Thursday, December 15, 2005

Purple Fingers

"Every puple finger is a bullet in the heart of terrorism." Quote of the day - by the Iraqi man who helped save Private Jessica Lynch

Congratulations to the Iraqi people on this very historic day.

One Marines View from Iraq says:
Iraqis have begun going to the polls to vote for the first permanent Iraqi parliament since the fall of Saddam Hussein. As many as 10 million people are expected to cast ballots in the historic election. Violence was reported almost as soon as the polls opened -- a roadside bomb went off in Ramadi, and another blast was reported in Baghdad. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.-CNN

Despite CNN’s Anderson Cooper reporting from “Ramadi” (BORRRING) and additional reporting from CNN above, voting here and around Iraq has been conducted flawlessly. In the insert above they report all the negative they can possibly muster with “a road side bomb went off in Ramadi” Yea, no kidding rocket scientist, it was one of many IEDs in Ramadi that went off today which is a daily event that happens in this area. They should move around in the streets and they will probably hear sniper fire as well. What else they didn’t report as that when those IEDs went off the Iraqi people in line waiting to vote didn’t budge or flee. It’s very sad that they have to try to highlight any miniscule possible negative activity about the work your Marines and Soldiers are doing while your service members continue to risk their lives to make things happen for Iraq. Anderson Cooper was in a voting facility in Ramadi interviewing Iraqi citizens and appeared to be in the way, blocking the voters from trying to submit their votes while he did his report.

Even the beeb is reporting high turnout
Voting was extended by an hour in some areas because of the high turnout, Iraq's election commission said.

Over at Threats Watch, Bill Roggio says
It is estimated Barwana has upward of 40,000 residents. Turnout has been heavy; over 2,000 Iraqis have entered the polls by noon Iraqi time. During the referendum on the Constitution in October, about 2,300 total votes were cast in the city.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Accidental Hedonist - 2005 Food Blog Awards!!

Vote for your favorite food blog, at the Accidental Hedonist.
It's time for the 2nd annual Food Blog Awards! Here's the chance to say "Hey, my food blog is worthy of attention!" Conversely, it's also the chance to say "Hey! My favorite food blog is also worthy of attention!"

Over the month of December, we're going to ensure that people recognize the quality writing and photography that go on in our community.

Here's how it's going to work - Between now and Friday, December 16th, we're accepting nominations in several categories, that are listed below. After the 16th, a group of judges will review the nominations, and submit five sites for your approval. From Dec 21st through December 31st, the polls will be open for people to vote.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Spice up your BBQ with the right rub

Spice up your BBQ with the right rub - The BBQ Report -

The BBQ Report has a great post about rubs and spices as used in barbecue and grilling.
This article isn’t just another spice rub recipe. It’s explains the role of a spice rub when barbecuing.
Be sure to check it out.


I forgot to mention that the article linked from the BBQ Report requires registration.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Sograte BBQ and Beef Jerky

I have finally taken my hobby to the public at Right now I am basically offering beef jerky because it is a great way to get my name out there and build a client base. Beef Jerky allows me to do what I enjoy, smoking meats, and it not too invasive on my family life. I look forward to sharing a variety of BBQ goods with you. Be sure to visit me at, maybe even try a little bit of beef jerky.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Turkey Themed Cooking Party

I joined The Outdoor Chef, the local hot spot for bbq and grilling supplies, this weekend for a Cooking Party. They decided to do fried and smoked turkey in anticipation of the upcoming holidays. The party was very well planned and well executed.

I was really expecting the party to be a group of experienced cooks that were looking to share the experience with other bbq cooks. Sadly I was mistaken when I discovered that this was more like taking a hands on class at Home Depot. The people in attendance knew surprising little about bbq and were not there for the same reason I was. Besides this fact the party was entertaining and of course there is always room to learn.

Ray Bonner, owner of The Outdoor Chef, and his wife had brined a turkey for at least 24 hours, then smoked it on a pellet cooker. The smoked turkey was already done when we got there. He started the party by preparing a raw turkey for frying. Ray injected this turkey with a garlic sauce while explaining that you need use the same point of entry and rotate the needle around to get the most penetration of the injection. When finished prepping the turkey, he took us all out side to submerge the turkey in the preheated oil.

Ray did a very good job of explaining what he was doing and why he was doing it. Food safety was in mind and he made several good points to keep in mind. While things sometimes things seem like common sense, it is always good to be said.

While the theme was Turkey, we grilled some vegetables and desert. As anyone that enjoys cooking with fire knows, there is more than one way to cook a meal, and the grill is one of them. We used skewers to cook a variety of vegetables including sweet onion, bell peppers, squash, mushrooms and more. After placing the vegetables on skewers and brushing with olive oil, we dusted them a choice of bbq rubs (I chose garlic and herb) grilled for a few minutes until it began become tender.

Desert was some delicious grilled fruits. We mixed honey, rum and cinnamon and brushed it over grilled bananas then topped with some Ben and Jerry's French vanilla. WOW, this was good.

Overall, this was a very fun experience and I am looking forward to going again. My brother-in-law, Steve, went along with me and I would not have done it without him. Thank you Steve for coming along and enjoying the cooking party. For only $15.00, this way a great way to spend a couple hours of an otherwise rainy, dreary Sunday afternoon. I will be posting the recipes and instructions as time goes by, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Big Foamy Head

Big Foamy Head is a Podcast series focused on my favorite subject, barbecue and beer. Big Foamy Head features entertaining commentary with in-depth coverage of cooking techniques and recipes. The well chosen blues tunes help break up the intensity of the long shows. Host Dick Pepper does a great job describing the details of his cooking including what he is doing and why. From beer can chicken to grilled pizza, from off the shelf to home brewed beer, Big Foamy Head provides great variety and entertaining Podcasts.

Each show is available for download or you can subscribe to the Podcast using attunes or other RSS capable MP3 players. Subscribing provides the convenience of automatic downloads every time a new show is posted. Don't have an IPod? Neither do I.. You can download the show to your computer and open it with Windows Media Player, Real Player, ITunes (IPod not required, this is my method of choice).

Don't miss another show, go to Big Foamy Head and start enjoying one of the worlds first barbecue Podcasts now.

Oklahoma Joes Pit Boss Game

Oklahoma Joe has a new game posted on their site made especially for us barbecue freaks.
SimSmoker is a "strategy" game, not an "action" game. You must take the initiative—after all, you're the cook!
You have to light the fire, prep the meat with a choice of mops and rubs, tend to the fire, drink your beer, and serve the fine food on the dining table all while fighting the elements of nature. This is not an easy game but I highly recommend wasting a little time with it. (hat tip: Dirk41)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Results of First Competition

We have successfully competed in our first competition. We entered all three meat categories of chicken (half chicken), ribs and brisket plus the jackpot beans. The first turn-in due was the beans. They were damn sure good, probably some of the best I have made. We did not make them any different than usual except we poured a full can of keystone in them and this was the first time to cook then in a pot over a fire and not in the controlled environment of a crock pot. We got 2nd place in beans! Missed the jackpot but what the hell, we got 2nd! Wow what a rush - could this possibly be a sign of things to come?

Our chicken was not done and we had to go to some extreme measures to make sure it was ready to turn in. We got it done but really lost the effect we were going for. Needless to say we did not place in chicken - but we did learn a few lessons.

We have NEVER cooked ribs before. Thanks to the BBQ Brethren - I got some great advice. We used the 3-2-1 method and mopped about 15 minutes before pulling off the smoker. We could tell that they were looking very good and really got excited about them. The next problem after we got them cooked was to slice them. I had no idea how to do it other than watching enough Food TV and OLN to know about the "competition cut". They damn sure were not pretty - but the judges were specifically told not to account for appearance. The ribs got 6th place!

Brisket is our masterpiece. Been cooking brisket for years and it just gets better every time. We cooked four briskets - one for donation (part of the entry fee - sold by silent auction for charity) and three to choose from for turn in. I sliced into the first one and it was dry, real dry. I have never had one dry like that. I grabbed the next one, which was the largest one of the cook, and sliced it open. It was beautiful! Juicy, flavorful tender, not overdone - perfect. Not my best but damn sure nothing wrong with it. Well, it got us 9th in brisket. I was really hoping for better but did not have any idea of what the competition was turning in. I had no idea what we were up against.

Overall I have to say that after the awards - everybody knew we were there! We placed in three out of the four categories we entered. We got more awards than a lot of the more experienced teams. After the awards I found out that the top three Texas cooks (1, 2 and 3 in LSBS points) were at this competition. These were obviously the ones that were called up in every category. We really got a huge boost of confidence and are totally hooked.

Thanks are due to many people for making this a successful outing. First of all I have to thank my brother-in-law Steve "The Sneak" for his tremendous help and the remainder of my family including my wife, mother, sister and kids. Our friend Gary loaned us his motorhome and Brandon let us use his trailer (we just took the backyard cooker). East Side Speed Shop kept us looking good with our Detroit Muscle Authentic Speedware shirts.

view all pictures

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Discovery Lifts Off

The space shuttle Discovery has successfully lifted off this morning for the first time in two and a half years and is on it's way into orbit.

Discovery (search) blasted off Tuesday morning to send seven astronauts into partly cloudy skies above Florida on the first space shuttle flight since the Columbia disaster 2 1/2 years ago.

The shuttle lifted off from the launch pad at Cape Canaveral promptly at 10:39 a.m. EDT to begin a 12-day supply and repair mission.

Monday, July 25, 2005

All Star BBQ Showdown on OLN

OLN (that's Outdoor Life Network, not The Old Lady's Network) is featuring the All Star BBQ Showdown.
The best, most outrageous BBQ chefs in America face off against each other in the ultimate showdown to crown the best BBQ chef in the US. Also competing will be local amateurs who think they have what it takes to win the crown. Local competitions take place around the country at real events, with thousands of people in attendance, leading to the grand finale in New York City.

Check here for the schedule

Friday, July 15, 2005

Independence Day Barbecue

I am finaly getting the pictures posted from 4th of July weekend. We cooked four briskets, several pounds of link sausage and 10lbs of chicken quaters for 4th of July weekend. The cooking started on Saturday July 2nd and we ate yummy barbecue on Sunday. View the slide show for larger images.

Two briskets, just placed on the smoker.

The briskets have cooked for about 10 hours and will now be wrapped and cooked for aother 6-8 hours.

Three briskets are wrapped after about 10 hours of smoking and ready to cook for another 6-8 hours.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Thanks to East Side Speed Shop and Detroit Muscle!

After sending a link to my friends at East Side Speed Shop informing them of my entry into the No Adult Supervision barbecue competition, Lou replied with an offer of support. I will now be proudly displaying the Detroit Muscle banner at the Uncle Carnies Sograte BBQ camp. We will be wearing Detroit Muscle t-shirts and promoting their brand. Thanks East Side Speed / Detroit Muscle for your support!

It Is official

I will be competing in my first competition on the weekend of July 30th. The No Adult Supervision event is sanctioned by the Lone Star Barbecue Society and will be held in Tahoka Texas, about 30 miles from me in Lubbock, .

I am entered under the team name of Uncle Carnie's Sograte BBQ and will be entering all three meat categories (brisket, half chicken and pork spare ribs). I will be entering the beans competition as well, I mean, what is barbecue without beans?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

NASA - Return to flight

NASA is ready to return to flight
Liftoff of Space Shuttle Discovery on NASA's Return to Flight Mission is scheduled for 3:51 p.m. EDT July 13.
As a resident of Lubbock, TX we were saddened by the loss of Willie McCool in the space shuttle Columbia disater. Coronado High School was my alma mater just as it was for as Willie, except I was 12 behind him.

Texas Tribute Honors Astronaut Hero Willie McCool

Anway, I am confident in NASA and proud to be an American - the leaders in space exploration.

UPDATE: 07/13/2005 3:24pm
Flight Scrubbed
Today's Return to Flight launch of Space Shuttle Discovery has been postponed due to an issue with a low-level fuel cutoff sensor onboard the vehicle.

Friday, July 08, 2005

The Spice is Right!

I always seem to get stuck in a rut, using the same spice combination on everything I cook. I know that different spices really compliment particular types of food. A mix that works wonderfully with chicken may not work so well with a ribeye steak. The question is, how do you know what spices will do justice to the food at hand. Spice Barn has a A Simple Diagram to Understand "What With What". Never again will I question the seasoning of my meat.

Friday, May 20, 2005

New Smoker is Under Construction

Well, it only took a year, but I have began construction of my new pull behind smoker. I traded for an ugly old car trailer and bought a 325 gallon propane tank for $40.00. That's right, only $40.00 invested so far!

With the tank mounted on the trailer, there will still be plenty of room for sinks, burners and food prep tables. This should end up as a fairly complete kitchen on wheels.

I will post pictures as I go. Of course I did not have the camera with me when I picked up the trailer and began working on it, but only minor changes have been made at this point. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

BBQ in Style

As men, we must always have the right tools for the job. So you have the cooker and the meat handling utinsels. You have the rib racks, ABT racks and maybe you even have a Wireless BBQ Thermometer, but do you have the correct barbeque attire?

The new Adidas 25th Anniversary “Upper Playground” shoe will complete any man's collection of barebcue gear. Actually, it kinda makes you wonder how we ever did with out. Well, I guess I can't get ahead of myself.. I am not quite ready to pony up $200.00 for a pair of shoes, but when I am, this is what I will have. Everyman must BBQ in Style.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Getting Back Into the Blog of Things.

It has been a while since I have made an entry, but not from lack of interest. Busy days at work and even busier nights with the kids make it very difficult to blog. I have plenty of things to blog about, now it is just a matter of getting it all done.

Friday, April 29, 2005

How do you Smoke a Brisket

By far, the most commonly asked question from anybody that is interested in barbeque is "how do you smoke a brisket?" Well, I am a Texan, born and raised - so brisket is like lunch meat to me. No big deal. I never realized that cooking brisket was such a mystery to the rest of the world. When you grow up around, you just think that it is something that everybody does.

I have cooked my share of briskets and learned many lessons. The best thing that I have learned is that you never know enoough of cooking brisket. Every brisket cooks differently and every day the fire burns differently. All leasons learned and all things known, the biggest trick is knowing the cooker that you are using. Experinece is the key. The more you use your cooker, the more you will learn to control the heat. Once you are able to get the heat stablized for long periods of time, you are going to begin making some great barbeque.

With that said, I have found of couple of websites describe in great detail some methods for cooking brisket. I would never be able to explain it as good as

While I do not necessarily agree with everything, This is a great article on the art of brisket. BBQ MADE SIMPLE

Find answers to the following questions:
How do you choose a good brisket to cook?
Do I cook the brisket with the fat side up or down?
Should I wrap a brisket during the cooking process?
How long and at what temperature do I need to cook a brisket?
My brisket is burned or dried out, what happened?
Do you cook the flat the same as the entire brisket?
Do you mop your brisket when cooking?
How to slice the brisket?

Danny's Barbeque also has a great article, written using his years resturant exerinence.

Just remember while everybody has different techniques, seasonings and styles.. the only thing that is required for that perfect brisket is to cook it at low temperatures (around 225°) for at least 1 hour per pound.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Presidential Inaguration of the Second Term

Congratulations go out to George W Bush on a Second Term. America is the world leader, whether the arab world likes it or not. America is the only country that can be called on by friends and foe alike in a time of need. The world is in troubled times and needs a true leader, not a puppet or appeaser. Things will likely get worse before they get better. May GOD bless George W Bush and guide him as he leads the world through 4 more years. Inaguration 2005

Saturday, January 01, 2005

A Nice Change

My Niece is in town for the holidays and asks her favorite uncle to cook some steaks. I go to the store and browse the meat market. I soon leave with a sack of large baking taters, a 4.5lb boneless rib roast, fresh mushrooms and a white onion. Now it is time to crack open a cold Coors Light and get to work.

As soon as I got home, I sliced the roast into steaks (about 1.25" thick) and stored the freshly cut meat in a mixture I called marinade. While the steaks sat in their liquid I sliced the fresh mushrooms and wrapped them in foil with butter, a dash of garlic salt and cooking wine. I did the same for the onion. I finished it all up with a big swig of icy cold golden brew.

After the steaks have soaked in their little flavor bath for a couple of hours it was time to light the grill and pop the top on another adult beverage. Now this is the type of event that would normally call for the kettle with some mesquite setting on top of a bed of coals. Unfortunately I did not have the coals, or the desire to make another trip to the store. The gas grill will have to suffice.

Once the grill was nice and hot, I put the mushrooms and onions on and let them begin to saute. I put some mesquite chunks on the grill after the mushrooms and onions had been on the grill about 10 minutes. Open more liquid refreshment. I placed the steaks on the smoky grill ever so gently, flipping them after cooking for 4 minutes. Once the flip side was nicely browned, the steaks were removed at a beautiful and tasty medium rare.

The dinner bell rang out and the family came a running. The steaks were served with a fresh salad, baked potatoes and the sauted mushrooms and onions offered on the side. Everyone enjoyed a nice change from all of the left over ham and fried turkey.

Photo album

Happy New Year!

Another year has gone by. It is once again time for a fresh start. Here is another chance to make your dreams happen, and realize the value of the now.

May your new year be filled with happiness and prosperity.