Thursday, October 30, 2008

BBQ Smoker

I think red is the perfect color for a bbq smoker. Black is nice too, but it I am continually amazed at how much attention my red cooker receives at bbq contests.

I was eating at a local bbq restaurant and saw one of these setting out on the patio next to the Old Hickory that cooks everything for the guests. When the owner walked by our table a few minutes later I inquired about the McCullough smoker. He said it's too much trouble for everyday use.

Mine is perfect for bbq contests, but if I had a restaurant I guess I'd have to pony up $20,000 or so for an Old Hickory.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

La Caja China to Sponsor Mike Harmon at NASCAR’s O’Reilly Challenge in Texas

(Vocus) October 23, 2008 – La Caja China, whose roasting boxes have been used by countless celebrity chefs and featured on The Food Network, is proud to announce the sponsorship of Mike Harmon’s No. 84 car in the NASCAR O’Reilly Challenge at the Texas Motor Speedway on November 1.

The O’Reilly Challenge will attract drivers from all NASCAR divisions in search of a prestigious visit to Victory Lane following the 300 miles of NASCAR Nationwide Series action.

This is the first NASCAR sponsorship for La Caja China in its 20 years in business. Owner and President Robert Guerra will be on hand to see the race, as will Alfredo Agonizante, Director Motor Sport Marketing for La Caja China . They will be joined on race day with their partners, Track Side 1 and Tailgater Monthly.

“We are excited to be associated to NASCAR” Guerra said. “Not only are we huge fans, but we feel that NASCAR represents the essence of what La Caja China stands for in terms of quality and entertainment at affordable prices.”

It’s ironic that the O’Reilly Challenge is in Texas , as the Lone Star state is quickly becoming one of the most popular places to find a La Caja China grill.

For 20 years, La Caja China has been synonymous with the best tasting homemade grills and barbeques in the world. La Caja China offers three top-of-the-line roasting box grills at affordable prices, ranging from $249 to $349. They are perfect for parties and large gatherings, as box grills can perfectly cook a 100 pound pig or 6-8 turkeys. They are great for roasting chicken, cabrito and all other types of meats.

La Caja China boxes have been featured on The Food Network and have been used by celebrities like Bobby Flay, Al Roker and Tyler Florence. And now the best grill in the world has partnered with the greatest sport in the world.

“We encourage all NASCAR fans, whether at the race or at home, to cheer on Mike Harmon to victory, and then enjoy a perfect celebration dinner with a La Caja China box!” Guerra said.

For more information, please visit

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Chicken Brine Recipe

Like many people, I usually marinade my chicken thighs in Newman's Own salad dressing. This weekend I experimented with a vinegar brine that tasted pretty good.

Chicken Brine
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • Add enough water to cover chicken
  • Refrigerate for 3 hours prior to barbecuing

It's simple. It's easy. It's good.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Low Country Boil Recipe

I spent some time vacationing with my parents this weekend and took the opportunity to work in some outdoor cooking along the way. Here's a picture of a Low Country Boil we prepared for supper Sunday night. I've included the recipe below.
Low Country Boil
1 bag frozen shrimp (peeled)
1 bag frozen sea scallops
6-8 medium sized potatoes (quartered)
1 bag baby carrots (peeled)
1 bunch of broccoli
9 half-ears of corn
Add 2 gallons of water to a large pot. Pre-heat water to a rolling boil and add potatoes. Add 4 -5 tablespoons of Old Bay Seafood Seasoning stir gently (more if you like it a little hotter). Once potatoes have cooked for 30 minutes check for doneness. Add carrots.
Wait 10 minutes and add ears of corn (halves).
Add sea scallops. Add broccoli. Add shrimp. Stir gently.
Check potatoes for doneness.
Serve with your favorite cold beverage and add additional seasoning to taste.

Competition BBQ Secrets

Silicone BBQ Basting Brush

I've got a couple silicone basting brushes in my collection of bbq utensils and wholeheartedly endorse them. If your tired of bristles in your bbq, this is the solution you've been waiting for.
This Grill Friends angled silicone basting brush is sweet. The silicone bristles will not melt or fall out, and the long handled brush is angled for ease, comfort and safety over your hot barbecue, designed to keep your hands away from the heat. The bristles are dishwasher safe as well.

Friday, October 10, 2008

New Weber Smokey Mountain

According to the folks over at the Weber Stephens Company is going to introduce a new, bigger, WSM this month. The current 18 1/2 inch WSM that is 41 inches tall is great. I have one in the garage, but a new 22 inch version would even better.

I haven't seen one yet, but the new model promises many additional features that bbq cooks are going to love.

The door is supposed to be bigger to offer better access from outside the cooker and there is a new mechanism that will help the door seal tighter.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Local Bar-B-Que Restaurant

We were in St. Petersburg this afternoon and stopped by Fred Fleming's bbq place for lunch. Linda had the brisket and I had pulled pork.

I preferred the brisket to the pulled pork sandwich. The brisket was moist and tender, but there was very little bark. My sandwich was a little on the dry side and needed quite a bit of bbq sauce to perk it up a little.

The baked beans were good.

It's kind of funny how your tastes change after you learn to make traditional style barbecue on your own.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Tampa Area BBQ Restaurant

Last fall Linda and I scouted out some of the bbq restaurants in the St. Petersburg/Brandon/Valrico Florida area and wound up eating at Jaymer-Que in Valrico.

The St. Petersburg Times featured Jaymer-Que in an article earlier this year. I found it informative and refreshing. Besides filling in some of the blanks I'd wondered about, the article confirmed what our visit revealed - the folks at Jaymer-Que are good people.

The restaurant is located on Lithia-Pinecrest Road in Valrico. It's a strip mall location, but it has a nice atmosphere. You can eat inside or outside on the side patio. I had brisket and Linda had the pulled pork. Both were pretty good and the staff was very friendly and attentive.

If you're in the area and looking for something to eat. Check it out.