We have been on the road for a month already and time has flown by. We have traveled from Texas to Kentucky and lots of places in between. We still have a few more BBQ joints to head to and a couple more things to see. Our last stop and where we end this crawl will be at the American Royal in a couple of weeks. Its been a blast up to now with the crew who has been working hard.

Here is your very first look at BBQ Crawl coming this Spring 2013 on the Travel & Escape Channel produced by RTR Media. I hope you like it. Let me know what you think. Its my life on the road.


Well today has been a very exciting BBQ day!! I got to see the new Traeger 300 in person right after it was unloaded. It is even more impressive in person. Really solid design. I am looking forward to playing on one in the upcoming weeks.

Here are some pictures of the unit

As soon as I get the spec sheet I will update this post!



Well I recently had the opportunity to try Kosmo’s Q Chicken soak. I thought it would be best to do a simple test to see if the Chicken Soak made a substantial difference vs. regular brining. I consistently have been using a brine for turkey or chicken at home and also in competition.


I used 10 lbs of chicken pieces for each test. 10lbs for each application for a total of 20 pounds chicken pieces.


These two plates were for the Kosmo’s test. It was a mixture of chicken thighs legs and wings some with skin and some without.


The ingredients listed on the package are:


Salt, Brown Sugar, Worcestershire Powder, Dextrose, Hydrolyzed Soy & Corn Protein, Citric acid, Caramel Color, Natural Flavor


The package of chicken soak weighed 8.6 oz. Thats .6 oz. more than the listed weight.



In one bucket I used the Kosmo’s Q Chicken Soak 1/2 lb sample mix cost – $4.95 plus shipping- I mixed it according to the directions on the package (doubled for 10 lbs) – Mix 3/4 cup with 64oz (1/2) gallon of liquid. For this test I used plain old tap water for Kosmo’s and the standard brine.





* this was the color of the Kosmos at 5lbs then I added the remaining chicken and soak mix. It mixes up very easily as the particles are very small.


My Standard Brine


In the second bucket I mixed a standard brine I make for Chicken Brown Sugar, Kosher Salt, Peppercorns and All spice berries – cost $2.25 approx for enough brine for 10lbs chicken.



  • Both sets of chicken were left in their mixtures for the recommended 4 hours.
  • They were both rinsed thoroughly afterwards with tap water.
  • They were both then rubbed with my own personal chicken rub.


**The only difference I noticed on the chicken when they came out of the brine was that the Kosmo’s chicken had some very fine red particles that adhered to the chicken. I could not rinse it off. I also could not get a clear picture of it. They were very tiny.


For this test I used my Traeger Texas Style with hickory pellets. The grill was set at 300F. All of the chicken parts were taken to 165F.


All of the pieces looked great. Nice color on both. They were glazed with my own competition sauce.



After the chicken came off I rested it on a plate uncovered for 10 minutes.


Here are two pieces the one on the right is from Kosmo’s and the one on the left is my own standard brine.



Now for the all important taste/tenderness test picture:



Picture of the chicken with standard brine (juices on the plate very moist and tender):



Picture of Kosmo’s Q Chicken(juices on the plate very moist and tender):



Even after an additional 15 minutes both chicken pieces were still tender and moist.




Kosmo’s Q chicken soak works. So does regular brining.


I could not find any discernible difference between the two other than cost and convenience.  There was no taste difference whatsoever. Nothing stood out.  They were both tender and moist.


Personally I’ll be sticking with my own brine.


Well it has been a terrific season of BBQ Pitmasters. I can only hope for more in the future. I have been writing about this series since the beginning and for me it has only improved over time. I have my own personal opinions on the editing but once again everyone would like to see certain people like their friends. I am happy for each of the Pitmasters Harry Soo, Paul Petersen, Tuffy Stone, Myron Mixon, Lee Ann Whippen, Johnny Trigg that they got the exposure. I hope it has been a positive experience for them all. I can only hope it will open lots more doors for themselves and many others.

Since I am at the NBBQA conference and just happen to be around a few fellow BBQ’ers I thought maybe getting their opinions on the show would be an interesting way to sum up todays article. So here are their own comments on the show. Ill be updating this throughout the day.

Dave Redmond Sweet Baby’ Rays

When I first saw it I was dying to see it that I have been interested in and passionate about. Then when I saw it I was disappointed I saw arrogance and greed and all of things BBQ is not about it. I talked to Amy about that the Network chose the entertainment vs the educational. Then I saw the BBQ Challenge on the Food Network in the manner much more reflective of the goodness of KCBS then watching the show. As much I wanted that to be the good stuff it was not BBQ Pitmasters. As much as I would have liked to see that continue BBQ pitmasters is just pretty damn cool.

William Bubba Latimer – Bub-Ba-Q

I think the show has progressed since day 1. I did no like the first couple of shows as they did not portray the good guy vs. bad guy thing. One thing we can’t forget is that there has to be an entertainment factor. I love the fact it has sparked in BBQ. I think the show has gotten a little more relaxed as far as the progression. I liked seeing the camaraderie since there is so much of that. That to me is BBQ. The show itself I have come to appreciate it more. I hope that it does continue. I love hearing people talk about the BBQ Pitmasters when they are coming into our restaurants.

Tommy Houston Checkered Pig BBQ

I think the biggest thing this show has done (whether you agree or disagree with content) was create interest. It has spurred a lot of interest in BBQ. Ordinary layman are talking about it. I have people coming in asking me if I know that white haired guy. It is good for BBQ.

Right now all of these BBQ shows could not have come at a better time for people who have restaurants due to the economic uncertainty. People gravitate to comfort. BBQ is comfort.

Randy Twyford – Twyford BBQ & Catering

It has had a major impact – and has made people realize there is much more to a BBQ contest than they see. It has increased the exposure for BBQ competitions and bbq in general.

Darren Warth- Smokey D’s BBQ
It has been good for BBQ. I think they need to show more camaraderie . Show the side where people help each other more.

Chris Jones- Colins Creek Barbecue -BBQ Pitmasters is a show like no other. It has done a lot of good for BBQ and has opened up the eyes to the general public about what goes on at some of these competitions. It also shows that no matter what kind of equipment you have anyone can do this. I really wish they would make it a more family oriented show. I really enjoy competing with my family and would hate for people to be turned off because they have other interpretations of Competition BBQ.

Kell Phelps – NBBQA President I think the show has been great for showing BBQ. I will say though I really did not like the language. When the first episode was on I wanted my son to watch it with me. he is 10 and was so excited. He had told all of his friends since we knew most of them. Unfortunately after the first 10 minutes I took him to bed. It was not appropriate for him.

Kelly Wertz- 4 Legs Up BBQ

I thought the first episode was crap. I think after that it got better. It is still good for BBQ.