Tag Archives: bbq

Foodie Friday After The Fourth

While in theory today is a workday, I’m pretty sure most folks have continued the July 4th holiday straight through. In the spirit of being as lazy as the rest of you relaxing over this lovely break, I’m reporting a Foodie Friday post from a past holiday weekend. It was Memorial Day of 2008 (yes, I’ve been at this that long) and what I wrote then still makes sense to me. How about to you?

This weekend sees the celebration of the Memorial Day holiday here is the US. Traditionally, this weekend marks the start of Summer (OK, maybe that’s July 4th but I love Summer, so…) and that means it’s time to fire up the smoker. While one can achieve great BBQ on everything from a Weber kettle to rigs costing thousands, my preferred weapon of choice is the Bandera, which used to be made by The New Braunfels Company.English: Image of a propane smoker in use. Dia...

We had a bunch of folks over to enjoy ribs, smoked turkey, beer can chicken, the odd bit of smoked bratwurst (I couldn’t find a Hebrew National baloney to smoke which, as an aside, is the closest thing I know of to meat candy when spiced and smoked). The thing they all were wondering about was why does good “Q” take so long. Those of you with a love of smoked meat know that “low and slow is the way to go” and that getting the temperature in the smoker above 225 F is a formula for shoe leather.

Which, of course, got me thinking about how many people seem to do business today. Just as one cannot make BBQ in the microwave, fixing problems via the proverbial microwave for a quick fix is, in my mind, not getting you where you need to go. Now, some folks insist on cooking ribs for 8 hours; I think I’ve proven you can have damn good results in 3.5 – 4. However, I am talking about using the right tools, taking the right amount of time, and, if you can, using the guidance of someone who has been there before (I ruined a lot of racks and quite a few briskets in my day until I got it figured out).

There is a Slow food Movement of which you may be aware and I love what they have to say. However, sometimes you’re late for work and DO need to toast that Pop-Tart and go (eeew). Sometimes problems won’t wait. But I think many operations would be a lot better off if they made the quick fix the exception rather than the rule.

And now I’m off to enjoy some leftovers!

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What Do You Mean, BBQ?

Our Foodie Friday Fun this week is about barbecue. I mean, we’ve reached late summer and I haven’t posted anything about one of my favorite foods. Then again, I can spend the next few hundred words writing about it and we might be thinking about two completely different things since “barbecue” means different things to different people. Therein lies today’s business point as well.

English: Central Texas Style BBQ from Pearland...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First, when some people hear the term (BBQ for short), they think it means food cooked on a grill, as in “fire up the BBQ and let’s get the steaks on.”  That is NOT what I mean.  The term in my mind always refers to food cooked low and slow in the smoke from a wood fire.  Notice I didn’t say “over” a fire since BBQ is indirect heat cooking at its finest.

Second, there are many different types of BBQ.  Pull into a BBQ joint in Raleigh and you’ll be getting whole hog chopped up with a vinegar and pepper sauce.  Go further west and you get just pork shoulder chopped with a tomato-based sauce.  Kentucky serves up mutton barbecue served with “dip,” a Worcestershire-based sauce, in the western part of the state but pork in the east.  An order in Tennessee will get you a Memphis style dry rub on ribs.  The whole hog in South Carolina adds mustard to the sauce while in Texas you’ll get beef brisket.  Finally, in Kansas City you might get any or all of the above.  One order, many potential results.  Which is, of course, the business point.

How many presentations have you seen in which fairly generic terms are used?  How many times have you been shopping on the web and come across a product page that has lots of flowery language that sells the product but very little specific information as to how the product is differentiated from anything else?  One mistake we all make in marketing from time to time is assuming our audience knows what we mean.  While we all know our products inside and out, the consumer might not.  Even worse, by using common terms without making sure we’re putting them into the correct context, we run the risk of having the consumer pass on ordering since they might assume something that’s not true.  Even worse, they might order and be very unhappy with what they receive.

We can’t be in the business of selling “BBQ.”  We need to sell “chopped whole hog in a vinegar and pepper sauce.”  We want to use language that puts an indelible image into the consumer’s mind while making clear what exactly it is we’re selling.  Don’t assume everyone knows what BBQ or anything else means.  Have a great weekend – that’s clear, right?

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Low & Slow On The Fifth

It’s Friday and so time for Foodie Friday Fun.  However, it’s also one of those weird days which follow a holiday and precede a weekend.  Most folks I know aren’t working – they’re by the pool or at the beach and cooking is something that happens outdoors – on a grill or in a smoker.  Because I’m as lazy as the next guy continuing to celebrate our nation’s birth, I thought I’d repost a food piece centered around another summer holiday.  It was called “Low And Slow” and was written way back in May of 2008.  I think it’s relevant – hopefully you do as well.  Enjoy the weekend and see you Monday.

English: Image of a propane smoker in use. Dia...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This weekend is sees the celebration of the Memorial Day holiday here is the US. Traditionally, this weekend marks the start of Summer (OK, maybe that’s July 4th but I love Summer, so…) and that means it’s time to fire up the smoker. While one can achieve great BBQ on everything from a Weber kettle to rigs costing thousands, my preferred weapon of choice is the Bandera, which used to be made by The New Braunfels Company.

We had a bunch of folks over to enjoy ribs, smoked turkey, beer can chicken, the odd bit of smoked bratwurst (I couldn’t find a Hebrew National baloney to smoke which, as an aside, is the closest thing I know of to meat candy when spiced and smoked). The thing they all were wondering about was why does good “Q” take so long. Those of you with a love of smoked meat know that “low and slow is the way to go” and that getting the temperature in the smoker above 225 F is a formula for shoe leather.

Which, of course, got me thinking about how many people seem to do business today. Just as one cannot make BBQ in the microwave, fixing problems via the proverbial microwave for a quick fix is, in my mind, not getting you where you need to go. Now, some folks insist on cooking ribs for 8 hours; I think I’ve proven you can have damn good results in 3.5 – 4. However, I am talking about using the right tools, taking the right amount of time, and, if you can, using the guidance of someone who has been there before (I ruined a lot of racks and quite a few briskets in my day until I got it figured out).

There is a Slow food Movement of which you may be aware and I love what they have to say. However, sometimes you’re late for work and DO need to toast that Pop-Tart (eeew) and go. Sometimes problems won’t wait. But I think many operations would be a lot better off if they made the quick fix the exception rather than the rule.

And now I’m off to enjoy some leftovers!

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The Way We Spell Success

blue ribbon

Image via Wikipedia

There is a BBQ place here in town that gets very good reviews in a number of places and I’d like to use it as a jumping off point this Foodie Friday. I’ve been there a couple of times and don’t like it. In fact, I brought a buddy of mine who knows about things smokey and delicious to eat there and he didn’t care for it either.  When asked my opinion about it, I usually recommend two other nearby places that I think are way better.

Is this place a failure?  Of course not.  And that’s a good reminder to us all. Continue reading

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Burnt Ends

Barbecue beef brisket

We usually end the week with a food post and I’m in the mood to fire up the smoker so let’s talk about burnt ends.  No, this has nothing to do with you standing too close to the pit but everything to do with fat, flavor, and fun.  You probably don’t think they have much to do with business, but you know I’ll find a way, right? Continue reading

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Grilled BBQ

The result of smoking pork ribs.

It’s Friday so we’re back to food! Today’s discussion is how one cooking term can mean something totally different to two different people, a lesson which, of course, I think extends to business as well.  I had a chat the other day with someone about cooking a particular dish and they referred to it as “barbecued”. I asked them what they meant because that’s one of those nebulous terms that can mean any of several things depending on the speaker’s point of reference. Continue reading

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Whole Hog

DOMOKUN NOM NOMS
Image by roboppy via Flickr

Today marks one year to the day since we started down this blogging road together.  This is post number 233, and at about 325 or so words per post, you guys have been generous enough to put up with 75,000 words.  Hopefully one or two of them have amused you and a couple of others have made you go “ah HA!”  Thank you for your attention, your comments, and your patience. Continue reading

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Filed under food, Thinking Aloud, What's Going On