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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Knuckling Up at the Pomona SoCal BBQ Bash

The Rub Life BBQ Team is going to battle in Pomona this weekend with Dragon Knuckle Gloves on their fists.

Yeah, that sounds a bit dramatic. It's not about the gloves. It's about heart, stomach, palate and skill. But there will be gloves and our logo on their banner, for which we are flattered and grateful.

This Saturday at the Pomona Fairplex from 11am to 6pm, it's going down. Lots of barbecue with games for the little kids, beer for the big kids and music for everyone.

Competing together in the Amateur category will be Fern's Semi-Famous BBQ, Krillyz Backyard BBQ and Sycamore Street BBQ. Smoking Ray's Backyard BBQ will be competing on his own. 7 Sins BBQ will be competing in the Professional category.

The Amateurs will be cooking chicken and ribs. The Professionals will be doing chicken, ribs, pork butt and brisket.

Here we are over a thousand miles north missing out on the whole thing. While not fit to compete, we are certainly prepared to eat and have fun. Too bad. We need a road trip.

Get your tickets here if you'll be in Southern California this weekend.

Friday, May 12, 2017

What Kind of Fool Grills a Banana?

Grillin' Fools grill bananas. That's who.

Scott Thomas, who is leader of the Grillin' Fools team along with his father Greg and Tom Jones, notes that no one ever grills breakfast or dessert.

I'll start, man. I promise, especially after seeing this Grilled Banana Split recipe.

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Who are the Grillin' Fools?
Scott, Greg and Tom are active and passionate outdoor cookers based around St. Louis. They are dedicated to sharing their mistakes and triumphs in order to teach others. They don't cater, will never own a restaurant and they don't cook competitively.

They do host an annual Charity BBQ Competition, however, and can be talked into doing Grilling Classes.

Scott loves cooking together with his dad, but admits "we never cooked anything together until I started the website. I never cooked with him as a kid. He manned the grill and I watched. The running joke is I was sent to college with a suitcase and a grill. While we didn't cook much when I was young, we cook all the time together now and it's really special to have my dad around and doing this as a business together. Most people get those, 'pinch me, am I dreaming,' moments a few times in their lives. I get them dozens of times a year being able to cook with dad so often as well as the other BBQ related events we are able to do together."

Catch Scott cooking Bacon Pineapple Ribs with his Dragon Knuckle Gloves:

The way Grillin' Fools does recipes is unique and very detailed. In a narrative tone, they describe each step including products used and mistakes along the way. Then they finish with a printable recipe card you can easily save and store.

The Banana Split recipe caught my attention because it reminded me or a Brûléed Banana dessert I once served at a restaurant. That dish used a torch to caramelize sugar on bananas. Then came vanilla ice cream, berries, chocolate syrup and whipped cream.

Scott's take on this dish adds smoky flavor from the grill and that little kick of spice. Sweet and hot always go well together.

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Lots of fruit goes nice on the grill. Peaches, apples, strawberries or anything firm enough to stay together. Just make sure the grill's not too hot and don't take your eye off it. Things can go wrong in a hurry.

Next time you step to the grill, try this one: Cut a pineapple into 1" rings. Cut off the peel and the core. Sprinkle it with sugar and put it on the grill until both sides are charred a bit. Then stick that on a plate and put a scoop of vanilla right in the hole in the middle. Berries, syrup and whipped cream couldn't hurt here.
Get out there and get foolish. Grill new stuff and don't be afraid to make mistakes. Find Grillin' Fools on Instagram and learn something.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Is Your Mama a Dragon Knuckle Woman?

Image via Flickr by Marcelo Cantarela

What have your mother's hands done for you?

  • Cradled you as a baby.
  • Wiped the tears from your face.
  • Tickled you until you giggled pink.
  • Put bandages on your boo-boos.
  • Made you many, many meals.
  • Held your hand to keep you safe.
  • Waved good-bye when you flew from her nest.

What are you getting her for Mother's Day? Cut flowers that will die in a few days? More perfume or lotions? Chocolates made by somebody else? A card stamped out in a factory?

Image via Flickr by edwardhblake

Why not do something good for the hands that have done so much for you?

Protect her with Dragon Knuckle Heat Resistant Cut Resistant BBQ Gloves.

You may look at the bold red flames and think it's strictly a masculine product. You might think the grill and the smoker is a man's world. You'd be wrong.

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Women dig the smoke, the sizzle and the slow & low. Everyone male, female, alien or whatever loves barbecue once it gets in their veins.

Get your mama a Mother's Day Gift Set of Dragon Knuckle BBQ Gloves and Meat Shredder Claws.

Let her lovingly coddle a pork shoulder for sixteen hours. Then watch her eyes light up when she sinks her new claws into it, yielding pounds of succulent, smoky goodness.

She might even let you have a bite.

Don't just give her a thing. Give her a new passion. Open the door to the barbecue world. She'll never be the same.

Get Dragon Knuckle BBQ Gloves and Claws together for only $29.99. Slow smoked pork shoulder not included.

Use code GETCLAWS or DKGLOVES. But don't delay. You only have a couple days.

And please don't make her cook on Sunday.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Happy Cinco de Mayo with Finnish Pulled Moose Tacos

The first restaurant I ever worked at was a Mexican joint in Napa Valley, California. I still have a soft spot for those flavors.
Tequila. Cerveza with lime. Cilantro. Cumin. Roasted chilis. Chips and salsa. Moose.
You know my man Johannes Leppihalme from Finland is slow cooking moose while everyone else is stuck on pork, beef and chicken. When I first wrote about his moose experiments he said he was going to do pulled moose and I mentioned "fusion tacos."

He took me seriously. How seriously?

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I've been shredding pork shoulders and found that with the nice fat cap, the Boston Butt is very forgiving. But wild game is notoriously lean. Drying it out is very easy.

How does Johannes do it? I'll let him tell you:

Yesterday was a great BBQ day. I got inspired by your vision on "fusion taco" and took a shot on pulled moose. Great success!

I had 5lb moose roast to cook. Low and slow.

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I rubbed the meat with black pepper and placed it on the upper level of my Weber Smokey Mountain.Temperature inside the chamber was 180F in the beginning. No smoking this time.

It took 4hrs sharp to get internal temp up to 165F. Chamber temp varied between 210F - 250F during the process, I wrapped the moose in foil when temp was 130F and then continued cooking.

I was afraid that meat would get dry as it is very low fat. However, once rested in foil for 30 minutes, I started pulling it apart and it responded well. It was not as easy to pull as pork shoulder, but I can confirm it was moist, even juicy and pulled apart nicely enough.

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Dinner was served with pulled moose tortilla "boats", chili and nachos. Excellent!

A couple of things will always be true for me regarding food:

- Mixing cultures and styles yields delicious results.

- Things wrapped in tortillas are good.

So Feliz Cinco de Mayo everyone. Keep being creative with food.

Oh, and next time you're shredding moose or anything, we suggest a pair of these:

Get your Dragon Knuckle Claws at:

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Fern's Semi-Famous Solar-Powered Satellite BBQ

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Barbecue enough and you'll never stop smiling.

This is Fernando Martinez: San Diego BBQ lover. His passion pushes him to constantly get better. Not only can you taste it, you can see it.

"I started a very long time ago on a tiny grill that I propped up on bricks. I experimented with several different types of grills and cooking styles which have lead me to where I am today."

Where he is today is catering from a custom-built trailer featuring solar panels, two smokers, four 6V deep cycle batteries, a fridge system and satellite TV.

Yeah, they're watching football up there. Here he is cooking before Super Bowl LI:

In order to cook for his co-workers he used to load his Traeger in the back of his truck and drive it to work.

"There's got to be an easier way," he said. He says that a lot.

He wanted to mount his barbecue gear on the back of a trailer so he could easily tailgate and entertain. He found a $100 trailer for sale and headed down to see it, prepared to play hard-ball and offer $50.

When he found out a battered women's shelter was selling it, he paid $200.

When he outgrew that trailer, he bought a bigger one and aspired to cook as green as possible. His solar array and batteries allow him to barbecue off the grill for up to 43 hours.

Just because the barbecue is smoking doesn't mean the power plants must do it also.

He's a member of the Rub Life crew of BBQ enthusiasts, a bunch of skilled and down-to-earth slow-and-low meat lovers based in the South West.

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To me, chicken is one of the trickiest meats to cook. All of the parts are different sizes and shapes. So easy to over-cook, under-cook and burn.

I've asked him a couple of times about chicken cooking tips. So far, he's kept that to himself.

It's not a secret recipe if you tell everyone.