After spending the weekend at Memphis in May the very best thing to do is….. well of course to eat more BBQ! Where better to eat than the World Champions – Yazoo’s Delta Q and Natural Born Grillers partnered up and opened a restaurant months ago. MEMPHIS BARBECUE CO. They have more World Championships than any other restaurant anywhere.
Yazoo’s Delta Q also just won MIM 2012 ! It came down to the wire and was incredible to see both of them took 1st place in their respective categories of Whole Hog and ribs. That says a lot about their skill set. We knew we were about to eat some great BBQ!
My buddy Wayne Brown from Big Wayner’s BBQ Blog and I talked about doing this and I am sure glad we were able to make it happen. Both of us had to fly out yesterday so we didn’t have any time to spare.
Even better was that a few really awesome BBQ folks were there too – Shane Draper and Mike Owings from Drapers BBQ , Ron Worby, and Tim from Tiger Q concessions. They had all been at the Tucker Cooker site for MIM. I had a wonderful time hanging out with them and I even got to watch their whole hog judging on Saturday. I got to see Melissa again and we talked about the challenges of opening the restaurant. One of their biggest challenges was keeping up with demand. It has been a massive success right from the moment they opened the doors!
Picture Credit – Wayne Brown Big Wayners BBQ Blog
We ordered an array of appetizers -
Cheese fritters, sausage and cheese platter, bbq nachos, fried green tomatoes, bacon wrapped shrimp and they also give complimentary made in house pork rinds to every table. Everything was really quite enjoyable. I would say my favorite had to be the cheese fritters, and the bacon wrapped shrimp. They even cure and smoke their own bacon in house. All of the items in the restaurant are made from scratch daily.
Then everyone ordered more BBQ! Well everyone except Ron. He decided to go with a fun item…. their Donut burger…and a half rack of ribs (this was not a health food day for sure!)
I ordered wet baby back ribs, pulled pork, and sausage. My sides were potato salad and macaroni & cheese. (Still keeping with the not so healthy options)
The pork was fantastic. Great smoky flavor, really great texture. I love the fact that the pork had chunks and pulled. It had a great bark to it. Full of flavor. It was my favorite meat from the day. The ribs had a nice crust to them, the rub was very mild. The sausage has a very fine texture to it. The potato salad was off the charts awesome though. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a potato salad so much with its creamy goodness and hints of dill.
The place was packed. With seating for 300 they have a ton of crew all serving people good BBQ.
We hurried through our meal sadly and grabbed t-shirts before we left racing back to the airport to catch our flights… I know Ill be back for another visit the next time I am in town.
Memphis Barbecue Co. on Facebook
Memphis Barbecue Co. on twitter
Sunday to Thursday 11am to 10pm
Friday to Saturday 11am to 11pm
I have just come home from a terrific time at Memphis in May with the awesome Char-Broil Tour !!
Memphis in May is a fun place to spend a weekend for sure. Hundreds of teams from all over come and compete in three categories Shoulder, Ribs or Whole Hog
The first event for the weekend was a TV segment with a local FOX Memphis Station
We talked about everyday grilling and we made some delicious Thai Chicken Kabobs, Grilled veggies, and one of my favorites – grilled tater slices with blue cheese and herb crumbles.
The recipes were inspired by Char-Broil’s new cookbooks
On Saturday AM bright and early we did multiples of TV segments with The Weather Channel. I got to work with an amazing Meteorologist Paul Goodloe. He was terrific to work with. Lots of fun!
Over the course of the morning we made some delicious lip smacking BBQ all using Char-Broil TRU Infrared grills
Here are the recipes from each segment:
I have to tell you though one of the highlights for the entire weekend was working with the amazing – yes truly amazing people on the Char-Broil Mobile Tour !!
The Tour crew did an excellent job grilling up awesome tasty items from the tours sponsors: Flatout, Bubba Burgers, Beano’s, Dole, Arla, Pork,and Amerigas. Thousands of people stopped by.
They are an incredibly upbeat happy happy group of people.
They have very happy grill experiences. It is a proven fact that happy people just make better BBQ.
It was a really great experience! Thanks so much to the people at Char-Broil, the Weather Channel and the entire Mobile Char-Broil Tour
Each year Mom’s everywhere will be treated to he obligatory Card, flowers and dinner out. If they are lucky maybe breakfast in bed or brunch. How about something different for your Mom. Something that shows you put thought and care into her special day.
My first recommendation isn’t BBQ. This may come as a shock. As a Mom of 3 and a busy one at that I like nothing better than coming home to a clean house. Yes that makes me very very happy. IF the laundry is done even better. Even if you are broke a little sweat equity is sure to make your Mom happy.
I love these coupon templates. Perfect for giving your Mom a break.
Once you get through the coupon giving or cleaning … then I think you need to give your Mom this if she likes to cook:
The super fast splash proof Thermapen from Thermoworks. Every person on the planet that cooks should have one. I love mine. Available in an array of colors you can even co-ordinate it with her purse. Plus if she carries it in her purse (and yes I have one in my purse at all times- you just never know when you will be grilling or cooking) she could also protect herself from creeping marauders, wanna be thugs etc. The thing is sharp. Sharp as a shiv. (Please note in no way does Thermapen support this use of a Thermapen in this manner – just my own ideas).
If your Mom doesn’t cook well then its time for you to giddyup and stock her freezer full of BBQ goodness. BBQ Jerk Chicken, Smoked Meatloaf and Pulled pork all freeze wonderfully. Stocking your Moms freezer would give her a break come meal time planning.
There is also of course the option of making your Mother a beautiful BBQ feast.
Start with a yummy cocktail:
Mix 2oz Jack Daniels honey with 4 oz Peach cider or Mango nectar. Serve shaken over ice in a chilled stemmed glass.
Then serve with a grilled appetizer flatbread
Diva Q Goat Cheese Spinach Flatbread
A terrific quick mid week dinner or a delicious appetizer for BBQ parties…..
1/2 cup Roasted Red Pepper Spread
1/2 cup Baby Spinach Leaves stems removed
140 gr Goats Cheese thinly sliced
1/8 cup Basil Chiffonade
1/4 cup Thinly sliced ham (prosciutto, black forest etc)
1/2 tsp garlic pepper
Preheat grill to 325F
Hickory Oak Apple pellets/wood chunks/chips recommended
Spread the 1/2 cup Roasted red pepper spread over the flatbread
Layer the spinach, slices of goats cheese and thinly sliced ham.
Sprinkle the garlic pepper and basil over the flatbread
Grill until the cheese is just beginning to melt and the spinach begins to wilt.
Slice into 12 pieces.
One of my all time favorites is herb crusted Prime Rib served with grilled asparagus and parmesan topped grilled mushrooms. Any Mom I know would be happy to feast on this.
For dessert I love anything to do with apples and caramel. This simple grilled dessert pizza paired with a glass of Prosecco is a wonderful finish. Then make sure to drive your Mom home. She has had a few cocktails by this time. Happy Mothers Day to all.
This originally ran in the Toronto Star May 18, 2010
Danielle Dimovski, Diva Q, outdoes herself with this over-the-top grilled dessert. To fully gild the lily, sprinkle this with sanding or demerara sugar, and whip up any leftover 35 per cent cream and dollop it over everything. Look for fresh pizza dough in the refrigerated area of supermarkets, usually in the bakery or pasta area.
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
1/2 cup (120 ml) packed brown sugar
1 tbsp (15 ml) corn starch
1/3 cup (80 ml) whipping cream
2 tbsp (30 ml) corn syrup
2 tbsp (30 ml) unsalted butter
1/2 tsp (2 ml) pure vanilla
750-g bag fresh pizza dough
All-purpose flour and cornmeal for dusting
2 Ontario apples (such as Gala or Red Prince), unpeeled, cored, thinly sliced
Ground cinnamon for sprinkling
125 g (5 oz) cream cheese (half a package), at room temperature
2 tbsp (30 ml) granulated sugar
Skor toffee bits for sprinkling
For caramel sauce, in small saucepan, combine water, sugar, corn starch, cream and corn syrup. Bring to boil over high heat. Boil 2 minutes, reducing heat slightly if needed. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Reserve.
For pizza, bring to room temperature as per package instructions. Remove from bag; divide into 2 balls.
On lightly floured surface, pull and shape into 2 pizzas, about 9-inches (23-cm) wide. Crimp edges as you would with pie. Prick dough all over with fork tines. Let rest at room temperature 30 minutes. Slip onto cornmeal or flour-dusted pizza paddle. Place on oiled grill preheated to medium-high (about 550F/280C); close lid. Grill about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Let cool.
Place apple slices directly on grill. Grill 1 to 2 minutes per side, until softened and browned. Transfer to platter. Dust with cinnamon.
In medium bowl, combine cream cheese and granulated sugar. Mash well with fork and beat with wooden spoon until fluffy.
To assemble, spread sweetened cream cheese over each pizza as desired. Divide apples evenly over pizzas. Generously drizzle each with caramel sauce. (Refrigerate any remaining cream cheese and caramel sauce for another use.) Sprinkle each with Skor bits. If needed, return pizza to grill for 1 to 2 minutes to quickly warm.
Makes 2 pizzas (about 12 slices).
Continuing on my personal NC BBQ tour of NC Historic BBQ joints I stopped in a cute place – Richards BBQ in Salisbury NC.
Eastern Carolina style sauce is served here. Apple cider vinegar, red pepper flakes and a touch of sweetness. Straight forward and moist hand chopped BBQ. You walk into this place and you want to stay. The walls and booths and chairs are all inviting. They even have a small salad bar. The place is impeccably clean.
There is a poster menu showing pictures of all the plates they serve in addition to paper menus. The ladies at the counter are all sorts of loveliness and they just radiate hospitality.
I ordered a chopped BBQ sandwich and a cheerwine. I think I may be addicted to cheerwine now. Absolutely refreshing and a perfect match to BBQ. Plus I was driving so beer was not an option.
The sandwich came wrapped in wax paper. Served on a plain white hamburger bun there had to be almost 1/2 lb of meat on it.
It was a delicious sandwich. Full of porky goodness and super moist. It had quite the pepper kick but not a lot of heat. It was chopped super fine as was the slaw. You really don’t have to chew a lot when its chopped this fine. They pile all their wood outside. You can see the door to their pits from drive thru pictures.
I would love to bring my family to this place. They also have a convenient drive thru if you want to take it to go.
I am so glad I had the opportunity to stop here. The food the atmosphere and the hospitality made it just a really nice experience.
For a great history on Richard’s BBQ and many more check out NCBS The North Carolina BBQ Society. I found it was an excellent resource to use when travelling through the state. The North Carolina BBQ Society is also on Facebook.
Richard’s Bar-B-Q, Salisbury
522 N Main St
Salisbury, NC 28144
Smiley’s has been making pit cooked BBQ for over 50 years. They use hickory wood. They have changed ownership a couple of times but the food has always been NC BBQ. I found something different at this particular BBQ joint you could ask for half brown pork. Half brown to them means with bark. Options you can ask for are chopped or sliced. The tables and benches haven’t changed in years. Its got a really nice comfortable vibe to it. Sepping back in time its like going to visit an old friend. They also have curbside service outside. Apparently all you have to do is honk the horn and people come to you. This is new to me as I am only used to drive thru windows and the drive up menus at Sonic. Overall condiments on the table are kept very simple. Texas Pete, lemon juice and their vinegar based sauce (dip) . I never did ask what the lemon juice was for but I am guessing the sweet tea.
This pit is only used a couple times yearly for events. Their other pit is inside.
Fine chopped, Coarse chopped and slices.
I enjoyed their pork chopped (both fine and coarse) with bark. I also thoroughly enjoyed their super moist pork slices. Great flavor and a distinctive texture. I really liked the fact that smoke was a definite ingredient. It also wasn’t mushy at all. The texture was more firm but very silky. The slaw was really pleasing to eat. Tangy and refreshing. I loved their “dip” – it was a great balance of tangy vinegar, sweet, peppery and a bit tomato from the ketchup. There is something else in that dip I just can’t put my finger on it and they are not offering up their secrets It really complimented the pork and was super finely chopped. I didn’t have to add anything to the pork. When it came I ate and I didn’t think it needed anything else. The pork made me smile it was so good. Just a couple of bites in and I had to stop myself. I had other joints to visit as well. Hard to put the fork down.
I got to meet the proud owner Steve Yountz. Great guy. Super friendly. Glad I got to talk with him about his passion for BBQ. They take a lot of pride in their shoulders everyday.
The hush puppies had a nice sweet corn flavor – they were not greasy at all. There was nothing bad about them but I found them to be very dense and heavy. Unique shape (saw these many times in NC ever anywhere else this shape) versus the typical round hush puppies in most other BBQ locations.
I am really glad I stopped here and Ill be back again for sure to eat. Loved the balance of vinegar and peppery goodness. The staff were all amazingly sweet and friendly. A great place to chow down on some NC BBQ. One of my NC favorites for sure.
Smiley’s Lexington BBQ
917 Winston Rd.
Lexington, NC 27295
HOURS: Tuesday – Sunday 6:00 am till 9:00 PM
A couple of weeks ago I had the great opportunity to head to Atlanta Georgia for the Char-Broil All Star Blogger Event. It was a really interesting event that brought together some of the fine folks from Char-Broil and some of the All Star Bloggers:
Julie Reinhardt From She Smoke
Catherine Mayhew -Put Some South in My Mouth
Christo Gonzales-Chez What?
Scott Thomas-Grillin’ Fools
Curt McAdams-Live Fire
David Olson-A Bachelor & His Grill
Barry Martin – Chief Grilling Officer Charbroil
Attending from Char-Broil
The team from Char-Broil did an exemplary job of going through the amazing technology of TRU Infrared grilling and the entire lineup of Char-Broil grills and accessories. We also discussed the Company and its strategic goals. In addition we also talked about the Corporate culture of Char-Broil. They take great care and pride in their employees.
The backdrop for the event was a beautiful place called Serenbe.
Serenbe is a 1,000 acre community located under 30 minutes from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson
International Airport. It is a national model for the future of balanced development in the U.S.—
focusing on land preservation, agriculture, energy efficiency, green building, walkability, high density
building, arts and culture, and community living for multiple generations. With a projected 70% of
future building occurring in the greenfield, Serenbe demonstrates how urban development models
can succeed on the edge of a metropolis while preserving a vast majority of the greenspace. Serenbe’s
ultimate goal is to demonstrate how development can accommodate the need for housing with minimal
impact on nature—Serenbe’s land plan call for a preservation of at least 70% of the acreage, while
accommodating as many or more people as traditional subdivision-style development, which would
disturb nearly 80%.
To say Serenbe is beautiful would do it a disservice. It is an absolute haven. It was incredibly relaxing to stay there. At every corner there was organic vegetation, hundreds of trails and beautiful gardens.
The private home I shared with Catherine and Julie was amazing. Just a lovely home that was warm and accommodating. So much better than a hotel.
We had the opportunity to dine at the Farmhouse a couple of times.
It was a great place to also converse with everyone from Char-Broil and the All Star Bloggers. The food was very good and the hospitality incredible.
The event culminated in a BBQ battle of epic proportions. A Grilling event like no other. A black box event which pitted the bloggers in teams to use any Char-Broil grill to the best of their abilities in a timed contest. We had no idea the contents. To say it was challenging was an understatement. The ingredients were Whole chicken, pineapple, crunchy peanut butter, fennel, bacon and blue cheese.
The judges were VP of Marketing Michelle Giroux Zeller, Jose R. Mendez, Director of Innovation and Alex Gafford Vice President, Director of Research and Development.
The ingredient lineup. Lots of great sauces and rubs from Char-Broil too!
Chief Grilling Officer Barry Martin & I sharing a laugh.
By good fortune I was partnered up with Catherine Mayhew. She is such a lovely woman and has some terrific skills.
It was truly a collaborative effort. We worked together and made a beautiful dish of grilled fennel salad with grilled pineapple orange chicken, blue cheese crumbles and topped with bacon. We also made some very unique tropical appetizer bites of grilled pineapple with a very unique chunky peanut butter Char-Broil Memphis BBQ sauce glaze and topped with grilled bacon and segments of orange.
We came in second and received an honorable mention. The winner team was the dynamic duo of Chef Christo and Scott Thomas. They had an outstanding chicken dish chock full of flavor.
In addition to the fun chopped competition we got to play on a variety of Char-Broil grills. It was really fun to see so much creativity on the grills and it was a great experience. I liked understanding the versatility of the Char-Broil product line and how they can compliment my own charcoal and pellet grill line up at home.
The last stop of the day for me was a tour of HGTV’s Green Home Giveaway at Serenbe. I can’t post the pictures of the interior until after the giveaway but the home was really interesting to tour. Very interesting design.
I realized just how different all of our personalities were and how much I enjoyed being with my fellow bloggers. All of us have unique passion for food and fun. Great to meet them all and get reacquainted with the people I knew already.
The trip was very fun and I came home with lots of ideas on how to utilize my Char-Broil Infrared Grill. Its a great addition to my backyard lineup. Many thanks to Mary, Barry, Michelle and the entire staff at Char-Broil for inviting me to this event. It was great fun and educational too.
Here is how you can follow the Char-Broil All Star Bloggers that attended the event- they have a terrific assortment of blogs, pintrest, twitter and facebook accounts.
She Smoke on Facebook
She Smoke on Twitter
Chef Christo Gonzales
Chef Christo on Facebook
Chef Christo on Twitter
Curt McAdams on Twitter
CurtMcAdams on Facebook
The South in my Mouth Pinterest
Grilling Fools Website
Grillin Fools on Facebook
Grilling Fools on Twitter
A Bachelor & His Grill Blog
A Bachelor & His Grill Facebook
A Bachelor & His Grill Pinterest
I have a serious obsession with making pizza on my BGE. It makes wicked good pizza among other things. However I cannot ever seem to make just one or two. No it just has to be a big variety.
This is a great thing to do if you have leftover bits in the fridge. Not enough to make a meal out of them but enough to make a pizza or 5
Our pizza ingredients were:
- sauteed mushrooms
- rapini with evoo and sliced garlic
- green and black olives
- thinly sliced red onions
- roasted red peppers
- Drained seasoned stewed tomatoes
- granulated onion
- steamed acorn squash
- grilled chorizo
- cooked and crumbled hot Italian sausage
- grilled eggplant
- Lots of mozzarella
There is no recipe for this. Just a few general guidelines. I use store bought pizza dough from Highland Farms. I like their pizza dough a lot. It is very reasonably priced. Now you can go all Martha Stewart on this and make your own from scratch – all the best to you. Personally if you you find a reasonably priced very good quality dough its a heck of a lot easier.
Your BGE needs to be at least 600F before you even think of getting a pizza on. I find that I have the best pizzas come out at this temperature. Also don’t be using any crappy dollar store pizza stone. Think of it as an investment. Mine came from Ontario Gas BBQ. Its awesome. I have used it many many times over and over again.
Make sure your pizza stone comes up to temperature with your BGE. Do not put a cold pizza stone on a 600F BGE. It was crack and shatter and then you will have a load of stuff to clean up. Not to mention ruined dinner plans.
Use enough flour when stretching your dough that it doesn’t stick to your pizza peel. Its a lot easier to slide off dough covered with toppings if you have used enough flour. They make the crust soggy. Of course if you like a soggy crust that’s your business but I prefer a nice crispy crust.
Other than that go nuts. You can even make vegans happy. OR gluten free people (just make sure you give them a gluten free crust). Or nut allergy people happy. The choices are endless. These pizzas cook in about 6-8 minutes at the most so you want to make sure your meats are cooked ahead of time if using and you slice your veggies thinly.
After placing your pizza on the stone close the lid. Open it up again at about the 2- 3 minute mark and turn the pizza half way. Close the lid again and leave it closed for 3-4 more minutes until nicely browned and golden. Remove to a cutting board and rest for 5 minutes before cutting.
Repeat with the other pizzas. Seriously it is so easy. Get the kids involved. I have not ever met a kid who didn’t like making pizza. Let them decide what toppings they want. Pizza dough is just like play doh for adults so they love stretching it too.
One of my favorites from tonight:
Grilled eggplant, sauteed rapini with sliced garlic and evoo, steamed acorn squash, sauteed mushrooms and mozzarella. When it came off the grill I topped it with a bunch of arugula and some really good quality balsamic vinegar, Parmesan and evoo.
I also enjoyed the meat pizzas….
The kids had their own ideas of what they wanted on their pizza- Chorizo, tomato sauce, basil and lots of mozzarella
Last but not least we made a panzerotti to use up the last bits of all the ingredients. It was stuffed full. By this time my stone was getting pretty black from the flour so I placed the panzerotti on a piece of parchment paper directly on the stone. Worked great and the panzerotti was delicious and crispy full of yummy ingredients.
It was a delicious dinner full of pizza goodness. Plus there is lots for lunches tomorrow!!
Ray Lampe aka Dr. BBQ has written another book. This time its SLOW FIRE a Beginners guide to Barbecue. The book is full of very approachable recipes and content driven towards the novice BBQ’er. There is nothing in this book that is cooked above 250F. Its all about low and slow. Very little in the way of competition mentions. No grilling recipes are included. From the basics of brisket, pork, chicken and ribs to the more adventuresome Spicy Orange Duck its a great read.
The sauces have definitely taken it up a notch in this book. They are complex but not so complex that they are not easily replicated at home. I am really looking forward to making banana ketchup. I have been lucky to call Ray a friend for years and so I asked him many many questions not only about his new book but about his life as a BBQ Man.
What inspired you to write SLOW FIRE?
The idea that there are a lot of hero books out there are intimidating. The size of the books are intimidating. This is a down to earth book. I think it is important. I have the experience to do it. Its just about cooking BBQ. Not very much in competition.
Where does your creativity come from
I think that it is a gift that I can just do it. Just write. The way I start is by figuring out how may recipes I need and chapters. I need to write 75 titles. Later on some of them change or they are not viable. I just sit down and do it. At this point there are some good things about being old. First of all I am experienced, I have more comfort in all sorts of kitchens. It makes it easier to write and come up with creative recipes.
Who was/is your BBQ Mentor?
There were two guys- the first is Ed Roith. He was at the top of his game when I started with a Jedmaster. I bought one after him. He took me under his wing and helped me a lot. Most significant mentor. John Beadle from Grand Rapids MI – fun BBQ guy. He was never wildly successful and he always was there for the good times. Made me stay on the Saturday night. He taught me the right way to enjoy it and approach it. I think I was a better cook than him but he taught me how to enjoy it. Its different now – everyone is much more serious. More focused it was different back then.
What other BBQ’s do you enjoy other than your BGE?
I love my weber kettle. When I first stated dated Sandi she had a horrible gas grill. So I brought one (weber kettle) over to her house and left it there. I figured if it didn’t go well it wasn’t as expensive as leaving the egg. I think my Jedmaster is still one of my favorites. When I first started Oklahoma Joe (Horizons) or David Klose were the only viable commercial BBQ’s . The next wave was after Traegers and then the Jedmasters. It was one of the first set it and forget it bbq’s.
Ray Lampe has been sponsored by the BIG Green EGG for years
He also would like to thank the fine folks at Thermoworks
What is your favorite libation or cocktail to go with BBQ?
Jack Daniels & Coke Zero – Early times, Buffalo Times as long as there is coke Zero to go with it.
What is your favorite smoking wood?
Pecan. I always liked it. Karen Putnam was the first to teach me to use combinations of woods . I used to like a combination of oak and cherry.
What is your proudest BBQ accomplishment?
I got to cook with Chris Lilly at the James Beard house cooking real BBQ on the street. Very proud of that. It was a great experience.
Picture courtesy of Hoss’s BBQ & Catering
What is your proudest competition BBQ accomplishment?
The most important trophy would be 3rd overall at the American Royal. Gary Wells gave me the award in 1998. I didn’t expect to be third. Gary was a good friend of mine. AS soon as I walked off the stage there was John Willingham. I had been doing pretty well and he said a few things to that context.
I will tell you that last year at Sams Club winning the GC was pretty darn cool. Making a comeback after so many years.. I think that I am a bit disenchanted with competition BBQ currently. The people are so good at what they do. Everything is soo perfect. Is not as much fun anymore. For me I love going to the Royal – I think it is pretty special and there are lots of memories there for me. Since 1993 I have been going. Over 20 years it has evolved so much.
Where is your favorite place to BBQ?
At home. Staying home and cooking is the place to BBQ that I love the most.
What is your favorite recipe from the book SLOW FIRE?
The BBQ Duck with Spicy Orange Glaze, the Pastrami, and the Cuban Style leg of Pork. The BBQ recipes- there are so many and they are good. I have become a much better sauce maker and the sauces in this book are terrific.
Do you feel that you have learned everything you need to know about BBQ – considering your long career?
No definitely not. I go back a long ways but it never ends. There is always history to learn about. There are so many new things always being developed and always another BBQ joint to eat at.
Where do you like to eat BBQ?
I eat BBQ everywhere. In Florida – Fred Flemings Championship BBQ, Arthur Bryants, Big Bob Gibson, Cozy Corner, In Chicago – Smoque BBQ. Blue Smoke in Manhattan. I love eating BBQ turkey anywhere. In Texas though its always brisket.
What is your best advice to a novice backyard BBQ’er?
Patience. It takes a really long time. I am not a fan of hot and fast. It doesn’t make better food and takes away the element of what BBQ is. Taking a big piece of meat with a lot of fat and making it good. It takes a long time to cook great BBQ – get used to it.
What projects are you working on next?
New Cookbook. Won’t be out till 2014. I am going to grillfest in Minneapolis. Guest Chef (Legends Culinary Series) at Yankee Stadium May 9th & 22nd at the Legends Suite Club. Cooking class in Brandon Florida coming up. Oakland CA- July going to cook Santa Rosa Tex Wasabi’s . GrillStock in June. July at a winery with Chris Lilly. Might see me turn up on the Food Network in July. Book signing at Costco in June.
What are your favorite BBQ forums to read?
The BBQ Forum. The BBQ Brethren Forum – It amazes me how well everyone is very well behaved there. Great information.
How has in your opinions social media/bbq forums changed BBQ?
Its good and its bad. We all get to know each other. We have found each other and networked. It amazes me at the other end of the country I can walk into a bar full of BBQ’ers and I know them. The internet has a lot to do with it. I am not a fan of the contest sharing – the boxes and the recipes. Not that it is not nice to share but it is a lot of sharing. Its watered down the competition. The classes that are the same ingredients – all commercial products. No one seems to make their own anymore. Not skilled as much. Social media is a great communication tool. I can’t stand however the same regurgitated crap over and over again.
How many BBQ books do you own and which besides your own would you recommend?
I own all of them. LOL I would recommend – Walter Jetton’s LBJ’s ranch chef. I would recommend that one. Its from 1965. I buy most of them. I don’t read a lot of them because I just don’t want to steal ideas accidentally.
Where would you ideally like to travel next on a BBQ adventure?
I think I already did it. There are not many more places on my BBQ bucket list. I have been to the greats. Lockharts, Arthur Bryants etc. I have been lucky enough to travel to so many places.
I have not been to Alaska. Maybe ill have to head there next.
You recently came back from the UK, Why do you think Southern US style of BBQ is trending internationally?
The internet has made the world more available. It is the American cuisine. It is catching on. It has just so many elements. It has the food and the culture. Its not like burger or steak joints. When you walk into a joint -that BBQ guy cooking is revered. BBQ has so much more going on other than the food. The concept of cooking the lesser cuts. Very few chain restaurants of BBQ have worked. So many layers that make it interesting. Its good also because we like to eat it. It tastes great.
The way they cut meat there is really different. Brisket is chopped flat and slicing the point. They are very skilled chefs over there. The competition guys get stuck in this pattern here. Creativity is being bred out of it. I hate to see that. I find that over in the UK they have more creativity.
You have a legendary 5 o’clock tattoo – any plans for more?
YES. I was in England and it inspired me to get pork fried rice on the inside of my arm…….
Do you think physical cook books are becoming obsolete? Is everything going to be online?
Obsolete no. Changing yes. They are becoming more collectibles and are becoming more impulse buys. Now to travel its easy to travel with an Ipad loaded with books. This is the first time I have had a lot of this book on downloads for tablets, kindles and Ipads. The big books for $40 or $50 come with the food network stars. Online more of the smaller books are being sold.
Your relationship with fiancee Sandi seems to have mellowed you in the last few years – would you agree?
Yes there is no doubt I am very happy. The place I am in my life and where I am – she is a big part of it. Is all good. Just wait to see what comes next.
Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe has a total of 6 books in print:
Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe Facebook
Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe Twitter
Headed back to Marilyn Denis for a taping today on how to clean and Prep your BBQ !
About The Show
Hosted by Marilyn Denis and broadcast live before a studio audience, THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW is a daily entertainment and lifestyle talk show featuring Canadian and international celebrities and experts, established and emerging alike. Building on Marilyn Denis’ connection to her fans, interviews and ideas are delivered with the ease and humour of a conversation with your best girlfriend. Celebrities who have appeared on THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW include Sir Elton John, Bradley Cooper, Shania Twain, Anderson Cooper, Donny & Marie Osmond and many more.
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Today we covered lots of great tips on cleaning your BBQ and grill. No matter what grill or bbq you have make sure to consult your manufacturer’s instructions. Also all of the items for the show from the heavy duty cleaning brush to the grill wipes came from a store I love to shop at Ontario Gas BBQ. They also stock replacement parts for your BBQ’s so check them out. As the worlds largest BBQ store they have everything you need and more. (Its also the only place my always cool hubby gets nervous for my shopping- shoe stores and malls are no problem- but when I walk into Ontario Gas BBQ its just so darn hard to resist all the great BBQ stuff cha-ching! )
Much thanks to Marilyn, Tara and the entire crew. Lots of fun yet again!
2312 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, VA 22301
As I was approaching Pork Barrel BBQ I was worried. I saw a lot of glass. A lot of very shiny posts and a lot of glass. Then I started to worry I would not like the food or the decor. My preferences tend to run to BBQ joints that have a sense of history to them. Even a little grease and grime- however the Pork Barrel Building has neither. Its in a league of its own.
You would have to be living under a rock not to know about or to have heard about Pork Barrel BBQ. Heath Hall & Brett Thompson.
They have appeared on Shark Tank, numerous TV and radio programs and have competed in many contests. They have their own BBQ forum BBQ Backyard.com. They are uber focused on the success of their BBQ products which include rubs, sauces, peanuts and even Que Cologne.
They partnered originally with Bill Blackburn and “Mango” Mike Anderson in the development of their restaurant. Then came shark tank and the outside investment of Barbara Corcoran. To say they are on the path to legendary status in the BBQ world would be an understatement. Their meteoric rise has been incredible to watch. Through their continuous hard work and sacrifices this has all come to pass. But who are we kidding – the most important thing to me is – how the heck does their food taste ???
I entered the restaurant and was immediately greeted by Mango Mike Anderson. I believe Heath must have texted him after seeing a tweet I posted. I thought Heath would have been busy as he was out of the country (getting married) when I visited. Seriously the guy never stops working.
I was really glad to see the interior of this great BBQ place. It has struck a beautiful balance between trustworthy BBQ goodness, sleek decor items, touches of wood and a vintage throwback with a great assortment of retro sodas and a vibe that just seems to flow from it.
There is this massive slab of a table made of wood that just warms the entire room up. The seating encourages a communal vibe. I believe this is important to a BBQ place as well. Stonework through out makes this place cozy. The lighting fixtures were carefully chosen they look like speckled fire. The bar is so inviting – you just want to have a cocktail or a craft brew.
There are great details that have been worked into the location. The floor holds a working fire suppressant system that was originally in a different locale. They just worked it in from bringing around the piping at the floor of the bar to make an easy foot rest to the draft taps on the plumbing. They took a negative and made it into a positive. It seems that nothing is an obstacle they can’t overcome. I loved seeing a nice arrangement of trophies near the sauce station. I liked the whimsy of the redneck plate dispenser. I liked the patriotic wet wipes. The large wooden boxes that hold the retro sodas beckon to you. Everything in this place was carefully thought and laid out. Even the writing on the bathroom doors in the Coca Cola font was done with care. I don’t think there were any details that were left out save for a picture of all of them. When I mentioned this to Mike Anderson he said they have it just had not had time to put it up.
But really once again it all comes back to the food.
They use 1 Southern Pride currently and demand has been so high that they are planning on putting in another. I also have to mention their staff were great. All of them smiling and happy to be there. Love that.
And how was the food? To put it in one word:
Every single item was amazing. I was gobsmacked at how good it all was.
Tender seasoned smoked chicken that the fat had rendered through beautifully:
Moist brisket full of beefy goodness with a kiss of smoke and a great texture that yielded beautifully with a pull test:
Ribs that had been rubbed and smoked with great care. They didn’t need a speck of sauce.
Beef Sausage in a pork casing that was custom ground with their own spices. Perfect snap and texture full of flavor and some of the best Pulled Pork I have ever had. Gorgeous mahogany color. The pork was in larger pieces full of bark and delicious flavor. It was sooo good.
Then there were the sides. All did a great job of complimenting the meats. There were perfectly balanced collard greens flecked with meat (seriously buy a pint or 4 you won’t regret it), tangy and refreshing cowboy caviar (awesome crunch and creamy beans), sliced cucumbers and red onion salad (so refreshing with BBQ), creamy coleslaw (great on pork), red skin creamy potato salad (like your Momma would make i), sweet BBQ baked beans (but not overly sweet), and mac and cheese (they use a great brand of pasta that helps the cheese stick to it) that had one of the best cheese sauces ever.
You also need to check them out on You Tube
So whats left to say about Pork Barrel BBQ?? I can’t wait to go back. I wish I lived closer.
Pork Barrel BBQ on twitter
Pork Barrel BBQ on facebook