. Ribs are easily prepared a few hours ahead of time, or up to a couple days ahead of the event and can be reheated in about 30 minutes in the oven or on a grill and glaze with bbq sauce when serving. If holding for more than a few hours, I recommend vacuum sealing and refrigerating or freezing. At the very least you can store them in a large Rubbermaid or Tupperware container in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours. Otherwise, I'd set aside about 6 hours for cooking prior to your guests' arrival and plan to serve them hot off the smoker. It's up to you.


If you know your guests would prefer to be eating a rib-eye, t-bone, or sirloin to the typical hamburger, hotdog, or deli meat sandwich; brisket might be solution. Cheap compared to steaks and enough for 20-30 guests, a $30 brisket will please even the most discriminating dinner guests. Cook it ahead of time (takes about 8-9 hours on the smoker), slice it, brush with a light coating of bbq sauce and store in a vacuum sealed pouch for up to a week, or in a Tupperware or Rubbermaid container overnight. Simply reheat when your guests arrive.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

IBCA Blues and Que BBQ Contest in Alabama

The IBCA is sanctioning a bbq contest in Greenville, AL on October 28. Having only cooked in KCBS and FBA bbq contests in my competition career to this point, I found it interesting that in this IBCA event, cooks are allowed to cook their bbq meats with sauce, but after the cooking is done, cooks are not allowed to sauce the meat prior to turn-in. Now that's an interesting idea. It definitely adds an element of difficulty to the mix for teams that have only cooked in KCBS and FBA.

Anybody cooked an IBCA contest and want to share the experience? I'd like to publish an article here on the blog that compares and contrasts the considerations cook teams must take knowing that you can't sauce just prior to turn-in.

Any would be guest posters reading this that would like to share their views?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Potential BBQ Restaurant?

(I received an e-mail yesterday regarding a potential bbq restaurant opportunity in a nearby town. I will share this information as a courtesy to the sender, but I must emphasize that I cannot attest to the accuracy of the information. I have not verified any of the information.)

Potential Restaurant/Lounge/Show Place located on M-15, on the border line of Tuscola and Genesse County in Michigan. Everything New in 2005

Description of Building
  • Completely renovated
  • Meets all requirements by local health and building codes as well as the DEQ
  • Nothing left to do but move in
  • 5600 sq. ft. building with a 299 capacity
  • With a fire suppression system could increase the capacity to 500
  • Building sets on 1.7 acres with additional 2 acres of parking
  • Big lighted Sign and a lighted Marquee sign outside
  • 200 ft of road frontage
  • 1,000 sq. ft. black & white tiled dance floor
  • Seating with oak/cermaic tile counters around the dance floor
  • Professional sound and lighting
  • Solid oak, mirrored DJ booth
  • Karaoke system with song discs and song books
  • Large area for bands with separate electric for stage
  • Extra 200 amp exterior service for outdoor functions
Administrative Details
  • Separate Office, Coat Check and Lobby
  • Enclosed area for VIP room or outside patio
  • Class C liquor license with Sunday sales
  • Dance and entertainment permits
  • State Lottery License for Club Keno and Pull Tabs
Bar Area
  • The Bar is solid oak with a black oversized counter top
  • Service area for staff
  • 650 lb ice machine with 2 serving ice bins
  • Complete with all equipment to operate a full service bar
  • The dining area is enhanced with a 8x8 ft. digital projection TV w/surround sound
  • Seating consists of booths with seating for 6 to 8 each and 4 top tables
  • Plenty of room for more or larger tables

  • The kitchen is approved for catering with lots of counter space and sinks
  • Attached enclosed area could be expanded to provide a full service kitchen
  • The restrooms are brand new and very clean
  • Accommodations for handicapped patrons
Purchase Details
  • The building and business is for sale but would consider a lease/lease with option
  • Also consider investors, partnerships, minimal investment
  • Additional 4 acres and a 8,000 sq ft building available.

People from around the world come to visit this town. Many celebrities have visited as well. Thetown also hosts many annual festivals including a Music, Bavarian, Beer, Snow and the Car Show, which brings in 100's of jaw dropping classic cars. They take the scenic route( the back way in to avoid the expressway) and head north on M-15 and pass our bar on the way to the weekend show. Frankenmuth advertises with Bill Boards that are seen as far south as Florida all the way up I-75 north into Michigan. Frankenmuth is exit 136 off of I-75. Take Birch Run Rd East to the light at M-83.

This is a prime advertising corner and I have the contacts to place signs there. Make a left to go to Frankenmuth or see a bill board at this point directing them to go straight through the light and head down Birch Run Rd, go past the Big Red Boot that advertises a country western apparel store, The Diamond "C" Saddlery and continue on down to M-15 and make a right, pass the Rodeo farm to hit the Best BBQ and Showplace in Mid-Michigan.