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.