Pork Barrel BBQ Blog


Boyd Specialties LLC – A Trip To See Pork Barrel BBQ Bacon Jerky Production In Action


Over the weekend we headed to California to visit Boyd Specialties LLC to get a first hand look at the production process of our brand new product, Pork Barrel BBQ Bacon Jerky. If you love Bacon, you’re going to love our Pork Barrel BBQ Bacon Jerky. Boyd’s, just like Pork Barrel BBQ, is a family owned and operated company. It has been a great experience working with them on this very fun new product. While at the Boyd’s facility we got to see the entire process of our Bacon Jerky going from Bacon to Bacon Jerky!

Here is the first step – Bacon getting ready to be flavored with one of our five amazing flavors (Spicy Sriracha, Honey Pepper, Old Fashioned Maple, Pork Barrel BBQ Original BBQ, and Pork Barrel BBQ Sweet BBQ).


The bacon is placed on drying racks to head into Boyd’s very special ovens.


A batch of our Spicy Sriracha is ready to be bagged.



The day we visited was the first day our Pork Barrel BBQ Bacon Jerky was being packaged in our brand new bags – here’s a sample of what the new bags look like (this bag is for our Honey Pepper Bacon Jerky).


Nothing better than seeing bags filled with Bacon Jerky running down the line ready to be packed for shipping to our customers around the country!



A big thank you to the entire team at Boyd’s! Thank you for your partnership with Pork Barrel BBQ! Here’s to much mutual success in the coming months and years as we work to put Pork Barrel BBQ Bacon Jerky on retail shelves across America!




Restaurant Review – Lockhart Smokehouse in Plano, TX


On a recent trip to Dallas I had an opportunity to have lunch at Lockhart Smokehouse. I’d heard plenty of good things and had a number of my BBQ friends recommend a stop at Lockhart Smokehouse when I was in Dallas – it didn’t disappoint! 



The entire menu looked amazing and the smell coming from the butcher station where the pitmaster was hand cutting orders was beyond amazing. Since I was in Texas I had to give the brisket a try and I was craving ribs so I went with brisket and ribs with a side of baked beans and mac & cheese along with large helpings of Texas BBQ’s favorite condiments, onions, pickles and jalapenos! 



The brisket was good, but the true stars of the meal were the ribs and mac & cheese. Lockhart’s ribs were among the best ribs I’ve ever had in my life. They had just the right amount of smoke and an excellent dry rub on them (it was simple yet complex with a strong cumin flavor that really complemented the ribs well). When you go, not if you go, you must get a couple of ribs! I’m still dreaming about them!!


There really isn’t much, if anything better than Hot BBQ and Cold Beer and if you find yourself in Dallas or Plano, TX and your craving some great BBQ look no further than Lockhart Smokehouse! I know I’ll be back the next time I’m in the area!



Pork Barrel BBQ Choice Hotels/Comfort Inn & Comfort Suites Commercial

Choice Hotels

We are honored to appear in a new commercial for Choice Hotels brands Comfort Inn & Comfort Suites. When we hit the road for a sales call, food show or BBQ contest we have a lot of choices in where to stay and we always know when we choose Comfort Inn or Comfort Suites we’ll get a clean room, free internet and a good breakfast all for a reasonable price! 


Pork Barrel BBQ Wants To Help You Save 30% Off Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle Tickets

DC BBQ Battle

We’re only a few weeks away from one of our favorite BBQ contests of the year, the Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle. This was the first contest we every cooked back in 2009 and we are the defending Grand Champions!! We’ve teamed up with the folks at the Barbecue Battle to offer you a chance to save 30% off the gate price of $15 per ticket by using COUPON CODE – BBQVIP – when you purchase tickets at Head on over and get your tickets today!! Proceeds go to a great cause and we want to see you downtown during the Barbecue Battle June 27-28!!

Here’s more about the Barbecue Battle:


Melanie Hosch, PR Director



23rd Annual Safeway Barbecue Battle

“America’s national BBQ Championship in our Nation’s Capital”

Washington, D.C. (April, 2015) – For more than two decades, The Safeway Barbecue Battle has been cooking up lots of great food, music & fun on America’s Main Street, Pennsylvania Avenue.

One of our nation’s largest and most popular Annual food and music festivals, the Safeway Barbecue Battle, officially kicks off the 2015 summer season on June 27 and 28. This exciting nationally recognized event offers Washington D.C. area residents and visitors alike, a two-day line-up of everything from tempting BBQ & Grilled food samples to cooking demonstrations, interactive exhibits and non-stop live entertainment on three music stages.

Now celebrating its 23rd year, the Safeway Barbecue Battle has become one of the largest and most unique food & music festivals in the country. Celebrating the art of cooking and the joy of eating, the Barbecue Battle offers residents of the Greater Washington area and throughout the east coast, the chance to enjoy America’s favorite pastime right in our Nation’s Capital. The event has received numerous awards such as being named “One of Five Can’t Miss Summer Festivals in the Country” by CNN, a “Top 10 BBQ Event” by The Travel Channel, “One of America’s Best BBQ Competitions” by Saveur Magazine and “An Event Worth Traveling To” by the American Bus Association, just to name a few.

Pennsylvania Avenue will be smoking with lots of great BBQ cooked up by America’s Top Chefs from across the country, like 2014 Grand Champion Heath Hall of Pork Barrel BBQ. This two-day festival features teams competing for their share of over $40,000 in Cash & Prizes in contests throughout the weekend. Contests include the National Pork Board’s National Pork BBQ Championship and The Military Chef Cook-Off benefiting the USO. Other Contests include the USDA Choice Beef Contest, Open Nature Lamb Contest, Safeway Select Rib Contest & America’s Best BBQ Chicken Contest, all sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society.

There are interactive activities for kids of all ages to enjoy like Johnsonville’s World’s Largest Grill, Oscar Mayer Wiener Mobile, Spamerica Tour, Les Paul’s Big Sound Tour, Celebrate Alabama Tour, The Big Bite Tour, Colgate Bright Smiles Tour, Amstel Light Beverage Gardens, Wine Sampling area and more. 

The 300’ long Safeway Sampling Pavilion offers a line-up of delicious and tempting free BBQ & Grilled food samples, while Cookbook Authors and Celebrity Chef’s like Myron Mixon and Tuffy Stone

Destination America’s popular “BBQ Pitmasters” entertain and educate with cooking demonstrations on the Safeway Demonstration Stage.

There’s something for everyone’s musical taste with an eclectic mix of 30 bands on three stages performing Rock, Reggae, Jazz, Blues, Country, R&B and Go Go. This year’s line-up includes artists such as EU featuring Sugar Bear, Be’la Dona, Trouble Funk and The Chuck Brown Band on the Pepsi-Lay’s Sound Stage and The Morrison Brothers, Paul Pfau from the Voice and Kelly Bell on the Famous Dave’s Stage.

The Safeway Barbecue Battle has raised over $1.6 million dollars for DC Children’s Charities and donated tons of food to area Food Banks. In 2015 the event will also raise funds for the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore with a Military Chef cook-off in which attendees will be given the opportunity to taste and vote for their favorite Military Chef representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.

For more information about this unique annual Washington Food & Music Celebration,

Please call 202-488-6990 or EMAIL Melanie Hosch, PR Director. You can visit our website at or explore our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bbqindc for more information.

Photos available by going to

We’ll See You, at the B-B-Q!



Pork Barrel BBQ Bacon Jerky Demo – This Saturday At Bed Bath & Beyond in Vienna, VA

Bed Bath & Beyond

Do you love BACON? Have you been dying to try Pork Barrel BBQ Bacon Jerky? If you are in the Washington, DC area come out to Bed Bath & Beyond in Vienna, Virginia, this Saturday, June 6 from 12:00pm to 4:00pm to sample all three of our Bacon Jerky Flavors (Spicy Srirachi, Old Fashioned Maple, and Honey Pepper).

What – Pork Barrel BBQ Bacon Jerky Sampling

When – Saturday, June 6, 2015 between 12:00pm and 4:00pm

Where – Bed Bath & Beyond, 2051 Chain Bridge Rd, Vienna, VA 22182

Pork Barrel BBQ Bacon Jerky Snack

Can’t make it to Vienna, VA this Saturday? Fear not, get your Pork Barrel BBQ Bacon Jerky Sampler Pack HERE!


BBQ Competition – Beltway BBQ Showdown – Ft. Washington, MD – Pork Barrel BBQ Wins Grand Championship

The Pork Barrel BBQ Competition BBQ Team had an excellent cook at it’s second contest of the 2015 competition season in Ft. Washington, MD this past weekend at the Beltway BBQ Showdown. This was our fifth time cooking this contest and it remains one of our favorites. Johnathan Jones, the contest organizer, does a great job creating a very cooker friendly contest. I also love it because I can be home and in the shower less than 30 minutes after awards! After a brief period where it looked like we could be in for some heavy rain none came and the weather couldn’t have been nicer for the remainder of the contest.


After shaking the winter rust off in Annapolis, MD a few weeks ago we had a very solid cook hat ended in us being named Grand Champions!!  Before I talk in more detail about the cook I want to give a big thank you to our sponsors, ICEHOLE Coolers for keeping our meats nice and fresh and our drinks nice and cool, East Coast Smokin’ Woods for providing us with an awesome supply of Hickory, Oak & Cherry to fuel the Jambo, and Butcher BBQ for supply us with amazing injections and Bird Booster!


Here’s how we did:


We continued our hot streak with Chicken, finishing in 5th place out of 38 teams with a 171.9884. I felt like we had a very good chance of hearing our name called after I took the first bite of chicken right after taking it off the smoker. It had great color, good bite through skin and was very moist. I’ve said it a hundred times and will probably say it a hundred more, if you aren’t using Butcher BBQ Bird Booster products you probably aren’t hearing your name called for chicken as often as you’d like to. 


After Annapolis where our ribs had very little flavor I spent a lot of time reconsidering my rib recipe and had several phone calls with rib master Rod Gray of Pellet Envy. After Rod’s council I revamped my recipe and made some tweeks to my cooking technique and was very pleased with the improvement. I still have some work to do, but in the end these four racks of ribs failed to do what so many racks have done to us in the past – cost us a chance at the Grand Championship. Our ribs had great flavor and did enough to keep us in the fight for Grand. We finished 13th out of 38 teams with a score of 163.9656. 


After a middle of the pack finish in Annapolis I did some tweeking on my Pork recipe and it paid off big time. This was one of the best pork boxes I’ve turned in in quite some time – it was juicy, had great flavor and a killer money muscle. We finished in 3rd place out of 36 teams with a score of 173.1428.


Brisket was a mixed bag for us – it had great, really great, flavor, but it was slightly overcooked which made cutting slices somewhat difficult. If this brisket had come off the smoker 10-15 minutes earlier this could have been a brisket with a chance at a top finish. We ended up in 9th place out of 36 teams with a score of 165.6800. 


Thanks to a very consistent cook with all above average turn-ins we finished 1st out of 39 teams with an overall score of 674.7768 and were named Grand Champions of the 2015 Beltway BBQ Battle, helping us score some good points in the Kansas City Barbeque Society and MABBA Team of the Year races. It was great sharing our first GC of the year with my five week old son Hudson (Hope he doesn’t get to used to GC’s!). Congratulations to Michael Fay and his Aporkalypse Now team on being named Reserve Grand Champions. 

Again, a huge thank you to our sponsors – ICEHOLE Coolers, East Coast Smokin’ Wood, & Butcher BBQ – without your support we couldn’t be doing what we love to do so many weekends each year! Thank you for your support and for making such remarkable products! Be sure to support those who support BBQ by visiting our sponsors websites and ordering from them!

We’ve got a couple weeks off before our next contest. We’ll see you in Buckhannon, WV the weekend of June 19-20 for the Almost Heaven BBQ Bash – winner gets an auto to the Jack!


Pork Barrel BBQ Bacon Jerky Now Available At Stone BBQ Supply

Stone BBQ Supply

We are pleased to announce that all three flavors of our new line of Pork Barrel BBQ Bacon Jerky – Spicy Srirachi, Old Fashioned Maple & Honey Pepper – are available at Stone BBQ Supply! Next time your in Lancaster, PA swing by and say hi and pick up some of our very addicting Bacon Jerky!

Pork Barrel BBQ Bacon Jerky Snack

Stone BBQ Supply – 1920 Lincoln Hwy E, Lancaster, PA 17602



Use Coupon Code – MemorialDay2015 – To Save 20% Off Your Entire Order!!!
Pork Barrel BBQ - 14oz Sauce Collection & Rub with Wood


For most of us, Memorial Day Weekend is the official start of summer and the summer BBQ season! Longer days, warmer nights, family vacations, fireflies, trips to the beach, and baseball can only mean one thing – more BBQ is in your immediate future!
Now is your chance to save big on our national award winning line of BBQ Sauce and Spice Rub! Get stocked up for the summer before you make plans to gather with family and friends to celebrate each other and the bounty of summer in your backyards around grills and smokers over slow smoked ribs, brisket and chicken and ice cold lemonade and beer.
Now is also a great time to try our brand new line of Pork Barrel BBQ Bacon Jerky – trust us, you’re going to want to stock up on this delicious snack that is also great on burgers, salads and inside Bacon Explosions!
Pork Barrel BBQ Bacon Jerky Snack
To help get your summer off to a smokin’ start we are offering 20% OFF your entire order from our Online Store now through Wednesday, May 27. 
To get your 20% off, simply use Coupon Code – MEMORIALDAY2015 – at checkout. 

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.


BBQ Competition – 2015 Naptown barBAYq – Annapolis, MD

The Pork Barrel BBQ Competition BBQ Team kicked off the 2015 competition season in Annapolis, MD this past weekend at the Naptown barBAYq. With 64 teams competing, the Naptown barBAYq competition is one of the largest Kansas City Barbeque Society competitions on the East Coast. Congratulations to Dan Hixon and the 3 Eyz BBQ team on their very decisive Grand Championship (and scoring the first ever 700+ score in he Mid-Atlantic Region) and Chix, Swine & Bovine on their Reserved Grand Championship. As always, it was a very well run contest with great weather – a bit cool and damp at Friday night, but sunny and warm on Saturday! 

Naptwon barBAYq 2015

It was good to shake the winter rust off and get back in he swing of competing – it had been more than six months since we cooked our last competition, The Jack. A big thank you to our sponsors, ICEHOLE Coolers for keeping our meats nice and fresh and our drinks nice and cool, East Coast Smokin’ Woods for providing us with an awesome supply of Hickory, Oak & Cherry to fuel the Jambo, and Butcher BBQ for supply us with amazing injections and Bird Booster!

Naptwon Jambo

Here’s how we did:


We ended the 2014 season on a hot streak with Chicken and were lucky enough to keep it going to start the 2015 season. We finished in 1st place out of 64 teams in Chicken with a 175.440. I  could tell we had a chance at a call when I took my first bit before preparing our box. The chicken had a great color, perfect sweet and heat flavor and a perfect bite through skin. A huge thanks to Butcher’s for the assist with their great  Butcher BBQ Bird Booster products!

2015 Naptown barBAYq Chicken


Ribs continue to be a mystery to us. Our ribs weren’t bad, but I didn’t think they were particularly good either – in all honesty they really lacked any kind of flavor, good or bad. Although I did get one comment card that thanked me for the great ribs and their amazing flavor, not sure who’s ribs that judge had, but it wasn’t anything like the ones I tasted. We ended up in the middle of the pack finishing in 28th out of 64 teams with a 161-6456.



We finished 29th out of 64 teams with a 161.6456 in Pork. I thought we turned in a real flavorful and nice looking pork box, but again we ended up right in the middle of the pack. I’m not sure I’d make any changes as I feel the same pork on a different day could do much better.


Brisket was our most frustrating result. I thought we had a very solid brisket box and felt like it had a really good chance at getting a call. We ended up in 26th place out of 64 teams with a score of 163.9772. We used the same recipe and had a very similar result as we did for the last competition brisket we turned in which finished in 6th place at The Jack. We’ll just try it again at the next contest!


Thanks to a first place and 3 middle of the road results we finished 13th out of 64 teams overall with a score of 662.7084. Not a bad way to start the season considering the field included many of the top teams on the East Coast.

Again, a huge thank you to our sponsors – ICEHOLE Coolers, East Coast Smokin’ Wood, & Butcher BBQ – without your support we couldn’t be doing what we love to do so many weekends each year! Thank you for your support and for making such remarkable products! Be sure to support those who support BBQ by visiting our sponsors websites and ordering from them!

It was great seeing our friends Mike & Chris Peters with the Great American BBQ Tour. Mike, as always, had the crowd mesmerized by BBQ!

Mike Peters - 1

We’ve got some time off between now and our next contest. We’ll see you in Ft. Washington, MD the weekend of May 30-31 for the Beltway BBQ Showdown!