My First Attempt at Tri Tip
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I’ve tried beef tri tip a couple of times and loved it. When I saw some on sale at the grocery store, I decided to give it a try. I looked online for some cooking methods, found one suitable and away I went!

I got the grill going hot with some mesquite lump charcoal. I rubbed the tri tip heavy with Cowboy Rub from McCormick.

I put the meat on a hot fire and got a good sear on both sides (about 7 minutes per side). I then threw another section into the smoker and finished it at 250 degrees or so, until the inside temp of the meat hit medium-rare.

I let the meat rest and then sliced it up. I gotta say – I love tri tip and this was one of the best things I have cooked in awhile!!

Honestly, my temperature probe was on the fritz and by the time I had pulled the meat and let it rest, it was closer to medium than rare. Didn’t seem to matter much though. It was tender and flavorful!

Yummy Brussels Sprouts from Tasty Licks BBQ
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I’ve reviewed some products from Tasty Licks before – they make some goooood stuff. Brussels Sprouts are hit or miss for me. Here’s a good recipe!

Arizona BBQ Festival Fast Approaching
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The Arizona BBQ Festival is coming! It looks like, in addition to great food they have a whole bunch of cool activities going on!

WHAT?
The Arizona BBQ Festival is the largest Honky Tonk in the state of Arizona! There’s live bands, hilarious “redneck themed” games, more beer and booze than you can handle, and (literally) tons of smoked meat like brisket, chicken, pulled pork, ribs, and all the fixin’s.
WHEN?
Saturday April 5, 2014
11am-8pm

WHERE?
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
7555 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Here’s a map: MAP!

HOW MUCH TO GET IN?
General Admission: $12
VIP: $60*
Kids 12 & under: free
Parking: free
*$75 at the gate

WHAT’S THAT GET ME?
An incredible line-up of live bands, actual wrestling shows, cooking demonstrations, participation in any of the 12+ Redneck Games, and access to tons of BBQ and really fun bars to party at.

GOT SOMETHIN’ IN YOUR TEETH?
Pick up a free toothpick at our Info Booth!

PETS
Sorry, no dogs allowed except hot ones covered in relish and celery salt.

KIDS ZONE
We know it takes a village to entertain kids under 12, so we build a small village of bouncies, rides, games, and other fun attractions. Some of these activities may cost a nominal fee (that’s why kids get in free). Hey, we just rhymed!

Chipotle Rub and Garland Jack’s Sauce
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Wanting to fire up the smoker (which I hadn’t done for awhile) I purchased some chicken thighs which always turn out great. I sprinkled them fairly well on both sides with Chipotle BBQ rub from Knox’s Spice Co. These folks make some amazing products!

I got the smoker lit and humming at 225, and put in the thighs. Not having any “unusual” sauces to try, I did have a bottle of Garland Jack’s Secret Six Sweet Brown Sugar Sauce, which I thought would go nicely with the zing of the chipotle. The sauce was a good thickness, and it was indeed brown sugary. I had just picked up the sauce at a local grocery store on sale. The Chipotle Rub was fresh and smoky and flavorful, with great heat.

I let the chicken get about 1/2 or 3/4 of the way done and then I started basting them with sauce.

This chicken was awesome. As I had hoped, the chipotle rub went well with the sweet BBQ sauce!

A word of caution and a rookie mistake! I always let the smoker open up in the final stages to try and get a bit of a crisp on the chicken. My smoker is on our patio in full view of the living room, and partial view of the kitchen. Those chicken thighs were very fatty, and I had a lot of fat accumulate in the water pan. I don’t use water in my water pan, but a clay flower pot which seems to work well. Anyway, after dinner I went out to clean up and the paint was all gray and burned off of the top middle section (I had left the lid off).Black paint was on the patio surrounding the smoker. Clearly the fat had flashed and created a hot, brief fire. I was none the wiser the whole time, eating in the kitchen. Kind of scary. Don’t leave your smoker unattended and/or out of view!

A New Twist On Chili Sauce – Pod Rico
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I was running some errands and there was an outdoor festival going on at the local Basha’s. I usually enjoy perusing things like this so I walked around and talked to all of the local vendors. Then I ran into Nez Camarena who was doling out samples of his chili sauce. Nez is the owner of Pod-Rico chili sauces. Well, of course I tried all 3 and I must say they are awesome!

All natural, local Pod Rico Chili Sauce

This sauce is good on tortilla chips, but I think it could be used on almost anything. I’m going to slow cook some pork loin in a crockpot, slathered in Pod Rico. He offers mild, medium and hot. The mild sauce is a green chili sauce. All are fresh, rich and flavorful. There’s a catch though – no lingering heat. Through a family secret, there is really no linger, no after taste in these sauces. There’s a burst of flavor while it’s rolling around in your mouth, and then it is gone until the next bite! It’s kind of cool!

Fresh, natural ingredients

Look for more information on Nez and his products in the future. Go ahead and contact them. You’ll be supporting a local company, and buying a great product! In the meantime, LIKE them on Facebook!