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WhiteTrash BBQ -- Real Pit Barbecue from New York City. This is the story of a fire obsessed guy, living in Brooklyn, with a dream of producing award winning, competition busting, real Barbeque. Come live the dream as I compete around the country in the KCBS Championship Barbecue circuit.

Monday, July 19, 2004

The Food Timeline

Here's an interersting link that I just came acrosss.

Ever wonder what the Vikings ate when they set off to explore the new world? How Thomas Jefferson made his ice cream? What the pioneers cooked along the Oregon Trail? Who invented the potato chip...and why? Welcome to the Food Timeline. This is what we're all about.

Food history is not "a piece of cake." It's full of facinating lore and contradictory facts. Expressing food history in timeline format is a complicated task. The progression illustrates the human experience of technological advancement, social history, and creative ingenuity.

Check it out here:
The Food Timeline

Sunday, July 18, 2004

What I learned at the Long Island Grill Kings Barbecue Contest

Yesterday I spent the day checking out the Long Island Grill Kings Barbecue Contest. What a great day. The weather was beautiful, hot and sunny. The people were outstanding. The vast majority of contestants were friendly, open, funny and humble. (I got to work on humble before I start to compete!)

To Dean and all the guys at Grill Kings.. You did a great job! Good work! From an outsider that was just wandering and observing, everything seemed organized and very well run.

To all the contestants that let me hang out, watch, learn and eat. THANK YOU! Even if you didn't win all of you are champs.

And finally to my new friends from the BBQ-Brethren. THANK YOU for putting up with me all day and into the evening. You were welcoming and entertaining. I don't know if I'd be as gracious to a "know it all" who wasn't even competing! I really enjoyed watching you put together your first contest. I enjoyed your food and your company. Phil and Greg - you really did deserve to win. As I told you when I tasted your wings - OUTSTANDING. I'm glad the judges agreed. I didn't get to taste your final ribs, but the ribs I had before they were sauced and glazed were extraordinary. The Brethren took 1st in Chicken and 1st in Ribs! Check out their website: http://BBQ-brethren.com

One of the benefits of being only a spectator at the contest was that I got to try a least 20 different cooks BBQ. In my head I was picking the winners long before they were announced. The one thing that most impressed me about the contest was the amount of people who never cooked competitively before and just decided to give it a whirl. I salute all of you. Especially my friend Mike who took 3rd in the Ribs contest, which was the only contest he entered. His homemade cooker beat out some very expensive ones. Remember Mike, you should copyright it before Weber starts making one like it.

What I learned at the Long Island Grill Kings Barbecue Contest....
Remember, this blog is a public expression of my thoughts and feelings about the process of my creation of winning BBQ. All of my opinions are mine and mine alone and subject to change. This is really a note to myself for the future. Hopefully anyone else reading this will learn something.

First and most important -- I can win this thing.

Creature Comforts.
1. Provide shade. Lots of it.
2. Provide seating - somewhere to lay down.
3. Provide comfortable work surfaces.
4. Create a private workspace for when the pressure is on and you want to work without the prying eyes of someone like myself.
5. Bring music that you like and relaxes you.
6. Water, water and more water. Water to drink, water to wash your equipment and hands.
7. Mosquito netting to keep bugs off food. But the bugs were kept at bay by all the smoke.
8. Decorations. Make the space fun.
9. If you have electricity - provide a fan so you have somewhere to cool off.
10. Provide something for the kids to do. Better yet, tell friends and family to arrive later in the day after food has been submitted.
11. A large clock to keep track of the time.

Food and Equipment:
1. Sinks and buckets. Be prepared to wash everything. A LOT. Wash you, your work surfaces, tools, equipment etc.
2. Cutting boards. Remember Paul Kirk's suggestions of counter-tops from sinks (Talk to Quan about this.)
3. Duplicate equipment. Don't loose time looking for things.
4. Organized equipment. Setup somewhere to keep everything handy and readily available.
5. Work surfaces. Think about how the Jakes or Zakes had raised the tables so that you didn't have to bend over to work.
6. Lighting.
7. Gloves and closed shoes for manipulating fire and hot food.
8. Extra presentation stuff and garnish.
9. Bring a first aid kit and drugs. Aspirin is a good thing.
10. Bring a fire extinguisher.
11. Get your food ready for finishing early. Give yourself time to setup the presentation.
12. Don't get your food in as the first entries. Maybe get them in first. Remember the a rib entry that you didn't think were so good were one of the first presented and won. But remember the judging class. The judges were toughest on the first entries they sampled.
13. Make your own sauce. (Maybe - I saw a lot of prepackaged sauces.) No one I spoke with used the sauce that they submitted for the best sauce contest as the sauce on their meat. Interesting.
14. Buy the nutemps. Almost everyone was using them.
15. Bring a garbage pail and garbage bags.

1. Cook for myself, not for the judges.
2. Keep a sense of humor.
3. Give everyone certain roles on the team. Don't wind up arguing about stupid shit at the last minute.
4. KNOW the rules. Remember the rib guy who I told to take the basil out of his presentation. Basil is against the rules.
5. Take a deep breath and take a last look at the food before you close up the package. A lot like the last look in the coffin before you close it up.
6. Prepare extra food for the masses that everyone in the neighborhood feeds. Have someone available to feed them. Listen to them. Because I could move from cook to cook, I got to taste a lot of the food before it went up. I knew some of the winners long before they did.

7. Don't worry about the food too much. You've cooked enough Q to allow your instincts to direct you.
8. Have fun.

9. Don't be a chicken shit - just do it!

Friday, July 16, 2004

Friday's Ramblings

For dinner last night I went back to Daisy May's BBQ on West 46th. I ordered the chili and a Carolina pulled pork sandwich. The chili was excellent. All meat and spices and sauce. The sandwich - well it was ok, but not something I'll have again. I couldn't taste the meat, only the seasonings. It's not one of the better offerings on the menu. Stick with the ribs!

Tomorrow is the Long Island BBQ contest! I'm not competing, only observing. This is my first chance to see a real contest. I'm gonna learn all I can cause next year, I'll be the champ!

If you want info on the contest click here:

Today's BBQ link:
The Barbeque Judge

Tomorrow night I'll tell you all about the contest.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Everything you need to know about ribs and beef

I could re-write this, but why bother. The Ribman has done an excellent job!
All Hail! The Ribman!

And to be fair to the rancher......

All Hail! Certified Angus Beef!

History of Barbecue

History of Barbecue - One theory anyway....

Barbecue is the oldest method of cooking meat known to man and stretches far into the misty reaches of prehistory. Scientist today use the remains of old cooking sites to determine the age, movement, and lifestyle of ancient Man.

Man climbed down from the trees and wandered through the savannas searching for something to eat. He came across an animal that had been caught in a brush fire. As he tore a piece off of the smoking carcass, smelled it, and put it in his mouth, he smiled as a bland diet of roots and leaves was transformed into a whole new way of life.
The Gather became the Hunter and the die was cast in a process that evolved into the art of barbecue. As we sit on our decks watching the smoke rise from our cooking pits of choice we commune with our long gone ancestors across the far reaches of time.

This was taken from.....
Ravnhaus Texas Barebecue

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

A Man's Barbeque

By Phil Rizzardi - Bandera Pit Crew
August 2002.

Taken from the Yahoo Bandera Group.

The mans Bar-B-Q is like a perfect woman

It cooks whenever you want it to

Its easy to get hot

It never turns away a good wood

It stays hot as long as you want

The knobs are always firm

It sizzles when you put your meat on it

and you can close the lid and shut it off as soon as your done.

what else can a guy ask for?

Saturday, July 03, 2004

The journey begins.

So how do I start entering the world of BBQ? By cooking it.

My equipment:

Grills: Weber: 22.5" Silver Grill. Weber: Smokey Joe Grill.

Fuel: Kingsford Charcoal. (I know but it's hard to get other brands in Brooklyn)
Cowboy Brand Charcoal. Wood chips and chunks. I buy whatever I can find. Usually it's hickory, mesquite, oak and Jack Daniel's chips. The Jack Daniels chips are oak made from the barrels used to age the Jack. I also use cherry wood that I get from my parents yard. Whenever they trim the trees or whenever a branch falls off, it goes into my grill.

Misc. Equipment: Charcoal Chimney starter. Weber firestarters. Old newspapers. Notice that I don't use charcoal lighter fluid. If you use lighter fluid, you will taste it on the finished BBQ.

My Butcher: Brennan’s Gerritesen Beach, Brooklyn, New York. Please note that I include my butcher as part of the mix to master BBQ. A good butcher is imperative. Get to know your butcher and you'll get the best meats and any "unique" items you may need. Remember it takes time to get a whole hog in Brooklyn!

Today’s BBQ was pork spare ribs. The cut of ribs is important. Buy whole slabs of meaty ribs. Look over the ribs. Try not to buy cuts with shiners. Shiners are sections of ribs where the meat has been cut too close to the bone. Avoid spareribs with big fat pockets or are half covered with fat. A slab of ribs should be 3.8 lbs or less. Ask the butcher to remove the membrane from the bone side of the ribs. The membrane is the papery substance that covers the bones. When cooked it just gets tough. I didn’t believe this until recently. I cooked one slab with the membrane and one without. The slab without the membrane was much more tender. Don’t believe me? Try it.

To prepare the ribs, I gave them a light wash with vinegar and water. This opened up the pores of the meat to allow the meat to accept the spices better. I always rub the ribs with a mixture of spices. (I’ll talk about rubs and sauces in another installment. In the meantime, take a look at
Paul Kirk's Championship Barbeque Sauces; it’s filled with great rub recipes and instructions on creating your own.)

I try to let this sit over night in the refrigerator, but today they sat for an hour on the counter. Overnight is best, but I don’t always have the time or fore thought to do it. The ribs will get nice and sticky. Before putting your ribs on the grill, bring them to room temperature.

Prepare your fire. Always use an indirect fire. On my Weber kettle grill, I use charcoal baskets on each side with a drip pan in the middle. If you want, put some flavored liquid in the drip pan. I’m still out on whether or not it makes a difference if the final flavor. (I’ll talk about the liquid in your grill debate in another installment.)

Get your grill to a temp of approximately 220 degrees. Add some wood. If using chips, soak them first. Get a light smoke going in your grill. Today I used a mixture of hickory and cherry. Place the ribs in the grill and cook for approximately 4 to 6 hours. Let the wood burn out. I’ve found the meat absorbs the smoke flavor only for the first hour or so of cooking. I also add more wood for the last hour to help flavor the sauce.

After the first hour, mop your ribs with some sort of liquid. I use a mixture of apple juice, spices and a few secret ingredients. Let the mop drip into the drip pan. I mop the ribs every half hour or so, whenever I check the fuel. You’ll need to add more charcoal as you cook to keep the temperature even.

About a half hour before your ribs are done, I put on the BBQ sauce. Sometimes I make my own, but more often I use KC Masterpiece. It just depends on how much time I have. Today was KC Masterpiece. Let the sauce firm up. I like my ribs wet and sticky, so I put another layer of sauce on the ribs about 15 minutes before they’re done. For the last application, I move the ribs directly over the fire to caramelize the sauce. Don’t let them burn!!!! Don’t burn the sauce!!! You just spent 5 hours cooking ribs – don’t ruin them at the last minute.

Take the ribs off the grill and let them sit for about 10 to 15 minutes before you cut them. Slice them between the bones; serve with some potato salad, baked beans and corn on the cob. Add a salad of fresh ripe tomatoes, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella and you have a meal!

I’ll get into more detailed instructions on how to cook ribs in another installment, but let’s just say that these ribs are the best. How do I know? My brother called this morning. He said he was in the mood for ribs and brought over 4 slabs for me to cook! What a great compliment!

Today’s BBQ link:
The Grill Kings - Long Island Barbeque Contest

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