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A day with the Pitmasters

Commemorative Hawg with a Heart to raise funds for Operation BBQ Relief

More News

The National Barbecue News is proud to announce the winners of the 2015 Sauces of Honors contest. This is a National barbecue sauce contest that had 165 total entries this year. Our goal for this contest each year is very simple: find the best sauce that accompanies smoked pork, chicken or beef. All entries were judged in rounds and by a comparative basis. Thanks again for all who sent us your entries and we look forward to doing it all again next year as well!

PORK 59 Entries
  1. Captain Carolina – Company 7 BBQ
  2. Old Southern BBQ – Chicago Blue
  3. “Betty’s Blend” – Freddy Rays BBQ
  4. Sugar Britches BBQ Sauce & Glaze Spicy
  5. Sweet & Tangy – Sugar Hill Smokehouse
  6. “Creeper” – Freddy Rays BBQ
  7. Sweet Sauce O’ Mine
  8. Sucklebusters – Original
  9. Holy Smoke – Holy Smoke, LLC
  10. Sweet Barbecue Bones – Big B Barbecue
CHICKEN 56 Entries
  1. Full Boar BBQ “Sweet & Spicy”
  2. Hogs ’N Heat – Sweet & Savory BBQ Sauce
  3. Chief Smoky – Company 7 BBQ
  4. Dimples Sweet BBQ Sauce
  5. Captain Carolina – Company 7 BBQ
  6. Eroc’s – “Sweet Fig & Jamaican Rum”
  7. Ole Ray’s – Apple/Cinnamon Barbeque Sauce
  8. Sugar Britches BBQ Sauces & Glaze Spicy
  9. Anna’a Famous Sauce – Team Top Chick
  10. Riley’s Triple R Sauce
BEEF 50 Entries
  1. Chief Smoky – Company 7 BBQ
  2. Eroc’s – “Sweet Fig & Jamaican Rum”
  3. Smoky Jon’s Original Gourmet Supreme BBQ Sauce
  4. Full Boar BBQ “Sweet & Spicy”
  5. Sucklebusters – Original
  6. Sugar Britches BBQ Sauces & Glaze Spicy
  7. Riley’s Triple R Sauce
  8. Sierra Gourmet – Sierra Gourmet Grill
  9. Smoky Jon’s Fiery Gourmet Supreme BBQ Sauce
  10. Old Southern BBQ – Chicago Blue


By Linda Orrison

Here’s an opportunity for Southern BBQ folks to be a part of history!  To have your menus, signed cookbooks, and that old BBQ sign that’s sitting outback preserved permanently at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum!

Next time you are in the New Orleans area, I would highly recommend taking the time to visit the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.  This place is so very interesting to anyone, let alone the likes of we foodies.

SoFAB, as it is called, documents and celebrates the food and drink of all southern cultures through exhibits and programming. SoFAB is home to several entities, among them the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, The Museum of the American Cocktail, the John & Bonnie Boyd Hospitality & Culinary Library, and the Pacific Food and Beverage.

SoFAB, guided by curator Stephen Raichlen, a James Beard award-winning author and TV personality, with the help of their excellent staff, is rapidly growing into the nation’s most comprehensive cultural institution studying food and drink.

Many southern cultures are honored, and BBQ is very prominent by the installation of the Trail of Smoke and Fire.

Texas: Aaron Franklin
Louisiana: Cajun Microwave from The Crawfish Guy
Mississippi: The Shed
Alabama: Big Bob Gibson's
Florida: A mullet smoker
Oklahoma: Hasty Bake
South Carolina: Our own presentation of an oyster roast
North Carolina: Ed Mitchell's
Georgia: The Big Green Egg
Arkansas: Outdoor Kitchen, Spadden's
Virginia: Edward's Hams
West Virginia:  Kingsford
Maryland: Fat Daddy's
Tennessee: Rendevous
Kentucky: Moonlight Barbecue

They also have a Shadden’s BBQ sign from Arkansas, and Kentucky’s Fancy Farm Picnic has sent several items to display.
SoFAB is reaching out to NBBQA members to make sure that anyone who wants to be a part of BBQ history has an invitation to do so.
Now’s your opportunity to make a statement for your southern que!  All that is required is to put it in the mail and send it to them.

SoFAB Institute
1609 O.C. Haley Blvd.
New Orleans, LA  70113
502-569 0405

If you are sending a sign or any other memorabilia you think worthy (other than menus and books), please contact Liz Williams, President at to give them a heads up.

Hope to see you all represented in this great project!

Taking Jerky to Another Level!

By Kent “The Deck Chef” Whitaker

 As some of my friends will tell you… I’m kind of a jerky freak. I’m a sucker for a good bag of jerky especially if it has a different take on flavor as are many of my grilling and barbecue buddies. Jerky that leans towards barbecue, or international flavorings, are right in my wheel house. That’s why an email from Ricky Hirsch, of Think Jerky, jumped out at me when he mentioned his Chef developed flavors! But that’s not really what captured my attention.

“Kent, my jerky is packed with flavor from real chefs,” Hirsch told me. “It’s protein-rich and all natural, containing no glutens, hormones nor antibiotics!” My first response was that I hoped that the flavor was not sucked out of the jerky as you find with foods that are developed to appeal to my healthier side. Thank goodness that was a concern of Hirsch’s as well. His reply to me was, “Kent, think healthy, think delicious, think jerky!” He had me at “Think Jerky!”

Why this is a BBQ Story!
I know some of you may be wondering why I chose to write about jerky in my column in the National Barbecue News (NBN). One, we all love jerky. And two, Hirsch has a great idea in reaching out to food professionals, as many NBN readers are. Almost all of us are looking to turn a competition hobby into a business. I think one way to do this to look outside of the box… the “fire box” in this instance.

Hirsch reached out to the culinary community to set his flavors apart. I think we all get stuck in a rut with the same old recipes and barbecue flavors. I also like Hirsch’s move towards fresh and all natural approach. I see more barbecue and grilling enthusiasts moving this way as well. Especially with today’s younger generation of backyard chefs. Hirsch provides a lesson of identifying a market that many of my friends developing sauces, rubs, and grilling products should think about.

Back To Jerky!
After chatting with Hirsch, I realized that I needed to taste his new Jerky! He was happy to oblige and sent a few samples my way. My wife Ally is more of a jerky snob than I am so I let her have the honors with the first taste.  Then came my test, followed by our son ARMY strong Sgt. son who was back in town from of “blowing stuff up for the USA,” … as he says. I didn’t tell either of my fellow tasters that the chef developed flavor should be noticeable as compared to other brands.

Here’s why — Hirsch has partnered with some pretty awesome chefs in his search for great taste! Laurent Gras, awarded three Michelin stars while chef at L20. How about James Beard award winning Gale Gand (Food Network, Tru, and SpritzBurger.) And let’s not forget Chicago Baconfest champion Matt Troost of (Three Aces, Charlatan.) Here’s the current lineup of flavors in single serving 1.5 ounce packages. Sriracha Honey, Ginger Orange, Sweet Chipotle, and Thanksgiving.
The results from the Whitaker family taste test? Thumbs Up! The jerky had, as promised, amazing flavor! We all loved the Ginger Orange but all of the samples were far beyond any jerky we’ve tried. And, the texture was amazing with seasonings you could see. Not just some tough meat flavored with chemicals and mystery spices then cut into uniform pieces.

Currently Hirsch is working on expanding his number of retailers while keeping his eye on healthy, quality, and of course flavor. “Jerky is a hot product these days because people are seeking protein-rich natural snacks,” said Hirsch. “Unfortunately, the jerky market is dominated by just a few producers who don’t create a premium product. Besides creating a healthy and delicious jerky, I wanted to create a company that maintained the integrity of the word ‘chef’, said Hirsch.
The details of Think Jerky’s Kickstarter campaign, including products and packaging, can be found at Also check out the video presentation that explains the philosophy of Think Jerky and how they source their ingredients, create recipes and manufacture their products.

Kent Whitaker is the author of eight cookbooks, ranging from hometown cooking with a culinary history twist to titles for NASCAR tailgating and barbecue. He has also written and illustrated two books for children, is a trained USCG AUXCHEF, and is the winner of the Emeril Live / Food Network Barbecue Contest. His latest book, Bullets and Bread,  is in bookstores nationally and is also available online at, as well as at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon.

New products make the Q life more delicious and more convenient

By NBN Cooking Crew

RodFathers’s Premium BBQ Sauce

At first glance, this sauce looks premium because of the great graphics, bright colors, and whiskey shaped bottle. These looks are surely dead on as well, as the sauce inside the bottle is just as premium as the bottle looks. Sweet, tangy, and very mild with little to no heat best describes this sauce. The hint of onion and very small hint of liquid smoke really sets this sauce apart from most other barbecue sauces we have tasted in the past. We also love the fact that the sauce itself is fairly thin, which tells us that it is not intended to cover up the flavors found inside your barbecue but simply accompany the protein. We certainly recommend this one for anyone looking for a great chicken or pork sauce. We sampled this one on a few grilled pork chops and some chopped chicken, and the results were fantastic on both. Over all we give this sauce four and a quarter bones on a scale of one to five bones.

You can find out more about this brand new sauce at their website:

Unknown BBQ’s Lid Hinge for Weber Kettle
If you have competed in the Florida Barbecue Association over the past few years, then the name Unknown BBQ is very familiar to you. These guys have been on a tear since they first got started and show no signs of cooling down anytime soon.  Thus far they have 16 Grand Championships, six Reserve Grand finishes, and 22 overall top five finishes. They also have graced the cover of the National Barbecue News back in May 2012 after winning the Smoke on the Water competition in Thomaston, GA.

Now that you know who these guys are, let me introduce you to a few super useful grilling and smoking tools they are now making.

They have come up with a stainless steel hinge that works on several different Weber and UDS models. We love cooking on our old standard 22.5” Weber Kettle grill, and they hooked us up with a hinge to try on it. We know that Weber has the hook on the inside of the lid, but we also know that it really doesn’t work all that well, so finding a place to put the lid while you are grilling can indeed become a pain. With this new hinge, you have the best of both worlds because it comes with a quick release pin that will allow you to operate the lid like it came originally or simply keep the pin in and the lid will catch in the open position for you to tend to your grate. If the pin is in and open, then a very light tug forward on the lid handle will unlock the hinge and allow it to be closed in the correct sealed position.

This hinge is a super quality product that is indeed going to stand up to the test of time. I am willing to bet the grill will be burned through long before the hinge will give up. Installation was about a 10-minute job, and the instructions made this a really easy and quick project. We have tested the hinge now for about a month and love it more and more every time we fire up our Kettle. Overall, we have to give this product the max five bones on a scale of one to five bones. There is nothing that we dislike about this piece.

You can find more information and other size hinges and accessories at their website:

Photo by NBN Cooking Crew
Weber Kettle grill before hinge installation

Photo by NBN Cooking Crew
Weber Kettle (closed) after hinge installation

Photo by NBN Cooking Crew
Weber Kettle (open) after hinge installation


Grilled Wild Pacific Salmon with Ginger Lemongrass Sauce

Fire Up The Grill
By Steve Collins
The Home Chef



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