Monday, January 26, 2015

Review - 521 BBQ

Name: 521 BBQ
Location: Fort Mill, SC 
Price: $$

In my town it can be difficult to find good BBQ. It shouldn't be hard in SC, but if you want to go out for it, it can be. One of my favorite BBQ places opened up a second location closer to me and I was finally able to try it out. I was happy I did.

I took my family out to give it a try and we all enjoyed it. My first experience with 521 BBQ was about six years ago. We were looking for a local BBQ joint and found 521 BBQ off of highway 521. We headed out to get some food around 6pm and when we got there we were disappointed because they had sold out. This was a good sign. It meant they were doing something right. We went back a couple weeks later, earlier this time, and enjoyed generous helpings of chopped pork, ribs, hushpuppies and fries. We've been back a few times and have recommended it to others.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving Day [Part 3]

Thanksgiving came and it was a success due to the preparation I had done previously, including my planning and test cook. I was glad I did a test cook trying the spatchcocking and dry brining of the turkey. I was able to adjust a few things and had a great bird and the venison I cooked was great.

We had a great time with family and they all enjoyed the turkey and the venison. All the sides that were brought were tasty and the desserts finished of the meal spectacularly.

I'm cooking a turkey for the local rescue squad this next weekend and will do it the same way I did ours. It came out great

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Preparation - Test Cooking [Part 2]

With Thanksgiving this Thursday I figured it would be a good idea to test a new recipe I want to try before hand. Turkeys are priced to sell this time of year so we usually get a few to have in the freezer for over the next few months. I used one of our smaller birds we purchased for my test cook. I'm glad I did.

I decided I was going to dry brine and spatchcock it. Cook it at 350ยบ with chicken broth under it to add flavor and use for a stock later. butterflying the turkey helps it to cook more evenly and quicker.

Interview: Tommy Houston of the Checkered Pig

Team: Checkered Pig
Location: Martinsville, VA
Twitter: @checkeredpig
Facebook: Checkered Pig

I met Tommy Houston of Checkered Pig two years ago at the Grill'n & Chill'n BBQ Cook-Off in Waxhaw, NC. I saw him again this year, in Waxhaw, and asked if he would be willing to do an interview with me for my blog. He graciously said he would. Tommy is a busy guy. He owns a restaurant in Martinsville, VA, caters, and travels around to do BBQ competitions. With all that going on he agreed to do an interview.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Preparing for Thanksgiving [Part 1]

The leaves have changed and the air has gotten colder. Fall has arrived and Thanksgiving is on its way (or past if you're in Canada). It's time to start thinking about giving the family the bird. Wait... that didn't sound right (like so many things in BBQ). Time to start thinking about cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving. I used to roast the bird in the oven, but no more. I now smoke it. Smoked turkey is great. I have had deep fried turkey, but it doesn't have that nice smokey flavor of a bird cooked over hickory and pecan wood. One day I would like to smoke the turkey then fry it to finish it of and get the best of both worlds. 

As Thanksgiving draws closer I start to cook the bird in my head. trying to figure out the best way get the best flavor for the family. I also start to plan my cook so on Thanksgiving Day I will have time to cook it and relax. I'll share a little of what I do to prepare.