Friday, March 30, 2012

Annual BBQ and Blues Festival - Barnesville, GA

The Barnesville Lamar County Chamber of Commerce hosts the Annual BBQ and Blues Festival in downtown Barnesville, GA on the fourth weekend in April. The event is sanctioned by the Florida BBQ Association and hosts some of the nation’s best blues acts. BBQ & Blues spices up the atmosphere downtown each year. Whether you are dancing with the neighbors down the street or winning best in show at the classic car cruise-in, you are going to have a great time.

On Friday night you will enjoy the sound of good music, classic cars on display, delicious food, and a kid’s park! On Saturday taste 24 cook team’s brisket and relax under the shade trees to good music while the kids play. Saturday evening is where the weekend ends with great bands, a GA Music Legend is honored and a musically inclined high school student is given a college scholarship. You never know what special music guest may show up!

BBQ & Blues is loaded with good family fun, southern hospitality, and all in the downtown of a charming city.

Here's a video of E G Knight who is one of the headliners for the blues festival.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Bikes and BBQ

Today we took a road trip to Mount Clemens, Michigan for the motorcycle show at the Gibraltar Trade Center.  Click here to see a video of the pictures I took today.

After a few hours checking out the bikes, we headed out in search of a restaurant for lunch. When we are away from home, we like to sample the local restaurants.  We drove 3 miles without seeing a place we just had to eat at, but when we were just about ready to head home we drove by a bbq restaurant located on Gratiot Avenue in Clinton Township.

A view of the signage from the parking lot

Sliced brisket sandwich and barbecue beans

A sampling of the sauce offerings

Nice logo

When I eat at a new bbq restaurant I almost always choose to eat brisket. As a bbq enthusiast and former contest competitor, I know that brisket is the most difficult bbq offering to produce in high quantity with high quality. So any bbq restaurant worth it's logo and catchy name needs to have a killer brisket to earn a return visit from me. I am happy to say that Smokin' BarBQ serves very good restaurant quality brisket. When I ordered, I didn't realize it would be served on a bun, but I enjoyed it a lot.

While we were there, we witnessed several people coming and going and they all seemed to enjoy their food. One guy who was dining alone made a special point to walk up to the serving counter and comment about how much he enjoyed the bbq sauce choices.  Just before leaving he returned to the counter and explained that he was scouting the place before deciding to bring his family back for a larger meal. He promised to bring them back at a later date.

The Boss Hog with slaw, macaroni and cheese

Linda ordered The Boss Hog - mostly because of the uniqueness of the name. The sandwich was served with bbq pulled pork and Monterrey Jack cheese with slaw. She liked everything about it, except the sweet pickle garnish on top of the bun. (She's a dill pickle girl.)

For anyone looking for a bbq business opportunity, Smokin' BarBQ is expanding their restaurant concept throughout Southeastern Michigan. With all of the empty restaurants I've seen around metro Detroit, this opportunity could be very lucrative for the right person.

Here's a link to a review by the restaurant critic from Detroit Free Press.

Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Louis Style BBQ Pork Spare Ribs

I purchased some ribs from Gordon Food Service (GFS) last weekend to make some B.R.I.T.U. recipe St. Louis cut bbq pork spare ribs. It takes some extra time to thaw them, since they come frozen from the store, but overall I was very pleased with the quality and convenience of these ribs.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March Madness BBQ Spare Ribs

My favorite basketball teams haven't done well in the tournament this year, but it was a nice excuse to cook some pork spare ribs on Saturday. I used rib racks to easily cook 5 racks of ribs (roughly 10 lbs) in my WSM. Using the rib racks, cooking 10 racks of St. Louis cut spares is possible in the WSM (roughly 20 lbs of ribs).

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Brown Sugar versus Turbinado Sugar

This morning I mixed up some B.R.I.T.U. (Best Ribs In The Universe) bbq rub to cook some St. Louis pork spare ribs today on my Weber Smokey Mountain water smoker. This rub recipe was made famous by Mike Scrutchfield. He used this recipe to win the American Royal Invitational bbq contest in the mid-1990's.

I snapped a couple of pictures that demonstrate the downside to using the typical kind of brown sugar that is still fairly moist when it's straight out of the bag.

Unsifted and clumpy
 The white sugar and Kosher salt are highly visible in the above photo because the brown sugar did not mix well.

Sifted and thoroughly mixed

The second photo was take after running the rub mixture through a flour sifter.

You can virtually eliminate this issue and avoid using the flour sifter by using Turbinado sugar aka Sugar in the Raw instead of regular brown sugar. If you don't have any Turbinado sugar in the cupboard and don't want to make a trip to the grocery store, you can spread regular brown sugar onto a cookie sheet and let it sit out for a couple of hours. It will dry fairly quickly and mix more easily with other ingredients.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Weekend BBQ Plans

I know it's only Tuesday, but the weather this week has been in the mid-60's with lots and lots of sunshine. I've got spring fever and I can't wait for the weekend.

I haven't made pork ribs following the B.R.I.T.U. recipe in a several years. It's my first bbq session in 2012, so why not go back to basics?

For anyone that might be stopping by the blog for the first time looking for pork rib recipes, B.R.I.T.U. is a nice beginning. Virtual Weber Bullet has a nice write-up for first timers and others (like me) who haven't used that recipe in a while.

If you're going to try B.R.I.T.U. for the first time, be sure to watch the video below that features the originator of the recipe - Mike Scrutchfield. His interview starts at about 2:54 if you don't want to watch the rest.  His tip about wood bark is priceless.