The Perfect Bird???

This baby was brined for 36 hours using the recipe in last year’s Thanksgiving post. It was smoked yesterday for seven hours over Kingfsford and lump charcoal. Dried hickory nuts soaked in water and were added every few hours for a subtle, but tasty, smoked flavor. I basted the bird twice with olive oil.


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Happy Thanksgiving and praise to God for His provision!

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Best of BBQ Photos!

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Time To Brine!!!

Ah yes! Once you have experienced a brined turkey, it is hard imagining having turkey prepared any other way. I did a post last Thanksgiving on brining a bird, and subsequent posts on brined pork. Here are links to some of the better turkey brines I have tried:

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

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Cherry Coke Beef Tenderloin!

In some parts of the south “Coke” is a generic term for any carbonated beverage. In other places it a specific reference to the drink “Cocola” (where one syllable has somehow disappeared). Anyway, for years Cherry Coke as we know it had to be made by taking a coke and adding cherry syrup. Some called it a “Cherry Suicide” or “Coke Suicide”. I had my first Cherry Suicide in the mid sixty’s and loved it (previous post)! Why did it take the folks at Coca Cola until 1982 to develop their own version? I guess they were too busy tweaking the “Classic Coke” recipe?

On Amazon I recently saw a BBQ sauce based on Dr. Pepper and another on A&W Root Beer. Why not a marinade based on Cherry Coke since I need something different to prepare the beef tenderloin which came out the freezer yesterday? to the rescue!!! Some other genius already had the idea! I borrowed and modified the recipe to be like this:

12 Ounces Of Cherry Coke
5 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Of Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
1/8 Cup Teriyaki Sauce
4 Tablespoons Minced Yellow Onion
1 Tablespoon Frank’s Redhot sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Coarse Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder

The tenderloins have been marinading in this potion since last evening. I will fire up the grill at 5:00 PM today, and then let you know how things worked. I really think we are onto something!

I will be trying out two-zone cooking which is described by BBQ Zen master Craig Goldwyn at:

Monday 11/15/2010

The steaks were great. This is a must try recipe!

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Best BBQ Joints?

Now we are touchin’ some nerves and ruffling’ feathers!!!

This year I have been to College BBQ in Salisbury, NC, Charlie’s Piggin n’ Grinnin’ in Benton Harbor, MI and the Salt Lick in Driftwood, TX. This Saturday I am going to Nat Hayden’s Real Pit BBQ in Windsor, CT. Stay tuned to hear which one is the best!


Well I guess I lied! We never made to Nat Hayden’s last Saturday night. Hayden’s doesn’t have any TV’s and we wanted to watch college football. Alas…why not the Buffalo Wild Wings right next to the hotel? TV’s were everywhere and the wings were tasty, as were the ribs. The ribs were a bit sweet and lacking a smoked flavor, but were tender and moist nevertheless.

Back to the other three joints…The Salt Lick is a place with a definite Hill Country of Texas flair and ambiance located in Driftwood–it is exactly what a BBQ place in Texas should be. While the sides were only so, so, the ribs were absolutely to die for, and certainly among the best I have tasted. The brisket is outstanding as well. When in Austin, make the trip to Driftwood, and remember to BYOB!

College BBQ has been in Salisbury, NC for a number of years. It is favorite of the locals, including one of the original owners of Food Lion, a large grocery store chain. My first visit there was for breakfast with my Dad and his wife Nettie. Wow was the country ham excellent, especially when accompanied by two eggs over easy and grits! And how can you beat the aroma of pork shoulder cooking slowly over hickory wood?

During my last trip to Salisbury, my Dad picked up a bunch of pulled pork, pepper slaw, and hush puppies. BBQ manna from heaven? I didn’t roam the desert with Moses or Charlton Heston for 40 years so I can’t say for sure, but this stuff is awesome and rivals the pulled pork from Lexington BBQ. That is quite a testimonial!

Charlie of Benton Harbor is a member of the Kansas City BBQ Society, which is the biggest organization of its type with some 13,000 members, including me. He has won a number of KC BBQ Society contests and has the trophies in his restaurant to prove it. I had a great time getting to know Charlie, and enjoying his pulled pork sandwiches. His pulled pork is right there with College BBQ’s!

In a society which believes “everyone deserves a trophy” picking a sole winner is tough. Plus, the guys from the prog rock band Rush said, “if you choose not to decide, you still have made choice.” Now, to decide how to prepare the beef tenderloin which just came out of the garage freezer…


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“BBQ may not be a religion in Texas, but the two institutions are closely associated.” – Robb Walsh

Oh crap! I have a bunch of very tasty rubbed and smoked ribs from last weekend and don’t want to throw them away. I looked all over the web for ideas on recycling these delectable things, but didn’t find anything exciting. The least original idea included step-by-step instructions on re-heating ribs in the microwave. Wow, I didn’t know Saran Wrap was so versatile (insert sarcastic groan)! From Yahoo Answers I read: “You can heat it up and serve with rice. You can make burritos with the meat. BBQ sandwiches.” This is very unoriginal, too, but inquiring minds really do need to know if the rice has to be leftover to make the recipe right.

Suddenly I was overwhelmed by revelation! My inner soul whispered (somehow sounded like the narrator on “Christmas Story”–poor Ralphie!), “WWK”, or what would Kurt do? Kurt is our “over the road” neighbor (Scottish parlance for “across the street”). Our families enjoy occasional Sunday night cookouts, pool activities and card games. While I always smoke ribs, Kurt prefers to brown them on the grill, then cook them in BBQ sauce in the crock pot. His ribs are very mouth watering and tender, but I have always considered doing ribs in the crock pot to be sacrilege, or even sacreligious. Robb Walsh, former food writer of the “Houston Press”, whose famous quote is the title of this BLOG post, would be absolutely horrified at the BBQ blasphemy!

After a quick prayer and a “Hail Mary” to the BBQ and Smoker gods, I pulled out the crock pot. I cut the ribs into small portions and put them put in the ‘pot with a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet ‘n Spicy BBQ sauce. I added some other BBQ sauces and a bottle of Shiner light to make sure the ribs were covered. The mixture has been cooking on low for a few hours and the aroma is incredible!

More news at 10:00 PM…

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