The Meatwave: Barbecue & Grilling Recipes, Reviews, Tips, and Tricks

Barbecue

Tue May 27, 2014

Balsamic Glazed Baby Back Ribs

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Balsamic Galzed Baby Back Ribs

I know most of us are not only fair-weather grillers, but still, there's something magical in the air after grilling season comes to a somewhat official start on Memorial Day. Everywhere I turn, I feel like the grilling gods are once again shinning down on us—stores pile bags of charcoal out front, butchers fill their cases with the best cuts for grilling, and pyramids of barbecue sauce await you at the entry of many groceries. This is our time, and I feel a need to make the best of it.


When it comes to kicking off the season at home, there's nothing that fulfills the desire more than ribs. Let everyone else have their burgers and hot dogs, for a man who loves smoking and is in it to win it, ribs are the way to go, and that's exactly how I celebrated Memorial Day this past weekend. If you're looking for a little extra inspiration this summer, I have a recipe that captures everything you'd want in a rib with a bit of a twist—balsamic-glazed baby back ribs.

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Tue Mar 4, 2014

Cajun Spiced Ribs

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Cajun Spiced Ribs

This has hands down been one of the most depressing winters I can remember. If it wasn't a polar vortex, it was snow, ice, and rain. The elements seemed to have it in for me, keeping me from my grill during those fleeting hours I could comfortably be tending to a fire. As the days are finally growing longer and weather slowly taking an upward turn, I needed a little pick-me-up to get me out of the funk I've found myself in and renew my spirit to tend to the flames. I decided a great prescription would be to relive the glory of a Cajun grilling kick I went on two summers ago. From jambalaya, to blackened catfish, to shrimp skewers, each dish during this time seemed to turn out incredible, and taking top honors among that crowded field were these Cajun spiced spare ribs.

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Tue Feb 25, 2014

Smoked Char Siu Pork Shoulder Steaks

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Smoked Char Siu Pork Shoulder Steaks

If there's a defining attribute of New York City barbecue, it's the loss of definition. North Carolina has whole hog, Texas has brisket, Kansas City had ribs, and New York City has pitmasters who are trying their best to emulate all of those traditions, but at the same time, not feeling beholden to them in a way a Southern local pitmaster may feel. That means you can get pretty stellar pork, brisket, and ribs in the city, but on the menu you may find smoke meats you wouldn't not see normally, like lamb ribs, coriander pork steaks, pastrami, and more.

One joint that embodies this spirit more than most is Fletcher's in Gowanus, who proudly advertise they serve "Brooklyn Barbecue." Unfortunately I've only gotten there once, but that one time I went, among the standard spare ribs and brisket, my tray also had a pile of sliced char siu pork shoulder steak. This clash of Chinese and American influence left a strong impression on me—it was unique, it was delicious, and I knew I needed to try to make it myself.

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Thu Nov 14, 2013

Kingsford Invitational 2013

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Kingsford Invitational

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the second annual Kingsford Invitational—a contest that takes the top teams from each of the biggest competitions and pits them against each other in a $50,000 winner-take-all cook off. While the categories are familiar—chicken, ribs, pork, and brisket—this comp cuts across different sanctioning bodies of barbecue and territorial divisions, equalizing barbecue and giving the pitmasters the freedom to cook the best damn meat they can, not to a preconceived standard. It's a thrilling prospect, and one only more enticing given that I had the opportunity to hang out with these teams, talk shop, and taste some of the best competition barbecue out there.

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Tue Nov 12, 2013

Beer-Can Turkey

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Beer-can Turkey

In barbecue, bigger may not always mean better, but it certainly helps with those all important bragging rights. So why stop at beer can chicken? Why not bring out the big guns and do an entire turkey beer can style! I say if you're a pitmaster, it'll certainly score you big points on impression, and luckily, it's also pretty damn delicious.

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