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Get serious about barbecue with some new rubs

Barbecue Is Now!
By Paul Kirk CWC, Ph.B., B.S.A.S.
Kansas City Baron of BBQ
Barbecue Guru
Order of the Magic Mop
Ambassador of BBQ
Certified Master BBQ Judge

It’s time that we get serious about the upcoming barbecue season by working on some new rubs to start with and move into some barbecue sauces next month.

Here is a rub we developed in my Barbecue Rub and BBQ sauce seminar at NBBQA Convention this last weekend.

NBBQA Barbecue Rub 2015
1/2 c. white cane sugar
1/2 c. dried brown sugar
1/4 c. Lawry’s seasoned salt
1/2 c. Celery salt
1/4 c. onion salt
1/4 c. garlic salt
1/2 c. paprika
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. lemon pepper
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. cayenne

Combine all of the ingredients and blend well.  Store in an airtight container in a cool dark place. Makes about 18 ounces rub.

Everybody loves BBQ ribs. Here’s a nice rub:

Spicy Rib Rub
1/2 Tbsp. cumin
2 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. granulated garlic
1 Tbsp. granulated onion
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. white sugar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. sea salt, regular grind
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. white pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 10 1/2 tablespoons.

Also at NBBQA they had a sanctioned steak cook off by the Steak Cookoff Association (SCA) all of you barbecues should check it a great addition to any barbecue contest or just by itself.

Steak Seasoning
4-6 tsp. sea salt (depending on taste)
4 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. white cane sugar
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cayenne
1⁄2 tsp. ground coriander

Mix together seasoning ingredients and rub into each side of steak.  Grill to desired doneness.
Now a rub from the great state of Texas.

Texas Barbecue Dry Rub
1/4 c. coarse ground sea salt
1/2 c. dried brown sugar
1/2 c. chili powder
2 Tbsp. coarse ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. ground chipotle pepper

Mix together all the ingredients thoroughly. Best if used right away, but if stored, be sure to use a container with an airtight lid.
Good luck this BBQ season.

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Rosemary Crusted Rack of Lamb

Fire Up The Grill
By Steve Collins
The Home Chef

Lamb is a popular Easter dish. Put a different spin on it with this smoked rack of lamb recipe. The apple wood chips or plank give it a subtle fruit smoke flavor. You can also substitute a boneless leg of lamb for the rack. I use Sam’s Smoker Pro, but if you don’t have this nifty gadget that turns any grill into a smoker, you can cook it on a cedar or apple wood plank. You can even cook the lamb in a 350° oven, but it won’t have that rich smoky flavor. Serve the lamb with garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed greens.

Rosemary Crusted Rack of Lamb
1 rack of lamb ribs, trimmed of excess
   fat (or a 1-1/2  to 2 lb. boneless leg of  
Olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. Dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 c. apple wood chips, or an apple wood
   plank, soaked for an hour

Prepare a hot fire. If you’re using the SmokerPro put the apple wood chips into it, cover and set aside. If using a plank, soak it for at least an hour.
Rub both sides of the lamb with olive oil and season it to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Combine the mustard, rosemary and garlic and mix. Spread the mixture over the entire lamb.

Cover the Smoker Pro and place it over the hottest part of your fire. Put the cooking grate over the SmokerPro and then place the lamb fat side up on the cooking grate directly over the SmokerPro. If using a plank place the plank on the cooking grate over the fire then put the lamb on the plank fat side up. Close the grill lid and cook for 40 minutes.  An instant read thermometer inserted into the center should read 145°. The center meat will be pink. If you prefer your meat more cooked, leave it on the grill for a few more minutes. For well done; you want the thermometer to read 160°. If using charcoal, check that you have enough coals to continue cooking.  Add more if needed.

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More than Pepperoni Rolls in West Virginia

By Kent Whitaker
The Deck Chef

There are more culinary delights than just pepperoni rolls and wild ramps when it comes to food in the state of West Virginia. I know that may sound a bit on the obvious side to West Virginians. However, I must admit that I still tend to have a few preconceived notions of what foods best represent a state even though I’m a culinary writer and cookbook author.

My friend Dave Tabler has a great website called and he asked me to write down some of my thoughts in an article as a guest blogger. I decided to share some bullet points about the foodie writing lessons learned while working on the book. And please check out Dave’s site for the complete article.

First thought: Heading in I knew two things about West Virginia. One was pepperoni rolls and the second was wild ramps. As a traveler, lover of Appalachian style cooking, and history buff I’ve long known about wild ramps. After all, I live in East Tennessee and ramps are found here as well. I’m also a tailgating guy so I’ve seen my fair share of West Virginia and Marshall Football versions of pepperoni rolls.

Second thought: The great thing is that every time I complete one of my books I realize how much I’ve learned about each state. The West Virginia Hometown Cookbook is my fourteenth book and the seventh in the Hometown Cookbook Series. Sheila Simmons, of Great American Publishing, and I co-author the Hometown series and we learn something new with each book.

When people give me a recipe to share in any book I always ask them to include a couple of lines of information about the history of the dish. Why is it considered a family classic and why is it special? That’s when I learned about the rolls.

It turns out that the rolls actually are a fantastic representative of the state’s history. They were born out of necessity for hardworking people. The original the pepperoni roll was invented by Giuseppe “Joseph” Argiro at the Country Club Bakery in Fairmont, West Virginia. He combined hot rolls and the tasty pieces of meat in a simple form that people, especially coal miners, could eat without difficulty. It did not require reheating, was easy to carry to work, and literally required no cleanup after munching it down. An easy food for hardworking people.

Third Thought: Many of the recipes shared with me from West Virginia that was related to home cooking seemed to have a purpose. Often it was considered an heirloom and passed on from generation to generation. Now chefs, restaurant owners, and even barbecue and grilling folk are rediscovering the states food heritage.

West Virginia has a love for food ranging from heirloom culinary items, fine dining, leather britches and cornbread, as well as to delights as simple as a pepperoni roll or slaw-dog. The slow food/local food movements have chefs and cooks looking to the past for inspiration. They are finding a food heritage in West Virginia that has an amazing lineage. Everything from frontier style cooking with the bare basics to fancy church social dishes, then back to Cast Iron skillet cornbread with bacon drippings.

Final thought: It’s hard to say what makes a food in any particular state, or family, a special one. It really all comes down to your own family, your own kitchen, and your own memories. Thinking of a food as an heirloom one, or a recipe as being historical is a wonderful concept. That’s why I write my books, so we can save our culinary history one slice at a time.

Oh, and by the way – West Virginia has some incredible barbecue joints as well.

Kent Whitaker is the author of eight cookbooks, ranging from hometown cooking with a culinary history twist to titles for NASCAR tailgating and barbecue. He has also written and illustrated two books for children, is a trained USCG AUXCHEF, and is the winner of the Emeril Live / Food Network Barbecue Contest. His latest book, Bullets and Bread,  is in bookstores nationally and is also available online at, as well as at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon.

Photo by Kent Whitaker/The Deck Chef
Pepperoni Rolls

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