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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.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Book Review: Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue Sauces

Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue Sauces
Paul Kirk - The Baron of Barbecue
The Harvard Common Press 1998

I get asked at least once a month to recommend a good BBQ cookbook. My fall back book for the beginner is Cheryl Alters Jamison's Smoke and Spice. It's a great book full of information on smokers, techniques, fuels and how to barbeque in general.

But, if you know how to build and control a fire, which meats to select and how to regulate your smoke, Paul Kirk's Champion Barbecue Sauces is the book for you.

Paul's book is one of my favorite cookbooks and I go back to it time and time again. This little book will help you create unique flavor prints for your barbeque. It will also help you create the classic barbecue flavors. Paul's, I can call him Paul because he told me to, book will help you take your BBQ to the next level.

The reason that I turn to this book often, is that it's not a just a barbecue cook book. It's a recipe book. When I read a recipe, I usually will cook it by the book once. If I like it, I usually make it again, but tweak it to my tastes and what I have on hand in the spice cabinet. This book has many tried and true recipes, but what I really like is that it helps you create. This book gives you the ability to create your own rubs and sauces by providing some basic guidelines and jumping off points for the adventurous cook.

Chapter 2 in the book walks you through the process of creating your own rub. It teaches you how to observe the "masters and competitors" when they create, how to analyze what they use and why, how to break it all down to the basic ingredients, and how to put it all back together for your own use. He teaches you how to balance salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami. To me, that's cooking!

In the other chapters of the book, he covers marinades, mops, sops and bastes, barbecue sauces, and finally salsas, relishes and ketchups.

I highly recommend this book, not only as a barbeque cookbook, but as a basic cookbook. Everything you learn in this book on how to put spices, seasonings and other ingredients together translates into other cooking methods. This book will make you a better barbecue and all around cook. Go buy it.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

WhiteTrash Christmas

It's a WhiteTrash Christmas! Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas Rush

We've been real busy these last couple of days before Christmas. We don't even have out tree yet. And to add to the hassles this season, the transit workers union has called a strike and shut down the NYC subways and buses. Nice. I usually support unions. The unions built the middle class of America. But some of the TWU demands seem way out of line for today's economic realities. I wish I could retire at 50 and didn't have to pay for my health care.

But even with all that happening I've decided to make you hungry. Here's some pictures of barbeque that I found on the web. Go out and have a barbeque dinner for Christmas. Enjoy!

BBQ food in the dead of winter? Can it get any better? Well, yes it can. I will be cooking early next week. There will be new pictures of MY barbeque. I haven't cooked ribs in months! Brisket? I don't know if I did one this year except at competitions.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Today the Iraqi people vote for their new democratic representatives. God speed to them. Let's hope this ends the years of repression and occupation and sets them on the road to true freedom and citizenship in the world community.

Speaking of elections, my friend and brother Phil Rizzardi is running for a position on the Kansas City Barbeque Society board. I had the honor of nominating Phil, so you know I think he'll be a great board member. Phil is a great guy and a great BBQ cook. He's also a good business man, running his own computer consultancy and working for one of the major defense contractors. Phil's real claim to fame is that he is the founder and Grand Poohbah of the BBQ-Brethren. Besides all of that, Phil and I cook together as members of the Brothers in Smoke Barbecue team. That's him up on the trailer cooking at the Grill Kings competition last summer. So, you KCBS members, make sure you vote for Phil in the coming election. If you want more information about Phil, you can check out his bio in the January BullSheet or click here.

And speaking about nominations, I've been nominated by a few folks for "The best food blog" over at Accidental Hedonist. If you like what you read here, please take a moment and nominate me in any one of the categories. Nominations end Friday, December 16th. After the 16th, a group of judges at Accidental Hedonist will review the nominations, and submit five sites for your approval. From Dec 21st through December 31st, the polls will be open for people to vote. I'm honored to be nominated. I hope I make it through to the finalists! That would be a hoot!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Restaurant Review: Daisy May's BBQ

Daisy May’s BBQ
11th Avenue and 46th Street
New York City

I can't believe how fast the year is coming to an end. I, for one, will be glad to see 2005 end. As my faithful readers know, it's been a very tough year. I'm really looking forward to 2006.

For Monday's lunch I stopped in at Daisy May's BBQ for a quick bite. I've reviewed Daisy May's a bunch of times in this blog, and it is easily the best barbecue in the city. It's not the best barbeque restaurant, only because it's take out only. If Adam Perry Lang ever expands into a dining room, I'm sure he will easily take the crown.

Daisy May's offers three "walk-in" specials and these are easily the best barbecue meal deals in the city. I’ve been hoping that Adam would make these available for delivery, but he hasn’t yet. For my lunch, I ordered the "Kansas City Sweet and Sticky pork ribs," the peaches in bourbon and Cajun dirty rice.

The “Sticky Ribs” were easily the best ribs I've ever had from Daisy May's; sweet, a little spicy and smokier than in past orders. If Adam had served me these ribs in a KCBS contest, he would have easily walked away with first place. I’ve never said that about “restaurant barbeque” before. I was greatly impressed and a little envious; the Daisy May’s team is going to be harder to beat in competition next year.

The peaches in bourbon were outstanding. I usually order these whenever I visit and am always pleased, but there was something special about this batch. The sauce was a little thicker than usual, which improved their texture immensely. The one miss of the meal was the Cajun dirty rice. It had no meat, no sausage, no spice and very little taste.

Daisy May’s BBQ has been in business for about 2 years now and Adam Perry Lang has really hit his stride. This was hands down the best barbeque meal I’ve had in a long long time. If you are anywhere on the West Side of Manhattan, Daisy May’s is worth the trip.

Daisy May's BBQ Usa on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sunday Night

Not much happening here tonight. It's been a quiet weekend and I spent yesterday in the kitchen of the St. Mark Sports Association frying chicken nuggets, fries, onion rings, chicken wings etc, etc, etc. After 7 hours of standing in front of a deep fryer, let me tell you, you stink! And not in a good way. The odor gets into your clothes, your hair, your shoes, everything that you come into contact with. I couldn't wait to get home, take a long hot shower and change clothes.

It's an interesting contrast that when I spend 7 hours in front of a smoker being enveloped by hickory, cherry, oak, maple or pecan, I love the smell. I don't mind smelling like a good hard wood fire. I don't rush to change. I don't hurry to shower after that! Even the next day, when I smell the smoke in my clothes, it's enjoyed. I inhale deep and luxuriate in the smoke.

This enjoyment of fire and the smell of smoke must be something primal, a deep tie to the caveman genes still running around my body.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Have you been good?

Dear Santa,

How are you? How's Mrs. Claus and all the elves? I've been an extra special very very good boy this year. What would you like with your cookies this year? Ribs? Brisket? Or a pulled pork sandwich? Of course I could make you my favorite and leave you some chicken. Just let me know what you like and I'll be sure to fill your belly.

If you can swing it this year Santa, I'd like you to bring me....
  1. A Nu-temp wireless barbecue remote thermometer.
  2. Some barbecue rubs from John Henry.
  3. A smoker from Dave Klose. Santa if you can get him to make me a MOAB, I'd really appreciate it.
  4. A cord of seasoned cherry, apple, oak and maple wood.
  5. 100lbs of lump charcoal.
  6. A 48 blade Jaccard to help tenderize the brisket.
  7. A couple of meat injectors.
  8. A new digital camera so that I can post pictures on my blog.
  9. A foodsaver so that I can store and ship all my delicious barbeque.]
  10. A good set of knives and a knife skills class at ICE.
I know I'm asking for a lot this year Santa, but if you bring me all of this, I promise to cook for you anytime you're in Brooklyn. Thank you, Santa! Merry Christmas, Santa!

Your friend,

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Dreamweaver

John Lennon
1940 - 1980

Bless you wherever you are
Windswept child on a shooting star

Restless Spirits depart

Still we're deep in each other's hearts

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Restaurant Review: Dinosaur BBQ

Dinosaur BBQ
646 West 131st Street
New York, NY

Well folks, it was time to try Dinosaur BBQ again.
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon
Last time I reviewed Dinosaur I wasn't impressed at all. Well, it hasn't changed. I went to Dinosaur on Sunday afternoon about 2:30. The place was half empty, or half full depending on your perspective. That's pretty good business for a Sunday afternoon, and I took it as an encouraging sign that the food had improved since my last visit. The racial makeup of the people in the restaurant has also improved. On my last visit, the restaurant was frequented by mostly white folk. This time it looked like a real slice of the city.

I keep reading and hearing that Dinosaur BBQ has some great chicken wings. So, I ordered, wait for it now, the chicken wings with the Hot Wang Tango sauce ($5.50). I was served six good size wings, with an excellent blue cheese sauce, and three little match stick pieces of celery. But these wings were burnt! Under a thin layer of the Wango Tango Sauce, lain six black skinned wings. They weren't spicy, they weren't smoked, they weren't worth my time.

For my main meal, I decided to order the Sunday special which is house cured, smoked molasses ham with red eyed gravy ($13.95). I asked the waitress to suggest my two side dishes and she offered up the mini-lettuce wedge with Bar-B-Blues dressing and the Syracuse-style salt potatoes. She asked me if I wanted the wings and the meal at the same time and I said no.

When I was about half way done with my wings, a bus boy brought out my meal. Why do restaurants do that? Appetizers are supposed to be eaten before you meal.

I was served a huge main course of ham with red eye gravy, potato and a lettuce wedge drowned in dressing with one grape tomato cut in half. The ham was served on a bed of some of the best grits I've ever tasted. But the ham itself was lack luster and flavorless. I think the chef expected the gravy to make up for it, because that was damn good and filled with onions. The dressing on the lettuce was a spicier version of a thousand island dressing that over powered the lettuce and whatever you ate after it. The salt potatoes, were just plain boring. Dinner also included a nice size piece of corn bread. On my last visit, the corn bread was smaller than my phone, this time it was at least 4 times the size.

The graffiti situation in the men's room has improved. Since it opened, more people have added to the walls and doors, so the level of obscenity has been toned down to PG-13. Much better. But the bathroom was absolutely disgustingly dirty. There were puddles of piss everywhere. Garbage was strewn around and it looked like it hadn't been cleaned in days.

Many people think Dinosaur BBQ is one of the best barbeque restaurants in the city. Overall, I still don't see what the fuss is about. I think Dinosaur has improved since my last visit, but the food is still mediocre, but I know I'll be back. I've heard from many folks that the food here is really good, but I haven't found that entree yet.

And finally, to all the folks that slammed me last time I reviewed Dinosaur, bring it on. Just keep it on topic.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

BBQ world

I just came across these two pictures that were taken in front of an Academy Sports store in Austin Texas. See all the shiny new SMOKERS? Not a gas grill in sight. This could be the only compelling reason for a New Yorker to move to Texas. At least it's the only one I can think of. Imagine being able to walk into a store and buy a smoker without having to explain to the clerk what one is? It would be heaven. But who knows with the proliferation of barbecue restaurants in New York City, maybe in 5 years I'll be able to! Here's hoping.

And here's another picture from Texas. It's a barbeque joint in Luling, but unfortunately I don't remember which one it is. Well, I just thought of another compelling reason to move to Texas, there are BBQ restaurants worth eating at in almost every town. It makes one wonder on this cold and snowy day.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

There ought to be a law

In my real job of an IT consultant, I have a client located in the Bronx. To get there I hop in my trusty car and drive out on the Belt, up the Van Wyck to the Whitestone Expressway over the bridge and into the Bronx. Every time I make this drive, there it is taunting me, a huge sign for KC's BBQ & Grill. Most days, I'm running late and note that I need to check it out. Well today I finally pulled off the expressway and ventured in and I can't say that I was glad I did.

KC's BBQ and Grill (no website that I can find)
31-22 Farrington Street
Flushing, NY 11354
(Located at the Pathmark Shopping Center)

Let's get right to the heart of the matter, KC's is NOT a barbecue restaurant. It's a fast food place that uses barbeque sauce on boiled meat that is grilled for appearance sake only. It also offers a fair amount of "Mexican" dishes. If you're looking for barbecue, don't waste your time. Here's a picture from my cell phone of their "BBQ" Chicken Wing platter.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Barbecue Lingo 2

Not much happening this week for me in the world of barbeque. Rumor has it that it's going to snow all weekend, and I'm working all day Saturday, so I don't see much chance for me to be lighting the pits.

So let's continue talking about BBQ Lingo. This is not yet meant to be a comprehensive dictionary, and I will add to it over time, so today, let's focus on the pro circuit. In no particular order, here's some more terms you should know.

The Circuit:
  • the sanctioned series of barbeque contests held around the country each year. Each circuit is sanctioned by one of the major barbeque societies. KCBS and MIM are the two largest, but there are many others around the country
Barbecue Society:
  • an organized group of men and women who love to barbeque
  • an organization that sanctions and regulates BBQ contests
KCBS aka The Kansas City Barbeque Society:
  • from their website.."The mission of the Kansas City Barbeque Society is to celebrate, teach, preserve, and promote barbecue as a culinary technique, sport and art form. Our goal is to have barbecue recognized as America's Cuisine."
  • the premier Barbeque society in the United States (IMHO)
MIM aka Memphis In May:
  • from their website.. "Memphis in May hosts the city's largest events like the Beale Street Music Festival, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest and the Sunset Symphony. Memphis in May also produces extensive education, international, and economic programs for the city."
  • the World Championship Barbecue Contest for the Memphis in May cooking circuit held every year during the moth of May in Memphis, TN.
  • an all pork barbeque contest
  • a contest were you are judged on your meat as well as your personality.
The Jack Daniels:
  • from their website... ""
  • an invitation only BBQ contest held yearly on the grounds of the Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchburg, TN.
The American Royal aka The World Series of Barbeque:
  • two yearly contests held concurrently at the American Royal Complex in Kansas City
  • the Open contest is open to anyone willing to pay the fee
  • the Invitational is open only to KCBS sanctioned State Championship BBQ contest winners
  • the largest Barbeque contest in the world
  • the contest I am going to cook in by invitation next year
That's enough for tonight. I know that somewhere out there, one of you is about to light your fire and create some of the best barbecue in the world. I know that you, your family and friends will enjoy it, because one of the major tenets of the barbecue world, is that BBQ has to be fun. If it's work, you're not doing it right! Keep that fire low and the smoke sweet blue!

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