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.


Saturday, October 14, 2006

Barbecue Championship Series on TV

The Barbecue Championship Series sponsored by Kingsford begins October 22 on Versus (used to be OLN Network) featuring some of the biggest names in competition barbecue including Ray Lampe, Ed Maurin, Mike Davis and many others. Contestants compete for a chance to win $75,000.

Schedule of Episodes on Versus

10:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Round One: Ray Lampe vs Ed Maurin & Lee Ann Whippen
In the opening rounds, three cooks face off over three distinctly different dishes. As the day wears on, the clocks wind down, and the judges are getting hungry. All that's at stake is a berth in the semifinal round and a shot at $75,000.

1:30 am - 2:30 am
Round One: Ray Lampe vs Ed Maurin & Lee Ann Whippen
In the opening rounds, three cooks face off over three distinctly different dishes. As the day wears on, the clocks wind down, and the judges are getting hungry. All that's at stake is a berth in the semifinal round and a shot at $75,000.

12:30 am - 1:30 am
Round One: Ray Lampe vs Ed Maurin & Lee Ann Whippen
In the opening rounds, three cooks face off over three distinctly different dishes. As the day wears on, the clocks wind down, and the judges are getting hungry. All that's at stake is a berth in the semifinal round and a shot at $75,000.

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Round One: Ray Lampe vs Ed Maurin & Lee Ann Whippen
In the opening rounds, three cooks face off over three distinctly different dishes. As the day wears on, the clocks wind down, and the judges are getting hungry. All that's at stake is a berth in the semifinal round and a shot at $75,000.

11:30 pm - 12:00 am
Round One: Ray Lampe vs Ed Maurin & Lee Ann Whippen
In the opening rounds, three cooks face off over three distinctly different dishes. As the day wears on, the clocks wind down, and the judges are getting hungry. All that's at stake is a berth in the semifinal round and a shot at $75,000.

12:00 am - 12:30 am
Round One: Ray Lampe vs Ed Maurin & Lee Ann Whippen
In the opening rounds, three cooks face off over three distinctly different dishes. As the day wears on, the clocks wind down, and the judges are getting hungry. All that's at stake is a berth in the semifinal round and a shot at $75,000.

9:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Round One: Ray Lampe vs Ed Maurin & Lee Ann Whippen
In the opening rounds, three cooks face off over three distinctly different dishes. As the day wears on, the clocks wind down, and the judges are getting hungry. All that's at stake is a berth in the semifinal round and a shot at $75,000.

10:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Round One: Mike Davis vs Joe Davidson & Hillard Pouncy
In the opening rounds, three cooks face off over three distinctly different dishes. As the day wears on, the clocks wind down, and the judges are getting hungry. All that's at stake is a berth in the semifinal round and a shot at $75,000.

2:00 am - 3:00 am
Round One: Mike Davis vs Joe Davidson & Hillard Pouncy
In the opening rounds, three cooks face off over three distinctly different dishes. As the day wears on, the clocks wind down, and the judges are getting hungry. All that's at stake is a berth in the semifinal round and a shot at $75,000.

12:30 am - 1:30 am
Round One: Mike Davis vs Joe Davidson & Hillard Pouncy
In the opening rounds, three cooks face off over three distinctly different dishes. As the day wears on, the clocks wind down, and the judges are getting hungry. All that's at stake is a berth in the semifinal round and a shot at $75,000.

Barbecue Wood Supplier

Unless you live in a rural community or have family that does, it can sometimes be difficult to find a source for bbq smoking woods.

The next time you're looking for a new source of some of the harder to find woods for bbq, check out . They appear to have ample supplies of apple, alder, pecan, hickory, white oak, orange, peach, pear, and maple. Hold on to your pocket though and brace yourself for the price.

As I've always said, bbq is not for the faint of heart, faint of mind, or folks who are on a very tight budget. The shipping costs for wood will eat you up if you have to buy your wood for an offset like a Lang or Horizon.

For most folks that don't have access to a readily available or economically feasible supply of bbq wood it's probably best to stick to charcoal burning cookers and then add chunks of your favorite wood for smoke favor.

Another alternative is to find someone locally that sells firewood and then cut it into chunks your self as you need it. A pickup load will last a long time and save you a bundle in shipping expenses.


Friday, October 13, 2006

Taylor Digital Oven Thermometer/Timer

No bbq cook should be without a reliable digital temperature gauge when cooking thick cuts of meat like pork shoulders, beef briskets, tenderloins, hams, or pork butts and picnics.

This temperature probe manufacturered by Taylor will do the trick. It also makes a great gift idea.

Product Features
  • Remotely displays food's temperatures and time elapsed while it's cooking
  • Programmable control panel for cooking by precise temperature or time
  • Alarm sounds when cooking time or desired temperature reached
  • Stainless-steel probe goes into food, 4-foot cord leads to thermometer
  • Folds flat for compact storage; magnetic back for mounting on metal surface

Don't Mess with Texas

If you ever have a hankering for an offbeat, out of the way, but kind of fun bbq web site experience, I'd urge you to visit Texas BBQ King's web site.

The web site takes an in-your-face approach to several topics, including bbq, so I'll offer a disclaimer that I don't necessarily agree or disagree with any of the political statments that may or may not be implied on, but it's obvious that this particular Texan holds strong views about bbq.
From the "Don't Mess with Texas" and "Long Live Rednecks" bumper stickers on the banner designed from a picture of a front bumper of a pick-up truck to the spattering of the word Texas in every other sentence on the web site, it's clear where this web publisher stands on the possibility of "Authentic Vermont BBQ".

There's quite a few pictures of bbq food, bbq cookers and bbq recipes too.

One thing that stands out on the site is the passion this Texan has for sausage links of all kinds. There's several sausage pictures and reviews of Texas bbq restaurants included.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Next Year's BBQ Contest Schedule

The American Royal has come and gone; the Jack Daniels is drawing near and Kell Phelps' brainchild, The Best of the Best, is fast approaching. I'm envious of those that qualify for the invitationals at these three events because it signifies the dedication, hard work, and consistency achieved by the participants who are fortunate enough to have qualified for the right to compete.

We had our first snow flurries here in Michigan today and as depressing as that may sound to those readers visiting this blog from the Sun Belt, I've found the perfect solution to overcome the "1st Day of Winter Weather Blues".....plan for bbq contests next year.

I've got my eye on one or two "musts" and a few "probablys" with a "maybe" thrown in here and there. Planning next year's events is fun. I almost always have bigger intentions than my budget and free time allow, but I always enjoy planning out my bbq contest wish list.

Right now it's hard to know for sure which contests will and which ones won't be held again next year, but here's the list as it stands right now:

Madison, IN
Silver Lake, MI
Grand Rapids, MI

If you know of other events in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, or Ohio that I should consider, feel free to post them here.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Baron's School of Pitmasters

(I received this submission today announcing the Baron's School of Pitmasters in New York City. It sounds like a good time and a good cause.)

We'd like to invite you to The Baron's School of Pitmasters! - A first for New York City and a benefit for St. Mark Sports Association. Sponsored by R.U.B. RestaurantPaul Kirk, the legendary Baron of Barbecue, co-owner of NYC's R.U.B. Restaurant, Barbecue Guru, Ambassador of Barbecue, Order of the Magic Mop, Certified Barbecue Judge, Kansas City Barbecue Society Board of Directors, Inductee into the KCBS Barbecue Hall of Flame, Author of numerous cookbooks and 1990 Chef of the Year Greater Kansas City ACF Chapter is coming to New York City to teach the Baron's School of Pitmasters.

When: Saturday October 21, 2006 - Rain or Shine.

Where: The Water Taxi Beach, 2nd Street and Borden Ave, Hunter's Point, Long Island City, Queens, New York. WTB is easily accessible from most major highways and public transportation and it has an incredible view of the New York City skyline.

The What and The Why: This class is suited for the back yard BBQ enthusiast, the seasoned competitor, or those considering opening a BBQ joint (restaurant). The Baron will cover the basics of BBQing Brisket, Pork Butt, Pork Ribs, Chicken, and Sausage. He will also cover fire management, fuels, BBQ rubs and spices, BBQ sauce, contest presentation, among many other subjects.

How much: $250 per person - THIS CLASS IS LIMITED TO 40 ATTENDEES.
What do I need to bring: You bring your cooker, fuel, cooking utensils and whatever you'd need to cook outdoors. We supply the rest. (Meat, spices, rubs, etc.)
How do I get into school: Contact Robert Fernandez aka WhiteTrash BBQ or Matt Fisher aka The Hampton Smoker.

Don't miss this historic opportunity to learn with the one of the best. See you there!

208 W. 23rd St., 212-524-4300

The phrase “New York barbecue feast” is thought to be an oxymoron, like “Moldovan hamburger festival” or “Wyoming clambake.” Occasionally, however, miracles do occur. That’s our explanation for the dauntingly delicious “Down Home Pig Pick’n,” available for a cool $89.75 at Righteous Urban Barbecue (R.U.B.) in Chelsea. This fat man’s banquet—is there any better way to eat barbecue?—consists of an entire pork butt, rubbed with secret powders (paprika, chile, brown sugar, etc.), then smoked down to its porky essence over many hours. Proper pig pickings are designed for mass consumption, so the butt is served whole, with a blizzard of pickle chips, slices of bread, and four silver tongs for picking off the meat. Use the tongs for a while, then do what we did and begin tugging at the ribbons of hickory-smoked pork with your fingers. If the meal devolves into a free-for-all, don’t worry. In down-home proceedings like this one, going hog-wild is the point.

The St. Mark Sports Association is a Brooklyn based non-sectarian sports program for boys and girls from ages 4-16. We provide children with the opportunity to play and learn competitive basketball, swimming and soft ball. We also offer a girl's cheerleading program. We are part of The Special Olympics, The Jr. NBA, The Jr. WNBA, CYO and The Brooklyn Children's Baseball and Basketball Association. We are a non-profit organization. We do not discriminate. All children living within our neighborhood are welcome into our programs. The St. Mark Sports Association also hosts NYC's only NEBS sanctioned barbeque related event each spring Grillin' on the Bay. Thank you for your support.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

Eat Beef

Profess your loyalty to the beef cattle production industry and to eating beef with an "Eat Beef" license plate tag. "Eat Beef" tags are available for $10 each from Kansas State University's Animal Sciences Department at the following address:

134 Weber Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506

Make checks payable to "CCW". Please add $2.50 for shipping and handling regardless of the total number of plates ordered.

Charcoal Briquettes vs. Hardwood Lump Charcoal

Most folks that ever cooked with lump charcoal such as Royal Oak, Wicked Good, Big Green Egg, or even Cowboy have likely noticed that the amount of ash produced from lump charcoal versus Kingsford charcoal briquettes is miniscule.

My seat of the pants research tells me that although charcoal briquettes burn longer, food cooked with lump charcoal simply tastes better. Charcoal briquettes contain various types of "fillers" that are not naturally found in wood.

But, don't take my word for it. There's a web site that provides all the analysis and insight into the advantages and disadvantages of lump charcoal versus briquettes. Visit to see for yourself. Or, better yet, conduct you own research using the methods employed on using charcoal that's available where you are located. I've never tested it, but I suspect that Royal Oak briquettes will outperform Kingsford in most of the parameters tested on

It sounds like I've found my next bbq project for the off season--charcoal testing.

If you've done your own testing and would like to share the results, send me an e-mail and I'll post your findings or just click the comments link to this post and publish them to the blog directly.

Beef Recall in Seven States

Two and a half tons of tainted ground beef has been recalled by an Iowa company.

Beef sold under the following names seems to be involved:

Davis Mountain Organic Beef
Master Choice
Frarner Bocken
Irwin Country Store.

There are several lot codes, including G-6-544, 541 and 542.

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

American Royal Invitational BBQ Championship Results

(This was posted by the KCBS Reps over at The BBQ Forum.)

American Royal Invitational Results
83 Teams

1. Jiggy Piggy
2. Smokin Mother Ruckers
4. Lotta Bull BBQ
5. Carcass Cookers
7. Smoke & Spice
8. Lets Kick some Ash
9. Smokin Clones BBQ
10. Cool Smoke

1. Backwoods BBQ
2. Pellet Envy
3. Baby Back BBQ
4. Buttrub.COm
5. Smokedelics
6. Great Grills O Fire
7. Ique
8. Smokers Wild
9. Bayoo Style BBQ
10. Big Bob Gibson

1. Boys from Tornado Alley
2. PDT
3. Ulce Acres BBQ
4. Muchin Hogs at the Hilton
5. Smokin Clones
6. Pink Flamigo
7. It Aint Prime
8. Pig In Pig Out
9. Dizzy Pig BBQ
10. Mokcan Meatheads

1. Raccon Flats
2. Tipple A Cookers
3. Pit Crew
4. It Aint Prime
5. Lotta Bull BBQ
6. 3 Guys with Wood
7. Pattothead Smokers
8. Ulcer Acres BBQ
9. Smoke & Ice
10. Four Men and a Pig

Grand Champion Lotta Bull Bbq 655.7144
Reserve Grand Champ Smokin Clones 655.7140 (-.0004)
3. Boys from Tornado Alley
4. Ique
5. Smoke & Ice
6. Jiggy Piggy
7. Pellet Envy
8. Lost Gonz BBQ
9. Tripple A. Cookers
10. Carcass Cookers

Copy Cat Recipes!

Stacy Mitchhart

If you're in Nashville stop by Jack's and grab some barbecue on your way downtown.
If you get a craving for blues music, there's no better place to go than Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar in historic Printer's Alley. It's a night club that features some of the best blues musicians around and few are better than Stacy Mitchhart.

Originally from Cincinnati, Stacy Mitchhart established himself as one of the premiere blues guitarist/entertainers in Music City. He plays with the house band at Bourbon Street most weekends, but to be sure you can check his web site for the "official" schedule.

You can see him live. You might see him on TV from time to time. And, now you can see him on the web. Visit Stacy or learn more about Stacy by visiting his My Space site.

Friday, October 06, 2006

American Royal Invitational BBQ Contest

Linda and I had the chance to travel to the American Royal a couple years ago and visit the country's largest bbq spectacle. It's the biggest bbq contest I've ever seen. In fact, it's so big, it's almost too big.

We decided it's the kind of experience that bbq enthusiasts ought to make sure they do once or twice in their life times just to experience it and understand the mania of it all. Of course if we qualify for the Invitational at some point, I'm sure we'll make the trip.

The year we visited, our friends (Invitational and Open), Weapons of Mass BBQing (Invitational and Open), and Smoke & Spice (Open) made the trip from Florida to compete.

Smoke & Spice qualified for the Invitational this year. It's amazing to see the progress they've made in two short years of bbq competition. They are a bonafide threat to win any contest they enter this year. Way to go Mark!

This year's' Invitational finished earlier today. I hear tell that the top three are as follows:

1. Lotta Bull
2. Smokin Clones
3. Boys From Tornado Alley

I'm sure you can find the full results later next week on the KCBS web site.

Here's a couple of articles about the American Royal festivities:

Columbia Missourian

Copy Cat Recipes!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Barbecue: A Texas Love Story

I haven't yet ordered the Barbecue: A Texas Love Story yet, but I just might have to put this DVD on my gift list this year.

Featuring personalities including Kinky Friedman (candidate for Governor of Texas), Ray Benson (lead singer of Asleep at the Wheel), and Dan Rather (retired TV news anchor) and narrated by the late Ann Richards (former Governor of Texas), this bbq "film" appears to be a real gem.

According it's web site, the DVD features various stops on a bbq tour of Texas. The list includes segments/information regarding these noted Texas bbq institutions and events (among others):

The web site also features an online that sells shirts, hats and a bbq picture "montage". I can't wait to get the video. How about you?

Would anyone that has the video care to share their thoughts and impressions of the DVD? I'd love to post reviews of the DVD (good or bad) here on the blog.

Food Safety

For the last five or six years, my lunch time ritual has included reading the USA Today newspaper. As I ate my chili today in the cafeteria, I came across an article about the recent contamination issues with spinach and lettuce.

I was alarmed to read that "washing produce with regular water only removes 60% to 90% of microbes". The article goes on to recommend that lettuce and other green leaf vetegables be washed in "15 ppm to 20 ppm of free chlorine" to help reduce the risk of contamination and even then it does not eliminate the risk completely.

Luckily for us barbecue cookers and eaters, according to the article I read today in the Chicago Tribue, the Department of Agriculture has a more stringent program for inspections of meat and poultry products.

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Three Bean Chili Recipe

Here's a simple but tasty chili recipe I put together over the weekend. I took the original idea from an episode of Emeril, but didn't really follow any hard and fast recipe.
1/2 lb. Hamburger
1/2 lb. Country Sausage
1/2 lb. Italian Sausage
4 Slices of Bacon (fried and crumbled)
Garbanzo Beans, drained (2 cans)
Red Kidney Beans, drained (2 cans)
Dark Kidney Beans, drained (2 cans)
Tomato Juice (2 cans)
Whole Stewed Tomatoes (1 can)

3 medium onions (diced)
2 medium green peppers (diced)
Cumin (to taste)
Chili Powder (to taste)
Black Pepper (to taste)
Salt (to taste)
Onion Powder (to taste)
Garlic Powder (to taste)

Drain the excess grease from the meat prior to adding to the bean and spice mixture. (I did not add water to this recipe while cooking, but if you like juicy chili you could also add 12 ounces of water. The juice from the stewed tomatoes will add moisture while cooking.) Stir periodically.

Also, you could substitute the spices with a generous portion of The BBQ Guy's "Original Spice Rub" if you prefer.

Bring the chili to a slow boil for 20 minutes in a large cooking pot, and then let simmer for an additional 45 minutes on low heat.

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Monday, October 02, 2006

Barbecue Cook Teams Pictures

Here's a link to some of the teams we used to compete with in the Florida Barbecue Association.

Florida Barbecue Association 2007 Election Results


Kevin Bevington, President
Toni Holbrook, Vice-president
Ida Isaacs, Secretary
Ricky Ginsburg, Treasurer


Rob Bagby
Mike Leonardo
Walt Loftin

Congratulations to the new officers and directors. Good luck in your new positions.

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