April 26, 2009

BBQ Around The World - Bodean's in London

I recently went to the United Kingdom and couldn't wait to sink my teeth into some of the UK's finest cuisine - fish & chips, bangers & mash, and Guinness Pie. The one thing I never planned on eating while there was barbecue - and good barbecue at that. But that is exactly what I ended up doing thanks to a couple good friends who call London home. We planned to get together for dinner and wanted to find a location where we could watch the NCAA Basketball Tournament (this is fairly difficult to do in London). My friends knew I loved barbecue and they knew that the games would be on at Bodean's - London's Original BBQ Smoke House.

I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical at first - barbecue in London? Yea, right?!?! When we arrived I have to say it looked legit - not too fancy, lots of TV's with sports on, cold beer flowing, lots of people, and to my surprise a wall of famous American barbecue sauces on display behind the counter including some of my Kansas City favorites like Gates and Arthur Bryant's. Then they gained a bit more of my respect as I noticed the framed photo's around the restaurant of the one and only Arthur Bryant's in Kansas City!!!

They at least showed me right off the bat that they at least knew what great barbecue is. The next thing they had to do was prove to me that they knew how to produce their own great barbecue. We started with an order of their Hot Buffalo Chicken Wings and were very happy with the first taste of home we would experience that night. I followed up the wings with a slab of Baby Back Ribs, Fries & Coleslaw and they were top notch ribs. I've had better here at home, but I've also had much worse. I'd give Bodean's a 7 on a scale of 10 - which is at least 4 or 5 points higher than I could have ever imagined giving a London based barbecue restaurant.

Next time you're in London and you're craving a little bit of home why not drop into one of Bodean's locations in Soho, Tower Hill, Clapham, Fulham, or Westbourne Grove? Check out Bodean's on the web at www.bodeansbbq.com.

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April 24, 2009

Best BBQ Joints in America - Dickie Doo Bar-B-Que

About half of my formative years were spent roaming the streets of Sedalia, Missouri. If you're not familiar with Sedalia it's a small town of about 21,000 about an hour and a half to the East of Kansas City. Sedalia has a few claims to fame:

1.) During the Great Depression it was judged to be the second most economically damaged city behind Gary, Indiana - not a great claim to be able to make, but a claim none the less.

2.) Since 1901, the Missouri State Fair has been held in Sedalia.

3.)Scott Joplin, the "King of Ragtime" music made Sedalia his adopted home.

These are all interesting facts, but the two Sedalia claims to fame I particularly remember deal with food - the Guber Burger at the Wheel Inn and the BBQ at Dickie Doo Bar-B-Que! I'll save the Guber Burger and the Wheel Inn for another post; this post is about one of the Best BBQ Joints in America - Dickie Doo Bar-B-Que!

It was always a special event for us to get in the car and head to Dickie Doo Bar-B-Que when I was a kid. Over the years some things have changed (it has a much larger and more diverse menu), but the thing I remember the most has stayed the same. Dickie Doo-Bar-B-Que has the best B.B.Q. Beans I've ever had - they are amazing and will put a smile on your face!! The ribs are good as are the other BBQ dishes. I can't speak for some of the non-BBQ dishes, because I never get them, but others who have seemed happy.

If you're ever in Sedalia drop into Dickie Doo's and enjoy a great meal. Check them out on the web at www.dickiedoobbq.com.

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April 23, 2009

Pork Barrel BBQ is now on Foodbuzz - Become a Fan of Pork Barrel BBQ!!!

Pork Barrel BBQ is now on Foodbuzz!

If you're not familiar with Foodbuzz it is, in there words:

"Foodbuzz: the first-ever community site devoted exclusively to food and dining content—an unparalleled resource for searching, surfing and sharing with fellow foodies everywhere.

From the professional chef to the casual diner and everyone in between, our online community is a one-stop shop for food lovers to find exactly what they are searching for without having to navigate around multiple sites or mull through irrelevant results from general search engine queries. Search results are community-driven and contextually relevant, providing users with the unique opportunity to surf original and user-generated content based on their search criteria. As a community, Foodbuzz enables you to share your thoughts with the rest of us. We've created a space where you can not only submit recipes, videos, news, photos, restaurant reviews, blog posts, new restaurants, favorites and forums, but also comment and vote on content submitted by others. Think of it as an exchange of appetites."

Drop by and become a fan of Pork Barrel BBQ at - www.foodbuzz.com and search for us in the producer section. While your there become my friend - I'm DC BBQ'er - search for me under foodies.

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April 22, 2009

The Inspirations Behind Pork Barrel BBQ - Dad, Friends and Bobby Flay

We often get asked why we started Pork Barrel BBQ and how we became so interested in BBQ so we thought we would share a bit of our story with you and a couple pictures that were taken a few years ago when Pork Barrel BBQ was just an idea percolating in our heads as a dream that was a long way from reality.

It is true that both Brett and I have loved exploring our culinary talents (at least the two of us think we have culinary talent -- thinking is sometimes more dangerous than knowing) on grills and smokers for many years. It is also true that we've had our empty plates out in anticipation of what might be coming off a family member or friends grill during those summer BBQ's and still vivid in my memory is dad grilling and smoking meat on those cold snowy or raining winter nights. I think my dad's BBQ motto was similar to the Post Office motto and went something like this:

"Neither rain nor hail nor sleet nor snow nor heat of day nor dark of night shall keep this BBQ'er from the swift completion of his brisket, ribs, chicken, steaks, pork chops, or baked potatoes."
The simple fact is we were lucky enough to grow up around great BBQ so we come by our love of it honestly -- and we like to eat a bit (this is also a good motivating factor). As we graduated from high school and moved to college a trend was starting around the country - chefs could actually become celebrities and they were bringing new and exciting food ideas to the masses. Folks were cooking things they'd never heard of only months earlier let alone tried to cook. One of these innovators was Bobby Flay - both Brett's and my culinary and grilling hero.

I'll never forget the first time I crossed paths with Bobby Flay - it was on a fledgling television network known as the Food Network. Right on the screen in front of me was this city slicker named Bobby Flay and a good ol' country boy named Jack McDavid. Jack was all about charcoal and wood and Bobby was all about gas. I immediately sided with Jack and felt he was the real authentic BBQ'er on the show because I believed no one in there right mind would use gas to grill (why not stay inside and use your stove and oven if you're going to use gas was what I was saying to myself). I loved the show, it was a couple of armature TV actors who could cook, but couldn't act. They went on to win no Academy Awards, but they both ended up winning me over. The show was short lived, but I had warmed to Bobby by the time the show was taken off and intrigued by his cooking.

The rest is history. Bobby has become one of the most recognizable cooks in all of America if not the world (who else has stood on a cutting board in Japan and lived to talk about it?). Bobby has matured into an excellent on air personality, but it has always been about the food for him and you can still see this on his current show Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Win or lose he has fun and enjoys learning the tricks of some of the best cooks in America.

We'd be comfortable in betting that Bobby has inspired many cooks across this country to try a new dish, eat something a bit different at a restaurant, get the grill out in the rain or snow, or in our case, along with our family and friends, get the courage to start a small business dedicated to great BBQ. Thanks for the inspiration Bobby!!!

Several years ago we were lucky enough to get the chance to meet Bobby during a visit of his to Congress where he was lobbying on behalf of technical education and trade schools. He took five minutes out of his busy schedule to stop and talk with us and answer some questions we had. He even had to step aside to get a picture taken with a Member of Congress and told us to hold on because he was going to come back and finish our conversation after he was finished with the picture and he held true to his word.

Bobby, we look forward to the next time our paths cross and hope you'll do us the favor of letting us know what you think about Pork Barrel BBQ - after all you are part of the reason we exist.

For more information on Bobby Flay check him out on the web at www.bobbyflay.com.

Thanks again for your inspiration and bring back Boy Meets Grill!!!

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April 21, 2009

The Tools of the BBQ Trade - Hardwood Lump Charcoal

The great thing about grilling is that you don't need too many tools to be successful. If you have a grill and a fuel source you pretty much have all you need to take a few ingredients and turn them into a delicious meal. We've already done a couple posts on grills and smokers so we thought it was time to take a look at charcoal (our preferred fuel source for grilling and smoking). The two main types of charcoal you'll see at the store are hardwood lump and briquettes and we believe your best bet for a great fuel source is hardwood lump charcoal.


Lump charcoal is the end product of the process of burning chunks of hardwood in the absence of oxygen. It is almost like your sticking a piece of oak or hickory in the grill so it is the most natural and pure form of charcoal you can buy. We think lump charcoal gives food a much better flavor than briquettes and it lights easy (don't forget to use the charcoal chimney to light your charcoal - if you don't want your food to taste like lighter fluid don't use lighter fluid), burns hotter (and is very responsive to the oxygen flow you provide making it easier to control your fire's temperature), and produces far less ash than briquettes.


Charcoal briquettes are made from sawdust and other wood by-products that are compressed and held together with a binder and other additives (Additives that don't make your food taste very good like limestone, borax, mineral carbon, sodium nitrate, brown coal, paraffin or petroleum solvents!). Briquettes are cheaper than lump charcoal, but is a few pennies saved worth imparting your meal with a chemical taste and smell?

So next time you head to the store to stock up on charcoal give hardwood lump charcoal a try - we think you'll be pleased with the results.

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What Is Better Than BBQ? Friends! We Want To Be Friends With You - Become Our Friend On facebook!!

Are you on facebook? We are and we would love to be your friend! Check out our facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1084117735&ref=name and friend us. What do you have to lose? After all, this could be the start of something special!!

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April 18, 2009

What Pork Barrel BBQ is Grilling (and how to Grill it) - Scallops, Shrimp and Mixed Vegetables

This is the start of a new series of posts so you can follow the food cravings of Pork Barrel BBQ over the spring and summer (and winter for us!). According to my wife, I always start the grilling season off with Scallops! I'm not sure what this says about me as a Midwesterner, but I can tell you there are few things better than the first grilling of the year!

Here's our menu: Sea Scallops, Shrimp with Pork Barrel BBQ's All American Spice Rub, and Organic Zucchini, Orange Pepper and Onions.


Also, we'll share with you what we are drinking - tonight it was a great (cheap!) Organic White Truck sauvignon blanc produced from Ukiah, CA. I purchased it at Whole Foods for $8.99.


1 lb Large Sea Scallops (8-10 scallops)
1 lb Wild Caught Tail On, Peeled and Deveined Shrimp
4 Medium Zucchinis
1 Orange Pepper
1 Medium Onion
Olive Oil
Sea Salt


1. Cut zucchini lengthwise, onion in 1 inch thick slices, and orange pepper in quarters. Drizzle in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. In plastic bag, combine shrimp, add 1 TB olive oil, and Pork Barrel BBQ's All American Spice Rub - shake vigorously.

3. Rub olive oil on scallops, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4. Preheat grill (we only use charcoal) and place vegetables on the grill over direct charcoals
and cook fro 7 minutes, and flip and cook for an additional 7 minutes. Move vegetables to other side of grill over indirect heat. Leave on grill until scallops and shrimp are complete.

5. Place scallops and shrimp over direct heat, cook scallops on each side for 7 minutes, and cook shrimp for 3-4 minutes. Remove from grill.

Here's what it looks like when it is done!

6. Finally, chop up vegetables into small pieces, and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

7. Enjoy!

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Best BBQ Joints in America - Jammin' Joe's BBQ

If you live in the DC area and travel down to Charlottesville, VA on Route 29, then you probably know about our favorite roadside BBQ joint - Jammin' Joe's BBQ!

Jammin' Joe's address is: 5282 Lee Highway, New Baltimore, VA (5 miles south of Gainesville on Route 29) - BE CAREFUL - it is easy to miss, but you will be sad for the rest of the day if you miss it (trust me, I know). They operate out of a mobile BBQ trailer that looks like a log cabin. They inspired us to start Pork Barrel BBQ - it showed us that if you deliver quality product, even if its on the side of a highway, the people will come!

We are a huge fan of their Pulled Pork Sandwich - they provide a very generous portion, with a great sauce. Also, be sure to try their beans, I think they use 7 different beans! Check them out at http://www.jamminjoesbbq.com/index.htm. They are big BBQ competitors and have recently open a Florida location - be sure to try them out - you can say you knew about them before they spread nationwide!

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April 16, 2009

Best BBQ Joints in America - Oklahoma Joe's Barbecue

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a great lunch inside a gas station? If so, look no further than Oklahoma Joe's in Kansas City, Kansas. Oklahoma Joe's Barbecue is situated inside of a Shamrock Gas Station - why not fill up your stomach at the same time you fill your car up?

Oklahoma Joe's was conceived of on the competitive barbecue circuit in the early 1990s. The team that eventually went on to open Oklahoma Joe's was know as "Slaughterhouse Five" has won many Grand Championships, including the American Royal. Their first restaurant, Oklahoma Joe's Barbecue and Catering opened its doors in January 1996 in Stillwater, Oklahoma and their Kansas City location opened a few months later in August 1996. The Oklahoma location is now closed, but the Kansas City restaurant is going stronger than ever, in fact a second location has been opened in Olathe, Kansas.

Oklahoma Joe's has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, The Food Network and PBS to name a few. Zagat rated Oklahmoa Joe's as "Excellent" and the hometown Pitch Weekly gave it 3.5 Stars.

I'm a fan of the beef brisket, but can honestly say I've never had a meal at Oklahoma Joe's that I didn't enjoy and the novelty of the ambiance even makes the food taste better. Next time you are in Kansas City, Kansas stop by and give Oklahoma Joe's a try. You can check them out on the web at http://www.oklahomajoesbbq.com/.

Now go fill up your stomach and your car!!!

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April 14, 2009

BBQ 101: What Not To Do - Shopping Cart Grill

We recently received an email from one of Pork Barrel BBQ's biggest fans asking us if we'd use the method of grilling shown in the picture to the left. I'm pretty certain that I can speak for both of us when I say - I don't think so. However, with that being said, here are a few points we'd make for the aspiring shopping cart griller.

First, although we have never attempted to grill on a shopping cart grill we do commend you for your creativity. We understand as well as anyone that when you get the itch to grill the only thing that can stop that itch is to grill. I suppose there might be times when this itch occurs at a time that you don't have access to a more typical grill choice like a Weber, hence the reason you've got to reach for the shopping cart grill.

Second, if one does decide to grill on a shopping cart grill we believe the person grilling in this picture has gotten it right. We would advise against using a direct grilling method where you put meat or vegetables directly on the cart - always use a pan or stick as demonstrated in this picture to avoid direct contact with the shopping cart. If possible, you might want to give the shopping cart grill a good cleaning before you christen it with its inaugural grilling session.

Third, it is probably advisable to remove all plastic from the cart before you begin to grill. Notice in this picture that there is still plastic attached to the handle and seat. Assuming the fire gets hot enough the individuals dining on this griller's dish might get the unpleasant surprise of some melted plastic in their meal. Better to be safe than sorry so take the five minutes needed to remove all plastic before use.

So if you've got the itch to grill and you find yourself in a pinch without a more conventional grill choice and you happen to have a shopping cart handy you might be able to scratch that itch away. With that being said, we here at Pork Barrel BBQ would advise against it and suggest you just wait until you get back home and use the more conventional options.

If you've got funny or interesting pictures of grills or other BBQ tools send them to us at porkbarrelbbq@gmail.com and we'll post them on the blog.

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April 12, 2009

Where In The World Is Pork Barrel BBQ - San Francisco

In a recent trip to San Francisco Rex and Barbara Hall took these pictures of Pork Barrel BBQ's All American Spice Rub at the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Ghirardelli Chocolate. Thanks for letting us know where in the world Pork Barrel BBQ is!!!!

Are you going on a trip or to a unique event? Take Pork Barrel BBQ with you and let us know where you have taken Pork Barrel BBQ? Send your photos to us at porkbarrelbbq@gmail.com and we'll post them on our blog - don't forget to provide a brief description of where Pork Barrel BBQ is or what Pork Barrel BBQ is doing.

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April 10, 2009

Pork Barrel BBQ in Top 10 BBQ Twitterers!

Thanks for all your support - Pork Barrel BBQ is now in the Top 10 BBQ Twitterers - check us out at http://wefollow.com/tag/bbq!

Join as as a follower at http://twitter.com/porkbarrelbbq!

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April 8, 2009

Where In The World is Pork Barrel BBQ? - Disney World!

Pork Barrel BBQ has brought its magic to Disney World! There is really no place more appropriate for our All American Spice Rub!

Where have you taken your Pork Barrel BBQ? Send us your photos to porkbarrelbbq@gmail.com and we'll post them to the site!

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