Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Res-Qing the Rescue Squad

My wife is the admin for the Fort Mill Rescue Squad and earlier this year they had me cook some BBQ for them. They loved it. They invited me back to cook for them for their Christmas party. They needed some rescuing from previous, not so good, party food.

I was happy to do it for them. I struggled over the menu for awhile and originally planned brisket, burnt ends, turkey, MOINK balls, mac n cheese, salad and dessert. The brisket fell through as I was having trouble finding it in the area. I ended up doing pulled pork. It all turned out great.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Interview: Redneck Scientific

Team:Redneck Scientific
Location: Clayton, North Carolina
Web Page:

I had the pleasure of meeting the Head Pitmaster behind Redneck Scientific at the Q-City Charlotte BBQ Championship. I have followed Redneck Scientific on Twitter for a while and wanted to meet them in person. Jerry is a lot of fun to hang out with and talk to. He knows his way around a pit and pig and enjoys what he does. They make their own sauces and rubs that they use when they cook on their homemade UDSes (Ugly Drum Smokers) or as Jerry calls them Redneck Convection Ovens™.

Since 2011, Redneck Scientific has:

  • won 3 Grand Championships
  • had 2 Reserve Grand Championships
  • earned 3 perfect 180 scores in KCBS (We are the only team to ever earn a perfect score in Ribs and have 2 separate  180 scores in NC contest since 2009)
  • finished Top 10 Overall  16 times
  • won first place in a category 12 times
  • had 7 top ten Chicken calls
  • had 12 top ten Rib Calls
  • had 16 top ten Pork Calls
  • had 16 top ten calls in Brisket

Below is a short interview and some tips for cooking that Christmas turkey. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Interview: Ranucci's Big Butt BBQ

Each month I’m going to try to do a short interview with various BBQ teams, aficionados and purveyors of BBQ equipment. I’ll be looking for some small insights from the teams about their cooking, how they started and maybe get some cooking tips. If you have a team you would like me to interview, shoot me an email and I’ll see if they will be willing to do it.

To kick off the interviews, I asked Ranucci’s Big Butt BBQ be my first interview.

Team: Ranucci's Big Butt BBQ
Location: Belmont, NC
Web Page:

I met them a few years ago cooking at a competition in Shelby, NC when I was competing. I have watched them as they have started to win more and more in the area. Alex and his dad run a great rig and do a great job with help from the rest of his family.

Most recently they won Grand Champion for the Charlotte Q-City BBQ Championship, taking first in ribs and shoulder and second in whole hog.
Grand Champion for the Charlotte Q-City BBQ Championship

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Few of My Favorite -BBQ- Things

Over the past few years of cooking BBQ I have found a few items that I really like to use when I cook. Some of them are very useful and almost necessary and others are just things that I find make the process easier. I've come up with my top ten list of these items and will list them in order of least necessary to ones I use all the time. Feel free to add items you think I missed in the comment section.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Recipe: Apple Pie Sopapillas

I wanted a dessert after grilling some food and came up with this. We had just bought apples and I wanted an apple pie something. I pulled out my pan and cooked up some apples and toasted the tortillas on the grill and I had something yummy.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Cooking with Fire! - Contest

Cooking with Fire!
This year I had some t-shirts made for the blog by Kong Screen Printing in Austin, TX, and stickers done at Contagious Graphics in Charlotte, NC. Both are great printers and easy to work with. Because I have a couple extra t-shirts and lots of stickers I'm going to run my first contest.

Head over to, like my page and post your best picture of summer grilling or BBQ. There needs to be food in the picture that has been cooked with fire. There will be two winners; the photo with the most likes and the photo that my esteemed panel of judges (my wife and girls)  like the best. The winners will receive a Q4Fun t-shirt (sizes are limited), a Q4Fun sticker and a baggie of my rub. The contest will run until August 17, 2013 and is only for those in the continental US.

The t-shirt.

The sticker.

The Q Rub

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Recipe: Quick Pork Tacos

Here's a quick recipe I did this past Saturday using Meyer's Eligin 3 Mistake Chili Seasoning and Tabeñaro Hot Sauce. I needed something quick for lunch that was easy and filling. So I made this taco with salsa and pork.

For the taco

  • 4 thin cut pork chops
  • Half an onion
  • Pork fat (or some other oil for sauteing)
  • 2 tbls 3 Mistake Chili seasoning
  • 1/4 NC BBQ sauce (vinegar base)
  • Tortillas

For the salsa (This is what we had from our garden so it's what I used.)

  • Cucumber
  • Garlic
  • Tomato
  • Cilantro
  • Tabeñaro Hot Sauce

Slice up the onion. Cut the pork chops into strips. Heat up a pan with the pork fat in it. Add the onions, the pork and the Chili Seasoning. Let it cook until the meat is browned and cooked all the way through. Add the BBQ sauce and let it all cook together.

Dice the cucumber, tomato, cilantro and garlic. Mix them all together in a bowl. You can add the Tabeñaro sauce to this to the heat you like or after you make the taco add it to the taco.

Put some of the meat mixture on to the tortilla, add the salsa on top and some Tabeñaro sauce and enjoy.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Kofta Kebabs

A couple weeks a go my wife and I tried a Mediterranean restaurant in the area called Troy. It was very good and had a nice sampling of various Mediterranean foods; kebabs, falafel, shawarma (Avengers has done more for the sales of shawarma in the US then any advertising), tabouli and baklava. One of the kebabs they served was a kofta kebab. It was odd looking but had great flavor. I figured it wouldn't be hard to make and I could grill it so I decided to give it a try.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Homemade BACON!

I don't know why I have never tried this until this year. It is so easy and so good. Making your own bacon. It takes about a week and a couple hours to smoke it. You can season it with a variety of spices and smoke it with different types of woods to vary the flavor but it is all good.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Review: Farm to Table fresh at Block & Grinder

Name: Block & Grinder
Location: Charlotte, NC
Price: $$-$$$

A few months ago I heard that Block & Grinder was going to open. When I heard the concept I was intrigued. I was told it would be a farm to table restaurant with a butcher shop that would also have wild game on the menu. In the butcher shop part they planned to sell sausage and other charcuterie that was made on premises. It sounded wonderful. My family and I happened to be in the area so decided to give it a try. I'm glad we did.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Feeding Volunteers

My wife is a part time administrative assistant for  the Fort Mill Rescue Squad. A couple of weekends ago they had a cleaning day and I told her I would help by feeding the squad. It is always fun to cook for a group of people that helps the community.

I planned for about 20 people and served pulled pork, smoked turkey, slaw and baked beans. It went well.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Review: Something Sweet - Cloister Honey

Creator: Cloister Honey
Price: $3-$11 depending on product
Link: Cloister Honey

Honey and BBQ work well together. I use honey on my ribs, in my sauces and glazes for wings. This year I am trying to use more local produce and items for our table and trying to be more farm-to-table oriented. Last year when our local Whole Foods opened my wife and I were checking it out and came across Cloister Honey. They were passing out samples of their honey and we both liked what we tried.
The bottles of sweet liquid gold. 
At the end of January this year I was surprised with a sampler pack of their products and my little cooking mind started to dream. We had a bottle of their wildflower honey, arbor chili pepper honey, chipotle pepper honey, vanilla honey, bourbon infused honey, whipped cinnamon honey and the whipped lemon honey. Oh the choices.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Year, New Adventures

In Disney for Christmas
trying out Chef Mickey's tools

Happy New years to all my readers (all one of you.) Last year I was able to try some new things, meet some great BBQ guys, go on a cooking podcast (NOLA Food Podcast check it out), and generally increase my BBQ skills.

I cooked a whole leg of venison for Thanksgiving. It came out great but the one I did for Christmas was better. I also smoked a leg of wild hog. It was very good.

All in all it was a fun BBQ year. This year will have some new things in store.