Pork Barrel BBQ Blog


Pork Barrel BBQ in Cowboys & Indians Magazine

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We are very excited to announce that there is a great article on Pork Barrel BBQ sauces in the April 2014 issue of Cowboys & Indians Magazine.

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Cowboys & Indians had this to say, “We suggest the original rub and barbecue sauce for starters, but don’t overlook Pork Barrel’s equally delicious variations, either. Try the sweet sauce with chicken, the mustard on pretzels, and use the vinegar blend for a classic South Carolina pulled pork sandwich.”

To read the blog post click here


Book Review: Grill To Perfection by Andy Husbands and Chris Hart

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As daffodils and tulips begin to push their way through the frigid top soil, bookstores across America prepare for the coming warmth of spring and summer with welcoming displays of the seasons new crop of BBQ and grilling cookbooks. Sifting through the countless new titles can be an intimidating task, especially when your looking to take home a gem within the mounds of new titles. In each of the past two springs barbecue fans have been greeted at bookstores with two such gems from World Champion Pitmasters Andy Husbands and Chris Hart. In 2012 they released Wicked Good Barbecue, which in my opinion, is the class of all low and slow/competition quality Cue’ tutorials to come out in years and in 2013 their follow up effort, Wicked Good Burgers, gave burger fans a reason to expect more than just a patty and slice of cheese between a generic hamburger bun. I’m pleased to report that just as welcome of a sight as the season changing from winter to spring is the sight of Husbands and Hart’s latest effort, Grill To Perfection: Two Champion Pit Masters Share Recipes and Techniques for Unforgettable Backyard Grilling, available April 1st!

Before we dig too deep within their new book, I think it is important to know a little bit about the authors whose years of experience and creative minds give us more than 80 fantastic new recipes in Grill to Perfection.

Andy Husbands biggest claim to fame in the culinary world is being a member of the elite group of chefs who have been nominated for a James Beard award – Husbands is a James Beard “Best-Chef” semi-finalist. He is the chef and owner of Tremont 647, in Boston, where he has been satisfying diners for more than a decade with his American cuisine. Husbands appeared as a contestant n the sixth season Hell’s Kitchen with Gordon Ramsey on Fox and is a member of the award winning iQUE competition BBQ team. 

Chris Hart sealed his spot in the ranks of barbecue royalty in 2009 when his iQUE competition BBQ team left Lynchburg, TN as world champions and winners of the Jack Daniels Invitational World Championships. For more than a decade Hart and the iQUE team has been dominating competition barbecue in the Northeast with a breathtaking 35 Kansas City Barbecue Society Grand Championships. In 2011, Hart competed on the Food Network’s barbecue competition themed show, Best in Smoke.

Now that we’ve introduced the authors lets dig into the pages of Grill to Perfection.

The nine pages that make up the  Introduction are perhaps the most important pages in the book, highlighting everything from types of grills to building a fire to cleaning your grill. A basic understanding of these pages will make executing the recipes that are broken down into chapters which highlight five backyard grilling techniques – Hot Direct Grilling, Medium Direct Grilling, Low Direct Grilling, Hybrid Two-Zone Grilling and Low & Slow Two-Zone Grilling – that much easier. Don’t forget to check out their list of tools they always have on hand when grilling (pg. 10).

All great cookbooks are built on a foundation of exceptional recipes and Husbands and Hart don’t disappointing in Grill to Perfection. In Grill to Perfection you will find recipes that run the gambit from backyard classics like Charcoal-Grilled Ribs (pg. 145) to inspired out of the box recipes like Elvis’s Grilled Banana Split (pg. 138). The diversity of the recipes in Grill to Perfection are sure to help take this summer’s backyard barbecue’s to the next level. Among the can’t miss recipes are the Honey-Grilled Hot Pepper Jelly (pg. 68), the Backyard Clambake on Your Grill (pg. 102), the Grilled Striper Fillet with Summer Corn Succotash (pg. 116), and the Pumpkin Bread in a can with Chocolate Sea Salt Butter (pg. 173). In my opinion, it is very difficult for a cookbook to become great without recipes being accompanied by outstanding photos and Ken Goodman once again captures the essence of many of the recipes with his mouth watering photography.  

One of the most inspired and unique recipes in Grill to Perfection is the recipe for Thai-Flavored Pork Belly Skewers (pg. 99), an appetizer that is sure to make the guests at your next barbecue leave asking when you’ll be inviting them back. Click here to find the recipe in the Pork Barrel BBQ Online Recipe Book


No matter if you are a seasoned veteran of the backyard grill or a rookie who just got their first grill and are ready to start your barbecue journey this summer, you will find Grill to Perfection both educational and inspirational. When you find yourself perusing that display of this years barbecue and grilling books do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Grill to Perfection, it is certainly a gem!



Thai-Flavored Pork Belly Skewers
Serves 4
This isn't your average pork belly dish. Infused with classic Thai flavor this pork belly appetizer is sure to be the hit at your next barbecue!
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  1. 1 cup/240 mL water
  2. 1/2 cup/90 g brown sugar
  3. 1 stalk lemongrass, thinly sliced
  4. 2 pieces star anise
  5. 1 two-inch/5 cm cinnamon stick
  6. 2 teaspoons/10 mL coriander seeds, toasted and ground
  7. 2 teaspoons/10mL red pepper flakes
  8. 1/4 cup/60mL soy sauce
  9. 2 tablespoons/30 mL fish sauce
  10. 2 tablespoons/30 mL white vinegar
  11. 1 pound/450g pork belly, skin removed, cut into 1"/2.5 cm-square slices, each 1/4"/6 mm thick
  12. 10 scallions, thick white part cut into 1"/2.5cm-pieces
  1. n a small saucepan over high heat, bring to boil the water, brown sugar, lemongrass, star anise, cinnamon stick, coriander and red pepper flakes. Boil for 30 seconds, then remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until completely cool, about 2 hours. Add the soy and fish sauces and vinegar.
  2. Place the pork belly chunks in the marinade for at least 4 and up to 24 hours.
  3. Thread the pork belly and scallion alternately, starting with pork belly (scallion should be perpendicular to the skewers). Each skewer should have 3 pieces of pork and 2 scallions.
  4. Build a low direct fire. Spread an even layer of unlit charcoal in the bottom of the grill. Fill a chimney one-third full with charcoal. Stuff two sheets of newspaper in the bottom of the chimney and light it. When the coals are fully engaged – you should see flames peeking over the top – pour them over the unlit charcoal. If using a gas grill, light the gas and adjust the temperature on both sides to low.
  5. When you can hold your hands over the fire for no more than 8-10 seconds, clean the grill grate. Place the skewers directly over the fire, with the exposed wooden ends pointing the edge of the grill, and grill for 30-45 seconds, until the meat starts to brown. Flip skewers over and repeat. Continue this process for about 4 minutes, until the meat is dark brown, almost black in some areas.
  6. Serve hot, and make sure you get one for yourself. These will not last long.
  1. Equipment: Ten 8"/20 cm wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least 4 hours
  2. We found that grilling these over a low grill helps build a wonderful sticky-crunchy texture. Make sure to flip the skewers over every 30-45 seconds. Soaking the skewers in water helps keep them from burning.
Adapted from Grill To Perfection: Two Champion Pit Masters Share Recipes And Techniques For Unforgettable Backyard Grilling
Pork Barrel BBQ Sauce | Barbeque Sauce and Dry Rubs


Smoked Tomato Soup
Serves 6
Nothing says comfort food like a warm bowl of tomato soup on a cold winter night. Try our Smoked Tomato Soup to take the standard to the next level. Great served with a Smoked Gouda & Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
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Total Time
40 min
Total Time
40 min
  1. 15 ripe Plum Tomatoes, halved
  2. 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  3. 2 Tablespoons Pork Barrel BBQ All-American Spice Rub
  4. 2 Tablespoons Butter
  5. 2 cups Red Onion, chopped
  6. 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  7. 2 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme, chopped
  8. 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  9. 4 cups Chicken Stock
  10. ¼ cup Heavy Cream
  11. ¼ cup Basil, finely chopped
  12. Salt & Pepper
  1. Slice tomatoes in half and brush with half the olive oil and season with half of the Pork Barrel BBQ All-American Spice Rub. Grill tomatoes over a charcoal fire with hickory chips for 7 minutes.
  2. In a medium Dutch oven, heat the remaining olive oil and butter over a medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, thyme and season with the remaining Pork Barrel BBQ All-American Spice Rub. Sauté until the onions and garlic are softened and becoming translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and stir for 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with 2 cups of chicken stock and stir for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour the onion and garlic mixture into a food processor and add the smoked tomatoes and process until smooth. Pour the mixture back into the Dutch oven and add the remaining 2 cups of chicken stock and bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir the cream into the soup and add salt and pepper to taste. Divide the soup into bowls and sprinkle with basil.
Pork Barrel BBQ Sauce | Barbeque Sauce and Dry Rubs

Watch Pork Barrel BBQ on CNBC’s Power Lunch & Save 20% on Orders From The Pork Barrel BBQ Online Store

Power Lunch

Tune in to CNBC’s Power Lunch tomorrow (February 4) between 1:00pm & 2:00pm EST to see our live interview on how the Shark Tank effect impacted us. Come back to CNBC tomorrow night to watch Shark Tank Tuesday’s and see one of our Shark Tank episodes at 9:00pm EST.

Head on over to the Pork Barrel BBQ Online Store and save 20% on all orders placed through Sunday, February 9 when you use coupon code “CNBC“!


Guest Post by Samuel Ott – BBQ Migration: Where Will BBQ Go Next?

Barbecue has been a popular genre of food for many years and generations, but the trends are always on the move. Culinary artists are constantly trying to come up with new barbecued concoctions to please the taste buds of their customers. The year of 2014 will be no different. Whether you are breaking out the grill or heading down to a restaurant, here is a glimpse into where barbecue is going next.

Different Proteins

With the higher beef prices and the threat of pork prices to rise, chefs are looking for meat alternatives to curb costs while still satisfying their guests.  Lamb and game meats are rising in popularity. Another option climbing in popularity is the meat alternatives, appealing to the growing number of vegetarians and vegans. These can encompass anything from mushroom burgers, to patties that are soy-based.

Wider Availability

In the last few years, BBQ has been increasing in popularity, stemming out from the areas that were already experts and reaching everything from small towns to big cities. Everyone expects great barbecue from states like Texas and Missouri, but New York? A growing number of towns from coast to coast with no historical ties to BBQ are embracing the food and it’s turning out quite well. This expansion will only continue to grow as more and more people are introduced into the world that is barbecue.

In addition to the growing popularity in the restaurant business, the delicious entrée is also starting to debut in grocery stores around the country. Many stores have off-brand slabs of meat, but more and more popular BBQ restaurants and brands are offering their delicious cuisine in the frozen section of the market. If customers want to stay in the comfort of their home for dinner this weekend, they now have the option of picking up some of their favorite Jack Daniel’s ribs while getting their weekly bread and milk.

Wood Burning

Over the last year, wood burning grills have become a must have for the BBQ industry. High-end restaurants have been desperate for these new grills, determined to master the newest craze for barbecue. This migration to wood burning grills will continue to take over as the year progresses. In the near future, wood-burning grilling will begin to arrive in people’s own backyards as well.


There have always been a variety of sauces in the United States, but with the growing globalization of the world, sauces have begun to take on a new spin. The trend in barbecue sauces is moving more in the international direction. Some people and restaurants are completely tossing out their old sauces for popular brands overseas, such as the Korean take on barbecue sauce. Others are sticking to their American based sauce, but adding in foreign flavors that normally wouldn’t be found in United States barbeque. The Internet and e-commerce are fueling this change, giving customers easy access to unique and/or international sauces from the comfort of their own home. In the coming years, barbecue will likely continue to trend towards a larger variety of styles and flavors.

Whether you are a master chef or a just love to go out and try new things, the migration of barbecue is sure to be something you will love. The trends of this food are ever changing, so just sit back and enjoy both the new and traditional takes on this age-old category of cuisine.


Samuel Ott is a writer for Lutz’s BBQ, a local favorite BBQ joint in Jefferson City and Columbia, MO



South Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce
This sweet and tangy take on the traditional South Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce has a slight kick with the addition of Chipotle Hot Sauce. Great on a pulled pork sandwich or salmon filet.
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  1. 1 ½ cups Prepared Yellow Mustard
  2. ½ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. ½ cup Honey
  4. 1 tablespoon Ketchup
  5. 1 tablespoon Dark Brown Sugar
  6. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  7. 1 teaspoon Chipotle Hot Sauce
  1. Place a medium sized pot on the stove over medium heat and add the mustard, apple cider vinegar, honey and ketchup. Mix well with a whisk and allow to cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the brown sugar, worcestershire sauce and chipotle hot sauce and mix well. Bring sauce to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Pour cooked sauce into a mason jar and refrigerate.
  1. Makes slightly less than 3 cups.
Pork Barrel BBQ Sauce | Barbeque Sauce and Dry Rubs

Pork Barrel BBQ on CNBC Power Lunch (Tuesday, February 4)

Power Lunch

Tune in to CNBC’s Power Lunch on Tuesday, February 4 between 1:00pm and 2:00pm Eastern for a live interview with Pork Barrel BBQ on the Shark Tank effect in promotion of CNBC’s Shark Tank Tuesdays!



Kansas City BBQ Sauce
A simple version of a classic Kansas City style BBQ Sauce that packs a little sweet and a little heat. Great on ribs, chicken and brisket!
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Total Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
  1. 2 cups Ketchup
  2. 1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  4. 1 teaspoon Hickory flavored Liquid Smoke
  5. 1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar
  6. 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
  7. 2 teaspoons Celery Seed
  8. 2 teaspoons Cumin
  9. 2 teaspoons Granulated Garlic
  10. 2 teaspoons Black Pepper
  11. 1 teaspoon Ground Red Pepper
  12. 1/2 teaspoon Chipotle Chile Powder
  1. Place a medium sized pot on the stove over medium heat and add the ketchup, apple cider vinegar, worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke and brown sugar. Mix well with a whisk and allow to cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the salt, celery seed, cumin, garlic, black pepper, red pepper and chipotle chile and mix well. Bring sauce to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Pour cooked sauce into a mason jar and refrigerate..
  1. Makes approximately 3 cups.
Pork Barrel BBQ Sauce | Barbeque Sauce and Dry Rubs


DC Meat Week logo with Trademark

Pork Barrel BBQ is excited to be celebrating five years of Eat.Meat.Repeat. with the fine folks at DC Meat Week. This year we’re participating in two Meat Week events.

On Wednesday, January 29, 2014 starting at 7:00pm we’ll be hosting DC Meat Week at Pork Barrel BBQ Restaurant at 2312 Mount Vernon Ave. in Alexandria, VA. We’ll be offering a Meat Week BBQ Sampler Platter that includes 1/4 lb of Pulled Pork, 1/4 lb of Brisket, Burnt Ends, 1 Texas Beef Sausage Link, 2 Spare Ribs, Cornbread and the choice of 2 Sides for $23.95 (with a portion of the sales going to Operation BBQ Relief).

In addition to our Meat Week Sampler Platter we’ll be hosting the High on the Hog Eating Challenge. Do you think you have what it takes to eat a Smakin Daddy Oversized Sandwich, 6 Spare Ribs, 2 Texas Beef Sausage Links, a side of Mac & Cheese, a side of Potato Salad, a side of BBQ Beans and Cornbread in 45 minutes? We are looking for 7 contestants that think they can conquer the High on the Hog Eating Challenge. The cost to participate is $25.00 (which will be donated to Operation BBQ Relief). The first person to finish wins a $50.00 Pork Barrel BBQ Gift Card and anyone who can finish in under 45 minutes wins a T-Shirt. The contest starts at 8:00pm on January 29, 2014. If you are interested in participating please email us at

On Friday, January 31, 2014 we’ll be serving as a judge at the 2nd Annual DC Meat Week’s Food Truck Face-Off as well as doing demonstrations on how to make your own home batches of BBQ Sauce. This event is taking place at the Living Social Headquarters at 918 F Street in Washington, DC and starts at 6:00pm. 

So what exactly is Meat Week? Here’s the answer straight from the Meat Week website:

“Meat Week starts the last Sunday in January. For 8 nights straight, we go to a different BBQ restaurant and feast. In every participating city, there is a devoted Captain who creates the schedule of restaurants to be visited throughout the week. Each city develops their own traditions, but Meat Week typically focuses on good ol’ American BBQ: Pork, ribs, brisket, barbecued chicken, and anything else you can smoke and smother in sauce. It was started in 2005 in Tallahassee, Florida by Chris Cantey and Erni Walker.”

We hope to see you on January 29 and 31! Here’s to a great Meat Week in 2014!!