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Who taught you the most about BBQ?

Most of the questions our editors get are from readers who want to know, Who is your greatest bbq grilling influencer ? The reasons f...

Monday, February 13, 2017

Kevin's Top Five BBQ Joints in the Valley

I think it is pretty obvious at this point that I am a huge Barbeque fan.  I have eaten at almost every barbecue restaurant within 50 miles of my house. Being a native of Kansas City people often think I prefer the Kansas City style of barbeque with its thick sauce, sweet as candy and a smoky after effect. What most people don't know is that I lived in Kansas City as a little boy. I did not know what barbecue was then. When I lived in Kansas City the only thing I knew about food was that I liked Cheerios. 

I am a little older now and in the passing years I have refinded my taste in barbecue. I like a little of everything. I find that most every region gives me something to look forward to. 

Here is a list of my 5 favorite bbq restuatarnts in the Phoenix area. 

  1. Little Miss BBQ - Phoenix

Scott and his team are unabashly fans of the Austin, Texas BBQ Scene. They did not copy the recieps of the Famous Franklin BBQ in Austin. But a heavy homage to the place would be a better moniker. Everything about Little Miss screams Texas BBQ. The fatty brisket is as close to Frankllins that you can get and not be in the 78702 zip code. It is no wonder that people stand in line for hours just to get some of Scott's brisket. Most days the people in the back of the line are disappointed when they are sold out by 11a. Little Miss is not to be "missed". The best time to go may be in the summer when it is at least possible to get some food without an hour long wait. 

2. Honey Bears - Phoenix
Honey Bears is one of the older BBQ joints in the Valley.  Honey Bears opened in 1980 and at the time was one of the only bbq restarants around at the time. Gary and Mark, origannly Iowa natives have adoted the Tennessee style of grilling meats.  Pulled Pork is the name of the game at Honey Bears.  Sandwiches are the best selling items at HB's.  Pulled pork sandwiches served on a soft and aduwuatly large sandwich bun. People have been coming to Honey Bears for a long time and from a long way to experience the pulled pork.  While the pulled pork is the meat they are primarly known for it is acutally one of their desert offerings that sets them apart.  I dare any visitors to find a better peach cobbler than you can find at Honey Bears. 

3. Dillions - Phoenix 
So Little Miss has the Austin style of bbq covered in the valley. Honey Bears will introduce diners to the BBQ scene in Tennessee. So Dillions steps in and covers the Kansas City style. Kansas City style means pork ribs. Ribs can either be dry or wet depending on what kind of rub or sauce is on the meat. Since everyone no matter how novice has at least heard of KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce. Well the reason ribs in the Kansas City style are wet is because of the famous BBQ Sauce. 

4. Rudy's - Phoenix
Rudy's brings us back to the Texas Style and once again brisket is what the pitmasters at Rudy's are cooking. The store features a one of the largest smokers in the state. The capacity of the smoker located in the back of the restuarnt is large enough to keep 3 restaurants supplied in brisket for a week.  Served with a few slices of pickels to get the pallett just right Rudy's knows how to make the expeince of eating brisket one that is truley memorable. 
They also make a mean cornbread for those who need some extra carbs. 

5. Bryan's Blackmountain Barbeque - Cave Creek

Half entertainment venue and half restuarant Bryan's is equally known for their folksey guitater player as much as they are known for their grilled meats.  Bryans always has an excellent rotation of acustic musicans seated to sernande his patrons.  The great sounds almost take you away from the great ribs and coleslaw that is being served at Blackmountain.  The views of the Cave Creek area are not half bad either. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Who taught you the most about BBQ?

Most of the questions our editors get are from readers who want to know, Who is your greatest bbq grilling influencer?
The reasons for the questions can be varied. Sometimes the users are looking for a mentor or a teacher they can reach out to ask some questions. Other times the question may be intended to see if they may have someone in their life which is equally willing to give of their time to share the secrets of the grill.

Most of our editorial staff have some degree of formal cooking education. Some attended culinary school for some period of time. However backyard grilling is not oftern taught at formal cooking schools. What you will find is that many times students who grew up with a lot of BBQ knowledge in their family will either quit formal training or immediately pick up grilling as soon as they graduate.

The Newest gadgets for grilling

New must have barbecue grilling tools.

If there is anything that barbecue people all have in common, it’s their shared love of gadgets. Just like golfers are always looking for an edge in their golf game BBQ grillers are exactly the same. What new product can we get that will make our meats just a little more succulent or just slightly better to make. Perhaps make the process easier or safer. 
We here at BBQU have you covered. Here are some grilling gadgets that everyone is talking about.  If they are must have items for your set up is up for debate. These are however what everyone is using these days.

1.     A grill cleaner brush that puts out a fine coat of olive oil.
2.    An infrared heat thermometer
3.    Carbon fiber grilling gloves
4.    Built in fire extingushers
5.    New propane cut off switches
6.     A host of mobile apps
7.    New timers that are integrated in
8.    A host of new auto rub machines
9.    Fold up grills that slide under your car

10.  New themomters that will call mobile phone.

Ribs they are not just for backyard grills anymore.

Ribs go ahead and serve them at for formal occasions.
Ribs are by far the messiest grilled meat you can possibly have. Since ribs are traditionally eaten with your hands the essence of eating them in inherently a messy ordeal. Barbecue sauce or rub will inevitably find its way to your clothing which could lead to an embarrassing situation.
A new trend is starting to take place that will put the notion of the dirty rib to bed. The trend was first noticed in BBQ dinners in North Carolina, but it has made its way north in more recent months. That trend is to serve ribs are upscale and fancy dinner parties.  Ribs are fun to eat and naturally any food that is fun to eat is fun to consume with a large party of friends and guests.
What was once revered for the picnic table in the backyard is now trending with the more affluent sect. Ribs and wine parties are slowing starting to make its way into foodie circles.
It may not be long now until ribs are severed at 5-star resorts and restaurants.

Grilling Brisket - it's harder than you think

Brisket - It's harder than you think. 

The king daddy in the entire barbecue world is the Brisket. The Brisket is far and away the most difficult meat to smoke.  World champion rib and pork winners will even shy away from smoking up some brisket. Why? Because there are so many things that can go wrong.  The Brisket cut is such an unforgiving cut of meat.  The heat has to be distributed evenly.  The cooking time has to be just right. The variance in temperature should only be about 25 degrees maximum. If any of these temperature guidelines are violated, the meat will turn out to be hard and chewy. Brisket is the least tolerant of all of the meats.
Unlike pork butt whose temperature threshold is much larger. Pork butt is a highly tolerant meat to smoke. It is very forgiving. You can do almost anything you want to a pork butt, and it will still be edible. It may not be perfect, but it will be good enough to serve.
Brisket is a high risk, high reward type of grilling endeavor. The sweetness and texture of a perfectly smoked brisket are unlike any other bbq meat you can have. Brisket is sought after by aficionados throughout the country.  The best barbecue restaurants in the country are the ones who make an excellent brisket.
Austin Texas is most notably the best place to find good Brisket.  BBQ legends like Franklins, Blacks BBQ, and Iron Works Barbecue draw visitors from all over the country.  These passionate eaters will often stand in line for hours for a small taste of the smoky goodness.