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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.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Crossing over

Ladies and Gentlemen, that picture to the left is a fruit. Many people consider it a vegetable, but it's really a fruit. But what is it you ask? It's a tomato.

A big thanks to Kalyn Denny of Kalyn's Kitchen for the photo.

What's a picture of a tomato doing on a blog about barbecue? Well, the tomato is the foundation of many a great barbeque sauce, some chilis and many other essential recipes in the world of BBQ.

And this time of year one of my favorite things to do is to smoke tomatoes and rather then write an entire post about how to do it, I'm going to point you to two great blogs that lay it out very nicely. The first is Kalyn's Kitchen where she provides a great photo tutorial on how to do it. And the second is A Veggie Venture where second-generation food writer Alanna Kellogg expands on some of the many ways to use them. (Yes, I am sending you to a vegetarian blog - get over it)

Both sites are chock full of great information. You can even follow their recommended cooking times and temperatures. Just be sure to cook them outside on your smoker with a little pecan, maple or oak smoke. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

BBQ Class: The Baron of BBQ's School of Pitmasters

OK folks, it's fall and it's time for everyone to head back to school.

Welcome to The Baron's School of Pitmasters! - A first for New York City.

Paul Kirk, the legendary Baron of Barbecue, Barbecue Guru, Ambassador of Barbecue, Order of the Magic Mop, Certified Barbecue Judge, Kansas City Barbecue Society Board of Directors, Inductee into the KCBS Barbecue Hall of Flame, Author of numerous cookbooks and 1990 Chef of the Year Greater Kansas City ACF Chapter is coming to New York City to teach the Baron's School of Pitmasters.
  • When: Saturday October 21, 2006 - Rain or Shine.
  • Where:The Water Taxi Beach, 2nd Street and Borden Ave, Hunter's Point, Long Island City, Queens, New York. WTB is easily accessible from most major highways and public transportation and it has an incredible view of the New York City skyline.
  • The What and The Why: This class is suited for the back yard BBQ enthusiast, the seasoned competitor, or those considering opening a BBQ joint (restaurant). The Baron will cover the basics of BBQing Brisket, Pork Butt, Pork Ribs, Chicken, and Sausage. He will also cover fire management, fuels, BBQ rubs and spices, BBQ sauce, contest presentation, among many other subjects.
  • How much: $250 per person - THIS CLASS IS LIMITED TO 40 ATTENDEES.
  • What do I need to bring: You bring your cooker, fuel and cooking utensils. We supply the rest. (Meat, spices, rubs, etc.)
  • How do I get into school: Contact Robert Fernandez or Matt Fisher aka The Hampton Smoker.

As a kid, I never looked forward to school, but I'm looking forward to this one. Don't miss this historic opportunity to learn with the one of the best. See you there!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

BBQ Tools: Woodflame

I just received Steve Raichlen's Up In Smoke monthly newsletter in my e-mail. He mentioned a new wood burning grill from Canada that I've never heard of; The Woodflame.

I was wondering what makes a wood burning grill unique as I burn wood on my grills all the time. Even as a kid, I burned wood on the grill. Every campfire I ever cooked on used wood. So why would America's master barbequer recommend a specific wood burning grill?

Well, the Woodflame grill is a unique grill that uses 100% recycled wood cubes as its food source. You can cut your own wood as well, just make sure it's hardwood. From what I can gather from the website, you place a couple of cubes into a sterno like tube underneath the grilling surface and light them. The fire is then regulated by fans in the base. They claim that "collector trays and heat shields under the grill ensure Woodflame barbecues provide excellent cooking control by eliminating flare-ups from dripping fat."

The Woodflame Grill also claims (and I have no reason to doubt this claim, nor the previous claims) "provides the heat of a 60,000 Btu barbecue. Grill temperature exceeds 537°C (1,000°F)." Wow. That's incredibly hot and way to hot for true barbeque. Make no mistakes about this folks, this is a grill not a barbecue.

There's one disturbing claim on their website which I'd love to investigate further... "Because it burns wood so efficiently, Woodflame does not give off smoke. Only your food is steeped in wood-smoke flavour." I know that when cooking I don't want thick smoke engulfing my food, but without smoke is there flavor?

The Woodflame sounds interesting and I'd really love to try one out, but their small model, the Gusto (pictured above) is listed at Green Culture for $299. I wonder what the larger model the Delecto costs. $299 for a very small grill is a little rich for my blood. I can buy a lot of Weber Smokey Joes for that money.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

And now for something completely different...

Monday, September 25, 2006

BBQ Recipe: Rick's Barbeque Ice Cream

I recently came across this recipe by Rick Browne, who hosts the PBS TV series Barbecue America. It's a great adaptation of baked Alaska all souped up and ready for the grill. Take it away Rick...

  • 1 large pound cake, frozen
  • 3 square ice cream bars (no sticks), hard
  • 12 to 16 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Raspberry and apricot jams
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • 1 wooden plank, 12-by-12-by-1-inch thick, soaked in hot water
  • Heavy-duty aluminum foil to wrap plank
  • 8-ounce jar chocolate fudge sauce or caramel sauce or other topping of your choice
  • Electric knife (for best results)
  • Fresh mint leaves for garnish
Get a good hot fire (500 F plus) going in a kettle grill or smoker. If you use charcoal in a kettle grill mound it in two piles on either side of the cooker, leaving the middle of the grill open. If using a gas grill, turn on all burners to high.

Whip the egg whites, cream of tartar, and sugar into a stiff meringue so that when you pull beaters away sharp points stand up in the meringue. At the last minute add a generous amount of chocolate sprinkles and quickly fold into the egg whites. Put in refrigerator.

Working quickly, wrap the wet plank in the foil. Cut frozen pound cake in half horizontally, and lay one half on the foil. Spread raspberry jam on top of the pound cake half. Place the ice cream bars on the jam-covered pound cake so they exactly cover the surface. Place the other piece of pound cake on top of the ice cream, and cover with apricot jam. Completely cover the cake on all sides with meringue, being sure to bring the meringue all the way down to touch the foil all around cake. (If you leave any gaps the ice cream may melt and spoil the dessert.) Place the plank on the center of the grill in the cooker.

Check after 2 minutes and as soon as you see the peaks of meringue brown remove the dessert from the cooker. This will take only a few minutes with a very hot fire. Slide the cake off the plank and onto a chilled serving platter. Cut vertical slices through meringue, cake and ice cream with an electric knife (much preferred way) or, if you don't have one, use a very sharp serrated knife that you dip into hot water between slices. Slide slices onto plates onto which you have spooned a generous pool of chocolate or caramel sauce, or both. Garnish sauce with fresh mint leaves, shake more sprinkles over meringue and serve.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Book Review: The Grill of Victory

Grill of Victory: Hot Competition on the Barbecue Circuit
by William Brohaugh, with a forward by Claud Mann
Emmis Books, Paperback - 288 pages Published: May 2006

It's been a while since I reviewed a book. I really should do this more often as I usually read a book a week. One of my clients told me that he can tell what week it is by what I'm reading. He tells me that I cycle through a cookbook, a computer book, a book on history or a biography, and he tells me it's usually in that order! I never realized I'm so anal. I might upset him this week as I'm reading John Irving's Until I Find You -- a novel. (BTW - I love John Irving and have read all of his novels, unfortunately this isn't one of his best.)

But back to the Grill of Victory. I found this book by accident in Barnes and Noble on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I've never seen it before or since in any NYC bookstore and I'm glad I picked it up when I did.

The Grill of Victory is the story of the Galax, Virginia'’s "“Smoke on the Mountain" Memphis in May Barbecue competition. It's told from the organizer's point of view but is filled with all sorts of tips and tricks for the aspiringing competitor, judge or backyard cook. I've cooked and competed only in Kansas City Barbecue Society events so I was interested to see how the other half lives.

The book takes a lot of ink explaining how teams are organized; what type of grills are used, from home made to the super custom luxury models; the rules of competition and how they'’re sometimes broken; what judges are looking for; and how this competition fits into the "Memphis in May" barbecue competition circuit.

The Grill of Victory has a bunch of tips and tricks; —including ways to spice up store-bought barbecue sauce —and winners' secrets to great grilling techniques, rubs, and sauces "that help turn backyard chefs into BBQ champs."

So do I recommend the book? Yes and no. It's a bit too hokey and folksy for my tate. It's filled with a little too much information specific to the organization of the Smoke on the Mountain contest and not enough about contests in general.

The Grill of Victory is an easy read, but I lost interest about 2/3 of the way through. It's a good book for a peak behind the curtain, but I'd only recommend it for people interested in the Memphis in May circuit. If you're looking for the definitive book on the contests, cooks and recipes, check out Mike Mill's Peace, Love and Barbecue instead.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

BBQ Events: Brewtopia!

The Great World Beer Festival: Brewtopia
Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City

Friday October 20th
7:00 PM to 11:00 pm

Saturday October 21st
Session I 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Session II 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

75 Breweries all under one roof all at one time. Ok, so it's not exactly a barbecue event, but what's barbeque without beer? See you there.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Welcome Grub Street

September started slowly, now it's speeding by and Grub Street has hit the cyber world. I had hoped to send you there on opening day, but better late than never. Take some time to check out New York Magazine's new food blog Grub Street edited by Josh Ozersky the infamous Mr. Cutlets.

Why another food Blog? I'll let the editors of Grub Street answer that for themselves....

"Grub Street was an eighteenth-century London avenue populated by hungry writers. Those long-dead litterateurs never rested, and neither will New York Magazine's food blog. Grub Street will be updated hourly, covering everything from the cult street vendor, nameless yet venerated, to the latest temple of gastronomy, awash in renown. You'll find out which in-demand tables are available each night, where you might discover an overlooked lunch spot, what's worth reading elsewhere on the Web, and what Matthew Barney orders at Balthazar.

There will be special contributions from the magazine's food critics — Adam Platt, Rob Patronite, and Robin Raisfeld. But Grub Street's editor is Josh Ozersky. Formerly the restaurant critic for Newsday, Josh has also written about food and culture in New York, the Times, and Details. He's also, as "Mr. Cutlets," the author of Meat Me in Manhattan: A Carnivore's Guide to New York and the forthcoming Hamburgers: A Cultural History. He lives in Brooklyn, where he bought an apartment so he could be closer to DiFara's Pizza."

Grub Street is off to a great start and I wish them much success.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

BBQ Contests: Hillsborough Results

Here's the results of the Hillsborough New Jersey contest, No Fire, Just Smoke contest. This event is a one day grilling contest with all profits headed to the Hillsborough Fire Department. I was unable to attend this year, but from what I hear, a great time was had by all.

1. Ribs Within (tie) (coin toss, Ribs Within won)
2. Oak Pork Rib Splitters (tie)
3. Minick's Barbecue
4. Burnt Side down
5. Que Boys
6. Lo-n-Slow
7. Our Couch
8. Ocean County Pig Assassins
9. The Stu-Pit
10. PigPen BBQ
11. Hoff Daddy's
12. 222 Smoking Crew
13. Wheels of Fire
14. The Swamp Pit
15. Brick Beach BBQ
16. Smoking Jersey Shorecats
17. Jumping Dog BBQ
18. Elizabeth Avenue FD
19. Memphis BBQ Company
20. CT's BBQ
21. Smoker's Delight
22. Moose's Mayhem
23. Richie's Rib Shack
24. Up in Smoke
25. The Senator

Monday, September 18, 2006

Rosh Hashanah Barbeque

Here's a great article written by the legendary Erica Marcus for Newsday.

Erica lists many of the barbeque joints on Long Island, but she doesn't review them. If you're looking for the best place on Long Island, go check out Willie B's on Fifth Avenue in Bayshore. Unfortunately, Will Breakstone's restaurant hadn't opened when this article was written, but you can get some of the best brisket on Long Island at his new place. It's take-out and delivery only, but it easy outshines its competition.

It looks to me that it's time to open up a Kosher BBQ place in Brooklyn!

By Erica Marcus
Newsday Staff Writer

In the culinary world, brisket plays a dual role. This big, ungainly cut of beef is both the quintessential Jewish holiday meal and the highest achievement of the Texas barbecue tradition.

But brisket isn't the only place where the yarmulke meets the 10-gallon hat. At least around here, it turns out that a disproportionate number of professional pit masters are Jewish.

The approach of the High Holy Days (i.e. brisket season) seems as good a time as any to ponder this phenomenon.

At first glance, Smokin' Al's, the Bay Shore barbecue joint, doesn't evince a whole lot of yiddishkeit. There's a straight-ahead barbecue lineup of ribs (baby backs and St. Louis), pulled pork, smoked sausage, chicken, brisket, collard greens and baked beans. The restaurant's mascot is an exuberant pig in a bandana, and paintings in the dining room portray pigs playing jazz, drinking beer, enjoying a candlelit dinner.

And yet, Smokin' Al himself turns out to be Al Horowitz of Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, a former ladies' clothing importer who got bitten by the barbecue bug during frequent sales trips down South. "I'd work all day selling," he recalled, "but I couldn't wait for nighttime, when I'd go out for barbecue and talk to the pit masters."

In 2003, Horowitz left the garment trade to seek his fortune in barbecue and, in November of that year, he opened Smokin' Al's. When Passover 2004 rolled around, he got a few requests for take-out brisket platters from Jewish customers. Every succeeding Jewish holiday brought more orders, many of them for whole briskets that the customers planned to slice at home. "It's not a direction I thought about going in when I opened the place," he said. "But now I'm up to about 40, 50 brisket orders every holiday."

Horowitz grew up in a kosher home, eating his mother's brisket, but confesses that he found it dry and unexciting. "I only started loving brisket when I experienced one that was properly barbecued."

Turning tough into tender

Not to bash mom's brisket; certainly, there are as many badly barbecued briskets out there as there are badly pot-roasted ones. The cut itself presents a challenge to the cook. Weighing in at 10 to 15 pounds, it is composed of two different muscles, each of which goes by many names. The flat (first cut, plate) is long and, beneath a layer of fat, very lean. It is attached to the deckle (point, front cut), which is lumpy and fatty with a crazy-quilt of grains running through it.

The goal of both pot roasting (i.e. braising) and barbecuing (i.e. smoking) is to dissolve the brisket's connective fiber that makes it tough and to melt the fat into the meat to make it tender. Both methods achieve this goal through long cooking and low heat braising with steam and barely simmering liquid, barbecuing with smoke.

Andrew Fischel, co-owner of R.U.B. (Righteous Urban Barbeque) in Manhattan, could never resist the siren song of the smoke. His mother kept a scrupulously kosher home in Roslyn, but culinary rebellion was in young Andrew's genes. His late father, unable to purge himself of non-kosher demons, opened an Italian restaurant, Teddy Spaghetti, on Glen Cove Road in the early '70s.

Fischel says he was drawn to barbecue partly because its pork-centric orientation made it the ultimate "forbidden fruit." But brisket was the get-out-of-jail-free card. "What was cool about brisket," he said, "was that it was a real barbecue item and it was something I could cook at home."

By age 16, he was barbecuing briskets in his backyard. After college, he took a detour into the dot-com world, but six years ago he gave that up and partnered with his barbecue mentor, the revered Kansas City pit master Paul Kirk (aka Baron of Barbecue) to open up R.U.B. BBQ in Chelsea last spring.

Fischel and Horowitz both followed roundabout paths to barbecue bliss. Stanley Singer, whose Turtle Crossing in East Hampton (opened in 1995) was one of the pioneers of the Long Island barbecue renaissance, took a more direct route: He was born into it. Growing up in Oklahoma City, he was raised on barbecue and especially barbecued brisket - not because it was kosher, but because this was Oklahoma. (The only time in his life he regularly ate pot-roasted brisket was the six-month stretch he spent with his grandparents in Tulsa, studying for his bar mitzvah.)

"If you're a barbecuer from the South or Southeast, you make your reputation on pork. If you're from Texas or Oklahoma - cattle country - you are probably a brisket person."

At Turtle Crossing, Singer has a singular method for barbecuing brisket: He separates the raw brisket into flat and deckle, gives both pieces an overnight dry rub, then places them in pans and barely covers them with a mixture of water and seasonings. The pans go into the smoker and stay for about eight hours.

Doesn't that make the briskets smoked pot roasts?

"I guess so," Singer said.

Perhaps its his cattle-country upbringing that allows Singer to buck barbecue tradition. New York area barbecuers tend to be more conservative. Fischel and Horowitz both smoke their briskets dry and whole, as do Erica Rifkin of Bobbique in Patchogue and Michael Zuckerman, chef and co-owner of Hog House in Huntington, two other Jewish pit masters. Standard operating procedure calls for the brisket to be smoked deckle-side up, so its fat bastes the lean flat beneath.

A cut above the rest

Once a whole brisket comes out of the smoker, myriad serving options present themselves. At Hog House, Zuckerman simply slices it so the customer gets both deckle and flat.

"We slice it deli-thin," he says, "so that you don't wind up with a big lump of fat in your mouth."

Both Horowitz and Rifkin separate the smoked flat from the deckle, slicing the flat and chopping the deckle. Horowitz goes a step further, finishing the sliced brisket on the grill with a little sauce. The trims of both pieces are chunked, topped with sauce, and grilled to crispness for Smokin' Al's version of "burnt ends," which are served on a bed of onion rings.

At R.U.B., Fischel hand-cuts the flat for sliced. The deckle gets returned to the smoker for three to four more hours, then it is cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces for more traditional burnt ends.

Burnt ends, it must be said, occupy a special place in the heart of the Jewish barbecuer. "With all that fat and smoke," said Fischel, "you can approach the depth of pork."


No matter who tends the pit, most barbecue restaurants will sell a smoked brisket to serve at home - as do all the ones listed below. Call well in advance to place your order for the Sept. 22-23 Rosh Hashanah meals. Prices range from $11 to $18 a pound.

1 Park Lane
Massapequa, 516-799-8877,

70 W. Main St.
Patchogue, 631-447-7744

4805 Depot Lane
Cutchogue, 631-734-5410

200 W. Jericho Tpke.
Huntington Station, 631-271-4200


19 W. Main St.
Bay Shore, 631-206-3000

148 Carleton Ave.
East Islip, 631-581-9657

296 W. Main St.
Sayville, 631-589-9600

221 Pantigo Rd.
East Hampton, 631-324-7166

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Why Barbeque?

From Rickwieser from Independence, MO of the BBQ-Brethren.

Why Barbecue?

The fog from my breath swirled slowly on this cold November morn
And the wisps of smoke rose skyward as the birds echoed up they're scorn
occasionally the sound of silence was shattered by the pop of a spark.
Or the woeful cry of the neighbors dog as he spoke into the dark.
The distinct smell of fresh coffee blends in with the smells of fall.
The leaves twisting and turning downward as they answer natures call.
Mere words can't describe the sense of pleasure as I add wood and tend to my fire.
All the sounds and smells of BBQ just feeds my burning desire.
Is this an act of sanity, to rise so early to perform this task?
You evidently don't know BBQ or you wouldn't even have to ask.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Take a look at my buddy Matt's new toy. I am SOOOOOO jealous. But I do get to stoke her this weekend. No not the ravishing brunette, but the smoker. Geez, you guys are such perverts!

Monday, September 11, 2006


Thursday, September 07, 2006

BBQ Contests: New Jersey Rules!

Things are heating up in New Jersey this weekend! Two barbecue contests are happening back to back.

On Saturday, Hillsborough, New Jersey hosts the annual No Fire, Just Smoke contest to benefit the local fire department. I've never been to this event, but it's being run by the folks from Ribs Within. Laura and Doug are a great barbeque team and great folks.

And on Sunday, Hamilton, New Jersey is hosting it's annual Septemberfest. For the first time, this year they're holding a Backyard Rib Cook-off contest. After a shaky start, this event looks like it's gonna be great. Speaking of Ribs Within, I hear that they're one of the food vendors at this event. Good Eats.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Ultimate Guide to Meat!

Here's a great link to a fantastic guide to meat.. It comes to us from the fine folks at The US Meat Export Federation.

I think this will answer all your questions about every possible cut of beef, pork, lamb and veal (which is truly just little beef) in the US market. Enjoy. I know I do. International Meat Guide.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Roadtrip - Jack's Firehouse - Philadelphia

Jack's Firehouse on Urbanspoon
A while back, The Hampton Smoker, his wonderful wife and my beautiful daughter took a detour coming back from our guest spot on Comcast Cable and stopped in for lunch at Jack's Firehouse in Philadelphia. Overall, the food was OK, but I expected better from a Memphis In May winner. In the end, it didn't matter - we had a great time!

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