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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.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Who Do You Trust? - AOL/City Search Names New York City's Best Barbecue

This came into my email today....

City's Best Winners - Barbecue - Restaurants and Nightlife ...
Spanky's BBQ, 6th. Pig'n Out Barbeque, 7th. Bone Lick Park, 8th. Pies-N-Thighs, 9th. Sawa BBQ, 10th. 617 9th Ave,New York ... m.aol.com/citysbest/.../citysbestResults.do?...

OK - I'm always interested in what others think about the New York BBQ scene, but looking over this little email notification, something was clearly amiss. Spanky's came in at number 6? Spanky's has been closed since early 2009 as I reported back on January 28, 2009! Sawa is also closed - and I don't think they ever were a barbecue joint. Bar BQ is also long gone as is Pig'n Out.

WTF is going on here? I've always heard that the "leaders" in the review world could be bought. Is this evidence? Why would AOL/City Search list FOUR closed restaurants as part of the top ten and leave out NYC's current leaders like RUB, Wildwood, Hill Country, The Waterfront Ale House etc? I call shenanigans!

In case you're interested, here's AOL/City Search's top 10 BBQ joints of New York City - for what it's worth. And that ain't much.
  1. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
  2. Virgil's Barbecue
  3. Blue Smoke
  4. Bar BQ
  5. Daisy May's BBQ
  6. Spanky's BBQ
  7. Pig'n Out Barbeque
  8. Bone Lick Park
  9. Pies-N-Thighs
  10. Sawa BBQ
PS - That rib picture that leads this post is from the incredible RUB! You need to check them out whenever you're in Manhattan.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve Barbecue

Are you In Bayside tonight? Have I got a deal for you. Check out Three Brothers Butchers on Bell Boulevard. Get some meat in your belly with all that beer!

Known as one of the hottest bar nights on Bell Boulevard, Thanksgiving Eve has been celebrated by the Three Brothers as young college students, as longtime Bayside residents, and now as a local business. Serving Bayside's BEST BBQ for over 5 years, 3BROS will be open all night tonight to accomodate revelers' hunger for:

  • Pulled Pork
  • Brisket
  • Baby Back Ribs
  • Smoked Chicken
Stop in for a quick bite on the way to the bar, crawling from one to another, or before you head home.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Beer Saloon - Sheepshead Bay

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, November 19, 2010

Turkeys Terrorize New York City

Out in Staten Island, a large band of wild turkeys have taken to terrorizing the neighborhood. Protected by law, all the residents can do is squirt them with hoses and pray. Damn. Would anyone notice if a couple of birds found their way into one of my smokers? Honestly, officer. I have no idea how it got there.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving Recipes: Smoked Cheddar and Apple Pie with Smoked Glazed Pecans

I found this on the Cookshack website. The directions are for cooking in a Cookshack Smoker, but with a little ingenuity, you could adjust this to your cooker. Have fun!

  • 1/2 lb. cheddar cheese
  • 2 C. pecans
  • 6 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg cream cheese; softened
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 C. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 lbs. Granny Smith apples; peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • Unbaked crust for 1 large deep-dish pie
Preheat smoker to 175 degrees with 2 oz. apple wood.

Place the cheese directly on the top rack of the smoker. Place the pecans in a disposable aluminum pan and place on the bottom rack. Fill another disposable pan with ice and place on the bottom rack. When you see smoke coming out the vent hole in a steady stream, turn off the smoker. After 1 hour, taste a pecan to see if it needs more smoke flavor. If so, repeat the cold-smoking process. Thinly slice the cheddar cheese.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put the smoked pecans on a baking sheet and toss with the honey and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly toasted. When cool, chop 1 1/2 C. of the pecans and set aside the remaining whole nuts. Leave the oven on.

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, 1/2 C. of the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy. In another bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 C. of sugar, brown sugar, lemon juice, flour, the remaining cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

Toss in the apples and chopped nuts and allow to rest for about 15 minutes.

Spread the cream cheese mixture on the bottom of piecrust. Cover with a layer of sliced smoked cheddar, and top with a layer of the apple mixture. Repeat with layers of the cheddar and apple mixture until the crust is very full (the filling will decrease in height as it bakes.)

Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned and the apple mixture is bubbly. Garnish with the whole glazed pecans.

Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Ingredients: Wood

I hear you, "WTF? Wood is an ingredient?" You bet your sweet bippie wood is an ingredient. When I started cooking with live fire, way back in my Boy Scout days, I was told not to cook with pine. "It makes food bitter," said my Scoutmaster. I didn't really believe him and thought it was just his way of keeping the kids out of his hair. You see, the campgrounds of Long Island were littered with pine branches and finding hard woods for the fire was a most time consuming job. But, we were kids and trying to earn merit badges, so we sought out the hard wood.

Fast forward a few years and I'm camping with some high school buddies. We were hungry after a day of hiking and I built a fire out of pine and whatever other woods that were easily available in this Long Island campground. I wanted a fire. I wanted to eat. I didn't care about the old Boy Scout advice.

Wally's mom made us a baked ziti for the trip, one of her signature dishes and highly enjoyed whenever we where at her home. I wrapped the pan carefully in foil and placed it on the fire, where it sat until it was hot and bubblely. We un-wrapped the ziti and dove in. 5 hungry teen boys shoved that ziti in our mouthes. 5 hungry boys immediately spat out the ziti!Never in my young life had I tasted a more awful food - bitter, smoky and just plain disgusting. I never experienced that from the boy scout campfires.(I hope Wally's mom isn't reading this - it wasn't her cooking, but mine that ruined her food) But I learned my lesson. Only use hard woods for live fire cooking.

So why am I telling you all this tale of woe? Because I'm expecting you to cook your bird over a live fire this Thanksgiving and I'm going to tell you which wood to use. Each wood listed here reacts with the meat differently and injects its unique flavors. Each wood on this list was specifically chosen because it works well with poultry.

ALDER - Very delicate with a hint of sweetness. Good with fish, pork, poultry, and light-meat game birds.

ALMOND - A sweet smoke flavor, light ash. Good with all meats.

APPLE - Very mild with a subtle fruity flavor, slightly sweet. Good with poultry (turns the skin dark brown) and pork.

BIRCH - Medium-hard wood with a flavor similar to maple. Good with pork and poultry.

CHERRY - Mild and fruity. Good with poultry, pork and beef. Some List members say the cherry wood is the best wood for smoking. Wood from chokecherry trees may produce a bitter flavor. Cherry is my absolute favorite for smoking pork and imparts a beautiful red color to the finished product.

CRABAPPLE - Similar to apple wood.

GRAPEVINES - Tart. Provides a lot of smoke. Rich and fruity. Good with poultry, red meats, game and lamb.

MAPLE - Smoky, mellow and slightly sweet. Good with pork, poultry, cheese, and small game birds.

MULBERRY - The smell is sweet and reminds one of apple. My friend Phil calls this "cotton candy" wood because the smoke smells a lot like cotton candy.

ORANGE, LEMON and GRAPEFRUIT - Produces a nice mild smoky flavor. Excellent with beef, pork, fish and poultry.

PEAR - A nice subtle smoke flavor. Much like apple. Excellent with chicken and pork.

PECAN - Sweet and mild with a flavor similar to hickory. Tasty with a subtle character. Good with poultry, beef, pork and cheese. Pecan is an all-around superior smoking wood.

SWEET FRUIT WOODS - APRICOT, PLUM, PEACH, NECTARINE - Great on most white or pink meats, including chicken, turkey, pork and fish. The flavor is milder and sweeter than hickory.

For a more detailed list of all woods, including hickory, mesquite, oak and others that work best with other foods, and what wood not to use, check out this post from 2004 that dives into the subject more deeply.

Photo of the wood pile courtsey of www.mayang.com/textures Used with permission.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving Recipes: Michael Voltaggio's Turkey Brine

Recently I had the good fortune to stumble upon a Williams-Sonoma technique class for a "Contemporary Thanksgiving." While that class focused on an incredible sous vide then deep fried turkey, it did give up one technique that the outdoor cook can use for this Thanksgiving - brining. If you're going to smoke (like the bird pictured above,) fry or grill your bird it will benefit greatly from a little brine!

Brining is an age old secret technique used to add moisture and flavor to meats. I usually save my brining for poultry, but it can be used on just about any meat. OK, so brining adds moisture and flavor but how does it work? Darned if I know. There's a few theories and you can read about them on The Virtual Weber Bullet. Go ahead, it's a good read. I'll still be here when you get back.

So with all that contridictory information filling your head - are you ready to brine? I'll bet you are. Without further ado, here's Michael Voltaggio's Turkey Brine.

  • 21⁄2 gallons (10 l) water
  • 1⁄4 cup (23g) whole cloves
  • 1⁄4 cup (32g) peppercorns
  • 1⁄4 cup (18g) coriander seeds
  • 1⁄4 cup (23g) allspice berries
  • 1⁄4 cup (41g) yellow mustard seeds
  • 21⁄2 cups (625g) kosher salt
  • 21⁄2 cups (545g) firmly packedlight brown sugar
  • 2 each grapefruits, oranges,lemons and limes, halved and juiced, rinds reserved
In a large stockpot over high heat, combine the water, spices, salt and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the citrus juices and rinds. Refrigerate the brine until thoroughly chilled. Place the turkey into the cold brine and refrigerate for 24 hours. Make sure the turkey is full submerged in the brine.

This recipe makes enough brine for a 10 to 12lb turkey. Need more brine - increase the ingredients proportionately, based on the size of your bird. Don't just up the water content.

One last note: Don't try this on a Butterball or any other enhanced turkey. Use a natural "no added ingredients" bird. Check the label - the only ingredient should read TURKEY

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Thanksgiving Is Coming!

Yes, Thanksgiving is just down the road, so from now until the big day, I'll be focusing on recipes for your Thanksgiving feast that can be cooked on a grill, smoker, fryer or other outdoor cooking device. Live fire cooking is what it's all about here!

Today we'll start with an appetizer; Marinated Portabello Mushrooms with Asiago Cheese. This recipe comes to us from the fine folks at Weber, was created by the talented Jamie Purviance and is published in Weber's Way to Grill. Portabello Mushrooms are so large and "meaty", they could serve as a first course to your crazy vegetarian friends and relations! You've been warned son.

Marinated Portabello Mushrooms with Asiago Cheese

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
Main Ingredients:
  • 6 large portabello mushrooms, each 5 to 6 inches in diameter
  • 3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1-1/2 cups grated Asiago cheese

1. In a small bowl whisk the marinade ingredients, including 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

2. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp cloth or paper towel.
Remove and discard the stems. With a teaspoon, carefully scrape out and discard the black gills from the mushroom caps. Place the mushrooms, cap sides up, on a rimmed plate and brush them with the marinade. Turn the mushrooms over and brush again with the marinade. Let marinate at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).

4. In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs with the parsley.

5. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the mushrooms, gill sides down, over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until the mushrooms begin to soften, 4 to 6 minutes. Brush the cap sides with some of the remaining marinade from the plate, turn them over, add 1/4 cup of cheese on top of each mushroom, close the lid, and cook until tender when pierced with a knife, 4 to 6 minutes. During the last minute of cooking, place the bread crumb mixture evenly on top of each mushroom. Remove from the grill, season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Serves 6

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Which Grills Fastest?

Oh, c'mon. I know I've been tempted to do this. How many dropped calls can one man take?

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Friday, November 12, 2010

I Eat With My Hands Man!

Found this on Sizzle on The Grill and over at You Tube. Starts slow but gets real nice - much like traditional barbecue itself. My favorite line - "Barbecue in Austin makes you forget about Boston!" Amen brother. Amen.

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Top BBQ Cities

Travel + Leisure just released its listings of the top barbecue cities in America. Now the top three are right there, Memphis, Kansas City and Austin, though one could argue their positions. The other 32 cities are a bit of a mystery. Why are they here and how were they chosen? There is no way in hell that Las Vegas has better BBQ than NYC.
  1. Memphis
  2. Kansas City
  3. Austin
  4. Nashville
  5. Houston
  6. Savannah
  7. San Antonio
  8. Charleston
  9. Dallas/Fort Worth
  10. Atlanta
  11. Honolulu
  12. Denver
  13. New Orleans
  14. Phoenix/Scottsdale
  15. Salt Lake City
  16. Chicago
  17. San Juan, P.R.
  18. Providence
  19. San Diego
  20. Orlando
  21. Portland, OR
  22. Minneapolis/St. Paul
  23. Baltimore
  24. Santa Fe
  25. Anchorage
  26. Miami
  27. San Francisco
  28. Washington, D.C.
  29. Los Angeles
  30. Las Vegas
  31. New York City
  32. Seattle
  33. Portland, ME
  34. Philadelphia
  35. Boston

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

BBQ Recipes: Pecan Smoked Sugarcane BBQ St. Louis Ribs

This recipe comes to us from the Commander's Palace Destin in Destin, Florida. This makes a ton of rub and a boat load of sauce, but damn it's good. Pecan shells, or pecan wood if you can find it make a wonderful smoke that just works wonders on Pork. Can't find pecan? Oak or Hickory work just as well.

BBQ Spice Rub Ingredients:
  • 3 cups paprika
  • 1 cup granulated onion
  • 1 cup granulated garlic
  • ¼ cup white pepper
  • 1 cup lemon pepper
  • 1 cup chili powder
  • 1 cup black pepper
  • ¼ cup cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp allspice
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • ¼ cup dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried marjoram
  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • 1/3 dry mustard
  • 1 tbsp rubbed sage
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp mace
  • 2 pounds brown sugar, light
  • ½ cup cornstarch

Steps: Mix all ingredients together thoroughly

Chipotle Sugarcane BBQ sauce Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 cup yellow onion chopped
  • 1 cup green bell pepper chopped
  • 3 oz. chipotles in Adobo
  • ¼ cup garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp allspice
  • 1 ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 3 ½ cups ketchup
  • 3 ½ cups crushed tomato
  • 1 ½ cups Dijon mustard
  • 1 pound brown sugar
  • ¾ cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 cup sugarcane vinegar
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 3 ½ cups sugarcane syrup

Melt butter in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Add onions and peppers and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and sauté about 5 minutes. Puree chipotles in a food processor with about ½ cup of water until smooth. Add chipotle puree and spice to the pot and cook about 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Simmer about 30 minutes.

Pecan Smoked Sugarcane Barbequed St. Louis Ribs Ingredients:
  • 4 full racks St. Louis style ribs
  • BBQ spice rub
  • BBQ sauce
  • Whole pecans or pecan shells

To prepare ribs peel the thin membrane off the back side of the ribs. Then rub both sides of each rack of ribs with ¼ cup of the spice rub. Let marinate for 8 to 24 hours. Preheat smoker to 225 degrees. Add the pecans or pecan shells to the fire. Cook ribs bone side up for two hours. Flip the ribs and smoke for 3 more hours. Slather both sides of each rack with BBQ sauce and let cook another 20 -30 minutes with sauce. Cut and serve.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

We'll Be Right Back After This Commercial Message

BBQ Openings: Southern Hospitality South

This just in. According to The New York Post....

Justin Timberlake and restaurant partners Trace Ayala and Eytan Sugarman will open the second outpost of their Memphis-style barbecue joint, Southern Hospitality, at Ninth Avenue and 45th Street in Hell's Kitchen. The two-level eatery and lounge will be twice the size of the original on Second Avenue at 76th. Investors in the new location include MTV founding father Bob Pittman and OneRepublic lead singer Ryan Tedder. Online oenophile Gary Vaynerchuk will preside over the wine list.

Justin Timberlake

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/pagesix/southern_hospitality_to_open_second_RN0pZqtWjh3uECQYWsYTtM#ixzz14jLpcDgc

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Monday, November 08, 2010

BBQ Contests: Women of the Grill

I don't know how I feel about this. There's a premise out there that women can't grill or barbecue, just as many folks think men can't cook. Both stereotypes bother me. I know great cooks of both sexes. I don't encourage the stereotypes, so I'm a bit ambivalent about posting this. But I'm also a bit jealous. I want these prizes.

Check out the first ever, Women of the Grill recipe contest.

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Thursday, November 04, 2010

BBQ Ingredients: Salt

Salt. What can I say about salt? Humans and other animals have an inherent taste for this essential nutrient. Salt is the world's oldest known food additive. Wars have been fought over salt. It's said that Napoleon's army was defeated over a lack of salt. In the American civil war, in the Confederacy, you were exempt from fighting if you produced salt. It's that important.

But what does this have to do with barbeque? Not much except barbecue wouldn't be bbq without salt. Take a minute and give a quick read to the relationship between salt and food. (Thanks to our friends at Saltworks for the great info)

Salt serves many purposes in relation to food. People use many types of sodium chloride in food processing, cooking or at the table, both at home or in restaurants. Besides contributing a basic "salty" taste, salt brings out natural flavors and makes foods acceptable, protects food safety by retarding the growth of spoilage microorganisms, gives proper texture to processed foods, serves as a control agent to regulate the rate of fermentation in food processing strengthens gluten in bread, provides the color, aroma and appearance consumers expect and is used to create the gel necessary to process meats and sausages. As a result, more heavily processed foods usually contain more sodium and salt. Many countries' food labeling regulations include sodium. The world's great chefs appreciate salt's many culinary benefits, including surprising applications like salt in desserts. Salt should be part of every family's food storage program.

Beyond nutrition, people use sodium chloride for several necessary functions in food processing and cooking, including:

Salt preserves foods by creating a hostile environment for certain microorganisms. Within foods, salt brine dehydrates bacterial cells, alters osmotic pressure and inhibits bacterial growth and subsequent spoilage. Salting fish made long-range explorations possible in the age of sailing ships.

Salt strengthens gluten in bread dough, providing uniform grain, texture and dough strength. With salt present, gluten holds more water and carbon dioxide, allowing the dough to expand without tearing. Salt improves the tenderness in cured meats such as ham by promoting the binding of water by protein. It also gives a smooth, firm texture to processed meats. Salt develops the characteristic rind hardness in cheese and helps produce the desirable, even consistency in cheese and other foods such as sauerkraut.

Salt helps extract the proteins in processed and formed meats, providing binding strength between adjacent pieces of meat. Water binding properties are increased and, as a result, cooking losses are reduced. Salt increases the solubility of muscle proteins in water. In sausage making, stable emulsions are formed when the salt-soluble protein solutions coat the finely-formed globules of fat, providing a binding gel consisting of meat, fat and moisture.

In baked products, salt controls fermentation by retarding and controlling the rate of fermentation, important in making a uniform product. During pickle making, salt brine is gradually increased in concentration, reducing the fermentation rate as the process proceeds to completion. Salt is also used to control fermentation in making cheese, sauerkraut and summer sausage.

Salt promotes the development of color in ham, bacon, hotdogs and sauerkraut. Used with sugar and nitrate or nitrite, salt produces a color in processed meats which consumers find appealing. Salt enhances the golden color in bread crust by reducing sugar destruction in the dough and increasing carmelization.

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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Get out there and vote today. Don't know where to vote? Check out this handy dandy poll locator. C'mon folks. The next two years are important. Do your duty as an American

Monday, November 01, 2010

The McRib is Back!

For the first time in 16 years, the McRib is back and available at EVERY McDonald's in the nation! Starting tomorrow, November 2nd, the McRib is back! Enjoy.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The McRib Is Back
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionMarch to Keep Fear Alive

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