4th of July Grilling Spectacular

Happy Fourth of July!!

For the holiday’s I like to do a big post with great food.  Since this is the summer and the 4th of July is such a big grilling day, I decided to make burgers and fries.  Not just any burgers, firecracker burgers.  Not just any fries, sour cream and chive fries.  This was going to be the best grilling day ever.

Firecracker Burger with Sour Cream and Chive Fries
Firecracker Burger with Sour Cream and Chive Fries

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Butt in a Bag

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed a cookbook by Ardie Davis on barbecuing. In the book he had a recipe for butt in a bag. Due to the name alone I had to make it. Basically you smoke a pork butt like normal, but halfway through you place it in a paper bag. The bag limits the smoke that can penetrate the meat and also keeps the meat moist without basting. There is nothing worse than barbecue that is dried out and has been over-smoked.

This recipe made some of the best pulled pork sandwiches.
This recipe made some of the best pulled pork sandwiches.

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Homemade Barbecue Sauce

I grill and barbecue all of the time, but I usually don’t make my own sauce.  It is quite easy to do, but I never seem to use the right ingredients to make it tasty.  I have done it in the past and it really hasn’t turned out that great.  I usually make the sauce too sweet or too tangy.  I was messing around in the kitchen the other day and I finally got the perfect sauce.  It is thick, tangy, sweet and spicy.  I used tomato paste as the base to make the sauce thicker.  It is amazing.

It takes a few ingredients but it is worth it.
It takes a few ingredients but it is worth it.

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What to do this weekend in DC (June 19-21)

Every friday I pick the best culinary events in the DC area for my readers to enjoy.  This weekend there are some great events to attend in and around the DC metro area. Kids Restaurant Week in DC – (June 13-21) Cookie and Gourmet invite you to join us for Kids’ Restaurant Week 2009!  Week-long … Read moreWhat to do this weekend in DC (June 19-21)

Food and Wine Festival At National Harbor

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending Food and Wine Festival at National Harbor. It was a lot of fun. There was wine tasting, beer tasting, liquor tasting and food. Lots and lots of food.  Plus, I got to hang out with Carla and Ariane from Top Chef Season 5.


The National Harbor was the perfect back drop for this event.  It also didn’t hurt that the event was located on the pier.  The location was awesome. 


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Ribs Ribs Ribs

My parents came to DC this weekend and my father loves to barbecue. So I decided to go to restaurant depot and grab some ribs. The ribs at the depot are amazing. They are cheap, they are untrimmed, and they are meaty. Remember to ask your butcher at your local supermarket for untrimmed meat when … Read moreRibs Ribs Ribs

How to start your grill/smoker without lighter fluid

When I started grilling I grabbed a bag of kingsford charcoal and lighter fluid.  I doused the charcoal with the fluid lit a match and watched as my eyebrows dissapeared in mushroom cloud.  I knew that there had to be a better way. Adding lighter fluid causes crazy fires and further adds unpleasant flavors to your food.  Today I want to amuse you with my barbecuing hijinks and teach you a better way to start a grill/smoker.

Look at the perfect coals.
Look at the perfect coals.

The first step to perfect coals is having the right equipment.  You need a charcoal chimney to start the perfect fire.

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Review: 25 Essential Techniques for Smoking

Every wednesday I review a cookbook to help weed out the good the bad and the ugly. This week I am reviewing 25 essential techniques for smoking by Ardie A. Davis. I love barbecuing and this seemed right up my alley. Artie A. Davis Artie is an award winning expert with his own barbecue university. … Read moreReview: 25 Essential Techniques for Smoking

Pulled Pork

Nothing says summer more than firing up your smoker, sitting in the sun and drinking some beer.  Last sunday it was 65 degrees and sunny so I decided that I wanted to make some pulled pork.  I went to the butcher and of course, he was on vacation.  So I had to choose from the meat in the case.  They had a pretty good selection including full picnic shoulders, 9 pound briskets and boston butts.  I chose a small 6 pound boston butt as I was only feeding myself.   I know 6 pounds is a lot.  But on the other hand it is still better than barbecuing a 14 pound picnic shoulder for myself.  Although, I probably would have eaten it all.  Pork is amazing!

Pulled pork

Above is some freshly shredded pork, you can see the nice pink smoke ring.  Doesn’t it look delicious.

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Cowboy Baked Beans

As you can see I am prepping this week for barbecue.  Yesterday was some awesome potato salad.  Today we are making cowboy baked beans.  I wanted to make beans from scratch.  Just a word of warning.  Making beans from scratch takes longer than barbecueing a whole hog.  The end result, was totally worth it.  And to my frequent reader Bond, yes, there is bacon and beer in this recipe.

Delicious Cowboy Baked Beans

The baked beans were soft, tender and delicious.  As you can see from the picture above the beans are laced with smokey bacon and some of the trimmings from my pulled pork.  Pork and beans is the best combination in the world.

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Creamy Potato Salad

  • The perfect side dish for barbecue, sandwiches, pork, or any picnic is Potato Salad.  My Grandma Dot has a great recipe for potato salad.  So, I called up my Mom this weekend for the recipe and instructions for Grandma’s perfectly creamy potato salad.

Perfect Potato Salad

The perfect potato salad takes at least 6 hours to make.  So if you are in a rush, you might want to go to the deli counter and just get some there.  But, trust me.  If you have time this recipe is totally worth it. 

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Jalapeno Cheddar Bratwurst

A couple of weeks ago I ran into Nick from Macheesmo, and we started to talk about sausage making. I then invited him over to help make some Jalapeno Cheddar Bratwurst. This was key as it really requires two people to make sausage. Not just two people though, two people that really like to cook. To spend 3 hours elbow deep in raw meat is not for the faint hearted. Although, the rewards are worth it.

Jalapeno Cheddar Brats

The key to a good bratwust is to make sure that it is juicy yet not so juicy that it explodes in your face. I have had many cheddar brats that as soon as you bite into them you hit the person next to you in the face with molten cheese. That is never good. This recipe is a perfect balance of meat and cheese. No need to wear goggles when the person next to you is biting into one.

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How and where to get good meat for BBQ and Sausage Making

Honestly the title says it all.

When I started BBQ’n and making sausage I had no idea where to find good meat. I started by going to the Safeway grocery store by my house and picked up prepackaged Pork Butts and Briskets. Then I went to a specialty butcher which cost two to three times as much. I decided to call the butcher up at the Safeway and order the best cuts from him. 

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