Pork Barrel BBQ Blog


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.


Did Someone Say BBQ Cakes?!?!?!?

We spend all of our time thinking about BBQ, dry rubs, and bbq grills – but BBQ cakes?  Uh…no.  Check out these amazing creations by the fine folks at Cake Wrecks.  Here is a sneak peak that might make you hungry for BBQ (or not…)!
Pretty cool huh?  Now check this one out – this one, not so much…

Pork Barrel BBQ Was a Donor at the 2009 Taste of the South Charity Gala Held in Washington, DC on May 16

On Saturday, May 16 Pork Barrel BBQ donated our Pork Barrel BBQ All American Spice Rub to the 27th annual Taste of the South charity gala held at the D.C. Armory in Washington, D.C.  (We were very excited to see our name just to the right of one of our favorite BBQ joints – Gates BBQ in Kansas City, MO.)  This year’s featured charity was the Magnolia Speech School of Mississippi, a private, nonprofit, oral education program for children with hearing loss and language disorders.  Additionally, a small portion of the funds raised went to Jubilee Jobs, a Washington, D.C. based charity that provides support for disadvantaged job-seekers in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Taste of the South was a great time for all that attended, even though it felt like it was 100 degrees inside the D.C. Armory. We are already looking forward to next years Taste of the South and the chance to help some worthy charities.

In addition to giving back to the community Pork Barrel BBQ used this opportunity to unveil our new label on the sample bags of our All American Spice Rub. Here’s what they look like up close. Let us know what you think of the new look and don’t forget to visit us!


Pork Barrel BBQ Issues BBQ Challenge to Jessica Ravitz of CNN

Jessica Ravitz of CNN wrote the following article on the quest for the best BBQ – I think its obvious that she is from Texas, California or the East Coast (and probably calls the Midwest “flyover” states) because she completely ignores Missouri barbecue in her article.  At Pork Barrel BBQ, we support the exploration of all things BBQ, and encourage Jessica to travel the nation a bit more in her quest – her first stops need to be Gates Bar-B-Q, Arthur Bryant’s, Oklahoma Joe’s in Kansas City, MO and Dickie Doo Bar-B-Que in Sedalia, MO.  Jessica – we at Pork Barrel BBQ will be glad to meet you any day that works for you in Kansas City and take you on a tour – just let us know what works – and best of all, we’ll pay for all your Missouri BBQ!  You can reach us at

Read Jessica’s article here:

Quest for the best barbecue

By Jessica Ravitz

(CNN) — If Daniel Vaughn has his way, he said, his newborn daughter will “teethe on a rib bone.”  It’s not that the Dallas, Texas, architect means to channel his inner caveman. He just loves barbecue and, given that his wife doesn’t, is hoping the little one will share his passion for ” ‘cue,” as he calls it.

“My main quest is to find the best in Texas,” said Vaughn, 31, who phoned CNN while he was heading to his 168th barbecue joint since he began his search in August 2006.

So far, listed among his favorites: Snow’s BBQ in Lexington and Kreuz Market in Lockhart.

“The best experience is finding a place you’ve never heard of, a place that’s not on anyone’s list,” he said. “It feels like you’ve really discovered something special.”

Vaughn’s journey, which is chronicled on his blog Full Custom Gospel BBQ (which also features reviews), is just one illustration of how this American culinary tradition has taken hold. It has spawned pilgrimages to out-of-the-way shacks, associations and “societies,” competitive cook-offs and countless debates among those who take this smoked-meat matter most Vaughn’s tasty experience at Kreuz Market

“It’s a combination of flavors, sights, smells, sounds, people and stories,” said Mark Dunkerley, 32, of Nashville, Tennessee, who embarked on his own barbecue quest last fall (a road trip spanning four Southern states) and named The Bar-B-Q Shop in Memphis, Tennessee, as his top pick. “Anything you spend six to 18 hours preparing, it’s more than a meal. It’s an event.” Check out some iReporter BBQ joint recommendations »

This “event” became possible about half a million years ago, when humans discovered fire. For about 250,000 years, humans have been throwing meat on and around the flames, said Steven Raichlen, best-selling author of “The Barbecue Bible.”

But the 16th century Spanish explorers to the Americas first chronicled the unique cooking technique that became barbecue when they came across the Taino Indians of the West Indies using a barbacoa, their word for a wooden framework propped above flames, to smoke meat.

It was a way to preserve meat and was later popularized by the poor and slaves, who didn’t have refrigeration, explained Amy Mills, daughter of barbecue’s legendary champion pit master and restaurateur, Mike Mills, with whom she co-wrote “Peace, Love, and Barbecue.”

The smoking approach was also useful in that it tenderized lesser cuts of meat, said Mills, whose father is behind the ribs celebrated at 17th Street Bar & Grill in Murphysboro, Illinois, and Memphis Championship Barbecue in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Today, barbecue has enjoyed a renaissance,” securing its berth as “America’s original comfort food,” which is especially important in these tough economic times, when supporting local and affordable businesses is more popular than ever, Mills said. “It’s the most democratic food group. You can come into a barbecue restaurant and find people in ties and people in overalls. … You leave your title at the door.”

Depending on where you are, the meat and smoking wood that is used, the sauce (if there is one) or the rub, barbecue can mean many different things, Raichlen, the best-selling author, journalist, cooking teacher and TV host pointed out.

While it’s pulled pork with vinegar sauce in most of North Carolina, Raichlen said barbecue is, for example, mutton with butter and Worcestershire sauce in Owensboro, Kentucky, grilled bratwurst in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and oysters on the half-shell with chipotle sauce in Tomales Bay, California.

“We live in a world of homogenization,” he said. Barbecue is “the last bastion of regional culture, and I think that’s one reason we prize it so dearly.”

Fans, in fact, prize barbecue for a multitude of reasons. For city slickers, who live in places where backyard smokers are not viable or even legal, a country jaunt for some finger-licking meat can be an escape. And the time, sweat and, indeed, “labor of love” shown by those who run these establishments, as Dunkerley of Nashville puts it, is something to behold and honor.

The slow food, which bucks the nation’s fast-food focus, is “a backlash against the hustle and bustle of daily life,” said Carolyn Wells, executive director and co-founder of the 10,000-member Kansas City Barbecue Society, which she calls “the world’s largest organization of barbecuing and grilling enthusiasts.”

“It’s not a solitary pursuit,” she said. “It’s something you do with your family and friends.”

This might be why barbecue is, for Frank Beaty, a reminder of different times and people. Beaty’s barbecue recommendations

He may live in Las Vegas, Nevada, today, but Beaty, 55, grew up in Texas, the grandson of Dempsey Davis, a man who “grew his own meat.” Using an “old brick smokehouse,” in Paris, Texas, Beaty said Dempsey practiced what he preached.

“My granddad said two things about barbecue,” Beaty said. “If you have to have teeth to eat it, it’s not right. And if you have to put sauce on it, it’s not right.”

For 35 years, wherever he’s traveled as a festival producer, Beaty said he’s always been on the lookout for the best and most tender barbecue a town can offer. One of his top choices, a surprise even to him: Everett and Jones in Oakland, California.

“Texas has the best barbecue, but somehow Everett and Jones migrated from the south,” Beaty said.

Because his wife will rarely join him, Vaughn — the man on a mission in Texas — counts on some friends to help him on his traveling feeding frenzy. In March, he said he and two cohorts outdid themselves, setting a record: 10 barbecue restaurants in one day.

“You get the meat sweats, where you rub your brow and it comes away smelling like smoke,” he said with a laugh. “But you get used to it.”


Where in the World is Pork Barrel BBQ – Childhood Home of President George W. Bush

Over the course of the past several months we have shown you “Where In The World Pork Barrel BBQ Has Been” and now we launch a new challenge for you the Pork Barrel BBQ dry rub fan.  It is our goal to get a picture of a Pork Barrel BBQ product (dry rub tin, hat, t-shirt or something else) in front of the homes of all 44 US Presidents, 50 State Capitol buildings, and 50 Governor’s Mansions.

Our first entry comes from Midland, TX and is the childhood home of our 43rd President – George W. Bush.

If you’re headed out on vacation this summer this is a great time to snap a few pictures with your favorite Pork Barrel BBQ product and send them on to us at


The Tools of the BBQ Trade – Pig Grill

We are always on the look out for interesting BBQ gadgets, dry rubs, bbq sauces, grills and smokers. A loyal supporter of Pork Barrel BBQ sent us this picture from a hardware store in Midland, TX of a pig grill (and in the background you can see a bull grill).  We have to admit that this has been placed on the Pork Barrel BBQ wish list, but we aren’t quite prepared to drop the $1,599.00 necessary to put this beauty in your backyard.

If you find any interesting BBQ gadgets, dry rubs, bbq sauces, grills, smokers or anything else related to barbecue that you think would make a good post on this site email us the details at