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appetizers

Holiday recipes: The Posse’s favorite side dishes

Here are 3 of the Posse’s favorite holiday side dish recipes, left to right, collard greens, twice-baked potato casserole & kale salad. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Like a good song, no barbecue feast is complete without strong accompaniment. So, just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas, here are a few of the Posse’s favorite side dishes. Sherry’s favorite twice-baked potato casserole This recipe cooks up easily for a crowd and can be prepped early, refrigerated and then baked at the last minute. Sherry Jacobson’s twice-baked potato casserole recipe. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) Ingredients 5 pounds baking potatoes 1…
 - 11/20/2017
Jambo-smoker

Calling all pitmasters and grillers and cooks, Oh My!

In the realm of barbecue and grilling, proud cooks reign with smoke and fire. The proof is everywhere. Look at your neighbor with a Weber, or all the Facebook pages dedicated to barbecue and grilling. There you’ll see photo after photo of baby backs, turkey, smoked meatloaf, chicken wings, beef cheeks, brisket, rib roast, even pork belly slow smoked using walnut shells. Side dishes, too. When the Posse launched its new Web site earlier this year, we said we were going to run more items about cooking. We have. Now, it’s your turn to share some of your knowledge about…
 - 11/15/2017
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Recipe: How to cook a spatchcock turkey

Two spatchcock turkeys on Marshall Cooper’s custom Jambo J-3 smoker. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the Posse wanted to share a lesser-known turkey recipe with our readers. Pitmaster Marshall Cooper suggested we smoke a spatchcock turkey, a technique I hadn’t tried before. He enjoys having the ability to cook a big turkey hot and fast. Our total cook time for two huge turkeys was three hours. By definition, spatchcock is poultry or game that has been prepared for roasting or grilling by removing the backbone, and sometimes the sternum of the bird and flattening…
 - 11/12/2017
Rabbi Shawel

Meet the top Kosher cop at the Dallas Kosher BBQ Championship

Rabbi David Shawel at the first Dallas Kosher BBQ Championship. (Photo ©David Duchin) Along with the food and the fun, one of the more intriguing aspects of the Dallas Kosher BBQ Championship, which makes its third annual run Sunday, Oct. 29, is how the smokers, grills, knives and other cooking utensils are kept from year to year to ensure they remain kosher. “It’s pretty neat,” said Rabbi David Shawel, the top Kosher cop at the event. “We’re dealing with a very high standard.” Kosher dietary laws, derived from the Hebrew bible, involve the food itself and the way it is…
 - 10/23/2017
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Recipe: A Texas-style test of ribs, and rib rub on Lopez Island

A plate of finished baby backs, “spares” from Midnight’s Farm and chicken. (Photo ©Bryan Gooding) Creative embers aglow, Martha Gooding walked to her spice cabinet. “We’ve got to find some magic ingredient for our rib rub.” she said. “And what I was thinking was garam marsala.” It was the last Sunday of Sherry Jacobson’s and my visit to Martha and Bryan Gooding’s home on Lopez Island. Our mission was to test a punchy Texas style rub on two kinds of pork ribs: a meaty, fatty grocery store-bought rack of baby backs and a much smaller, leaner rack from pigs raised at…
 - 10/10/2017
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Confessions of a Kingsford guy: This new Weber charcoal ain’t bad. . .

I’ve been a Kingsford charcoal guy since first learning to grill more than 40 years ago from Walt Scheela, my wife’s grandfather. Walt used Kingsford and literally counted the briquets as he added them to his Weber kettle each hour when he cooked the Thanksgiving turkey. Over the years I’ve tried other brands, even some lump charcoal. But I always come back to Kingsford Original. I use it with my Weber machines at home, including a 22.5 Smokey Mountain. I’ve also used Kingsford for big cooks for large groups on homemade cement-block pits. We arranged whole bags along the bottom…
 - 10/04/2017
BBQbooks

The best BBQ books of all time

New barbecue books appear regularly, a testament to the enduring popularity of a distinctly American food and the people who created and continue the traditions. Earlier this year, for example, I received a review copy of Texas BBQ, written by a Swede. The book was making its way to the U.S. after being published a few years ago in Sweden and the United Kingdom. Lone Star barbecue has fans everywhere. While Jonas Cramby’s book is a serviceable take on the Texas barbecue phenomenon, it’s not what we’re looking for in this post. With the help of other Posse members, we…
 - 09/28/2017
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Recipe: Lightly smoked, grilled salmon on a Weber — Let the fish speak for itself

Lightly smoked, grilled salmon served with grilled fresh vegetables. (Photo ©Bryan Gooding) When you live on an island where you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a salmon you have to cook fish. The touch of smoke you get with this approach to lightly smoked, grilled salmon really kicks up the umami flavor profile giving it a heartier taste. The added benefit of this recipe is a fast cook on a regular Weber. The dish  looks and tastes great. Ingredients: 2 – 2 lb. Coho salmon fillets kosher salt lemon pepper olive oil fresh or dry dill lemon Martha’s…
 - 09/13/2017
GreenFlame

With GreenFlame, I broke Weber’s ‘charcoal vow’

  On the Posse, we’re dedicated chimney users when it comes to starting charcoal. Simple and effective, even if from time to time I have to use a second sheet of newsprint to get the coals going. Posse member Bryan Gooding likes to use a propane torch to start the paper rather than matches or a lighter. Marshall Cooper uses a treated cube or wadded butcher paper with cooking oil. He says newspaper and cooking oil work well too. Still, there are times when I’m in a hurry and just want to get a flame going as quickly as possible,…
 - 09/06/2017
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Recipe: This ain’t your Mama’s smoked bacon

Whole pork belly from Midnight’s Farm on Lopez Island, before trimming. (Photo ©Bryan Gooding) There are only a few dishes in barbecue where a pit master can take it to the edge and really personalize the food. Sausage is one. Smoked bacon another. Former ferry Captain Kenny Burtness dropped by one day and left us a one pound slab of his homemade smoked bacon. This was not by any stretch of the imagination normal looking bacon. Irregular in shape with wide swings in fattiness and leanness, Kenny had used an unusual blend of spices and maple syrup for his personal…
 - 08/29/2017
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Recipe: Apple smoked pork belly from heritage pigs

Apple smoked pork belly on the cutting board as appetizers are prepared. (Photo ©Bryan Gooding) This apple smoked pork belly recipe won the Posse its first People’s Choice Award at the Blues, Bandits and BBQ Cook-off in Oak Cliff, Texas. The pork belly, brie, and peach marmalade crostini knocked out the crowd and was the first item we ran out of that year. In the photos here, our pork comes from David Bill and Faith Van De Putte here on Lopez Island, Wash. It is a Berkshire/Tamworth mix that has been developed into a fantastic heritage meat pig. “Great tasting…
 - 08/03/2017
Pork-roast

Recipe: Mr. BBQ’s dried fruit stuffed pork roast recipe

Dried fruit stuffed pork roast on Bruce Bjorkman’s smoker. We’ve known Bruce Bjorkman — Mr. BBQ — for years. He lives in Oregon, but considers Central Texas the barbecue heartland. Can’t argue with those sentiments. Bruce Bjorkman And Bruce knows how to cook. We’ve watched, hungrily from afar, as he regularly posts on Facebook about his smoked meat culinary adventures. Finally, after a recent post, the light went on here at Posse headquarters: We need to get Bruce to give us his recipe. Here it is, for dried fruit stuffed pork roast. Bruce uses a MAK grill, but you can…
 - 06/29/2017
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Tug or no tug on pork ribs? A Posse dialogue

The pork ribs at Truth BBQ in Brenham were excellent, taking no tug to get off the bone. One of the great things about weekend-long barbecue tours is the drive time between stops when Posse members can discuss some of the big philosophical issues regarding smoked meat. We had one of those experiences Saturday on the road to Houston after visiting Truth BBQ in Brenham. We’ll post the full tour story later, but first, the big issue: tug or no tug on pork ribs? There was almost no tug on Truth’s ribs and they were excellent. In texture, they reminded…
 - 06/13/2017
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Recipe: The secret to great BBQ Chicken — brining!

The whole bird with rub applied from Bryan Gooding’s award-winning recipe for brining and smoking BBQ chicken. Our brining and smoking BBQ chicken recipe earned the Posse its first category win at the Blues, Bandits festival in Oak Cliff, Tx. The key to any good chicken — from fried to smoked– is brining. We all have endured a tough, stringy, dry piece of chicken and making it juicy is an easy fix. Ingredients for Bryan Gooding’s BBQ chicken recipe. (Photo ©Bryan Gooding) Just take a little extra time to brine. Ingredients: 1 small whole chicken ¼ cup Dijon mustard Brine:…
 - 06/08/2017
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Recipe: Foolproof smoked pork butt for beginners

In the beginning, I wanted to smoke and had no idea where to start. Just about every book on the subject suggested using a pork butt for a test flight. The reason is simple: it is almost impossible to overcook. The abundance of fat and the sheer mass of the cut gives the beginner a lot of room to hide any loss of focus. Everyone loves a pulled pork sandwich and it is a great start for the backyard BBQ. Because it is a massive muscle I find that with this much pork the meat next to the surface with…
 - 05/02/2017
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How-to videos: Prepping pork ribs with Posse pitmaster Marshall Cooper

Texas BBQ Posse pitmaster Marshall Cooper puts pork ribs on the Jambo smoker at his north Dallas home. Welcome to our first batch of short videos featuring how-to BBQ techniques from Posse pitmaster Marshall Cooper. Marshall has been cooking barbecue in his backyard for 30-plus years, after learning the craft from his late father. Now using his fourth custom Jambo pit, Marshall has cooked with such BBQ legends as Chris Lilly, Jamie Geer, John Mueller, and John Lewis. One of the missions of the Texas BBQ Posse is to share ideas and tips to help you become a great backyard pitmaster. We…
 - 04/16/2017
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Smoked pastrami recipe that is sure to impress your guests

By Bryan Gooding It was more than two years ago when the Posse heard a rumor that Cattleack Barbecue in Far North Dallas was going to be serving smoked pastrami for its Saturday special. I remember thinking “Wow! This is different!” Pitmaster Todd David would be cooking “outside the box.” Afterward I told Posse co-founder Gary Jacobson that Cattleack had thrown down the gauntlet with its smoked pastrami and that there would be a lot of pitmasters experimenting with recipes over the next year.  The times were ripe for some new barbecue. In the fall of 2015 Gary and I…
 - 04/05/2017
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Welcome to our new Texas BBQ Posse website

In Texas, Robert Earl Keen probably comes as close to being the official Bard of Barbecue as anybody we’ve got. You might quibble with his spelling, but not his sentiment: Don’t give me no broccoli Or any Swiss fondue Baby if you want to rock me Give me good ole barbeque And what, you ask, puts us in such a mood for song? After seven years of blogging about smoked meats, the Texas BBQ Posse is launching a full blown Web site about our favorite topic. Don’t worry. Our main mission remains the same. We’ll tell the stories of the people and places…
 - 03/31/2017
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Recipe: Smoked beef tenderloin recipe the Lopez Island way — hot and fast

Smoked beef tenderloin recipe Editor’s note: Posse members not only love to eat barbecue but they also love to cook. Bryan Gooding, who recently retired and moved from Dallas to Lopez Island in Washington state, shares his secrets for smoking great tenderloin. By Bryan Gooding Though I love to barbecue meats you can’t treat a beef tenderloin like a brisket or pork butt. The smoking needs to be hot and fast since there isn’t enough fat on a tenderloin to survive a long time in low heat. So I use my smoker with a lot of heat from a wood…
 - 12/29/2016
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How to put some smoke on your prime rib roast before using the 500-degree reverse sear

The Gagne’s prime rib roast ready for carving. (Photo ©Texas BBQ Posse) Warning: This isn’t a normal Posse blog post. Just how atypical? I had to look up how to spell sous vide. But don’t worry, that vacuum-sealed cooking method was used only for warming up some wonderful leftovers from the meal that long-time Posse member Mike Gagne cooked on Christmas Day. Mike is a University of Texas law school grad and serious Longhorns fan, so when we (Mike is married to my daughter, Libby) decided to cook prime rib for the holiday, he went right to the source of…
 - 10/24/2016
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Recipe: How to make the best smoked pimento cheese in the world*

From start to finish, here’s a look at Bryan Gooding’s amazing smoked pimento cheese. Photos ©Bryan Gooding * Or, at least in Oak Cliff, Texas For a while, I’ve been trying to persuade good friend and fellow Posse member Bryan Gooding to write about some of his barbecue recipes. But the reigning chicken king of Oak Cliff has been reluctant to share. He has guarded his secrets as closely as Kentucky Fried. Maybe for good reason. Bryan has twice won the award for best chicken at the Blues, Bandits & BBQ cook-off, including last year. He also has won best…
 - 08/28/2016
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In praise of the Cornell Recipe and Bob Baker, the Aaron Franklin of chicken

Cooking Cornell Recipe chicken at the Rochester Canoe Club in the early 1980s. Photo: Gary Jacobson Within our great barbecue family, none of us stands alone. We’re all influenced by someone or something else. Friends, relatives, pit masters, other cooks, experts, bloggers, books and all the joints we’ve ever visited, good and bad. One of my main influences occurred almost 40 years ago when I first encountered the Cornell Recipe. For fans of Texas barbecue who love dry rubs and post oak smoke, this may be a bit jarring. The Cornell Recipe is for a sauce — a vinegar and…
 - 08/27/2016
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Cattleack Barbecue’s Todd David reveals his secrets for great pastrami — some of his secrets anyway

Cattleack BBQ pitmaster/owner Todd David works the cutting board. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) After eating at Cattleack Barbecue last Saturday, the Posse declared the Dallas joint the equal of any in town. We especially loved the pastrami. Salty with a hint of sweet, the taste pleasantly lingered long after swallowing. During an email exchange this week, I asked pit master Todd David for more details about how he prepared his pastrami. Here, in edited form, are his comments: “I have made pastrami a few times in the past in all my experimenting but never for the public. While my…
 - 06/19/2015
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The Posse tells you how Texas barbecue is different from the rest

A father & son wait on their order at Gonzales Food Market. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse) (Note: This item was written as a guest post for the blog at FoodyDirect, a Posse advertiser, and is being republished here.) As the popularity of Texas-style smoked meat spreads across the country, one of the great philosophical questions of our time is emerging. What makes Texas barbecue different from other barbecue? The answers are many and can lead to intense debates: Beef vs. pork. Dry rubs vs. sauce. Wood vs. charcoal. Indirect heat vs. direct. Austin vs. Memphis or Kansas City or…
 - 02/11/2015

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