Along with my love of BBQ and food in general I have a serious affinity for butchers shops. I have my own here in Barrie- Hovey’s Gourmet Meats and I believe everyone needs a good butcher. Last year I had the opportunity to do a Traeger demo at an incredible butcher store Schinkels Gourmet Meats in Chatham Ontario. Due to some technical difficulties (ok I admit it I lost the pictures) I haven’t posted before now but here are some pictures of this terrific butcher store. If you are ever in the area I suggest you stop in and pick up some of their great products.Additionally they have some of the nicest and most helpful staff you will ever encounter.

They have terrific meat counters that are full service

Great selections of lots of cheeses

Lots of spice mixtures and also BBQ sauces

Plus their owner is an all around great guy who really knows his stuff:

Stop in if you are in the area!

Schinkels’ Gourmet Meats
145 Richmond St.,
Chatham, Ontario.
N7M 1P1

Ph: (519) 351-2117
Fax: (519) 436-0961


Well I never made any secret of it. I made a DVD and am submitting it to BBQ pitmasters today. I have no clue if I fit the bill or if I will get to be on it but I at least can say I tried. Its better to have tried and failed then never to have tried at all. Who knows if they want a mom of 3 from the suburbs. I don’t come from a BBQ background. I didn’t grow up in the South. I didn’t even try really great BBQ until  a few short years ago.  Plus theres that whole I am a Canadian Chick in the pits thing. Oh and seriously I don’t look a model. I don’t own a jambo. I use pellets and charcoal. I don’t have a fancy schmancy rv. I sleep on a military cot in my bare bones yet functional cargo trailer.   Hmmm. Oh well. At the end of the day no one knows if they have what they are looking for. This I do know for sure. I can talk well on TV. Cameras don’t scare me, I am unlike anyone else out there and I know I make some really damn fine BBQ. I hope all my BBQ friends have submitted tapes. goodness knows there are a whole lot of really interesting personalities out there.

Over the last two weeks I have received tons of emails and talked to lots of BBQ folk about the new season. The responses are really varied. Some are very cynical and state they think JM already has his picks and he is doing this to keep people off his back. Others say this is just a ploy to get more attention. Personally I don’t really care one way or another. I think its a good idea to ask for submissions. Makes sense to me.

Additionally some people have stated they hate the new format already. Um I am not sure I understand this since none of use really know what exactly the new format is. Right now its just a bunch of talk. A bunch of guesses.Seriously Ill reserve judgment for when I actually see the new format.

This is what was posted from John Markus Exec Producer BBQ Pitmasters:

It’s official. Our new format features FOUR different pitmasters competing in EACH episode. We are looking to augment our cast from last season and welcome all interested cooks to throw their aprons in the ring. Send your audition tape/DVD, selling us on why you should be picked to compete against the best. To: Lindsay Freed c/o Original Media, 38 E. 29th St., 8th FL, NY, NY 10016. Or, you can email a file of your audition to Send your ?’s there as well. Shooting schedule April 30th – June26th. Good luck and see you on the trail!

Then there are a few posts from JM on Twitter:
It’s official. BBQ Pitmasters Season #2 picked up by TLC. Will be posting info on casting within the hour here and on various BBQ forums.
Audition tapes/DVDs, under 5 min! Sell us on you/your team! Lindsay Freed c/o Original Media, 38 E. 29th St. 8th FL. NY, NY 10016. GetGoin’!
Or, send a file of your audition to Shoot schedule runs from April 30 – June 27. Send ?’s there as well.
Going over the schedule for Pitmasters 2. Dammit man, we’re putting the miles on. But I can truly say, we’ll be at an event near you!
To all those hopefuls vying for a place on Pitmasters 2: BBQ Skills + Personality + Showmanship + Authenticity. In under five minutes!
Submissions for Pitmasters now arriving in waves. You ladies who ‘Q, & I’ve seen all y’all, jump in already! Starting to screen tomorrow.
Screened all day. To all you cooks about to make audition tapes–ladies, ya listenin?–Don’t just tap the bell. RING the bell! (Mel Brooks)
Saw some real keepers 2day. Hate 2 B a tease, ‘Q’rs, but a few of U hit it outa the park. (Okay, I luv the tease part–sorry). Want more!

There was even a mention of the new format here:

TLC To Revamp `BBQ Pit Masters’ Series

Network To Knead Reality Show Into Competition Format

by R. Thomas Umstead — Multichannel News, 3/15/2010 12:11:53 PM

TLC is hoping to add some sizzle to its freshman cooking reality series BBQ Pit Masters by changing its programming recipe from a docu-reality show to a competition-based series for its second season.

BBQ PitThe series, which followed the exploits of several barbeque cooking experts, averaged 900,000 total viewers and posted double digit increases for the network among male viewers during its first season, which ended last month.

The new season will feature a weekly competition between several chefs, with each weekly winner eventually squaring off against each other in the final episode, according to TLC officials. The show will feature BBQ Pit Masters stars such as Myron Mixon and Le Ann Whippen in “some capacity” on the show, said TLC officials.
BBQ Masters joins Cake Boss, Ultimate Cake Off and Cupcake Sisters as cooking-related shows on the Discovery Communications-owned network this year.

Overall I think no matter what its just more exposure for competition BBQ and really I think thats whats most important. Get it out there to more of the public. Let them know how much fun it is. How great the people are.


Thats quite the title for the post.

Well we are home. Coming home after one hell of a weekend away in Little Rock Arkansas. It was an interesting ride for sure. We always enjoy traveling through the US. On the way down we stopped a few times but overall nothing to exciting.

* Tuffy’s new Jambo. Looked awesome even has some really sharp flames on the sides.

One of the best parts of this weekend was my Sister in Smoke Angie Quaale flew in to hang with us for the weekend. She is a terrific friend and I really appreciated her help on the weekend. It was the first time ever I have let anyone help trim my meats. She did a great job trimming out the chicken.

Everything was going really smoothly on the weekend cook.  The one challenge I faced was the ribs. I could not get the same ribs I had been working with for the last couple of years. One text to my friend Kelly and a couple of stops at various stores and I had 12 racks to choose from.  I was pleased with the way they turned out. Apparently that was not to be when it came to the scoring.

Got to visit with some great friends I don’t see nearly often enough. One of the highlights had to be finally meeting Harry Soo in person. He is an awesome guy. I would highly recommend if you ever get the chance go meet him. I saw him be gracious to hundreds of fans through out the weekend. Always smiling.

We also got to visit with a few folks from around the competition. With a competition this size it wasn’t nearly enough time to get to everyone thats just one of the downfalls.

We got through the night with no problem. My excellent fire master husband Vlado kept everything running really smoothly while I caught a few hours on my favorite army cot.

Butts and briskets came off and I was really enthusiastic for the briskets. They looked good. They smelled good. I could hope. The butts had excellent color. One of the best colors I have had in a long time. A beautiful deep mahogany.The chicken went on with no problems as did the ribs. Everything came off and we wished it well as it went to the judges.

We got everything cleaned up packed away and all we had to worry about was the awards. We heard so many of our friends names called and it was excellent. We didn’t get a call in Chicken, Ribs and pork. Was I ever bummed at that point. Considering those were in my opinion the best I did that weekend it was a sucky point for me personally. However when the brisket came around I got one hell of a shock a 30th call in brisket. That was awesome!!!

Overall Pellet Envy got the GC, Cool Smoke got the RGC and the got 3rd place. Congratulations to them all it was certainly a fun ride for the weekend!!!

For us we came in 75/230 places. We took a 45 in pork, 67 in Chicken 30th in brisket and a jaw dropping are you freaking kidding me a 193rd in ribs. I am trying to get off the bitter bus on the ribs score. Seriously. ACK.

Not sure what happened. Thats sums it up. I have looked at the video and the rib box and I really don’t think I could have done anything better. It is what it is. Oh well.

Overall it was a great experience!!! Now to catch up on some sleep.

** and here is a little blind bbq gossip item. What BBQ person had their ego bruised when they realized in their opinion they were not put in a prominent enough position within the RV park at Little Rock??  They pulled the ” Don’t you know who I am card??”  This person was told they could go home if they didn’t like it. LOL cracked me right up.


Well we woke up in Memphis this morning. Thankfully without a hangover from last night.

Yesterday we started driving from Barrie Ontario Canada and we pulled up here in Memphis about 25 hours after we started. Now its only a couple more hours till we get to Little Rock Arkansas.

Yesterday being St. Patrick’s Day it was fun to see the festivities at Silky O’ Sullivan’s on Beale St. It was a lot of fun to watch the festivities.Then we headed back to Pig On Beale. Still terrific food, fun staff, and great atmosphere.  If you go to Memphis make sure you go eat there.

My husband really wanted some Memphis BBQ since he didn’t come on the trip last month. I was craving a steak. Had to cave to his request. Really it wasn’t much of a cave. Vlad is one of the most incredible people on the planet. He goes out of his way to do everything he can to support my BBQ habit/obsession/career.  He really enjoyed his BBQ feast. Plus he had enough leftovers to do at least 2 more meals today LOL.

One of the highlights of this trip besides seeing everyone will be seeing  My Sister in Smoke Angie Quaale.  She is flying in today from BC to hang with us this weekend. That is awesome. So happy she is coming. Last year my friend Tim Brown from Can’t Stop Grilling came with us. His team is the only other Canadian team that will be in Little Rock this year. I plan on doing everything I can to beat him.

So we are off to do the final leg of our journey to compete in Little Rock Arkansas. There are 225 teams that are competing for $100,000.00 in prizes. I sure hope the Olympic Own the Podium program applies to Competitive BBQ’ers as well. I believe. LOL I can barely type that without cracking up. OK in reality I believe that I will do my best. I believe that- if I can- out of this entire trip – be proud of my turn in boxes, and get a call that would be cool. But I can dream. Hell yeah. I can dream.


Just wanted to share something I am finally able to post… had to wait till this weekend as it is being unveiled at the Traeger HPBA expo booth.

This is the picture of the brand new Traeger 300. It is really cool and I get to play on one next month. I can’t wait. Monday I’ll post more specs on it. Its going to be awesome.


One of my favorite things to do when we are traveling is to try new BBQ joints all over North America. I love the chance to visit with folks all over and to hear their stories and their BBQ methods.

I am not alone in this pursuit there are many folks and foodies that really enjoy the pursuit of BBQ. These are not high end edited videos. These are just people that are going out and sharing their love of BBQ with everyone out there.

One of those fine folks is Jim “Rhino” Reincke from Bandit BBQ a competition team and BBQ Caterer.He is also a member of the Illinois BBQ Society.

His video on You tube is a great example of the continual pursuit of BBQ.

Here is a video on a BBQ Snoot sandwich in Illinois

Check out his videos and commentary on his You Tube Channel.

This year I may even have to take out a video camera myself and share some of the places we stop along our travels. It seems like a great idea to share all these great and interesting places we stop at.


Well I am once again adding to my ever increasing list of BBQ books. The folks at Big Green Egg were kind enough to give me a copy of their latest book. Just for the record. I don’t have a Big Green Egg. Yet. I am a firm believer that having multiple types of grills is a good idea. They all have different personalities. I love my Traegers. I compete with my Traegers. I really do believe they are the easiest BBQ to own and to operate. So I am definitely a pellet head. However I love playing with charcoal too. Playing with fire can be a lot of fun and certainly a challenge at times. Some women collect shoes I prefer to collect BBQ’s. It makes the whole BBQ experience fun.

So the cookbook is really quite expansive. This is a big cookbook. 320 pages. It is a gorgeous cookbook to own. The pictures are incredible. The recipes many I have tried and would recommend -Smoke Beef Short Ribs done with hickory chips for example. I have found many of the recipes are easily transferable to other BBQ equipment in addition to Eggs.

Some of the recipes also use the stove top (ex Kale on page 307 with the apple wood smoked bacon). It is a delicious recipe.

I like the format of this cookbook. I enjoyed reading the Chef & Pitmaster Biographies. Overall this has to be one of the best laid out cookbooks for BBQ I have ever seen. Plus God bless them they realize there are Canadians and International Folks that BBQ since they even included a Metric Conversion table as well.

From the Gourmet (ex Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Creme Fraiche & Caviar) to the most basic (ex Italian Sausage subs) this cookbook has it all for anyone who loves to grill & BBQ. I would highly recommend it for the recipes whether you own a Big Green Egg or other grill/bbq.

The book is only available at Green egg dealers, it will be late summer before it’s available through Amazon


As I am prepping for the 2010 season to begin I have to start with where we really needed to improve from 2009. For the last years season I was really happy with our pork. Everything else needs a lot more work. Especially brisket. I have struggled with brisket. Brisket is my challenge above all challenges. Overall for the year we came in 241 out of 4716 on the Pickled Pig Rankings. I am proud and challenged by those results. Just shy of being in the top 5% overall we came in:

  • 173 out of 4716  Pork
  • 267 out of 4716 Chicken
  • 331 out of 4716 Ribs
  • 580 out of 4716 Brisket

For these rankings we had 6 competitions that were included:

09/26/09 Oinktoberfest – Clarence, NY
08/16/09 Hudson Valley Ribfest – New Paltz, NY
07/18/09 Que and Cruz – Louisa, VA
06/28/09 Boston Hills BBQ Festival – Boston, NY
05/24/09 Roc City Rib Fest – Rochester, NY
03/14/09 Presidential Center Smoke on the Water USA Barbecue Championship – Little Rock, AR

We did however compete in additional competitions for the 2009 as well that were not included in those rankings:

Canada Southern BBQ Championships
Grand Champion

1st — Pork; 2nd — Ribs; 3rd — Brisket; 3rd —Chicken 1st—Anything  But


Smoke on the Water Barbecue Competition Saskatchewan
Reserve Grand Champion

1st — Pork; 2nd — Ribs; 4th — Brisket; 4th—Chicken 1st—Anything But


Canadian Pork BBQ Championships
Reserve Grand Champion

2nd—Chicken; 2nd — Pork; 4th — Brisket; 4th — Ribs


National BBQ Festival “Best of the Best

Invitational BBQ Cook-off
4th Overall

7th — Pork Shoulder; 6th — Chicken;


National BBQ Festival “Best of the Best”

Open BBQ Cook-off

13th Overall

9th — Ribs

BBQ on the Bow Calgary Alberta

4th Overall

1st — Brisket; 3rd — Ribs


Crazy Canuck BBQ Championships Toronto Ontario

4th Overall

3rd—Chicken; 3rd — Pork; 4th — Ribs; 6th — Brisket

Overall we made improvements to our overall BBQ in my opinion. I am hoping to be able to attend more competitions this year however my schedule may have some interesting diversions this year. I can’t share them yet but I am really excited for 2010 overall. I have a lot of practice and work to do. LOL


Just an FYI we have announced two classes for 2010 with more dates being announced in the future. Please see our Classes tab for more information. Please note all of our past classes have sold out continuously so sign up soon.