Friday, November 30, 2007

Cooking Whole Hog.

Well it had been almost two years since I had cooked a hog and the rust showed! That is the longest by far and away I've gone without cooking at least one since I started this craft in 1990. Last year my time was consumed with opening the Joint that we did not have a BBQ back home in Mississippi and this spring and fall were the same. At any rate I freed up some time to go down with Dave Story to cook one. It felt really, really good to get back around the pit all night.....much like some wack-job artist I needed to get back to the basics of it all, and in the world of BBQ there is nothing more basic than this. It was pretty cold that night (low 30's) with a really good wind all day & all night. That has a huge effect on cooking because it becomes a fight to keep your coals/pit temp consistent. When you cook a hog you cook in the 185* - 200* range because you dont want your middlin' & loin to over cook waiting on your hams & shoulders. My pit is built really, really well. Cinder block filled with mason sand and brick lining the outside of the block. We never could get the dadgum temp consistently below 200 all night. Oh I guess we could have if we sat there for 3-4 hours removing coals here and adding them back there....but we were doing this for fun so we didnt fret over it too much. I'd say we cooked at about 225* on average for 27 hours and sure enough it was a little overcooked! I was pissed for about 2 minutes till I asked myself, "self - what did you let it roll all night @225* thinking it would back off but it its your own dumb-ass fault". It still tasted really good but it wasnt perfect. I'll probably start cooking one every 3-4 months now just to stay on my toes.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Its coming.....

Well.......when Strieter was in town we went out to take a pic of the trailer and I left my digital camera on the back end of the trailer. About 6 inches of rain later my digital is, needless to say, dead. So I've been slow on updating the blog with no pics. At any the pics off the camera, some more from family and a few more from Dave Story. I'll be updating a few times over the next few days on the Hog we did in Mississippi and other things going on. Some really good pics to come! This post I posted a pic of me and my boy, Wyatt on Cape Cod a few weeks ago just so I could put one up.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


been busier than a one legged man in an ass kickin' contest........I've got some new posts to come, specifically on cooking the hog in Mississippi, but I'm crazy with Thanksgiving Turkeys & Prime Ribs. We're getting the the busted oak barrels from Arrington Vineyards to smoke our Prime Ribs with. The barrels held the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. I wish I could put a scratch and sniff here for you to smell them......I cant wait to smell them in smoke form from the Pit. to get out of here to put everything on. Folks are picking their meat up after 3:00 (we close at 3:00 today). I've posted a pic of our "Redneck Taco".

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tennessee Crossroads Television Show tomorrow night

Tomorrow night the show "Tennessee Crossroads" will be airing a show they filmed on us. It starts at 7:00pm. I'll be missing the show because I'll be heading to Mississippi to cook this Hog on Friday with Dave Story, but hopefully I'll catch it on the re-run on Sunday night. If you can remember try to catch the show tomorrow night.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pig Roast

Going to God's country this weekend, Mississippi, to cook a Hog on our old pit with my buddy Dave Story. Dave has been put in charge of planning a pretty large festival of BBQ & Bourbon and I may play a role in cooking a Hog for that event as part of a class on how it is done. More on that to follow in a few months. Dave has quickly become a pretty good friend of mine and I'm really looking forward to doing this with him because he has a real, big time passion for old school BBQ...... I mean the process, the history of it, everything. He's never cooked one before so we're going home to do it. Dave works for Jim -N- Nick's BBQ and he might have a buddy or two come down that work at the Memphis location and possibly some guys from another organization to sit up with us all night. Folks from the community are coming by Saturday at lunch to eat and take meat home. I'll have pics. I included a few pics of our pit that I already have on file.

Chaddy boy

This past weekend my old buddy Chad Strieter came in town to hang out........we had a blast. We worked together at Merrill Lynch in Chicago at the Chicago Board of Trade, back in the 90's. Chad is still there. We went to the Joint on Saturday night and finished the night up at the house with our wives, some wine and a fire. Sunday we saw the Titans screw up a potential win to the Jags. Had dinner here that night......filets with more wine. Had a great time!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Rafters on & primed

Rafters are on. We primed them yesterday and today. Lord willing we should have the roof on by Tuesday. That will at least get us up and rolling. Dresch and I will do the custom work (hinge platform on back and off of firebox, limited 4ft siding, etc..) over the holidays. Things look a little "junkie" out around the old barn huh? We'll clean it up when we're all done. Biz was really good yesterday and the week has been very good, and we closed Wed. at 5:00 for Halloween. Looking forward to today.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Trailer update

I havent posted a blog with pics for a while because my camera has been on the outs.......but I got it all taken care of and here are some pics of the the catering trailer. This trailer used to be a bob-cat trailer with wood decking. As you can see we've replaced the decking with expanded iron (to reduce weight), mounted the new cooker and Dresch has put up the uprights/corners. Yesterday Dresch got the joists put on. Today after the rush I'll prime all the new iron to prevent rust. Lord willing Tuesday Greg Locke will be putting on the roof (red tin). We'll have a ways to go because there are several more custom things Dresch and I plan on doing to it, but it is now officially in operation

What is this Blog???

You ever been sitting around cooking for your family and friends and been told the following: "Hoss, this is the best I've ever had in my dadgum have got to open up a place of your own". The thought crosses your mind to do just that, but for whatever reason you dont. Well I'm "that" guy that actually went through with it and did it. I had absolutely ZERO restaurant experience! I decided to start this blog about my own experience hoping that it may be of some use and help to others who might be interested in opening their own place.
I learned this craft almost 20 years ago cooking whole hogs on brick & cinder block pits at a couple of little BBQ Joints in Henderson, TN. I learned from old, lifelong career Pit-Masters, working with them as an apprentice during school off and on for four years. Over the course of that time I learned the old, time-honored craft of REAL pit barbecue. At Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint I am trying as hard as I can everyday to bring that time-honored authenticity to my customers.
As you read you'll see I've made some stupid decisions, and I've made some good decisions. If you are thinking of opening a restaurant, especially a BBQ Joint, read this blog! Maybe some of this info can be of use to you. At the very least you will be entertained because I pull no punches.
Now listen, this is my blog to not only help with information but my blog to freely rant about my day to day experiences. There is no real "bad language" on this blog but there might be some things said that are very "tongue in cheek". If you are easily offended and/or cant see the satire in my posts then please just leave the blog. It will save both of us the annoyance of each other. For those of you who do like satire and are looking for good information about this experience, then by all means enjoy!