Thursday, July 9, 2009

Texas Style Barbecue

This is the second in a series about the best barbecue states. Today we will be looking at the great state of Texas and all it's glorious barbecue history. What makes Texas barbecue so special? Well Texans have developed an affinity for taking the less desireable cuts of meat and turning them into masterpieces. The meat of choice for a good texas barbecue is the venerable brisket. Brisket is a cut of meat from the lower chest of the cow. You could probably take this cut of meat to a bar fight and come out the winner every time. This is one tough hombre. How do Texans take this piece of meat that a pitbull would have a hard time chewing up and turn it into something so tender and delicious? They start with a dry rub that is rubbed into the brisket. This rub consist of spices such as salt,pepper,dry mustard,paprika,brown sugar,onion powder and garlic powder among others. The meat is then cooked at a temperarure between 200 and 250 degrees for at least 10 hours. During the cooking process a vinegar based sauce is "mopped" onto the meat. This is done to add juices to the meat but also to add the crust on the outside of the brisket. Nothing that will burn is in the mopping sauce. It is mostly vinegar and dry mustard with some other spices. Once this meat has been through the cooking process it turns from one of the toughest cuts of meat known to man into one of the juiciest, most tender and delicious cuts of meat found anywhere. If you have never tried Texas Style Barbecue Brisket I urge you to mosey on down to the Lone Star State and give it a try.


2 tbsp. seasoned salt
1 tbsp. cracked black peppercorns
1 tbsp. cracked white peppercorns (I substitute ground white pepper)
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. dry mustard
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. distilled white vinegar


5 slices bacon, minced
1 c. minced onions
1 1/2 c. beef broth
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/2 lemon, quartered
2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

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North Carolina Style Barbecue

Today we begin a new series dedicated to finding which state has the best barbecue. I like all types of barbecue so I will be totally subjective.

The first state we will explore is North Carolina. Residents of the Tarheel state will certainly tell you that to find the worlds best barbecue you simply come to North Carolina and the barbecue will find you.

North Carolina BBQ is all about the pork and sauce. First a select pig is picked out and prepared for cooking. Once ready this pig is going to cook slowly at a temperature around 250 degrees for anywhere between 14 and 18 hours. This slow cooking allows the pork to age without drying out the meat. Seldom will you see sauce applied to North Carolina BBQ while cooking unless its a vinegar base to aid in keeping the meat moist. Once done the pork will be "pulled" into bite size chunks and eventually chopped even finer. If you see someone in North Carolina slicing the pork it's time to walk away because they obviously don't know a thing about North Carolina barbecue.

Once the meat has been pulled and chopped it's time to add the sauce. Here is where North Carolina barbecue differs from others. Rather than your traditionally red tomato based BBQ sauce Carolina style sauce is vinegar based and boy is it good! Just enough sauce will be added to the meat to awaken they taste buds. To much sauce and and the vinegar kills the wonderful flavor of the meat. The next step is to put this wonderful concoction in between two buns and add a little cole slaw and enjoy some of the finest BBQ the world has to offer.

If you're planning a trip to North Carolina be sure to follow the Barbecue Trail. You won't go wrong stopping at one of these joints. So stop in and try one or better yet try them all

North Carolina BBQ Sauce

1 cup white vinegar
1 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™), or to taste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1.Combine the white vinegar, cider vinegar, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper in a jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 days before using so that the flavors will blend. Shake occasionally, and store for up to 2 months in the refrigerator.
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Monday, July 6, 2009

Lexington, N.C.

Lexington, North Carolina is the barbecue capital of the world, so what better place for grill lovers to spend a little vacation time.
If you do plan to visit the absolute best time to go will be in October. This is when The Annual Barbecue Festival will be held. There will be plenty of food as well as vendors, pig racing, an antique car show, bicycle stunt show, a lumberjack demonstration, many exhibits, good music and much, much more. For more information visit
Of course alot of us grillers are also NASCAR fans, so while you are in Lexington make sure to check out the Richard Childress Racing Museum. The RCR Racing Museum, located on the RCR campus, is a 47,000 square foot facility that encompasses the original No. 3 race shop built at the RCR campus in 1986 and the original RCR Museum built in 1991. A 3,500 square foot structure was constructed between the two buildings to tie it all together. Inside, there are 47 race vehicles (46 cars and one NASCAR Truck) and a tractor-trailer transporter rig. Of those 46 race cars, 22 are black No. 3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlos or Luminas driven by Dale Earnhardt. There are also all six of the No. 3 special paint scheme cars that Earnhardt competed in The Winston with from 1995-2000, and a 1987 No. 3 Wrangler Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

There are three distint grilling methods you should know about and they are
Direct Grilling-this means you grill the food directly over your heat source. This method is best for food that you need to sear in the juices such as steak. sealing the juices will prevent the meat from drying out during cooking.

Indirect Grilling-This method means you will be cooking your food in between two heaps of coals instead of directly on the heat. This method is best for cooking foods that will take a long time to cook such as ribs. This way your food can cook longer and become much more tender. Thisis what gives rib that fall off the bone flavor that we all look for.

Multi-level-This technique involves two or more different cooking temperatures. You can have a high pile of charcoal on one side of the grill, a smaller pile on the other and you can even leave the middle open giving you three different temperatures for cooking.
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Barbecued Alaskan Salmon

Here is a wonderful recipe for grilled salmon brought to you by the folks over at
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 salmon steaks (1 inch thick)
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In a small saucepan, combine the first six ingredients. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Meanwhile, grill salmon, covered, over medium-hot heat for 5 minutes. Turn salmon; baste with the butter sauce. Grill 7-9 minutes longer, turning and basting occasionally, or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork.
There is no better way to cook up some wild alaskan salmon than outside over an open flame. It seems that smoke might just be salmons best friend. When these two marry up their flavors it is simply exquisite. Better try out. You won't be disappointed. Read More......

For Love of the Grill

I will be sharing with you here some fantastic grilling tips and recipes as well as some history and everything about the fantastic world of outdoor cooking.
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