BBQ 101


How to Light a Charcoal Fire

How to properly light a charcoal fire – a fundamental of BBQ.  All you need is a good quality charcoal like Cowboy Charcoal or Kingsford, a charcoal chimney, a match and a Weber Kettle Grill.  As Memorial Day BBQ’s and the official start of summer are upon us, we thought we’d go over some of the keys to great BBQ with our video series.


Pork Barrel BBQ Assembles A Weber Summit S-670 Gas Grill

I’ve always been a purist when it comes to grills and smokers – we built Pork Barrel BBQ on this purist mentality. I was always of the thought that it can’t be pure if it doesn’t run on wood or charcoal – gas and electric is cheating and won’t give you the same flavor of a “Real” grill or smoker! I’m certainly not turning in my Weber’s, Lang’s, etc… for a gas grill, but I’m starting to understand that there can be a place in this world for a gas grill. I decided to jump feet first into the world of gas grills this past fall when I bought my first one, a Weber Summit S-670. I have to say that after a few months and a few cooks I’m very happy with the resulting meals that have come off it’s grates and rotisserie. If you are looking to get a gas grill I highly recommend the Weber Summit S-670.

Wondering what it takes to put one together? Check out this video of the assembly process.


Barbeque Ribs on the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker

Barbeque Ribs on the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker – there are few things better! We cook ours on a 22.5 inch Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker with a heavy duty rib rack – it lets us cook 4 BBQ ribs on each level – we cook dry using All American Spice Rub.


Pork Barrel BBQ – 10 Grilling Tips for 2011

Pork Barrel BBQ 10 Grilling Tips For 2011!!

It’s a new year and all of us at Pork Barrel BBQ hope one of your New Years Resolutions is to barbecue and grill more in 2011.  Here is a list of 10 of our favorite grilling tips that we hope you’ll use in 2011!!

  1. Keep Your Grill Clean – Brush grill grates with a wire grill brush to remove any food stuck on them.
  2. Use The Right Charcoal – Use 100% hardwood charcoal, in lump or briquette form to add the best flavor to your food.
  3. Start Your Fire Right – Never use lighter fluid to start your fire, instead use a charcoal chimney.
  4. Turn Up The Heat – Preheat your grill and get it hot to prevent food from sticking to your grill grates.
  5. Rub Gently – Rubs (like our Pork Barrel BBQ All America Spice Rub) are a great way to add flavor to your food, but be gentle when rubbing meats so you don’t over season or ruin the texture of the meat.
  6. Don’t Crowd Your Grill – Leave enough space around each piece of food to allow for even cooking.
  7. Don’t Play With Your Food – Only turn meat once.
  8. Don’t Burn Your Meat – To prevent your meat from burning, only apply sweet sauces (like Pork Barrel BBQ’s Sweet BBQ Sauce) that contain brown sugar, honey or molasses to meat during the final 10 minutes of cooking.
  9. Let Your Food Rest – Don’t immediately cut into meat once you take it off the grill.  Allow it to rest so you don’t loose all the juices when you cut it.
  10. Share – Whether your grilling, smoking or barbecuing, it is always better with friends and family!!

BBQ Sauce – BBQ Sauce Regional Styles

Barbeque Sauce

Barbeque sauce – we. love. it.  At Pork Barrel BBQ, we spend almost all our time thinking about BBQ.  We’ve been honored to win some great awards for our BBQ sauce, including Men’s Health Magazine 2010 Best BBQ Sauce, Chinet People’s Choice Award for Best Barbeque Sauce and National Capital BBQ Battle 2nd Place for Best BBQ Sauce in the Nation.  We understand that our company and our products are part of a great tradition in this nation.  The purpose of this post is to share some of the history of barbecue sauces.

Barbeque Sauce

SO where to start?  How about what to call it?  One of the fun things we encountered when founding Pork Barrel BBQ was to learn that there are so many ways to call the same thing: BBQ sauce, barbeque sauce, barbecue sauce, bar bq sauce, bar b que sauce, and probably a few others we are forgetting.  They are also an intensely personal and regional product.  When you ask folks what are the best barbeque sauce ingredients, the answers are all different and depend on where you are from!  Here’s a quick breakdown of the regional styles of barbeque sauce:

Kansas City Style Barbeque Sauce – We are both originally from Kansas City, Missouri – and you can find a great BBQ restaurant around every corner.  A Kansas City style barbecue sauce recipe is traditionally a tomato-based sauce, combined with just the right amount of vinegar, molasses, pepper, brown sugar  and spices.  Try it on your pulled pork recipe, brisket, ribs and chicken.

Texas Style Barbeque Sauce – Texas style barbeque sauce recipe is also tomato-based, tends to be a little thinner than Kansas City style, and has the perfect blend of Southwestern seasoning, worcestershire sauce, and usually packs a little bit of heat!  A true complement to brisket smoked over mesquite.

Memphis Style Barbeque Sauce – A sweet tomato-based sauce recipe, with a perfect blend of spices, always great on ribs and pulled pork.

East Carolina Barbeque Sauce – An experience unto itself, a vinegar sauce recipe with cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, salt and just right amount of sugar – amazing sauce on pulled pork.

South Carolina Mustard Barbeque Sauce – A tangy blend of mustard, cider vinegar and brown sugar – great on pork and chicken – also pretty amazing on a sandwich!

Alabama White Barbeque Sauce – It’s a very regional sauce – almost like BBQ mayonaise – Big Bob Gibson Bar-BQ does it best!

Barbecue Sauce Recipes

In case you are in the mood for some cooking, and have run out of Pork Barrel BBQ, our friend Derrick Riches at has compiled some great regional bbq sauce recipes, including his favorite kansas city, memphis, carolina and mustard barbecue sauces.

Top 10 Barbecue Sauce Recipes – Most Popular and Best Barbecue Sauce Recipes –


Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Secret Tip – How to Get a Smoke Ring

Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Secret Tip Video – How to Get a Smoke Ring from the guys at


Dry Rub – How to Use Dry Rub

Ways to Use the All American Spice Rub / Dry Rub

Pork Barrel BBQ’s All American Spice Rub / Dry Rub is a special dry rub blend of herbs and spices that is sure to provide a distinctive flavor to all your meals – both on and off the grill. Its an amazing dry rub for ribs – but don’t just reach for our All American Spice Rub when you’re looking for a rib rub; try it with vegetables, dips, sauces, and in drinks. We hope you will experiment with our All American Spice Rub and share with us the ways you have found to enjoy the product.

The following are ways that Pork Barrel BBQ fans have used the rub:

• It is great as a dry rub for meats, poultry and fish. It marries well with beef, pork, lamb and chicken. Bring the meat to room temperature, coat the meat with olive oil, rub on a generous amount of the spice mix and cook as you normally would on your grill, in your smoker, on your stove, or in your oven.
• If you like Bloody Mary’s, then wet the lip of the glass and use our spice mix instead of salt to rim the drink.
• Spice up your nachos by adding our spice mix to your cheese prior to melting.
• Sprinkle the spice mix on a salad and then mix a small amount with olive oil as a bread dip to eat with the salad.
• If you like Chex Party Mix, try using our spice mix instead of the recommended spices.
• For a new taste to your morning eggs, use the spice mix instead of salt and pepper.
• As a popcorn topping, simply sprinkle on top of a fresh bowl of popcorn.
• On sushi (no joke – someone emailed us a note that they LOVE this), mix with soy sauce as an alternative to wasabi.

These are just a few ideas on how Pork Barrel BBQ’s All American Spice Rub / Dry Rub can add flavor to your cooking. We look forward to hearing about the creative uses you have found for the product. Let us know how you’re using Pork Barrel BBQ’s All American Spice Rub / Dry Rub at and we’ll add your ideas and recipes at


Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Tip – How to Light the Fire – Minion Method

Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Tip – How to Light the Fire – Mignon Method – some great tips on how to cook low and slow BBQ on your Weber grill!


How to Trim A Spare Rib into St. Louis Style Rib

Here’s a short video of how to trim a spare rib into a St. Louis Style rib – learn how to trim perfect BBQ ribs from Rex Holmes at  The Pork Barrel BBQ competition team is in full swing, and we are practicing our pulled pork, bbq ribs, brisket and bbq chicken – all with helping of Pork Barrel BBQ Saucebuy yours today!


How to Build a BBQ Smoker

Want to build your own BBQ Smoker? Here’s a great post from popular mechanics on how to build your own backyard BBQ smoker – I really liked their statement at the beginning of the post – you can cook good BBQ in anything – and that’s right – great BBQ is about taking the time, achieving a constant temperature, and having patience!  This post is a great 11 part post on step by step plans for building your own BBQ backyard smoker – so enjoy!

Build Your Own Backyard Smoker

Real barbecue involves cooking tougher, fattier cuts of meat like pork butt and beef brisket over a duration of 4 to 6 hours or longer at temperatures near the boiling point of water. The payoff: tough meat becomes flavorful and succulent, fat is rendered out and the low, smoky fire leaves the aroma of smoke permeating the meat. A good cook can make good BBQ in anything. I decided after years of working with a small water smoker–and recently acquiring a vacation house–to build one of my own. This project involves a lot of welding, but several wire-feed welders are sold at The Home Depot and Sears, and you can learn to do simple welding with only an hour or two of practice. Salvaged materials will be fine for your smoker’s frame. You can use old water pipe, rebar or even electrical conduit.

Read More Here

How to Build a BBQ Smoker