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Our recipes change now and then so if you see something you like print it now!

Select the recipe category that you would like to view below; Pork, Steak, Beef/Large Cuts, Chicken, Fish, Vegetables or Other, we've got something for everyone.

Here are the current dishes:

"Mustard and Herb Crusted BBQ Pork Loin"
"Harry's 50/50/57 Pork Loin Chops"
"Chinese Glazed Baby Back Pork Ribs"
"Basic Smoky Sweet Baby-back Pork Ribs"
"Bodacious Bone-in Ribeye"
"Butter-Thyme T-Bone"
"Mexican- Flavored Flank Steak"
"Chili, Coffee Crusted Beef Filet"
"Holiday Roast Beast" (Chili and Java Crusted Rib Roast)
"Dave's Revelation Slow-smoked Beef Brisket"
"Kim's Sweet'n Spicy Korean BBQ Ribs (Karbi)"
"Grill-Blackened Salmon with Mango Salsa"
"Brined and Hot Smoked Salmon"
"Grilled Lobster Tails with Smokey Fennel Thyme / Butter"
"Smoked then Fried Chicken Wings"
"Sticky Smoky BBQ Chicken Thighs"
"Calvert's Smokey Pot'O BBQ Beans"
"The Day After - Roast Beef Hash (with Poached Egg and Gravy)
"Midnight Chili No. 5" (NEW!)
"Grilled and Smokey Sweet, Venison Backstrap"



"Harry's 50/50/57 Pork Loin Chops"

I've always said; "Bone-in is flavor-in and you know that I think T-Bones and Porterhouses are "old-school" and just the best.  Well here is the pork version of the T-Bone.  This is a Pork Loin Chop!!  Filet of pork on one side, bone in the middle and pork steak on the other side.  I have added a sauce/glaze that my dad used as far back as I can remember.  My dad was truly a master in the backyard cookery department and I am sure I have seen this mixture printed somewhere over the years but to me it was his.  I am not sure where he got it but it makes "Pork Chops" just amazing!!  Tangy, Sticky, Sweet and a bit charred, this is the pork chop that I have never seen anyone push away!  Serve this with some applesauce and some salad in the backyard and there will be a lot of sticky, smiling, happy faces!!!


  • 4-6 Pork loin chops;  Have your butcher cut them abouy 3 inches thick
  • Garlic Salt
  • Pepper
  • Honey
  • Heinz 57 sauce
Grill set-up:
  • Direct heat
 Chef's Directions:
  • Mix Heinz 57 and Honey 50/50 in a glass bowl and set aside.
  • Salt and Pepper Pork Chops both sides.
  • Brush "lightly" with a little cooking oil
  • Grill over high direct heat each side making quarter turns to make cross-hatched grill markes about 8-10 minutes total on each side (4-5 minutes turn over 4-5 minutes on other side, flip over make quarter turn 4-5 more minutes, turn over make quarter turn 4-5 more minutes).
  • The chops will still not be done.
  • Now baste/brush generously with the Honey 57 mixture and turn over basted side down.  (Do not leave the Grill, the sugars in the honey will burn if you do not flip at the right time). 
  • Wait about 1-2 minutes flip over and repeat several times until you have a nice tight shiny glaze.
  • When done to your liking, remove from grill, loosely cover with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes so the juices redistribute themselves.


During the holidays or special occasions “Go big”, “Go large cuts”  “Go something dramatic with and edge”
.  Porchetta (pronounced: “porketta”) is probably one of the most over-the-top things you can do on your grill or smoker and it will literally stun your guests it is so good.  Porchetta a traditional Italian street food of some cultural significance, generally prepared for slicing and putting between bread or eaten on the fly and is not readily known here in the U.S. Let me tell you; Of all the barbecue pork recipes, this is Porky goodness of the highest order!!!  

Essentially, Porchetta a center-cut pork loin recipe rubbed, spiced and layered with oranges, garlic and herbs, then wrapped with “pork belly”, tied and roasted over wood
fire.  You get the moist meaty spiced flavor of the pork roast and the fatty, crispy,
deliciousness of the pork belly with skin all at the same time.  “It is just unbelievable”
It is not difficult to make, has great flavor and leaves some amazing juice and crunchy bits for gravy making if you are in the mood.  Actually, the only tricky thing is finding a piece of pork belly that was large enough to fit around the roast (most stores break them down into smaller sizes.  Talk to your butcher and order a large one ahead of time).  

Try this outside and watch your guests‘ blank stares as they clean their plates.  Porchetta is a truly unique experience and flavor.  This is truly a unique and little known pork barbecue recipe.  They’ll never forget this one and neither will you!!  You’ll do more!! You should do more!!


4 to 6 lb. Center-cut Pork loin roast
4 to 6 lb.  Pork-belly (skin on)
3 Tbsp. Fennel Seeds crushed in a mortar and pestle or buzzed in a spice grinder (or use 2 Tbsp. of seeds and 1Tbsp. of Fennel Pollen)
2 Tbsp. Fresh Sage (finely chopped/minced)
1 Tbsp. Fresh Rosemary (finely chopped/minced)
1 Tbsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
4 Garlic Cloves crushed or finely chopped. (Use only 3 if they are big)
Kosher or Sea Salt for seasoning.
1 Orange seeded and thinly sliced (leave peel on)

Grill set up:

  • -Indirect heat.
  • -Use one small chunk of “mild” soaked fruitwood (Apple or Cherry).  No Oak or Hickory here, they are too strong.  You want this to be “kissed with smoke” NOT SMOKED.-Get the grill hot to start (425-450 degrees F.)
  • -Prepare to drop the temperature down to 300 degrees F. after the first 40 minutes and then maintain 300 degrees F. for another 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Chefs Prep instructions:     

  • Combine the Fennel seeds, Sage, Rosemary, Red Pepper Flakes and Garlic in a bowl and set aside.
  • Place Pork Belly skin side down on a cutting board.  Using a sharp knife cut a checkerboard patter in the meat side of the belly half way down to the skin (you’ll have 1-2 inch squares all over when done).
  • Turn Pork Belly meat side down and with the tip of a sharp knife poke the skin all over making little holes.  Do this until the skin is pocked all over.  This will help ensure that the skin renders properly and crisps-up during cooking.
  • With skin side up, now pound the pork belly with the rough side of a meat mallet for 2 or 3 minutes to further prepare the skin for it’s crispy debut.
  • Rub the spice mixture all over the pork loin roast and the meat side of the porkbelly.
  • Salt both generously.
  • Arrange/Layer the Orange Slices on top of the pork loin.
  • Carefully place the pork belly around the loin (meat side down against the loin)
  • Tie tightly at 1-2 inch intervals with Butcher’s twine.
  •  Refrigerate “uncovered” for 4-6 hours to dry the skin out a bit and flavors to marry.
  • Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before cooking.

Chef’s Cooking Instructions:

  1. Place in a rimmed baking dish (glass or metal).  Do not cover with foil. 
  2. Salt the skin generously all over.
  3. Place into your grill or smoker, close the lid and cook “uncovered” at 425 - 450 degrees F. for 45 minutes.
  4. Drop the temperature to 300 degrees F. and cook for another 1-1/2 to 2 hours until an instant read thermometer (inserted into the center of the meat) registers 145 degrees F. and the skin is a crispy, deep mahogany color.
  5. Remove meat, loosely tent with foil and let rest for 15 minutes before carving.
  6. Slice into large slices and serve with pan drippings or gravy you’ve made from the juices.

Note: If the fat begins to scorch in the pan as it renders during cooking add 1/2 cup of water to the dish.  It will put a stop to that and give you some extra juice for drizzling or gravy later.

Skin Note: If you want crispier skin or it looks like it’s not browning enough along the way,  when the instant read thermometer reads internal temp at about 135 degrees F.  crank the heat back up to 450 degrees F. again and cook at the higher temp until you reach the desired 145 degrees F. internal temp.

As far as barbecue pork recipes go, this is awesome!!!

Chinese Glazed Baby Back Pork Ribs

I haven’t met an American yet that doesn’t love Chinese food.  I love those little pink, smoky Chinese pork ribs that are served at almost every Chinese restaurant.  The problem is that I also haven’t met an American yet who thinks it’s easy to cook Chinese at home.  And they’re right; it’s not easy.  But these backyard marvels take those restaurant ribs to a whole new level and they are not hard to make.  Sticky, sweet, tangy and slightly spicy, these glazed pork ribs are it!!  I made 6 racks of these for a friend’s party recently and they were gone in about 15 minutes.  The adults and the kids devoured them!!! They take a bit of time and little attention but it’s not hard and the result is worth it!!!!!

(This recipe is for 4 racks of ribs.  You can make more if you wish just make extra marinade)


  • 4 Racks of Baby back pork ribs (trimmed of any excess fat and membrane)
  • ½ Cup chopped green onions for garnish (White and Green parts)


  • 1 Cup Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 Cup Plum Sauce
  • ¼ Cup Honey
  • ½ Cup Light Soy Sauce
  • ¼ Cup Dry Sherry
  • ¼ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons - Chinese or Thai Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Red Pepper Flakes
  • 6-8 Cloves of Garlic Smashed and finely minced or put through a Garlic Press.
  • Mix all marinade ingredients in a non-reactive glass bowl and let sit for 15 minutes or so before using for flavors to meld.

Grill / Smoker Set up:

Set your grill or smoker up for indirect heat cooking.  After coals are hot and begin to get ashen, add 3-4 fist sized chunks of soaked fruitwood.  I recommend “Apple wood” for this.  Hickory is too strong and you want only a medium smoky flavor.  Nothing overwhelming.

Need to achieve a consistent temperature of 250 degrees for 3-4 hours.

Chef’s Directions:

  • Reserve about ½ cup of the marinade/glaze for brushing on to glaze the ribs after they are fully cooked.
  • In a large baking dish or sheet pan, slather both sides of the ribs with some marinade (get a good coating on them).  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before grilling.
  • Remove the ribs from refrigeration, and place on the grill in a single layer (bone side down) or in a rib-rack (bone side back).
  • Close the grill and cook for 3 hours at 250 degrees (or until the meat starts to shrink away from the bones).
  • Re-brush the ribs generously with more marinade/glaze every 30 minutes.
  • After 3 hours, quickly remove the ribs to the sheet pan or baking dish, cover tightly with aluminum foil and put the whole thing back on the grill for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes has elapsed, remove from the grill and set the whole thing on a counter top and rest covered for another 20 minutes.
  • At this point the ribs are ready for the final glaze and ready to serve BUT you can hold the ribs for an hour or so until your guests arrive.  Any longer than that, refrigerate them until ready for use that day. 
  • 15 minutes before you are ready to serve them, re-glaze again (with a clean brush) using reserved ½ cup of marinade and put them back on the grill and heat through to tighten the glaze up.
  • Serve whole racks on a platter or cut individual ribs and pile them up on plates.  Garnish with the chopped green onions.  The meat should be fall-off-the-bone tender.         

Mustard and Herb-Crusted BBQ Pork Loin

For any special occasion nothing satisfies like a larger cut of meat, and pork usually does the trick.  I serve this during the holidays and it is just amazing; Lightly Smoked, Moist, Tender, Rich and Savory.  Encrusted in an herb, garlic and mustard coating, you will love this!!!  I know what you’re saying; where’s the bone?  Well, there isn’t one in this dish.  I know that I have always said that “bone in” is “flavor in” but the crust on this, the juice and the pan gravy that you can make from the drippings makes up for the missing bone.  Strangely reminiscent of that Southeastern vinegary sauced pork that we all love so much and a French herby pork roast I had in Europe all at the same time. Winter is the best time to fire this up but you could do it anytime really.  Serve with your favorite grilled veggies….Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • 1-Boneless Pork Loin Roast (Min. 4lbs. Note:  The one in the picture is 7lbs.- serves probably 8 people)


Mix the following ingredients in a bowl and let sit for 15 minutes.

  • 1 Cup – Dijon Mustard

  • ¼ Cup – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon – Fresh Thyme removed from stems and rough chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons – Fresh Flat-leaf Parsley rough chopped.
  • 10 – Cloves of Garlic smashed with outer skin removed.


Place Pork Loin in a shallow baking dish and slather the marinade heavily all over. Pour all excess marinade in the baking dish.  You will need the extra. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours (overnight is better if you have the time).

Grill Set-up:

Prepare your grill for “direct-heat” cooking (so you can sear first) and then be ready to convert to “indirect heat cooking” to achieve and sustain a temperature of 325 degrees for several hours.

Have ready one or two chunks of soaked fruitwood (you don’t want this too smoky, so use either one medium sized chunk or 2 smaller chunks).

Chef’s Directions:

  • Remove to the baking dish and slather “all” of the remaining marinade all over the pork again garlic and all.  Top with 3 – 4 sprigs of rosemary.  Pour ½ cup of chicken broth into the bottom of the baking dish.
  • Remove some of the excess marinade so you have a nice uniform coating for searing.  Save the rest.  You will need it again.
  • Sear the pork roast on every side over the direct heat.  Look for it to be dark brown all over
  • Place baking dish with pork fat side up into your smoker over “indirect-heat” set at 325 degrees. Close lid on Smoker.
  • Cook until the internal temperature of the pork reads 120 degrees with an instant-read thermometer (take the temperature from the center of the thickest part of the meat).
  • Remove from the BBQ, put on your cutting board and cover with aluminum foil.  Let rest for 20 minutes to allow the internal temperature to rise to about 130 degrees.
  • Slice into ¼ to ½ inch slices and serve immediately with pan drippings or pan gravy poured over the top.   
  • While the pork is resting you can make a pan gravy in the baking dish over your stove burner if you want.
  • Remove pork from refrigerator 20 minutes ahead of time to take the chill off.


"Basic Smokey Sweet Baby-back Pork Ribs"

There is something truly "candy-like" about good BBQ baby backs.  A good batch of ribs can turn a grown man into a sticky faced, grimy fingered kid with a look of sheer euphoria on his face.  There are all sorts of ways that you can do ribs and most of them if done correctly can achieve the same result time after time.  This recipe is one of the most simple.  Serve these at your next BBQ and stand back and look at how many big kids you have created.



  • 4 racks of your favorite Baby-Back Pork Ribs
  • 4 Tablespoons BBQ Fool Original Southwestern Rub (per rack)
  • Your favorite "regular" BBQ Sauce (Avoid the kind with extra flavorings) 
  • Soaked fruitwood chips (Pecan, Applewood or Cherry work well) 
    (Soak the chips for at least 2 hours in water, beer, wine or your favorite liquid)

Grill / Smoker Set up:

Set your grill or smoker up for indirect heat cooking.  After coals are hot and begin to get ashen, add 3-4 fist sized chunks of soaked fruitwood.  I recommend “Apple wood” for this.  Hickory is too strong and you want only a medium smoky flavor.  Nothing overwhelming.

Need to achieve a consistent temperature of 250 degrees for 3-4 hours.

Resting Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Apple Juice
  • Heavy Duty Tin Foil.  (2 Sheets per rack of ribs cut to leave 4-5 inches overlap on long ends.

 Chef's Directions:

Start either a gas, coal fired or offset firebox grill and prepare for "Indirect Cooking" (As discussed above).  Use Fruitwood chips or chunks in the set-up depending on the smoke that you want.  Adjust the dampers on the bottom and the top to acieve the desired temperature.  

Generously dry rub the ribs (on both sides) according to package directions with "Harry's Original Southwestern Style" rub or use your favorite dry spice rub. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before grilling.

When the grill is ready and to temperature, place the ribs directly on the grill and slow smoke or cook the ribs with the grill closed over indirect "Low-n-Slow Heat" (250 degrees) turning now and then until each side is a deep mahogany color. This should take about  2 hours. 

Remove from the heat, place each rack on 2 large pieces of the tin foil (large enought to wrap and close around the ribs).  Slather and drizzle with 1/4 of the resting mixture.  Wrap tightly into a packet.  Return all 4 packets to the grill and cook with low'n slow heat (still 250 degrees) for another hour turning each of them over half way through.  Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes inside the packets. Carefully remove the ribs from the packets (they may be falling off the bone a bit so be careful not to let them seaprate).   Brush a thin layer of BBQ sauce on both sides of  the ribs and return them to the grill for another 15 minutes or so to let the sauce thicken a bit and get stickier.  Serve tableside with extra sauce and plenty of napkins and wet wipes!!!


“Bodacious Bone-in Ribeye”

When you absolutely, positively need to show everyone at the barbecue “who’s their daddy”, this is the steak that you haul out!!!“Bone-in Ribeye”, “Cowboy Ribeye”, “Tomahawk Steak”, “Cote de boeuf”.  There are a lot of names associated with this amazing cut of steak.    Double thick cut, bone-in, well marbled, and juicy, this steak has it all:  The Visual, the Reaction of your guests, and of course Fabulous Taste!!!  You will note that the recipe is fairly simple.  There is no spice rub and no BBQ sauce.  Just charred and grill-marked steak goodness.  There isn’t much you can do to improve on perfection in this steak.  I have added a little twist in the end by resting it in some butter and herbs but only an enhancement.   Serve with a salad, some good crusty bread and your favorite potato side (I suggest Baked or French Fried) and you have a memory.


  • 4 – Double thick cut Bone-in Ribeye steaks (Or “Rib-Steaks”, your butcher may call them something different)
  • Sea Salt and fresh cracked Pepper.
  • 1-Stick of unsalted butter
  • Couple of sprigs of “fresh” Tarragon, rough chopped.
  • Vegetable Oil and for lubricating your grill.

Grill Set-up:

  • Set your grill up for “Direct Cooking” on one side of the grill.  Get it “HOT” (Not screaming hot but real hot)

Chefs Instructions:

  • Take the steaks out of the refrigerator 30 minutes (no longer) before you are ready to grill.  Keep them covered but let them almost to room temperature.
  • While the chill is coming out of the steaks, melt the stick of butter over low heat in a small pot and add about 10-15 leaves of chopped “fresh” tarragon.   Keep melted and warm (not bubbling).
  • Salt and pepper the steaks on both sides to taste.
  • Using a clean, bunched up cloth or paper towel dip in vegetable oil, grab with tongs and lubricate the grill grates on your grill.
  • Immediately add the steaks to the grill (AND DO NOT TOUCH THEM FOR AT LEAST 3-4 MINUTES).
  • Using “TONGS” pull the steaks off onto a clean platter and re-lubricate your grill with the oiled cloth or paper towel.
  • Turn steaks over and grill again for 3-4 more minutes.
  • Flip steaks over rotating a ¼ turn so that you will get a nice criss-cross pattern when done (3 more minutes).
  • Flip steaks one more time rotating ¼ turn again (3 more minutes).

N OTE: Remember these are double thick.  At this point the steaks will be nicely charred but may still be very “rare” on the inside.  If you like them more done than that (I recommend no more that medium rare which is a hot pink center).  Place steaks on the side of the grill that is not directly over the coals or heat source.  Close the lid of the grill and let the steaks continue to cook for about 4-5 minutes depending on how done you are shooting for.  Remember they will continue to cook a bit while resting so pull them off early enough so they don’t over- cook.

  • Pour some of the melted butter tarragon mixture directly onto your cutting board.
  • Pull the steaks off the grill and place on the cutting board on top of the butter mixture.
  • Loosely tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes.
  • Cut away the bone right along where it is connected,  Slice steak “across the grain” on cutting board and reassemble (bone and all) onto platters.

Drizzle a little of the cutting board juice over and serve.   You will have set the BBQ Bar awfully high!!! 

"Butter-Thyme T-Bone"  

T-Bone and Porterhouse steaks are “old-school”.  When I was growing up in the Midwest, these were the steaks of choice for a special occasion, special dinner or a celebration.  They were the signature steaks in most of the top notch restaurants and in backyards everywhere.  Old-school or not, they have a deep “on-the-bone” flavor and a marbled richness to them that brings back a lot of memories for me.  Filet on one side, bone in the middle and the strip on the other.   These are fantastic pumped up with butter and herbs.  I think the Thyme goes well with the richness of the steak and the butter.  Serve these with a baked potato and a salad with a tart dressing.  You’ll want to gnaw on the bones when the meat is gone.  I did and still do!!


  • 4 T-Bone steaks cut 1 ½ inches thick.  (They will end up being about 1 ½ lbs each but remember there is a bone in there).
  • Garlic Salt
  • Worcestershire Sauce

Resting Butter:

Mix the following together and keep warm over very low heat until steaks are done.

  • 1 Stick unsalted butter melted
  • 2-3 tablespoons of chopped fresh Thyme leaves
  • Squeeze of ½ Lemon
  • Sea Salt
  • Cracked black pepper

Grill Set-up:

Set Grill up for high “Direct Heat” cooking (use only natural hardwood charcoal and add 1-2 soaked fruitwood chunks to the coals for some smoke)

Chefs Directions:

  • Sprinkle both sides of each steak with the Garlic Salt.
  • Rub both sides generously with the Worcestershire sauce.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  • Remove from refrigerator 15 – 20 minutes before grilling to take the chill off the steaks.
  • With a bunched-up rag or paper towel, dip the towel some vegetable oil and lubricate the grates of your grill.
  • Place the steaks directly on the grill, close the grill and do not peek for 3 minutes.
  • Open the grill, quickly remove the steaks to a plate, scrape the grill down with a wire brush or scraper, and re-lubricate.
  • Place the steaks back on the grill with the other side down, close the grill and do not peek for another 3 minutes.
  • After 3 minutes has passed, open the grill and now leave it open now.
  • Flip the steaks over rotating ¼ turn to give them a nice cross-hatch pattern.
  • Cook for 4 more minutes per side for medium rare.

Note: Cooking / Flipping times vary with each grill so keep an eye on things to avoid flare ups and over cooking or undercooking the meat.

  • Pour Resting butter mixture into a large sheet pan that can fit all 4 steaks.
  • Remove steaks from the grill and place on the sheet pan and dredge both sides in the butter mixture.
  • Cover loosely with tin foil and let rest for 5-7 minutes.
  • Remove to a cutting board.  Cut the meat away from the bone and slice against the grain into ½ inch slices.
  • Re-assemble the steaks (bone and all) onto a platter or individual plates.
  • Sprinkle with Sea Salt, fresh ground Cracked Black Pepper.
  • Drizzle any remaining pan juices onto the sliced steaks.

Mexican-Flavored Flank Steak / "Carne Asada"

Some of the most delicious meat dishes I have ever had have been in Mexico.  Grilled over an open flame, the smoky flavor and char marries so well with Mexican spices and citrus.  Every time I would walk away from one of those amazing vendor carts, I thought it must be some secret family recipe that made this all happen.  After a good bit of experimentation on my own I figured out that the amazing flavors came from the simplicity of the ingredients not the over-spicing that usually takes place on American backyard grills when cooking a Mexican style meal.  This recipe brings the flavors of those cart vendors right to your doorstep.  Serve this sliced on a bias wrapped in a warm tortilla with a little cheese and maybe some chopped cabbage and fresh tomatoes  and you will see what I mean!!!  Delicious!!  Artisanal!  Mexican!!!


2-2 ½ lbs. of Flank Steak (you can use Skirt Steak just as well).


Mix all of the following ingredients in a re-sealable plastic bag or deep glass bowl.  Put flank steak in making sure that all of the meat is getting hit with marinade.  Cover or seal and refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.

  • 1 tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes.
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano crushed between your fingers into a finer powder.
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme leaves chopped fine.
  • 5 cloves of garlic (Crushed with the side of your knife).
  • ½ Yellow Onion finely chopped.
  • ¼ Cup fresh squeezed Lime Juice.
  • ¼ Cup fresh squeezed Orange Juice.
  • 2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce or Maggi (meat flavoring)
  • Dash of your favorite hot sauce.
  • 1 Tablespoon of Sea Salt.

Resting Butter:

Prepare the following and hold until the steaks are done.

  • Melt one stick of unsalted butter over low heat. 
  • ¼ cup Chopped Cilantro.
  • 2 tablespoons Dried oregano crushed between your fingers.
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika OR Chipotle Chili Power.

Grill Set-up:

Prepare grill for “Direct Heat” Grilling (use natural hardwood charcoal and add some soaked fruitwood chunks for a little smoke).

Chefs Directions:

  • Remove steaks from marinade and gently brush off excess marinade.
  • Place on a plate, cover and let sit for 15 minutes to take the chill off them from the refrigerator.
  • Grill the Flank Steaks over a high “Direct Heat” 3 minutes each side moving them as little as possible in between flips so they get a nice char on them.
  • Turn them ¼ turn once more for 2 more minutes on each side.
  • Pour the melted resting butter into a sheet pan.
  • When done, remove the steaks from the grill and place on the sheet pan.  Dredge both sides in the butter concoction until they are well coated.
  • Cover loosely with tin foil and let rest for 1o minutes.
  • Thinly Slice “across the grain” on the bias.

Serve with Warm Flour or Corn Tortillas, a squirt from a wedge of lime and all the fixins you like.  You won’t need much!!!    

 Large Cuts and Beef

Chili Coffee Crusted Beef Filet

Filet of beef is a real treat. Most outdoor cooks are either afraid of it because it’s too expensive and delicate OR they are like a bull in the china shop and they just kill it.  If done with the right amount of care it can be one of the best beef dishes you will ever eat.   It literally melts in your mouth.   There is very little (if any) fat so you have to cook it fast and hot and then rest it so it doesn't dry out.  Remember, fat is flavor so because it’s so lean you will have to add some really bold flavors to enhance the subtle beef flavor of the meat.  I have crusted this one with the big flavors of chili and coffee and then a sweet a rich cherry sauce.  The salty, sweet, hot and bold coffee combination works some magic.  I like to serve this as starter.  It gets everyones‘ mouth watering for the main event.   


3 lb. Whole Beef Tenderloin (trimmed and silver skin removed)

The Crust:

5 tbsp.  Chili Powder
2-1/2 tbsp. Ground Dark Roast Coffee
1-1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
2-1/2 tbsp. Brown Sugar
2-1/2 tsp. Coarse Ground Black Pepper

Combine Crust ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine.  Rub the Tenderloin all over generously with the mixture.  Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.  Meanwhile make the sauce.

The Sauce:

1/2 small Onion Chopped
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/4-1/2 cup Beef Broth (Low Sodium)
2 tbsp. Cherry or Black Cherry Preserves
 1 tbsp. Butter

In a small sauce pan over medium high heat, sweat onions in butter until soft and translucent.  Add the Red wine vinegar and reduce by 1/2.  Add 1/4 cup beef broth and reduce again by 1/2.  Add the cherry preserves and stir until incorporated.  Reduce to a smooth sauce consistency.  Turn off heat, cover and hold until ready to serve the meat.  when reheating if you need to thin it out, use some extra beef broth.  If you want to richen this up even more add a pad of butter while reheating and whisk in.  

Before Grilling remove meat from refrigeration and bring to room temp.  Grill meat over direct high heat on your grill, turning frequently until internal temperature of 125 degrees F. is achieved (for medium rare after resting).  The outside should have an even dark brown (almost black) char on it.

Remove from heat, Tent loosely on your cutting board with foil and rest for 15 minutes.  Slice medallions on the bias and plate in a domino pattern.  Drizzle with the reheated Cherry Sauce and serve family style with extra sauce on the side.

Serve as a starter.  Folks can have a bit of this as they are enjoying their beer wine or cocktail as your even is getting underway.  

"Holiday Roast Beast"
( Chili / Java Crusted Beef Rib Roast)

There is no more glorious a cut of meat for a festive holiday meal with family and friends than a Rib Roast; a massive one.   The mere sight of one of these beasts is enough to make anyone but the most devout vegetarians drool.  The dark brown crust on the outside.  The juicy pink interior.  It’s hard to think about without drooling.  Well, we have taken this whole thing to the next level by putting a southwestern dried chili and java crust on it, hauled it all outside to the grill or the smoker and added a little smoke.  WOW!!!  The result is a just ridiculous!!  Ridiculously good that is!!   And the gravy that these pan drippings make is just out of this world.  The recipe is a little involved but not difficult.  Please make sure to pay strict attention to 3 things: Grill / Smoker temp, Time and Meat temp.  If you have those three things nailed the rest takes care of itself.  Enjoy!!!!  Your friends and family will!!!

The Meat:

1 – Beef Rib Roast,[Prime Rib of Beef]  (minimum 4 Ribs)
Note:  Make sure to ask your butcher to cut off the “chine” bone and tie the roast up for you.  4 Ribs serves about 8 people.  7 Ribs will serve 12-14 people. I recommend the “7”.


-Heavy gauge stainless steel roasting pan about 3 inches deep (that you don’t mind putting in your smoker or grill).
 -Instant read thermometer (a must for this recipe)
 -Tin Foil to cover when resting.

The Chili Paste:

4 Guajillo Chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 Ancho Chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 Chipotle Chiles in adobo sauce (these are canned)
4 cloves of Garlic (finely chopped or crushed with a garlic press)
½ Onion chopped (medium size)
2 tbsp. Brown Sugar (light or regular – don’t use the dark)
3 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar

Soak the chilis in 2 cups hot water for 30 minutes.  Place chilis, garlic, onions, chipotle chilis, and 1 cup soaking liquid in blender and puree until smooth.  Cook the puree in fry pan over medium heat with 2-3 tbsps. Of olive oil for 30 minutes to thicken.  Add brown sugar and vinegar and cook stirring 15 more minutes.  Set aside to cool.

The Dry Rub:
(Depending on the size of your roast you may need to make a double batch to be able to rub it all over)

 - 6 tbsp. Ground Dark Roast Coffee (espresso grind)
 - 2 tbsp. Cocoa Powder (don’t use hot cocoa mix)
 - 1 tbsp. Smoked Paprika
 - 1/4 tsp. ground Cinnamon

Mix together well and cover and set aside until ready for use.

Grill / Smoker Set-up:

Set your grill or smoker up for “indirect cooking” and a little smoke. 
Use Soaked Fruitwood Chunks.  I recommend just 1 small fist sized chunk for the right amount of smoke flavor.
Use enough charcoal to manage heat of about 400 degrees to start and then sustain 350 degrees for a few hours depending on the size of roast.
Preheat grill to 400 degrees.

Chefs directions:

Unwrap and pat the meat dry with a paper towel and let sit out for 15 minutes to take the chill off the meat.

Trim away “excess” fat from your roast. Note: “excess” fat means more than about an ½ inch.  Remember, fat is flavor so you want at least a 1/4-1/2 inch of fat.  Plus this is “Prime” beef and you are paying for all that marbling so use it.

Rub the meat all over with the cooled wet chili mixture.  Sprinkle dry rub all over using your hands or a shaker if you have one.  Sprinkle a little more on the fatty top layer.  Cover and let come to room temperature (about 15-20 minutes).

Place the meat in the roasting pan fat side up (bones down).  Do not cover.

Place in your 400 degree cooker for 15 minutes (cooker lid closed, no peeking).

After 15 minutes, adjust the air intakes of the cooker to drop the temperature to 350 degrees for the rest of the cooking time.

Baste with Pan Juices every 30 minutes (Be quick so you don’t lose too much heat in your cooker).

Use your instant read thermometer inserted into the middle of the thickest part of the meat without touching any bones to gauge temperature.

When done, remove from the cooker, cover loosely with heavy duty aluminum foil and let rest about 15-20 minutes “minimum” before cutting.  Note: See below for cooking time, temp and resting guidelines:

"IMPORTANT" Cooking Times:

Depending on the size of your roast a 4-7 rib roast can take anywhere from 2-4 hours.  You cannot gauge the time by the minutes per pound method like our moms probably did.  You need an instant read thermometer.  To get you in the ball park for guest arrival timing etc…It works out to be about 12 -15 minutes per pound but go by the temperature guidelines below.  Do not rely on time.  You will either undercook your roast or overcook it and you won’t know until you cut into it and then it is just too late.

"IMPORTANT" Resting Notes:

The temperatures listed below are fully “rested” temperatures.  When you remove your roast from the cooker and rest it covered under aluminum foil for the 15-20 minutes, the temperature will continue to rise about 5-10 degrees over that time so take your roast out of the cooker about 5 – 10 degrees cooler than desired, leave the thermometer in the meat, tent it and keep an eye on the temp as it rises.  

Rare (Warm Red Center) (120-125 degrees F)
Medium Rare (Warm Pink Center) (130-135 degrees F)
Medium (Warmer Light Pink Center) (140 – 145 degrees F)
Medium Well (Grey interior) (150-155 degrees F)
Well (Dark gray or brown dry interior) (anything 160 degrees F or more)

“The Day After” Roast Beef Hash

Prime Rib or Rib Roast done on a grill or smoker is just an amazing thing.  It has often left me with the thought; “Now how the hell do you improve on that?”  Well, you can’t really.  But what you can do is make an outrageous breakfast the next morning with what’s left.  These cuts of meat are Holiday favorites so you will almost always have friends or relatives to make breakfast for the next morning and this is perfect!  This hash is smoky and a little spicy to clear out the cobwebs from last night’s celebration.  Topped with the leftover savory brown gravy and a poached egg and served with a toasted leftover roll, this is a breakfast that cannot be beat!!  Make this from the recipe first and then go nuts!  Get creative. Try some variations.

(This recipes is scaled for 2 Bones worth of leftover Prime Rib; So about 2 Large Thick Slices.  You can scale this up proportionately for as much as you need to make or have left over)

• Leftover Prime Rib removed from the bone and cut into 1 inch cubes or dice.
• 2 Large uncooked Baking Potatoes (peeled and diced the same size as the meat)
• 2 Bell Peppers seeded and 1 inch diced (Red, Yellow or Green doesn’t matter) (It’s prettier with a mix)
• 1 “small” Jalapeno Pepper “finely” diced (if you want – I do)
• 1 large Yellow Onion peeled and 1 inch diced (or 2 smaller onions)
• Canola or olive oil (as needed)
• Salt
• Black Pepper Fresh ground or Cracked (lots of this)
• Cayenne pepper
• Eggs for poaching
• Leftover Gravy

Cooking Directions:

Fry the Potatoes in a large heavy pan in a couple of tablespoons of oil until well browned (add more oil if needed).  Don’t fiddle with them too much.  Let them get brown and a little crispy on the outside.  Add Onions and Peppers and fry until cooked through and starting to caramelize.  Add Meat, Salt (to taste), lots of Cracked Black pepper and a pinch of Cayenne (to taste) and fry until meat is well heated through.

To serve, mound some hash in the middle of a plate top with leftover Brown Gravy, top with a runny poached egg.  Serve the toasted roll on the side.  Encourage your guests to cut into that egg and let the yolk run down into all the gravy and hash to make this the heartiest breakfast ever!  Crazy Good!! 

"Dave’s Revelation Slow-Smoked Beef Brisket"

Perfect Brisket is juicy, beefy, smoky goodness.  I have eaten it and devoured it everywhere and every way; Sandwiches, by itself, dry, sauced.  I ate it all.  I still do.  Texas is where it really shines as the “King”.  It was so good, there had to be a trick to it.  Or it was just too complicated for me to understand and cook.  All those dark, smoky cook shacks in out-of-the-way places had the secret and I couldn’t have it.  Some years later, I was over at a friend’s home for a barbecue and his brisket was “amazing” and just as worthy of praise as its Texas counterparts.  This was my revelation that it could be done at home.  Turns out, the trick is; the right temperature, a little smoke, a little rub and “patience”!  If you have ever thought Good Brisket could not be done at home, try this one.  This is the recipe that woke me up!!!  It will wake you up too!!!! It takes some time BUT who’s in a hurry on a Sunday anyway…


  • 1-Beef Brisket (5-7lbs.) [tell the butcher to give you the “flat cut” with about ½ inch fat left on].
  • ½ cup of your favorite homemade or store bought beef “Dry Rub”.   My BBQ Fool “Harry’s Original Southwestern Style works well for this.
  • 1-2 cups of your favorite homemade or store bought barbecue sauce.
  • ½ cup of your favorite beer (No dark beer here.  Dark beer can be bitter.)

Grill set-up and Equipment:

  • Set up your grill, smoker or ceramic cooker for Low-n-slow indirect cooking.  Ready to achieve and maintain 225-250 degrees for several hours.
  • “Mesquite” chunks or chips (for this recipe I prefer chunks but chips work just as well but you need to replenish more often) NO Hickory here, it can make the meat bitter if you are not careful.  We’re looking for Texas here.
  • Instant read thermometer.
  • Heavy Duty foil drip pan to fit under the brisket.
  • Heavy Duty foil for wrapping brisket later.

Chef’s Instructions:

  • Rub the brisket liberally all over with the dry rub (use more on the side without the fat).  Cover, refrigerate and let sit for at least 30 minutes.
  • Once the grill is to temperature and the coals are ashen, place a couple of mesquite chunks on the coals (one each side should do).  Replenish as necessary during cooking to maintain steady light – medium smoke.
  • Fill the foil drip pan ½ way to top with water and place in the middle of the bottom grate of your grill with your hot coals on either side.
  • Place the top grill grate on the grill.
  • Place the Brisket (fat side up) on the top grate over the drip pan.  Close the lid and adjust the top and bottom air vents to maintain 225-250 degrees.  Open the grill only to check meat periodically and to add more coals or hardwood but do it quickly to maintain temperature.
  • Slow cook the brisket until you achieve and internal temperature of 160 degrees (check using an instant read thermometer) 4-41/2 hours. 
  • Once you get to an internal meat temperature of 160, take the brisket out, place on a large double layer of tin foil.  Curl the foil up around the brisket so it will hold some liquid.
  • Pour 1/2 cup warm beer and 1/2 cup BBQ Sauce over the meat.  Seal the foil up around the meat and return to the grill.
  • Add more coals is necessary, close the lid and continue slow cooking until meat reaches an internal temperature of 190 degrees (about 11/2 - 2 hours more).
  • Once 190 degrees internal temperature is reached, open lid of grill (leave it open) and let meat rest on the cooling grill for about 1 more hour.
  • Open pouch, remove brisket to your cutting board and slice "across the grain" in 1/4 inch slices.
  • Pour any remaining foil pouch juices over the slices and serve.
  • Serve with more BBQ sauce on the side for your guests if they need it.

Kim’s Sweet’n Spicy Korean BBQ Ribs / "Kalbi"

Among all of the nations that have a tradition of grilling and barbecuing, the Koreans have it nailed.  The charred sweet and spicy flavors of Korean barbecue are almost unmatched.  This is a family recipe from my close friend Kim and it is the real deal Korean barbecue.  The marinade is key!  Don’t skimp on the freshness of the ingredients.  This recipe makes a lot but you will need it!!  It will fly off the table!!!


  • 5 lbs. of beef short ribs cut across the grain.  If your butcher doesn’t already have them in the case ask for “Korean-style Short Ribs”.  They will know what you mean.

Marinade Ingredients:

  • ½ Onion (Rough Chopped)
  • 2 Tablespoons crushed garlic (or finely chopped)
  • 1 small Kiwi fruit (Peeled and rough chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger root (Fresh grated)
  • 1 ½ cup of water

Add all above ingredients to a blender and liquefy until smooth.  Pour into a separate bowl.

Now add:

  • ¾ cup of granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup of toasted sesame oil
  • ¾ cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    (Add 1 tablespoon Chili Paste if you like it spicy)
  • Stir until well mixed.  Layer Pounded Korean beef short ribs in a glass dish and pour marinade over making sure to get marinade touching the meat throughout.  Cover and refrigerate for minimum 2 hours or as long as over night.

Grill Set-up:

Set your grill up for High Direct Heat with a few soaked fruitwood chunks thrown on for good measure and flavor.

Chef’s directions:

Grill the short ribs over direct heat turning as necessary to achieve a nice char (about 3-4 minutes per side). 

Notes:  The marinade has high sugar content so these will burn if you do not watch them.  If they start to burn and flame up, take them off the heat and put them back on in smaller batches.  After you are done cooking the ribs leave the grill on with the lid closed and burn off the residue from the grill grates and oil as necessary so your grill is ready for next time.

Serve with jasmine rice and grilled scallions.


"Brined and Hot-Smoked Salmon"

Over the years, I have truly become tired of smoked salmon in all it's generally available and served forms; from the slimy, cold- smoked or cured "Lox" that go on bagels (could anything be more awful?) to the tightly packaged smoked salmon that is essentially a cryovac, ashtray, salt bomb that leaves a bad taste in your mouth and you're unable to put your shoes on due to swelling.  I love Salmon but was hankering for something a little more well-thought-out and satisfying in the smoked salmon department.  Years ago, while living in Southern California I used to stop at this small fish market / restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway near Malibu.   They had the most amazing smoked Albacore tuna.  A hunk of that, some tartar sauce and an ice cold beer and you were all set!  It was smokey with a little sweetness.  Light, but had a depth of flavor that was unmatched by anything I had ever had.  This salmon dish is inspired by that Albacore I had.  The fattiness of the salmon and it's sturdier flavor takes the smoke nicely and well, takes it all to the next level.  The brine keeps it moist and delivers just the right amount of sweetness too. This is not complicated.  Just buy yourself a good piece of Salmon, follow these directions and let it fly.  You will be amazed.  If you like smoked fish you'll love this!!!


2 C. Water
1/2 C. Brown Sugar
1/2 C. Maple Syrup
2 Tbspn Soy Sauce
1 Tbspn Salt
1 Tbspn Old Bay
4 Garlic Cloves (Peeled and Crushed)
2 Bay Leaves

Grill Set-up:

Set your grill or smoker up for indirect heat (250-275 degrees) cooking to achieve a light smoke for approx. 2 hours.  Use Fruit Wood Chunks or Chips depending on your set up.  I recommend Pecan, Apple or Cherry.

Chefs Instructions:
  • Mix All ingredients together in a non-reactive medium depth baking dish or tray or large Plastic Bag (like I have done at right).
  • Submerge salmon steaks or filet in the brine.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 24-36 hours.
  • Remove from liquid and place salmon on a rack (meat side up) on a baking sheet.
  • Refrigerate uncovered (meat side up) for at least 5 hours to dry.
  • A slightly sticky, amber colored albumen glaze will develop on the salmon. (This what you want).
  • Remove salmon from refrigeration and coat the meat side with a thin layer of brown sugar.  
  • Let come to room temperature and wait for brown sugar to liquify into a dark carmel colored glaze.
  • Smoke over indirect heat (250-275 degrees F.) for 2-3 hours.
  • Cool, wrap with plastic and refrigerate.
  • Serve with tartar sauce. lemon wedges and crackers or whatever you like.
  • Keeps in refrigerator for approximately 5 days.

It is amazing!!  Sweet, Smokey and Satisfying.  Make a lot!!  Your friends will want to take some home!!

Grilled Lobster Tails with Smoky Fennel / Thyme Butter

When we think of eating lobster we generally think of them steamed either east coast, beach-party style in a big pot with corn and potatoes and such OR at home or restaurant with white tablecloth and drawn butter.  Well, lobster on the grill is an amazing and delicious spin on all those notions and one that should not be missed.  
Lobster is one of those grill items that can put fear into some folks;  “They’re just to delicate”, “It’s going to dry out too fast”.  “It’ll be tough”.  Not so.  If you get yourself organized and are prepared to work fast they are just delicious.  This recipe is one of my favorites.  Just kissed with smoke, with an herby, garlicky backdrop and a lot of experience for sure!!!!  Serve with steaks for a little surf-n-turf, slice them into a salad with a lemon vinegarette or just by themselves with a some crunchy bread.  Amazing!!


10 Lobster Tails (1 - 1 1/2 lbs. each)
2 large Sticks of Butter (Salted)
3 tblsp. stemmed and chopped Thyme or Tarragon (not both though)
1 tsp. Fennel Pollen (or if you cannot find use 1 tsp. ground fennel seeds)
1-2 clove(s) of crushed garlic
2-3 lemons quartered

Grill Set-up:

Set grill up for medium hot “direct heat” with a cool zone off to the side.
4-5 mild soaked wood “chips” not chunks for a little smoke (use apple)


  • Rinse lobster tails in cold water. 
  • Flip the tails over on their back and using kitchen sheers or heavy duty scissors, cut along the outer edges of the shells between the shell and the meat to remove the thin-shell underside of the tail.  This will expose the meat of the lobster leaving the thick outer shell intact.
  • Rinse the tails again in cold water and pat dry. 
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.
  • Melt the butter over a slow flame and add the fennel pollen (or ground seeds), Thyme. and the Garlic.
  • Stir and turn the heat off so the herbs, spices and garlic can steep in the butter (do not let the garlic brown. It will get bitter)

Chefs Instructions:

  • Plunge lobsters tails in water one more time.
  • Place tails on grill over direct heat thick shell side down 3-5 minutes until the shells have turned pink or red (timing may differ depending on how cold the lobsters are and how big.
  • Turn over and grill tails meat side down another 3 minutes until meat is opaque and the edges are starting to char a bit.
  • Liberally Brush meat side with butter mixture and put back on grill meat side up on the cool-zone (or off of the direct flame) and close the grill lid 3-4 minutes.
  • The butter mixture will seep down in and around the meat.
  • When just cooked and completely heated through, remove from Grill and plate.
  • Your guests can easily remove the entire tail intact from the shell in one easy motion using a fork.  They can cut or slice the tail meat as they wish for eating.

Serve with reserved butter in small bowls for dipping and lemon wedges for squirting.

“Grill-Blackened” Salmon with Mango Salsa

The food blackening craze of the 1980’s had us blackening everything in sight.  In general, for the home cook everything turned out either “great” or “terrible” though.  There seemed to be no middle ground in blackening.  For me, nothing was better for depth of flavor, fat and spice than Salmon for blackening.  Salmon is a fairly oily fish, huge flavor and tough to dry out in such a short cooking time, so it held up really well to the high heat and blackening spice.  Most blackening was / is done in a hot pan.  Not this one.  This is my version of blackened Salmon, but on a grill instead.  The intense flavor of the charred spice marries so well with the flavors of the grill and some smoke.  I have added a cool and refreshing salsa to go on top that adds yet another layer of texture and flavor to the fish.  You will love this.  Serve it with a salad, some rice and black beans and your friends will think you are a genius!!!!


  • 1 whole salmon filet (skin on)
  • Vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons BBQ Fool “Rajun Cajun” Spice Rub or your favorite Blackening Spice from the store.
  • Salsa Ingredients:
  • 2 ripe mangos skinned, and cut into small ¼ inch dice
  • ½ onion cut into ¼ inch dice
  • 1-2  ripe tomato(s) seeded and cut into ¼ inch dice
  • 1-2 Jalapenos seeded and diced fine (use only one if you want less heat).
  • One handful fresh Cilantro rough chopped
  • Juice of 1-2 lime(s) depending on how juicy they are.
  • Salt to taste

Grill Set-up:

Set your grill up for high direct heat.  Get it hot!!  Make sure that you lubricate your grill well with vegetable oil just before adding the fish.
Chef’s  Directions:


Mix all salsa ingredients together in a glass bowl.  Taste to adjust the seasonings.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to let all the flavors come together and the salsa to get cold.


  • Rinse fish filet in cold water and pat dry.
  • Lightly brush the “flesh” of fish filet with vegetable oil (this will help the blackening spice stick).
  • Lightly rub 3-4 tablespoons of blackening spice on the “flesh side” of the filet to coat well.  Shake off excess rub, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Using a folded and rolled-up paper towel generously dipped in vegetable oil lubricate your grill grates (If you lubricate the grates well the fish will not stick).
  • Immediately place the fish filet “flesh side down” on the lubricated grill.  Do not touch for 3-4 minutes.
  • Using 2 large spatulas carefully flip the fish over to the skin side (The flesh side should be nicely charred and slightly blackened).
  • Grill 2-3 more minutes on the skin side and then remove to a platter and let rest a few minutes.
  • Spoon the mango salsa over the fish tableside or you can serve the salsa in a bowl and your guests can put it on their own piece.

I like serving this with jasmine rice and black beans (with some cumin and a pinch of cinnamon mixed in).


Smoked, Then Fried Chicken Wings

We can all attest to the glory and sheer delight in devouring a plate of good chicken wings. However the world has become absolutely inundated with whacky restaurant chain wing concoctions, over salted, over spiced buffalo wings in bars, breaded, not breaded, dry, wet and the countless variations on what could be the perfect snack or game day food if we just didn’t mess with it too much. 

This recipe was inspired by some wings I had in a hotel bar in Louisville, KY recently. I 
sat down after a long travel day and was looking for a little munchie to go with my cocktail. The wings, as described on the bar menu were initially in violation of the “don’t mess with them too much rule”. They had their basic “Original” wing but with about 4 or 5 different versions to choose from: Spicy, Sweet N’ Spicy, Dry, Wet, on and on. It was with great caution that I simply ordered the “Original”. To my complete surprise, what arrived was an amazing balance of smoky, crispy, sweet, salty, sticky. They were dusted with a dry rub that tied it all together. As I said to a friend, it was good they only came in orders of 6 because I would have easily put away a dozen or more. 

I later tried to decode the magic of the “Original” but was having trouble wading through the possibilities of how they made these so good. After a little experimentation and thought, I figured it out: They smoked them first!! Had to be the key!! So that is what I did in my own experiment. I smoked them and then fried them!! They came out near perfect! The recipe follows the don’t mess rule but adds a first step that can be done a day ahead if you want; “Smoking”. Then on game day or just before serving, fry them, brush them, dust them and serve.  Put a bowl of your favorite sauce out with the blue cheese dressing but you shouldn’t need it. These wings are awesome and will fly off the table, so make a lot!!!

  • 2-6 lbs of raw, skin-on chicken wings (first and second sections)
  • 2 cups of your favorite BBQ Dry Rub.
  • 1 Cup, Light brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup of your favorite BBQ Sauce plus some for brushing
  • 2+ Quarts of Canola Oil for frying

Smoker Set up:

  • Set your grill up for indirect heat with enough charcoal and fruit wood (or Fruit wood chips) to sustain 275 degrees and some smoke for about 1 hour.

Chefs Directions:

  • Rinse the Chicken wings in cold water and dry with paper towel.
  • Place wings on a tray in a single layer in the frig for the skin to dry a bit (Do this while you are getting your grill up to temp and stabilized).
  • Lightly dust the wings with your favorite rub.
  • Smoke wings for about an hour or until just done and they are beginning to pull away from the bone.
  • Chill until completely cool and hold until ready for frying.
  • Mix one cup of your rub with the one cup of light brown sugar and reserve until after frying.
  • Heat two quarts of oil in a fryer or a large dutch oven on the stove to a temperature of 375 degrees.
  • When ready, fry the wings in batches of 6-10 so the oil does not cool down too much (or more if you can keep the oil temp hot. Do not crowd the wings while frying. Keep the oil hot so the wings will not be greasy.
  • Fry each batch for about 1-3 minutes.
  • Immediately remove them to a cooling rack set over a baking tray, dust with rub and brown sugar mixture.
  • Place in a 150 degree oven to stay warm and crispy while the new rub is melting on the surface.
  • Finish all batches in the same manner as above.
  • When ready to serve, remove from oven, brush them lightly with your favorite sauce and dust again with the rub. 
  • Plate and serve with carrots, celery and some ranch or buttermilk dressing and the extra sauce if you like.

You will taste the magic immediately!! Try some of your own variations!! Enjoy!!

“Sticky Smokey BBQ Chicken Thighs” 


For my money, the best BBQ chicken is from the thigh and/or the leg.  The moist textureof the dark meat marries perfectly with barbecue.  Whether you use the thighs by themselves or the “county fair cut” as I call it (the leg and the thigh still connected in one piece) they are much easier to keep from drying out.  A stickier and sweeter BBQ Sauce (as below) with crispy skin underneath and you will have adults AND children lined up for more!!  This recipe takes a little longer on the prep but the result is well worth it AND if you are doing this outside with family and friends, what’s the hurry anyway?  Sit down!  Relax! Enjoy your family and friends! 

Then eat some of the best BBQ Chicken you've ever had!!!!  The Kids devour this!!!!!


  • 2 lbs: Chicken thighs or county fair cut Chicken Leg and Thigh Combo
  • Couple of handfuls of Fruitwood Chips (Soaked in water or beer for at least an hour).
  • ¼ cup Chicken canned broth
  • ½ stick of butter cut into small pads (about 4 tablespoons)
  • Seasoned salt like Lawry’s Seasoning Salt

Spice Rub:

  • 2-3 Tablespoons of BBQ Fool – Harry’s Original Southwestern Spice Rub (Or your favorite southwestern style dry spice rub.


BBQ Sauce:

Mix all of the following ingredients together in a medium sized pot and warm on stove or your grill until well mixed and thick.

  • 2 cups BBQ Sauce (Store bought “Plain” no fancy additives or flavors).
  • 2- 3 tablespoons Apricot Preserves
  • 2-3 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 table spoon of brown sugar

Chef’s Instructions:

  • Prepare a grill for indirect cooking and achieve a temperature of 325 degrees with enough coals to hold the temperature for a couple of hours.
  • Rub chicken all over with dry spice rub.
  • Fill bottom of large glass or ceramic baking dish with the ¼ cup canned chicken broth and the seasoned salt, and the butter.
  • Place chicken skin side “DOWN” into the baking dish, cover tightly with foil.
  • Place a small handful of soaked wood chips onto the hot coals.  Note: Don't over do it here.  A little goes along way with chicken.
  • Place the foil covered baking dish into your grill (not directly over the coals), cover the grill and smoke/cook for 1 hour (a good hour) maintaining the 325 degree temp.
  • After 1 hour remove chicken from grill, drain baking pan of liquids (discard liquid) put chicken back in the pan skin side “UP” this time.
  • Place another small handful of soaked wood chips on your coals.
  • Place chicken back in grill in the uncovered pan, close the gril and bake another 45 minutes or so until skin is golden brown and crispy.
  • Take chicken off the grill and out of the pan and baste heavily with the BBQ Sauce (or dip directly into sauce) and put chicken back directly on grill grates.
  • Close grill and cook over indirect heat for 10 minutes to tighten the sauce, making it sticky and thick.
  • Serve with your favorite sides….. 



 Vegetables & Beans

"Calvert’s Smokey Pot ‘O BBQ Beans"

There is something so satisfying about a slow cooked, smoky pot of beans.  Simple beans become transformed into a warm blanket of goodness that can go over or in almost anything; in tacos, over rice, next to your brisket, or all by themselves.  This is a recipe from my friend and fellow BBQ Fool®, Jeff.  The beans are full of HUGE flavor and great with almost anything from the grill. With little tweaks to this basic recipe you can adjust the flavor profile to enhance any barbecued dish.  The beauty of this is that there is little work to do but mix it together and let your smoker, grill or ceramic cooker work the magic.  Try simply wrapping these up in a warm, buttered flour tortilla with some cheese, grab an ice cold beer and eat it along side your Brisket!!!  MMMMM!!

  • 2  16oz cans of kidney beans
  • 2  16oz cans of pinto beans
  • 1  16oz can of white navy beans
  • 1/4 pound of apple smoked bacon
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of ketchup
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup of molasses
  • 4 tablespoons of basic “yellow” mustard (no deli or Dijon mustard).


Grill set-up and Equipment:

  • Set your grill up for indirect cooking / smoking ready to maintain 250 degrees for several hours.
  • A heavy cast iron pot or campfire style Dutch oven.
  • Fruitwood chips or chunks soaked in water for at least an hour.

Chef’s Instructions:

  • Cut bacon into 1-2inch squares.
  • Fry the bacon in the Dutch oven (on your stove or outdoor burner) until it begins to render its’ fat (do not brown).
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and gently stir to mix well.
  • Place pot (without its lid) in your preheated 250 degree smoker or ceramic cooker, close the smoker and simmer until liquid is reduced to desired consistency (should take about 1-2 hours for optimal smoke and flavor).
  • Check beans every 20 minutes or so and gently stir.
  • Replace fruitwood chips or chunks as necessary to maintain desired smoke.
  • The beans are done when they are bubbly, smoky and aromatic.


 Other Stuff

Chef David’s Midnight Chili No. 5

love good chili!!  But I find a lot of chili out there to be sort of “one note” in flavor.  I like my chili to be interesting, rich and complex!  In one of my numerous attempts to create a truly great chili, I stayed up late one night and played with some variations on some of my old standbys.  I think this one comes a little closer to hitting the mark that I was shooting for.  There are layers flavors in this one so nothing is predictable except that the layers of flavor slowly reveal themselves in every bite.   This chili is “scratch-made”;  no boxes, no mixes and no packets!  The heat level is up to you.  The recipe has a little sweetness to it and a bit of a back-heat without being too spicy that I think is nice.  I will warn you though, it does take extra prep time but plan ahead and have some fun with it!!  I think the result is truly worth it!


1 1/2 - 2 lbs. of Cubed beef (I prefer boneless beef short ribs for the best combination of fat and flavor).  Try not to take short cuts anywhere in the recipe BUT if you are going to cut a corner or two DON’T DO IT HERE!!

1/2 Cup Homemade Chili Powder (recipe follows & can be made ahead)

2-1/2 to 3 Cups Homemade Chili Sauce (recipe follows & can be made ahead)
1 Large Onion Diced
8 Garlic Cloves (peeled and thinly sliced)
1-3 Canned Chipotle Chilis in Adobo Sauce.  These are for smoke and heat.  Use 1 for a little heat and 3 for alot.
1-2 Jalapeno Peppers seeded and finely chopped
1/2 - 28 oz. Can of Tomatoes Puree
1 Bottle Beer (your favorite Lager) (No fancy microbrews or low carb or light beer here.  Use a straight ahead lager like Budweiser or Miller or Corona)
1 large Can Beef Broth (Low Sodium)
2 - Jarred Prunes pitted and chopped
2 Tbsn. Bittersweet Chocolate fresh grated (No Powder)
2 Cans (14.5 ozs. cans) of Red Kidney Beans (No juice, just beens)
1-2 Tbsns. of Corn Flower (Masa Harina) to help thicken the chili when done. (you probably will not need this but if you want to or need to thicken the chili, make a slurry with the masa and a little water and pour it slowly into the chili while slowly boiling  and it will thicken it up.)

Homemade Chili Powder

Seed, Stem and hand tear 3 Ancho Chilis (dried Poblanos) and 2 Guajillo Chilis (dried new Mexican Red Chilis)  Toast in a a “dry” medium hot pan until fragrant.

2 Tbsn Corriander seeds

2 Tbsns Smoked Paprika (use regular sweet paprika if you can’t find smoked)
2 Tbsns Regular Chili Powder (New Mexico Chili Powder works best if you can find it)  DO NOT USE, Chipotle Powder or Cayenne Powder
1 Tbsn Ground Cumin
1 Tbsn Dried Oregano
2 Tbsns Sea Salt or Kosher Salt

Add all ingredients (except the salt) to a “blender” and pulverize int a fine powder.  Remove to a bowl and mix in the salt.  Reserve for use in making the chili.  This should make around 3/4 cup depending on the size of your dried chilis.  If you are a little short for your chili recipe, just add a bit of regular Chili Powder to make up the difference.

NOTE:  This Chili powder is pretty pungent stuff so err on the side of adding about 1/2 cup at first.  Depending on the freshness of your ingredients and the strength of your dried chilis you don’t want to over do it.  You can always add more to your chili but you cannot take out.  So be careful.

Homemade Chili Sauce:

4 Large Dried Ancho Chilis (Dried Poblano Chilis)
4 Large Dried Guajillo Chilis (Dried “Red” New Mexico Chilis)
3 Cups Chick Stock or Broth (low Sodium)
1/2 White Onion, Diced
3 Cloves of Garlic, Peeled and Sliced thin or minced

Seed, Stem and hand tear the chilis and place in a pot with the 3 cups of chicken stock, the onions and garlic.  Bring all of it to a boil, turn down and simmer for 15 minutes until chilis, onions and garlic are soft.  let cool slightly.  Pour all the contents of the pot into a blender and blend on low to medium until broken down and then on high for a moment until smooth.  Reserve in a glass bowl cover and refrigerate until ready for use in the recipe.

Cooking Instructions:

Salt and Pepper the Cubed beef and brown in a large pot of Dutch oven with 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil over high heat.  Do not crowd the meat so it will brown.  You may have to brown the meat in batches unless you have a huge pot.  When the meat is well browned add; the Onion, Jalapeno, Sliced Garlic and the Chipotle Peppers to the pot.  Saute for a few minutes until just soft.  Add your homemade chili powder (1/2 - 3/4 cup. (see note above).  Saute for a few minutes while mixing and stirring to completely coat the meat (do not let this burn).   Add the beer and cook until the foam subsides.  Add the tomato puree, chili sauce and the beef broth.  If the beer, broth, chili sauce and tomato sauce does not cover the meat add more broth.  The meat needs to be covered with liquid.

Simmer covered under LOW heat (just bubbling) for 2-3 hours until meat is fall apart tender.  Add the beans (juice and all), stir to combine and bring back up to the slow simmer.  Simmer for about 15 minutes to take the edge off the beans.

If necessary to thicken, make a slurry with the corn Flower with a little water and stir into the chili while it is bubbling and stir slowly to combine and thicken.  It must be just boiling to thicken up so keep the heat on.

To serve, ladle chili on bowls and garnish with your favorite toppings:  Cheese, Sour Cream, Raw or Pickled Onions, Cilantro, Lime Wedges or serve with Corn Bread.

Enjoy!!  By the way, it get’s better overnight so if you need to make it a day ahead and reheat.

Grilled and Smokey Sweet Venison Backstraps

Venison is a delicious and exotic alternative to grill on your barbecue.  Avid hunters rave about it.  I am not a big hunter but I agree that it is a real treat.  There is a lean, meaty flavor to it and it works real well with sweeter barbecue sauces. Many folks are afraid of cooking venison.  Even if they like it, they seem to be worried that it will dry out or get tough.  It's true, venison is a very lean meat and you can dry it out but with some attention to detail and the ability to cook it quickly over high heat, rest it for a short time and then serve right away, you should have no problem.  The Backstrap is the "Tenderloin" or "Filet Mignon" of venison.  It is the leanest and most tender part of the deer.  Grill these whole to medium-rare, slice into medallions and serve with leftover sweet barbecue sauce and you will lick the plate.  I like to serve these with some bread and some grilled veggies like fennel. The herbacious and licorice flavor of the fennel really compliments the sweet and pungent flavor in this dish.   Enjoy!!

One important note up front: 
Know the who's, what's, where's and when's of your venison!!!  I cannot stress this enough. Venison is generally "wild game".  If you are not getting it from a reputable butcher or store please make sure you know where it came from, who butchered it, when and how it has been stored.  If something doesn't seem right, it's not.  Many hunters do the butchering themselves and you just don't know the level of expertise employed or the location and conditions when it occurred OR how it was stored and preserved afterward.  If you get some venison from a friend or acquaintance that is a hunter ask them straight out.  
Do not take any chances.  If you don't get the right answers don't use it.   If you are not absolutely sure, don't use it.  If you are not absolutely sure don't cook it or serve it.  Make something else.


2 - Venison Backstraps, trimmed of all silver.
2 - Cups of your favorite BBQ Sauce.
1/2 - Cup Honey, Apricot Jelly, or Cherry Jelly.
1/2 - Cup your favorite Beef Spice Rub.
1/4 - Cup Finely Ground Dark Roast Coffee (Use espresso grind NOT standard drip grind.  It needs to be almost like powder)

Grill Set-up:

Direct heat with a safe zone on the grill to pull them off to the side.
One handful of soaked fruitwood chips (I prefer cherry or applewood for this).

Chefs Instructions:

  • Mix the BBQ Sauce and Honey or Jelly together in a pot and heat through on the stove to melt all the products together.  Reserve half for the table.  Use the other half for basting then discard.
  • Mix your favorite beef rub with the ground coffee.
  • Pat Venison dry and rub all over with the mixed rub.  Shake off extra, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 4.
  • Take venison out of refrigeration, 15 minutes before your ready to cook to take the chill out of it for cooking.
  • Build a fire in your grill or cooker and place the wood chip directly onto the coals to create smoke. (Or if using gas, place chips in a small disposable foil tin and put the tin directly over the flame source.
  • When fire begins to smoke place Venison on grill in direct heat.
  • Grill about 10 minutes a side (turning each side after 5 minutes so it does not burn).  Baste with BBQ Sauce before each second turn.
  • When venison reaches an internal temperature of a solid 140 degrees F (use a instant thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat), baste again liberally with your BBQ Sauce and pull it off to the safe zone and close the grill lid for 2-3 minutes to tighten up the sauce into a glaze. (COOKING NOTE:  This should make the venison on the more done side of "medium-rare" pink.  If you think you want it more medium-well, leave it under the hood for 5-8 minutes)  No peaking.  Always check with an accurate instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat.
  • Remove venison to a tray, tent loosely with foil and rest 5-10 minutes or until the internal temperature rises to about 150-155 Deg F at minimum.
Slice into medallions and serve with heated reserved sauce on the table for drizzling, dipping, or brushing.


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