Kevin's BBQ Joints

Kevin's BBQ Joints Blog

What are the main options for buying a BBQ?

Even though summer’s been here for a while now, it’s not too late to start thinking about hosting a BBQ or two. But with disposable BBQs becoming a quick an easy fix for weekend dining, there are a few more options than used to be the case. Here are a few tips about the different types of BBQs on the market to help you decide which one to go for.

First of all, you should consider whether you want to make a long-term investment in your BBQ or whether you’d prefer to go for a disposable option. Recent years have seen the popularity of the disposable BBQ rocket as a more flexible, low-cost alternative during the recession. Even across the Atlantic, the UK has seen a big rise in disposable sales, thanks to the surprise heatwave enjoyed there this summer.

When it comes to which type of BBQ to choose, both have their perks. Obviously a disposable BBQ is easy to clean up after, quick to heat and, if you’re only looking to BBQ as a one-off, much cheaper than buying something permanent. They’re also portable, which is great if you’re hoping to BBQ on the beach, or if you’re heading out camping and want an easy way to heat food.

Most disposables come with a lighter paper that gets them going pretty quickly and they’ll usually burn for up to an hour. They also need to be set up on the ground as they’ll mark any surface they’re placed on. You need to be extra careful with kids around, and keep them well back from the cook area as the whole tray heats to a high level. When you’re finished with the BBQ, be sure to let it cool properly before you throw it away – the last thing you want is a fire in the bin!

When purchasing a permanent BBQ, you’ll have to decide between gas, electric and charcoal. Gas and electric heat up much quicker, but some people are convinced you can get a more authentic taste from a charcoal burner. With all three, you need to consider the extra costs to be incurred – gas canisters can be pricey as can top up bags of charcoal. However, once bought, you don’t need to worry about spending money on the BBQ itself and over time, these can work out as better value for money, particularly if you’re a frequent garden-griller in the summertime!

Really it’s about finding the right product to suit your needs, but if you’re going permanent, make an investment in something you know will last and be a valuable addition to your garden area. For the holiday crowd, or anyone who lives in the city without access to outdoor space, it may be smarter to go disposable for the time being.

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Socks’ Love Rub Company

Just received some rub from Socks’ Love Rub Company. Can’t wait to give it a try!

Follow Socks’ Love Rub Company on twitter HERE

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What is the BBQ Pro Shop?

There are stores that sell everything under the sun (including select BBQ items) online and then there is the BBQ Pro Shop that ONLY sells BBQ items. They have done an incredible job of positioning themselves as a place where small batch (or as they like to call them “micro rubs and sauces”) have a home to really shine individually. Owner Jeff Belmonti told me, “We feel like the more that we carry, the more people can try in one shipment.” Currently they sell an amazing 60 Rubs and 40 Sauces as well as other items and for full disclosure, it is because of their huge array of unique products and top notch customer service that we have them as a sponsor on my site.

Here’s a link to their sauces and rubs:

BBQ Pro Shop is also the place to find only the best quality Barbecue utensils, accessories,and smokers. They bring with them years of experience in working with some of the best smokers and grillers in the business and strive to carry only the highest quality products. I love their motto, “We would not sell anything we do not use ourselves.”

Here’s a link to the rest of the items they sell:
Thermometers and Timers
Barbecues and Smokers

Here’s some more info about the owners, Gretchen and Jeff:

Growing up Jeff worked at Poeta’s Food Mart in Highwood, IL. Famous for it’s homemade italian sausage, Jeff worked Highwood Days as a teenager and grilled thousands of sausages and marinated skirt steaks that were sold at the festival for Poeta’s. Jeff worked as a caterer and grilled for Poeta’s as well. He learned to make Italian sausage, de-bone chicken breasts and trim beef tenderloins. His Poppy taught him to BBQ on the gas grill that was always on the deck at his childhood home and he often grilled for the family.

Gretchen moved to Chicago from Buffalo and met Jeff while working for Elizabeth Karmel and learned the art of grilling from the master. Gretchen worked on the Weber Grill account for many years and honed her skills in cooking attending many James Beard dinners and learning how to grill from Elizabeth and the many experts they came in contact with. Gretchen taught Jeff that there was more to life than skirt steak, burgers, sausage and chicken breasts. Gretchen took Jeff to the world famous Memphis in May BBQ Contest and their life changed forever.

Gretchen and Jeff began to grill together after getting married in 2000 and they honed their skills, getting their first Primo Smoker and learning to smoke ribs, chicken and sausage. They love to grill everything and the only thing that goes in the oven is stuff that just will not work on the grill. (Mostly chicken fingers for their two children) Jeff has mastered ribs and is working on smoked brisket. Their specialty is beer can chicken and their annual Thanksgiving feast which includes BBQ Turkey, always cooked on the grill, never in the oven and many racks of smoked baby back ribs. Ribs became a tradition because Gretchen’s father Harold was not a fan of turkey. Now the ribs are the biggest hit and the crowd grows every year.

BBQ Pro Shop was born out of a love for BBQ smoking and grilling. We kept finding all of these wonderful products that we used every time we grilled and could not find anywhere to buy them on a consistent basis. Now we have a stock room full of Willingham’s, Sarah’s Sea Salt, Reniassance Rub, 17th Street Sauces and Grill Friends tools which comes in handy. BBQ Pro Shop is our gift back to the world of BBQ, we have had the pleasure of knowing the love and fellowship of the BBQ community and sharing that with the world is our mission.

I’d recommend stopping in to see what they have to offer. I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised what you find.

Twitter HERE
Facebook HERE
If you prefer to contact them by phone you can here: 866-944-8758
FREE Shipping on all orders over $100 – Where Applicable – Enter Coupon Code “FREE” at checkout!

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Burger Pocket Press – BBQ Product

There are always those products where you think, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Well the Burger Pocket Press is definitely one of them. When I’m not gorging myself on BBQ I am a certified burger junkie and I’m always searching for ways to make better tasting and more interesting burgers. I became interested in ‘stuffing’ burgers when I saw Adam Richman from Man v. Food visit the bar that makes the Juicy Lucy.

Luckily I didn’t have to travel across the country to make an incredible stuffed burger as I learned when visiting my friend a couple of weeks ago. He had just ordered a Burger Pocket Press so, gluttons that we are, we decided to make a bunch of burgers. Ones we stuffed with (individually) Maytag blue cheese, jalapeno pepper jack, serrano peppers and cheddar, as well as scratch made chorizo and swiss cheese. They all were insanely good (one thing you have to learn though is not to overstuff the ingredients even though you may want to as it will spill out the sides for sure) and super easy to make.

Since I tried and loved the product I emailed the owner of the company, Michael Ajakie, to send some of his own photos of burgers being made with the Burger Pocket Press as I neglected to bring a camera to my friend’s house. Here they are:


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What is BBQ Backyard? A Chat with Heath Hall – Pork Barrel BBQ

If you’re into BBQ you’ve probably heard rumblings about BBQ Backyard – The BBQ Social Network, but may not know exactly what it’s all about. I was able to get a quick interview with Heath Hall from Pork Barrel BBQ to discuss their big BBQ jump into social media. Here it is:

What is BBQ Backyard and what makes this different than other social media sites such as facebook?

BBQ Backyard is the World’s First BBQ Social Network. It is a community designed for BBQ’ers of all levels, from backyard beginners to veteran pitmasters. This is the first BBQ site to take advantage of modern amenities that web users are used to from their experience with sites like facebook and Twitter. Similar in to facebook in many ways, but unique because our membership is 100% folks who love BBQ!

What are some features about the site that people might not know when initially signing up?

New members might not know that they are joining a BBQ community formed around members with thousands of years of combined BBQ experience, thousands of BBQ trophies and hundreds of restaurants. We have legendary pitmasters like Pat Burke, Rod Gray, Johnny Trigg and Melissa Cookston. We have BBQ Restaurateur Famous Dave Anderson and cookbook author and TV star Steven Raichlen. There are few places, if any place other than BBQ Backyard, where you can interact with this kind of BBQ All-Star lineup!

When did it officially launch?

The official launch of BBQ Backyard took place on February 10, 2011.

How long has it taken to get this from idea stage to actual launch?

Over the past couple of years of visiting the large number of BBQ forums and message boards on the internet we realized that as great as these platforms are they are missing the amenities people expect in the age of facebook and Twitter. These sites were very one dimensional with limited ability to interact with fellow members. We also found that they could be very intimidating to new folks and most importantly they are geared toward the competitive BBQ’er, leaving the backyard BBQ’er without a comfortable place to connect with fellow BBQ’ers.

After coming to this realization we decided the time had come to create a user friendly site that was open to BBQ’ers of all interest and skill levels that had the amenities of facebook and Twitter. In early 2010 we began the creative and design process for the site. Because of other obligations it took us longer to get the site in order for launch than we had hoped for, but we didn’t want to launch the site until we knew we had it right. We have a number of other functions and features we look forward to adding over time.

Become a member of BBQ Backyard here

How often do you plan on having live chats?

We would like to have live chats on BBQ Backyard at least once a month. We are currently working on schedule of upcoming guests which will include some of today’s best pitmasters, legends of BBQ, meat experts, grill and smoke manufactures, cookbook authors, restaurant owners and others. We’d love to hear from folks on who they’d like to see us have on as guests and we’ll do our best to make it happen.

What is your long term goal with BBQ Backyard?

Our long term goal for BBQ Backyard is to create the definitive online BBQ community that is powered from the contributions of the BBQ community. We hope when people are online and want to find something related to BBQ their first stop will be BBQ Backyard.

The success of the site is based upon the content contained within it – content that is created by the Members. In just over a month we are off to an amazing start with nearly 3,500 photos downloaded, 150 videos downloaded and nearly 1,400 members.

Is advertising available and if not, is that something that is down the road?

There is currently no advertising on BBQ Backyard, but we are in the process of creating ad space on the site. It is our desire to keep all advertising on the site relevant to the barbecue community. If folks are interested in advertising on BBQ Backyard please email with you interest.

Meat Water – When “Just Plain Water” is Not Enough

Thanks to Monica Garske from AolNews for clueing me in to the next logical step in the world of designer water, Meat Water. Yes, meat water. Of course it would make the most sense to have a Texas BBQ Flavor. Here’s a shot of the bottle below:

Here’s the scoop on the BBQ flavor, “YEE-HAW! They got BBQ from St. Louis and Kansas City; from North Carolina and Tennessee. But they ain’t got the beef! Using genuine Texas longhorn steer to inspire the flavor of this beverage, we sloooooooooow-cook it until it’s so tender, it just slides down your throat. Which is exactly how a drink oughta be! Raise serving temperature to release massive flavor!”

Here are their primary flavors:
Beef Jerky
Beef Stroganof
Cheese Burger
Chicken Teriyaki
Dirty Hot Dog
Fish’n Chips
Hungarian Gulash
Italian Sausage
Peking Duck
Tandoori Chicken
Texas BBQ
Wiener Schnitzel

See the entire article here

Play their Meat Water memory game here

Follow them on twitter here

Southern Pride – Woodburning BBQ Pits & Smokers – Company Overview

As a big fan of BBQ, I’m always interested in knowing what type of smoker or pit a BBQ Joint is using and of course what kind of wood they use (quick side note: this is information that I am slowly adding to every joint on my BBQ Joint Search Engine so you’ll know ahead of time). Die hard BBQ junkies tell me they will not go to a joint that uses anything other than ONLY wood, but that’s not feasible everywhere around the country. Also, there are a some smoker makers that have developed excellent quality woodburning/gas smokers that big time BBQ Joints use to turn out solid, quality BBQ day after day.

This is the first in my series of pieces covering pits, smokers, and wood so I can get a better grasp of what each company does and what makes them stand out on their own. Southern Pride is a company well respected in the BBQ industry. Their smokers are used by hundreds of BBQ joints including Fette Sau, Smoque BBQ, Jim & Nick’s Bar-B-Q, Robinson’s #1 Rib, Van’s Pig Stand, and Pork Barrel BBQ Del Rey will be using them once they open in Late February/Early March.

Here’s the background on Southern Pride:

Mike Robertson began in the BBQ restaurant business in the early 70’s and saw the need for a more consistent, less labor-intensive way to prepare traditional smoked BBQ. Together with his father B.B. Robertson, they designed the first version of their wood-burning rotisserie BBQ smoker.

In 1976, they decided to try to build and sell an improved BBQ rotisserie smoker and formed B.B. Robertson Company. Mike started building the first commercial BBQ pits in a garage in Marion, IL and B.B. hit the road to demonstrate and sell their early design. That first year in business, they built and sold 6 smokers. The family business was off and running with Bert Robertson handling sales, Mike doing the manufacturing, and with “Mom Monte” Robertson keeping the books and trying to keep both the boys in line.


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Barbecue Vending Machine – Tokyo, Japan

Japan always seems to be one step ahead of everyone when it comes to fads and crazes, so it seems apropos that they would be the first ones in the world to create a Barbecue Vending Machine.

This BBQ vending machine, found near Takadanobaba station in the Shinjuku Ward of Tokyo, was spotted by our Japan correspondent Devonsu. He said, “As I walked towards the train station I could smell the unmistakeable aroma of low and slow cooked meats. I had of course seen beer, cigarette, and food vending machines in Japan, but couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this.”

“I had to unfortunately rush to work, but noticed a man selecting the pork shoulder (this vending machine was serving brisket, pork shoulder, smoked prime rib, thick beef ribs, and strangely enough, prime cut steaks). The pork shoulder was lifted and cut with a robotic arm and dropped onto hot buns for sandwiches.”

“I knew that I would have to come back tomorrow to sample everything. What made me most happy was to see that Matsui, a hero of mine, was endorsing BBQ.”

So what do you think? Would you like to see this at your local mall or train station here the States?

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10 Great BBQ Sauces – Kevin’s BBQ Joints – Holiday List

It’s that time of year again (actually, can’t believe it’s really that time of year again) that I provide my top 10 BBQ Sauces for gifts this holiday season. I have 7 of the 10 locked up, but have some wiggle room for the final three. If you know of an amazing sauce that I may be missing (or you are a sauce maker) please comment below or email me as I will definitely take any suggestions into consideration as I wrap up the choices by the end of the week.

As I made my selections so far, I tried to choose ones that are not necessarily the ones you’d see in the market. There are so many amazing choices from BBQ Joints, BBQ Teams, and Mom & Pop sauce makers that I would love for people to really get to know. You can see the list of BBQ Joints and Sauce makers with online stores that I’ve compiled here. Some of these will be on the Holiday List for sure.

Review – Pork Barrel BBQ – Sauce and Dry Rub

OK. So there’s a fair amount of hype behind Pork Barrel BBQ. I first saw them on the ABC’s show Shark Tank. Here’s their audition tape and here’s their appearance. I casually followed their journey as they launched their sauces and rubs and started to get more and more traction in the BBQ world. Being curious minded, I decided to order their Pork Barrel BBQ Original Sauce and a jars of their All American Spice Rub.

I was planning on testing out their product over the weekend, when I happened to hear Heath (he and Brett make up the team behind Pork Barrel BBQ) on Greg Rempe’s BBQ Central Radio Show. It was nice because it gave me the opportunity to learn more about where they came from and their future plans (which include opening a restaurant in Washington, DC). More about that later.

I decided to go with baby back ribs. As instructed on their rub label, I brushed these with olive oil and rubbed in the spice rub (which is described as garlic, onion, smoked paprika, ancho chile, and chipotle chile).


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