Pork Barrel BBQ is proud to announce it will be participating in DC’ Meat Week 2012! What makes Meat Week 2012 so special for us is that we will be able to celebrate Meat Week for the first time in the confines of our first Pork Barrel BBQ Restaurant in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, VA! A big thanks to Mango Mike’s in Alexandria, VA for allowing us to host Meat Week events in 2010 and 2011 at their restaurant!
Pork Barrel BBQ will host it’s Meat Week 2012 event on January 31 starting at 7pm. We’ll be serving our regular menu as well as a special Pork Barrel BBQ Meat Week Sampler Platter. The Meat Week Sampler Platter includes 1/4 pound of brisket, 1/4 pound of pulled pork, 1/4 chicken, 3 ribs, 1 Texas brisket sausage and your choice of 2 sides for $20.12.
If you haven’t had a chance to make it down to Pork Barrel BBQ this is the perfect chance to visit us for the first time and sample all five of our smoked meat selections. Want to know what folks are saying? Check out reviews and photos by Grilling with Rich and Beltway BBQ – DC’s barbecue experts!
For more information on Meat Week and DC Meat Week specifically we’ve attached the DC Meat Week official Media Alert. Hope to see you on January 31 at Pork Barrel!!
MEDIA ALERT: 3rd Annual DC Meat Week
January 29 – February 5, 2012
WHAT: Barbecue lovers from across the Washington region will gather at eight of the area’s top ‘cue establishments for the third annual DC Meat Week. This week-long celebration of smoky, low-and-slow cooking will highlight four of the newest barbecue restaurants in the area, as well as three long-time favorites and one barbecue-focused food truck.
WHERE: See the schedule below for each night’s host venue
WHEN: Sunday, January 29, through Sunday, February 5, 2012
HOW: Anyone is welcome to participate by simply showing up at the host venue and looking for the Meat Week flags. Participants order and pay for their own food and drinks and then join in the festivities with other Meat Week attendees. Some host venues will be offering Meat Week specials (to be announced).
Additional details, specials and trivia will be posted during the week via Facebook and Twitter (@meatweek, @babeque) and on the Capital Spice blog (www.capitalspiceblog.com).
Sunday, January 29 Urban Bar-B-Que
6:30 PM 2007 Chapman Avenue
Rockville, MD 20852
Monday, January 30 Hill Country Barbecue Market
6:30 PM 410 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
Tuesday, January 31 Pork Barrel BBQ
7 PM 2312 Mount Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301 (Del Ray)
Wednesday, February 1 PORC (Purveyors of Rolling Cuisine)
7 PM 700 V Street, NW – special dinner hosted at Torrie’s @ Wilson’s
Washington, DC 20001
Thursday, February 2 Smoke & Barrel
7 PM 2471 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
Friday, February 3 Memphis Barbeque
7 PM 320 23rd Street South
Arlington, VA 22202 (Crystal City)
Saturday, February 4 Mr. P’s Ribs & Fish
1 PM 514 Rhode Island Avenue, NE – in Rhode Island Ave Center parking lot
Washington, DC 20002
Sunday, February 5 Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling
12 PM 2418 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20017
DC Meat Week 2012 Background Information
Sunday, January 29 – Sunday, February 5
What is Meat Week?
Meat Week (www.meatweekisreal.com) started in 2005 in Tallahassee, Florida. Chris Cantey and Erni Walker organized an eight-night celebration of local barbecue joints. Since then, the concept has spread to American cities from New York to Los Angeles and as far abroad as London and the Hague.
In 2009, Tim Carman wrote about Meat Week in the Washington City Paper’s “Young & Hungry” blog, inviting local barbecue enthusiasts to join him at Urban Bar-B-Q in Rockville for a one-night-only gathering. One year later, in January of 2010, blogger Mike Bober of Capital Spice (www.capitalspiceblog.com) launched the Washington chapter of Meat Week with Carman’s encouragement. Since then, the annual event has grown to include “First Looks” at upcoming restaurants and food trucks and has drawn as many as 100 attendees per night. This year’s DC Meat Week Captain is Jenelle Dennis (www.twitter.com/babeque ), a Kansas City Barbecue Society Certified Barbecue Judge.
The focus of Meat Week is barbecue – meats cooked “low and slow” and bathed in wood smoke throughout the cooking process. Beyond that, we don’t get too specific. DC Meat Week celebrates all regional ‘cue traditions, from dry-rubbed Texas brisket to vinegar-mopped Carolina pulled pork to sweet and spicy sauced ribs from Kansas City and Memphis.
Meat Week is a loosely organized event – most evenings do not require prior sign-up and participants can attend as many or as few as they prefer. Groups and individuals are both welcome, and attendees generally order and pay for their own food individually. In most cases, the restaurants remain open to the public while Meat Weekers gather and enjoy the food and company. Special events are publicized in advance to alert participants to fixed-price offerings or required reservations.
For the first time in 2012, DC Meat Week will expand to eight nights. This reflects the recent profusion of new barbecue restaurants in the area as well as a desire to return to some reliable veteran establishments. The full schedule is included on the previous page.
Who organizes DC Meat Week?
DC Meat Week Captain
DC Meat Week First Mate
DC Meat Week Founder
Where can people find official DC Meat Week information?
The schedule and Captain’s message can be found on the DC Chapter’s Meat Week page: http://www.meatweek.com/chapters/washingtondc
Regular updates and breaking news can be found on Facebook and Twitter:
DC Chapter specific Tweets: http://www.twitter.com/babeque
Nationwide Meat Week Tweets: http://www.twitter.com/meatweek
Review Pork Barrel BBQ Restaurant – we’re collecting them here! We love to read feedback our our Pork Barrel BBQ Restaurant on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Food Blogs – also, please feel free to share your thoughts by emailing us at porkbarrelbbq AT gmail.com. Our BBQ restaurant in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia has only been open a short time, but here are some of the early reviews from folks on social media! Hungry? Download our Pork Barrel BBQ Restaurant Menu
|Kate O’Hare (@KateOH)
12/5/11 10:55 PM
Had an awesome dinner at @porkbarrelbbq … Stuffed with yumm in Alexandria, VA!DIY Del Ray (@DIYDelRay)
12/7/11 3:39 PM
@NicoleAlon go go go, it’s great and pretty kid friendly, and my kids r nuts luv the brisket, baked beans & mac & cheese@porkbarrelbbq
|Justin Herman (@JustinHerman)
12/7/11 1:07 AM
It was awesome: sorry I snatched a booth from the mayor RT @porkbarrelbbq @JustinHerman @dan_munz @yuda @cjoh hope#BBQSummit is going well!
ann m thompson (@AnnMT)
Last weekend, Pork Barrel BBQ’sCompetition BBQ Team headed to Kansas City, Missouri to cook against hundreds of the nations top barbecue pitmasters at the 32nd Annual American Royal Barbecue. Known throughout the world of barbecue as the World Series of Barbecue, the American Royal was first held in 1980 and has grown from humble beginnings into the largest barbecue conteston the planet. There are two contests held during the American Royal. The Invitational, held on Saturday, is an invite only contest made up of teams that have won at least one Grand Championship in the past year. The Open, held on Sunday, is open to anyone wishing to participate and usually attracts upwards of 500 teams.
This marked Pork Barrel BBQ’s second time competing in the American Royal Open and our first time competing in the American Royal Invitational. We earned our invitation to the 32ndannual American Royal Invitational contest by winning the Grand Championship at the 2011 Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle in Washington, DC, the nation’s largest barbecue festival.
In Saturday’s American Royal Invitationalwe were ecstatic to finish 26th out of 142 of the best teams in the world of competition BBQ!
Our finishes in each of the categories were:
In Sunday’s American Royal Open we continued our strong weekend by finishing 40th out of 483 teams! Finishing in the top 10% of such a large and accomplished number of teams was a thrill for us!
Our finishes in each of the categories were:
On top of this, Pork Barrel BBQ got it’s first perfect 180 score in the Dessert category in the American Royal Open Dessert contest thanks to the amazing mixed berry cheesecake cooked by Heath’s parent’s Rex & Barbara!!!
It was a huge thrill for us to cook in our home state of Missouri and in one of the BBQ hot spots of America! Beyond the success we had on the smoker, it was an amazing chance for us to hang out with some of our BBQ heroes, mentors andfriends as well as catch up with friends and family who live it Missouri (Thanks for all your help Joe andBob!!). It is always special when we get to hang out with great pitmasters and friends like Rod Gray of Pellet Envy, Pat Burke of Tower Rock, Mike Mills of 17th Street Bar & Grill, Dave Raymond (AKA Sweet Baby Ray) BBQ Sauce God and founder of Sweet Baby Ray’s, Neil Strawder of Bigmista’s BBQ, Danielle Dimovski of Diva Q, Tuffy Stone of Cool Smoke, Paul Huff of GoneHoggin.com, George Shore of Pitmaker and so many more!!!!
In addition to the main competitions Heath cooked in the Kansas City Barbecue Society’s Grillmaster’s Series against Danielle Dimovski of Diva Q. The battle between the U.S. and Canada was held on the stage of the KCBS Great American BBQ Tour led by Mike and Chris Peters. Last year Pork Barrel came out on top against one of the legends of BBQ, Johnny Trigg. Heath made it back to back wins at the Royal by gaining the stomach’s of the judges in his Steak Battle against Diva Q!
Check out the Kansas City Star’s coverage of the American Royal and Pork Barrel BBQ!
It’s been a long season the BBQ circuit for Pork Barrel BBQ, but it’s not quite over yet. We’ll be loading up our trailer and heading to Lynchburg, Tennessee in a couple weeks to compete in the most prestigious of all the BBQ contests, The Jack Dainel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue!!!
by Art Richey – Pork Barrel BBQ Media & ‘Cue-mmunications Contributor
For a barbecue joint to make it on the ‘Southern BBQ Boysfinal itinerary, it had to survive an intense vetting process: Was it facebook recommended? How many times was it suggested? Who suggested it? Was it generally close to our proposed journey? Could we find college girls within close distance? After weeks of preparation, planning and discussion, we collectively decided that one of the barbecue meccas, Memphis, TN, would be the first city on our tour. Luckily, the ‘Southern BBQ Boys had many family members and friends who called Memphis home so it was easy to 1) analyze (and trust) recommendations from seasoned Memphis locals; 2) have a trusty tour guide of the city; and 3) most importantly, find a free place to sleep.
Now, Memphis offers numerous delicious and worthy restaurants for any barbecue roadtrip or culinary adventure. However, the ‘Southern BBQ Boys’ stay would only last 2 days so we had to choose wisely. One name kept appearing over and over from facebook, friends, and our internet research: The Germantown Commissary. Now, my childhood presented a host of opportunities to sample Memphis’ finest ‘cue but I had never even heard of this joint, let alone experienced one of their pulled pork sandwiches. But after our visit, there is no way I will ever forgot this palace of pork.
After weeks of planning and dreaming about this day, we were finally on the open road….and two hours behind schedule. For those not familiar with this drive, it takes about 4 hours to get from Birmingham to Memphis…not a short trip by any stretch of the means. On top of that, we were antsy to eat, the scenery became boring within minutes of leaving campus and no one had consumed any food since last night’s dinner of Subway sandwiches from the school cafeteria. Needless to say, the four hours seemed like an entirety as Babe moved on down the highway. After hundreds of miles, Will’s blaring Kenny Chesney and Matt’s exhibition of using farmland as nature’s bathroom, we made it to our destination. The Germantown Commissary looks pretty much like you would expect any commissary (an old fashioned variety/grocery store) to look like: old wooden chairs on the front porch, train tracks nearby, and an orchestra of creaks as you open the door. Since we arrived rather late for the lunch crowd, we easily found a large table in the back. After hours of chatter, loud music and the sound of the open road, there was an immediate silence amongst the four of us as we studied the menu: BBQ Nachos, Pulled Pork Plate, Ribs, Beans, Slaw, and Sweet Tea were among the listed options. Our idea of this academic project was finally a reality.
We placed our orders, took notice of the decorum throughout the restaurant and absorbed the sweet smells from the kitchen and pit. Honestly, we really didn’t pay much attention to what we had ordered. I got a pulled pork plate with deviled eggs, slaw and homemade chips. Matt got the ribs. I wasn’t sure what Will or Jeff had ordered. But then, we realized what sin had been committed before our very eyes. JEFF HAD ORDERED A GRILLED CHICKEN SANDWICH. Matt, Will and I looked at him with faces of disbelief and shock. “You ordered a grilled chicken sandwich at our first BARBECUE STOP?” Will muttered. Jeff, a native of Palm Beach, FL, obviously had a lot of learning to do on this study of southern barbecue. Lesson 1: grilled chicken is NEVER barbecue. End of story. Granted, this was an academic class and we had much to learn. But this one hurt really, really bad. We forgave his mistake, gave Jeff his lecture and by that time, our orders arrived.
The pulled pork was perfect: smokey and tender, but just enough that the meat could be appreciated. The sauce was a thick, smokey, brown sugar sweet tomato-based mixture with a smooth yet charming heat that took your palate by surprise. My sides: creamy, cold mayonnaise-based slaw that was an outstanding complement to the heat of the sauce, which was forcing moisture on my forehead. The slaw was top notch but my two other sides were incredible, heavenly and amazing: homemade BBQ chips and deviled eggs. I have no idea how they are made or what they do. But I will say no more. If you are in Memphis and make it to the Commissary, you MUST have these chips and deviled eggs. Period!!!
We finished our meals, sampled each other’s food (except for Jeff’s chicken sandwich), and paid our bill. It was a great meal for our first stop on a life changing journey of food, friendship and memories. We had no idea what we were about to get into or where this academic project would take us. But at that moment, our stomachs were full, sauce was underneath our fingernails, toothpicks were in our mouths and smiles were on our face. Life was good.
ART’S RECOMMENDATION FOR THE GERMANTOWN COMMISSARY: Pulled Pork Sandwich, BBQ chips, deviled eggs, slaw and sweet tea.
Art Richey is a “Southern BBQ Boy who grew up in Northwest Alabama and as kid was able to eat a half slab of ribs before he could talk. In his spare time he is a member of the Pork Barrel BBQ Competition BBQ Team and a Media & ‘Cue-mmunications Contributor to Pork Barrel BBQ.
Oklahoma Joe’s Barbeque – there are endless BBQ accolades that could be showered upon the fine folks at Oklahmoa Joe’s restaurant – some times a photo says all that needs to be said – here’s a shot of the Z-Man Sandwich, Ribs, Pulled Pork, Spicy Slaw, Beans and Fries at Oklahoma Joe’s! They do their BBQ right – and anytime we are in Kansas City, we are sure to stop by and have our fill!
This is the first in a series of blog posts on our adventures at the 2010 Memphis in May World Barbecue Championships. Over the course of 4 days we racked up 4 top 15 finishes (we even managed to place 4th in the World Championship’s beef catagory with our brisket) and several hours of amazing videos from some of the most interesting and influential folks in BBQ. We thought we’d kick off our series with a bang – our first entry into our 2010 Memphis in May scrapbook is an interview with TLC BBQ Pitmaster and down right nice guy Tuffy Stone of Cool Smoke and Q Barbeque fame.
Over the course of the past year we’ve had the chance to get to know some of the great legends of BBQ, including guys like Pat Burke and Mike Mills – the founders of the Legends of BBQ Club. Tuffy, a friend and fellow Virginian, is a guy who has made a name for himself and risen to “Legend” status in short order. Tuffy is pitmaster of the Cool Smoke competition BBQ team and owner of Q Barbeque (two locations in Midlothian, VA and Hampton, VA). If the name Tuffy Stone is ringing a bell in your head but you just can’t quite place where you’ve heard it before it is probably because you saw him on TLC’s hit show BBQ Pitmasters.
For a guy with celebrity status and the ability to make anything placed on a smoker taste like a five star meal you might think he’d be working in the distance and shadows of his Jambo Pit built by legendary smoker builder and artisan Jamie Geer (Tuffy’s pit looks more like a cherry red Corvette than a smoker – it performs more like one too!), but he isn’t. Tuffy is as approachable as they come and loves to talk BBQ with fellow competitors, customers and fans.
The best part of the Competition BBQ circuit isn’t the great barbecue found around every corner, it is the chance to meet and become friends with some of the best folk around – like Tuffy. BBQ teams from around the country compete in contests sanctioned by a number of barbecue societies including KCBS, MIM, and MBN. These teams use everything from Weber Grills to Jambo Pits to homemade smokers to compete for prizes and tropies in catagories like chicken, beef brisket, pork shoulder, pork ribs, and whole hog. If you love to grill find a contest near your home and sign up – you’ll have a blast and meet some great folks!
Now sit back and enjoy our interview with BBQ Pitmaster Tuffy Stone of Cool Smoke.
Here Part II on our series of the most important BBQ tools:
Rib Rack – We love to cook ribs – they are easy to cook, and with a little bit of Pork Barrel BBQ’s All American Spice Rub – they are guaranteed to be a big success at the party. A major part of grilling or cooking is space management. We’ve talked about a lot of important tools on this blog – if you bbq a lot, epecially bbq ribs on your bbq smoker or grill – a rib rack is a key tool of the trade. Read more.
Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker – 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! Read more. And even more here.
Ah, pulled pork – how I do love thee pulled pork? Let me count the delicious ways. We have a lot of folks ask us via email, twitter, or at food shows how to smoke pulled pork. We almost always make the following pulled pork BBQ recipe – its simple, and turns out perfect BBQ’d pulled pork every time! We are big Kansas City BBQ fans, but this pulled pork recipe should make folks from all BBQ regions happy!
We researched the origins of pulled pork – some folks say pulled pork originates from Mexico – known as Carnitas. Of course, don’t even get Americans started in which region pulled pork was created – Memphis pulled pork, Alabama pulled pork, Kansas City pulled pork – it quickly sounds like a scene from Forrest Gump. Whatever the origins of pulled pork – we love it and here is our recipe:
Easy Smoked Pork Shoulder / Pulled Pork Recipe
1 – 7 pound pork shoulder (also known as Boston Butt – bone in or boneless work great)
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4-6 tablespoons Pork Barrel BBQ’s All American Spice Rub
6 cans of beer
1 aluminum drip pan
5 chunks of hickory wood
3 chunks of oak wood
1 Bag of Lump Hardwood Charcoal
Get your smoker’s temperature up to 225-250 degrees. When lighting your charcoal, be sure to only use hardwood lump charcoal and always start with a charcoal chimney starter. If you are using a BBQ grill, you can still smoke! Just place the charcoal in a pile on one side of the grill, and place the meat on the other side.
There are several keys to making great pulled pork. While the smoker gets to temperature rub 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the first side of your pork shoulder and then rub 2-3 tablespoons of Pork Barrel BBQ’s All American Spice Rub into the meat. Repeat on opposite side. Allow meat to rest with rub on it for at least 30 minutes (this can be done ahead of time and placed in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours). Be patient – amazing pulled pork is only a day away!
Place your drip pan into the smoker directly under where the pork shoulder will be sitting and pour the beer into it. If using a grill, simply put your beer into a disposable aluminum pan and place under your pork shoulder. Since we are both from Missouri, we like grilling with (and drink!) Bud Light (but we sometimes use PBR)! We like to have Bud Light around when we actually eat our Pulled Pork – Pulled Pork and Bud Light – a great combo.
Place the wood chunks onto the hot coals in your smoker and then place the grill grate in the smoker. Place your meat directly above the drip pan and close your smoker. If cooking in a smoker, I place the wood into the coals, but if I’m cooking on a BBQ grill, I soak the wood for 30 minutes to allow it to have a longer smoke (you can’t go wrong either way!). Making sure your pulled pork has great smoke is a key to great taste – whether your pulled pork is just for cooking in your backyard, or are entering the pulled pork in competition.
Make sure the temperature remains in the 225-250 degree range throughout the smoking process. Every couple of hours make sure you have enough fuel on your fire to maintain the desired BBQ smoker temperature. A pork shoulder should remain in the smoker for 11-13 hours – and will yield amazing pulled pork. Here’s what it looks like when you put it on the grill: