Elizabeth Karmel of Grill Friends and author of Soak Slathered & Seasoned

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Soak Slathered & Seasoned

Soak Slathered & Seasoned

Elizabeth Karmel is being featured on the AOL Food section talking about her new book, Soak, Slathered and Seasoned that shows you how to make your own rubs and marinades as well as teaches you some of the finer points of how to make your food taste great both on and off the grill.

Grill Friends Martini Shaker

Grill Friends Martini Shaker

“Do you marinate a different way? Karmel says that “a lot of cooking is about tradition. Keep doing it the way your mom or dad did it if it tasted good.”

The article also features her Martini Shaker which was something she came up with when she working on her new book. She needed someplace to mix and shake the marinades and her Martini Shaker w/ Classic Cocktail Based Marinades was born!

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Gemori Teriyaki Marinade

Gemori Teriyaki Marinade

We found Gemori Teriyaki and Gemori Greek Marinade at our local farmers market and asked if they would like to sell their marinades at BBQ Pro Shop. Cheryl’s husband is diabetic, and this created an interest in developing Gemori Teriyaki Marinade without the addition of sugar. The rest is history and now we have started carrying Gemori’s delicious marinade to share with you!

Gemori was established in July 2008 by three friends who all enjoyed cooking and were encouraged to bottle up their marinades and sauces for the masses.  The Founders of Gemori, Cheryl, Diane and Gail all completed the health board’s certification class for cooking, and realized that their products could be all natural with no additives or preservatives and sustain a minimum shelf life of nine months.  Gemori pasteurizes all their sauces and sterilizes the bottles. They only use all natural flavors so the marinades have a clean and fresh taste.

Gemori offers convenience and with more people wanting to eat at home, how much easier can it be than to take a

Gemori Greek Marinade

Gemori Greek Marinade

pound of chicken, or steak and place it in a bag overnight with some gourmet, homemade marinade? The next day, all you need to do is bring it out of the fridge, and put it onto the grill.  The Teriyaki Marinade has no sugar added, which we found to be a huge selling point. And the Greek Marinade is absolutely incredible, with fresh tasting lemon and just great flavor.

The Greek marinade is recommended on potatoes and veggies as well.   Both marinades are fabulous to baste on seafood and shrimp. Think Grecian Swordfish, shish kabobs on the Double Kabob Skewers or Teriyaki Shrimp. The possibilities are endless and we love endless possibilities! Gretchen and I marinated some chicken breasts last night and grilled them up slowly on the new Grill Grates and the result was absolutely perfect! Gemori Greek Marinade

We would not carry these if we didn’t think we were bringing you something unique and exciting. These marinades are special and when they start selling, the ladies have even more Gemori Marinades, Rubs and Salsas to add to our site. Enjoy!

Stay tuned for our review of the Teryaki Marinade, Gretchen and I are fanatics about Soy Vey’s Veri Teryaki and we are so excited to have an alternative to the super sweet marinade that we make our skirt steaks with.

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Gretchen and I fancy ourselves as BBQ Purists, love the charcoal, we do not make ribs in the oven, we grill more than we cook in our oven and if we can grill it, we grill it. So when Brad Barrett from Grill Grate in Georgia met with Mike Mills and Amy Tunicliffe in NYC back in June, we heard about his product and had to give it a try. Elizabeth Karmel spoke about them in a recent interview and that lit the fire so to speak, to get these on our web site.

Brad shipped us a sample and we put it together and had it on the grill in about five minutes. First Flip Grill GratesWe were cooking homemade Italian sausages and so we thought we would put it to the test. So we did and the results were spectacular! I have been cooking Poeta’s sausage for at least 25 years, a Highwood Illinois staple and this was by far the most juicy and perfectly cooked I had ever done it. We loved the product so much we placed an order and now carry the GrillGrate Hard Anodized Grill Grate Kit in www.bbqproshop.com. Grill Grates on Weber Summit 450

So what is the idea behind this? Well Gretchen and I have a four burner and six burner Weber Summit 450 and 650 which we are so happy with and have been using for ten years as our go to gas grills. The only issue is that over the years of use, they develop hot spots or areas of the grill that get a lot hotter and cook a lot faster than other parts of the grill. So you are constantly rotating the food, and looking out for the food in the hot spot and rotating in the ones that have not cooked so well.

So the GrillGrate lays over the existing grate system on your grill and conducts the heat over the super conductive Aluminium GrillGrates and gives you an even heat that gets the hottest at the tip of the grate. So you get really professional looking grill marks and because of the raised grate, you can access the food from underneath it and you are not “scraping” the food off the grate with your spatula. In fact, the GrillGrate Hard Anodized Grill Grate Kit includes a spatula called the GrateTool that makes it even easier to flip fish, burgers, chicken, ravioli and even bacon, yes bacon on the grill.

This technology makes burning your meat a thing of the past and helps you to avoid the flare ups from marniades and or greasy and uses that juicy to cook right back into the meat. The panels interlock and extra Grill Grate Panels are sold seperatly so that you can actually cover any grill surface with the grates. You can slide them together or remove them to fit your needs and grill surface size which we loved them. GrillGrate ConvectionBrad tells me that he has professional teams using them and from the looks of his photo gallery, you can cook just about anything on the grill!

Posted by & filed under Marinade, Sauces, Rubs n Seasoning, Recipes.

Grill Friends Stainless Steel Rub ShakerJohn Willingham’s Original Mild Rub or W’ham Seasoning as they call it in Memphis is one of our best selling BBQ spice rubs. We know why, it is just incredible. Willingham’s Original Mild has been my go to spice rub on ribs, pork chops and pork butts for my formidable years and is one of my favorites.

We Paired Willingham’s Original Mild Spice Rub with the Grill Friends Stainless Steel Rub Shaker so that you can have the best of both words and a really nice reusable shaker to make your own spice rubs or fill it with Mike Mills Magic Dust or John Willinghams W’ham!

Here are some Willingham’s W’ham Seasoning and Sweet and Sassy Sauce Tips:

  • Split all beef or kosher hot dogs and sprinkle W’ham seasoning and then throw them on the grill under medium heat and let them cook low and slow.
  • Add Willingham seasoning to your vinegar and oil dressing or other salad dressings or just sprinkle on top of you favorite salad for some added flavor.
  • Sprinkle W’ham on tomatoes, cucumbers, or other vegis & allow to marinate
  • Great on fresh apple slices
  • Sprinkle and rub Willingham’s seasoning on Ribs, Chicken, Fish, Ham, Chops, Beef or Pork Roasts before oven baking, broiling, grilling or smoking.

Recipe for Willingham’s Meatloaf

Mix up your favorite meatloaf recipe.

Mix Willingham’s Mild or Willinghams Cajun spice rub with some tomato sauce.

In the last 10 minutes of baking, grilling or smoking your meatloaf, using the Grill Friends Silicone Angled Brush, apply a small amount of the BBQ sauce and W’ham mix over the meatloaf.

After it comes out of the oven do a 2nd light coating, let it cool and serve it hot.


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Big Apple BBQ Block PartyIf you love BBQ and you love New York City, than this event is a must attend the next time it comes to town. We were persuaded to come out to see many of our suppliers, namely Mike Mills the inventor of Magic Dust and his wonderful daughter Amy Mills Tunnicliffe of OnCue Consulting. The crew at Hill Country BBQ, both of which www.bbqproshop.com sellsl their sauces and rubs. It was also a chance to see the best of the best and meet some of the masters, like Ed Mitchell, the North Carolina legend and true master of the whole hog and pork in general. Unfortunately we couldn’t try them all, but we did get to try many of them, so we will step you through our experience and share the flavors and sights along the way.

The Pit – Ed Mitchell: Pitmaster – Raleigh, NC

Whole HogEd is arguably one of the best of the best. When we first arrived on Friday to walk the grounds and start to record the weekend, we met Ed who gave a huge smile and a warm hug to Elizabeth Karmel, our BBQ Mentor. Ed had his whole hog pits lined up in a row and had the corner spot for the block party. He has the Eastern North Carolina style which usually means, a delicious coleslaw and a vinegar based sauce, and his used Apple Cider Vinegar and matched perfectly with the pork. I had no less than three of his pulled pork sandwiches, in one day, and each one was better than the other. At the end of the day on Saturday, Ed in true southern hospitality gave a box of baby back ribs and a rib clinic to MP and husband Carl, and Carl being the excellent attorney that he is, took copious notes. Ed’s joy is contagious and his love of BBQ is inspiring, he has recently started raising his own pigs to get them perfect, every time. The Pits Pits

Pappy’s Smokehouse  – Skip Steele: Pitmaster – St. Louis MO

Pappys SmokehouseWe have done an extensive blog post on my visit to Pappy’s where brisket was the main priority, but in NYC, Skip brought the St. Louis Style Spare Rib to the party and they did not disappoint. Not only did Skip serve up his spare ribs, tender, caramelized and juicy, they had a consistency of a fine braised piece of meat, but they were pure BBQ. His line stretched down the block and by the end of the day Saturday, when most others had run out of food, Pappy’s was going strong and still continued to serve up some delicious ribs. We were very impressed with the ribs and Pappy’s first year at the Block Party was an excellent showing. According to this article in the River Front Times, these ribs were a special edition, and if you were a huge fan of Super Smokers, you will love Pappy’s! Nice work gentlemen.

Ken Callaghan – Blue Smoke – New York, NY – Kansas City Ribs & Pickled Okra

Although we did not hit Blue Smoke at the block party, we took them by storm the day before, it was our first meal and we chose the Rhapsody in ’Cue which consists of Kansas City Spareribs, Pulled Pork, Smoked Chicken and Sausage. This gave us a taste of Blue Smoke and how good that have it going on in NYC. A big thank you to Mark Maynard Parisi for giving us the hospitality and sharing their deviled eggs with us. Don’t miss the North Carolina Salt Peanuts either, the peanuts are authentically prepared by The First Methodist Church Men’s Club in Mount Olive N.C. and they are served warm at the restaurant. Hint: have them pour only half and you can take the other half of the bottle home and enjoy them on the plane ride home!

Jimmy Hagood BlackJack BBQ – Charleston, SC – Pulled Pork Shoulder & Coleslaw

We were told by many that we had to give BlackJack BBQ a try and we were not disappointed in the least. We took our cousins, who’s son will soon be married in Charleston, South Carolina next June (I know who should cater the rehearsal dinner!) and apparently tasting this BBQ is a treat reserved for catered events or BBQ festivals, we are happy to say we tasted it. This was one of the few pulled pork sandwiches that we tried, and their coleslaw and especially their Vinegar Sauce made the meal! It had a nice bite to it and the slaw was just perfect.

Patrick Martin Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint Nashville, TN Western Tennessee-Style Whole Hog

Martins Bar-B-Que RigThese guys were the talk of the Block Party, they had a rig that made my mouth water, the could smoke six whole hogs at once and they had the coals going all the time, keeping those babies warm. This sandwich was again another interesting taste as it was a different style of whole hog and had more of a red sauce then that of a vinegar based one. The slaw was just perfect and the red sauce had a great bite to it. The pork was tender and melted in the soft bun, just like it should. 

Hog Tooth Pick

This was a treat and a half in these guys were working really hard all day, but they had so much fun, which is why I love these events, people just have such a passion for what they do. Cool T-Shirts too! 

Mike Mills 17th Street Bar & Grill Murphysboro, IL Baby Back Ribs

Now before I start, I need to preface this with the fact that Mr. Mills book, Peace, Love and Barbecue is literally my BBQ bible. It was given to me by my wife when she first met the Mills through Elizabeth Karmel, and prior to Elizabeth writing Taming the Flame. The first baby backs I ever smoked were done using his "system" and he is pretty much the pioneer in apple wood smoking. I owe all of my family fame for baby backs to Mike Mills and having a chance to shake his hand, and spend some time with his daughter Amy Mills Tunnicliffe was a dream come true.

Now for the ribs, I have been wanting to go to Murphysboro since reading about it in his book. But getting to taste them changed everything. I would go almost as far as to say that this was the perfect baby back rib. This coming from someone who was raised on Carson’s in Chicago. Perfect may in fact be an understatement, they had th

e perfect carmel crust and
the smoke flavor was just as it should be, understated yet all over your mouth. It was politely sauced in his world famous Original 17th Street Barbecue Sauce and rub in the Magic Dust. We ate at least a half rack and then tried some of the smoked sausage he had in his hospitality tent. The St. Louis Style Red Sauce that they only serve at the restaurant, it isn’t bottled for sale, was just excellent as well. Having it in a fountain, well that is just Amy working her BBQ magic!

Final word on Mike and Amy is that they love the sport more than anyone I have ever met. The fact that the two have made a career and no less a family business out of it and still love it is what makes them so special. I watched as a Mike Mills fan got her book signed for her boyfriend and the look on her face was priceless. Mike took the time to write her a personal note in the book and it killed me that I didn’t bring mine along for his signature, see y’all in Murphysboro as soon as I can get there. Mike says, "Life is too short to just eat half a slab." and I hope to get a full slab in me sooner rather than later.

That is our report from NYC, we couldn’t try all the places  as there just wasn’t enough time nor do I have the patience for the long lines, but next year I have a strategy, and we will be back!