Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian Friends and Family!

Here are some recipes and links to make your Thanksgiving great !

Derrick Riches from about.com has some great links on their website on the benefits of brining

Diva Q Turkey Brine

¨ 6 – 355ml cans Rock Creek Dry Cider
¨ 2 cans Apple Juice 1.2L
¨ 1 cup Kosher salt
¨ ½ cup light brown sugar
¨ 2 tbsp black peppercorns
¨ 2 tbsp all spice berries
¨ 1 gallon ice water
¨ 5 gallon bucket

Brine turkey one hour per pound of turkey. Make sure to keep it in the fridge or packed with ice. When finished brining rinse and pat dry.

If you don’t have a lot of time to make a whole bird try these Cajun turkey breasts! They are quick easy and flavorful!

Diva Q Cajun Injection

1 cup Apple Juice or Cider

2 tbsp liquid crab shrimp boil concentrate

¾ cup honey

½ cup Diva Q Cajun Rub

½ cup clarified butter

Diva Q Cajun Rub

2 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons granulated onion
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons cayenne
1 1/2 teaspoons ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves (rubbed)
1 teaspoon oregano leaves

  • Boneless Skinless Turkey Breasts
  • Plastic Wrap
  • ½ cup Canola oil

Cover the turkey breasts in a layer of plastic wrap. Using a meat injector make multiples of injections through the plastic wrap into the turkey breasts. When you are done injecting remove the plastic wrap and rub the turkey lightly with canola oil. Sprinkle on Cajun rub. Marinate in the fridge covered for 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat grill to medium high heat approx 350F.

Grill turkey breasts – turning over after 5 minutes on each side. When the breast reads 170F internally remove the turkey breasts.  Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before slicing.

My all time favorite go to recipe for roasted turkey is from Alton Brown!

We get all our turkey from Hovey’s Gourmet meats here in Barrie. They have provided us with awesome free range fresh turkeys year after year!! They are really fresh !!

Plus don’t forget abut the sides !  For these I turn to my favorite Southern lady and the Queen of all things buttah!! Paula Deen ! She has loads of side recipes on her website. Plus she has a great menu from her Thanksgiving special !

No matter what you decide to serve from our family to yours we wish you the very best this Thanksgiving!!

Here is a series of Youtube videos from a past appearance I did on Breakfast TV on the “A” Channel

Heading to Memphis LOL Hope they are ready for me.

Ill be on the road for the next couple of days travelling to Memphis to attend the NBBQA conference. I had such a good time last year in Austin for the conference . I have been looking forward to this a LOT!! Also will be taking Myron Mixon’s class while I am down there. Should be an interesting trip and I’ll blog about it as much as I can.

New Diva Q Facebook Fan Page- and it works!!

Just wanted to pass along that we now have a working Facebook fan page. Thanks to everyone who let us know the first one did not allow people to join.  Please see the link on the top right of this screen or click here

We really appreciate our fans. This year we plan on running some fun fan contests where you can win some BBQ prizes!!

Smoke on Wheels Posole Soup

Last year I had a wonderful soup at the potluck at the Boston Hills BBQ Festival. It was a very well run competition. It was a really cooker friendly event. I would highly recommend it if you can make it to go. Great combination of NEBS and KCBS.

 

 

The potluck was organized by Kim Groneman from the Multiple award winning Empire State Championship team-   Smoke on Wheels. Let me tell you this is the lady you want organizing a potluck at any competition.   She made sure to email and include everyone. The theme was Mexican.

 

 

The dishes were all amazing. Most of which I had tried before other than one item a soup. Pozole Soup.  This soup is packed full with flavour. Perfect for all seasons.

 

 

We held a Mexican theme night this past weekend. This soup went over well with everyone. Thanks to Andy & Kim for the recipe.

 

 

The Pozole Recipe.

 

 

Ingredients

2lbs  boneless pork loin

1 lg sweet onion, chopped

6-8 cloves garlic minced or pressed.

4oz can chopped green chiles

Oregano, Cumin, and Parsley (dried)

5-6 cups chicken stock

15oz Can hominy – drained.

Directions

Brown the pork in a couple TBS of olive oil.

Add onion and cook.

Add Garlic and stir.

Add oregano, cumin and parsley (pinch or two of each)

Stir in Chicken Stock.

Simmer 1-2 hrs until pork is very tender.

Adjust seasoning

Add Hominy, and heat.

Serve with shredded Monterey Jack, and chopped green onions.

Enjoy!

* For my soup I substituted Sisters Secret Fragrant Chile its available at Wellseasoned.ca and other locations.  Its amazing stuff. I would highly recommend you get it. Additionally I only had vegetable stock and Maggi Chicken Bouillon -it worked.


WOOOOT!! Clean Sweep for Bub-Ba-Q this weekend

You know these things don’t happen very often !! BOOYA!!! Baby it was a clean sweep!!!

Huge CONGRATULATIONS to our friends Bubba & Shannon Latimer from Bub-Ba-Q this past weekend who competed in Okeechobee Top of the Lake FBA BBQ Competition!!!

They took a 1st in everything!! 1st in Chicken, 1st in Ribs, 1st in Pork and 1st in Brisket!!!

This is only the second time in the history of the Florida Bar-B-Que Association that a cook team has swept all four categories and Grand Champion.

We are thrilled for them!!! Awesome food & awesome people. Goodness all around!!!

Frogmats and a follow up to Christmas Eve

Day 23- 25 Days of Christmas BBQ Blogging……

Frogmats

I received in the mail today a product sample of Frogmats.

I opened the package to find two very lightweight mesh sheets that claim to be non stick and perfect for delicate items for the BBQ or grill.

From their website the description:

We have all experienced the frustration of grilling delicate foods on the Bar B Que. The food immediately sticks to the grates and tears or crumbles when you try to turn it. The food falls through the openings in the grate and you have one big mess.

Frogmats solve this problem. Food will not stick to the Frogmats and is easy to turn without crumbing.

Frogmats are great for preparing fish and Ka Bobs. Fish will lift off the Frogmats with ease as does the vegetables in Ka Bobs. The open matrix of the Frogmats will eliminate to a large degree any food from falling through the grates.

The Frogmats will not pick up odors from fish,. therefore each time it is used there will be no left over taste.

Frogmats are designed to perform in indirect cooking methods. Do not expose the Frogmats to direct flame.

Our Frogmats are FDA compliant for direct food contact.

Easy to clean with a warm water spray by the outdoor hose or in the kitchen with sink sprayer. The Frogmats will last for years.

Prepare picture perfect fish dinners like the pros with Frogmats

Frogmats are USDA approved for food processing and handling, and are FDA compliant (21 CFR177.1550). In addition, the fabrics can operate in temperatures from -400°F (-240°C) under static conditions and -100°F (-73°C) under dynamic conditions up to 550°F (288°C).

The timing for me worked well as I had a new experimental BBQ item I had made for tonight. Heres the link to the sausage wrapped hard boiled eggs that were prepped yesterday.


Frogmat on the Traeger Lil Tex

Frogmat with sausage balls.

I have to say they worked great. Absolutely non stick from the cheese that was gobbed out at the bottom to the grease that accumulated. I think these are an excellent product for the BBQ. I will also be using them in my oven. I already own silpat sheets and these will just add to my arsenal of non stick happiness.

Additionally the website claims are accurate in regards to cleanup. I washed mine in the sink and it was simple and easy with no scrubbing involved. Gotta love anything that works well and cleans up easy.


Easy Clean up

They are available in a variety of pre-cut sizes to suit your individual BBQ needs as well as custom sizes.

Bottom line I would recommend them highly, I have a few other projects in mind over the winter with them such as jerky.

_________________________________________________________

Now as for the rest of my day it was a whole lot of prep for tomorrow Christmas Day and some great eats from tonight. Heres the pics.

Yummy Abts

Prepping the brine for the 4 turkeys

Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes prepped for Christmas Dinner

Acorn squash with butter cinnamon maple syrup and brown sugar.

Par boiling the parsnips to get them ready for the grill tomorrow.

Some of our Christmas Eve Eats

A couple of Tourtieres (done on the traeger)

MMMM the eggs rocked however next time more cheese.

Libations.

Some cheeses and fruits and more munchies



Awesome Taco dip. So very yummy. Thanks to my friend Louisa for bringing it over!

My favorite insalata Caprese.

Wicked good. This puff pastry with brie, fig and walnut wine preserves plus a ton of smoked garlic knocked it out of the park. Just awesome.

Thats it for tonight.

Merry Christmas eve everyone.

Smokin Nuts, Cranberry sauce, and Party Mix Recipe

Day 22- 25 Days of Christmas Blogging

Today was a day of prep work for Christmas eve. I needed to get some snacks ready. Holiday munchies should be special. I try to put as much effort as possible into my food for the holidays I try not to cut too many corners.

Smoked nuts are an easy item to fix up for giving as gifts or for having at your home.

Today I did 4 lbs of smoked Almonds on the Traeger. I let them smoke at 180F for the first couple of hours then up to 325F for the last 30 minutes.

Here is the recipe:

4 lbs Almonds raw
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons celery salt

I just melted the butter and added the brown sugar and celery salt. I used a whisk to make sure it was well incorporated.


After that it is just a matter of mixing and getting them into a pan on the BBQ of your choice. Today I am using my workhorse – My black beauty as I call her a Traeger lil Tex


*you might notice the garlic. Thats for a terrific party favorite at our house brie topped with smoked garlic then back in the BBQ till the brie is soft and gooey. Perfect for dipping in toast points. The garlic takes on a wonderful smoky sweetness that matches so well with brie.

Now the next item was inspired by a friend of mine. She makes a great party mix however I wanted to put my own BBQ spin on it. Here are some of the items I used today for the recipe for Sweet n Spicy Party Mix:


1 box shreddies ( I used the jumbo size boxes)
1 box cheerios
2 boxes cheese sticks
2 bag pretzel sticks
1 can firecracker jalapeno peanuts
1 lb pecans
1 lb almonds

Toppings:
1.5 cups melted butter
1.5 cups peanut oil
3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons each
obie cues sweet n heat
obie cues double strength garlic
granulated garlic
santa maria seasoning
homemade hickory smoked salt

Mix all of the toppings together in a bowl or in a non stick pot.


Once again this is really simple all you have to do is mix it. I use the top and bottom of my largest roaster pan to do this.
It can then go into a BBQ or oven at 200F for a couple of hours stirring every 20 minutes or so to make sure the topping mixture is absorbed fully into the cereals, nuts and pretzels.


Taste test it after it comes out. you can adjust the seasoning a bit for your own liking if you would prefer it a bit saltier or spicier. This recipe does come with a warning this stuff is HIGHLY addictive. You will need to hide it like I have in some air tight containers. It will keep for a couple of weeks (good luck keeping it around that long).


The last item I want to share today on the blog is a recipe I am sharing because I can’t believe people still buy cranberry sauce in a can.

Cranberry sauce is one of the easiest dishes to make. When I set my holiday table I usually sprinkle some toasted almond slivers on top.

3 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
4 oranges zested and juiced
1/4 cup water

Throw it all into a pot over medium and when the cranberries start to pop I use a potato masher to crush some of them to release the pectin that will gel it up a bit. Seriously how much easier can a recipe get?


Thats it for todays prep. Hope you are all having a great time prepping for your Christmas holidays.

Gary Notley – TLC BBQ Pitmasters Roadie

Day 20-25 Days of BBQ Blogging





Gary was a fun guy to talk with. He really got a behind the scenes look at the whole show. He was the roadie for Harry Soo`s Slap yo Daddy team. He loved doing it and its clear he would do it again. I liked the perspective he has on a lot of the things from the show. I also know he is a straight talking rocking it out sort of guy that does not mince words. Whether it be on the BBQ Brethren forum where he posts or in an interview he says exactly what he thinks. He doe not edit out his thoughts.

He is a caterer to the stars. Located in Southern California he regularly caters TV shows, concert tour riders, and many other occasions with his outstanding BBQ. Additionally he competes as well with his own team Notley Que. I have a standing invitation to come cook with him at Stagecoach. I hope to get over there in the next couple of years.


Q- How did you meet Harry and get involved with him on the TLC BBQ Pitmasters?

GN- I first met Harry at a BBQ competition and we became friends from that moment. I am truly his biggest fan. Harry and I have worked together a few times. He was helping me out on a catering gig and he tells me about the TLC show. He was unsure of how he was going to get his stuff everywhere. So I told him I am not working (at a Company) right now. I can put my catering on hold. However I did ask him if an emergency arises- you fly me home. We worked it out and it just ended up being an awesome experience. Things are meant to happen for a reason. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity.



Q- How many miles did you drive Harry Soo’s stuff?

GN-I drove just over 10,000 miles – from Mesquite NV class to where we ended at Myrons class. I didn’t have time for special trips other than a trip up to Chicago when we were heading to Murphysboro to visit with my friend from Anthrax.

Q- What was your favorite contest out of all of them?

GN- It would have to be Dover because I cooked that one. However the most fun was Murphysboro. It was my first introduction to MIM style of cooking and I fell in love with that.

Q- What have you thought of some of the comments on the TLC BBQ Pitmasters show from the BBQ forums?

GN- It’s not about just the best cooks. You have to be interesting. Reading about the complaints annoys me. First of all it’s a TV show. It’s not about every team out there. For example-I have no interest in wedding cakes or anything to do with cake but I love this show cake boss because it has nothing to do with the cake- but the people. Just like on this show- it is about the characters and BBQ. It keeps me interested. What we do is kind of boring (i.e.-watching a 16 hour brisket) and repetitive, however the people are what makes it interesting.

Q-Do you think Harry taught the other competitors anything?

GN- I can tell you this that Harry was able to show Jamie and Johnny something but I don’t want to give it away. There are a lot of things competitive BBQ’ers could learn if they carefully watch the show.

Q-Do you think you learned anything from doing the show?

GN- Absolutely. There were lots of opportunities to learn. I did pick up a new cuisinart electric knife. I also liked learning of some of the stories on how to recover my meat. There are lots of tips and tricks you can learn from the show.

Q- How do you feel about Harry?

GN- Harry is the IT guy where everything is 123, abc. He is so smart. I think he is a terrific person. I would drop anything to help him out. He calls me his best BBQ brother. There have been some times were he has shared life wisdom. He makes me think of things. He is the wisest person I have ever known. I find it fascinating to hear his points of view. The average person can relate to Harry more than anyone else on the show. He doesn’t have the huge expensive RV and the expensive pits. He has a mini van and WSM’s. Everyone can relate to that.



Q- Why do you believe in BBQ Karma?

GN- Its true and I do believe in it. Good things happen when you help each other out. In Dover I had a full set up of borrowed equipment. I put a call out on the Brethren forum. That’s how it works. That’s BBQ Karma. It’s not a joke.



Q- What BBQ products do you like to use?

GN- I am a big fan of Mike Davis Lotta Bull products. He also really helped me with Strube ranch products. He is a fantastic guy that I think highly of. He is a straight shooter. He is such a good-hearted kind person.

Q- If there were any classes you would like to take?

GN- I would like to take Mike Davis, Plowboys and Johnny Triggs classes.



Q- Whose class has had the most impact on your results?

GN- I took Myron Mixon’s Class and I had good immediate results with the instructions that I received.



Q- How many competitions would you like to do this year?

GN- Depending on my catering schedule I would still like to do 10 this year. Due to the show I feel really that I want to get out there more. Actually my goal is always to get out there and beat Harry Soo. I am going to get you Harry Soo I want to mop the floor with him I am gunning for him (he says laughing).

Q- What are some of the challenges you have in competition BBQ?


GN- I have to still work on the one bite mentality. I am used to doing catering where a person will enjoy a whole plate of my food but not just one bite.

Q- What was one of the benefits in working with Harry Soo?

GN- I got to see most of Harry’s prep and his procedures. I learned a lot.

Q- What is your goal for 2010 in competition?

GN- I just want to beat Harry Soo. He is so good. Actually I also want to be the #1 brisket cook in California. I would also like to get my first Grand Championship. I am the Grand Champion of partying at BBQ comps. I think I have learned now I can do it in my own backyard.

Q- Who did you want to meet the most and who were you closest with other than Harry?

GN- I wanted to meet Myron the first second I could. He is an awesome guy. He is like the Michael Jordan of BBQ. Out of everyone I would think that (besides Harry) I got along most with Paul. We are closer in age and we like the same types of music.



Q- What has frustrated you since doing the show?

GN- People that don’t support it. I don’t understand it. There are competitions that are no longer occurring there are comps that can’t get people. We are still in a recession and this is going to draw people to the competitions, to the sauces and the rubs and everything else BBQ related. This is the best BBQ show there ever has been. We need to support it as much as possible.

Q- Were there any moments on the show you felt were staged?

GN- Absolutely not. I can say that from the moment I got up and saw everything that was going on nothing was staged. The only thing was that sometimes when we were having conversations (just a few of us talking sharing stories bs’ing )a producer would ask us to stop so they could bring over a camera man to shoot it. Another thing the Johnny Trigg and drunk guy part (Episode #2) was most definitely not staged. I was right there. I learned that day that drunk idiots are attracted to TV cameras like moths are to porch lights. It cracks me up to read that things were set up. I was there it wasn’t.

Q- What moments from the show and travelling surprised you?

GN- I saw so many people going over to the Jambo pits getting their pictures taken with them. Jamies pits are gorgeous. I want a Jambo. Due to the catering I do it is so eye catching. It’s awesome. It’s like you are pulling up with a Lamborghini. They get noticed and they are great cookers. They are not nearly as expensive as people think they are. The paint jobs are amazing.




Q- How did you get started in BBQ?

GN- There was bad BBQ in San Diego. I got tired of paying for it.

Q- What was your first BBQ?

GN- An ECB (EL Cheapo Brinkman) I got it as a corporate gift for the company I was working from. I did mods to it. I got it to work well for me. Then I got a WSM. After that I built a UDS (ugly drum smoker) that was fun. Lastly I got a spicewine. I also use a lang I borrow from a friend for catering jobs.



GN- Where did you learn about BBQ?

Q- I have no formal culinary training the internet has been a great resource. You have to source out the nuggets of gold from all the rest of the crap. Thank God for the internet.

Q- Do you have any sponsors for your BBQ team?

GN-Gringo Bandito Hot sauce. It is owned by Dexter Holland from the offspring.

Q- What kinds of wood do you like to use?

GN- I Like a little bit of hickory, cherry but mostly I use California Red Oak Charcoal that is made custom for me.

Q- What type of ribs do you use?

GN- Spares

Q- What are your favourite and least favourite types of meat to cook at a competition?

GN- I would say by far brisket is my favourite. My least would have to be ribs. They are so hard for me. Your window for perfection is so small. It’s a challenge.


*someone needs to tell these guys that the RED thermapen is the fastest most accurate one.


Q- What did your family think of the show?

GN- My parents used to show dogs so they understood. My mom really said it best- You are paying for someone’s opinion whether you like it or not. She really liked seeing other teams supportive of each other. My son doesn`t get it he has just turned 5 and a half. So hopefully this year he can come out with us competing. Then he will understand it more. My wife is really supportive and she gets that I have a need to do this. She likes it. I am lucky.

Q- How would you describe each of the cast members of the TLC BBQ Pitmasters show?

GN-
Tuffy- The Nicest Guy in the world. Comes around and wishes everyone luck. Fantastic cook & Chef. No ego whatsoever. Great Guy.

Paul Petersen- A phenomenal chef. A great BBQ’er despite what you see. Great guy

Lee Ann Whippen- A force to be reckoned with. Great Lady. She will kick your ass while you are still admiring how pretty she is.

Jamie Geer- Nicest Texan I have ever met. I have pages and pages of “Jamieisms” He is an absolute comedian.

Johnny Triggs- Kindest, wisest most intimidating BBQ cook out there. He and his wife are great people.

Myron Mixon- Absolute BBQ Genius. I am happy to call him my friend now. He has forgotten more about BBQ than anyone in the world.

Harry Soo- I could give you paragraphs about him. For a guy who is Asian and from California to do what he has done in 2 years. Wow. He will be the guy at some point he will win the Royal and the Jack in the same year. There will be at some point a Harry Soo method (like the minion method, or the Muffin pan method) I can see it happening. He is a legend in the making.

Gary Notley Facebook Fan Page

Notley Que BBQ on Twitter


Pellet Envy Wins Toy of the year and has a BIG Announcement

Pellet Envy
Team of the Year for 2009 KCBS



I met Rod a few years back now. I had read about him and seen him in action and wanted to learn more. I am one of the over 500 people he has taught along with Johnny Trigg for the Old School vs. New School BBQ cooking class. We travelled all the way from Barrie to Illinois for that class. It was worth it.


This year was Rod’s year. He has just this past weekend been named KCBS TOY (Team of the year) in an exciting race to the finish. It was a nail biter for sure. Going down to the very last competition in Tempe Arizona- faced with two other teams hot on his heels ISS I Smell Smoke and Smokey D’s. It sounds a bit like a movie.


Both pitmasters for those teams are well respected by Rod. He says it could have been either of them to win the TOY.
Rod- “I have a lot of respect for Darren flying in finding his meat and rented vehicles and winning.” I have a lot of respect for Steve travelling so much and accomplishing so much. They are both as deserving. I predicted in July that Darren would win it based on what he had done and caught on fire in the summer. As hot as he was I thought he would pull it off. He almost did.




Find more videos like this on BBQ Thom

**Thanks To Thom Emery for allowing me to share his video clip.

His dry sense of humour and wit resonate with anyone who talks with him. I have had the pleasure to have a few BBQ meals in Texas and talks with him outside of the realm of competition. He can make me crack up laughing till I cry with most conversations. His sarcastic comments have on more than one occasion sent me to giggling. However you can have a real serious conversation with him (on some rare occasions) that gives you a small glimpse into the depth of his somewhat guarded character. He can seamlessly go from Rod the friend to Rod the BBQ guy who has some serious sponsors to represent.

He extols the virtues of his beloved wife Sheri. He talks about how much she supports him in his BBQ career. Personally I sort of think of him as a big BBQ brother. He looks out for his friends. He is always encouraging and continuously helpful. He also seems to have the memory of an elephant and can recall a lot of minute details.



On his own personal plan for healthier living this year he let me know of his goals.
His motto now is there is no time to eat bad food and that he starts every day with breakfast. He recommends a couple of books that are helping him on his path: Eat this not that. One is for the grocery store and ones for those who eat out. I am so proud of him for being open and honest about his struggles. It’s not without his own notice that being on the Dr. OZ show was good for the brand of Pellet Envy. He is sharp as a whip. I don’t think much could get past him in any situation.

Q- How do you feel now that you have won TOY?

RG- I don’t think it has really sunk in yet. I am numb. To be honest. I am tired and still driving home now. I am looking forward to taking some time off. Darren and I were across from each other. Steve was off in his own section. It worked out fine. (Understatement of the year) I think the guys were genuinely happy for me. I am not so sure I could have been as genuine as they were if the situation were reversed. Overall it’s a great feeling. It’s time for me to recharge and then go back to it.

Q-What’s up next for you and Pellet Envy?

RG-I have to get unpacked. ( As we speak Rod is just a couple of hours from home) I have deadlines to get on for the Bullsheet and other things. I have to announce my classes for this year this week. My teaching partner is now a movie star (Captain Parkay – Johnny Trigg) so he can’t commit (laughing he says this with some seriousness. I will be doing the classes solo. I have so many irons in the fire. Additionally I would love to take my wife to New York for a few days.

Q- What is your take on the proposed changes to how the TOY is calculated?

RG- You can’t track who has sponsors and who doesn’t. These are pieces of information impossible to track. It’s all total crap. A Tiering system for team of the year is ludicrous. Truly if it aint broke don’t fix it.

Q- Who were your major sponsors for the year?

RG- Greased Lightning and BBQ’ers delight. Greased lightening has been signed on for 2010 already. I am really glad to have them on board. Candy makes a great product and Greased Lightning is terrific for cleaning even on clothes. They have been very supportive of me and I am thankful for it.



Q-Do you use a muffin pan to cook chicken ala Myron Mixon

RG- Laughing, he says no.

Q-What’s you take on garnish. Garnish or no garnish- and proposed changes to the KCBS?

RG-Garnish is what sets KCBS apart from the other sanctioning bodies. It makes it more of a challenge. I believe it should stay the way it is. Garnish may not be my most favourite thing but it adds more difficulty. I think they need to leave it alone.


Q- What were your stats (miles comps, states- for the year?)

RG-Miles this year – 40,000 approximately
States – Somewhere in the neighbourhood 33
Competitions- I believe 33 total

Q-When you become TOY (team of the year) what do you do next.

RG-I am going to try to do it again. Take a break but then go back to it. 2010 is going to be a great year for BBQ I know it will be.

Q- Was there any point during the competition season where you felt the pressure >?

RG- The pressure was really on me on the way to Florida. I packed up as soon as I had done brisket and I left. I have never done that before. I had been gone 10 days and it was my anniversary. I won that contest.


Q- As the most winning person in KCBS -Why are you not a part of the TLC BBQ Pitmasters series?

RG-I don’t know the answer. I think they should have taken me.

Q- Are you endorsing any candidates for the BOD for KCBS?

RG- As of today -no. I have not done my research yet.

Q- Why are you not running for KCBS.

RG- I got away from the board in June. It was a difficult decision for me but I needed to get away from it. It’s too much minutia. They are micro managing. Looking back to the previous contest is not the answer. The board should focus on the next 5, 10 15 years, of the KCBS and its future. They should be strategic in nature and currently they are not. Every once in a great while, I regret it- when I think of the people that put their trust in me. Ultimately I had to do what is best for me. Ultimately with the rest of the season it validates that I made the right decision to get off the board. It was a great choice for me to move on.



Q-Out of all the other teams besides the two that were on your heels who do you see in 2010 coming up the ranks of the TOY listing>?

RG-Wow. You know no matter what answer I give I will have left some deserving team out of the mix. I’ll be disappointed in the answer I give. There are several teams that I think will rise though the ranks.

Q-What’s the name of your GPS (I can hear his GPS giving him directions throughout the interview)

RG- I get asked that a lot… I don’t really have a name (he chuckles a lot here) sometimes I call her b!tch if she takes me the wrong way.

Q-What’s the biggest tip about Competition BBQ you can give people?

RG-Try to undersmoke your meat.

Q-What will be your first contest for 2010

RG- Lakeland Florida.

Q- Anything else you would like to share…………….

***** Exclusive you will read it here for the very first time *****

RG- Ok heres something to tell that I am sure will have an impact – We will be Pellet free in 2010. We will no longer be using pellets or any pellet BBQ’s. We have a Geer pit (Jambo Pits) ordered for the back of trailer. I am in love with his pits. I will be returning to Texas to get it mounted. I will be Pellet Envy for 2010 and we will have a new name for 2011. Right now we have narrowed it down to 12 other names.

For the 2009 season I will still teach in 2010 both pellet and on the Jambo Pit. It will be a big challenge to do both but I will do it.



Q-Why are you changing from Pellets to a stick burner (Jambo Pits)

RG-It started with wear and tear. As much as I travel the gas is so much less with the Jambo Pit. Then it was my results in 2008 out of 8 contests that I used the Jambo pit contests 6 were won with the Jambo Pit. Then this year (2009) out of 8 contests where I used the Jambo pit I had a total of 7 wins. This gives me a new set of challenges it makes competition BBQ more interesting. Cooking on the Geer is now a challenge. It has brought me back to raising my level of focus and concentration in a contest.

*Note Rod had a bit of nervous laughter when reporting this and he admitted as so. This is a big deal to him and its news for the BBQ world. I really thank him for allowing us to share his announcement. This is going to be a huge step for Rod. I wish him all the very best with his new direction.
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Jamie Geer tells me that the pit will be exactly the same size as the one he currently uses. Rod doesn’t want to change a thing he wants it to be identical. The firebox has already been fabricated. It will be ready in time for Lakeland Florida.

Hudson Valley Ribfest New Paltz, NY

OK so this post is at least a week old (in my drafts folder) but I just did not have time to do an update of the pictures since I have been travelling.

The road to New Paltz from Barrie is really long. Almost 9 hours travel time for us each way but it certainly is an interesting drive.

On our way there we made a very important stop in Syracuse at Dinosaur Bar Be Que. Well worth the trip for anyone going through the area. We pulled up at about 10pm and the place was rocking out big time. What a blast we had. Great music great beer and some terrific BBQ for sure.

It was probably the best chicken I have had all year the texture is incredible – its moist delicious and considering how much I hate chicken I was thrilled and surprised at the same time.

Here are some pictures of the joint. I would go back in a heartbeat.


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more pictures here

It was a great stop to our New York adventure in BBQ for sure.

Moving on to the competitions . This was the first time we had ever done a NEBS grilling contest. It was pretty interesting. The categories were steak, dessert, pizza, and shrimp. We did our best but we did not do well at all. We of course thought our steaks etc etc were awesome. I thought our presentations rocked it out. NExt to us Mr. Bobos did an excellent job as well and we got to sample some of their fine fare. Additionally we got really low marks on our shrimp as some of the judges thought the innards were a bit raw. We temped each at 125F (plus rested tented for 15minutes in a delicious roasted garlic and shallot butter) so not sure how that happened. Ugh. We had fun though and a friend of mine Bob came along to give us a hand. He is a terrific BBQ chef. Knows his stuff and has been a good resource for lots of ideas. We were thankful to have him around for sure!!!! Thanks Bob love ya lots buddy!

One of the best parts coming in early for the grilling part of the comp was getting the chance to unwind a bit (also know as shooting many tequila shots with Julie LOL) and socialize. I was smart enough to set up my bed in the comp trailer prior to the nights festivities. We were also really pleased to have Can’t Stop grilling right beside us. We love to be around these guys. They are a class act. They are also a lot calmer than I am at Turn in time. LOL


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We had a great time seeing many of our friends at this competition. Between meeting many of the Brethren and of course visiting with new and old friends there never seemed to be enough time. We had a great time at the potluck and a big Happy Birthday to Vinny and the Grand Poobah himself Phil (seriously I think he has reached the depends stage of his life I heard there were caution stickers and items everywhere warnings of the OLD person). I did also get to try the famed HoDeHo potatoes. Kim (God Bless her) saw me in line (a very long line) she grabbed my plate ran off and disappeared. I then got to try the ultimate in potatoes. AWESOME!!!!

Once again I ended up trimming a whole lotta meat later on in the night. We ended up with a 1st in pork for the KCBS competition. I have to say this was a HUGE HUGE HUGE Thrill (With many thanks to Andy & Kim for their help – Did I mention how much I love PLOWBOYS>>>>>>>???????) 16th in chicken and 19th brisket and a jaw dropping so disappointing I can’t even begin to tell you 44th in ribs. Seriously I can’t figure it out. UGH. Lets just leave it at that. Overall we ended up placing 16th. Thats 6 places out of where I wanted to end up for sure.

It was a well organized competition. The volunteers that I met (Stephanie, Rolf etc) were terrific people however I will say I was mortified for the final awards presentation of the top 4. I found that the announcer did a serious disservice to the teams constantly reminding them of the “cheap plastic trophies” and dismissing them American Idol Style. It sucked royally for them and it should never be repeated. The amount of work and money the teams put into preparing attending and travelling to a competition deserves a hell of a lot more respect than that. The guy was thinking he was funny but ended up being a complete jerk in my opinion.

It was a long drive home after that and I needed a day to recover and sleep. :-)
Here are all the pictures from

New Paltz

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