Diva Q Christmas Gift Giving 2013


Well tis the season for some giving – the items below I have all personally tried & used . I do not recommend items that I have not thoroughly tried out or used. These are my own personal choices – some have made the list before and some are brand new.


Making a repeat appearance – one of my favorite gifts to receive and to give:

Back Lit ! Thermapen


Diva Q Christmas List Backlit Thermapen


In typical Thermapen-fashion, our UK engineers have designed a button-less intelligent backlight system. When the Thermapen is on, a new display sensor continuously monitors ambient light levels. As it gets darker, the backlight comes on automatically so you can read the digits in any light condition. With this power-saving strategy, battery life is only reduced to a minimum of 100 hours even when the backlight is in continuous use. If only used in the light, the miniature CR2032 cells still last 1500 hours! Your actual battery life will be somewhere in between depending on the amount of night cooking you do. And, there’s no button to push. You don’t even need to think about it.


Thermoworks Chef Alarm

Designed for commercial use, ChefAlarm delivers features not found in “houseware” cooking alarms. Continuous Min/Max display tells you how hot (or cold) your food got when you weren’t looking. A “High Alarm” sounds when your food reaches your setting, and a first-of-its-kind “Low Alarm” is perfect for making yogurt and other cold dishes.

Diva Q Christmas Chef Alarm


Diva Q Christmas Gift List 2013 Present

Texas Pepper Jelly

Diva Q Christmas Texas pepper Jelly

Seriously this stuff is incredibly addictive. So many flavor choices. I love glazing with these jellies on meats, brie (seriously to die for), and heck my husband loves pairing the jelly with toast too!  The possibilities are endless and the owner Craig is a super nice guy to deal with. Also make sure to try out their rib candy & also Craigs new BBQ sauce.

Diva Q Christmas Texas Pepper Jelly

Diva Q Christmas Gift List 2013 Present

Lodge Cast Iron

I don’t think you can ever go wrong with giving cast iron. Its a gift that can last a lifetime. This year I bought myself the Sportsman’s Grill.  and a new dutch oven. Great quality. The company has been around since 1896. Seriously thats a long freaking time.

Lodge Cast Iron Grill

Diva Q Christmas Gift List 2013 Present

BBQ Books

One of my all time favorite BBQ books. Now in its second edition – Championship BBQ Secrets for Real Smoked Food by the late Karen Putnam (Flower of the flames) & Judith Fertig. Some of my favorite recipes have come from this book. I cannot recommend it enough. The recipes were tried and true before publication. Really great food.

Diva Q Christmas List 2013

Diva Q Christmas Gift List 2013 Present

Big Green Egg Pizza Stone

I have owned a few pizza stones over the last few years. The Big Green Egg pizza stone has stood the test of time and usage. This is a great gift paired with a bag of  00 Flour and some homemade pizza sauce

Diva Q Christmas List 2013 Big Green Egg Pizza Stone

Diva Q Christmas Gift List 2013 Present

Rossy’s Diablo’s Fuego Hot Sauce –


This is not one of those everyday hot sauces. This is in a whole other category. Chef Rossy Earle is from Panama. I have been lucky enough to eat at her house and experience just a tiny bit of her cooking skills. This is an incredible condiment. Absolutely full of flavor and beyond delicious. This hot sauce can be used as a marinade or topping for grilled anything from meats to veggies and everything in between.

Available in select stores & locations in Ontario.

Pimenton on Mt Pleasant
Ruby Eats in Leslieville
The Sweet Escape in The Distillery District

Diva Q Christmas List 2013 Diablo Fuego Rossy's


Diva Q Christmas Gift List 2013 Present

FEC100 from Cookshack.

Ok this is a big BIG gift but I got one this year and I love it. Load it up with meat and it makes BBQ magic. I really enjoy using it- so simple and flavorful.

Diva Q Christmas List 2013

Diva Q Christmas Gift List 2013 Present

JP Custom Smoke Rubs

I received some of these as a gift this year. Great selection -terrific flavors.  Small operation that has BIG flavors!! Get some!
Diva Q Christmas List JP Custom Smoke

Diva Q Christmas Gift List 2013 Present

Smoky Mountain Smokers Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce

I have been using this sauce for years and it always tastes great. Great for use on so many items. Order a case. Trust me on this. Their disposable cutting boards are also something high on mylist of competition favorites. Truly awesome people.

Diva Q Christmas List 2013 Smoky Mountain Smokers Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce

Diva Q Christmas Gift List 2013 Present

Butchers Prime Injection

I use this product regularly in my briskets and big beef roasts.  It is like an insurance policy to make great meat. A little goes a long way. Check out their selections of rubs and sauces too!

Diva Q Christmas List Butchers BBQ Prime Injection


Diva Q Christmas Gift List 2013 Present

Grill Grates

No shock that these are on the list again. I take them to every competition, use them at home and recommend them to all my friends.

  • The Original Raised Rail Design™ is a new engineered cooking system that sits atop any existing grill. GrillGrates sear and sizzle foods better than traditional grills, which have more open exposure to direct flame and juices are only fuel for flare-ups. GrillGrates virtually eliminate charring but accentuate searing.



Diva Q Christmas List Grill Grates

Diva Q Christmas Gift List 2013 Present

Plastic Shakers with different types of lids

Earlier this year I was experimenting with rubs and bought a couple of these 10 oz shakers. They clean up nicely and the different lids really help control how much rub and spice comes out.  My only lament is that I didn’t buy more. These would be great to give with an assortment of basic spices – garlic powder onion etc and some simple recipe cards for rubs.

Diva Q Christmas List 2013 Plastic Shaker

Diva Q Christmas Gift List 2013 Present


Char-Broil Wood Chip Smoker Boxes – Assorted Varieties

Perfect for anyone who wants to take their food up to the next level of flavor. Char-Broil came out with these smoker boxes and they are super convenient to use. Also they have a great selection of accessories on their website.  Also check out the BIG Easy Roaster for your Turkey this year. I was shocked how great our turkey came out!

This code will give  25% OFF All Grills and Cookers on  Pls note it is not applicable to parts but to grills & accessories only. This code & link below is valid until December 31 2013. Just use the code when you are checking out. **** Please note this code cannot be combined with any other online code**** – See more at:


Diva Q Christmas List Char-Broil Wood Chip Smoker Packs

Diva Q Christmas Gift List 2013 Present

Zinger Grill 

My teammate Patrick bought this Zinger Grill. I picked it up for him at a contest in the US. I admit I was skeptical – I have to tell you I was/am thoroughly impressed. It is a grill & fire pit with an adjustable grate that raises and lowers. It also compacts down simply.  I also haven’t given it back. Good Luck Patrick, You may want to order another one. LOL

Diva Q Christmas List 2013 Zinger Grill

Diva Q Christmas Gift List 2013 Present

Montana Cross Grain Planks 

I like using planks for grilling. I like them even more when they really give a lot of flavor to the meats I am grilling. I find these cross grain planks are just really effective. They also look snazzy serving up great smoked food to your guests.

Diva Q Christmas List 2013 Organic Cross Grain Planks

Diva Q Christmas Gift List 2013 Present

Tony Chachere Injectible Marinades

I don’t use really fancy injectors. Never have. Also many of the large stainless steel ones are just too big for my hands. I always buy Tony Chachere’s Injectable Marinades- I like the flavors and I keep the injector. Its like a 2 in one present.

Diva Q Christmas List  2013 Tony Chachere Injectible Marinades

 Diva Q Christmas Gift List 2013 Present


Beer & BBQ go naturally well together. It would be a great idea to purchase an assortment of craft brews locally and then give them this book.  A great pairing. Ted Reader has written so many terrific grilling books. Check this one out – one of my favs!

Diva Q Christmas List 2013 Beerlicious

Diva Q Christmas Gift List 2013 Present


BBQ Calender

365 days of BBQ tips & Recipes! Seriously- everybody should have this!

Diva Q Christmas BBQ List 2013


Diva Q Christmas Gift List 2013 Present


KCBS BBQ Judging & Competition Classes

Diva Q Christmas List 2013 Classes

There are lots of judging classes listed for 2014 – Check the KCBS Bullsheet  and online

Also check out classes given by Competition Pros a great gift for anyone to step up their game.


Gift Cards for BBQ Stores:

Gift Cards

If you have a griller that seems to own everything then a gift card might be the right option> I love these stores for BBQ Accessories & Equipment.

In Ontario/Canada I shop at: -Ontario Gas BBQ located in Vaughan Ontario

Amazing selection  – Guinness World Record holder for largest store.

Diva Q Christmas 2013 Ontario Gas BBQ – Capital Appliance & BBQ located in Ottawa Ontario –

These guys are some of the nicest people you could ever deal with. Highly recommend this store – terrific service and selection!

Diva Q Christmas List 2013

In the US – Great selection they will ship anywhere!! These guys know competitions and everyday grilling too!

Diva Q Christmas 2013

Whiskey Bent BBQ Supply  Store located in Lakeland Florida coming online Black Friday 2013 – Competition & Everyday grilling needs ? They have you covered!

Diva Q Christmas List 2013 Whiskey Bent BBQ supply


Diva Q Christmas Gift List 2013 Present

Get SPUN !!! Dizzy Pig Spices & Rubs – Gift Box! 

Diva Q Christmas List 2013 Dizzy Pig

I am huge fan of the entire Dizzy Pig Spic Line of rubs!..

This would make an awesome gift for anyone on your grill & BBQ loving gift giving list … Even better getting 25% off with this code: use DIVA25 at the Check out to get 25% off of their Gift Box 4 

Diva Q Christmas List 2013 Dizzy Pig Get Spun

Packaged in a colorful, eye-catching and sturdy box are our 4 top-selling rubs, Dizzy Dust, Cow Lick, Raging River and Tsunami Spin…along with 7 samples of all of our other flavors, a Dizzy Pig lapel pin and sticker.

Here is an even sweeter deal.

Dizzy Pig is giving away one gift box of their 4 top selling rubs to a Diva Q Fan! 

Contest Rules:


All you have to do is leave a message under this post on the Diva Q Facebook Fan page under this contest announcement – tell us what is on your Christmas wish list from Santa this year. The contest is open to both Continental US & Canada residents. 1 winner will be randomly selected from all the entries. LIMIT ONE (1) ENTRY PER Household. Subsequent entries will be disqualified.  Contest is void where prohibited by law. Contest begins November 17/2013 and closes December 1st at 7pm est. Diva Q accepts no responsibility for comments lost or unpublished. Winner will be notified via Facebook message and published on the website.




photo courtesy of Livefirephotography C. McAdams

I often get asked what knives and things I have in my knife kit so here they are:

Each are essential to the way I trim, cut and present my BBQ for competition, catering and home use.

Forschner Flexible Straight Boning Knife 6″

This knife was given to me by David Bouska from Butcher BBQ.  I give thanks to him every time I pull it out since it is the one knife for trimming I use the most.

Forschner Fibrox 12″ Granton Edge Slicer

This is the knife I use to slice my brisket. I used to use an electric knife but I am much more comfortable using this one.

Norpro KLEVE 7 Inch Cleaver

I don’t have a lot of wrist strength due to a couple of carpel tunnel surgeries I had on my wrists. It can be a challenge for me to cut bones and cartillage for so this cleaver really helps.

J.A. Henckels Twin Four Star 8-Inch High Carbon Stainless-Steel Chef’s Knife

This is my general all purpose go to knife. I have a couple of these. They are not expensive considering how much I use them. Very reasonable.

Skinning, Curved, Black Fibrox, 6 in.

Dave Witt from the Swine Syndicate got me hooked on this knife. It can dig out things you want out and skin like no other.  Make sure you click the link to their You Tube video on Canadian Bacon.

Victorinox 47508 3-1/4-Inch Paring Knife

I have a couple of these.  I like using them for scraping chicken skin.

Norpro Stainless Steel Seafood Forks, Set of 4

I really like these for adjusting things in a competition box. Sometimes those fine tweaks can make a big difference. Additionally I don’t want to be touching the food or prodding with tongs as it could smudge the sauce that I worked so carefully to set.

Waring Pro KS80 Professional Knife Sharpener

This has been mentioned on the blog before with good reason. Nothing beats having a sharp knife. One of the best parts of this sharpener is that it ensures the right angle and it gets it done fast. The sharpener and all of the knives and seafood forks are available on Amazon.

Ambrosi Brothers Cutlery Knife Bag

I saw my friend Andy’s from Smoke on Wheels knife bag and thought it was just perfect so I got one just this year. It has the perfect pockets for everything from your business cards, to individual knife slots. I also purchased all of my knife guards from Ambrosi Bros. Cutlery . It is a wonderful shop in Kansas City, Missouri. They will also sharpen your knives with a competition style of sharpening.

So thats it. Those are my knives. Everyone has their personal preferences. These just work for me.


I want to take a moment to publicly thanks some really fine folks who really went out of their way to help us get all our gear to California to tape the episode of BBQ Pitmasters.

Traeger Canada

wood pellet grills we use everywhere! We used the Traegers to make some of the alligator, to bake the corn bread muffins, the alligator tacos, and also to do the ribs.

Basques Charcoal

we love this all natural sugar maple lump ! While they didn’t show it we used Basques Charcoal to grill the alligator and also to make our beans. They were awesome!!


for their yardbird , bovine bold plus their new JERK rub they rock and we love to use them.

Butcher BBQ

for their injections and rubs we love to use them. Trust your butcher. We do.

Smokey Mountain Smokers

for their excellent cutting boards rubs and sauces we love to use them.

and some personal thanks……

Sylvie Curry thank you so much for letting us use your WSM! We appreciate it and getting to have dinner with you was just wonderful so glad we were able to.

Neil ” Big Mista” Strawder (who I do believe has some of the best BBQ in LA! ) for hooking us up with loads of stuff so we didn’t have to take it on the plane. Thank you for making us feel welcome in California. For those of you in California make sure to check out Big Mista’s BBQ !

To my team Angie Quaale and my beloved husband Vlado I could not have had any better a team than ours. I am proud of what we did. You are both the bomb. Heres to yet another BBQ adventure!!!

Coming in second bites royally. We went in to win it however I am still happy with the food we put out.

John Markus, Jon Sechrist, Jordan Mallari, Lindsay Freed, Michael Gretza, Original Media, & TLC thank you for continuing to promote BBQ on TV and for all your help. I appreciate it.

Thanks to all the fine folks who sent us twitter messages, facebook messages and a whole whack of emails during the show. Really cool to have so much support. Thank you thank you thank you!!

Till the next time you see me on tv…………

Remember life is too short for bad BBQ!!


David Bouska is the creator of Butcher BBQ- injections,  and rubs from Chandler Oklahoma. He also happens to be an award winning BBQ Champion coming in this year with a 7th overall finish in the KCBS TOY standings out of 4700+ teams .  Additionally in the rankings he came in 9th in chicken and 2nd in brisket!!!  His injections have a huge following. Some of the top teams in BBQ are part of his winners circle including Tuffy Stone (TLC BBQ Pitmasters, owner of Q, sharper Palate) and the American Royal Invitational Winner- Pork Pullin’ Plowboys.  He has over 28 years of meat experience. When he talks about meat people notice and pay attention. He has a great respect for competition. I have no doubt he will be working really hard to move that 7th to first.

D-How did you begin comp BBQ?

DB-I have been hand in hand with the meat world.  For 28 years. Either running meat markets running sausage markets wholesaling to restaurants always had that in the back of my head. The wife and I were sitting in the house reading a paper. We saw a KCBS Comp in Enid Oklahoma. I thought to myself – I would like to do that. I looked it up on the website.  Realized there was a lot of interest in it.

For me the competitive juices have run in my blood for a long time. I was a competitive archer. I was formerly 10th at the worlds in archery shooting being only 5 pts out of 1st place. I had lots of sponsors and that was the life. So I have competed in different areas.

So we went to see the competition. . I took an inventory of cooks. Realized what I needed to compete.  That was Friday night then I drove back the next morning at 7am.  Just to watch them compete.  I even stuck around for the awards.

My first competition was a month and a half later in Stillwater.  I took 9th place in chicken. I have been hooked ever since.

First I had to finish my obligations were finished in the Archery world then I pursued my competition BBQ life.

D-How many years have you competed?

DB- I have been competing since 2004

D-Would you consider ever doing a television show?

DB- Yes at this point. I would want to see everything laid out on the table.  I would have to know the ins and out. Then I would make my decision.

With the parts of the show – you have to show some of the behind the scenes, secret brewings. Etc. I am not against it. What I do is simple and revolves around with meat knowledge. I do the exact same thing at the exact same time.

For me the last 2.5 hours is as or more important that the first 14 hours. If you change your process or deviate from your procedure when the last 2.5 hours are there you don’t know if you are off or not. A good pitmaster knows when to adjust. Or what to tweak. That’s when the cream will rise to the top.

All those things play into that timing and your turn in your box. . I how to get to the end because I know how to get from the beginning.

D-What do you think of the TLC BBQ Pitmasters?

DB- I think it is good for BBQ. We have to promote the whole gamut of BBQ. Whatever it may be – catering, competition, or restaurants.  We need to keep the three little letters BBQ not cake decorating at the fore front. I get a lot of comments from people who now understand what I do. It’s a shame they are not starting a series now. I know the food network always show the repeats of the BBQ shows in the spring. I wish they would start in February and keep it rolling. The sponsors would see that and say “hey let me get involved in competitions.”

Think of it as this. The only show I can think of is like the old time Western tv shows You always have the good guys the Gene Autrys etc. However whenever you wanted to make “big” news- it was a black hat guy that came in. You had to have a bit of a bad guy or scoundrel you might say. I would not say he is doing anything wrong. He is just out there promoting his name. Name is everything. I am sure it would be standing room only to eat his food. My hats off to him he is wonderful at self promoting. I think half the guys and girls that are complaining don’t be jealous – well get out there and do something yourselves.

D-Who is on your team?

DB-It’s mostly just me and my brother Martin Bouska. My wife does come out when we are at closer competitions. However we have a miniature horse farm and it’s hard to leave them with people.  They need tending to. You know I have a good family. Great parents.  I live 3 miles from where I was raised at. Raised on a small farm. Martin lives two more miles past me and my other brother lives in Amarillo Texas. Just up the road. Everyone is close.

Martin Bouska

D- Will you be holding any future competitive BBQ classes?

DB- We had planned on doing one in the spring however it just fell through due to the dates. We have about 70 or so people on the waiting list. Hopefully in the future we can come up with something. We will just have to wait and see.

D-What mad you decide to compose your own butcher BBQ injections?

DB- Originally I was making my own stuff. It was comprised of the same components. I injected everything due to the meat business and history. I just took the moisture out of the play. I didn’t have to worry about it. But I didn’t have the right product yet I used this and that.

I was doing that about a year. Then I took fast Eddy’s class and he was using fab. I said to myself I know what this is. I have dealt with this type of product lots of times and marinated with vacuum tumblers. I started playing for about the next year. The guys around me asked about it. I just kept tweaking at it.  Then I gave it to a couple guys.

Two of them were at the American Royal. They did well. So we kept going at it with the same guys- I was finished playing with it. It wasn’t a magic bullet. That’s actually how it came about.

The next year I started playing with the pork product. The basic ingredients are about the same just tweaked a bit differently. So I came out with it. My main ingredient is hydrolyzed vegetable protein.  The injections have come from the same suppliers. Everything stays the same and the consistency of the product is good.

D-How did you formulate the rubs?

DB- It’s the very same rub since I started. It’s a balanced rub with 4 different peppers. The different peppers hit you in different parts of your taste buds.  I formulated with my injections. This last year I wanted something that was toned down a bit. I wanted to come up with a sweeter rub. So we came out with the honey rub- it’s great for chicken and ribs.  At one point I was eating rub morning noon and night. I would be sitting there with my coffee and tasting rub. I tinkered with that religiously.  I had all these Dixie cups with plastic wrap on them on the counter. All of the cups had different ingredients. It’s just the process I went through.

D- How did you feel with your results this year 7th place KCBS TOY?

DB- I was honoured. Oh my gosh. Oh heck who doesn’t want to be up there?  It was awesome. It is hard to wrap your head around it. That being said I really want to get those 6 places. I am That’s just my competitive nature.  I have been working on my ribs now. I have been cooking ribs nonstop. I am trying so many different things. I think I need to work on my method. Just going back tweaking it.

D- Does it matter to you if an event is sanctioned?

DB– I believe it needs something to tell the BBQ cooks what to be cooking for. I would not slam one sanctioning body over another. The parts that I do like (about KCBS) are that there is a nationally set of rules and instructed the judges to them. They have explained it.

When you go to a non sanctioned event you don’t know what they consider perfect. I think it needs something laid out front.  I like that they teach the judges.  Around here most are KCBS so I will cook to the events to get the points.

D- Do you think there should be a monetary prize for KCBS toy of the year?

DB-Yes I do. I think it should stay the same. A professional is the best at what he does.  They should be rewarded. I think they should be the best cook. Look at ISS 22 or 23 contests for the year.  That means they cooked fewer contests than us and did better. I think it should be set aside for money $2000.00 is a joke. They need to get a National sponsor for TOY. Flat out. I think it should be HUGE and it will promote people to cook more.

Butcher BBQ Injections and rubs are available on their website.

Additionally Butcher BBQ also has a fan page on facebook.


Well its a great night to be interested in BBQ!

First up at -9pm EST there is the BBQ Central Show

Tonights Live Episode will feature David Bouska from Butcher BBQ.

David is a really great guy. I speak from personal experience. He is an incredible BBQ’er and a terrific asset to the entire BBQ community. His team Butchers BBQ came in 7th on the TOY listings for the KCBS. He is a smart business man and his products are top notch.
I am looking forward to listening to this episode.

Additionally tonight on Jay Leno – Myron Mixon will be making an appearance. Very excited to see a fellow competitive BBQ’er on National TV. Looking forward to seeing if they have to use the Bleeps much.