The Hampton Smoker

What's up wtih what's going down? Does a tree falling on the ocean with no one around make a sound? Barbecue, BBQ, Bar-b-que. It's all in how you sell it.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Paul Kirk BBQ Class in New York City

The first of its kind...and hopefully not the last!

Sponsored by RUB BBQ
To Benefit The St. Mark Sports Association

When: October 21, 2006
Where: Water Taxi Beach, Long Island City, NY

Rain or Shine!


Paul Kirk, the legendary Baron of Barbecue, Barbecue Guru, Ambassador of Barbecue, Order of the Magic Mop, Certified Barbecue Judge, Kansas City Barbecue Society Board of Directors, Inductee into the KCBS Barbecue Hall of Flame, Author of numerous cookbooks and 1990 Chef of the Year Greater Kansas City ACF Chapter is coming to New York City to teach the Baron's School of Pitmasters.

This class is suited for the back yard BBQ enthusiast, the seasoned competitor, or those considering opening a BBQ joint (restaurant). The Baron will cover the basics of BBQing Brisket, Pork Butt, Pork Ribs, Chicken, and Sausage. He will also cover fire management, fuels, BBQ rubs and spices, BBQ sauce, contest presentation, among many other subjects.

How much: $250 per person - THIS CLASS IS LIMITED TO 40

Click Here For The Entry Form For The BBQ Class

Students Must Bring:
Cookers (from Weber Kettles to trailer models)
charcoal, wood chunks, logs or chips, knives, tongs, cutting boards, apple juice, tables, chairs and any other furnishings you would bring to a contest, including
aluminum foil, pop-up tents or canopies, coolers, gloves, drinks, ice, etc…. as well as any and all misc. cooking items or equipment you need for outdoor cooking.

About the St. Mark Sports Association:
The St. Mark Sports Association is a Brooklyn based non-sectarian sports program for boys and girls from ages 4-16. We provide children with the opportunity to play and learn competitive basketball, swimming and soft ball. We also offer girl's cheerleading program. We are part of The Special Olympics, The Jr. NBA, The Jr. WNBA, CYO and The Brooklyn Children's Baseball and Basketball Association. We are a non-profit organization. We do not discriminate. All children living within our neighborhood are welcome into our programs. The St. Mark Sports Association. Thank you for your support.


The Baron at work at the Big Apple Block Party

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bourdain on Barbecue

Finally almost recovered from that week off and then I get a cold. Somehow, it hasn't slowed down the eating. Last night was spice-rubbed shell steaks and fresh, homemade chicken soup made with thighs, drumsticks, backs and wings. It was cluck-full of chickeny flavor and this morning it's like a big bowl of chicken jell-o.

Here are a few things to catch up with:

Anthony Bourdain, chef and tv host has posted a great piece attempting to define barbecue. He's really promoting his new book, The Nasty Bits (and Amstel, it seems), but it is still a good read.

This here is a fascinating article that discusses why so many fast food places (and other businesses) use the colors red and yellow in their logo design and advertising. Are those two colors killing us? The article is "Red and Yellow Kills a Fellow".

Ever wonder why things taste like they do? It's because: "Flavour is a biological perception, a sensation produced by a material taken in the Mouth. It is the aggregate of the characteristics of the material that produces the sensation of flavour. Flavour is perceived principally by the aroma receptors in the nose and taste receptors in the mouth."

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Stand and Deliver

Roasted Portabello Mushroom Strata
Not even sure where to begin on this one. The wife and I spent Wednesday to Sunday providing personal chef/private chef services to 35 people at a 17 bedroom home in the hamptons. In the middle of that, on Friday, we cooked a rehearsal dinner bbq for 60 a torrential rain/wind storm. I seem to do all my cooking in the rain these days.
The clients were a lovely young couple named Peter and Page. They got married on Saturday evening in East Hampton, which is where the wife and I got married. They rented a strange, old 17 bedroom house out on the way towards Montauk, that was off the water and had a tennis court, pool, jacuzzi...the works. Of course, we didn't take advantage of that stuff-- we were racing against time.

The wife and I arrived at our kitchen in Long Island on Weds. night/Thurs. morning at 5am to put together 3 cold salads and fresh-baked oatmeal cookies for lunch for 15-20 people to be delivered at that day 11:30am. That afternoon we shopped and got ready to cook eggs, bacon, muffins and more for Friday's breakfast for 25-- as well as 4 salads for Friday's lunch for 30 people....and all the food for the bbq dinner for 60 Friday night. Just the two of us. Did I mention that we did all of the pantry shopping for the 30 people, too? Yikes.
By the rehearsal dinner on Friday evening, we were just about toast. Fortunately, we had our amazing friends Ann and Mimi come on Friday afternoon/evening to act as servers/runners, and my great friend Robert of WhiteTrashBBQ as my extra pair of hands and general asset around the bbq pit. Most importantly, he kept me on ice as I got more and more wet and frantic. Thanks, buddy. We staggered through Saturday breakfast and lunch, and helped the mother of the bride host brunch on Sunday, and then we were done. Except for clean up. Ugggh.

The exhaustion I felt Sunday night as I unhitched Large Marge and began to turn home to go to sleep is indescribable. At several points I was more tired than I've ever been in my life. I think we slept maybe 2 hours each night. At one point last night, as we were driving home I hallucinated a cougar loping beside the car. Uh, yea.

Every part of me is in excrutiating pain-- my knuckles are split and raw from repeatedly washing my hands and bashing them against steel and wood. My joints are stiff and achey. I have cuts, burns and bruises on my hands and arms. Water stings them. My body is a minefield of mosquito bites and my brain is stuck in a blank loop.

Man was this fun!!

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Your Time Is Gonna Come

Here she is folks! Large Marge has landed. Sorry, I was in such a tizzy I didn't yet get any pictures of her without the wrapping, but here's the wife welcoming her to the family at the Meadow Creek factory in New Holland, PA and the first beef off the grill-- cooked without thermometers and in the dark, and the first rack of baby back ribs from the smoker that were sampled. The ribs were cooked hot and fast on the top shelf and were moist, sweet and delicious. No sauce (except the alcohol kind) was consumed in the making of these pictures.

Though it seemed leaky at first, once preheated, the smoker held temp rock steady at 250 front to back, and was very fuel efficient.

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