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FRESH and Festive: National BBQ Month

Countrymen, dust off your grills for May is National BBQ month!  I can hear the collective sighs of relief from all you Freshies. Finally, a designated time that you can use your sleeves as a napkin and pick your teeth out in the open without remorse and best of all play with fire.

BBQ-ing is usually a long drawn out process that has been finely crafted here in the South.  We all have our own fond BBQ memories that come in many shapes and sizes.  Let me offer FRESH as your new BBQ buddy.  As any good buddy would do, we can offer you some words of advice and bring some good vittles to the table.

Since your grill has been sulking on the back patio for our brief winter season, you might need to interject a little TLC before the neighborhood cook-off begins. If you have a gas grill and a desire to keep your eye brows, be sure to do safety check. Take off the propane tank, clean it, and inspect it for any damage or wear. For you traditionalists with the charcoal grills start by dumping those ashes from last Labor Day’s soiree. Remove the grates and lay them on last Sunday’s sport section. Grab some oven cleaner and spray both sides.  Take a short 20 min break to practice some new yoga moves or watch the pretty NASCARs race in circles then wipe, rinse and replace grates.  After you have cleaned your grill, it’s a good idea to oil the grates, even if you are also brushing your food with oil. Now we are ready for some summertime action.

No matter what you end up subjecting to your fire pit, it’s a good idea to slather it with sauce. Now there are many different types of BBQ sauces.  We have a mere selection of around 500 here at FRESH. BBQ sauce is a cultural revolution tied to the area of origin and regional roots. The line has been draw by the basic elements. There are vinegar based, tomato based, and mustard based.

There just are too many good ones to list them all. So, I will share my own tasty count down. Of course I must have my Tyler’s own Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q fix on a regular basis. Nick & Jen Pencis continue the Stanley’s “Mom & Pop” award winning tradition that has been in full swing for 50 years. You can take a little bit of this tradition home with you as well with their original or spicy sauce and rib rub.

Another much-loved local BBQ concoction is from Cajun Bayou. Proprietor Keith, better known as “Boudin Man” has perfected a sauce that is tangy with a little kick back coming from his Louisiana roots.

Then there is my number one Iron Chef winner, Kent Rathbun who has created a Texas Peach Barbeque Sauce that is refreshing with a bit of orange and peach mixed in. I can testify that it is a perfect match for baby ribs and pork. One more tip for you, many sauces contain sugar and can burn rapidly, so the secret is to hold off on the sauce until the last 10 minutes or so.

Go forth and BBQ my Freshies!