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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Dish it Out: BBQ champ gives grillin’ tips

Although the calendar may say otherwise, Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer.

As a lifelong Midwesterner, I realize there will be plenty more summerlike days before the first snowfall, but Labor Day gives us an excuse to invite friends and family over and fire up the grill.

Recently, I caught up 2011 Iowa Farm Bureau Cookout Contest chamption Brett Richards who was grilling ribs on a Friday morning at his Vinton barbecue stand, Smoken’ on the Cedar.

He didn’t have any formal training in the art of grilling, he just learned as he went.

“It’s a lot of trial and error how we come up with things,” he says. “We take things we like from one thing and adapt it to another.”

He follows the low-and-slow method of grilling.

The pulled beef at his stand cooks for about 24 hours at 250 degrees. Like any cut of beef, he doesn’t slice it right away.

“I like it to rest for an hour if I can,” he says. “That lets all the juices redistribute.”

He uses a little bit of black cherry wood with charcoal, but wood isn’t a requirement to smoke meat, he says.

Although smoke gives meat a unique taste, be careful not to oversmoke, which results in a bitter taste.

“If it’s producing a ton of white billowing smoke, it’s too much,” he says. “You want the thin blue smoke.”

He doesn’t put any sauce on the meat before or during cooking. Rather, he uses a supersecret dry rub.

OK, it’s equal parts of sweet paprika, brown sugar, black pepper and kosher salt (which has larger granules than regular table salt).

If you want some barbecue sauce for dipping, here’s a recipe using Griff’s Cowboy Whiskey from Cedar Ridge Vineyards, Winery and Distillery in Swisher.
GRIFF’S BBQ SAUCE

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup. butter

1 hot pepper finely chopped

1 medium white onion finely chopped

2 tablespoons garlic, chopped

1 cup Griff’s Cowboy Whiskey

1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup dark molasses

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons brown sugar

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Hot sauce to taste

Heat butter and oil in cast iron skillet. Add onion and pepper to skillet. Heat until onions are clear.

Remove skillet from heat. Add Griff’s Cowboy Whiskey. Return to heat. Boil down over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to simmer and add all other ingredients as you continue to stir. Simmer the sauce until it thickens.

From Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery, Swisher

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Watch the UFC Free in Dallas

Tomorrow at 9:00pm – Sunday at 12:00am

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How to clean your BBQ Grill and Grate

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Dallas BBQ Catering also provides perfect BBQ food, reasonably priced and presented in the authentic Texan style.

Cowboys’ kicking battle tightens with addition of Graham

ARLINGTON — If Shayne Graham can find the rhythm that made him the third-most accurate kicker in NFL history, then the Dallas Cowboys might have just found their man.

The team signed the 11-year veteran Graham to a one-year contract after a workout Monday.

They now have four kickers on the roster, including incumbent David Buehler, rookie free agent Dan Bailey and injured rookie Kai Forbath.

Buehler, who was inconsistent in handling the job last season, was in the midst of a tightly contested battle with Bailey in training camp until he suffered a hip strain last week.

He missed the preseason game against San Diego on Sunday and has yet to be cleared for practice.

Bailey has been pretty good for a rookie but he has never kicked in a game, forcing the Cowboys to hedge their bets by signing the veteran Graham.

“We feel good about Shayne and what he has done in this league,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He has been a good kicker for a number of years. He kicked well in the tryout. We want to see him in practice and see how he responds on this team.”

Graham has been with Buffalo, Carolina, Cincinnati, New England and the New York Giants during his career. He has played in 136 games converting 208 of 242 (86 percent) field-goal attempts and 315 of 320 PATs.

Graham became available when Washington released him after missing field goals of 29 and 49 yards in the Redskins’ preseason opener. Now he is in Dallas, thankful for another opportunity and motivated to prove he is still a reliable and accurate as he has always been.

“I know I’m better than the game I had with the Redskins,” Graham said. “The rhythm, the timing wasn’t there. I just think about the things that I need to do right, not so much what I did wrong, what I need to fix, but what I need to do to do things right.

“So that’s what I focused on during my time — kicking well and hitting the ball strong, hitting the ball solid. I’m confident. I know what I can do. I know I’m better than what I showed.”

Buehler is admittedly frustrated with the presence of more competition in camp. He said being back for Saturday’s game against Minnesota is important for him.

Kicking coach Chris Boniol said he likes what Buehler and Bailey have done in practice. But Buehler’s hurt and Bailey is inexperienced.

“Not having that many reps with a young player in games yet, you don’t know what you are going to get,” Boniol said of Bailey. “We want to have our options covered. He is available. He has done a nice job in his career. He had a nice workout.”

Read more

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Smoked Chicken: The Second Try But Is it Really?

Fresh off my first competition last week, I wanted to go right back to trying to perfect the art of Competition Barbecue but this time I wanted to try one of the hardest meats to turn in during a barbecue competition and that is Chicken. Even though I tried to smoke chicken back in May, it was with my little Weber One Touch Kettle but with the addition of the Smokey Mountain this adventure was even more challenging and different. Read More

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Pit-Barbecued Chicken

Ingredients

1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons cayenne
1 teaspoon freshly, ground black pepper
3 plump fryers (about 3 pounds each) cut in half
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, melted, or 1 cup oil from Beb’s Barbecue Sauce
3 tablespoons Tabasco brand pepper sauce
1 cup Beb’s Barbecue Sauce

Directions

1. Combine the salt, cayenne, and black pepper in a small bowl and blend. Rub the chickens with the seasoning mix. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

2. Prepare a barbecue pit with a charcoal fire. The charcoal should be gray with ash and hot in the center. Melt the margarine (or heat the barbecue sauce oil) in a small saucepan and add the Tabasco. Put the chickens on the grill and baste frequently with the margarine or oil. Turn the chickens about every 20 minutes, but keep the lid closed in between basting and turning. The chickens will take about 2½ hours to cook.

3. Right before taking the chickens off the pit, brush liberally with the barbecue sauce.

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Dallas BBQ Catering also provides perfect BBQ food, reasonably priced and presented in the authentic Texan style.

BBQ Chicken

• 1 cup ketchup

• ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar

• 2 tablespoons orange juice

• 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

• 1 teaspoon liquid smoke

• ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder

• ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

• 1 3 ½-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees or prepare a grill (brush the grill grate lightly with oil).

In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients except the chicken. Reserve 1/3 cup of the barbecue sauce; set aside. Add the chicken to the remaining sauce in the bowl, turning to coat.

Arrange the coated chicken in a roasting pan or on the grill. Cook (covered, if grilling) for 40 to 45 minutes or until cooked through, basting with the reserved 1/3 cup of sauce after 20 minutes.

Serves 3 to 4.

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Dallas BBQ Catering also provides perfect BBQ food, reasonably priced and presented in the authentic Texan style.

15 Things To Watch for Dallas Cowboys in Week 2 Matchup vs. San Diego Chargers

Mike Jenkins vs. Vincent Jackson: In his first game of the preseason, how will Jenkins fair when matched up with physical wide receiver Vincent Jackson?

He will be asked to do more press coverage with Rob Ryan in town, and that could be a problem against players like Jackson. Expect to see more of a press-and-bail technique from Jenkins rather than a true jam.

The preseason will be a great opportunity for Jenkins to regain some of the confidence which seemed to be missing in 2010.

Dwayne Harris: After busting out for 127 yards and two touchdowns last week, let’s see how Harris responds. He has a legitimate shot to beat out Kevin Ogletree for slot receiver duties, and I personally hope he wins.

He seems to be a harder worker, more intelligent and superior after the catch. Jason Garrett will not be afraid to play the rookie ahead of an underachieving Ogletree.

Screen Passes: Garrett called a few more screens than usual last week, and I think that is a trend which will continue into the regular season. With more athletic offensive linemen and Felix Jones/DeMarco Murray in the backfield, why not? Read More

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Dallas BBQ Catering also provides perfect BBQ food, reasonably priced and presented in the authentic Texan style.

Grilled Corn with Chipotle-Lime Butter


Ingredients

4 ear(s) fresh corn, husked
2 tablespoon(s) butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon(s) freshly grated lime zest
1 teaspoon(s) lime juice
1/2 teaspoon(s) minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, plus 1/4 teaspoon adobo sauce
1/2 teaspoon(s) kosher salt

Directions

Preheat grill to high. Wrap each ear in foil. Place on the grill and cook, turning frequently, for 10 minutes. Remove from the grill and let stand in the foil while preparing the butter. Combine butter, lime zest, lime juice, chipotle and adobo sauce (or ground chipotle) and salt in a small bowl. Carefully unwrap the corn. Serve with the butter.

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Dallas BBQ Catering also provides perfect BBQ food, reasonably priced and presented in the authentic Texan style.

Dallas Cowboys Saturday Practice Notes

Undrafted rookie free agent WR Raymond Radway continued his impressive training camp with two more good catches. Radway reached high on a deep pass over the middle to pull in a pass from QB Stephen McGee. Later, Radway came back on a deep pass to the right sideline from Tony Romo for a catch between CB Alan Ball and safety Abram Elam.

• NT Jay Ratliff, in his first practice back from a hip injury, knocked away a Tony Romo pass at the line of scrimmage in team drills.

• RB Phillip Tanner was wide open in the left flat on a short pass and raced into the secondary with no one in front of him.

• LT Doug Free had a false start in red zone drills.

• TE John Phillips made a one-handed attempt on a pass over the middle from Tony Romo but couldn’t hold on. FB Chris Gronkowski dropped a short pass in the red zone from Romo, who was rolling to his right.

• LB Bradie James broke up a Tony Romo pass over the middle to WR Miles Austin, arriving just as the ball did in a 6-on-8 drill. Safety Barry Church also broke up a pass over the middle intended for TE Martin Rucker in the same drill. LB Victor Butler broke up a pass over the middle as well.

• In the battle for the kicking job, starter David Buehler was a perfect 4-for-4 on attempts from 29, 34, 43 and 44 yards. Undrafted rookie free agent Dan Bailey (Oklahoma State) was 3-for-4, missing wide right on a 43-yard attempt. Overall, Buehler is now 32-for-45 in camp and Bailey is 36-for-42.

• TCU-ex WR Curtis Clay, just signed Friday, dropped a touchdown pass over the middle from Stephen McGee in 6-on-8 work.

• WR Miles Austin made a nice, over-the-shoulder catch in the right corner of the end zone on a pass from Tony Romo.

• CB Chris Randle intercepted a pass over the middle from QB Jon Kitna. WR Miles Austin fell down on the route, making it an easy pick for Randle.

• CB Orlando Scandrick read a reverse well, stopping WR Miles Austin for no gain. Later, Scandrick intercepted a Tony Romo pass in the left side of the end zone that was intended for Miles Austin.

• Injured offensive guard Montrae Holland (back) increased his conditioning work and rehab Saturday on the sideline and is closer to returning to practice.

• WR Kevin Ogletree dropped a pass during receiver drills. Ogletree is feeling some heat from rookie Dwayne Harris for the No. 3 wide receiver job. Harris, however, dropped a pass from Tom Brandstater in the right corner of the end zone. The pass was behind Harris some but catchable.

• Center Andre Gurode, in his first practice of training camp, wore a right knee brace. After a few snaps with the first-team in team drills, Gurode waived in Phil Costa to replace him. Gurode was fine, but appeared to be a bit winded.

• Undrafted rookie free agent WR Tysson Poots had a nice catch along the right sideline with three defenders around him. CB Mario Butler broke up a pass into the end zone from Tom Brandstater to Tysson Poots.

• The Cowboys lined up in the end zone during practice and ran eight 50-yard sprints. In the linemen group, DL Sean Lissemore finished well in front in most sprints.

• When practicing at Cowboys Stadium, the Cowboys actually use the visitors’ locker room because the home locker room has to be available for paid stadium tours.

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