Pork Barrel BBQ Blog


Pork Barrel BBQ Makes Donation To The 2009 Taste of the South Charity Gala

At Pork Barrel BBQ we believe it is important to be involved in and give back to the local community and we are pleased to announce that we will be a donor at the 27th annual Taste of the South to be held at the D.C. Armory in Washington, D.C. on the evening of Saturday, May 16, 2009.  Pork Barrel BBQ will be providing sample bags of our All American Spice Rub to those who visit the Missouri booth at this years gala.

The first Taste of the South was held in 1983 in an effort to share the rich tradition of the South with the residents of the Washington, D.C. region.  States participating in Taste of the South include Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

All proceeds raised by the event go to a southern based charity.  This year’s featured charity is the Magnolia Speech School of Mississippi.  For more than 50 years, the Magnolia Speech School, a private, nonprofit, oral education program for children with hearing loss and language disorders, has provided children with life-changing curricula that has enabled each student to reach their potential.  A small portion of the funds raised this year will go to Jubilee Jobs, a Washington, D.C. based charity that provides support for disadvantaged job-seekers throughout the DC metropolitan area.

For more information on Taste of the South check out their website.  If you have a charity event and think Pork Barrel BBQ should participate please contact us at


The Tools of the BBQ Trade – Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker

It’s a big day for Pork Barrel BBQ – we just acquired two Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smokers! Check it out!

We have a number of events and BBQ competitions coming up this summer and needed to increase our capacity to cook a lot of great BBQ!  What is really amazing about the Smokey Mountain Cooker (we got two of the 22.5 inch models) is that it can hold 12 slabs of ribs, 4-8 pork shoulders, 3-6 briskets, and even 4 turkeys!  I smoke a lot of BBQ on my Chargriller, but to be honest it takes a lot of work keeping it fired at the correct temperature.  With the Smokey Mountain Cooker I can fire up a pile of lump charcoal and wood chunks in the bottom and come back 10-12 hours later and to a well maintained and perfect temperature – you can’t beat that.

We came to the decision to buy this particular smoker thanks to The Virtual Weber Bullet website.  What a great website it is too –  it’s really one of the best BBQ sites I have found. Thanks to the folks at The Virtual Weber Bullet site for helping us make a great decision – we’ll keep you posted on our smoking success!  Be sure to follow the Pork Barrel BBQ website for more information on our products.


Where in the World is Pork Barrel BBQ – The National Cherry Blossom Festival – Washington, DC

Thousands and Thousands of people flock to Washington, DC each March and April in hopes that the Cherry trees will be filled with Cherry Blossoms in full bloom when they arrive – some leave happy and others leave a little less happy.  You can’t always time your trip right to see the Tidal Basin bathed in the pink of the Cherry trees, but you can always find Pork Barrel BBQ in Washington, DC.

Here are several pictures of Pork Barrel BBQ taking in the sites of this years Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC.

Pork Barrel BBQ’s All American Spice Rub with the Washington Monument and the Cherry trees in full bloom in the background.

Pork Barrel BBQ’s All American Spice Rub with the Jefferson Memorial and the Cherry trees in full bloom in the background.

Are you going on a trip or attending a unique event?  Take Pork Barrel BBQ with you and let us know where you have been?  Send your photos to us at and we’ll post them on our blog – don’t forget to provide a brief description of where Pork Barrel BBQ is or what Pork Barrel BBQ is doing.


Pork Barrel BBQ Becomes Most Follwed BBQ Site On Twitter!!!

We admit it, we have become addicted to Twitter.  Our goal 30 days ago was to become the largest BBQ twitterer (as ranked on  Drumroll Please…  Today, we have achieved our spot in Twitter fame by reaching the top spot on the Twitter BBQ ladder!  A big thank you to all of our followers – feel free to check us out at and ask all of your friends to follow us.  See our ranking below or check it out at

We know that BBQ’ers are a very competitive bunch, so we know we’ll have to fight hard to keep the top spot!  But we say to all who seek the top spot – BRING IT ON!

Pork Barrel BBQ to attend National Harbor Food and Wine Festival – June 6-7, 2009 (National Harbor, MD)

Pork Barrel BBQ will be selling its All American Spice Rub at the Food and Wine Festival at National Harbor on June 6 and 7, 2009.

We will be sharing some of our favorite recipes and raffling off some of our favorite BBQ products!  There are a number of celebrity chefs (including several from the TV show Top Chef) who will be on had along with all of the amazing food and wine – and of course Pork Barrel BBQ!  Please stop by our booth and try our All American Spice Rub on some 14 hour smoked pulled pork!


Restaurant Review – Bodean’s (London, UK)

I recently went to the United Kingdom and couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into some of the UK’s finest cuisine – fish & chips, bangers & mash, and Guinness Pie. The one thing I never planned on eating while there was barbecue – and good barbecue at that. But that is exactly what I ended up doing thanks to a couple good friends who call London home. We planned to get together for dinner and wanted to find a location where we could watch the NCAA Basketball Tournament (this is fairly difficult to do in London). My friends knew I loved barbecue and they knew that the games would be on at Bodean’s – London’s Original BBQ Smoke House.

I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical at first – barbecue in London? Yea, right?!?! When we arrived I have to say it looked legit – not too fancy, lots of TV’s with sports on, cold beer flowing, lots of people, and to my surprise a wall of famous American barbecue sauces on display behind the counter including some of my Kansas City favorites like Gates and Arthur Bryant’s. Then they gained a bit more of my respect as I noticed the framed photo’s around the restaurant of the one and only Arthur Bryant’s in Kansas City!!!
They at least showed me right off the bat that they at least knew what great barbecue is. The next thing they had to do was prove to me that they knew how to produce their own great barbecue. We started with an order of their Hot Buffalo Chicken Wings and were very happy with the first taste of home we would experience that night. I followed up the wings with a slab of Baby Back Ribs, Fries & Coleslaw and they were top notch ribs. I’ve had better here at home, but I’ve also had much worse. I’d give Bodean’s a 7 on a scale of 10 – which is at least 4 or 5 points higher than I could have ever imagined giving a London based barbecue restaurant.

Next time you’re in London and you’re craving a little bit of home why not drop into one of Bodean’s locations in Soho, Tower Hill, Clapham, Fulham, or Westbourne Grove? Check out Bodean’s on the web at


Restaurant Review – Dickie Doo Bar-B-Que (Sedalia, MO)

About half of my formative years were spent roaming the streets of Sedalia, Missouri.  If you’re not familiar with Sedalia it’s a small town of about 21,000 folks about an hour and a half to the East of Kansas City.  Sedalia has a few claims to fame:

1.) During the Great Depression it was judged to be the second most economically damaged city behind Gary, Indiana – not a great claim to be able to make, but a claim none the less.
These are all interesting facts, but the two Sedalia claims to fame I particularly remember deal with food – the Guber Burger at the Wheel Inn and the BBQ at Dickie Doo Bar-B-Que! I’ll save the Guber Burger and the Wheel Inn for another post – this post is about one of the Best BBQ Joints in America – Dickie Doo Bar-B-Que!
It was always a special event for us to get in the car and head to Dickie Doo Bar-B-Que when I was a kid.  Over the years some things have changed (it has a much larger and more diverse menu), but the thing I remember the most has stayed the same – Dickie Doo-Bar-B-Que has the best B.B.Q. Beans I’ve ever had – they are amazing and will put a smile on your face!!  The ribs are good as are the other BBQ dishes.  I can’t speak for some of the non-BBQ dishes, because I never get them, but others who have seemed happy.  If you’re ever in Sedalia drop into Dickie Doo’s and enjoy a great meal. Check them out on the internet for more information.  If you’re looking to make some great BBQ Beans of your own visit Pork Barrel BBQ’s website and order some of our Pork Barrel BBQ Sauce and All American Spice Rub!!!

2.) Since 1901, the Missouri State Fair has been held in Sedalia.

3.)Scott Joplin, the “King of Ragtime” music made Sedalia his adopted home.


The Inspirations Behind Pork Barrel BBQ – Dad, Friends and Bobby Flay

We often get asked why we started Pork Barrel BBQ and how we became so interested in BBQ so we thought we would share a bit of our story with you and a couple pictures that were taken a few years ago when Pork Barrel BBQ was just an idea percolating in our heads as a dream that was a long way from reality. 


Heath and Bobby Flay

Brett and Bobby Flay

Bobby, we look forward to the next time our paths cross and hope you’ll do us the favor of letting us know what you think about Pork Barrel BBQ – after all you are part of the reason we exist.

For more information on Bobby Flay check him out on the web at

Thanks again for your inspiration and bring back Boy Meets Grill!!!

The simple fact is we were lucky enough to grow up around great BBQ so we come by our love of it honestly — and we like to eat a bit (this is also a good motivating factor). As we graduated from high school and moved to college a trend was starting around the country – chefs could actually become celebrities and they were bringing new and exciting food ideas to the masses. Folks were cooking things they’d never heard of only months earlier let alone tried to cook. One of these innovators was Bobby Flay – both Brett’s and my culinary and grilling hero.I’ll never forget the first time I crossed paths with Bobby Flay – it was on a fledgling television network known as the Food Network. Right on the screen in front of me was this city slicker named Bobby Flay and a good ol‘ country boy named Jack McDavid. Jack was all about charcoal and wood and Bobby was all about gas. I immediately sided with Jack and felt he was the real authentic BBQ’er on the show because I believed no one in there right mind would use gas to grill (why not stay inside and use your stove and oven if you’re going to use gas was what I was saying to myself). I loved the show, it was a couple of armature TV actors who could cook, but couldn’t act. They went on to win no Academy Awards, but they both ended up winning me over. The show was short lived, but I had warmed to Bobby by the time the show was taken off and intrigued by his cooking.

The rest is history. Bobby has become one of the most recognizable cooks in all of America if not the world (who else has stood on a cutting board in Japan and lived to talk about it?). Bobby has matured into an excellent on air personality, but it has always been about the food for him and you can still see this on his current show Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Win or lose he has fun and enjoys learning the tricks of some of the best cooks in America.

We’d be comfortable in betting that Bobby has inspired many cooks across this country to try a new dish, eat something a bit different at a restaurant, get the grill out in the rain or snow, or in our case, along with our family and friends, get the courage to start a small business dedicated to great BBQ. Thanks for the inspiration Bobby!!!

Several years ago we were lucky enough to get the chance to meet Bobby during a visit of his to Congress where he was lobbying on behalf of technical education and trade schools. He took five minutes out of his busy schedule to stop and talk with us and answer some questions we had. He even had to step aside to get a picture taken with a Member of Congress and told us to hold on because he was going to come back and finish our conversation after he was finished with the picture and he held true to his word.


It is true that both Brett and I have loved exploring our culinary talents (at least the two of us think we have culinary talent — thinking is sometimes more dangerous than knowing) on grills and smokers for many years. It is also true that we’ve had our empty plates out in anticipation of what might be coming off a family member or friends grill during those summer BBQ’s and still vivid in my memory is dad grilling and smoking meat on those cold snowy or raining winter nights. I think my dad’s BBQ motto was similar to the Post Office motto and went something like this:


Neither rain nor hail nor sleet nor snow nor heat of day nor dark of night shall keep this BBQ’er from the swift completion of his brisket, ribs, chicken, steaks, pork chops, or baked potatoes.



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.

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 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!!