The trial period is over and I’m officially moving the BBQ Blitz – a collection of interesting and timely BBQ and grilling related news items – from its initial home here to the BBQBeat.com. If you’ve enjoyed these posts in the past, you can now find them here. OK. So, now – let’s get things going with stuff I’ve found this week you might find newsworthy.
I’m posting this a bit early, as Christmas is on the horizon. Some of these posts might be timely for those prepping the big meats. Others are just my normal selection of what I am finding that’s interesting online food wise.
In any case – here we go! Hope you enjoy. If you do, please share with friends!
Funny One-Star Reviews Of Critically Acclaimed Texas BBQ Joints
Yelp, one of the more popular public review sites for restaurants, offers up some pretty hilarious reviews at times. Sure, there are some genuinely helpful critiques of local dining establishments on the site. But, more often than not you can find some real doozies! In a recent WideOpenCountry.com article, author Jeremy Burchard highlights some pretty funny one star reviews of some of the more famous and more widely acclaimed Texas BBQ restaurants.
From a “You’ve been Snowjobbed” intro regarding Snow’s BBQ (along with a fun electric knife/vibrator analogy) to Kreuz Market’s accomplishment of finding a way to screw up sausage – these reviews resemble, in my humble opinion, the remarks of those who are desperate for attention. Although, every dog has its day in the worst of ways – so maybe some of these reviews reflect days when the previous night’s revelry got the best of the cook staff the day after? You can read the full article here.
A Hometown Chicago BBQ Restaurant Holds its Own
Forbes magazine contributor offers a nice story on how Smoque BBQ of Chicago started with several partners who had only scant restaurant experience, opened a BBQ joint at the start of the last Great Recession, and have made a go of it by keeping things simple and focusing on getting better each day.
I appreciate the mindset Barry Sorkin, his uncle Al Sherman, and three friends put forth as they embarked on this barbecue restaurant journey. Once they got good, they avoided the “hey, let’s franchise this!” bug. In their words…
“The assumption is, you open up one successful restaurant, and then you open up 12 more of them,” he says. That hasn’t happened, mainly, Sorkin says, because the partners are satisfied with where things are. “Nine years in, we are better at running the place, but we haven’t been very strategic,” Sorkin says. “Let’s serve really good food and give service as good as we can, and that’s it.”
Whatever they’re doing, it must be working! I have it on good authority from Phil Wingo of PorkMafia (also Pass the Salt Meat Curing) that Barry and the crew are doing awesome things at Smoque BBQ. So, get there! You can read the full article over at Forbes.com here.
Boston Globe Lays Down Some Love for BBQ Bill Gillespie
Bill Gillespie, BBQ Cook Book Author and winner of the 2014 KCBS American Royal Invitational BBQ competition and long time King among competition BBQ Pitmasters gets a little pub love from author Dugan Arnett in a recent BostonGlobe.com article. (Note – Bill’s team finished 3rd at this year’s Jack Daniel’s Invitational event.)
This post gives a short list of what many seasoned BBQ and grilling pros know by heart, but anyone who struggles should use as a go to list of what to do when cooking with live fire.
If you don’t know about Bill, get to know about him. You can do so easily via his latest cook book effort called Secrets to Smoking on the Weber Smokey Mountain and Other Smokers.
Reverse Seared Prime Rib Roast
There are a lot of different posts out there on how to prep and cook Prime Rib, but in my experience – and I have quite a bit – this post from Chris Grove of Nibble Me This is one of the best.
I’ve followed Nibble Me This as a reader now for about five years and am consistently impressed with the instructional and photographic prowess Chris shows in his posts. His primary method of grilling and smoking at home is via Big Green Egg or Grill Dome kamado cookers. However, all of his recipes and preparation methods can be applied to other smokers and grills.
Whether you’re thinking of doing a prime rib for New Year’s dinner, or will do one during the new year just to treat the family, check out Chris’ post here. You’ll be glad you did.
Was That Steak Raised In The USA? Soon, It’ll Be Hard To Know
I follow NPR’s The Salt food blog, which is always filled with awesome posts and audio stories about the state of food in our world today. If you love food, food history, are interested in the way food is produced, etc – I highly recommend you follow The Salt.
This story on meat labeling focuses on an attachment to the last-minute spending proposal going before Congress this week that would end a six-year trade dispute between the U.S. and Canada. If it’s passed, as seems likely, the omnibus budget bill would repeal a law called COOL that requires “country-of-origin labels” on meat.
I don’t think I’m in the minority here when stating that knowing as much about how and where my food is raised and processed as possible is not just a good thing, it should be an absolute requirement labeling wise. I mean come on! It’s our FOOD! Ugh. This stuff just pisses me off.
Doing away with the labels doesn’t mean imported meat will be any less safe. All meat coming into the country is subject to inspection by the USDA. But food advocacy groups argue that knowing the country of origin is like seeing a list of ingredients or nutrition facts. They say the repeal of COOL makes it harder for consumers to make informed decisions.
You’ll note that pressure to repeal the COOL regulation came largely from the WTO allowing Canada and Mexico to charge the USA $1 billion in tariffs. This allowance likely added pressure to have COOL repealed as part of the new spending agreement. Some Senate Democrats are now pushing for voluntary country-of-origin labels. But America’s neighbors say they will only stop the tariffs if labels on meat are repealed.
At the end of the day, maybe it’s all much ado about nothing. The article rounds out with what Mike Briggs, who runs a big US feedlot relays that they have little impact at the end of the day. “Packers spend millions to keep animals separate for labeling, but he says not enough shoppers are buying meat based on labeling to make it pay.”
Read the full article and hear the accompanying audio here. There’s also another good article on whether the removal of food origin labels might impact antibiotic resistance. Check that one out o Forbes.com here.
I Don’t Know From Goose: A Jewish Christmas Story
I have no experience cooking goose, or even duck. The one thing I know is that each brings with it a ton of delicious fat, which has to be dealt with expertly. This post from Serious Eats takes you through a pretty humorous journey of one Jewish woman’s attempts at cooking Christmas Goose with her Christmas celebrating boyfriend’s family. Great stuff, and a good primer for those who are thinking about tackling goose at some point.
Don’t Panic! Your Questions On (Not) Washing Raw Chickens
One more from The Salt. This one covers the “Should I was my raw poultry?” question. In short, their answer is NO. but the post does a good job of explaining exactly why.
It’s written in FAQ form, with in-depth responses to some of the more common questions folks have sent in to The Salt over time regarding ‘bird prep.’ You can read the full post here.
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I sure hope so! If you did, please share it with others. My goal is to be a helpful resource for BBQ fans. If there’s something you’d like to know more about BBQ or Grilling wise, please contact me via the link above or through social media. I’m here for you!