Posts Tagged ‘Recipe’

Book Review: Gastro Grilling by Ted Reader

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Gastro Grilling Cover

Over the coarse of the year we get a lot of requests to do cookbook reviews and it is always exciting to see what kind of innovative work chefs and pitmasters around the world are doing. We were particularly excited to receive a review copy of Ted Reader’s latest cookbook, Gastro Grilling: Fired-Up Recipes To Grill Great Everyday Meals, because he is one of the more innovative and griller friendly barbecue cookbook authors around.

After several weeks of reviewing Gastro Grilling we weren’t disappointed. In fact we’re even more excited about Gastro Grilling than when we received it. Gastro Grilling is an outstanding cookbook that should be in the arsenal of grillers across the spectrum from beginner to seasoned veteran. 

If you’re grill addicted and not familiar with Ted Reader you need to be. Reader is one of Canada’s most well known chefs and food entertainers and have a serious addiction to barbecue – he owns more than 100 grills and holds the world record for the largest hamburger ever grilled, weighing in at 590 pounds (How the heck did he flip that burger?)! Reader’s focus is on helping novice grillers become masters with recipes anyone can follow and with more than 20 cookbooks to his name he is doing it with innovative and delicious recipes that are sure to excite everyone’s taste buds! Where he isn’t writing cookbooks you’ll find Reader cooking barbecue at events around the world or acting as a spokesperson or culinary consultant for companies like Safeway, Costco, and TGI Friday’s. Reader certainly has an impressive resume and has established himself as a barbecue and grilling authority. 

Now let’s dig into the pages of Gastro Grilling!

Gastro Grilling has more than 135 recipes that provide simple step-by-step instructions and are accompanied by an exceptional array of photos (and you know our feeling on how important great photos are to achieving a great cookbook). According to Reader, “The word ‘gastro’ comes from ‘gastronomy,’ and most people seem to think that means pretentious. Gastro does not imply pretentious when I’m involved,” says Reader. “Gastronomy means ‘the art and science of good eating.’ There are other definitons in play, but I like this one. It’s simple and the truth and unpretentious; like me and my food.”

Reader breaks the book up into the following chapters: 1) Introduction, 2) Party Starters, 3) Side Kicks, 4) Sandwiches, 5) Meat, 6) Poultry, 7) Fish & Shellfish, 8) Drinks and 9) Desserts. The extensive introduction gives an in depth explanation of what Gastro Grilling is while providing, among other things, excellent information on fuel types (including wood, charcoal and gas), understanding your charcoal fire, necessary grill gadgets and tools, and planking. The exceptional recipes start from the first recipe in the book on page 32 – Reader’s recipe for Cheesy Goodness! is not only innovative (you cook it on a soapstone block), but looks delicious and is sure to get any party started off right! Among the other recipes that immediately peaked my interest are the Smoked Risotto with Fire-Roasted Squash (pg. 108), Grilled Bacon Banh Mi (pg. 122), Grilled Tuna Muffuletta (pg. 137), Smoked Lamb Ribs with Spicy Peanut Sauce (pg. 245), Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Sardines (pg. 300) and Weiss Bier Cocktail with Charred Orange & Bourbon (pg. 345).

One of the more interesting recipes in the book is Dad’s Grilled Steak (pg. 174) where Reader explains how this recipe is where his love of grilling began. For the recipe read the attached recipe card.


We are very happy to give Gastro Grilling our full endorsement and encourage anyone who loves grilling and barbecue to get a copy today!

In addition to the extensive list of cookbooks Reader has authored he is the creator of a line of sauces and seasonings called Ted’s World Famous BBQ and has a line of Ted Reader Signature Series Grills made by Napoleon Grills. Be sure to check out Reader’s full line of products and cookbooks on his website.

Do you want to win a copy of Gastro Grilling, a set of Reader’s signature sauces and rubs and a Pork Barrel BBQ Picnic Pack (1 bottle of each of our sauces (Original, Sweet, Mustard and Carolina Vinegar) and 1 jar of our All-American Spice Rub)? It’s simple to register, all you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post and let us know why you are looking forward to the 2014 BBQ Season and why you need a copy of Gastro Grilling and pantry full of sauces and rubs from Ted’s World Famous BBQ and Pork Barrel BBQ. You have until May 7th to leave a comment. We’ll pick our favorite comment and announce a winner on May 8th.


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Smoked Chicken Minestrone
Yields 6
There isn't anything more versatile than left over chicken. Try this hearty soup next time you have some leftover chicken from the smoker, it’s healthy and sure to be a family favorite.
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Total Time
40 min
Total Time
40 min
  1. 1 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  2. 1 cup Red Onion, diced
  3. 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  4. 1 can (15oz) Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
  5. 8 cups Chicken Broth
  6. 2 cups Water
  7. 1 cup Orecchiette Pasta Shells
  8. 4 Carrots, cut into ¼-inch rounds
  9. 1 Parmesan Cheese Rind
  10. 4 cups Tuscan Kale, cut into 1-inch pieces
  11. 1 Zucchini, diced
  12. 1 can (15.5oz) Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained
  13. 6 cups Smoked Chicken, shredded
  14. 1 Tablespoon Pork Barrel BBQ All-American Spice Rub
  15. Parmesan Cheese, grated
  1. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the red onion and cook for 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until the liquid has reduced by half, approximately 5 minutes.
  2. Add chicken broth and water and bring to a boil.
  3. Add pasta, carrots and Parmesan Rind and cook for 6 minutes.
  4. Add Kale, zucchini and Cannellini beans and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the smoked chicken and cook for 5 minutes and season with Pork Barrel BBQ All-American Spice Rub.
  6. Remove the Parmesan rinds before serving. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
Pork Barrel BBQ Sauce | Barbeque Sauce and Dry Rubs


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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


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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


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Cucumber Salad
Yields 12
If you’re looking for a crisp and refreshing salad for your next picnic give our Cucumber Salad a try. It’s simple, tasty and healthy!
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Total Time
12 hr
Total Time
12 hr
  1. 6 large Cucumbers, seeded and thinly sliced into half rounds
  2. 2 Red Onions, thinly sliced into half rounds
  3. ¼ cup White Sugar
  4. 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  5. 2 teaspoons Dry Mustard
  6. 2 teaspoons Celery Seeds
  7. ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
  8. ½ cup White Vinegar
  9. ½ cup Canola Oil
  1. Slice cucumbers in half, remove seeds, and thinly slice into thin half rounds. Cut red onions in half, peel and thinly slice into thin half rounds. Toss cucumbers and red onions well in a non-reactive container with a tight lid.
  2. In a bowl, pour sugar, salt, mustard, celery seeds, black pepper and vinegar. Whisk in canola oil until emulsified. Pour the vinaigrette over cucumbers and onions and toss to coat.
  3. Cover cucumber salad and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to bleed into the cucumbers and red onions.
Pork Barrel BBQ Sauce | Barbeque Sauce and Dry Rubs


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Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes
Serves 6
These Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes make an excellent side for your Thanksgiving or Christmas meal and pair perfectly with a grilled steak. Don’t like Gouda? Try it with smoked cheddar cheese.
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 3 pounds Idaho Russet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
  2. 6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  3. ¾ cup Heavy Cream, plus more if needed
  4. ¾ pound Smoked Gouda Cheese, shredded
  5. 1 teaspoon Pork Barrel BBQ All-American Spice Rub
  6. Salt
  1. Place the potatoes and 1 teaspoon of salt in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and cook over medium heat until the potatoes are fork tender; 15-20 minutes. Drain the cooked potatoes.
  2. Return the potatoes to the saucepan and add the butter, heavy cream, smoked Gouda cheese and Pork Barrel BBQ All-American Spice Rub. Mash the potatoes, stirring to incorporate the ingredients together.
Pork Barrel BBQ Sauce | Barbeque Sauce and Dry Rubs


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Green Chili Frito Pie
Serves 6
One of our favorite comfort foods is chili and serving it over Fritos just makes it that much better. Try this Green Chili Frito Pie on game day or for a quick and hearty weeknight meal.
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Total Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
  1. 6 ears Corn, grilled and kernels removed
  2. 1 pound Chorizo Sausage links
  3. 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  4. 1 medium Red Onion, diced
  5. 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  6. 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  7. 1 Tablespoon Pork Barrel BBQ All-American Spice Rub
  8. 2 teaspoons Cumin
  9. 1 16oz. jar Salsa Verde
  10. 1 4.5oz. can Green Chilies
  11. 1 16oz. can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
  12. 1 Lime, zest and juice
  13. 1 large bag Fritos Corn Chips
  14. 1 ½ cups Mexican Cheese Blend, shredded
  15. ½ cup Cilantro, chopped
  16. 1 cup Avocado, diced
  17. 1 cup Tomato Salsas
  1. Grill corn over a charcoal fire for 7 minutes charring kernels. Remove corn and let cool. Once the corn is cool cut the kernels from the ears of corn.
  2. Grill chorizo sausage links over a charcoal fire for 7-10 minutes, until cooked. Remove the chorizo from the grill and rough chop it into bite size pieces.
  3. In a skillet saute heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté onions and garlic over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Stir in chili powder, Pork Barrel BBQ All-American Spice Rub and cumin and cook for 4 minutes. Stir in salsa verde, green chilies, and beans and cook for 7 minutes. Stir in corn and chorizo sausage and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in lime zest and juice and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Place 2 cups of Fritos in each bowl and pour chili over them. Top chili with cheese, cilantro, avocado and tomato salsa and serve.
Pork Barrel BBQ Sauce | Barbeque Sauce and Dry Rubs

Twinkie Turkey Stuffing? NO – a Twinkie Turkey!

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Twinkie Turkey?  Yes – we created the world’s first – and last – Twinkie Turkey.  Check out the Twinkie Turkey video recipe below:

Brine Turkey – How to Brine a Turkey

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Brine Turkey – How to Brine a Turkey from the guys at Pork Barrel BBQ! Learn more at Each Thanksgiving, we smoke at least one turkey.  If you haven’t tried it, you are missing out!  They have an amazing flavor and are a great alternative to the traditional dry fare.  One key to a great turkey, is a good brine.  A typical brining solution is salt, sugar and seasonings.  In this video, we talk you through how to the steps and give you our secret recipe!

All American Spice Rub Grilled Vegetable Ratatouille Recipe

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All American Spice Rub Grilled Vegetable Ratatouille Recipe

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 for this vegetable ratatouille recipe.

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) for this vegetable ratatouille recipe.

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.

Pork Barrel BBQ