Everyone ok, but so unfortunate. Really hope we can help this business get back on its hooves again.



Salmon on Planks


Hello there (relative caught) Alaska salmon!

Did the usual soaking of cedar planks in apple juice.  And did the usual light amounts of salt, pepper, garlic and brown sugar. One difference from past attempts: I did cook the salmon a little hotter than before. Bluntly, the heat got away from me while I was busy doing dishes. Hit 325 at one point. But the result: Perfect as usual.  Planking your fish not only tastes great, but it seems to double a decent heat shield.  Seems kind of hard to screw up your salmon on a plank, as long as you don’t over cook.

Greed-fo-graphic from CNN.

Greed-fo-graphic from CNN.

Right after the other important domestic wars, such as the War on Christmas, the War on Drugs, and the War to Prevent “Responsible” Citizens From Carrying Military Grade Weapons through Wal-Mart, there’s the War on Barbecue.

Every year I read an article that says something along the lines of “Wow, your meat is more expensive than ever.”  Take for example this latest interactive chart from CNN Money.  Uh oh, it says. Your Pork Chops are going to cost you 10.4% more, care of a virus that’s killing pigs. 

Setting aside for a minute that apparently we care more about the extra two bucks we now have to spend on our chops than we do about, oh, out-of-control piglet-killing viruses — Yikes! — as a former journalist, this kind of journalism really cans my Spam.

Can we please remember it’s Labor Day for second?  Preachy diatribe alert!

If you like barbecue, remember, the following people need to get paid: Farmers, truck drivers, grocers, farm hands, grain producers, inspectors, truckers, ranchers, fence builders, machinists, and don’t forget the dude mopping up at the butcher shop. There are also the people who build the roads, bring you electricity, provide irrigation, construct the ranches, barns, and farmhouses. I’m pretty sure none of those folks are part of the 1%. And if you’re like me, and buy local and/or organic food, then there’s the whole community to think about., too .

Quality meat costs more because there are a lot of people busting their asses to bring it to us, and I think we should be very happy to put some bread into the pockets of good people who are putting actual bread on our plates.

As an aside, I also can’t stand the lack of context.

I just dropped $70 on a 14lb brisket.  That’s a lot, right?  Except for one thing. It can feed half the neighborhood. I calculated that a 14lb brisket is good for 20 servings.  So, at $3.50 a sandwich, my barbecue still costs about one dollar less than an Ultimate Cheeseburger at Jack in the Box. 

So, for Labor Day, my suggestion is to pay an extra few bucks and quietly feel good about paying people for their hard work. 

Now that I’ve said all of that, check out my brisket!

I will labor to eat this.

I will labor to eat this.











Duck two ways

Duck, two ways.

Duck, two ways.

My daughter wanted to try THIS duck recipe (BBQ). But she also wanted to try THIS duck recipe (Soy/Honey/Ginger).  So, what was I to do?  I just made both.

And another….

Also not sushi. But how cool is this origami?

Also not sushi. But how cool is this origami?

This from someone named Corey

“Get your facts straight.  People have been eating fish for thousands of years but that doesn’t make it sushi.  Just because some caveman used a fire and smoke to eat meat doesn’t make it bar-b-que. Real low and slow bar-b-que is ONE HUNDRED AND TEN PERCENT TEXAS. Stuff  here looks pretty good but you are totally wrong.”

One hundred AND ten percent, eh?

Well, we believe in good information here at BlueStateBBQ, so let me start by saying, Sushi isn’t defined by the fish, it’s the sumeshi. Sushi and raw fish are different.  Whereas, I’d argue that the caveman using wood smoke to slow cook mammoth meat, or whatever, is probably only a Weber Grill logo and a warm can of beer different than what 95% of the people in Texas are doing right now to cook their cows.

Again, my goal here isn’t to condemn Texas, which is the home of world-class barbecue. It’s just to deflate this myth that somehow the state has ownership of it. Texas doesn’t own barbecue any more than the Pacific Northwest owns coffee.


This just in …

Can't say if Carter has a tattoo. But if he does, it probably looks like this.

Can’t say if Carter has a tattoo. But if he does, it probably looks like this.

In response to my most recent post, I received this email from someone named Carter.  Cleaned up to maintain our PG rating.

To: bluestatebbq@hotmail.com

Subject: Your a piece of sh*t.

Our cows sh*t better brisket than youll ever cook in your f*ing lifetime. F* you.


Messing with Texas

North Carolina barbacoa etching. Not an armadillo in sight.

15th Century North Carolina barbacoa etching. Not an armadillo in sight.

We don’t get grouchy about much here at Blue State BBQ. But one thing that tends to blow the lid off my trash can is zealous Texas barbecue worship.

Before the good state of Texas sends up gun-toting oilmen to get my mind right, please note, I’m not saying there ISN’T great barbecue in Texas. Obviously, there is. Ms. Blue State BBQ probably has a whole hayloft of choice cowboy meat quips to share.

But yesterday, I’m in the bus, not-at-all minding my own business, enduring a lecture from an otherwise friendly, retired Texas couple about how one can’t get decent barbecue anywhere north of El Paso.

“Texas is the home of Barbecue,” the kind, but wrong older woman said waving her finger back and forth. “There’s no ‘real’ barbecue anywhere outside of Texas.”

And she said ‘real’ with some Texas-sized emphasis.

To me, this is the culinary equivalent of saying you can’t get decent French Fries anywhere outside of France. And note, French Fries were invented in Belgium.

Texas will stake claim to inventing, perfecting barbecue, and now preserving barbecue from any sort of infectious diseases from the north. (Yes, I’m being unfair and overgeneralizing, but hey, eye for an eye).

It is true that Liquid Paper, silicone breast implants and Barney the Purple Dinosaur were invented in Texas. But not barbecue.

There’s archaeological evidence of barbecue dating back 200,000 years or more. Yes, in the cave paintings. And there’s chemical evidence of humans eating slow-cooked, smoked meat in 7,000 B.C. in Sudan. Also, the University of Barcelona proved that apparently these same ancient humans ate a nice salad along with. So, Texas didn’t invent side dishes, either.

Ancient history aside, even the word “Barbecue” has zip to do with Texas. The Barbacoa cooking technique was “discovered” all over the Caribbean, Central America, South America and North America in the 15th century.  But you don’t hear people saying “You can’t get decent barbecue outside of Havana.”

So, I say, enough already. I think we can agree there’s really good barbecue in Texas.  Please send me some.  But please, can we just leave it at that?

I have a whole other similar rant to write about the best of this/that/and the other thing in New York City. But I’ll save that for my bagel and pizza blog.

In the meantime, I have a request:

Can anybody tell me …. What’s the worst barbecue in Texas? I’d like to publish a list.

You can email me nominations at bluestatebbq@hotmail.com