Pork Barrel BBQ Blog


Know Your Pork – Heritage Breeds of Pigs

We’re pretty crazy about Pork at Pork Barrel BBQ and we thought it might be interesting to give you a quick run down on some of the breeds of heritage pork that is available today.

Berkshire – The most popular breed of heritage pork is the Berkshire from England. The Berkshire is known for its sweet and well marbled flesh.

Duroc – A local favorite in the eastern United States, the Duroc provides juicy and full flavored meat.

Ossabaw – The Ossabaw is a feral bread of hog that comes from Ossabaw Island, Georgia. The bonus with this hog, whose meat is a bit gamy in flavor, is that it is packed with monounsaturated fat.

Red Wattle – The Red Wattle is a rare pig that comes from the South Pacific island of New Caledonia. This hog has a good meat to fat ratio that makes it great for curred meats and salumi (and who doesn’t like good salumi?).

Tamworth – The Tamworth, another heritage breed from England, is also great for curred meats and sausages. Maybe most importantly, this breed is said to make the best bacon of any hog variety.

You probably won’t find these variates in your local grocery store or butcher shops, but thanks to the Internet you can order them online.  In Washington, DC be sure to visit our friends at Wagshals – they sale Ibirico Pork  (the only place in the United States to do so).

Check out the following websites for more information and to order these and other heritage breeds of pork.
Flying Pigs Farm –
Heritage Foods USA –
Heritage Pork –
Preferred Meats –

Pork Barrel BBQ Launch Party – Video

On Sunday, May 31, more than 100 Pork Barrel BBQ fans and supporters showed up at Fort Ward Park in Alexandria, Virginia to celebrate the official launch of Pork Barrel BBQ. Over 150 pounds of pork shoulder, beef brisket and vegetables were smoked and grilled with Pork Barrel BBQ’s All American Spice Rub. A big Pork Barrel BBQ thank you to everyone who came to show their support – we couldn’t be doing what we are doing without your support and advice.
At the end of the picnic we were able to donate several trays of pork shoulder, pickles, potato chips and several watermelons to the Carpenters Shelter in Alexandria, Virginia.

Pork Barrel BBQ Crosses 10,000 Followers on Twitter


Thanks to all our friends and supporters who have followed us on Twitter– we appreciate the chance to update you on all that is going on in the world of Pork Barrel BBQ!

We hope your having as much fun following us on Twitter as we are following you.  We think it is pretty cool that under the “Food” listing on Wefollow – – that we have just passed Tyler Florence and are on the heels of the LA Times as one of the most followed food sites on Twitter.

We made a lot of new friends at this years Food & Wine Festival at National Harbor and one of those new friends was Rex who runs a food blog at  If you don’t go check out his blog you are going to miss some great food reviews.

Make sure you check out his post on the Food & Wine Festival!  Thanks for the mention Rex!!


Pork Barrel BBQ Meets Top Chefs at the Food & Wine Festival at National Harbor

Pork Barrel BBQ made its debut at the National Harbor Food & Wine Festival this weekend at the National Harbor just outside of Washington, D.C.  One of the highlights for us was getting to hang out with Season 5 Top Chefs Carla and Ariane.  What a thrill it was for us.  We can’t even begin to tell you how cool they were!!  They rock!!!!!

Thanks so much for all the tips and pointers on making it in this business.  Your encouragement meant a ton to us and best of all the fact that you liked our All American Spice Rub and our pulled pork made our day!!!

Best of luck to you guys in your future endeavors!  We look forward to crossing paths in the future!  Be on the lookout for video of our encounter with Carla and Ariane!  And don’t forget to visit us on our website.

Music Fog – Go Check These Guys Out!!!

When you have ghosts in your house you call Ghostbusters.  When you need tips on BBQ you call Pork Barrel BBQ.  When you have only a couple days to write, film and produce a 5 minute video that could have huge implications on the future of your business you call MUSIC FOG!!!!!

A million thanks to our friends at MUSIC FOG for doing us a solid favor by filming and producing a video for us on such short notice and with such professionalism.  I’m pretty sure a couple of smoked briskets will be forthcoming as a token of our appreciation!!

If you like music and your looking for some great new artists to add to your iPod, check out the Music Fog website at and go follow them on Twitter.  I promise you that you won’t be disappointed.

Thanks Ben!!!  Your friends at Pork Barrel BBQ!


Recipe – Grilled Vegetable Ratatouille with Pork Barrel BBQ All American Spice Rub

All American Spice Rub Grilled Vegetable Ratatouille

2 zucchini squash, cut into quarters lengthwise
2 yellow squash, cut into quarters lengthwise
2 eggplants, cut into ½ inch think rounds
2 red onions, cut into ½ inch think rounds
4 bell peppers (1 red, 1 yellow, 1 orange, & 1 green), stemmed, seeded and cut into quarters
2 pints Baby Bella mushrooms
1 pint cherry tomatoes , left whole
½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons Pork Barrel BBQ’s All American Spice Rub
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

Preheat your grill to a medium-high temperature.  We prefer charcoal, but you can also use a gas grill.  Place all of your cut vegetables and the mushrooms and tomatoes in a large bowl and pour the ½ cup of olive oil over the vegetables (toss and coat thoroughly).   Season vegetables with Pork Barrel BBQ’s All American Spice Rub (toss and coat thoroughly).  Place vegetables on the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes per side (tomatoes should be removed when you turn the vegetables over).  On a cutting board coarsely chop your vegetables and move them to a large serving bowl.  Add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, oregano and basil to the grilled vegetables in the serving bowl and gently mix together.  Serve at room temperature.


Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker – First Smoking Session

Setting up the new Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker was a lot of fun, but we knew the real fun wouldn’t start until we were able put some meat in the smoker and invite friends over to taste the end product.  We had heard and read all kinds of great reviews about the Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker, but being from the Show-Me State we decided it was time for the smoker to “Show Us” what it was made of and that is exactly what it did over the Memorial Day weekend.
At 8:00 a.m. on Sunday I started the charcoal and began to settle in for a long day of smoking. I started the process by filling my Weber Charcoal Chimney up with Cowboy Hardwood Charcoal and let the coals get nice and hot.
Once the coals were fired up and ready to go I dumped them in to the bottom of the smoker.
Next, I poured the remainder of the bag of charcoal onto the lit coals – this provided enough fuel for about 7 hours of smoking.
After all of the charcoal was on the smoker I placed 7 good sized chunks of Hickory onto the coals for smoking. I normally like to do a mix of hickory and oak, but I was out of oak today so I just used hickory.
After all of the fuel was in the smoker and ready to go I placed the body of the smoker on the base and installed the water pan. I filled the water pan with 6 cans of Bud Light.
While the charcoal in the chimney was lighting I rubbed a pork shoulder (on both sides) with extra virgin olive oil and Pork Barrel BBQ’s All American Spice Rub – the best all-purpose dry rub around.
At 8:30 a.m. the coals were ready, the hickory was on and the water pan was filled with beer and we were ready to start smoking. I placed the first grill rack into the smoker and placed the pork shoulder onto it. 
I like to smoke my meats at a temperature of 250 degrees. 
While the pork shoulder was beginning to smoke I applied extra virgin olive oil and Pork Barrel BBQ’s All American Spice Rub dry rub to a brisket in the same fashion as I had done with the pork shoulder. 
At 10:00 a.m. I placed the brisket in to the smoker on the same rack as the pork shoulder. The picture below is of the brisket just being put onto the grill rack and the pork shoulder after 1.5 hours inside the smoker. 
While the pork shoulder and brisket were smoking I cleaned two racks of ribs – make sure you take the membrane off of the ribs before you cook them!!! I applied extra virgin olive oil and Pork Barrel BBQ’s All American Spice Rub dry rub to the ribs and let them set for about 30 minutes. 
At 11:30 a.m. I placed the second grill rack in to the smoker and placed my rib rack on the grill. I then placed my two racks of ribs in the rib rack. 
Finally, I prepared a whole chicken in the same fashion as the other meats (extra virgin olive oil and Pork Barrel BBQ’s All American Spice Rub dry rub). The chicken went on the grill at 2:30 p.m. 
The below picture is at 6:30 p.m. just before pulling all of the meat off of the smoker. The chicken had been in the smoker for 4 hours, the ribs for 7 hours, the brisket for 8.5 hours and the pork shoulder for 10 hours.   
Here is the final product – ribs and pulled pork!! 
More of the final product – chicken and brisket (notice the nice smoke ring on the brisket). 
Heath and the final meal – smoked pulled pork, smoked brisket, smoked ribs, smoked turkey, corn on the cob, baked potatoes, salad and some nice bread – a great meal that was shared with some great friends!!

After our first use of the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker I must say that the smoker lived up to the reviews – she worked like a charm. We can’t wait to get our two Smokey Mountain Cooker’s out on the Competitive BBQ circuit this year!

We’ll keep you posted on all of her stories as she produces some of the best BBQ you’ll ever have.Don’t forget to visit us on the web at!!


Where in the World is Pork Barrel BBQ – Missouri State Capital & Governor Mansion

Pork Barrel BBQ is attempting to get pictures of our All American Spice Rub tins in front of all 50 State Capitols and Governor Mansions.  In order to do this we need your help!!  Summer vacations are a great way to help us complete this challenge so don’t forget to take a tin of our All American Spice Rub with you if you plan to visit any of our 50 great state capitol cities this summer.

Our first submission comes from our home state – the great state of Missouri. Below is the Missouri State Capitol and the Missouri Governor’s Mansion with Pork Barrel BBQ’s All American Spice Rub.

Don’t forget to visit us at our website – – and pick up some of our dry rub.

It is barbecue season and nothing makes your meal taste better than our All American dry rub! E-mail us your pictures at!



The Tools of the BBQ Trade – Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker Assembly


Pork Barrel BBQ recently acquired two Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smokers. Over the Memorial Day Weekend I put one together and tried it out for the first time.  The following post hits on the highlights of assembling the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker.

The Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker comes in a large box and is relatively easy to assemble. It took me about 25 minutes to go from an unopened box to a smoker that was ready for cooking.

The first step in the assembly of the smoker is to attach the three legs to the heat shield that goes under the smoker – this is a heat shield and not an ash catch.

Next you attach the bottom of the smoker to the three legs and heat shield.

After you’ve installed the legs to the bottom of the smoker install the charcoal grate and ring.

 Next put the body of the smoker onto the base of the smoker.

Next you install four brackets to the inside of the base and place the water bowl inside the base.

Next put the first of the two grill grates into the smoker.

The final step is putting the second grill grate into the smoker.

Place the lid onto the smoker and you have a finished product!

The Finished Product with its protective cover!

We have heard nothing but great things about the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker and can’t wait to try ours out. Check back soon for a post on how the maiden smoking with our new grills went.