Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pictures from Martin's Bar-b-que Joint

Here are some pictures from our visit to Martin's BBQ Joint in Nolensville, TN.  The new restaurant and decor is a big improvement compared to the previous location. I didn't take pictures of the inside because during our lunch time visit the restaurant was absolutely packed full of people. But, take my word for it. The overall atmosphere is nearly perfect for a bbq "joint".

I love the music. How many restaurants have you been to that still play Charley Pride and Waylon Jennings?

I love the baked beans.  If you visit, promise me you'll try the baked beans.

The long lines for lunch speak volumes for how well the restaurant has been received by the local community.  I also personally know people that drive an hour to eat there. What a testimonial!

Here are a couple of pictures:

I've embedded a slide show that includes a few more pictures if you're interested.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Carnton Plantation Tour and Lunch at Martin's BBQ Joint

The Widow of the SouthTomorrow I'm headed to Carnton Plantation in Franklin, TN for a tour and to Nolensville for lunch at Martin's BBQ Joint.  It's a 45 minute drive from Manchester, so we should arrive in Nolensville around lunch time.

I am looking forward to seeing Pat Martin's new bbq place and after recently finishing Widow of the South by Robert Hicks I am eager to tour the mansion and learn more about Carrie McGavock.

Martin's was featured on Diners, Drive-in's and Dives hosted by Guy Fieri. I embedded the video below for anyone that's interested.

And, here's a link to a video about Carnton Plantation.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Two Purple Pigs

BBQ Joints come and go in Manchester, TN so when I heard about a new bbq place in Manchester called Two Purple Pigs I wanted to check it out.  After being in the house for a couple of days during the holidays enjoying our annual visit with Linda's family, we decided to try Two Purple Pigs today. 

We loaded up the car and headed into town and arrived at the restaurant about 11:25 or so.  Unfortunately, the restaurant wasn't open today so we head over to Logan's Roadhouse instead and had a nice 6 oz. sirloin steak and sweet potato fries for lunch.

I'll definitely be heading back to the Two Purple Pigs later this week before we return to Florida. It looked promising. I'll post some pictures and a write-up later this week.

BBQ Rib Recipe

I received a couple of e-mails today for the recipe that I use for bbq ribs.  The way I do it probably isn't that much different than the way most others do it.  I can't believe I haven't really ever written about my rib recipe on the bbq blog, so here goes.

BBQ Ribs Recipe
  • Try to find pork loin back ribs weighing 2 1/2 pounds or less per slab.
  • Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs, if it has not already been removed.
  • Apply your favorite bbq rub on both sides and on the edges. You can use something like Blues Hog BBQ Rub, Bad Byron's Butt Rub, Smokin' Guns, or most any other of the "brand name" bbq rubs used by competitive bbq teams and it will work pretty well.
  • I like to apply the rub the night before I plan to cook and I always refrigerate the ribs while they are marinating.  Some competition teams swear that you have to let them sit out at room temperature for up to 2 hours, but I disagree. You need to make sure the ribs are not in the danger zone (above 40 degrees and below 140 degrees for more than 4 hours). I prefer not to risk food poisoning and I would hate for my friends or family to experience it either after eating my ribs. It's just not worth the risk to me.
  • Start your fire with lump charcoal and a little apple pecan, or hickory wood chunks.
  • Bring the cooker to 225 - 250 degrees and add the ribs.
  • Cook the ribs at 225 - 250 for 2 1/2 hours, flip them, and wrap in foil with some grape juice, apple juice, or a mixture of both.
  • Cook the ribs in the foil for one hour and check for doneness. When done the meat should pull away from the bone when you pull it with your fingers.
  • Open the foil. Flip the ribs to meat side up and apply your favorite bbq sauce before serving. You can also optionally add a small amount of brown sugar and allow it to melt onto the meat for 30 minutes before adding the sauce. If you choose to add the brown sugar, you'll want to keep the ribs wrapped in foil so the meat doesn't dry out.
  • Allow the sauce to "set" for 15 minutes on the smoker before serving.
There are many other ways you can do it, but this is the basic method that many people use. Feel free to experiment with this basic recipe and tweak it for your own preferences and tastes.

I've not tried it, but a lot of people like to mix the Smokin Guns Original and Smokin Guns Hot spice rubs together. That sounds like a nice future experiment for The BBQ Guy's BBQ Blog.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

BBQ for Christmas

We travel out of state for Christmas to visit relatives every year. To make it easier on the family we visit, we like to take some bbq along. We cook it the week before, vacuum seal it, and freeze it. When it's time to eat - we thaw it the rest of the way, reheat in the microwave, and add a little Blues Hog BBQ Sauce. It always turns out well. I highly recommend this method if you need to take food along with you when you're traveling - especially if you like to eat well. After all, what's better than bbq you cooked yourself?

I seasoned the pork butts and brisket the night before. I always refrigerate the meat overnight in the refrigerator to allow the spices to penetarate the meat better. I used my own spice rub on the brisket and tried some Oakridge BBQ seasoning on the pork butts.

I don't inject anything into the brisket, but usually inject a mixture of apple juice (3 cups), honey (1/2 cup), and whatever spice rub (3 TBSPs) I'm using into the pork butts. Those amounts work well for two pork butts. You would need to adjust the quantities accordingly for less or more meat as desired.

Since the cookers were hot, I decided to cook some chicken quarters (minus the drumsticks) on the WSM.

These were seasoned with poultry rub and marinated for 3 hours in Newman's Own salad dressing.

Here's a video of the pictures from the prepping and cooking process if you'd like to see them:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lighter Fluid or Charcoal Chimney?

Weber 7416 Rapidfire Chimney StarterLighter fluid is really not necessary for starting a charcoal grill or smoker.  With a charcoal chimney and a few pieces of cardboard you can achieve the same smoke and fire without the lighter fluid (and without the odor).

Simply add lump charcoal to the top of the chimney and add some corrugated cardboard either in the top or in the chamber below.  It doesn't take much. Three or four 3 inch strips of cardboard will likely be plenty. I do this inside the grill or smoker for safety. Always remember: safety first.

Bacon Paradise

I received this video and a short e-mail today from the Travel Channel.

You can see more on the Travel Channel Wednesday at 10 eastern.

Here are two of the bacon hotspots that will be featured on the show.

Restaurant 3: This is the “house that bacon built”, with a menu focusing specifically on the sensational treat.  In Arlington, Virgina, Restaurant 3 is a palace of pork inspired by southern-style cooking.  This hog heaven features everything from Bleu Cheese Chips with bacon and Bacon Stuffed Pork Chops to a Bacon Studded Waffle and Maple Bacon Ice Cream.

All Good Cafe: In Dallas, the All Good Cafe is home to the thickest, tastiest, crispiest peppered bacon on the planet.  This infamous diner offers great food, a low-key atmosphere, and the perfect spot to catch the hottest local bands.  Before even walking through the door, patrons can smell bacon and are quickly reminded of their mother’s home-style cooking.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Man vs. Food Episode at The Pit in North Carolina

I wish we had a place like this nearby.

My favorite line in the video:  "Vegetarians, you might want to change the channel right now."

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Any Chowder Fans Out There?

We visited a local seafood festival today and Linda had some Tony's Clam Chowder from a World Champion.  It's too close to soup for me, but Linda raved about it.

While Linda ordered some chowder, I snapped a couple pictures of the 8 x 16 fully licensed concession trailer.

The graphic design on the trailer really make it stand out in a crowd of other vendors.

Want to try some and see if you think it lives up to World Champion status?  You can order 1/2 gallon or 5 gallons and have it shipped to your door on the Order Page of 

Can't get enough clam chowder? Then here's a video from the 2010 World Champion Cook-off:

And after watching this video, I think Eric might have a future career as a motivational speaker.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

BBQ Bacon

Are you one those people that thinks the only way to cook bacon is in frying pan?  Well, I was too.  A couple of weeks ago someone representing Burgers' Smokehouse from California, Missouri asked if I would like to try their new Bacon Steak Cuts.

I received two packets on my doorstep. One packet was labeled Original and the other one labeled Peppered. I decided to try the Original first and captured it all on video.

The directions recommended cooking with indirect heat at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. So that's what I did.

E.M. Burger's folks started putting up hams. E.M.'s mother, Hulda, was from Germany, and she knew curing. E.M. would rattle off in his car to Jefferson City or up to Columbia and sell the hams to city folks, lawyers, doctors and other professional people, people with cash money. 
The story of the company is an inspiring little guy becomes big guy tale.  When I was a little kid, we lived in nearby Jamestown, Missouri and everybody knew about Burgers.

So if you're camping in the woods, without electricity, or your propane stove top is on the fritz, you can still enjoy wonderful bacon goodness on your charcoal grill.

FTC Disclosure:  I received two sample packets of Burgers' Smokehouse Bacon Steak Cuts to try on the grill.  The video above was taken when I grilled the "Original" flavor.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

BBQ Vendor at Community Festival

Today we visited a local community fall festival.  We were still there at lunch time, and as luck would have it, there was a bbq vendor on premises.

First of all, we just love the name.  At a distance I thought it said Panson Bar-B-Q, but as we got closer I realized it was Pa and Son.  Pretty cool. 

I snapped this picture of their vending booth set-up.  They slow-smoke their bbq with oak wood and pull it with a nice van with a mobile kitchen.  Linda and I had pulled pork sandwiches, chips, and Coca-Cola's. 

To help get you in the spirit of the season, I took a picture of this nice batch of pumpkins. Have you got your Halloween costume ready?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Jack Daniels World Championship BBQ Contest

If you're like me and unable to attend the 2010 Jack Daniel's bbq event, you can still participate in the event via UStream on the Internet. Watch live or watch recorded clips. Set WiredBBQ TV as a favorite and check back periodically throughout the weekend to keep up with all the most recent bbq happenings.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pinzgauer Beef

I don't know much about Pinzgauer cattle, but I like to research things that others sometimes find obscure or odd (just ask my wife).  When I stumbled across an article about these cattle today, my bbq wheels starting turning.

Besides a typical farm website based in Texas and a breeder association website based in Missouri, I found Pastry Heaven, a nice blog that offeres a first hand accounting of her experiences with Pinzgauer beef.

From an article on the website:
...2 Black Angus steer will fill a 55-gallon drum with waste of fat, etc., when butchering yet ALL 12 head of Pinzgauer beef butchered only filled (2) 55-gallon drums with waste! The meat is lean and tender.
I'm not quite sure how many pounds of waste fat will fit in a 55-gallon drum, but if I'm paying for beef butchering it's w-a-y too much.

Here is another article from that explains why the Pinzgauer beef is so tender:
The breed overall has been bred for docility. New research shows that the easier an animal is to handle, the better the beef. This, along with their unique enzyme make-up, makes Pinzgauer beef one of the most tender meat breeds in existence. Genetic studies have confirmed that the breed carries the tenderness gene. Also, the dressing percentage of Pinzgauer steers is very high.
If you've ever tried to herd cattle through a gate or into a pen where they didn't want to go, that docile trait is very important. 

I haven't found a place to buy cuts of the beef here in West Central Florida yet, but I suspect I'll hone in on a source given more time.  I'm not sure I want to buy an entire side yet, but I'd like to try some steaks, roasts, and maybe a brisket.  The Desoto County Fair in Arcadia and Florida State Fair in Tampa, have featured some Pinzgauer shows in the past.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Letter to the BBQ Guy

Dear BBQ Guy,
As your wife I have complained at times over the long hours you spent with your smoker and grill. I have grumbled when I had to scrub a grill grate or chopping board. I have begged you to finish one BBQ sauce or rub before starting another one. I have grudgingly given you one whole shelf in the pantry for your excess BBQ supplies. I’ve sat by you as you blog about your favorite subject or search the BBQ forum for old friends. I have asked for sympathy from other wives – that your obsession was driving me crazy.

Although tonight when I sat at work with my desk in disarray and your number flashed up on the cell phone I just knew that I was about to be mad. I just knew you were calling to ask what is for dinner, but I was wrong. You reminded me of the two Buffalo fillets that you seasoned with Miner’s Mix Steak Seasoning earlier in the morning. A huge since of relief fell over me when I remembered that I was married to The BBQ Guy and for this one instance he was using his grill powers to make my life a little bit easier.

I was nervous about the Miner’s Mix because I truly like your simplistic approach to steaks, however; this new seasoning was a pleasant surprise. The rub seemed to penetrate the meat and provide a delicious flavor. It’s a definite repeat in my book.

So I say bring on the raw meat, bbq rubs, sauces, brines, and marinades and I promise to keep my sarcasm to a minimum. I promise to be your loyal assistant while you pursue your obsession to grill and smoke outdoors. As long as you promise to save the day a few days a month with your trusty Weber Smokey Mountain or Platinum.

With love,


Monday, October 11, 2010

First Cut London Broil Top Sirloin

Today I barbecued my first London Broil.  The package said it was a "1st Cut London Broil Top Sirloin".  It was a 2 lb piece of lean beef.

I prepared the meat by marinating it for 8 hours to infuse flavor deep in this 1 1/2 - 2 inch thick London Broil.

Sometimes this can be difficult. A simple rub might work, but it won't penetrate the meat deeply enough to really get the flavor throughout the meat. With a rub alone, you might end up with a few bites of flavor and several bites of dry and plain tasting beef.

So, I chose a simple marinade to help improve my chances (and flavors).

London Broil Barbecue Recipe

Marinade mixture:

· 2 TBSP garlic powder
· 1 TBSP sea salt or kosher salt
· 1 TBSP black pepper
· 1/4 cup red wine
· 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
· 1 TBSP soy sauce
· 1 TBSP honey

Pierce the meat with a Jaccard meat tenderizer tool or a fork to allow the marinade to penetrate deeper inside the meat.

Marinade in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. (I recommend marinating overnight for better results.)

Prepare the grill for high heat grilling using lump charcoal.

Coat the grate with olive oil to help reduce tendency for the meat to “stick” to the grate. Grill using indirect heat (coals banked to the side, not directly underneath the meat). My grill temperature ranged between 400 - 450 degrees.

Cook the meat to an internal temperature of 160-165 degrees maximum (about 45 minutes for me).

London Broil is a very lean piece of beef and will have a tendency to dry out if overcooked.

Let the meat “rest” for 5 minutes after removing from the grill prior to slicing. Slice the steaks perpendicular to the grain and enjoy.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Oakridge BBQ Rubs and Spices

I was recently introduced to Oakridge BBQ rubs and spices.  I haven't had a chance to order any yet to give it a try, but with statements like this one on, it won't be long before I place an order:

...we use absolutely NO MSG, artificial ingredients, preservatives, fillers or anti-caking agents in our spice rubs. Our unique, quality-centered approach creates truly artisanal products with bold flavors and perfectly balanced sweet-hot, salty-savory profiles unlike any other barbecue rubs or seasoning blends on the market today
Oakridge has a variety of selections including rubs for venison, beef, pork, and chicken.

I marketed my own bbq rubs and spices for a few years, so I always enjoy reading about how bbq rubs are made.  Some of the bbq rubs on the market are "private label" copy cats.  I marketed my own rubs with my own recipes that I used in competition with good results, so I find myself gravitating to others creating their own added value (not copying someone else).  It seems like all products are being sold in smaller and smaller containers to keep profits up, but OakridgeBBQ is different.  Their rubs are packaged in "bulk" containers versus smaller plastic bottles. I started selling mine in 13 oz. bottles, but my packer stopped offering that size.  Oakridge has found a way to overcome those types of challenges.
 Way to go Oakridge BBQ.

Most barbecue rubs on the market today feature high percentages of salt, fillers or inferior grade spices in their formulations, often tending to be nothing more than just cheaply flavored salt in many cases. However, in stark contrast, all Oakridge BBQ rubs feature raw, unrefined cane sugar, ultra-high quality herbs and spices and just the right amount of all natural flake salt to perfectly balance each rub's flavor profile. 
Here's a list of retail locations.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Roadside BBQ Stand

We spent a few days at Disney this week and stopped in Haines City for a soda on the return trip home.  Linda snapped these pictures from the passenger window as we were pulling back onto the highway.

In the past few years, I've been seeing more and more of these roadside bbq stands.  This gas station had a little bit of everything available -- bbq, a hand car wash, catering, cigareettes, and...oh yeah, they did have some gasoline for sale too. 

The funny thing to me though about these roadside food stands...I hardly ever see anyone buying food from them.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

American Royal Double Header Weekend

It's fall and besides football that means it's time for the American Royal Barbecue contest.

We made a trip to the Royal a few years ago. It's another one of those "must see" bbq events for bbq enthusiasts.  The invitational contest is held on Friday/Saturday and the open contest occurs on Saturday/Sunday.

It's the antithesis of the Jack Daniels Barbecue World Championship event in my opinion.  As small as the Jack is, the Royal is definitely not. 

When we were there in 2004, our friends who were competing had to contend with a 10+ minute walk to turn-ins and large crowds of people aka "obstacles". Under estimating the time it takes to walk from cook site to judges table can ruin and has ruined many bbq contest dreams.

Congratulations to Smokers Wild and TippyCanoe for their Grand and Reserve Grand results at the 2010 event. Here's a link to the full results from the Invitational.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Smoked Mullet at The Mullet Shack

I guess if you eat too much Smoked Mullet at the Shack, you can always buy a mattress and sleep it off.

Jack Daniel’s World Championship Barbecue Contest

If you are a bbq contest enthusiast and you've never been to "The Jack", you should make plans to attend.  Why not this year?  The autumn colors are beautiful in Tennessee during late October.

PRESS RELEASE from Jack Daniel's Barbecue Media

WHAT: More than eighty championship barbecue teams from across the United States and from around the world will compete for the Grand Champion title at the 22nd Annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue on Friday, October 22 and Saturday, October 23.

“The Jack,” considered the most prestigious barbecue competition in the world, will bring together the best of the best to compete for the top prize – to be named Jack Daniels’ Grand Champion. Winners will not only be awarded ultimate bragging rights, but awarded with more than $30,000 in cash and prizes.

WHEN: October 22- 23, 2010

9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Lynchburg (pop. 361), Tenn.

Every drop of the world’s best-selling whiskey is made in Lynchburg, ironically a dry county. However, for one weekend out of the year the city’s familiar sour mash scent is replaced with the smell of pit smoke, as 30,000 visitors unite for the ultimate barbecue competition.

WHO: More than eighty U.S. and international championship teams and more than 25,000 barbecue fans.

Domestic teams who have competed and won a state championship with 25 teams or a competition of 50 teams or earlier in the barbecue season earned a chance to compete in eight categories: Pork Ribs, Pork Shoulder/Butts, Beef Brisket, Chicken, Dessert, Cook’s Choice and Jack Daniel’s Sauce. The 2009 Jack Daniel’s world grand champion and the current season’s Memphis in May, American Royal Open and Houston World’s Championship Bar-B-Que received automatic invitations.

List of Past Champions:

2008 4 Legs Up BBQ

2007 Moonswiners


2005 Boys From Tornado Alley

2004 Mad Cows BBQ

2003 Smokin' Triggers

2002 Wee Willy's BBQ

2001 Twin Oak Smokin' Crew

2000 Smokin' Triggers

1999 Smokin' Guns

1998 Fat Boys BBQ

1997 Smokin' in the Boys Room

1996 Pyropigmaniacs

1995 Kamikaze Kooker

1994 Head Country BBQ II

1993 Oklahoma Joe's Hogmaniacs

1992 Apple City BBQ

1991 Eddy's Flower of the Fame

1990 Super Swine Sizzlers

1989 Team Kansas City

Are you lookin' for a bbq sauce recipe?  How about some Stillhouse Sauce?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Unretiring the WSM? I'm thinking about it. Cooking Team has been out of the contest game for a few years now, since moving back to Florida from a 2 1/2 year stay near the Motor City.  There are a variety of reasons for that, some are not really reasons, but more like excuses, and others are very valid.  I've been getting my bbq fix by writing about bbq on the blog, taking pictures, and spending a little more time "grilling" versus "smoking". 

Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18.5-Inch SmokerTonight I've spent some time contemplating a strategy for returning to a limited schedule of bbq competitions next year.  At present I don't have the motivation, ability, or financial where-with-all to return to a serious pursuit of Team of the Year.

But suppose there were a few Weber Smokey Mountain owners in a similar situation thinking about doing a first bbq contest or returning to competing in a few Florida Barbecue Association or Kansas City Barbeque Society events in Central Florida, I would be interested in exploring the idea. 

Three Bullet Smokers and a couple of pop-up tents and we'd be set to give it a go. It could be a very low-cost-to-fun ratio bbq team. If you know someone who might be interested, let me know. It wouldn't be a BBQ Guy Cooking Team, but rather a spin off effort.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dickey's Barbecue Pit Smokin' Showdown Recipe Contest

I received this release from Dickey's Barbecue Pit today.

(DALLAS, Texas) The fastest growing barbecue chain in the country, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, kicks off a new contest in September — reaching out to their customers through social media platforms and asking for original recipe submissions using their products.

“At Dickey’s, we value community—whether it is community in a local sense, on national level, or virtual. We are stepping up our virtual presence, even more so than in recent years, and staking our claim in this type of community,” Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. Marketing Director Jeff Gruber said.

According to Gruber, “The Smokin’ Showdown Recipe Contest” will ask Dickey’s fans of Facebook, Twitter and visitors of to submit recipes using Dickey’s barbecue.

The contest will begin on September 15, 2010.

“Take a moment and think of a Thanksgiving feast. It is full of delicious food, but a lot of it. So what do you do with the leftovers? Usually you turn it into a new dish using elements from the meal. This is where the concept came from,” DBRI’s Virtual Branding Manager, Paige Blackorby said, describing her brain-child. “We are looking for casseroles, side dishes, meat loafs... really any type of left-over creation. We want to know what our customers do with the leftovers after they feast on our original recipes.”


To be a part of the contest participants must be a follower of at least one of Dickey’s social networking sites.

CEO and Co-founder of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. Roland Dickey, Sr. will prepare and taste-test the top 10 recipes, and decide on 3 winners.

The three winning recipes will be showcased online on October 1, 2010.

Once the winning recipes are selected, Dickey’s will reward the creators with free barbecue at their preferred location for 1 year.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is one of the fastest growing franchises on the market.

With 123 locations currently open and 20 more to open this year, the fast casual barbecue restaurant is bringing daily smoked meats to all parts of the United States.

The first Dickey’s Barbecue opened in 1941 in Dallas, TX.

The original location is still open for business and Dickey’s Barbecue is still owned and operated by the Dickey Family.

Dickey’s only began franchising in 1994, now they open in 30 states.

Even today, Dickey’s still slow smokes all of their signature meats overnight in every restaurant.

Final Episode of BBQ Pitmasters

Monday, September 20, 2010

Smoked Hamburgers via Indirect Grilling Technique

It's week two of the NFL regular season and I finished my second "tailgate grilling session" of the year. Last time I cooked ABTs. This time I stuck to the tried and true backyard bbq favorite....hamburgers. But, I put my own twist on grilled hamburgers.

Smoke & Spice introduced me to smoked hamburgers a couple of years ago.  If you've never tried low and slow hamburgers, you might want to give it a try sometime.

Here's how I made them today for lunch:

2 lbs hamburger
7 tablespooons vinegar
7 tablespoons water
3 oz Miner's Mix (TM) Carne Asada Marinade & Chorizo Mix

Combine hamburger, vinegar, water, and chorizo mix.  Mix thoroughly with hands and refrigerate. When grill is pre-heated, form hamburgers by hand and cook on smoker or grill with indirect heat at 275-300 degrees.  Cook to 160 degrees (medium) or 170 degrees (well done). Serve on hamburger bun or eat plain.  I prefer to add Blues Hog Original BBQ Sauce instead of ketchup and mustard. 

I didn't really follow the directions on the Miner's Mix (TM) package.  Half the fun of bbq for me is the trial and error experimentation that goes along with it.

I cooked these on my Weber Platinum charcoal kettle grill using the charcoal "triangles" on either side of the cooking chamber.  This provides reliable and controllable indirect heat in your kettle grill.

Close-up of the final results 60 minutes later just in time for kick-off of the Tampa Bay vs. Carolina game.

FTC Disclosure:  I received the Miner's Mix (TM) as a gift directly from the company as a "trial".  If I was not happy with the results of the spice mixture, I would not have posted this article.

Starr Pass Barbeque Classic - October 29-30

I received this bbq contest announcement in my e-mail today.

Tucson, AZ (9/1/10) – JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa today announced the first annual Starr Pass Barbeque Classic taking place October 29-30, 2010. The weekend of fun and finger-lickin’ food will pit top barbeque teams from across the country competing to win the inaugural event as well as featuring drinks, family games and more. Fully sanctioned and judged by the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) and AZ Barbeque, this event promises to be the first of its kind in Southern Arizona .

“We’re thrilled to host the Starr Pass Barbeque Classic,” said Starr Pass Executive Chef, Chris Brown. Brown is the mastermind behind the event and, being a KCBS award-winning barbeque pit master himself, he wanted to bring an event of this caliber to Southern Arizona . “It’s been a dream of mine to help bring a world-class event like this to Tucson and now it’s a reality. From the competition and grilling to the fun-filled activities, there’s truly something for everyone. The event also allows us a fantastic opportunity to give back to our local community.”

Some of the finest competitive barbeque teams in the country will make their way to Tucson to fire up their savory, saucy specialties and compete for a share of $10,000 in cash and prizes. Among the competitors is multiple-grand-championship-winner Harry Soo and his Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ team. Teams will be competing in several categories including chicken, pork, pork ribs and beef brisket. Fans who want to get closer to the action can sign up for Thursday night’s KCBS-certified judging class to learn the official rules, regulations and tasting tips employed by the Kansas City Barbeque Society. The class costs $55 for KCBS members and $90 for non-KCBS members and includes food as well as a year’s membership to KCBS.

In addition to the prizes, teams will compete for a much bigger cause. The Special Olympics will sponsor the event and a portion of the proceeds will go directly to the organization and its mission of encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide.

As well as the main BBQ competition on Saturday, there will be Dessert, “Anything Butt” and BBQ Appetizer Contests on Friday. Throughout the weekend, visitors will enjoy a bevy of goodies including samples of competition BBQ, a free slider sandwich meal from Catalina Barbeque Co. & Sports Bar, live bands, live chef demonstrations, vendors, Halloween-themed games and trick-or-treating for the kids, a family fun area, and much more. Tickets for the event are $45 each and kids 12 and under get in free!

For barbeque fanatics and families who want to enjoy a full weekend of food and fun, the JW Marriott Starr Pass has rolled out special room rates exclusively for event attendees. Packages include:

  • Arrive on Saturday for one night and receive two tickets (a $90 value) to the competition. Starting at $319 per night.
  • Arrive on Friday for two nights and receive one $25 resort credit and two tickets to the competition. Starting at $319 per night.
  • Use Promotion Code ZJ8 to confirm your reservation online.
Of course, the weekend won’t just be about food – what barbeque event would be complete without beer? Event sponsor New Belgium Brewing Company, makers of award-winning Fat Tire Amber Ale, will be on-site with their famous beer truck serving their delicious selection of suds for visitors to wash down the grilled goodies. New Belgium will also be hosting a special beer pairing five-course dinner and passed hors d’oeuvres reception following Saturday’s festivities from Primo, one of Starr Pass ’ signature restaurants. Tickets to the post-event reception and dinner are available for $80.

For more information about the event, including a schedule of activities, please visit or target=_blank".

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival - Columbia MO

I just learned that the Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi are playing at the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival in Columbia MO on October 2. I grew up in Missouri and attended college at Westminter College in nearby Fulton. If I'd known they were performing so close to home it might have motivated me to plan a visit to Boonville for a family visit.

Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi are from Jacksonville FL. I've been trying to catch them at a Florida performance, but it hasn't worked out so far. If you follow the blues or The Allman Brothers Band, you may know them already, but here's a video of two of my favorite songs they perform, Angel From Montgomery and Down in the Flood.

BBQ Gadgets

In a world of gadgets, computers, and Smart Phones, bbq gadgets were inevitable. I'm not convinced that these gadgets make you a better cook. I see them as a convenience item. If you can't cook, these gadgets aren't going to help you too much.

Some of these gadgets I've seen cost more than the cookers they are used on (example: older WSMs like mine).

I see the bbq gadgets as an excuse to buy another toy. I like gadgets myself with two laptops and two Smart Phones in our household. I doubt I'll ever buy one for any of my bbq cookers. I prefer to buy cookers that don't need such elaborate temperature control. My WSM will cook all night without a computer and I sleep like a baby.

Friday, September 10, 2010

2010 Big BBQ Bash - Greenback TN

The 2010 Big BBQ Bash is set for Oct 15 -16 at Maple Lane Farms, Greenback, TN. The event is an amateur barbecue cook-off and fundraiser for the Helen Ross McNabb Center, created by the Leadership Blount Class of 2007.

Amateur BBQ teams are invited to “smoke up or shut up” by cooking their best plates of barbecue. Categories include pulled pork,ribs,brisket, chicken and “anything but.” Prize money totaling $6,000 will be awarded for each category including a trophy and, of course, bragging rights for THE TOP THREE TEAMS IN EACH CATEGORY the next year. The current reigning grand champion team is The Soggy Bottom Smokers from Corryton, TN.

Admission to Saturday’s Big BBQ Bash, October 16, is free to the public and will include musical entertainment by THE DIXIE HIGHWAY BAND and food vendors. The BBQ teams may charge a fee per plate to the public on Saturday only providing attendees the chance to taste some of the best BBQ in the South.

Since its inception in 2007, the Big BBQ Bash has raised more than $50,000 for charitable services offered in Blount County. All proceeds from the 2010 Big BBQ Bash will benefit programs of the Helen Ross McNabb Center.

To register an amateur BBQ team or for sponsorship and vendor information, please visit the official event website,

The Helen Ross McNabb Center is a not-for-profit provider of mental health care, addictions treatment and social services to children, adults and families in 17 East Tennessee counties. The Center’s mission is to improve the lives of the people we serve by providing quality and confidential care. For more information, please visit

Monday, September 06, 2010

BBQ Pork Spare Ribs for Labor Day

I spent my Labor Day celebrating with some bbq pork spare ribs. I used Blues Hog spice rub, Royal Oak lump charcoal, hickory chunks, apple juice, and Blues Hog Raspberry BBQ Sauce.  I have no idea whether the Raspberry flavor is still available from Blues Hog, but I received my sample along with an order I placed several months ago.

I hope you enjoy the video.

Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book

Somehow I missed this bbq book when it was published.  I've watched several videos Chris Lilly has hosted about cooking bbq, and enjoyed them all.  I need to get acquainted with his book.  I'd consider it a "back to basics" refresher course.  Here's a link in case you missed it too: Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book

Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book: Recipes and Secrets from a Legendary Barbecue Joint

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Oklahoma Joe's BBQ Video

I love this video. Informal, but informative.

Roadside BBQ Stand

Linda snapped these pictures of a local roadside bbq stand with her Android Smart Phone.  The photo quality is a little sketchy, but not too bad for hand held from a moving vehicle with a cell phone.

First Annual All-American Tailgate Challenge

Throughout the month of September, Omaha Steaks is running the “First Annual All-American Tailgate Challenge”, encouraging all of our football enthusiasts to submit a video (3 minutes or less) of their next tailgate party and tell us why their tailgate is one of America’s best. If video isn’t an option, entrants can also submit their best tailgate photo and a brief narrative for a chance to win:

The Party King MVP-9500 Tailgate Grill, a Football Autographed by Ndamukong Suh, and Omaha Steaks All-American Tailgater Package including:

12 (8 oz.) Omaha Steaks Filet Mignons
8 Steak Sandwich Boneless Strips
8 Omaha Steaks Burgers
16 Gourmet Franks
16 Brats
12 Beef Snack Sticks

Plus a host of tailgating treasures, aprons, visors, grilling utensils, etc.  Total Prize Package Value: $1500

In support of this exciting initiative, Omaha Steaks will be giving away weekly prizes on Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare for their Tailgate Ambush.

If you check in or tweet from any stadium mentioning your tailgate experience during the month of September you will be entered into a weekly drawing for a chance to win other delicious Omaha Steaks prizes. Winners will be announced weekly on Omaha Steaks' Facebook, Twitter, and blog.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Favorite Tailgate Food - Atomic Buffalo Turds (ABTs)

With college football season in full swing and professional football just around the corner, I thought I'd share a tailgate recipe Linda and I enjoy - Atomic Buffalo Turds (ABTs).

I make mine a little differently than most folks. Most people use cream cheese, but I'm not a fan.  I substitute sausage topped with shredded cheddar cheese instead.

How to Assemble a Weber BBQ Grill in 53 Seconds or Less

Well maybe it does take a little longer than 53 seconds to assemble in "real life", but in "video life" all things are possible. Right?

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Jack's Old South Restaurant #1

Looking for something to do on Labor Day Weekend?  Why not visit Jack's Old South BBQ's franchise restaurant location in Braselton, GA? It's the first in what promises to be many, many more Jack's Old South BBQ franchises.  According to the website, Myron Mixon, star of TLC's BBQ Pitmasters television show will be at this location on September 4.

Here's the address:

Jack's Old South BBQ #1
6323 Grand Hickory Drive
Braselton, GA 30517

Mr. Mixon recently announced a new bbq smoker design available from Jack's Old South called the H2O Rotisserie Smoker. The rotisserie rotates at 3 rpm and the smoker has water system that makes it easy to maintain the perfect cooker temperature.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's Here....and 2 Days Early

My Weber One Touch Platinum kettle grill arrived at my local Lowe's today. It's now setting in my living room in a prime location to make assembly easier and more comfortable. It is summer in Florida after all and my garage is not air conditioned.

My wallet is a little lighter, but I did save $25 at Lowe's compared to the price on

I couldn't resist opening the box to take a look, but I'm not going any farther tonight.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weber One-Touch Platinum Charcoal Grill

Weber 1361001 22.5-Inch One-Touch Platinum Charcoal GrillI've needed a new kettle grill for a while now and tonight I ordered a Weber One-Touch Platinum Charcoal Grill at Lowes.

I wanted a blue one, but according to the Weber sales literature at Lowes, it's only available in black.  They must not make the colors for the big box stores, but I swear I saw a blue one on a couple weeks ago.  Tonight only has black and red available.

Tip: If you tell the big box store you're also shopping and comparing prices on they might give you a discount.  I did and got a 10% price reduction, which turned out to be $20 cheaper than

The best part is, I'll have the grill on Thursday.  Look for some future grilling recipes and videos.  I've always wanted to try a pork butt on a kettle grill.  I guess this is my chance.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Brisket for Lunch?

After a recent drive over to St. Petersburg to visit the Salvado Dali Museum, my taste buds were hankering for a brisket lunch.

Linda and I saw a piece on the local news about The Brisket Basket on 5th Ave North (across from the high school) a couple of years ago and stopped by for an enjoyable lunch.  Unfortunately, my more recent attempt didn't work out...the brisket has left the building. It's now a Java Bar or Java Hut or something similar. Bummer!

I didn't have the phone # with me for lunch, but after dialing it a few minutes ago it appears the phone # is now out of service.  The website still works though.  I hope it's not getting much traffic, because if it is there are going to be a lot of other dissapointed bbq fans (besides me).

If any of my readers are familar with the details regarding whether the brisket relocated to another building, or closed down completely, and would like to share....I'm all ears.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

BBQ Veal Chops

I wanted to try something different on my Weber Smokey Mountain this weekend. 

I flipped through my Smoke & Spice recipe book by Cheryl and Bill Jamison and found a recipe for veal chops on page 159.  I didn't follow the recipe exactly, but I used their basic ideas. 

The chops were marinated in the refrigerator for 4 hours in a mixture of sage, salt, garlic powder, olive oil, and a little lemon juice. (I skipped the wine and lemon juice mop.)

I smoked them with Royal Oak lump charcoal.  They were removed after an hour when the internal meat temperature reached 155.  If you like your veal medium rare, then you may want to remove them a little sooner. I usually like my meat closer to medium-well, so I cooked the chops a little longer than teh recipe recommends.

My first attempt at smoked veal chops was a success!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Southern Food Blogs - Top 50

Cindy Cullen from sent me an e-mail today to let me know my bbq blog was chosen as one of 50 Best Southern Food Blogs.  (Thanks Cindy.)  Numbers 1, 5, and 32 on the list are food blogs that I read often.  There are a lot of blogs on the list written by formally trained professional chefs and some are designed by professional webmasters (I am neither), but all the bloggers share an enjoyment of food and cooking. 

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country GirlI'm pretty humbled that anyone would think to include my 'lil ole blog' on a food blog list that includes Ree Drummond's Pioneer Woman. In 2009 and 2010 her blog won the coveted Bloggie Award as the "Weblog of the Year" and other awards for writing and overall design.  The blog caters to women, but I'm not ashamed to say that I do occasionally read it. I steer away from the more womanly aspects of the blog - especially the "boy meets girl" posts and the Confessions section - but her Photography and Cooking sections are tremendous. If you're a blogger, food or otherwise, you can learn alot from  And for anyone looking for a gift idea for a daughter, wife, or mother, Pioneer Woman Cooks is a sure fire future favorite. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

BBQ Pitmaster: Week 2

Here's a preview of the 2nd episode:

To paraphrase the promotional e-mail I received from the network:

With one Pitmaster headed into an ambulance, the rest compete for $5,000 and an invitation into the finale for the $100,000 prize. Thursday 10 pm ET 9 pm CT.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

BBQ Pitmasters Season 2

Thursdays at 10:00 eastern / 9:00 central

I wonder if the rules state that they have to use Kingsford charcoal.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

BBQ Smoker Poll

For the last 3 weeks or so I've been conducting a reader's poll here on the BBQ Blog to find out what types of smokers my readers are currently using.  Here is a quick summary of the results so far:

Weber Smokey Mountain 13 (27%)
Backwoods Smoker 1 (2%)
Cookshack Pellet Smoker 0 (0%)
Stumps Smoker 4 (8%)
Lang Offset 3 (6%)
Klose Offset 0 (0%)
Big Green Egg 9 (18%)
Other Offset Smoker 16 (33%)
Other Vertical Smoker 6 (12%)

It looks like the Lang and Other Offset Smokers are in the lead with 39% of the votes. The Weber Smokey Mountain is in second at 27% with the Big Green Egg third with 18%.

There are two days left to vote in the current poll. Have you cast your vote yet?

Care to share your suggestions for a topic for the next poll?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Butlers BBQ - St. Petersburg

Linda and I stopped by The Butlers BBQ today on the way to a festival in St. Petersburg.  This is not the typical bbq fare you find in Florida. If you like lots of brown sugar, honey, molasses, corn syrup, and other sticky gooey "stuff" in your bbq pork sandwiches and ribs, then you're in for a surprise. 

If you like to try different styles of bbq and get bored eating the same old same old every day, then you need to try Butlers BBQ.

Chopped bbq pork.

Pork ribs

I had coleslaw and baked beans with the chopped pork.  The coleslaw was pretty typical, but the baked beans were unique. I believe they use coffee in the recipe. The baked beans were pretty good and again different than what I'm used to.

Linda had collard greens and green beans with her pork ribs.  The green beans were not quite what she expected, but the collard greens were excellent. I think she liked them better than the ribs.

This bbq is seasoned with vinegar and red pepper flakes.  I've tasted similar flavors in the Carolinas and Tennessee.  It's served that way and there is a red sauce on the table (but I did't really need it).