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Sauces of Honor 2016 Winners!

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Congratulations to the 2016 Barbecue Hall of Fame Inductees

The 2016 Barbecue Hall of Fame Inductees have some special ties to us!Sizzle & Smoke
By R. Kell Phelps
Publisher, NBBQN

Back in 2012, the Barbecue Hall of Fame started with a bang and has not looked back since. The whole "regions of barbecue" discussion stalled this from happening in the late 1990's when another group had looked into what a true BBQ hall of fame would look like. Naturally, after a good bit of push back from other BBQ regional areas, they folded their cards. I personally always knew it would happen eventually, and I had no preference where it was located. I simply just thought it should be in a "BBQ town" somewhere in the United States of America.

Do you know "that group" that everyone seems to look up to, but at the same time no one really knows anyone in "that group?" Well, one thing is for sure…"that group" doesn't have that problem in the barbecue world that I know. I am privileged to personally know almost every single Hall of Famer who has been inducted so far,  and severval are heroes to me and my family. When they released the list of inductees for 2016, my face lit up like a Christmas tree because I am not aware of any more deserving men in the BBQ world today. I am also very pleased that I get to work around and with these gentlemen almost on a monthly basis.

David Knight
I met Mr. David at my very first trip to Memphis in May in 2001 as the new publisher of the National Barbecue News. I am betting he may not remember it because it was just a casual meeting, but to me he was the Ole Hickory Pits president and owner.  He simply smiled, shook my hand, and told me, "I've heard some pretty good things about you. I am looking forward to working with you in the near future." Needless to say, I was already a nervous wreck from being around several other Hall of Famers like Mike Mills, Myron Mixon, Ray Lampe, and new inductee Chris Lilly. I just wasn't sure how they would accept the second generation newspaper boy from South Georgia, but thinking back, I had no one who looked at me that way. Mr. David…as I will always call him…simply made me feel as though I belonged, and I will never forget that meeting.

His company is a leading manufacturer of commercial barbecue smoker ovens sold worldwide. With experience earned from his early days in the family restaurant and knowledge gained from pit design, David uses his skills to help restaurateurs and competitors stay on the cutting edge of the industry. Knight is also active in the competitive circuit, both as a judge and with his support of teams. His unique blend of barbecue and business experience provides perspective of the industry, which he shares in trade journal articles and industry seminars.

Ardie Davis
Ardie Davis is what my dad called a "Barbecue Character." I heard a pile of stories about "Remus Powers" way before I even heard of Ardie Davis, as Doc Gillis and my dad were always looking forward to running into this fellow that was bigger than life itself. The most memorable story of all is when the three of them joined Willie Nelson for a quick interview on Willie's bus after a huge Ribfest. I will not spoil it, but from all reports, Willie learned a thing or two about smokin' that night!
Ardie is also a monthly contributor to the National Barbecue News and has been since the early days. I am beyond honored to call him a friend and barbecue companion. There is no doubt that barbecue would not be where it is today without his expert advice and opinions.

Ardie, aka Remus Powers, Ph.B., is founder of the American Royal Barbecue Sauce Contest, which is in its 29th year and is the largest sauce contest in the world. He is a charter member of the KCBS, instrumental in the development of the Certified Barbecue Judge curriculum, and author of the oath that each judge still recites before judging a contest. All in the name of BBQ, Ardie is the author of numerous books, writes freelance for the Kansas City Star, the BullSheet, National Barbecue News, and has been interviewed twice by the History Channel due to his knowledge of barbecue. Ardie's involvement in the BBQ community has earned him nine separate nominations for this year's Barbecue Hall of Fame, more than twice as many as any other candidate.

Chris Lilly
I first met Chris when he was working with my brother on a set of videos called "How to Barbecue." The four set video series showed Chris doing his techniques on three of them. Since those days, Chris has written history as a pitmaster, TV personality, and even product spokesperson. His intense passion and focus for turning in the perfect product are something that I have seen no one match while watching competition turn ins being prepped.

Chris Lilly's influence spans many facets of BBQ, including competition, restaurants, cookbooks, television, product spokesman and retail products. Lilly is a three-time Memphis in May Grand Champion, Grand Champion of the American Royal Invitational, Reserve Grand Champion of the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue, and winner of the inaugural King of the Smoker Invitational. In addition, there has been no Pitmaster with more success in the pork category at Memphis in May, bringing home seven wins.

My hat is off to all three of you guys! We are looking forward to hearing more about your induction coming up in Kansas City in October. Thanks again for all the memories you have helped us make over the years. We can't wait to see what you guys come up with next in your historic BBQ careers.
Until Next Month…Keep It Smokin'!


BBQ Dreams do come true

La Cabaña Smokehouse in Chihuahua, Mexico, is quiet possibly the greatest dream-come-true barbecue story that we have ever heard

By Kell Phelps, NBN Publisher

Omar Armendariz is not your average barbecue guy, but his humble beginnings sound much like that of thousands of others who simply have a dream to own their own BBQ restaurant. I met Omar and his crew while in Jacksonville, FL, back in March at the National Barbecue Association Annual Convention and Trade Show. After just a few minutes of hearing how their dreams are turning into reality, I was assured I had a front-page story that would both inspire and educate others who have that same dream.

La Cabaña Smokehouse got its start about six years ago. This fact alone is a huge victory for Omar and his crew. This is a huge success considering that over 75% of all restaurants fail within the first year. They started with a philosophy based on the Biblical scripture found in Colossians 3:23-24 that states, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." That philosophy – combined with the dream – was the start of this ultra success story!
The dream location included a nice wooden cabin, great BBQ ribs, and country music combined with some videos of their hobbies, which included hunting, fishing, rodeoing, and mud racing. This was the indoor concept but first they needed an effective way to smoke ribs. So their very first step toward making that dream a reality happened when they invested in a smoker that they built from two steel drums. While working to perfect the ribs, they started putting their ideas to paper while waiting for the ribs to cook. Soon afterward, the concept for La Cabaña Smokehouse was born.

They got their humble start while cooking on the sidewalk for friends and neighbors. It wasn't long before they were ready for their very first location. Their total investment for this first dream location was $4,501 U.S. dollars. That was $167 for a bigger smoker, $1,334 for equipment, and a loan for $3,000. This first place was a huge struggle for them because they relied heavily on their passion and enthusiasm to continue the grind. The payoff came soon enough, and 2009-2012 saw constant lines up to two hours long. There was no doubt the people of Chihuahua had never tasted anything quite like this, and they wanted more of this phenomenon that we call barbecue.

Their success in this start up location gave the crew a chance to save some money, while also searching out for bank credit so they could expand on that dream. A second and third location followed rather quickly, and in 2015 they had the whole city of Chihuahua covered and was named by Imperdibles magazine as the third best restaurant in the city and also was awarded with one of their top 100 restaurants in all of Mexico.

Currently, they have over 135 employees and also now have a franchiser license so they can begin to expand all across the country. Recently, they upgraded all of their self-built smokers to Southern Pride units that help them standardize their flavor profiles between all of their locations. This will also help their newer franchise locations achieve that same taste profile.

I asked Omar if there was one decision or event that has helped contribute to this overwhelming success. Omar told me, "Sure! Do not be afraid to grow or look for financial help and financial loans, and always think about total quality while always thinking big!"

I also asked Omar what is the next step for the Smokehouse. His answer was right in line with the rest of this almost make believe story as he told me, "Right now we are focused on our franchise model and getting ready to grant our next eight branches in 2017 in eight different states here in Mexico, with another eight in 2018. Our total goal is 50 franchised restaurants throughout all of Mexico, and we are excited and happy to be the thrusters of bbq in Mexico."
If I was a betting man, I could not walk away from this almost guaranteed success! You can follow their story on their website at

Photo courtesy of NBBQA
Francisco Duran (Finance and business analyst), Alejandro Duran (partner), and Omar Armendariz (partner).

Photo courtesy of La Cabaña
From a homemade 50-gallon smoker to commercial Southern Pride smokers.

BBQ Dreams do come true

Operation BBQ Relief comes to the aid of flood-striken Louisiana

The surrounding photos are from the recent deployment of Operation BBQ Relief (OBR) in Hammond, LA. According to the report from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, roughly 110,000 homes may have been flooded or damaged. This deployment started on August 15th and is slated to run through August 28th. This amazing group of volunteers, sponsors and donors managed to produce over 200,000 hot and really good barbecue meals to a huge part of this region that was flooded. Below is a really small list of some of those responsible for making this happen, but the truth is that without YOUR support of this great organization, then none of this would have been possible! You can see what helping feed over 200,000 plates looks like from OBR's Facebook page as well.

Thank you to all our volunteers who are helping: Bryan Roppolo, Jason Morree, Patrick Banks, Joey, Fred Salinas, John Wheeler, Memphis Barbecue Company, Stan Hays, Will Cleaver, Dana Reed, Lynn Gorham Entrekin, Bryan McLarty, The Shed BBQ and Blues Joint, LSU Ladies' Basketball, Sanderson Farms Chicken, Brad Orrison, Mike Richter, Amy Ford Olsen, Jeff Petkevicius, Ole Hickory Pits, Blue Rhino, Sunbelt Rentals, Sam's Club, Sonny's BBQ, Famous Dave's Bar-B-Que of America, Inc., and many more!; Text donateobr to 41444

To volunteer, text obr to 51555. #OBRcares #iamOBR #Lafloods

There were approximately 50 volunteers on-site most of the time. A core group was on location since day one. With temperatures in the mid-90's and the humidity anywhere from 90-100%, these guys and gals were certainly giving it their all!

Hot BBQ Meal Counts

  Aug. 15th 0 400
  Aug. 16th 4,000 4,550
  Aug. 17th 9,015 8,437
  Aug. 18th 13,460 8,080
  Aug. 19th 19,043 11,250
  Aug. 20th 16,532 11,044
  Aug. 21st 17,033 7,400
  Aug. 22nd 20,266 5,425
  Aug. 23rd 16,285 9,940
  Aug. 24th 9,525 5,800
  Aug. 25th 10,200 4,820
TOTAL   143,659 78,046
*Estimate due to print schedule.

Photo courtesy of OBR
OBR celebrates the 800,000th meal outdoors.

Photo courtesy of OBR
One of several supply trailers showing support for sponsors

Photo courtesy of OBR
Part of the make shift compound

Photo courtesy of OBR
Pork loins being chopped

Photo courtesy of OBR

Photo courtesy of OBR
Plates ready for tops

Photo courtesy of OBR
144,000th deployment meal

Photo courtesy of OBR
Reggie Methvin clowns around during a rare break.

Photo courtesy of OBR
THANKS to everyone – from the smallest donor to the biggest sponsor. This would not happen without YOU!

Photo courtesy of OBR
Plating line inside current set up location

Photo courtesy of
Louisiana flooded area map

Photo courtesy of
Brad Orrison and little Shedheads helping out

Photo courtesy of OBR
Famous Dave's sent a crew and trucks to help out as well.

Photo courtesy of OBR
One of many supply trucks helping to make it happen


Grilled Wild Pacific Salmon with Ginger Lemongrass Sauce

Fire Up The Grill
By Steve Collins
The Home Chef



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