Posts Tagged ‘bbq’

Jack Daniels Invitational BBQ Wednesday Oct 19

Road trips !! Love em or hate em they are necessary if you need to haul all your BBQ equipment to a competition.
We left my house at about 230pm and started our adventurous trek to the Jack.

 Let me introduce you to my friend Jack!
 One of our important stops !! Duty Free!

The weather was grey and overcast the entire trip.. Mass pockets of rain hindered what is usually a beautiful scenic drive.

Getting to the Jack and our hotel as fast as possible was our goal. We had decided that it would be in our best interests if we drove through the night as much as we could safely.

Vlad – drove 99% of the way he is a trooper! 

There were four of us in the truck from the team – Vlado, Jamie, Mike and myself. Lets just say the ratio of testosterone to estrogen was a bit skewed. The boys talked about sports and argued the validity of their teams. Jamie had downloaded a lot of 80′s music that was great to listen to. Mike was in charge of candy procurement and snacks.

With all the rain and fog and mist we didn’t take a lot of pictures but how cold you miss this Dinosaur LOL 

It seemed like it took forever to get here. It almost did – almost 28 hours after we left we arrived in Nashville.

Now I am a very superstitious BBQ lady and I believe if you have done something in the past and it has worked then you should repeat the process. SO off to Jack’s BBQ for some food and a slice of chess pie. Just like I did 3 years previously.

At Jack’s I made sure to pet his pig at the front.  Then we grabbed a couple of plates of food to share with each other.  I think it is really important to try as much BBQ as possible wherever you are. I think it is a lifetime of learning about the different ways ppl make BBQ.

The guys about to Chow down!  
left to Right Mike Miller, Vlado Dimovski Jamie Parisi 

It was a good meal and a great kickoff to our time in Tennessee.

Texas Sausage, mustard greens and sweet potatoes all of it was delicious. 
Great memorable beans, cornbread, delicious brisket also ribs, pork and mac & cheese. 

After Jack’s BBQ we finally got to our hotel in Tullahoma TN and after cleaning up it was time for a few cocktails and talking to some of the teams that had already checked in.

We love Motts clamato caesars and Yeungling and we are well stocked for the next few days! 
Libations at the hotel with some of the fine folks from Smokin’ Hoggz

That’s it for day 1 !! (well that’s all that can be published lol) Today we are off to the legendary Mrs. Mary Bobo’s







Great ABT Tool – Progressive Corer

I picked up one of these handy dandy ABT tools . They work perfectly for making lots of those tasty stuffed bacon wrapped jalapenos! It is also a multi task gadget as it is perfect for coring tomatoes and fruits!

A couple of super yummy recipes to use this new fav gadget:

Cheesy ABTs

ABT’s for a party 




Progressive Corer 

7-1/2″ long,
Stainless steel and nylon,
Dishwasher safe
Made in China
- Small end for tomato and strawberry stems,
- Long end to remove seeds from peppers and more

$ 4.99 MSRP (US price)

BBQ Meat on skewers makes people happy.

BBQ’ed or grilled meat on sticks makes people happy. I am sure there is a study out there somewhere. Have you ever been to a dinner party and a tray of skewered meats goes by??? People lose their minds.  Anything you grill on a stick makes people happy. I think its a caveman thing. Truly. It doesn’t really matter what sticks you use. It could be traditional wooden or metal skewers or maybe something a little more exotic like lemongrass or branches of rosemary.

Pork Kebabs on charcoal

This weekend my kids were involved with these. They were a huge hands on help forming the meat around the skewers.  We love Chevaps.  We buy them regularly from DS Meats in Ajax Ontario. This is our homemade version.

We used a combination of ground beef and pork. Plus assorted herbs and seasonings.  There is no recipe.

Its all up to your own personal tastes. I walked to the herb garden and grabbed chives and thyme which seem to be thriving in our garden this year. A couple of minced jalapenos and garlic were added as well. Pulsed everything in a food processor  with kosher salt and black pepper and added to the meat mixture. Then I took about 2 handfuls of the meat mixture and pulsed it in the mini chopper. Its a nice way to get a different texture from the meat. Its also holds the meat together well acting as a binder.

We also added Vegeta. Vegeta is a staple spice in our household pantry.  Using an ice cram scoop ensures that each portion of meat will cook in approximately the same time.

I used metal skewers with the intention of putting them on the Big Green Egg. One problem I had no charcoal left. Ugh. Are you kidding me?? I was shocked but sadly it was true no charcoal – must pick up more Basques this week!!

Off to the traeger! 

About halfway done…

Slathered with Joey Mac’s Amberque.  love this stuff. Great on well… everything.



New BBQ Cookbook – America Grills!!

I love BBQ cook books. I love reviewing the recipes and many times being inspired by them.

Recently on a trip to South Carolina I got to meet in person Barry “CB” Martin.  We have talked back and forth on twitter & facebook many times and on the phone but never in person. He is the contributing editor for this cookbook.

Barry exudes a lot of passion for all things BBQ and grilling – it really comes through in this book as well ! This is a happy book.  This book makes you want to go out and grill something ASAP. Lots of really useful information packed into this well laid out BBQ cookbook!


Right from the beginning the book outlines all different methods and does a fine job of it -

Beautiful pictures and 222 recipes follow all gloriously detailed!

In no way is this book pretentious. It is an easy book to read to look at and to enjoy. One of the best things about this book is that it makes you want to head to the store buy the recipes and BBQ.. That’s why I would highly recommend this book for anyone – It would be a great gift too!

The book is available from Amazon

You can find Barry on twitter and Char-broil on facebook

Inaugural Sam’s Club Contest Gilbert Arizona

This past weekend the Inaugural Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour kicked off in Gilbert Arizona !

30 teams and 30 judges got down to business in rainy drizzly weather….Sanctioned by the KCBS!!

Here is an excellent video from:

One of the best things about BBQTV videos is to hear the judges commentary on the BBQ that was presented to them.  You can learn a lot from watching their videos- all 577 of them!!

After the boxes were turned in & the results tallied the Grand Champion was … Darren & Sherry Warth from Iowa’s Smokey D’s BBQ !!

Reserve Grand Champion was Jennifer Duncan from Smoked to the Bone..

The Top 7 teams overall from this contest will be continuing on to the next tier in Las Vegas on May6th & 7th 2011:

1 Iowa’s Smokey D’s BBQ
2 Smoked to the Bone
3 Rhythm ‘n Que
4 Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ
5 I.A.B. 30 BBQ
6 McFrankenboo BBQ
7 Loot N’ Booty BBQ


Congratulations to all the teams that participated!

Bucky’s BBQ Greenville SC- a story of Endurance, Faith and BBQ success

On our BBQ tour of local places in Greenville SC we were told we should not miss Bucky’s BBQ. Not only for the food but to hear the story behind it and the owner Wayne Preston. I took a short video about his story and in the background you can hear the chopping of pork….Wayne talks a lot about his family and we had a great time there. We enjoyed our meal a whole lot here.



Wayne’s son Zack and his son in law chopping pork.


Some serious dedication. Wayne’s tattoo.

Their kitchens were beyond spotless.

Outside they have their pits. All of them use hickory wood. The chicken was just coming off as we got there.

Their tables tell their story.

We really enjoyed our meal there. Lots of flavor and the sauces were excellent. One of the funniest moments was when I walked in with Jason, Melissa, Chris and Phyllis the first thing Wayne said to me was what are you going to say about our BBQ.  LOL Wayne follows me on twitter and facebook and had been following us through the day on our adventure. Well Wayne if you are reading this let me tell you – your BBQ was really fine. My favorite was the chicken. SO moist and delicious. Thanks for the hospitality. You are your entire family were excellent hosts.

Bucky’s BBQ has multiples of locations we went to the one on Roper Mountain Road.

(864) 329-0054

1700 Roper Mountain Road, Greenville, SC‎

Monday – Tuesday 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Wednesday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Sunday – Closed

Bucky’s Facebook Account

The Beast Restaurant… and for the first time ever Lamb Ribs.

I have been meaning to get to Beast for a while now.  Just never enough to time….. I had heard from a few friends in TO that the food was really good . This past weekend I finally got to try some items.  Once again Angie Quaale from Well Seasoned accompanied me.

We stopped  in for a glass of wine and a few appetizers before we headed out for a late dinner at Parts & Labour

The building is really charming and with lovely plastered walls, planked flooring and cozy seating.More like you are going to someones home for dinner than a restaurant.  Its just a really nice place to eat and the chandeliers are gorgeous but not so pretentious you would feel uncomfortable  coming in more casual clothing.

We decided on our wine and then moved on to selecting some appetizers to share -

Cassoulet duck confit, chorizo sausage, poached duck egg

The beautiful succulent pieces of duck, the to-die-for chorizo, beans that held their shape yet yielded to a bite…  and a perfectly poached duck egg made this dish elegant, rustic and hearty all at once.  The only criticism I could make was it was just a bit heavily seasoned with salt for our tastes… That note aside this is a dish you want to delve into- curling up beside a fireplace with it……. Like your favorite cardigan or sweater you want to just keep going back to it.

beast charcuterie

I love cured meats. I love the smoky overtones the different textures and tastes a good charcuterie platter should come with. I am spoiled so many of my friends on the BBQ circuit cure their own meats and have shared their bounty with us.  Going to restaurants lately I have been very disappointed with some of the charcuterie I have had, until this arrived:

1.Rabbit and Carrot Terrine 2. Pate de Campagne 3. Mortadella 4. Duck Bresaola 5. Foie Gras “Pastrami” pickled veg, mustard & honeycomb -parker house rolls, absolutely everything was delicious. We could have spent all night with this gorgeous pig platter of food slowly savoring each item.

I would also like to note they make the parker house rolls and mini baguettes with red bran (I could eat a dozen of these they are soo yummy and the texture ROCKS)  in house and they are just perfect accompaniments to this dish.

lamb ribs carolina bbq sauce & hushpuppies

So here is the hard part. I don’t like lamb in any form at all. I have had countless chefs and BBQ cooks and friends have me try their lamb in every which way possible. I still don’t like it. Until now.

Lamb ribs are something I have never had before. These were succulent and properly cooked.  The outside crust was incredible. The sauce very lightly applied.  I wish I had the rub recipe. The meats texture and flavor was incredible. Different than any other lamb I have ever had. The fatty layer underneath is simply indulgent very rich….. Delicious. ….I was shocked by how much I enjoyed them. The coleslaw was vinegary and crisp & did a great of balancing the fattiness of the ribs.

Last but not least the hushpuppies. I have such a fondness for hushpuppies. I am an absolute hush puppy lovin’ lady- These were little balls of pure happiness. I could eat them by the bucketload . The crunchy exterior is in beautiful contrast to the fluffy light interior.  They were awesome..  Hushpuppies are a Southern thing that I hope catches on a lot more in Ontario.

I am really looking forward to another visit to Beast to have not just appetizers but an entire meal… The service was incredibly friendly warm and hospitable. Scott and Rachelle Vivian truly have something to be incredibly proud of with this restaurant.

Big Bone BBQ & Wicked Wings -Barrie gets another great BBQ joint !

I was happy to read a while back that Barrie would be getting another BBQ joint. Currently we have one Big Chris BBQ and I already like to eat there so why not another.. Barrie with its ever growing population can always use more BBQ.

Big Bone BBQ & Wicked Wings Barrie opened up just yesterday. Their location at 190 Minet’s Point Road is within a strip plaza facing Young St. It is an interesting location as it is ideally suited for the bedroom community at the South end and central Barrie.

They have awards from various ribfests around the walls and make claim that they have won over 50 BBQ Championships (?!).   The decor is casual and warm with taupe colored table cloths and walls with wood accent partitions.  Each table has ketchup salt & pepper, wet naps and a roll of paper towels but no  (?) BBQ sauce.  It is a nice… but not too nice place to go.   You would be comfortable here in dress pants as well as shorts.  They have achieved a good balance.

When I arrived there was one table of 4 young men all very animated and thoroughly enjoying their meal. It was nice to see people enjoying their food so much.  It was 11:30 am so no wonder that the rest of the dining room was empty.  However within moments many people started coming through the door. The crowd was a mix of businessmen in suits, young teens, families and local staff from area businesses.  They all looked happy to be there.   There was the sweet smell of BBQ throughout the restaurant…. and a terrific selection of Jazz, country, and blues on their sound system.

Lots of options on their menu.

Wanting to try just about everything I ordered the Elvis platter. It  comes with 3 bones, 1/2 lb wings, 1/2lb pulled pork, fries, coleslaw, beans and cornbread for $18.00  I also ask to have sauce on the side and the waitress went and asked if that was possible.  I also asked the super friendly waitress for sweet tea. I should have known that would be confusing.  In Canada no one ever refers to it as sweet tea. We usually order iced tea.  (I miss my US sweet tea! ).  No problem and off she goes to get it.

In the meantime I play with my blackberry but notice a couple of the staff milling about and generally doing everything they can to make people feel comfortable.  The owners of the Newmarket location (Lee & Tim Rombos of the Purple Pig & Memphis BBQ Woodbridge ON, fame) were on hand as well.  Certainly as this is only day 2 it is to be expected. I really hope they continue with their hospitality.

My platter arrives minus the beans. I do not say anything because truthfully I was paying attention to the meat.  It looks good plus instead of 3 bones I get 4. . ….

The ribs and the wings both come without sauce but the pork had already been sauced for the day. The texture of the cornbread is good its not overly sweet or dry. Just a decent slice of cornbread that crumbles properly.  The waitress came with the beans and apologized without being asked.  The coleslaw is creamy, simple and crunchy.  Its a good contrast for the pork which has nice chunks  in addition to the pulled. I got a little bit of bark but not much.  The flavor was good – mild and unoffensive with a hint of smoke. I like the fact the pork was not mushy and it still had definition. I would always prefer to order it naked and I hope that could someday be an option here.  Their sauce is a tangy and sweet tomato based sauce. A typical Canadian BBQ sauce. I am in it for the meat so to me the sauce really doesn’t matter that much.

The ribs had good flavor. Smokey overtones and very mild in seasoning and to me-  the lack of sauce let the taste of the meat come through. The ribs were well cooked. They were not fall off the bone.  They were tender and moist and quite lovely. They were… however… a little thin on the meat side as you can see from the picture and certainly this may be why I received 4 instead of the 3 as stated on the menu.  The owner Mike Miller later told me they are actively looking into obtaining some heavier racks and securing their pork for the upcoming months.

Happy people make better BBQ trust me on this…

Now moving on to the beans. They are forgettable. Seriously. Just forget them if you are looking for Smokey pit BBQ beans. They taste like a can of Heinz beans right off the counter.  To some people that may be terrific and perfectly acceptable but I have higher expectations from a BBQ joint.  They need some oomph. They need some smoke and they need more flavor.  I hope they give them some of the same love & attention they have bestowed upon their wings……..

wing picture from their website (I will admit I was too busy enjoying them to take a picture)

Moving on to the wings… They are really fantastic.  Lots of smoke flavor in little wing packages. To me I hold all wings to the level of Buster Rhinos in Whitby my all time favorite place for bbq wings. These come really close other than being a little on the small side they are terrific. Good things can come in small packages. I love a really good smoked then grilled wing.  The dual cooking technique can elevate a simple chicken wing to heights of absolute  culinary excellence.  They do them really well here and offer 24 toppings for their wings from the traditional flavors to a little more unique like Rasta Jerk and creamy Parmesan.

The kitchen is open to the dining room for all to see.

They use a Cookshack with hickory to cook all of their BBQ.

I had a bit of conversation with the owner Mike Miller about the restaurant and the menu items. He pointed out that I had missed the brisket sandwich completely when I had ordered the Elvis Platter. I just had to order one and I am very happy that I did. They thinly slice all of their brisket and toss it very lightly with their sauce and a bit of additional salt.  While it is not a traditional Texas style brisket it is a really satisfying beefy sandwich that has all the right amounts of spice and sauce.  Its piled high on a perfectly proportioned soft bun. To me meat to bun ratio should always be taken into consideration.  You should never have more bun than meat. Ever. They do it right here and its delicious.

The only real glitch I  observed on my visit (and seriously its only their second day) besides the beans in their layout.  They have a podium at the front of the restaurant for the hostess and the cash station is at the back of the room. Its awkward.  I think they should have combined the hostess station and the cash at the front and be done with it. Certainly it would free up room to put in at least 1 more 4 person table if not 2.  It doesn’t make any sense to have to walk to the back of the restaurant to pay when you are heading out the door. Also for those people waiting on take out they would be standing basically in the dining room right next to the other patrons seated in tables. I really think they need to change that layout.

My bill for the brisket sandwich, the Elvis platter and the iced tea was $33.00 (not including tip).  There was plenty to bring home for my better half. He was happy too. Both of us will be back next time. For sure without a doubt we will be back and I am thankful that Barrie has not just one but two great BBQ joints now.

Congratulations to the owners on their successful opening. It was a delicious afternoon.

190 Minet’s Point Road
Barrie, ON, L4N 4C3

Mon – Thurs:11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Fri – Sat:11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Sun:12:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Price Range:$$ (10-30)

Payment Options:
Take – Out and Catering available.

The most expensive & delicious porchetta i’ll ever make.

I had a serious craving this week for porchetta. Not just any run of the mill porchetta I really wanted porchetta from The Stockyards. IF you are ever in Toronto go. Go for the porchetta and rapini sammie, go for the fried chicken go for the green chili burger … seriously just go and have everything on the menu. You will thank me. Unfortunately due to some commitments I can`t get to Toronto this week. So whats a BBQ lady to do….. make her own porchetta.

I started with a thinly sliced cored fennel bulb, a couple stalks of celery, onions, lots of garlic and some olive oil. I sweated them out till nice and soft. I added some additional fennel seeds (crushed in a mortar & pestle) salt & pepper with some oregano, parsley and shredded basil. I also added a tablespoon of red chili flakes and a couple of minced jalapeños.

I set this aside to cool completely and moved on to prepping a fresh pork belly. These are readily available at Highland farms. They always have them and they are very reasonably priced. The belly was scored very deeply. The reason I did this was to allow as much smoke to penetrate into the porchetta. I wanted to have a very prominent smoke flavor as part of the porchetta I was creating. In addition to prepping the belly I also zested 3 lemons and finely minced two packages of rosemary. Once the belly was scored I mixed the rosemary & lemon zest with enough olive oil to make a paste. Fifteen cloves of garlic were slivered and added to the mix. I was looking for big bold flavorful porchetta cracklin. The last step was a very generous sprinkling of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Once that side was completely seasoned I covered it in plastic wrap and laid on a tea towel. I flipped the whole kit and caboodle over to work on the interior. One of the key flavors I wanted to come through with the porchetta was fennel. I had read on a few boards and posts that fennel pollen was the key. I tried to find some locally to no avail so I substituted ground fennel. I ground it to a fine powder and seasoned the belly with it. The next step was a substitution as well. I wanted pancetta on the inside of the belly. However I made a commitment to my freezers to empty them out this year completely so I have given up buying anything I have a reasonable substitute for. Bacon was my answer. Not a lot just a few slices. Double smoked good quality bacon.

Going back to the softened fennel bulb and onion mixture…. It was now cooled completely and it was time for it to be introduced to the belly. I slathered it on top of the bacon slices.

Now for the interior meat. There were lots of things I could have used – ground pork, sausage, or pork loin were a few options I entertained. However once again freezer inventory came into play. I have over 100lbs of pork butt in just one of my freezers. It just made sense to use them for the interior. So I pulled out a package of two a few days ago.

The pork butts that I have all have bones. The first step was to debone the butts something I do very infrequently. It wasn`t pretty but I did get the job done. The next part was to decide what parts and muscles of the butts I would use. I decided on the money muscles from each and some from around the bone . The remaining parts of the butt and the bones are going to be used in a posole soup.

At this point its all about tying this little piggie up and leaving it to marinate for the night. It was massive. Very heavy and barely fit on my largest of commercial baking pans. Off to the garage for the night.

Earlier today I pulled my little piggie out and put it on one of my Traeger grills. I admit. I wussed out. I had planned on finishing it on the charcoal weber performer but with -10C and snow falling I finished it completely on the Traeger.
For the first 4 hours it was at 225F then for the remaining hour it was 375F. I used apple and hickory pellets. I pulled it when the internal temperature was 160F.

After taking the porchetta off I rested it for almost half an hour very lightly tented. Then it was time to slice.

It was absolutely delicious. Truly one of the best things I have made in the last couple of years. Everyone in our house including our almost vegetarian daughter loved it.

However that is not the only part of this story…… the reason that this is the most expensive porchetta I will ever make is due to the yummy yummy crackling. I can`t resist it. I saw some beautiful crunchy pieces on the porchetta that I had to have. As I was indulging in its salty crust and beautiful texture and full flavored pork goodness…. I heard a crunch. It wasn`t from the pork. Instantly I knew… I had broken a tooth. So be warned. This is a delicious recipe but it may just cost you a tooth. ( I still think it was worth it)

Diva Q Smoked BBQ Scotch Eggs Awesome Appetizer

Last year these were made out of necessity. This year I am doing them again on purpose. No bread crumbs and no deep frying for this bbq recipe. Its just my take on scotch eggs on the grill.

For this recipe I use:

  • 8 medium boiled eggs
  • 8 cevapcici (substitute your favorite sausage brand out of the casing)
  • 16 pieces roasted red pepper (Or substitute jalapenos for a spicier Scotch egg)
  • 2 spring onions finely chopped
  • 1 cup shredded colby cheese
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup bbq rub
  • 1 cup bbq sauce

For each scotch egg I lay down a piece of plastic wrap first. This makes assembly so much easier.  Spread out the sausage to make a flat patty about 5 inches in diameter.

I lay down 2 pieces of roasted red pepper, some spring onions and 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese.  Lay the egg down and using the plastic wrap bring the sides of the sausage around the egg.  Making sure all of the egg is completely enclosed season them with your favorite BBQ rub. ( Please note if your sausage is not well seasoned you may want to add some bbq rub on the inside of the egg as well on the outside of the egg.) Remove from the plastic once the eggs are formed.

To the grill they go at 250 F indirect. I used a frogmat to lay my eggs on.  Grill the eggs for 1/2 hour then turn them. Continue grilling until the temperature of the sausage reached 165F.  Remove and let stand for at least 10 minutes cut and serve in halves or quarters. Super yummy. Serve with your favorite warmed BBQ sauce.

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