Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Monthly Rubdown: Pork Barrel BBQ

The Monthly Rubdown: Pork Barrel BBQ -

Pork Barrel BBQIssuing a proclamation of monumental flavor is a tall order for any product to live up to. Only a brand hailing from our nations capital thats been produced and distributed by ex-politicians would issue such a promise to the citizens of the United States. Luckily these politicians are originally from Missouri, so theyve got a true barbecue agenda that cant be swayed by lobbyist kickbacks or political bribery. Weve been sampling their products for a few weeks now, and we can confidently confirm that you can take these politicians for their word with their Pork Barrel BBQ products!

Pork Barrel BBQ might be a familiar face for those of you that enjoy a little recreational television every once in a while. The creators, Heath and Brett, were introduced to mainstream America though ABCs hit show Shark Tank. If youre not familiar with the program, its premise is that promising entrepreneurs pitch their start-up business concepts to investment sharks in hopes of striking a deal that will help propel their products to the forefront of main street America. Many have stood in front of the sharks only to have their dream business criticized, speculated, and dismissed, but the Pork Barrel guys came away with a different experience. Heres a clip from their appearance on the show:

Since striking a deal with Barbara, these guys have been on a nation-wide campaign to win over the American public. Theyve definitely earned our vote, so weve added their line of BBQ rub and sauce to our ever expanding BBQ Addicts online store. Their original flavor is a ketchup based sauce that features a strong vinegar flavor. A bold Worcestershire flavor comes through in the middle, which is followed by decent amount of heat. As with most vinegar heavy sauces, its rather thin so that the flavors are absorbed when pour over a sandwich or heaping pile of pulled pork.

The sweet version is also a ketchup based, but is more of a true Kansas City style sauce. Its classically sweetened with a hearty dose of molasses, and theres notes of herbs and spices that come together with a pleasant heat to create a balanced and extremely delicious flavor. The sauce is on the thicker side, which makes it perfect for glazing your meal just before it comes off the grill.

The mustard sauce is on the sweeter side as well, as theres a nice honey flavor to balance the vinegar. A strong herb presence gives it a unique, but very tasty flavor. Its also a thicker sauce, which makes is great for glazing and/or dipping.

The rub is a spice heavy product that has smokey quality to it. A quick glance at the ingredient list reveals smoked paprika and chipotle chiles, which quickly accounts for its source. In similar fashion to the mustard sauce, theres a strong herb presence, but also a solid heat. I was very happy with my test cook on some chicken wings, which I glazed with the sweet sauce. I did notice a lack of sugar in the rub (personal preference), but a quick glaze of sauce more than made up for it.

Pork Barrel BBQ

All four of their products are all-natural with no preservatives or MSG, and the Sweet and Mustard sauces are gluten free.

Pork Barrel BBQ Original Sauce (12 oz) $5.49
Pork Barrel BBQ Sweet Sauce (12 oz) $5.49
Pork Barrel BBQ Mustard Sauce (12 oz) $5.49
Pork Barrel BBQ All-American Spice Rub (4.5 oz) $5.99
Pork Barrel BBQ Rub/Sauce Combo (Original Sauce and All-American Rub) $10.99

Heath and Brett were also nice enough to pass along two shirts and a hat for us to give away. So the first 3 people to place an order for Pork Barrel BBQ products AND make mention of the freebies in the comments section of their order will get hooked up.

Gourmand World Cookbook Awards Best In The World

Gourmand World Cookbook Awards Best In The World -

Gourmand World Cookbook AwardsBack in December we received the news that our book BBQ Makes Everything Better had been selected as the USA winner in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards Best Barbecue Book category. As part of that honor, our book advanced to the next level in the competition as the USA representative for The Best Barbecue Book in the World award. There were 12 total barbecue books representing their respective countries, of which the top 4 finalists (including us) were invited to Paris to take part in the formal awards ceremony on the first day of the Paris Cookbook Fair. And on the evening of March 3rd, 2011 at the historical Theatre des Folies Bergre in Paris, France in front of over 1,200 publishers, authors, chefs, journalists, foodies and spectators, BBQ Makes Everything Better was officially named The Best Barbecue Book in the World!!!

Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

Immediately following the ceremony, the crowd gathered in the great hall of the theater for a celebratory champagne toastalthough we found a table giving out free shots of Dragon Bleu Vodka, so we quickly kicked our celebrating into full gear with some new found friends from Australia and Panama!

In all seriousness though, accepting this award was a huge honor for us. There were world renowned chefs and authors being recognized that night, so its extremely humbling experience to be mentioned in the same breath. Some of the more recognizable names that were nominated this year were Jaime Oliver, Nigella Lawson and Eric Ripert. Huge thanks go out to our publisher, as well as our friends and family, for all of the support and trust youve had in us throughout this entire process. And an even bigger thanks goes out to everyone whos purchased the book!

Okay, now back to details of the event. The awards ceremony was held in conjunction with the Paris Cookbook Fair. As part of the fair, they had a display section that featured all of the books that the Gourmand World Cookbooks Awards had recognized. It didnt take long for us to track down the barbecue section:

Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

Each of these books won their respective country, and the Best in the World finalists are denoted with the circular red sticker. For some reason two of the books werent on display (could be thievery, as our book also disappeared after the second day), but here is a rundown of all the finalists:

Argentina: Parrillas de Buenos Aires Pierto Sorba
Australia: Fired Up Ross Dobson
Belgium: Op de Barbecue Dominique Wynter
Canada: Napoleons Everyday Gourmet Burgers Ted Reader
China: Delicious Homemade Barbecue Chi Xianjun
Columbia: Secretos de la Parrilla Bernardo Gomez Cortazar
Denmark: Brug laget nar du giller pletskud & cowboytricks Miriam Glaesel and Jan Glaesel
Germany: Steak Pur! Steffen Eichhorn, Stefan Marquard and Stephan Otto
Russia: Grilling, Barbecue. The Complete Encyclopedia Paul Y. Pershin and E. Poletayev
Sweden: Paul Grillar Paul Svensson
Switzerland: Grill-Ueli Ulrich Bernold
USA: BBQ Makes Everything Better Aaron Chronister and Jason Day

I flipped through all of them to check out the competition, but Ted Readers book was the only other one printed in English (and by the way, I own a copy of Napoleons Everyday Gourmet Burgers, and its definitely a must-have for any BBQ library). Judging by the pictures, each of these books look to be jam-packed full of delicious recipes. Hopefully well be seeing some of them translated for the US markets in the future.

The Cookbook Fair also had demo kitchens that featured a non-stop barrage of gourmet foods being prepared by world-renowned chefs. We sat in on countless cooks and photographed every bit of food we sampled, which ranged from foie gras torchons to rose marshmallows. Unfortunately, the SD card from our digital camera magically disappeared while our room was being cleaned on our second to last day in Paris. By that time the fair had already ended, and we had moved on to site seeing. Soyoure just going to have to take our word that the food looked amazing, and tasted even better. Or just head over to the official Facebook fan page for the Gourmand Magazine and check out the steam of video and pictures they took during the festival.

Luckily we spent our last day tooling around the Eiffel Tower, so we got a few shots to prove we were there!

Jason Day Jason Day

Special shot outs go to everyone we met while in Paris, as this was a rare opportunity to mingle amongst fellow foodies of the world. We look forward to staying in touch with all of you, and hopefully we can meet again!

The Monthly Rubdown: C-Dubs BBQ

The Monthly Rubdown: C-Dubs BBQ -

C-Dub's RubsWhen thinking of Seattle, BBQ normally isnt the first thing that comes to mind. Most people probably conjure up images of Starbucks coffee, rainy afternoons, or an endless crowd of grungy flannel shirts. While each of those have certainly cemented their place in the citys ever changing pop-culture, weve got our taste buds locked on a new line of BBQ rub thats looking to re-brand the upper Northwest as the new BBQ hotbed.

C-Dubs BBQ is a family run business from Seattle that draws strong influence from Carolina style BBQ, which is where C-Dub himself originally hails. Their line of all-natural organic rubs carry a big bold flavor thats designed to enhance and compliment that taste of your favorite meats. A quick taste reveals a garlic front-end accentuated with a touch of salt, that fades into a herb middle and finishes with a slight sweetness. The Voodoo Rub sports the same flavors, but also has a building heat that joins the party half way through. Its not an overwhelming heat by any means, but just enough to let you know thats something else is going on in there. These rubs have quickly become my go-to selection for chicken wings..especially the spicy Voodoo!!!

C-Dub's Rubs

Both of C-Dubs rubs are now available in our BBQ Addicts online store, and as always, you can save a buck when purchasing both.

C-Dubs BBQ Rub (5.5 oz. shaker) 7.99
C-Dubs Voodoo Rub (5.5 oz. shaker) 7.99
C-Dubs Rubs Combo (2 x 5.5 oz. shakers) 14.99

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Leftover Recipe: Grilled Reuben Pizza

Leftover Recipe: Grilled Reuben Pizza -

TupperwareEvery year for St. Patricks Day I load up the smoker with corned beef brisket to make homemade pastrami. Being Irish, this is the perfect meal that combines my heritage with my passion for barbecue. This years pastrami smoke-out took place a couple weekends ago, and was once again a huge success. But now that Ive been eating sandwiches for the better part of two weeks, its time to throw a little variety into the mix. My buddy, and Burnt Finger BBQ teammate, Gish was having a grilled pizza party for March Madness, so we packed up the pastrami fixins to test out our new grilled Reuben pizza recipe for our leftovers.

Gish is a home-brew master, so hes been working on his own beer dough recipe lately. I dont have the recipe that he uses, so youll just have to make do with a store-bought dough, or you can run a Google search for pizza dough recipes and pick out one that you like.

Once youve got the dough formed into the pizza shape you want, top it with a mustard/kraut sauce. We used a product called Must-A-Kraut, but this could easily be replicated by mixing sauerkraut, mustard, horseradish, and a splash of vinegar. Layer on a thick coating of Must-A-Kraut, as this will add good moisture to your cooked pizza.

Reuben Pizza

Next, pile on the sliced pastrami. The one I made could have used a little more meat, so doesnt hesitate to load up. Just think of those giant Reuben sandwiches in the New York delis. More is definitely better in this case.

Reuben Pizza

Top the whole thing off with fresh grated Jarlsberg cheese. A traditional Reuben uses Swiss, but I really like the flavor of Jarlsberg. Its similar to Swiss, but has more nutty and sweet flavors. Plus I think it melts a little better than Swiss, which works well for pizzas.

Reuben Pizza

The grill racks were slid back inside the Good-One Rodeo, which we had cruising along at 400 degrees, for about 20 minutes (or until the crust was crispy and cheese was melted). We had the top two racks loaded with pizzas, and the upper one was running just a little hotter, so the pizzas on the lower rack stayed in a couple minutes longer.

Reuben Pizza

Just before serving I drizzled thousand island dressing across the top of the pizza.

Reuben Pizza

I must say that this thing came out fantastic! So much so, that we made another one so everyone could have a slice. This recipe is definitely a keeper, and may have even inspired me to make pastrami more than once a year!

Sausage Recipe: Smoking Fatties

Sausage Recipe: Smoking Fatties -

Naked FattyIn its purest form, a fatty is most easily described as those sausage chubs that you can find at most grocery stores. The brands can vary (especially when dealing with smaller local markets), but some of the most common national brands are Jimmy Dean, Bob Evans and Hormel. The concept is simple, but extremely effective. Carefully remove the plastic sleeve leaving the chub shape intact, season with your favorite barbecue rub, and toss it on the smoker. Sound familiar? Well, this is the technique that inspired our Bacon Explosion recipe.

Our friend Ron Lewen has recently devoted himself to a world-wide campaign dedicated to Saving the Naked Fatty. As much as we enjoy the extravagant bacon wrapped and cheese stuffed fatties that are floating around the interwebs these days, we wanted to pay tribute to Rons efforts and dish up our version of the fore-father to the Bacon Explosion. Those of you that are fans of our BBQ Addicts Facebook page got a sneak peek of this recipe over the weekend, but now were rolling out the entire process with even more pictures!

We started out by picking up a couple of 1 pound sausage chubs at the grocery store. We like our food on the hotter side, so I went with a medium and a hot.

Naked Fatty

Carefully remove the plastic sleeve while trying not to disturb the natural chub shape. Once removed, sprinkle gingerly with your favorite barbecue rub. I chose to use our Burnt Finger BBQ Pork Rub because of the lower salt content, but any will do. Just keep in mind that sausage is already seasoned pork, so the sodium levels can get out of control really quickly if go heavy on the rub.

Naked Fatty

Place the sausage on a grill or smoker over indirect heat at 250 degrees until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, which will take about an hour.

Naked Fatty

While the sausage was smoking away on the grill, I sauteed some sweet yellow onions and fresh jalapenos in a touch of grape seed oil.

Naked Fatty

After about 30 minutes I took a quick peek to add some more wood chips, and this is what I found inside the grill.

Naked Fatty

Once the sausage reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees, give it a quick glazing of barbecue sauce. I used our brand new Pork Barrel BBQ Sweet Sauce. The sugar in the sauce will thicken and caramelize as the sausage finishes cooking.

Naked Fatty

Once the sausage reaches 160 degrees, remove it from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes so the juices can settle back into the meat. Since these are relatively small pieces of meat, I just let them rest until Im able to handle them without burning my fingers. Bigger cuts of meat like briskets and butts would need to rest quite a bit longer because they retain quite a bit more heat. Once cooled, slice the fatties into 1/4 to 1/2 inch discs.

Naked Fatty

We liked the flavor of the hot sausage better, so I placed all of the discs from that fatty on a warm freshly baked baguette.

Naked Fatty

I then topped the meat off with the onions and peppers

Naked Fatty

and drizzled barbecue sauce over the entire sandwich.

Naked Fatty

As simple as this dish is, its extremely tasty and an extremely easy sausage recipe and a way to get your barbecue fix in the middle of the week when you dont have time for those long smoke sessions. Show us your fatty by posting pictures to our Facebook fan page.

Sams Club Book Signing

Sams Club Book Signing -

Sam's ClubLast Tuesday marked the paperback release of our book BBQ Makes Everything Better. To celebrate this occasion, and help raise some money for local children, were teaming up with Sams Club to put on a fund raising barbecue event at their store in Independence, MO. To help fill the bellies of all the BBQ Addicts strolling through that day, our friend Todd Johns of the famed Pork Pullin Plowboys barbecue team (ahem2009 American Royal Grand Champion) will be on site serving up pulled pork, ribs, hot dogs, and brats featuring his line of Plowboys Rubs topped off with our Burnt Finger BBQ sauce.

The festivities kick off at 11:00 am on Saturday May 14 at the Independence Sams Club on 4100 Bolger Drive. Well be signing copies of our international award winning barbecue cookbook until 1:00 and food will be available until 6:00 with all donations and proceeds from the event to support the building of Childrens Mercy East, a specialty clinic and urgent care center to be located at I-70 and Little Blue Parkway.

Children's Mercy Hospital

Childrens Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, located in Kansas City, Mo., is one of the nations top pediatric medical centers. The 314-bed hospital provides care for children from birth through the age of 18, and has been recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet designation for excellence in nursing services, and ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of Americas Best Childrens Hospitals. Its faculty of 600 pediatricians and researchers across more than 40 subspecialties are actively involved in clinical care, pediatric research, and educating the next generation of pediatric subspecialists.

Food Photography: Grilled Rib Eyes

Food Photography: Grilled Rib Eyes -

Food PhotographyFathers Day was last weekend, and I spent the day with my dad doing what fathers and sons do bestgrilling steaks! My entire family is hooked on Fast Eddies Steak Seasoning, so our rib eyes were simply prepared with a dusting of this magical blend of herbs and spices. No marinades, no sauces, no toppings, just perfectly seared beef seasoned to perfection! Toss in some grilled balsamic grilled asparagus spears and a few roasted red peppers, and youve got a meal worthy of holiday!

Food Photography
Photo Credit: Megan Day