recipe

Reverse Sear 02

Raise Your Steak Game

If you’ve never heard of the reverse sear, then the best steak of your life is still in your future. Ever since I first used the reverse sear method, I haven’t cooked a steak any other way. It’s that good. And simple. What is a reverse sear? The name sounds a little odd, but it’s derived from the other way of cooking a steak, which is to sear it first, then finish it over lower heat until it…

From L to R: Brown sugar, toasted sugar, and white sugar

Toasted Sugar Ribs

Brown sugar, white sugar, and honey are all common sweeteners in the pitmaster’s arsenal. They’re great in a pork rub or on chicken to accelerate the browning of the skin. In fact, sugar might be the most popular ingredient in commercial barbecue rubs, which is why I was excited to learn about a new way to use the sweet stuff. Last month, Serious Eats published a story by Stella Parks about toasted sugar. It’s a method of…

Tootsie Pork Steak 09

Tootsie Tomanetz’s Pork Steak

Tootsie Tomanetz has been cooking barbecue for fifty years, an art she didn’t start practicing professionally until she was in her thirties. When she began her career in Giddings, offset smokers weren’t nearly as popular as they are today. Then, barbecue was cooked directly over wood coals, and that’s the way she’s always done it. When she and Kerry Bexley opened Snow’s BBQ together in 2003, Tomanetz insisted on direct-heat pits. Bexley set to building…

Hot Fast Brisket 05

Hot-and-Fast Brisket

Bodacious Bar-B-Que in Longview was the first stop on a barbecue road trip, and founder/owner/pitmaster Roland Lindsey, a barbecue veteran forty years my senior, boasted: “I can cook a brisket in three hours.” I called his bluff. I walked out the door promising to loop back through Longview on my way back home. Lindsey waved while stoking a mesquite fire in his old steel pit. His son-in-law Jordan Jackson cut open a fresh brisket with a smile, eager…

Fried Pork Belly 09

Puffy Pork Belly

Not quite bacon, not quite chicharrones, puffy pork belly is the Goldilocks zone between the two, a dish that emerges when one makes the decision to deep fry a skin-on pork belly. I’ve written before about how much I love the crispy pig skin that gets chopped into the barbecue at Skylight Inn in Ayden, North Carolina. There’s a crunchiness that results only after the well-cooked skin is exposed to the direct heat from the coals. The skin…

Prime Rib 02

Prime Rib Primer

Over the last few days, I’ve shared recipes for a from-scratch ham, a smoked fried turkey, and a smoked pork crown roast. Now for the mother of all holiday meal centerpieces: the prime rib. Aside from beef tenderloin, prime rib is usually the most expensive cut of beef you can buy. In the days before Christmas, they fill the cases of butcher shops and grocery stores, testament to their popularity for holiday meals. While it’s easy…