Monday, September 21, 2009


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to play football with your favorite football player? What about driving in a race alongside your favorite Nascar driver? Well Wade Herguth had just that experience this weekend with me! Wade’s wife Michelle and their children arranged for me to come to their home and teach a One on One class with Wade for his birthday.

We had a bright and unseasonably mild morning for what promised to be an exciting day of learning. As we began I sensed that Wade was skeptical of my hands on class format. By the end of the day I could see that he was convinced that this class was all that it was made out to be and then some. Don’t take my word for it, look at the pictures.

Wade’s day began with me explaining fuels, cooking temperatures, and how to control your cooker temperature. I then discussed cooking times and finishing temperatures for cooking briskets. Wade trimmed and seasoned a couple of whole briskets and onto the cooker they went. Next, we discussed the cooking times and finishing temperatures for cooking pork butts. Wade then trimmed and seasoned a couple of pork butts. Onto the cooker they went.

Wade then designed and hand mixed his own rub based on his favorite ingredients. He was very pleased with his final product.

We moved on to the cooking times and temperatures for cooking ribs. Loin back ribs ala’ Wade was on the menu today. They were trimmed and then seasoned using Wade’s fantastic rub! Onto the cooker they went.

Five pounds of Italian sausage was made using a seasoning blend hand mixed by Wade. We then moved onto chicken were Wade spatchcocked (butter flied) several chickens, trimmed and seasoned them, and yes, onto the cooker they went.

After a tasty lunch of homemade sausage and burnt ends, I had Wade to create his own barbecue sauce recipe using his favorite ingredients. After I critiqued and approved the ingredients, Wade went to work making it. To his surprise, I had made up some custom pre-labeled bottles for Wade’s barbecue sauce. Both Wade and Michelle were pleasantly surprised by this. Hey, I aim to please!

Michelle had invited some of the neighbors to come over and partake of Wade’s hard work. As the plates began to fill with the tender smokey goodness of Wade’s labor, you could see a sense of pride in Wade from what he presented to his neighbors to eat. They enjoyed Wade’s sauce so much that many asked if he planned on selling it. The cherry on top of the icing for Wade was when his neighbor (originally from Arkansas) announced that “This is one damn fine brisket Wade! Damn Fine!” I love a happy ending!

Wade beginning his barbecue journey

I think Wade has done this before.

Nothing like the smell of beef brisket and pork butts in the am!

Prepping for a little Q&A.

Getting ready to make rub.

Wade creating his master blend.

Nothing like the loving support of your wife.

It's time to make sausage.

Ribs ala' Wade!

Wade's making some tummy yummy's.

Wade's Gourmet Elixer! It'll fix what ails ya'!

Quality control!

I love a happy ending!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


What an amazing day for a book signing! The weather gods really smiled down on me today as they provided a calm 81 degrees, a slight breeze with no humidity, and the sun was shinning as bright as an infants smile!

Today’s book signing/ demo was held in the park across from the Cedar Roe Library (5120 Cedar, Roeland Park, KS). It was practically in my own backyard. What an incredible feeling it was to have my community come out and support me today. I saw old friends (Brad Breeden, his wife Cheryl Breeden, and thier son Nicholas Breeden) and made new ones, both young and old.

Thank you to the staff of Cedar Roe Library for all of their help, my daughter Erin Kirk for her help with the demo, and to everyone that came out today and made this event such a big success!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


It was another fun night for Guy Simpson and me as we talked and answered questions about our favorite subject, BARBECUE! This was an intimate class of 9 participants held in Guy’s garage. This lively group seemed to be made up of family, friends, and co-workers. Their enthusiasm was what you hope for when teaching a class, especially on a wet and dreary evening.

I would like to personally thank everyone that came out for last night’s class. I truly enjoyed your zeal for learning more about barbecue. I genuinely enjoyed your questions and our time together.
Here are a few pictures from last nights get together.

On a side note, one of my many passions in life is teaching. I receive such pleasure in knowing that I have helped someone to realize their aspirations. Here is a fact about me that many of you don’t know. Before I became the Kansas City Baron of Barbecue I was a teacher, Ohhh! I taught 2 years at Saint Pius X High School located in North Kansas City, MO, and 1 year at Bishop Ward High School located in Kansas City, Kansas. I taught typing /business management and I was the head coach for the wrestling team, both the B and freshman football team, and an assistant coach for the varsity football team. I wrote my first book while I was teaching.

Friday, September 4, 2009


While surfing the net yesterday I found a review of "America's Best BBQ"on the Frugal Creativity blog. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I have.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My family loves barbecue. We've taken road trips and lengthy detours to try new BBQ restaurants and visit old favorites. Imagine my enthusiasm when I had the chance to review America's Best BBQ: 100 Recipes from America's Best Smokehouses, Pits, Shacks, Rib Joints, Roadhouses, and Restaurants (Ardie A. Davis & Chef Paul Kirk).

We've visited a few of the places in this book, and our all-time favorite-- Ridgewood Barbecue in Bluff City, TN--is included. But this book is more than just a guide for travelers looking for good BBQ: it's a scrapbook of barbecue culture, with photos and history notes. It also includes 100 recipes--some original "top secret" and some "copycat" versions--for the specialties of each restaurant. Each pair of facing pages includes details about a restaurant, photos, and a recipe or two.

The book is divided into sections as a menu is: Starters, Main Dishes, Sides and Condiments, and Desserts. The Starters chapter includes recipes for traditional and regional favorites such as onion rings, Brunswick stew, burgoo, and Rocky Mountain oysters. Main Dishes, of course, is all about the 'cue: ribs, pulled pork, barbecued pig snout, and more. The Sides and Condiments section is not only cole slaw--white, pink, red, you name it--but also baked beans, cornbread, hushpuppies, and potatoes. Dessert recipes include Lexington banana pudding, bread pudding, apple crisp, and fried peach pies.

Hungry yet?Andrews McMeel Publishing has graciously allowed me to share with you the recipe for the Ridgewood Barbecue Blue Cheese Bowl. This is served as a starter at the Ridgewood, and it's amazingly good. I've tried to recreate this recipe on my own, but the recipe in America's Best BBQ is much closer than my version ever was! At the Ridgewood they serve this with saltine crackers, but you can dip celery or carrot sticks, if you like.

Blue Cheese Bowl Appetizer

Makes 2 cups

1/2 cup Danish or other blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup dairy sour cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated onion
1 large clove garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned
SaltBlack pepper, to taste

In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and blend well. Cover and chill for at least an hour to allow the flavors to blend.