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A day with the Pitmasters

Commemorative Hawg with a Heart to raise funds for Operation BBQ Relief

More News

The National Barbecue News is proud to announce the winners of the 2015 Sauces of Honors contest. This is a National barbecue sauce contest that had 165 total entries this year. Our goal for this contest each year is very simple: find the best sauce that accompanies smoked pork, chicken or beef. All entries were judged in rounds and by a comparative basis. Thanks again for all who sent us your entries and we look forward to doing it all again next year as well!

PORK 59 Entries
  1. Captain Carolina – Company 7 BBQ
  2. Old Southern BBQ – Chicago Blue
  3. “Betty’s Blend” – Freddy Rays BBQ
  4. Sugar Britches BBQ Sauce & Glaze Spicy
  5. Sweet & Tangy – Sugar Hill Smokehouse
  6. “Creeper” – Freddy Rays BBQ
  7. Sweet Sauce O’ Mine
  8. Sucklebusters – Original
  9. Holy Smoke – Holy Smoke, LLC
  10. Sweet Barbecue Bones – Big B Barbecue
CHICKEN 56 Entries
  1. Full Boar BBQ “Sweet & Spicy”
  2. Hogs ’N Heat – Sweet & Savory BBQ Sauce
  3. Chief Smoky – Company 7 BBQ
  4. Dimples Sweet BBQ Sauce
  5. Captain Carolina – Company 7 BBQ
  6. Eroc’s – “Sweet Fig & Jamaican Rum”
  7. Ole Ray’s – Apple/Cinnamon Barbeque Sauce
  8. Sugar Britches BBQ Sauces & Glaze Spicy
  9. Anna’a Famous Sauce – Team Top Chick
  10. Riley’s Triple R Sauce
BEEF 50 Entries
  1. Chief Smoky – Company 7 BBQ
  2. Eroc’s – “Sweet Fig & Jamaican Rum”
  3. Smoky Jon’s Original Gourmet Supreme BBQ Sauce
  4. Full Boar BBQ “Sweet & Spicy”
  5. Sucklebusters – Original
  6. Sugar Britches BBQ Sauces & Glaze Spicy
  7. Riley’s Triple R Sauce
  8. Sierra Gourmet – Sierra Gourmet Grill
  9. Smoky Jon’s Fiery Gourmet Supreme BBQ Sauce
  10. Old Southern BBQ – Chicago Blue


By Linda Orrison

Here’s an opportunity for Southern BBQ folks to be a part of history!  To have your menus, signed cookbooks, and that old BBQ sign that’s sitting outback preserved permanently at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum!

Next time you are in the New Orleans area, I would highly recommend taking the time to visit the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.  This place is so very interesting to anyone, let alone the likes of we foodies.

SoFAB, as it is called, documents and celebrates the food and drink of all southern cultures through exhibits and programming. SoFAB is home to several entities, among them the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, The Museum of the American Cocktail, the John & Bonnie Boyd Hospitality & Culinary Library, and the Pacific Food and Beverage.

SoFAB, guided by curator Stephen Raichlen, a James Beard award-winning author and TV personality, with the help of their excellent staff, is rapidly growing into the nation’s most comprehensive cultural institution studying food and drink.

Many southern cultures are honored, and BBQ is very prominent by the installation of the Trail of Smoke and Fire.

Texas: Aaron Franklin
Louisiana: Cajun Microwave from The Crawfish Guy
Mississippi: The Shed
Alabama: Big Bob Gibson's
Florida: A mullet smoker
Oklahoma: Hasty Bake
South Carolina: Our own presentation of an oyster roast
North Carolina: Ed Mitchell's
Georgia: The Big Green Egg
Arkansas: Outdoor Kitchen, Spadden's
Virginia: Edward's Hams
West Virginia:  Kingsford
Maryland: Fat Daddy's
Tennessee: Rendevous
Kentucky: Moonlight Barbecue

They also have a Shadden’s BBQ sign from Arkansas, and Kentucky’s Fancy Farm Picnic has sent several items to display.
SoFAB is reaching out to NBBQA members to make sure that anyone who wants to be a part of BBQ history has an invitation to do so.
Now’s your opportunity to make a statement for your southern que!  All that is required is to put it in the mail and send it to them.

SoFAB Institute
1609 O.C. Haley Blvd.
New Orleans, LA  70113
502-569 0405

If you are sending a sign or any other memorabilia you think worthy (other than menus and books), please contact Liz Williams, President at to give them a heads up.

Hope to see you all represented in this great project!

Myron Mixon Vulcan series smokers are worthy

Product review by National Barbecue News Cooking Crew

 Over the past decade, the cabinet-style barbecue smoker has redefined how many people cook barbecue today. Back in the early 80’s, we actually learned how to barbecue on an indirect wood burning smoker had to be attended to every 10-15 minutes to produce a quality product. Today’s next generation of pitmasters have literally hundreds of choices when it comes to pit designs. These cabinet-style smokers have been around for years, but when several teams started  winning big while using these style smokers, their sales really skyrocketed. As these sales increased, so did the number of companies making them, which gave consumers several different options from which to choose.

 Myron Mixon has helped take this barbecue world of ours to another level, and now with his partner Rob Marelli, they are helping every day people become real pitmasters. The team they have assembled at Myron Mixon Smokers are building some of the finest pits made in the U.S.A today. With the barbecue knowledge, experience, and dedication of Myron, combined with the mechanical and technical expertise of Rob, this indeed is a win-win situation for this company. Last month we had the opportunity to test the Vulcan 33, one of the most talked about smokers produced today.

We had planned to test and review this cooker around the first of June, but the week before we were cooking over 100 Boston butts for our church youth group fundraiser and knew we could really push this cooker to the max if we could get it a bit earlier. We put in our request with David Mixon, (Myron’s son) who is a chief sales representative for the company and was really glad to hear about our plans to push their cooker to the max on quantity. We have had other demos on these types of cookers go not so well when we loaded them up to their max quantity, but we will not get into bashing other brands here. We just wanted you to be aware that it has happened.

We can testify that the Vulcan 33 cooked as well with a full load of meat as it did while just cooking test pieces that barely touched its capacity. The only difference is it took more charcoal to start the cook, which is to be expected. However, on the flip side, as the meat got hot inside, the unit started using less charcoal. In the end, it took about 12 pounds of lump charcoal and five pounds of pecan round chunks to cook the  28 butts we loaded up.  We used approximately 75% of this charcoal within the first two hours, as we started with meat straight from coolers filled with ice. To say the least, we were impressed with its first performance.

The following week we tested chicken, ribs, brisket ,and even a piece of Tri-Tip one evening. Everything we cooked was super good, and the cooker showed itself to be a “set it and forget it” machine. One difference we noticed after each cook was how simple the clean up was because of the stainless steel interior. Even after the big cook loaded down with butts, we simply used a hot water bath to bring it back to brand new condition. Another reason for this easy clean up could be the steam pan that is inside the cooker provides added moisture as you are cooking. This could very well cause things not to stick quite as much versus cooking with just dry heat alone.

For every test cook, we had our BBQ Guru® suppling air into our fire box, which is the norm when we test these types of cookers. This helps us compare apples to apples, and we can tell you that this apple is the smack daddy thus far. The test unit weighed in at almost 700 pounds, which is a great thing since weight equals steel, which will equal longevity of your cooker. This unit is almost twice the weight of the very first cabinet style cooker we tested, and we have no doubt that it will last twice as long because of that one simple fact.

Another superior aspect we noticed is not only how easily it moves because of the big casters (wheels) that turn in a circle, but also how firmly the smoker stays in place once the the conveinent lock downs are engaged. We were also impressed that it can use lump or charcoal briquettes without any getting caught up in the shoot. These few aspects set it even further apart from other units like this we have compared. One of the other tests we did was a simple hot spot test where we try and identify hot spots inside the cooking chamber. We again were amazed that the top corners were only a mere five degrees hotter than the lowest corners of the pit. We have seen as much as 40 degrees difference in these readings on some pits.

One thing most people know about Myron is he will not put his name on anything he will not use. He has been like this since we met him over 25 years ago, and he is surely the same today. Myron told us, “I cook on all of these cookers all of the time, and every time I cook I put my reputation on the line. I am not going to turn in a less than par product due to a crappy cooker. That is why I will always have a quality pit to cook with!”

If you compare the Vulcan line of cookers to similar models on the market today, you will see exactly what that quality he told us about looks like. They also offer a limited two year warranty on all pits, which again speaks about how confident they are in their products. You don’t have to take just our word for it . Just ask barbecue champions like Junior Urias and hundreds of others across the country who will tell you the same thing.

You can find more information about these state-of-the-art Vulcan series pits on the web at or by calling them at 855-HOG-RULES (464-7853).

Submitted photo
Barbecue champion Junior Urias with his Myron Mixon Smoker Vulcan series.


Grilled Wild Pacific Salmon with Ginger Lemongrass Sauce

Fire Up The Grill
By Steve Collins
The Home Chef



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