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Pork Barrel BBQ Blog

 
 

The Tools of the BBQ Trade – Hardwood Lump Charcoal

Hardwood Lump Charcoal
The great thing about grilling is that you don’t need too many tools to be successful. If you have a grill and a fuel source you pretty much have all you need to take a few ingredients and turn them into a delicious meal. We’ve already done a couple posts on grills and smokers so we thought it was time to take a look at charcoal (our preferred fuel source for grilling and smoking). The two main types of charcoal you’ll see at the store are hardwood lump and briquettes and we believe your best bet for a great fuel source is hardwood lump charcoal.
 
HARDWOOD LUMP CHARCOAL

Lump charcoal is the end product of the process of burning chunks of hardwood in the absence of oxygen. It is almost like your sticking a piece of oak or hickory in the grill so it is the most natural and pure form of charcoal you can buy. We think lump charcoal gives food a much better flavor than briquettes and it lights easy (don’t forget to use the charcoal chimney to light your charcoal – if you don’t want your food to taste like lighter fluid don’t use lighter fluid), burns hotter (and is very responsive to the oxygen flow you provide making it easier to control your fire’s temperature), and produces far less ash than briquettes.

CHARCOAL BRIQUETTES

Charcoal briquettes are made from sawdust and other wood by-products that are compressed and held together with a binder and other additives (Additives that don’t make your food taste very good like limestone, borax, mineral carbon, sodium nitrate, brown coal, paraffin or petroleum solvents!). Briquettes are cheaper than lump charcoal, but is a few pennies saved worth imparting your meal with a chemical taste and smell?

So next time you head to the store to stock up on charcoal give hardwood lump charcoal a try – we think you’ll be pleased with the results.

 

What Is Better Than BBQ? Friends! We Want To Be Friends With You – Become Our Friend On facebook!!

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Are you on facebook?  We are and we would love to be your friend!  Check out our facebook page and friend us.  What do you have to lose?  After all, this could be the start of something special!!

 

Restaurant Review – Jammin’ Joe’s BBQ (New Baltimore, VA)

Jammin JoesIf you live in the Washington, D.C. area and travel to Charlottesville, VA on Route 29, then you probably know about on of our favorite roadside BBQ joint’s – Jammin’ Joe’s BBQ!

Jammin’ Joe’s address is: 5282 Lee Highway in New Baltimore, VA (5 miles South of Gainesville on Route 29) – BE CAREFUL- it is easy to miss, but you will be sad for the rest of the day if you miss it (trust me, I know). They operate out of a mobile BBQ trailer that looks like a log cabin. They were one of the inspirations behind us deciding to start Pork Barrel BBQ – it showed us that if you deliver quality product, even if its on the side of a highway, the people will come!

We are a huge fan of their Pulled Pork Sandwich – they provide a very generous portion, with a great sauce. Also, be sure to try their beans, I think they use 7 different beans! Check them out at on the web and in person next time you’re in New Baltimore, VA. They are big BBQ competitors and have recently opened a Florida location – be sure to try them out – you can say you knew about them before they become a household name!
 
You should also stop by and check out Pork Barrel BBQ on the web before we become a household name!  Stop by and get some of our All American Spice Rub!
 

Restaurant Review – Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue (Kansas City, MO)

Oklahoma Joe's

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a great lunch inside a gas station? If so, look no further than Oklahoma Joe’s in Kansas City, Kansas. Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue is situated inside of a Shamrock Gas Station – why not fill up your stomach at the same time you fill your car up?

Oklahoma Joe’s was conceived of on the competitive barbecue circuit in the early 1990s. The team that eventually went on to open Oklahoma Joe’s was know as “Slaughterhouse Five” and they won many Grand Championships, including the American Royal. Their first restaurant, Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue and Catering opened its doors in January 1996 in Stillwater, Oklahoma and their Kansas City location opened a few months later in August 1996. The Oklahoma location is now closed, but the Kansas City restaurant is going stronger than ever, in fact a second location has been opened in Olathe, Kansas.

Oklahoma Joe’s has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, The Food Network and PBS to name a few. Zagat rated Oklahmoa Joe’s as “Excellent” and the hometown Pitch Weekly gave it 3.5 Stars.

I’m a fan of the beef brisket, but can honestly say I’ve never had a meal at Oklahoma Joe’s that I didn’t enjoy and the novelty of the ambiance even makes the food taste better. Next time you are in Kansas City, Kansas stop by and give Oklahoma Joe’s a try. You can check them out on the web here.

Now go fill up your stomach and your car!!!  If you’re not in Kansas City and your looking for great bbq be sure to visit Pork Barrel BBQ on the web!

 

Shopping Cart Grill

Shopping Cart Grill
We recently received an email from one of Pork Barrel BBQ’s biggest fans asking us if we’d use the method of grilling shown in the picture to the left. I’m pretty certain that I can speak for both of us when I say – I don’t think so. However, with that being said, here are a few points we’d make for the aspiring shopping cart griller.

First, although we have never attempted to grill on a shopping cart grill we do commend you for your creativity. We understand as well as anyone that when you get the itch to grill the only thing that can stop that itch is to grill. I suppose there might be times when this itch occurs at a time that you don’t have access to a more typical grill choice like a Weber, hence the reason you’ve got to reach for the shopping cart grill.

Second, if one does decide to grill on a shopping cart grill we believe the person grilling in this picture has gotten it right. We would advise against using a direct grilling method where you put meat or vegetables directly on the cart – always use a pan or stick as demonstrated in this picture to avoid direct contact with the shopping cart. If possible, you might want to give the shopping cart grill a good cleaning before you christen it with its inaugural grilling session.

Third, it is probably advisable to remove all plastic from the cart before you begin to grill. Notice in this picture that there is still plastic attached to the handle and seat. Assuming the fire gets hot enough the individuals dining on this griller’s dish might get the unpleasant surprise of some melted plastic in their meal. Better to be safe than sorry so take the five minutes needed to remove all plastic before use.

So if you’ve got the itch to grill and you find yourself in a pinch without a more conventional grill choice and you happen to have a shopping cart handy you might be able to scratch that itch away. With that being said, we here at Pork Barrel BBQ would advise against it and suggest you just wait until you get back home and use the more conventional options.

If you’ve got funny or interesting pictures of grills or other BBQ tools send them to us at porkbarrelbbq@gmail.com and we’ll post them on the blog.

 

Where In The World Is Pork Barrel BBQ – San Francisco

On a recent trip to San Francisco Rex and Barbara Hall took these pictures of Pork Barrel BBQ’s All-American Spice Rub at the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Ghirardelli Chocolate. Thanks for letting us know where in the world Pork Barrel BBQ is!!!!
Are you going on a trip or to a unique event? Take Pork Barrel BBQ with you and let us know where you have taken Pork Barrel BBQ? Send your photos to us at porkbarrelbbq@gmail.comand we’ll post them on our blog – don’t forget to provide a brief description of where Pork Barrel BBQ is and what Pork Barrel BBQ is doing.
 

Pork Barrel BBQ Becomes Top 10 Most Followed BBQ Twitterer!

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Thanks for all your support – Pork Barrel BBQ is now in the Top 10 BBQ Twitterers according to We Follow – check us out at www.wefollow.com/tag/bbq!

Join as as a follower at www.twitter.com/porkbarrelbbq!
 

Where In The World Is Pork Barrel BBQ – Disney World

Pork Barrel BBQ has brought its magic to Disney World!   There is really no place more appropriate for our All-American Spice Rub!

Where have you taken Pork Barrel BBQ?  Send us your photos to porkbarrelbbq@gmail.comand we’ll post them on the blog!
 

Restaurant Review – Arthur Bryant’s (Kansas City, MO)

You are sure to get a healthy argument in Kansas City over where to get the best BBQ.  Folks in Kansas City tend to be loyal to their favorite BBQ Joint like your dog is loyal to you.  One of the BBQ Joints that can claim as large of a loyal following as any in Kansas City is Arthur Bryant’s.

Arthur Bryant was know as the “King of Ribs” and some have called him the most renowned barbequer in the history of barbeque.  Arthur got into the barbeque business when he visited his brother Charlie, who worked for Henry Perry who started the Kansas City barbeque tradition.  Arthur never left Kansas City and the world of barbeque after this visit.  After Henry and Charlie died, Arthur took over the business and perfected the sauce.  About the sauce, he once said, “I make it so you can put it on bread and eat it.”

Arthur Bryant’s many loyal fans include New Yorker columnist Calvin Trillin, who once called Bryant’s the best restaurant in the world.  Over the years a number of Presidents have dined at Bryant’s, including Harry Truman (the Kansas City areas hometown President), Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.  Other well known celebrities who have dined at Bryant’s include Steven Spielberg, George Brett, Wilt Chamberlain, Robert Redford and Jack Nicholson.

Bryant’s slow smokes its meats with a combination of hickory and oak woods (Pork Barrel BBQ’s favorite mix of smoking woods) to perfection.  Step up to the counter and order a beef sandwich with white or wheat Wonder Bread.  The man behind the counter slaps down the bread, puts at least a half pound of meat on the bread and then provides a generous slathering of sauce. There is literally enough meat on the sandwich for two or three meals!!!  Don’t forget to add fries, beans and a good helping of pickles and wash it all down with a Boulevard Wheat Beer – Kansas City’s hometown beer.

You’ll find the original Arthur Bryant’s at 1727 Brooklyn Avenue, in downtown Kansas City.  In recent years one has opened up at the Ameristar Casino and at the Legends at the Kansas Speedway. Check out Arthur Bryant’s on the web.

If you need anymore convincing just look at the picture at the top of this blog post and try not to drool all over yourself.

 

Where In The World is Pork Barrel BBQ – Wyoming

Pork Barrel in WYPork Barrel BBQ’s biggest fan in Wyoming is Tyler Gale!  Any one and a half year old who understands the value of great BBQ is clearly going to have a bright future and maybe a future investor in Pork Barrel BBQ!

Thanks to Steve, Beth, and Tyler for sending us their awesome photo – please send us your photos to porkbarrelbbq@gmail.com.