September 16, 2010

TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters 2 – Apparently Popular

Filed under: BBQ — Professor Salt @ 10:11 am

So the barbecue competitors’ websites are abuzz with tons of negative feedback on the TV show I appeared on with my teammates Bigmista and Sylvie. Tons of gripes about how unrealistic and contrived this contest format is.

Granted, this is a made-for-TV game show, not a real world contest. If it served to make the American public aware that there are things called BBQ contests, and that real people like my teammates compete in them, then I’m all for the PR good deed we took part in. We had a ton of fun, made new friends and that’s what matters most to me.

But it’s not apparent how well the audience received it outside the fishbowl of the BBQ community. In Nielsen-rated teevee land, it apparently scored well.

TLC’s summer of premieres, dubbed TLC Summer*, garnered more original new and returning hit** series vs. the competition with 17 averaging 1.1M P2+ or more!

Whatever the hell those numbers mean, we (yes, I feel a sense of  ownership in the TV show), were beaten by other TLC shows Little People, Big World and LA Ink, but we kicked the living crap out of Hoarding: Buried Alive and Mall Cops: Mall of America. Which means we might see a season 3 of BBQ Pitmasters before Mall Cops: Asian Garden Mall.

But I don’t really  know anything about the working the TV business, so don’t quote me on that.

August 12, 2010

Irvine – Land of BBQ?

Filed under: BBQ,Orange County — Professor Salt @ 12:58 pm

My friends David Vindiola from Smokalicious BBQ and Ryan Chester of The Rub Company are teaming up again this Saturday for their monthly residence at Irvine’s Tanaka Farms. I stopped by last month to check in on my boys, and they’re turning Tanaka’s farm into a delicious place to get schooled on summer cooking. With better attendance, this might happen more than once a month.

David is a cooking instructor from San Diego, and this week’s topic is a kids’ cooking class. See details on his site. Last month’s class was gazpacho and grilling. Check his site for a rotating schedule of topics.

Ryan and his family make BBQ seasonings in Buena Park, and I’m all for supporting local BBQ guys that make a good product. At Tanaka Farms, they set up a Santa Maria style grill and sell tri tip smoked over  oak, just like they do it up in California’s Central Valley. Stop by and get a lunch plate, and take home some of Tanaka’s great produce, grown right there.

The Chesters use their Santa Maria Style rub, a kicked up garlic salt blend with lots of black pepper. While you’re at Tanaka Farms, pick up a bottle of that Santa Maria rub and also their brand new, Competition rub. It’s so new it’s not on their website yet, but I used it last weekend on pork ribs to great effect, and recommend it wholeheartedly…

Tanaka Farms
5380 3/4 University Dr. (corner of Michelson Drive)
Irvine, CA 92612

August 10, 2010

BBQ Pitmasters Season 2 Premiers August 12

Filed under: BBQ — Professor Salt @ 12:50 pm

Season 2 of TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters show premiers this Thursday August 12 at 10pm / 9pm in CST. I’ll be on the Rib Throwdown episode cooking with Bigmista’s BBQ.

The schedule on TLC’s website is a little confusing – it looks like the Pork Shoulder episode is leading off, so “my” episode may not be first, even though it was shot first. Tune in anyway readers, because lots of familiar face are featured this season.

UPDATE: Danielle Dimovski of informs me that our Rib Throwdown episode will air on September 2, 2010.

July 6, 2010

Bacon Explosion Lite

Filed under: BBQ,Orange County,Published stories — Professor Salt @ 10:56 pm

Here’s a terrific HD video made at the recent Que’n For Kids BBQ Contest by Deep End Diner Eddie Lin:

The Bacon Explosion from Ed Lin on Vimeo.

I never thought that bacon can actually “lighten” a dish as calorically dense as the bacon explosion, but it does. In case you don’t know about the Bacon Explosion, it’s a mat of woven bacon wrapped around the sausage encasing a core of crispy, cooked bacon. It was an internet phenomenon a couple years back and I’m finally getting around to making one and blogging about it.

Listen – if you’ve ever seen an uncooked Jimmy Dean chub, it’s a fat cylinder the diameter of a soup can. If I were to cook this chub as is, sliced it into rounds, and served it, it would be a dense, 3 inch disc of meat, fat and gristle. The way to lighten this dense disc, ironically, is to press out the sausage into a thin layer first, wrap it around a core of crisp, coarsely chopped bacon, and reform it into a log. The bacon in the center actually breaks up the dense texture of what would be a solid slug of sausage and makes it much more pleasant to eat.

Now that we’re clear on the definition of “light,” do these jeans make my ass look “fat?”

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