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

Plowboys BBQ Bovine Bold Spice Rub

Since our good friend and mentor Elizabeth Karmel first introduced me to Willinghams Wham Seasoning, my life has never been the same. I used to work at a butcher shop as a kid, and there was nothing that couldn’t be seasoned better then with salt, pepper and garlic powder. People used to rave about my hamburgers just because I throw Lawry’s season salt on them and they never tasted better.

So I feel like I owe it to the Backyard BBQ Community, to share with you the secret of the “Spice Rub“. Karmel’s new book Soaked Slathered and Seasoned highlights the art of making things taste good and if everyone could see how easy it is, the world could be a happier, spicier place! Here are a couple of my favorite spice rubs because they are so darn good.

Spice rub is any mixture of ground spices that is made for the purpose of being rubbed on raw food before the food is cooked. The spice rub forms a coat on the food. The food can be marinated in the spice rub for some time for the flavors to incorporate into the food or it can be cooked immediately after it is coated in the rub. The spices are usually coarsely ground. In addition to spices, salt and sugar may be added to the rub, the salt for flavor and the sugar for caramelization.

Wilingham’s Original Mild Spice Rub is one of the very best, all around spice rubs that I have found. We recently started to sell the Willingham’s Cajun Hot Seasoning and although it is supposed to be hotter, I find that both rubs have a nice kick to them. The original Wham is fantastic on pork chops, baby back ribs and pulled pork butts. It has a great taste to it that really compliments the pork. We have also used Willingham’s spice rub on chicken breasts, boneless and bone in and it really gives a great bbq base flavor to the food. Rub this on a few hours before cooking, put it in the fridge until cooking time and you will form a great marinade on the top.

We recently added Plowboys BBQ Bovine Bold Spice Rub and Plowboys BBQ Yardbird Spice Rub to our store to expand upon the world of spice rubs that we carry. So we put it to the test this past week and put some Plowboys BBQ Yardbird on the chicken and pork chops and we made some chicken with the Bovine Bold on it and both were fantastic. It is nice to see that these spice rubs work great on just about anything, but I must say that the Plowboys BBQ Yardbird on Pork Chops, rivaled the Willingham’s Wham! Use the same steps as above and make sure that you slow cook the meat, even on the grill so that it doesn’t dry out and the juice mixes with the spice rub.

Finally, if you only use one type of seasoning for your chicken for the rest of your life, make it Sarah’s Sea Salt Mediterranean Salt. It has the most delicious blend of spices, and on chicken it is tough to beat. We recommend a whole chicken, cooked on a Chicken Sitter Stand with some beer, wine or just plain old water poured inside the chicken sitter. Then wash the chicken in cold water, rub some olive oil on the skin and sprinkle the Sara’s Sea Mediterranean Salt all over the chicken. Place on your grill or smoker, with indirect heat for 45 minutes to an hour and you will end up with a crispy skinned, melt in your mouth meat chicken that is so tasty! Try the same with Nantucket Off Shore Renaissance Spice Rub and you will get the same result, just a little spicier version.

The fact is that with a few of these BBQ spice rubs in your kitchen, you can make any mean taste gourmet in just a few minutes. Life is too short not to season your meats, and grilling items, this is great on vegetables and even better on fish! So try a spice rub today and start to make your BBQ taste like the Pros.

What is your favorite rub?

Posted by & filed under BBQ Joints.

Kreuz_Traditions_SignKreuz Market in Lockhart Texas was BBQ that I had to try. It is on my “Bucket List” to visit the self proclaimed BBQ Capital of the world but patience is not one of my strong suits so last week, we contacted Kreuz Market and ordered up some of their world famous brisket, Kreuz Original and Kreuz Jalapeno Cheddar sausages and had them sent to us via FedEx. What a great concept, Texas BBQ in Chicago. I thought that since this was a first for me, I would share the experience, give you some tips and encourage you to impress your friends at your next dinner part or backyard BBQ.

I had my BBQ Team partner from the “Pork Phat Posse” Doug and his family coming over for the sampling on Sunday night so I got my order in late on Tuesday. So I was forced to ship via FedEx Two Day, not reccomended. Best bet is to make sure that you order on Friday, or well in advance of the party so that you can save some money on shipping and leave yourself plenty of time to get the food here. Read the shipping instructions on the site and if you want them next day, be prepared to pay the premium.

The food arrives frozen in a vacuum packed plastic wrapper to insure that it is as fresh as can be. All the meat is pre-cooked so it is even safer. The shipping costs are well justified in that the food is shipped in a stryofoam shipping cooler to insure it arrives in great condition. We thawed all the meat out and read the enclosed cooking instructions which suggest oven or smoker reheating of the meat.


I chose to smoke the meat on my Primo Oval XL Smoker and used a little oak to get a fresh smoked taste on the meat. I put the 3#’s of brisket on one hour before the guests arrived and the sausages on 30 minutes before and tried to time everything so it would be fresh out of the smoker. Wise move, serving it hot gives you the best reproduction. My brisket had the burnt end on it, AWESOME! The fat was perfectly cooked, the meat was tender and had a smoke ring on it thanks to the pitmaster in Texas!

The sausage was an experience for me as I worked at Poeta’s Foods in Highwood in High School and made fresh Italian Pork Sausage just about every day. It was delicious, smokey and tender, really juicy and flavorful. The smoked sausage flavor was very Texas and I highly reccomend trying out the Jalapeno Cheddar Sausages they were my favorite and not overly spicy, just really something special! Brisket has been a quest for me, it is one of the most difficult things to master and if you want real Texas BBQ, spend the money on Kreuz and you will briskte will taste like the Pros, everytime.

Photos Courtesy of Central Texas Barbecue Run


Posted by & filed under BBQ Joints.

Jason Perlow, Fiddling PigWhat started out as a hassle turned into a classic respect not only for Richmond, VA, but barbecue in general. United Airlines lost my friends luggage and we were travelling with four children and our wives and were looking at a four hour drive to Duck, NC. Jon and I stayed behind to wait for our bags and had a few hours and a hunger to kill last August so our search for some Barbecue began. We spotted a smoker, in a parking lot with a tent set-up and thought this must be good, it turned out this was some of Buz and Ned’s future competition. This fine gentlemen was three hours from serving time, so he suggested Buz and Ned’s place as the best in Richmond, and winner for Throwdown with Bobby Flay.

It is tough to miss, as a huge billboard sits right over the location and it is right off the main drag. In we went and order up a couple of pulled pork sandwiches and a full slab of spare ribs. Being from Chicago and growing up on Carson’s baby back’s we were somewhat intimidated by the spare ribs, but as you can see from the photo, they are about as pretty as you will ever find. Don’t change a thing when you order the pulled pork sandwich, it is perfect, awesome slaw, a dab of hot sauce and the whole affair melts in your mouth!

There is a spot on review at about the food and the taste of the pulled pork sandwich, but the main event, the Bobby Flay smack down ribs were the highlight. Crusty, smokey and just enough carmel to make your mouth water with each bite. We ate as many as we could from this Flintstones size portion and still managed to save a couple of bones for my BBQ loving wife Gretchen. Jon and I were both very impressed with the food and the feel of the joint. Hot sauce on the table, your own personal roll of paper towels was also a nice added touch. Great flavoers of sodas, beer and I highly reccomend their freshly squeezed lemonade as perfect selection for cleaning the pallette between bites or meats.

My friend Jon didn’t stop talking about it and although the drive to North Carolina’s outer banks took us an additional five hours, the stop at Buz and Ned’s Real Barbecue changed our lives and taste for REAL Barbecue:

The Definition of Real Barbecue

“Real Barbecue def: (U.S.D.A./FSIS) Meat products such as beef, pork or chicken cooked with wood or the hot coals there from (exclusively), for a sufficient period to assume the usual characteristics of a barbecued article which includes the formation of a brown crust on the surface and the rendering of surface fat.

The barbecued product must lose at least 30% of its precooked weight in the process”

For more photos of the Interior of Ned and Buz’s Real Barbecue, check out this awesome Flickr Photostream from Jason Perlow, the founder of eGullet, the food discussion website and culinary society. He also runs his own blog: Off the Broiler.


Posted by & filed under Pro Products.

Grill Friends Stainless Steel Mop

The Grill Friends Stainless Steel BBQ Mop sports 167 black silicone bristles on a fire-red angled handle. This mop is the first innovation in sauce mops since BBQers have been using sauce mops! Karmel has been working on this mop design for years, and when she mentioned it to BBQ Buddy, restauranteur and Three-Time Memphis-in-May Grand Champion, Mike Mills, he couldn’t wait to try it. And the reasons are simple: “Mops are typically made out of cotton string and are impossible to clean after the first use. Cotton mops also absorb so much sauce and you end up feeding the mop before you can sauce your meat,” explains Karmel.

This mop will be great for backyard cooks, championship BBQers and BBQ restaurants predicts Mills.  In 2008 Karmel introduced the Stainless Steel version BBQ Sauce Mop for restaurants and BBQers who appreciate the aesthetic of stainless steel. “The stainless steel version is slightly longer to allow for a fluid bend in the neck and virtually indestructible. This is the choice of barbecue restaurant owners and pitmasters looking for a mop that can be washed, sterilized and fits USDA food code,” said Karmel. The BBQ Mop won the 2008 NBBQA Gold Medal at the recent National Barbecue Conference awards ceremony in Austin, Texas.


Posted by & filed under BBQ Joints.

pappy-sized-invert.pngJeff and Donna had been talking about taking me to Pappy’s Smokehouse for some time now and knowing that Skip Steele of Super Smokers fame had moved into a new home, we had to try it. We arrived early, hearing that sometimes Pappy’s will run out of food and simply go home and the Beef Brisket is usually the first to go. We ordered up the brisket, and I had to try the Deep fried corn on the co, oh yeah! We assembled all the various sauces and waited for our food to arrive.

While waiting, the BBQ Pro Shop Webmaster, Jeff Hirsch started a conversation with the nice lady helping us and before we knew it, Skip himself was serving us our food. He and I talked about BBQ in Chicago. I commented on how much I liked his Brisket, it was tender, very flavorful and more beef like than any smoked brisket I had ever had. He told us that he believes in cooking the brisket right and not drying it out and destroying the flavor. It was something special. He then brought us out a slab of St. Louis ribs to try and they were perfect. Tender, but not falling off the bone, just enough.

Skip is a man who loves his art, he worked at RUB BBQ in NYC and in Las Vegas, and he has helped out many restaurant owners start-up their BBQ joints.  Skip gave us a tour of his custom designed and built smoker that he had them design so that he could get the maximum amount of food in it every day to keep his customers happy. He uses different smoking woods delivered from local sources and his style and passion for what he does is palatable.

The BBQ World is really a special fellowship and one which I am proud to be a part of in some way. Take a look at Skip’s simple rub recipe below, I found it on the web and loved it. Tried it on some ribs and it really was something special.

Chef Skip Steele of RUB BBQ Dry Rub Recipe

2 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1.5 teaspoons black pepper

1/2 teaspoon red pepper

2 teaspoons paprika

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon allspice