I learned to love BBQ in my home state of Arkansas. BBQ beef and pork sandwiches with nothing but white bread , bbq beans, and some cole slaw. I loved it then and But I did not learn to cook it there.
I did learn how to grill hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken in Arkansas, but that wasn’t real BBQ. It wasn’t until my brother Pat introduced me to the joys of smoking meat about five years ago that I got into it. My friend and neighbor Chris has taught me so much, and I get frustrated that most of my results still aren’t in his league. I used to have an inexpensive offset smoker, but I had a dream. For my 50th birthday, Jill gave me a Big Green Egg– the XL version. It is AWESOME! I can cook for 2 to 100 people on my Big Green Egg, pulled pork, steak, pizza, chicken, and so much more.
In 2017, we built the outdoor kitchen that you see below. It has changed our lives! The Big Green Egg has a nest, we have a new Blaze BBQ, awe put a sink in there, and we have lots of storage. And to keep us warm on the 50 and 60 degree Malibu evenings, we have a fire pit at the bar, where we can seat 8-10 easily. It’s awesome!
My favorite cookbooks for bbq and smoking meat are Smoke and Spice, by Bill Jamison, the Big Green Egg Cookbook, by the BGE people, and Master of the Grill, by the America’s Test Kitchen people. The all do such a great job of celebrating smoked meat and explaining the process and many of my recipes have been adapted from these books. I recommend them all highly. For online help, my two main sources are the guys at about.com and the Big Green Egg Forum people.
California is such a great place for outdoor cooking. It is always grilling season.
Here are some of my favorite recipes: