.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}


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, August 31, 2007

BBQ Contest Foods: Steak and Sausage

I'm getting a bit bored writing about the foods we cooked for the Hudson Valley Ribfest, so today I'm combining two posts into one and finishing off the NEBS sanctioned grilling contest. I'm sure you're getting bored reading them as well and we still haven't talked about the foods for the KCBS sanctioned BBQ contest!

The last two items for the grilling contest were steak and sausage and they were both Brooklyn classics. For the steak entry, we chose porterhouse steaks from an old Brooklyn institution, Landi's Pork Store and the sausage was a classic Italian style with roasted peppers sausage wheel hand made by John's girlfriend's ex-husband.

Now wait a minute? You bought your steak from a pork store? You betcha. Landi's is so much more than just a pork store. It's a classic butcher shop where all of your meat needs can be satisfied. We even purchased our polenta for the apple dish at Landi's.

While I'm not a big fan of Brooklyn living, I do have to say that the one of the best things this borough has going for it is the little shops. We still have butchers, bakers, pasta makers and fish mongers. In Brooklyn, you can still do your shopping and never set foot in a chain or mega store. Oh you pay for the privilege, but when you need/want service or quality the little guys are the only way to go.

Mike grilled the steaks using an old family recipe of his that includes bathing the steaks in a pool of olive oil after they are removed from the grill. It's a process I had never seen or heard of before, but he and Mike and John all swore that Mike's method produces the most succulent steaks you ever put in your mouth. Now even though I am of Cuban heritage and my Abuela used copious amounts of olive oil, Spanish only please, in her cooking I was skeptical of the procedure.

Why would you need to bathe a great piece of meat in oil? I tasted it and all I could taste was olive oil, and Italian olive oil at that; not that there's anything wrong with that. I didn't think the steak would do well and I was right, the judges hated it.

For the sausages, it was John's turn to cook. He grilled three rings of the sausage and if I remember correctly he sauced two of them and left the last one plain. Well, the two with the sauce burned and we submitted the sausage plain. Looking at the picture now, it's not very pretty, but it looked great on the table. I guess we were all tired. I'll tell you, that homemade sausage is some of the best I've ever tasted, but unfortunately the judges didn't agree. The public did however, they ate it up and many asked where it could be purchased. Sorry babe, this is for family only. Fuggetabodit. Yo.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, August 30, 2007

BBQ Contest Foods: Lamb

Astute readers or even the occasional reader, of this blog know that the American Lamb Board sponsored our team Smokey Mikes for our lamb category in the NEBS sanctioned grilling contest at the Hudson Valley Ribfest. OK, I think I've got everyone covered.

We were really excited to get the American Lamb for the contest. The flavor and tenderness of the American Lamb is far superior to what I've experienced with the New Zealand or Australian lamb in the past. We knew that we'd have a bit of an advantage cooking this meat.

To get the meat, I picked it up at the Hunts Point Food CoOp in the Bronx from B. Rosen and Sons. We took it as a good omen that we were getting the lamb from a Rosen, as that is the last name of one of the Mikes.

I tell you, going up to Hunts Point is a story in itself, but it was amazing to see how much food is distributed from this market. I also used this trip as an excuse to visit the new Fulton Fish Market. They're both amazing places, but in these days of terrorism I question the wisdom of centralizing all the food distribution for the Northeast in one poorly guarded location.

So what about the contest you say? Well, we cooked two boneless legs of lamb and 4 sides of baby back lamb ribs for the event. I skinned the ribs and seasoned them with a doctored version of Wild Rooster Barbeque Sauce - Mustard Mania. For the leg Mike seasoned one with garlic and herbs, tied it and smoked it whole. For the other leg I butterflied it and made a marinade of the seasonings that we had with us. I don't remember the exact recipe but it included apple juice, mustard, garlic and olive oil.

When turn in time came, the ribs and Mike's leg were ready, but the butterflied leg needed to cook some more. We tasted the lamb and decided to submit the ribs. We liked them a lot and thought the mustard would be an interesting seasoning departure from the traditional BBQ flavors. Unfortunately, the judges didn't agree. We came in solidly in the middle of the pack.

We seasoned up the remaining legs of lamb and put them in the cooker to feed the crowds during the day. (Well, we seasoned up what we thought was the remaining lamb, but one survived to make the trip back to Brooklyn to become De-constructed Shepard's Pie) This lamb we gave out to the people along with recipe cards and other promo material.

The crowds ate it up. We fed them for about 2 hours. I was really surprised to hear from many many people that they've never had lamb before or don't cook it themselves. But they all seemed to love it. Another very interesting conversation that seemed to happen a lot with the older folks was that our lamb was the flavor that they remembered. We all attributed that to the fact that this was American lamb. I wish we had a list of retail markets to give them, because I was asked repeatedly where they could purchase it.

After the lamb entry was submitted and while Mike was making the next entry, steak; we took off the butterflied leg that I mentioned earlier. We cut that up and started to munch on it. Damn - this was the lamb that we should have submitted. It was outstanding. Even one much trusted opposing competitor thought so. Too bad it wasn't ready in time. On to the steak.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Undiscerning New Yorkers?

Here's an interesting take on New York's BBQ scene by my friend Paul Lukas a the New York Sun. I haven't been to any of the barbeque restaurants he mentions except for Blue Smoke, so I can't comment on the article. Damn, I've got to get out there!

An Undiscerning Palate

August 29, 2007

It's been a little more than five years now since Blue Smoke opened, giving New Yorkers their first taste in decades of authentic pit-smoked barbecue. Since then, a seemingly endless stream of barbecue outlets has followed, including at least a dozen in the past year, and four in the past six weeks. The city's appetite for smoked meat, it would appear, is endless.

But five years of unstinting demand have not yet produced a discerning palate among the city's barbecue enthusiasts Many venues in this new wave of "'cueries" have managed to do a booming business, even if the food is mediocre at best. This category includes the popular Blue Smoke itself, where the food is wildly inconsistent. And recent visits to the city's four newest smokehouses found all of them packed , -- granted, one of them has only two tables, but still -- despite widely varying levels of quality. It's as if putting the letters "B-B-Q" in your window is enough to draw throngs, even if you're serving pizza and sushi.

So when a truly great barbecue outlet comes along, such as Hill Country (30 W. 26th St., between Broadway and Sixth Avenue, 212-255-4544), it can get lost in the shuffle. Let's be as clear as possible: This is what barbecue is supposed to be. Pitmaster Robbie Richter has produced by far the best marriage of smoke and meat to hit the city in the Blue Smoke era. In fact, his Texas-style barbecue is so good that it rivals the fare at the Lone Star State's most renowned smokehouses. If you've ever eaten down that way, you know how good the barbecue is; if you haven't, here's your chance to discover what you've been missing.

Texas barbecue isn't sauce-driven. The idea is that if you've got really good meat, plenty of smoke, and a good spice rub (in Mr. Richter's case, a fairly simple mix of salt, pepper, and cayenne), sauce just gets in the way. Most of Hill Country's offerings provide ample validation to this approach, from the spectacularly juicy brisket (available either lean or moist -- go for the latter) and the massive beef ribs to the succulent pork spareribs, the excellent boneless ribeye, and the crispy little Cornish game hens. All are infused with a smoky aura that lingers but never overpowers, along with a lip-smacking spice kick that supplies a slow, smoldering burn. It's the quintessence of classic barbecue.

The second-best entry in the latest crop of 'cueries is, surprisingly enough, Southern Hospitality (1460 Second Ave., between 76th and 77th streets, 212-249-1001), which is co-owned by that, um, renowned barbecue expert Justin Timberlake. Despite a horrible vibe (imagine a celebrity-spotting scene at TGI Friday's) and some sadly predictable moments of ineptitude ("No, you have to order both side dishes, because the computer won't let me exit the ordering screen unless I punch in two sides"), a decent percentage of the food actually acquits itself quite respectably. Memphis-style spare ribs are tender and fairly tasty, if not quite smoky enough, baby back ribs are sweet and juicy, and the macaroni and cheese, baked beans, and green beans are all perfectly adequate.

There are also some major missteps: Pulled pork is so dry as to be inedible, and the brisket is utterly bland, but with careful ordering it's possible to have a decent meal here. Still, why put up with an assaultive atmosphere just to have a merely decent meal?

The situation is reversed up at Oklahoma Smoke (231 W. 145th St., between Frederick Douglass and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. boulevards, 212-862-5335), a tiny two-table storefront that recently opened in Harlem. The vibe is warm, the staff treats you like family, and co-owner Paul Packard will happily tell you how he, his dry rub recipe, and his smoker all hail from the Sooner State. Unfortunately, all this love doesn't yet come through in the food. Pork ribs and beef ribs are both far too bland. Smoked shrimp are a tasty surprise (who cooks shrimp in landlocked Oklahoma?), but the dish is overcooked, and the smoky flavor can't rescue the rubbery texture.

Oklahoma Smoke does have one magnificent saving grace, however: world-class collard greens. Unlike so many other collards around town, which have been stewed into mush, Oklahoma Smoke's version has some heft, along with a pork-infused smokiness. It's like a warm, savory salad, and it ranks among the city's top side dishes.

Unfortunately, there's not even a standout side order to recommend at Georgia's Eastside BBQ (192 Orchard St., between E. Houston and Stanton streets, 212-253-6280). The small-ish room is pleasant enough, but the food barely qualifies as barbecue. Instead of smoking the meat, owner Alan Natkiel oven-steams it over a beer bath, finishes it on the grill, and drowns it in sauce. The resulting pulled pork is so stringy and dry, and the sauce is so ketchup-driven, that the dish comes off like day-old spaghetti. Pork ribs are moister but tasteless. The best thing on the menu is fried chicken, but there's no shortage of that in this town.

Despite the food's seemingly obvious shortcomings, Georgia's Eastside had a line out the door on a recent Saturday evening, underscoring the point that, for now, New Yorkers still like the idea of barbecue more than they appreciate the nuances of the form. One hopes that will change as more people find their way to Hill Country, the first smokehouse we can truly be proud to call our own.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

BBQ Contest Foods: Fish

Let's take a look at some of the food we submitted at The Hudson Valley Ribfest. Here's a picture of our fish entry. It's grouper steak with a Caribbean pepper sauce. Unfortunately, I don't have the score sheets and I don't remember where it placed. But it didn't do great.

This entry was cooked by one of the Mikes following the recipe as published in Weber's Charcoal Grilling: The Art of Cooking With Live Fire by Jamie Purviance and Tim Turner. Almost. Mike followed the recipe as closely as he could, but it calls for a chunky pepper sauce which is something that is not allowed in a KCBS governed, NEBS sanctioned event. So instead he smashed and chopped up the sauce until he got what you see here. We tried to massage the sauce into the cooked fish with the hope that the sauce would still flavor the fish.

Looking at the picture, I can say it's really a mediocre presentation. I was so off on the boxes this weekend and our scores reflected that. I have no idea how this fish tasted. Mike bought two whole groupers and had them butchered (Do you butcher fish or is there another term for it?) into steaks. I've only seen grouper in filets, so this was an interesting choice, but Mike said that he had never had grouper fillet, only steak. Go figure. I wish there was more, but what you see was all the edible meat from the two fish. It all went to the judges. And they didn't like it.

Oh well, on to the lamb.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Here's a new one. A recipe for a non-barbecue meal, brought to you by the fine folks at WhiteTrash BBQ and The American Lamb Board.

In case you didn't know, The American Lamb Board graciously sponsored our team and provided us with a boat load of lamb to cook at The Hudson Valley Ribfest. We cooked almost all of it but for some reason after the event we still had a leg of lamb uncooked. I can't imagine how we missed it. I thought we had cooked it all. Hell, we fed the public lamb for a good 2 hours on Saturday!

I was taught never to waste food so I brought the leg home and roasted the lamb after seasoning it with a paste of butter, rosemary and garlic. Just like Grandma used to make. It makes a delicious dinner, but there's always leftovers. And like I said, you can't waste food, so what's a poor boy to do besides play in a rock and roll band? Make Shepard's Pie - that's what.

I call this deconstructed Shepard's Pie. I was going to make the real thing, but frankly it was just too hot in Brooklyn today, so deconstructed Shepard's Pie was born. I wasn't turning on the oven for anything! Have fun.

  • Left over lamb meat cubed and trimmed of all fat. Try to keep all the spices on the meat.
  • 2 onions sliced
  • Red wine
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 cans beef broth
  • 2 beef bullion cubes
  • Shot or two of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 package frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Cooking instructions:
  • In large dutch oven, melt butter with the olive oil.
  • In the butter and oil, sweat the onions until tender.
  • Sprinkle the sugar over the onions and caramelize over low heat.
  • When the onions are brown, add the tomato paste, browning it lightly.
  • Sprinkle flour over entire mixture, stirring constantly to make a roux. Cook roux for about 2 minutes until all flour is cooked and incorporated in the mixture.
  • Deglaze pan with some red wine. (I used Merlot because we had it open)
  • Stir in beef broth. Add bullion cubes and bring to a boil. Add water if necessary to completely cover the meat. Don't let it boil too long, or your meat will get tough.
  • Once mixture comes to a boil, add bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce
  • Reduce heat to simmer.
  • Simmer for about 1/2 hour or longer. This can stay on the stove all day over a low heat.
  • About 5 minutes before you plan on serving, add package of mixed vegetables. Raise heat to bring mixture back to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through.
  • Check for salt and pepper and adjust seasonings as necessary.
  • Serve on bed of mashed potatoes.
If you make this, please feel free to add or subtract as you see fit. And be judicious on the measurements. I don't measure anything when I cook. Everything is by eye, feel and taste.

Labels: , , , ,

Ya Gotta Have Friends: The Tur-Duc-Hen

About two weeks ago, I got an unsolicited email from one Steven Dugas at the Cajun Grocer. It seems an old friend of mine, Dr. Biggles over at Meathenge suggested to Mr. Dugas that I might be interested in trying out this unique bird. Well, Dr. Biggles was right. I've heard much about this legendary beast, but I had never tasted one, let alone cooked one. I was definitely intrigued.

After my usual exchange with the vendor about my rules for review, if I like it I say so - if I don't - I say that too, Mr. Dugas stood by his product and agreed to subject the tur-duc-hen to my pallette and cooking skills. Oh what a trusting fool he is!

What is a tur-duc-hen you say? As you can see from the label a Tur-Duc-Hen is a "stuffed chicken in duck, both boneless, turkey partially de-boned, cornbread pork rice stuffing with creole seasoning." That's easy for them to say. Boy was I looking forward to this.

According to the Cajun Grocer website, the tur-duc-hen has 44 - 5.5 oz servings per bird. That's a lot of food and not something to cook for the family's typical Sunday dinner.

What would I do with this bird? I know - I'll cook it at The Hudson Valley Ribfest. We need to eat on Saturday night, and there will be a lot of people milling around who I'm sure have never tried a tur-duc-hen either. Problem solved. Now how do I smoke it?

Since I was cooking this bird at the ribfest, this meant I was going to smoke it. There as no option for an oven. Looking for advice, I spoke with Mr. Dugas. Unfortunately he had none, so a quick e-mail to Dr. Biggles was composed. He hadn't smoked one yet either, but we both agreed that temps just above normal smoking would work just fine. Basically, we concluded to smoke it like a turkey and ignore the stuffings. One bit of important advice I did get from Biggles, is that the tur-duc-hen takes about 5 days to defrost in the refrigerator. Damn. Best get moving.

So on Saturday night, I built a fire in my trusty Weber Smokey Mountain using oak, maple and apple. I brought the temps to 275 degrees and placed the bird in the smoke. Ignoring the label's cooking advice, I started the bird breast side down, thinking that the fat in the duck would help keep the breast meat of the turkey moist.

After about 2 1/2 hours I flipped the bird on it's back and let it cook until it's internal temperature reached 165 degrees. I didn't add any spices or seasonings to the bird, but I did spray it with apple juice every hour or so. Total cooking time for this bird, 5 1/2 hours.

Basically the tur-duc-hen it's a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken. Everything is de-boned except for the wings and legs of the turkey. If you look closely at the picture you can see that in addition to the pork rice stuffing the bird also has a layer of cornbread stuffing.

After letting the tur-duc-hen sit for about 20 minutes we sliced it right across the body. It sliced beautifully. Each slice exposed all three meats and every layer of stuffing. Each meat was juicy and very flavorful. This was a damn nice looking piece of bird meat.

So, how did it taste? I have to say that I sometimes find Cajun spices over whelming. While I do enjoy the heat, the spice sometimes takes over so much that you can't taste the meat. Not so with the tur-duc-hen. The tur-duc-hen was beautifully spiced; just enough heat and flavor to engage the taste buds and to allow the flavors of the turkey and duck to shine through. This was definitely a treat. What about the chicken you ask? It seemed to get lost in the mix.

One very interesting part or the tur-duk-hen I didn't expect was the experience of all the different textures; the turkey, duck, chicken and stuffing. This is a very enjoyable meal.

So will I buy one? Let me put it this way, there wasn't a piece of skin left over that night. Of course I'll buy one. I suggest you buy one too! Imagine how your friends and family will be impressed when you whip out a tur-duk-hen this thanksgiving. My only wish is that the Cajun Grocer would come up with a smaller version that I could serve to just the family.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Goodbye Old Friend

Goodbye old friend. I couldn't let this moment pass without reflecting on you, me and our relationship. 14 years seem like nothing. It's as if you were always there and now you're gone. I hardly remember a time when you weren't there.

You'll be missed.

Though you sit in another chair, I can feel you here
Looking like I don't care, but I do, I do
Hiding it all behind anything I see
Should someone be looking at me

While I occupy my mind, I can feel you here
Love to us is so well timed, and I do, I do
Wasting away these moments so heavenly
Should someone be looking at me

Let it down, let it all down
Let your hair hang all around me
Let it down, let it down
Let your love flow and astound me

While you look so sweetly and divine, I can feel you here
I see your eyes are busy kissing mine, and I do, I do
Wondering what it is they're expecting to see
Should someone be looking at me

Let it down, let it all down
Let your hair hang all around me
Let it down, let it down
Let your love flow and astound me

Labels: ,

BBQ Events: Hudson Valley Ribfest - The Results

Well folks, it's time to reveal our standings at the end of the Hudson Valley Ribfest.

Drum roll please.......

In the NEBS sanctioned grilling contest - we came in 24th. Ugh.

In the KCBS sanctioned barbecue contest, we did it! We came in first! Forty-first actually. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but not exactly bad. I'm looking at the pictures of our turn in boxes and nothing looks outstanding. I think we finished where we belonged.

For a group of guys who have never cooked with each other before, we did damn good. We submitted all of our meat in every category, on time. Ask anyone who's competed; that's not a small accomplishment.

But as a team we were very disorganized. As of Friday afternoon, we were still debating recipes. Hell we didn't even have our fish or chicken purchased. As a matter of fact, our fish and chicken were purchased after the meat inspection on Saturday morning. Don't worry, they were all inspected before we cooked them. Hey, we follow the rules.

As a team, we have a lot to learn; about each other, about how to cook together, how to criticize each other's cooking, how to accept criticism, how to communicate with each other both in words and in action and how to perform that special dance that will win a contest. In up coming posts I'll talk about what we cooked, how we cooked it and why, but not tonight.

It would be a lie to say that I'm not a bit disappointed by our results, but the important thing is that we had a great time cooking together. Mike, Mike and John are some of the greatest people on earth and I wouldn't have missed this chance to get to know them better for anything. As Spanky once sang, "maybe we'll do it again someday."

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, August 24, 2007

Where Have You Been My Brown Eyed Son?

With apologies to Mr. Dylan, it crossed my mind to put this post up in the same type of verse as his masterpiece, but alas I am not as skilled. Don't read too much into that last post. The line that sticks in my head is "where have you been" not the threat of "a hard rain" even though a hard rain is gonna fall. I wonder if the hard rain Dylan envisioned ever did fall or was he just fucking around ala "the walrus was Paul."

Cryptic posts and references to obscure Beatles songs aside, as if any Beatles song could be obscure; the world does not revolve around barbecue. That fact hit me hard in the face when I returned to the real world with clients looking for me, family issues and my gout rearing it's ugly head.

I owe you folks much. I will be posting a lot this weekend. I'll be talking about the Hudson Valley Ribfest, The Turduckhen and Boudain sausages that the Cajun Grocer sent up for review, the lamb provided by the American Lamb Board and a whole lot of other things. Talk to you tomorrow.


Where Have You Been, My Blue-eyed Son?

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?
I've stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains,
I've walked and I've crawled on six crooked highways,
I've stepped in the middle of seven sad forests,
I've been out in front of a dozen dead oceans,
I've been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard,
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it,
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin',
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin',
I saw a white ladder all covered with water,
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken,
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children,
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?
And what did you hear, my darling young one?
I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin',
Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world,
Heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin',
Heard ten thousand whisperin' and nobody listenin',
Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin',
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter,
Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley,
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, who did you meet, my blue-eyed son?
Who did you meet, my darling young one?
I met a young child beside a dead pony,
I met a white man who walked a black dog,
I met a young woman whose body was burning,
I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow,
I met one man who was wounded in love,
I met another man who was wounded with hatred,
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, what'll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what'll you do now, my darling young one?
I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin',
I'll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest,
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty,
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters,
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison,
Where the executioner's face is always well hidden,
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten,
Where black is the color, where none is the number,
And I'll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it,
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it,
Then I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin',
But I'll know my song well before I start singin',
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Time to go.

In a couple of hours I'm heading off to the Hudson Valley Ribfest (if you need a link see a previous post) I'm a bit apprehensive, but I'm really trying to take this one as a lark. This contest is for fun. If we place, fantastic. If not, that's fantastic too. This is for the fun of cooking and to introduce some new people to the world of competitive barbeque. This is all for pleasure. The un-named team member is back on board. I'm so glad. He's a great guy and would have been sorely missed. YEAH! We're gonna have a great time now.

But then again, that all seems a bit hollow. Those of you who know me, know I don't like to loose. Part of me wants to be in the top 5 or so. Alright, I admit it first. First would be out of this world and t I really doubt it. I know we can cook, but we haven't practiced at all. We haven't even settled on recipes. I don't know if we have everything we need to compete. I keep dropping things in the boxes. But like I said, I know we can cook. Can we cook to the judges expectations? Only time will tell.

I'm also worried a bit about the actions of a certain tribe in the barbeque world. Some of them will be at New Paltz. They've screwed with me and my friends before, and I don't put it past them to do it again. Some actions have been plain stupid, juvenile and even sophomoric; but others have frankly, been criminal. I don't doubt for a second that they've got something planned for this event. Every time I've crossed paths with them this year, a shit storm follows. I'll be sleeping with one eye open this weekend (like I sleep at all) and I'm not going to take any shit.

It's really a pity and I've tried to put it all to rest, but sometimes there's no reasoning with people. Peace, love and barbeque man. What's so funny about that? Sorry Elvis. Sorry Mike.

But even with all that drama, come on up to New Paltz. Hang with us. We're gonna have a great time. There's a turduken from the Cajun Grocer for Saturday night. There's a cart load of lamb from the American Lamb Board for your enjoyment and of course, our smiling faces. There's a lot of beer too, but we can always use more. And if my buddy Dmitri is reading this, I have a special surprise for you.

C'mon up. Bring chairs and beverages; adult and diet coke. You know how I love my diet coke. We'll raise the roof. And if you're a member of the tribe, come in peace. You'll be welcomed with open arms. We'll smoke a pipe or something and make peace, love and barbecue. Get your mind out of the gutter you filthy animals. See you there.

Labels: , , , ,

RUB in the news

RUB BBQ to Unveil Its Orange County Chopper Bike
To The Nation on CBS’ “The Early Show”
This Saturday, August 18
Restaurant revs up to open second location October 5 inside the
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino® in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS (August 16, 2007) – The highly-acclaimed RUB BBQ is hitting the road to unveil the restaurant’s brand new Orange County Chopper bike on CBS’ “The Early Show” this Saturday, August 18 at 8 a.m. EDT (5 a.m. PDT). Check local listings for details.
The “Hog” decked out in black and flames has its very own barbecue smoker sidecar designed by David Klouse of bbqpits.com. It features 124” H&L motor with a Black Backer 6-speed and OCC Chrome bars in drag style. The bike can reach up to 100 mph and grill up to 20 racks of ribs.
During “The Early Show” segment this Saturday, RUB BBQ’s Chef Paul Kirk, aka The Kansas City Baron of Barbecue, will heat things up live for the barbecue connoisseur on the run. He’ll showcase specialty menu items, including Burnt Ends, smoked twice until crispy and lightly sauced and he’ll throw some ribs on the sidecar grill while demonstrating some of the restaurant’s specialty rubs.
RUB is scheduled to open its newest location inside the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino® in Las Vegas on October 5. This will be the restaurant’s second location outside of the New York original and will be located on the second level of the Masquerade Village. RUB BBQ will serve lunch and dinner seven days a week and will feature live bands and entertainment on the weekends.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


2 days to go to the Hudson Valley Ribfest and one of the team members has dropped out. We think. He hasn't made up his mind, but the rest of us are pretty sure that all signs point to him leaving. It's funny, if this had happened a week ago, I would have freaked out. Now, it doesn't bother me. Don't get me wrong, I sincerely hope that he comes up as he's one of my favorite people and we will definitely miss him if he doesn't. But it's beyond my control.

It seems that I've lost or worked through all my apprehensions and nervousness about this event. What will be, will be. We'll do our best and hopefully it will be good enough. We'll be experimenting on some foods, and following time honored traditions with others. We will have fun - that I can guarantee.

If you're anywhere near New Paltz, New York this weekend, come on by.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, August 13, 2007


4 days to go until the Hudson Valley Ribfest.

We had some real progress tonight. We've finally decided on what we're cooking for the grilling contest. We've assigned cooking assignments. We're as ready as we're going to be.

Pray for us.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, August 12, 2007

BBQ Life: 5 Days to Go

5 days to go until the Hudson Valley Ribfest.

When we last met, I posted my then current state of mind about the contest and it wasn't good. Since then the team's talked quite a bit and it things are looking much more positive. We've all come to agreements on the visitors, attitudes and levels of commitment. This contest will be a lot of fun and the team is beginning to gel.

Today, I thought I'd play around with Tilapia. I'd cooked this firm white fish before, but this is the first time I cooked it on the grill. We still haven't decided what fish we're cooking on Saturday, so I was combing the cookbooks for a new idea.

I settled on the recipe for Beer-Brined Smoked Catfish by Hill Country's Elizabeth Karmel that was published in Mike Mills' Peace, Love and Barbecue on page 234. Elizabeth has a great reputation and her food at Hill Country is fantastic. I was really looking forward to trying this fish. I didn't have catfish but I've substituted tilapia for catfish successfully before, so I didn't think it would be an issue here.

Boy was I wrong. This was the worst fish meal I've ever had. The brine took all the flavor out of the fish and left it a salty, albeit flaky, slab. UGH. No one, including me could eat more than one bite. I'd put up the recipe, but I don't want you to suffer like we did. Do yourself a favor and stay away from this one. This is the first time I've thrown away something I cooked since I was 18. Someone owes me $14.

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, August 10, 2007

BBQ Life: 7 days to go

7 days to go until the Hudson Valley Ribfest and I'm feeling a bit apprehensive about the event today. Last night I met up with two of the members of the team and discovered a few things that bothered me.
  1. One of the team members is going to the event to "get drunk and have fun. I don't give a shit how we do." I want to have fun, and I'll probably drink a beer or two, but I do care how we perform. We can "get drunk and have fun" any time without the expense or pressure of a contest.
  2. There will be a lot of folks coming up from Brooklyn to check out the event. While that in it self doesn't bother me at all, I don't think we're going to be prepared for the amount of folks showing up. At last count it will be around 40. I hope they bring drinks, coolers, ice and chairs as they'll be in short supply at our site. We'll have plenty of food.
  3. One guy who plans on showing up, along with his bratty kids, is hated by one team member, despised by another, tolerated by the third and actually liked by the forth. I'm not saying which member I am, but I really hope this interloper doesn't interfere with the cooking. If he does, I could easily see one member of the team dismembering him. Or walking out.
  4. We still have no idea of who's doing what on the team. We're supposed to meet next week and finalize all of that, but damn, I'd be a lot more comfortable if we did it already. I'm a but uneasy telling the guys what to do, as they've cooked together before, but if they're not willing or able to make a decision, I will.
  5. I'm still trying to figure out what we're cooking for the grilling contest. The BBQ contest is a no brainer, but the grilling event is wide open.
Even with all that on my mind, I'm really excited about the contest. We've had some great things come our way, which will be revealed in time, and its a great bunch of guys I'm cooking with. It's a very well run contest in a beautiful location. I'll be cooking BBQ again. I like judging, but the real fun is in the competition.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, August 09, 2007

How To Cook Ribs

This video comes to us from our friends up north, The Canadian Barbecue Association. It looks like they know what they're doing in Canada. Follow this guys instructions and you'll have some great tasting ribs. Enjoy.

8 days to go until the Hudson Valley Ribfest.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

BBQ Events: Virgil's Ribsock

This just in from Thrillist. Free ribs and wings at Virgil's Tuesday. I haven't been to Virgil's in a long long time, but it looks like it's time for a visit. Virgil's certainly not the best barbecue in New York City, but it's easily in the top 10.

Food: Virgil's Ribstock
6-7:30pm Aug 14 at 152 W 44th St, between 6th and 7th; 212.921.9494
Thrillist - Virgil's RibstockVirgil's salutes Woodstock's 38th b'day with free Memphis pork ribs and chicken wings, plus $5 Maker's Mark cocktails -- because yesterday's nappy peace party is today's saucily violent, rib-eating scrum.
More meat here

9 days to go to the Hudson Valley Ribfest. I can't wait. Two teams have dropped out, so if you're interested in competing, get your application in quickly.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


10 days to go until the Hudson Valley Ribfest and I don't have anything new to report.

So today I'm calling on all my readers to help out Steve in Astoria by answering his question....

"question: I'm heading to Alabama, Georgia and S. Carolina in a few weeks. Off the top of your head, any "must visit" bbq joint recommendations for any of these states? Any help is much appreciated."

If there's anyone out there who knows all or part of the Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina barbeque scenes, please post a comment below. I've got some recommendations that I'll put up tomorrow, but I'd love to know what you'all think. Who knows that hidden gem that a Yankee tourist would never find?

And I'm looking for a welder on Long Island or in New York City that can help create a custom smoker. The process has begun, but we're at a point where we need some professional help. If you know someone trustworthy or you are a trustworthy welder yourself, please shoot me an email at brooklynq@gmail.com

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, August 06, 2007

BBQ Life: Smokin' the Night Away

11 days to go to the Hudson Valley Ribfest.

Since my WSM was so damn filthy and missing parts, I decided to cook yesterday's pork shoulder, lamb ribs and hamburgers on the Charbroil Double Door Smoker. I think I'm beginning to master this beast.

My first cook on the Double Door was very interesting. The cooker challenged all my learned wisdom about cooking over live fire. I'll go over all of that in another post, when I have some pictures to add, but lets say that this cook was much more successful.

On my first cook I used over 60 lbs of charcoal, lump and wood to cook one small brisket and some chicken wings. For this last cook, I used about 10 - 15 lbs of fuel and cooked for almost 15 hours. I controlled the temperature much better without falling below 210 or rising above 240 during the entire cook.

I'm really beginning to like this cooker. It has it's own quirks and could probably benefit from some modifications, but I'm enjoying using it as it is. I haven't cooked on it in inclement weather yet, but I think I could handle it. We're beginning to understand one another. I'm much more comfortable now about bringing this cooker to New Paltz.

The pork had it's own quirks as well. I took the pork off the cooker when they registered 165 degrees to wrap them in foil for the trip to 195. I discovered that I was out of foil, so I took a quick jaunt to the supermarket. When I returned, after about 15 minutes, the internal temperatures of the pork had dropped to132 and 147 degrees. WTF?

So how did the food turn out? Pretty damn good. The new pork injection is a keeper. The lamb ribs were interesting and different. I used traditional barbeque flavorings, which I think was a mistake. Don't get me wrong, it was good, but I think the lamb would have benefited from a more delicate seasoning profile. When I do lamb ribs again, I'm going to go more Mediterranean in seasoning. Or more Irish. I'll make that call in due time.

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, August 05, 2007

BBQ Life: Tending the Fire

3 posts in one day. This is unprecedented.

The fire's holding at 219. The meats at 179 and 185 so the end is near.

Is 40 cherry tomatoes too many to eat in one day? They're just so damn good when they're right off the vine. They're even better when they're hot from the sun.

Some music for you tonight. A very poor video, but one of my all time favorite songs.

Labels: , ,

BBQ Events:

This just came into my in-box about The Great State of Maine Grilling and Barbecue Fesitval. This is another great event sanctioned by The New England Barbeque Society. I wonder who won? Whoops - also just in - I Smell Smoke wins! Congrats guys!

YORK, Maine — It is possible judges at Saturday's second annual Maine Grilling & BBQ Festival ate anywhere from two to three pounds of meat — each.

Despite the heat, by 1 p.m., more than 100 meat fanatics and 18 certified judges devoured ribs, chicken wings, pork, sirloin steak, grilled pizza and ice cream at Zach's Farm on Colby Turner Lane. Many will wake up and do it all over again today for the festival's final competition, which will send one talented team of cooks to the national barbecuing championship.

While the public feasted on food from local and national vendors, judges sat under a shaded tent to taste entries from 24 contestant teams, most of which traveled from within New England to compete for the Maine title.

These folks take their meat seriously.

"It's an art form, cooking barbecue," said event coordinator Vito Marotta, who has served as a judge at dozens of other festivals.

Without much chatter, judges sniffed, bit, licked and eyed the food they were given in small cardboard boxes, which allowed for a blind taste test of the food coming from the teams.

The winner of Saturday's grilling competition, which was composed of five categories — including a dessert containing blueberries — and Sunday's barbecuing competition will be announced today at 5 p.m.

Competitors Randy Leech, Ryan Briolat and Randy Briolat of Portsmouth cooked up a blueberry crème brûlée on the grill, served with a graham cracker crust. The team members, who call themselves the Puddledock Porkas, said the event is just as much about having fun as it is grilling.

A total of 25 teams will continue to compete today for more than $7,500 in prizes. Many teams said they were hoping to win some cash as reimbursement for all they have spent toward the weekend — teams spent $300 to $600 on food alone.

But most say they have their eyes on the prize, and that's not the money — it's Kansas City. Today's winner will hold the Maine State Championship and will travel to the American Royal in Kansas, one the biggest competitions in the country.

The first event, organized by Dennis Sherman of Denny Mike's Smokehouse BBQ and Deli in Old Orchard Beach, was not open to the public. Co-organizer Patty Sherman said they wanted the public to attend this year and in years to come because "people love barbecue. Throw in music and a nice day ... and it's a great thing."

Labels: , , , ,

BBQ Events: Hudson Valley Ribfest

12 days to go to the Hudson Valley Ribfest.

Now that I've gotten all my nerves and apprehensions out of the way, I can concentrate on the event. Today I'm cooking up a couple of pork butts and lamb ribs. I've never done lamb ribs on the grill before so this is going to very interesting.

I came up with a new pork injection yesterday. It's a mixture of apple juice, oil, vinegar, pork stock, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco, garlic, salt, pepper and a couple of other ingredients I'm keeping secret for now. If I like it, I may use it in the competition. If it wins, I'll publish the whole recipe.

I'm also trying out a new rub. I found it in Fairway the other day and I've never tried it or seen it before. We like the manufacturer's other products and it passed the pinky test, so here's hoping.

I'm busy today putting together the equipment we'll need. I pulled my Weber Smokey Mountain out of the garage for a good cleaning. I haven't used it since my last competition, which was the ill fated Grill Kings. (I guess I'm getting spoiled. I have a lot of grills to choose from now.) Opening up the WSM, I noticed that I have two charcoal grill racks and only one cooking rack. Time for a visit to Home Depot for a replacement.

Sorry, no pictures today. The batteries are dead and I'm too busy to buy new.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Saturday, August 04, 2007

BBQ Events: Hudson Valley Ribfest

13 days to go to the Hudson Valley Ribfest.

I'm cooking with friends who I've never cooked with before. This should be interesting. We're signed up to do both the NEBS grilling contest on Saturday and the KCBS event on Sunday. That Sunday is also my 45th birthday. Shit, I'm old. We're signed up to cook fish, lamb, sausage and beef steak on Saturday and chicken, ribs, pork shoulder and beef brisket on Sunday.

Since I'm the only one on the team to have any experience with a full blown KCBS event, the rest of the team is looking at me as the expert. This is making me a bit apprehensive as both of the Mikes have competed before at Grillin' On The Bay and they cook with each other during the year. They know how to cook together. I've done contests, but I really don't know what to expect from both of them and how I'll fit into the mix. One Mike is definitely the more serious cook, but the other is a "git er done" type of guy. They've never let me down, I just hope I can live up to their expectations of me.

I've got to remember my own advice written way back when I attended my first barbecue event...
  1. Don't worry about the food too much. You've cooked enough Q to allow your instincts to direct you.
  2. Have fun.
  3. Don't be a chicken shit - just do it!

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, August 03, 2007

BBQ Life: Getting Ready to Compete

So, the Hudson Valley Ribfest is in 2 weeks. So, you're cooking an event. So, you're finally working with most of the people you wanted to from the beginning. So, why are you nervous?

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Turn The Page

"This Blog is being created to document my feelings, thoughts and creation process in creating the future World Championship BBQ team. White Trash BBQ."

Oh how full of myself I was. That's from my first blog entry way back in June of 2004. And oh, how far this blog has strayed.

Since the birth of the blog, I've done some of the things I set out to do and a lot of things I never meant to do.
  • I've become a Certified Kansas City Barbecue Society Barbeque Judge.
  • I've judged contests for both NEBS events and for KCBS events.
  • I spent some time cooking contests with Phil Rizzardi and other members of the Barbeque Brethren and I've walked a couple of times at contests with the Brethren thanks largely to Phil's expertise.
  • I've met some great people who have led me to other new endeavors I never dreamed of before. One of the first was Robert Richter of Hill Country Barbeque who introduced me to my good friend Matt Fisher which in turn led to Matt and I hosting NYC's only barbecue contest, Grillin' On The Bay.
  • With Matt and the ever giving Andrew Fischel at RUB, we brought the legendary Paul Kirk to New York City for the first Barbecue class taught by this legend in New York.
  • I've been quoted in The New York Daily News, New York Magazine, Newsday, Edible Brooklyn and a couple of other places I can't recall.
  • I've been on the Food Network, TV Tokyo, WOR Radio, Maxim Radio, News 12 and there's been a few other TV and radio appearances which I also don't recall right now.
  • I've been to some incredible foodie events, like the annual Meatopia hosted by New York Magazine's Josh Ozersky whom I now count as a friend.
  • I've assisted at the Brooklyn Pig Fest and the Big Apple Barbeque Block Party.
  • I've met and partied with some of the legendary people of the barbeque circuit, Paul Kirk, Dr. Barbecue, Chris Lilly, Adam Perry Lang, Jack McDavid and many many others.
  • I've made some good friends, far to many to name here, on the circuit and I know I've probably made some enemies too.
  • I've gotten Servsafe certified, NYC licensed and have actually sold my barbecue to the public.
  • I've grown this blog to the point where people I've never met actually know who I am and read this on a daily basis for which I am incredibly thankful.
I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot of things, places, events and people, but boy, what a long strange trip its been.

So where's my team? Well, it's finally happening. After all that diversion I've gotten back to my original plan. Well sort of. But, on the weekend of August 19th, me and three buddies from Brooklyn will be cooking at the Hudson Valley Ribfest.

Turn the page.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

BBQ Equipment: Brush Hawg

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that I had received a goodie box of grilling accessories from Charbroil. I've already reviewed the Hedge Hawg and now I'm moving on to the Brush Hawg.

I don't know about you, but I don't like cleaning my grill. After cooking, I usually remove the meat and let the grill sit, dirty and festering until my next cook. What usually happens is that the meat juices, sauces, sugars and spices are burnt to a crisp by the time I return to the cooker.

When I'm ready for the next cook, I light a fire in the cooker, knock the big stuff off the grill and let it heat up with the fire. Just before the meat hits the grill, I hit it with a brush cleaning off any remaining food nasties.

While this is an effective way to clean the grill, it's hard on the brushes. It's hard on the cook too, since you're cleaning a hot grill in a hot cooker. But its not so hard on the Brush Hawg. Like it's little brother the Hedge Hawg, this brush can clean. I guess that's due to the cleaning heads on both brushes having "maximum count stainless steel bristles" whatever that means.

Unlike some of the cheaper brushes on the market, this brush has a nice thick handle that stands up to elbow grease as you clean. It also has multiple blade scrappers, one of which arrived bent on my brush, and a convenient hook for hanging or to my surprise, grill lifting. A very nice feature is that the brush heads are replaceable.

The Brush Hawg retails for $ 12.99 and is available from Home Depot®, Sears®, Kmart®, GrillLovers.com®

Labels: , , , , , ,

WWW WhiteTrash BBQ
Your Gateway to Barbecue Information
A service of
netRelief, Inc.

This site is a member of The Smoke Ring
A linked list of BBQ websites

Next - Skip Next - Next 5 - Prev - Skip Prev - Random Site

Join the ring or browse a complete list of The Smoke Ring members

If you discover problems with any of The Smoke Ring sites,
please notify the Ringmaster

[ Previous 5 Sites | Skip Previous | Previous | Next ]

This RingSurf Food~n~More Ring Net Ring
owned by WhiteTrash BBQ.

[ Skip Next | Next 5 Sites | Random Site | List Sites ]

Search Popdex:
Ego Vereor Haud Sus!