Cook – Barbecue Tricks http://barbecuetricks.com BBQ Tips and Tricks Sun, 15 Jan 2017 15:19:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.1 http://barbecuetricks.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/10-Grill.png Cook – Barbecue Tricks http://barbecuetricks.com 32 32 Whole Hog at Scott’s BBQ with Rodney Scott http://barbecuetricks.com/whole-hog-at-scotts-bbq/ http://barbecuetricks.com/whole-hog-at-scotts-bbq/#respond Thu, 29 Dec 2016 13:10:04 +0000 http://barbecuetricks.com/?p=3493 Whole Hog at Scott's BBQ is world class. Here's how Rodney cooks...

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whole hog at scott'sWhole Hog  at Scott’s BBQ is a thing to behold.  Perfection on a plate.  Now, with the planned addition of a Charleston, SC location of Rodney Scott’s Scott’s BBQ it’s time to get ready for whole hog that’s a lot easier to get to!

The secret to whole hog at Scott’s is roasting the whole animal.  As simple as it sounds Rodney says most people don’t want to deal with it.

Take a look at the new video interview with Rodney Scott HERE and give a listen to a separate PODCAST interview with Rodney Scott below (also transcribed below).

Scott's Knock Off Vinegar Sauce

North and South Carolina are indeed different entities. One difference is in sauce appeal. Cross the state line headed north and things get a lot more sour in the the form of Western Carolina Vinegar sauce. Tart, hot, a li’l bit sweet, but thin enough to mix quietly into a pile of pulled pork without getting in the way of the smoke in the meat. 

Rodney Scott's sauce is more Eastern North Carolina and unlike the "Scotts" commercial sauce in stores (no carb/different Scott) Rodney's sauce has a bit of sweetness.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper 
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp dark molasses
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Instructions

Use an empty 16oz bottle (from cider vinegar or the like) for this sauce to store and serve. Simmer ingredients in a small to medium sauce pan for ten minutes. Let cool before serving.

Cuisine BBQ

It doesn’t get anymore country than the innards of South Carolina. If you’re ever in the Myrtle Beach area (actually this isn’t even very close to Myrtle Beach). Hemingway, South Carolina, the home

of real country. It doesn’t get more country than Hemingway, South Carolina, and today our guest is from the world-famous Scott’s BBQ. At least whole hog at Scott’s is famous in my book. Sometimes on this podcast we’re going actually be talking to country singers, but also we can delve into real country food.

Again, nothing’s more country

Getting the spaceship tour from Mr Scott!!

than whole hog at Scott’s with Rodney Scott of Hemingway.  Without any further ado, let’s check in with Rodney, Mr. Scott. Thanks for being here.


Rodney Scott:
My pleasure.

Bill West:
Rodney is world renowned in the world of whole hog BBQ pit cooking, and his store in Hemingway, South Carolina, which I love is, I would say—how long did it take you to drive here? An hour and 15 minutes?

Rodney Scott:
About an hour and 40 minutes.

Bill West:
Depends how fast you drive. Definitely worth a Saturday morning road trip, not only because of the pork, but you also do a mean, what was it a ribeye?

Rodney Scott:
Yeah. We do rib eyes on Saturday, a little something I came up with.

Bill West:
Something special. Have you ever done a book?

Rodney Scott:
Never done a book.

Bill West:
So, you just have been on all these BBQ shows. What’s all the national TV exposure you got?

Rodney Scott:
We’ve been featured on CBS Sunday Morning. We’ve done Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmern’s show. We’ve done Kimberly Simply Southern. We’ve done Man Fire Food. Those are the ones that I know about. There have been several little spots that we’ve appeared on like BBQ Paradise or a little something like that.

Bill West:
They roll in and do it and—

Rodney Scott:
Yeah. They just give you a quick glance of Scott’s BBQ and other BBQ pit masters.

Bill West:
What are your hours over there at the store?

Rodney Scott:
Our hours in Scott’s BBQ, we’re open Wednesday from 9:30 until 6:00. Then, we’re open Thursday, Friday, Saturday from 9:30 until about 8:00.

Bill West:
That’s the dream. Actually, sometimes, that’s Thursday, Friday, Saturday hours. I’m like, that’s a great life. But there’s more to it than just those hours, because y’all are cooking and prepping. What’s that part of it look like?

Rodney Scott:
Oh, my God. Prepping is pretty tough. You have to start cutting wood to carry you throughout the week. You have to clean the pits every week. Just getting all of the hog count together and everything, preparing. It’s pretty physical, both preparing as well as cooking, because everything’s done manually the way that we do it. It starts as early as Tuesday morning, getting ready for Wednesday.

Bill West:
Does the wood come to you chopped?

Rodney Scott:
No. I wish.

Bill West:
You don’t do that anymore, right? Or do you—

Rodney Scott:
Well, I rarely get a chance to go and cut wood, but the guys that still work with us, they cut most of the wood now, and they cut it, bring it in, chop it, and keep the yard stocked up.

Bill West:
Well, I made a visit a couple weeks back and did some video. Just the burn barrel you have, it looks like it’s melting under the heat. That gets pretty intense, right?

Rodney Scott:
That heat is very intense. We get a lot of visitors in the wintertime, especially when it’s freezing.

Bill West:
That’s where people hang out?

Rodney Scott:
Yeah. That’s the hangout spot. Free heat. You just stand around and it’s comfortable.

Bill West:
This podcast started a couple weeks back. It’s about country music, country cooking, country food, which I don’t know that you can get more country than Hemingway, South Carolina, right?

Rodney Scott:
Oh, man. It’s pretty rural out there.

Bill West:
How would you define country cooking? Or country kitchen?

Rodney Scott:
Country cooking in my opinion is basically what you had around the farm or what you had available in your area. For example, you would take a whole hog that you’ve been raising for a while and you would BBQ later on, maybe around harvest season. Garden foods that you grew. That’s my opinion of country cooking. Basically, everything that’s around the house that was in the immediate area that you had to work with.

Bill West:
It almost sounds like farm to table kind of thing, right?

Rodney Scott:
Pretty much.

Bill West:
Which I guess with South Carolina has been pioneers with that, with Sean Brock is a friend and fan of yours, right?

Rodney Scott:
Yeah. Great friend, great guy.

Bill West:
When it comes to sourcing hogs and the things that you do, how hard is that to try and get local? What’s going on in that world? Because everybody’s talking organic and probably I would guess the BBQ world is probably later in the game, maybe, on paying attention to that sort of thing.

Rodney Scott:
Well, we try to keep a little focus on it ourselves. There’s one farmer that we dealt with for years, and because we weren’t able to go to the next farmer, so to speak, to move up, that left us to deal with this old-school guy that still fed his hogs by hand, that was still doing thing the way that he used to do way back. It benefits now because he has the most consistent when it comes to the yield of meat per hog, the flavor, the growth. His hogs come to me pretty healthy all the time, and he’s the only guy that I deal with.

Bill West:
How much difference is there? I grew up in Chicago, and to me, when I have a baby back rib or slab of baby back ribs that I remember in Chicago or spare ribs, it almost seems like a different animal to me, because I thought the bones where I was growing up were more spindly, for lack of a better term. They seemed maybe bigger boned down here in the South. Is that just the different breeds in where you get them?

Rodney Scott:
It can be breeds, and it also can be the age of the hog. Sometimes the older the hog is, the longer the bone or the bigger the bone. It’s usually a little tougher. Again, it’s the breeds. It all depends on which ones you get. A lot of times, you get a nice, like the Mangalica crossed with the Berkshire. He tends to grow pretty good. He’s tender, juicy, cooks real well. I cooked one just a few weeks ago and it came out awesome.

Bill West:
Tell me about those hogs, because that’s something I’m learning. I’ve obviously heard of Berkshire hogs.

Rodney Scott:
We’re all still learning. From what I know, that Mangalica is pretty much a bigger hog and more hairy, kind of like a wooly pig. He tends to grow a lot of intermuscular meat, which is more looking like a steak than pork when it’s raw. He cooks totally different than what you would see here grown just in the South. More of a heritage bred hog, more purebred.

Bill West:
And all that’s becoming more talked about these days? And you can get the information these days, because we have the Internet now and we can all look whole hog at Scott’s up. Your dad started the business, right?

Rodney Scott:
My dad started the business, yes.

Bill West:
Was he doing whole hog?

Rodney Scott:
He was doing whole hog. Whole hog was all we knew. We did the whole hogs from start to current date, and that’s the only thing I ever knew. When it came to cooking shoulders and quarters and halves, that was a whole new ballgame for me, because I was so used to cooking whole hogs.

Bill West:
Part of me says doing whole hog would be the most economical. You just get the whole thing there, but I’ve heard not really. You buy Boston butts or hams and you can pack more on a grill. You can ship more. What’s the reality? Is it more efficient to do a whole hog?

Rodney Scott:
In my opinion, flavor-wise, it’s more efficient to do the whole hog. Of course, you can get a little more meat with the butts, but there’s something that I’ve noticed about cooking a whole hog. Somewhere in that backbone area, that flavor comes out of those backbones when it’s all joined together. That’s just a little different than it is with just a butt by itself or with just a half of a hog split down the middle, even. It’s a big difference when you keep the whole hog together.

Bill West:
Really?

Rodney Scott:
Yeah. It’s amazing. It sounds crazy, but I’ve come to notice it in the last few years that, when you’ve got it all together, it tastes a whole lot different.

Bill West:
I was watching you the other day, mixing things up as you go and adding the sauce. I think there’s something to that as well, just paying attention to it. I remember you saying the bones, the bone-in cooking like that and we’ve all heard that before, like steak bone-in, there’s something that it—

Rodney Scott:
Something different.

Bill West:
That it gives it, and I’m sure the spine that’s in there, there’s a surface area all down that backbone. You think even when you have a half a hog, it’s different?

Rodney Scott:
It’s still different. It’s still a little different. The flavor’s still good, but someone who eats hogs as much as I do would kind of notice the difference in the hog cut in half versus him butterflied. Butterflied being just split down the spine, not completely apart.

Bill West:
No doubt, I think the flavor, when you go whole hog, there’s just nothing like it. The easy argument with that would be, of course, because you’ve got ribs in there. You’ve got the pork tenderloin. When you buy a whole hog, you’re paying for the ribs, too. In that regard, if somebody’s just doing a pulled pork BBQ, they would probably save money just by doing butts and shoulders.

Rodney Scott:
Exactly.

Bill West:
Okay. When you get Scott’s BBQ, you’re getting the bacon in there and everything, which just—

Rodney Scott:
You’re getting everything.

Bill West:
Makes it all just taste great. Have you ever done a commercial sauce? I know you sell it out of the store, but mass marketed?

Rodney Scott:
We’ve never done a commercial sauce, no. Never. There is a sauce out there with Scott’s name on it, but that is not us. The only sauce that we sell is right there at the store.

Bill West:
The Scott’s that I see, because I asked you the same thing. I saw a yellow-red out of North Carolina. In fact, the news guy just popped his head and said, oh, I love that sauce. That sauce is great and it’s a good low-carb thing. Your sauce is similar, but describe your sauce.

Rodney Scott:
Our sauce is vinegar and pepper based, of course. Same as that sauce, but we don’t have quite as many ingredients as Scott’s BBQ sauce with the red and yellow label. The ingredients that we have is not more of just dumped in, but there’s a technique to the way that we make our sauce. There’s a certain point when you add this to that. I’m not going to tell you exactly what it is. When you add it all together, that gives it a different flavor. It’s basically somewhat of the same ingredients, but less ingredients than the red and yellow label, but totally different flavor.

Bill West:
People can come by the store in Hemingway and pick up a gallon or half-gallon, I think I saw in there.

Rodney Scott:
Oh, yeah.

Bill West:
Is that something you want to do down the road, do a commercial sauce, or are you even worried about that?

Rodney Scott:
It’s still a thought. I would love for everybody to be able to get their hands on it. At the same time, I’d love for everybody to come out and see what we do, how we do it and enjoy the experience of visiting a rural BBQ spot out in country, and kind of see what it was like to see us as we grew up in the country, cooking whole hogs, eating pork. Then, you get to buy your sauce and your pork all at the same time, get an experience, and go back.

Bill West:
Yeah. Do a lot of people take a tour, or is that just whoever asks?

Rodney Scott:
Man, quite a few people come through wanting to walk through the pits, and of course I walk them through.

Bill West:
You don’t mind?

Rodney Scott:
I don’t mind. I don’t mind at all.

Bill West:
That’s a great experience, and actually, I saw the article in the newspaper six months ago, Charleston paper, about it being a whole new pit. It is space-age greenhouse meets smokehouse. What happened to the old smokehouse, and who designed this new thing and how’s it been working?

Rodney Scott:
Well, the old smokehouse was made out of cinderblock. There were three feet of cinderblock and the rest was wood. The insides were made out of a metal, an FRP material, and we had a fire. Pit fire led to the whole building catching and burning, and had to rebuild. Before we rebuilt, we consulted with some good friends, one of them being Reggie Gibson. He designed the new BBQ pit that you see now.

Bill West:
Any regrets? Anything you could change at this point?

Rodney Scott:
No regrets, none at all. I appreciate the pit itself. It’s different. It’s a lot cooler, a lot more spacious. It’s great to work in, and it has a sound system.

Bill West:
Yeah, yeah. Do you have to deal with noise ordinance out there?

Rodney Scott:
No. That’s the beauty of the country.

Bill West:
You were rocking and rolling when I was—I said I heard Clarence Carter stroking.

Rodney Scott:
Got to be stroking. Got to be stroking.

Bill West:
You have any plans to open up another location?

Rodney Scott:
Yes, definitely. Definitely want to open up another location. Being very cautious about where I go and what I want to do and how I want to do it. I would like to do it the same way I do it in Hemingway. Of course, my first choice is still Charleston.

Bill West:
Right. Would you look downtown, or would you look on the outskirts?

Rodney Scott:
Wow. Kind of torn. I love it downtown. There was one thought of having a rural feel to it, even in the city where there’s a little trip, but not too far. It’s kind of in between that right now.

Bill West:
Right. Y’all heard it here. Of all the big chains, what would you recommend—who does really good BBQ on a large scale?

Rodney Scott:
Really good beautiful on a large scale? Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ. I don’t see them as a chain. I see them as a family.

Bill West:
And you know those guys, right?

Rodney Scott:
I know those guys very well.

Bill West:
They certainly do it right. I always said, if you don’t smell smoke when you go by, there’s an issue, and you definitely—

Rodney Scott:
Something’s wrong.

Bill West:
You smell smoke there, and actually there’s a lot of guys in town that do it the right way. Once you get out of South Carolina, though—

Rodney Scott:
It gets a little different. It gets a little different.

Bill West:
All of the greatest BBQ joints across the country, what would you say, what are in the top five?

Rodney Scott:
Wow. Of course, I just mentioned Jim ‘N Nick’s. Sam Jones over in North Carolina. Winterville, North Carolina. Great friend of mine. You got Pat Martin over in Tennessee. You got 4505 out in San Francisco. Those guys are great.

Bill West:
Are they doing hog? Are they doing their own thing?

Rodney Scott:
They’re all doing hogs. You’ve got Pegleg Porker over there in Nashville as well.

Bill West:
Really? There’s probably only a handful of people that are doing whole hog, though, right?

Rodney Scott:
Yeah.

Bill West:
Here, I guess probably Sweatman’s. I guess they’re doing whole hog.

Rodney Scott:
Yeah. I think Sweatman’s is still doing whole hogs.

Bill West:
Around here, of course, yeah. But really not that many.

Rodney Scott:
Yeah. When you leave the Southeast, it tends to get a little smaller as far as whole hogs go, from my travels. If they’re out there, they’re hidden. I’d love to find them and see what they’re doing and enjoy somebody else’s BBQ as well, but I have no idea who’s all doing whole hogs other than in the Southeast.

Bill West:
All right. I’ll wrap it up here. First of all, we brought the Heinz—you mentioned Sam.

Rodney Scott:
Sam Jones. Sam Jones, everybody.

Bill West:
Had you seen this before?

Rodney Scott:
I’ve seen it online. I’ve seen a couple of pictures, and Sam Jones is a great guy, very funny guy. Another guy that’s very into music like I am.

Bill West:
He’s into, you said, into the classic country.

Rodney Scott:
Yeah. He’s mostly into classic country.

Bill West:
We’ll get Sam on at some point. We need to talk to him about some country music.

Rodney Scott:
You’d love Sam Jones. He teaches me country music.

Bill West:
We mentioned, I’m holding in my hand, Heinz, they have a four-pack of four different sauces that were endorsed by regional guys, and the Carolina vinegar tangy was Sam Jones’s. He’s the partner there. So, kind of cool. All right. Real quick questions. I’m going to try to do rapid-fire. I have a feeling I know that we’re going to go down a rabbit trail here. What would you say the best place to get a hotdog is?

Rodney Scott:
Wow. Best place to get a hotdog? My favorite hotdog that I’ve had?

Bill West:
Yeah.

Rodney Scott:
Out in the county, in Pleasant Hill, there’s a little store called W.T. Owens. It’s about eight miles from my place in Hemingway. I will drive all the way out there just to get a hotdog.

Bill West:
Good answer. Favorite cheese?

Rodney Scott:
Favorite cheese? A lot of folks in my area call it hook cheese, which is basically a sharp cheddar. It’s sold in a round, wooden case, and it has a red rag around it. That’s how it’s recognized in my area, as a red rag. I have to say sharp cheddar.

Bill West:
Sharp cheddar. Lastly, your favorite chef? You got a favorite TV chef? Or real-life, real-world chef?

Rodney Scott:
Man, it’s so many. It’s so many favorite cooks out there. Friends, chefs, man that’s a toss-up.

Bill West:
You’ve kind of seen them all.

Rodney Scott:
I’ve seen quite a few. Quite a few. There’s quite a few that I know, guys from New Orleans. Don Link, Steven, Ryan, these guys out of Herbsaint and Peche down there. Nick Pihakis, great guy.

Bill West:
That’s Jim ‘N Nicks, right?

Rodney Scott:
That’s Jim ‘N Nicks. BBQ as well as some of his even Greek dishes, amazing. The list can go on and on. Sean Brock, Mike Lata. All of these guys.

Bill West:
A lot of these guys are right downtown.

Rodney Scott:
Yeah. These guys right around town here. They’re just great. If I go to your spot more than once, I like your food. Trust me.

Bill West:
Finally, what’s on your playlist in the smokehouse?

Rodney Scott:
Wow. My playlist in the smokehouse ranges from Clarence Carter to Michael Jackson. A lot of old-school hip-hop with Run DMC, Big Daddy Kane, Fat Boys. A lot of Anthony Hamilton. One of my favorite artists, Anthony Hamilton. You may hear him. Then, there’s another list that I have. You may hear Smokey and the Bandits theme song by Jerry Reed. You’ll hear Conway Twitty.

Bill West:
Favorite country song was?

Rodney Scott:
Oh, man. I have to say The Gambler. The Gambler would have to be one of my favorites, but Johnny Cash, oh my God. Johnny Cash.

Bill West:
You said you kind of know some of the Rucker fam, but you said—

Rodney Scott:
Wagon Wheel, yeah. Darius Rucker, Wagon Wheel, as well as the song with Lionel Richie that he did. What’s the title of the song?

Bill West:
Was it Stuck on You?

Rodney Scott:
Stuck on You, yeah. That one as well.

Bill West:
Man, I appreciate you giving us some of your time. It’s Scott’s BBQ. Hemingway, South Carolina, if you’re ever running through. You need to get that mail order business going.

Rodney Scott:
Oh, man. I’m working on it.

Bill West:
I know the guys at Rendezvous in Memphis. They do a crazy business with that. Of course, they’ve got the FedEx hub right there in their backyard.

Rodney Scott:
Yeah. They’ve got everything going, all the FedEx planes are in Memphis.

Bill West:
But go stop by and see Rodney Scott in Hemingway, South Carolina and keep an eye out for him all over the place. How do people get ahold of you if they want to find out more about all the stuff you got going?

Rodney Scott:
If you want to find out everything, I’m on Twitter @RodneyScottBBQ. I am on Facebook, Scott’s BBQ. You can also reach out to me. Hey, call the shop. 843-558-0134, basically how you’ll find me.

Bill West:
You’re there running things.

Rodney Scott:
I’m doing the best I can.

Bill West:
Rodney Scott. Bud, thank you for coming.

Rodney Scott:
Thank you.

Bill West:
Hey, that’s a wrap for me. It’s Bill West, BBQTricks.com; also NashFM969.com, if you want to find out more about us. Also, I’ve got to thank the crew over at NashCountryDaily.com for sharing out the podcast. Make sure you subscribe there. Jump online to iTunes or audioBoom and make a comment, make a rating, and follow us. It definitely helps spread the word about all the good country music. Plus, I’m taking some select reviewers and rewarding you with some music and things like that. More about me. Jump over to my website, BBQTricks.com. I just released a book called the BBQ Blueprint. I would love for you to check that out. If you don’t want to take the plunge a purchase that book just yet, how about a freebie there, which is a free book called BBQ Sauces and Sides just for checking in. We’d love to give that to you. Thanks again to Rodney Scott, Hemingway’s Scott’s BBQ. If you’re ever in the area out there, in the whole state of South Carolina, make a run up the road and see Rodney for the best whole hog that you will ever find. Also, by the way, the BBQ Blueprint book, I chat more in depth with how Rodney cooks his whole hogs. I’m going to leave you with a last words today from the late, great actor Humphrey Bogart, who once said, a hotdog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz.
END OF RECORDING

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Fire Roasted Oysters http://barbecuetricks.com/fire-roasted-oysters/ http://barbecuetricks.com/fire-roasted-oysters/#respond Thu, 15 Dec 2016 12:27:20 +0000 http://barbecuetricks.com/?p=3470 An oyster roast is a special thing. But what exactly is an oyster roast? It’s different from fire roasting oysters. In coastal America friends gather during the “R” months and shake off a bit of a winter chill over a steaming hot table of oysters. Nothing fancy.  It’s just oysters (sometimes a bit of grit...

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oyster roastAn oyster roast is a special thing.

But what exactly is an oyster roast? It’s different from fire roasting oysters.

In coastal America friends gather during the “R” months and shake off a bit of a winter chill over a steaming hot table of oysters.
Nothing fancy.  It’s just oysters (sometimes a bit of grit and mud if you’re really authentic) some hot sauce, saltines, and cocktail sauce.

If you really want to put the “roast” back in YOUR oyster roast read on…

 

Roasting is usually fire, meat and char, right?  You can add the “roasting” back into the cook by preparing your oysters on the half shell first and then add a dollop of specially prepared savory compound butter (recipe below). Shell your oysters being careful to retain as much “liquor” as possible. Loosen the meat and keep in the half shell.

Keep your oysters stable by nestling them on a bed of rock salt (ice cream salt was most readily available) in a large cast iron skillet.  You can try to rest the shells directly on the grate but it may be a balancing act with unevenly shaped shells.

Bonus tips:

Fire Roasted Oysters

Using fresh oysters on the half shell (shuck them by inserting the tip of the oyster knife into the joint end of the shell fish and twisting the blade.  Try to keep as much of the briney liquid (also called liquor) in the bottom shell with the loosened oyster meat. Top with a dollop of compound butter and heat shell side down over live fire or coals until edges brown and liquid bubbles.

Ingredients

  • 1 Stick of butter
  • 1 tsp paprika or cayenne
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesian
  • 2 tbls. worchestishire sauce
  • 2 tbls. hot sauce
  • 3 tbls chopped parsley

One dozen raw oysters

Instructions

Mix butter and ingredients other than the oysters in a bowl.  Top each oyster with a tablespoon of butter mixture.  Heat over live flame utilizing coarse salt in a cast iron pan to stabilize. Once sizzling hot top with additional parsley for garnish.

 

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Kix Brooks Cook Book Podcast http://barbecuetricks.com/kix-brooks-cook-book-podcast/ http://barbecuetricks.com/kix-brooks-cook-book-podcast/#respond Tue, 30 Aug 2016 11:55:12 +0000 http://barbecuetricks.com/?p=2899 Kix Brooks has something special in the works! A new Kix Brooks cook book called Cookin' It With Kix that we got to announce on our Country Cooks podcast.

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Cookin-It-with-Kix-cook-book-2016Kix Brooks has something special in the works!  A new Kix Brooks cook book called Cookin’ It With Kix that we got to announce on our Country Cooks podcast a while back.  The book is out now and I encourage you to listen to our coversation – the full text of it is also below.

Bill:  You hear Kix Brooks on the radio every weekend, and also the multiple…I was actually shocked to see, 26 ACMs, 17 CMA awards, a couple of Grammies, Kix Brooks knows his music.  But today we’re talking about food, country cooking and what Kix Brooks has in the works.   A Kix Brooks cook book. I’m in the studios of Nash FM, Charleston here, and also kind of in the studios of Nash in Nashville as well with our guest today Kix Brooks who’s the host of American Country Countdown, Kicking it With Kix, and also Steakout on the Cooking Channel, which I’ve been a real fan of, talking about food.  I first was trigged to talk to Kix about steak out, but now I’m finding all these different connections with food.  Kix Brooks hello.

Kix:  How’s it going?

Bill:  It’s going great.  So tell me about where you got connected with food in the beginning?  What’s your food story?

Kix:  Well I got hungry one day, and I was really inspired to eat.  You know the short answer is I’m from Louisiana and I guess probably everybody that’s into cooking has some story about where they come from, but the way I grew up we were always had some pot of something cooking, and we were fishing and we were hunting, and we were cooking what we were catching and  shooting in the woods, no matter what it was, and it’s even more extreme in South Louisiana, I’m from North Louisiana, but it’s hard not to be in that State and not grow up around a grill or a big pot of something going on.  And it’s funny because it’s such a part of lifestyle as well, you know you’re just …you’re always hooking up with your friends, it’s like “Why don’t you all come over?”  And it’s not “Let’s come over and watch a movie,” or “Let’s go do this or that,” it’s “What are we cooking?”  And there was never anything chefy or frivolous or anything about cooking.  Cooking was like a sport like football, if you didn’t know to cook growing up in Louisiana, you were lame.  So it just kind of goes with the territory I guess is the short answer.

Bill:  Who was the big cook in your family?

Kix:  Well really my grandfather was really a good cook and could cook anything too.  But you know we just… everybody kind of did it.  My dad and I had what’s called a country kitchen, and when I say my dad and I, we both took ownership in it, but it was… we had a big like a big brick… when I say big, probably five by eight, about three feet high that had burners all in it so you could be boiling shrimp and frying fish and frying potatoes, had three burners in there.  And then next to it we built like a little brick smoke house and it was about the same size with a hood, a little roof on it, and you could put slabs or ribs in there and whatever, and it was not uncommon at all, especially on the weekend for me to have 20 or 30 of my friends over just party and fishing, doing it all, but lunch and dinner there was always a big something cooking, smoking, frying, boiling, whatever.

Bill:  Yeah it sounds like, you know what I’m here in Charleston and I like to call this like the birthplace of barbecue but really there’s kind of a barbecue thing going on in Louisiana then from what you’re describing.

Kix: Yeah absolutely.  And you know barbecue’s a big word, whatever that means because you know I having traveled back and forth across America for about 20 years.  Everybody’s got their barbecue and everybody’s got their steak, that’s what inspired me to do that steak house show because you’re off a tour bus you go “Where do you get a good steak around here?”  And everybody’s got a story, “… and this place…” and a story about the place and then what kind of steaks they make and whatever, I’m like “God, you know you think there’s only one kind of steak,” but barbecues the same way.  Tennessee barbecue and Louisiana you get barbecue, it comes in a thick barbecue sauce and whatever, you got to roll up your sleeves and stuff’s going all down both your arms and you’re just… it’s just delicious.  But it’s a lot of stuff, first time I got barbecue in Tennessee it’s kind of like in Carolina that some of the barbecue I’ve had you know it comes with more of a vinegar kind of sauce or whatever.  Now in Charleston you may be sloppier like we are in Louisiana.

Bill: Yeah…

Kix:  Yeah, okay see.  And Texas you used to talk about barbecue well you’re talking about brisket and whatever like that.  You know generally it’s not like pulled pork, not that you can’t get it down there but for them it’s all about chickens and brisket and that kind of thing.  So it’s…in Memphis obviously, you got wet ribs, you got dry ribs.  Everybody’s got their own take on this.

Bill:  So when it comes to Louisiana cooking in particular are you a fan of Justin Wilson?  He’s like one of my favorite.

Kix:  Oh of course, absolutely.  He was great.  “You put some water in that…”  And they say, “What kinda water you use?”  I say “What kind you got?”

Bill:  When I think of Cajun cooking kind of stuff I think of him, and it’s funny I was just looking at the late Pat Conroy, just had funeral services for him over the weekend, but one of my favorite cookbooks is his cookbook where he really makes it, I mean he’s an incredible writer but he really makes it about South Carolina and all the food we have here.  I always kind of thought of Justin Wilson kind of the same way.  Now I hear you have got a cookbook coming out, what’s that going to be like?

Kix:  Well it’s sort of what I’ve been talking about and it’s kind of…it’s more about celebrating cooking.  It’s not a foody cookbook, and by that I mean I’ve been to a lot of restaurants where you have something on your plate the size of a pencil eraser and it’s got 18 exotic flavors in it and you’re trying to pair it with four different kinds of wine.  And you know that’s all cool and it’s interesting and I’ve had a lot of enjoyable evenings eating exotic foods, but this isn’t about that, this is about cooking and you can do this and it’s not just 101 boiling water.  It’s got some really fun recipes that are a little deeper in the cooking scene, but it is about… cooking is something you invite all your friends over and you can do whatever, but it’s a social event, it’s the same reason I got into wine and not to tout this, but I have my own winery and I think a lot of people are intimidated by how to pair wines and food and that kind of thing.  So this book gets into that as well because you shouldn’t be intimidated by any of it, it’s something that you should really just jump in with both feet and enjoy and you’re not going to screw this up, and  don’t be afraid to buy three packages of chicken, it’s not that expensive, and try doing different things for dinner.  And you go, “Ah I like this but if we did a little more this it’d be fun…” And it’s sort of about get into it, teach yourself, learn from here’s a few basic tips, here’s how you do this. So it’s not rocket science, it really is something you should get in your backyard and have fun with.

Bill:  I see you’ve got… it says family recipes alongside some of your personal stories.  Is there one like recipe that you’re really excited to get out there and get in the book that comes to mind?

Kix:  Gosh, just you asking that question I would probably say red beans and rice.  It’s funny I lived in New Orleans for about a year before I came to Nashville, and Monday was red beans and rice day and all the restaurants around New Orleans, everybody had their version of red beans and rice, and my version is pretty…I won’t say complicated, it’s got a lot of stuff in it.  You know basic red beans and rice is really beans a couple of slices of pepperoni, you know it’s got some certain flavors in it and you put it on rice and that’s just kind of the easy cheap tasty thing to do.  And my recipe has a lot of stuff in it, it has five or six different kinds of sausage and meat and whatever, it takes a good three days… our house smells like red beans and rice for three or four days when we do this.  But it’s a family recipe that is fun to share and it’s something I usually do for Super Bowl or something like that where I got a bunch of people coming over and I got a huge pot full of this stuff.

Bill:  I got to get that. I’m ready to get the recipe right now.  I’m looking forward to the book and apparently I think the plan is right now August 30th, and the title, Cooking It With Kix, The Art of Celebrating and the Fun of Outdoor Cooking. You know what, you actually are kind of one of my connections to one of the things that I love Nashville hot chicken…

Kix:  Oh man.  Yeah.

Bill: …and actually I was at a party, I guess it was you and Ron, must been at Ronnie’s barn for a country radio seminar, and I discovered, they must have had it in from one of the places in Nashville, tried it for the first time, Nashville hot chicken, and I’ve been a fan ever since.  Do you have a recipe for Nashville hot chicken?  Do you like hot?

Kix: Yeah I do like hot, and yes there is something in there and you know camin’s pretty much the key to how much heat you got.  That’s your pepper that makes hot chicken hot, and…

Bill:  What is it?

Kix:  What did I say?

Bill:  Cayenne you mean?

Kix: Cayenne, yeah.

Bill:  Okay, got you.

Kix:  Yeah, and I was just thinking about Randy Houser because this week he had …or last week he had a record that went number one, so he sent Hattie B’s hot chicken which is here in town, unbelievable yeah, and it’s like cayenne…sends you to the moon.  Their mild chicken will set you free.  So yeah, Nashville hot chicken’s a big deal.

Bill:  So have you had food products out before?
Kix:  No I haven’t really.

Bill:  Besides wine of course.

Kix:  Yeah yeah, we’ve been making wine for…we’ve even had grapes in the ground for about 15 years now, so our winery’s been open about ten years.

Bill:  Looking at the TV show, Stakeout, are you going to do some more of those?
Kix:  I’m not going to do Stakeout again but I’m actually in the process of developing another food TV show.  So I think I kind of did what I wanted to with the steak thing, and I think we could probably go to some more steak houses, but you know I came away from that going “Okay I think we get the message here, maybe there’s something a little deeper,” and I’ve got something that’s in development right now, it’s food and music and I think it would be real fun.

Bill: So talking steak though, do you have a summary of like what’s the perfect steak?

Kix:  Well I think the thing that most people who love to cook their own steaks, the thing that I came away with is, A) You can’t get the level of steak they have at great steak houses in your grocery store.  You know they wet and dry age all those steaks but they start with prime beef and there is a difference between grade A and prime.  And so their beef is really good when they start, and then some of these steak houses were dry aging, which if you don’t know, basically you hang up a big slab of beef and it molds and all the enzymes break down, and it’s real expensive in those steakhouse, you go “God, this is an expensive steak.”  And the reason is they have to cut all that mold off and everything, so you only get half of the meat that you start out with if you’re that restaurant, but the meat that’s left is so flavorful and tasty.  And that’s really the difference is what you start with.

And the big takeaway for cooking is I think most people are really into marinating their own steaks and whatever and all that at home, and none of these great steak chefs marinated anything, it was all about having a great piece of meat.  And again you’re not going to dry age at home, but if you do buy a great steak, what looks to be a great steak at your local grocery store, leave it in your meat drawer for a couple of days, and just sitting there and those enzymes breaking down for a couple of days will make a huge difference.  And also if you do come home and cook it, make sure it’s not cold, I mean leave it out on your counter covered up for at least 30/45 minutes, just let it get room temperature.  Those simple things make a lot of difference.  And then salt and pepper is what all these great chefs do, they just salt and pepper their shakes put a good glaze on it, cook at the right temperature that you want, but then the sauce that they put on top of is what great chefs are all about.  And they make these awesome sauces and they boil down wine and lots of great ingredients to make these reduction sauces that they pour on top of their steaks, and that’s what the chefs take great pride in is what their sauce tastes like and why it’s different from the next guy.

Bill:  Which is your favorite cut of steak?

Kix:  You know it depends on what day it is, it’s kind of like wine.  For instance if I’m surf-and-turfing I’ll probably eat a filet, and that’s probably the only time.  My wife and I had a couple of nice filets and we got some huge prawns, big jumbo shrimps the other night and cooked them and threw some bell peppers on the grill with them and just had a great surf-and-turf with a little broccoli on the side, great meal.  But if I’m just going to eat a steak really going for it, I’ll either eat a strip or a rib eye, a bone and rib eye for enough flavor there, and I like some marbling.  You know you got some fat in that meat I might cut some of it away, maybe, but that’s where flavors is at. you know when you’re looking at your steak in the grocery store you want some white in that meat if you really want all the flavor.

Bill:  Well you obviously… I can envision how you’re cooking at home in the kitchen.  When you’re on the road do you get a chance to do any real cooking, or what’s your average food day like?   I’m sure Vegas is different than being on tour, but you know is there a typical day on the road in food?
Kix:  It’s funny, when we toured we had grills under every bus and in the afternoons everybody had charcoals going.  So one of my favorite tours was we co-headlined one year with ZZ Top, and Billy Givens was the guacamole guy, yeah the lead-guitar player with the beard, he was great.  So we would have basically fajitas, and we would find whatever great steaks we could, strip or sometimes better cuts of meat and or chickens or whatever, but every day we had tamales going and Billy would make the guacamole and there’d always fajita meat going on the grill somewhere.  So you could just wander around through the buses and get a pretty good meal.

Bill:  That’s the tailgate party I want to go to, Billy Gibbons and Kix and Ronnie and just all sorts of probably music in the background too.

Kix:  Absolutely.  Somebody has got a guitar going.

Bill:  So yeah, tailgate party.  Are you a tailgater?
Kix:  Oh absolutely.  I mean football tailgater, and I always defend these songs you know when people start putting down Broke Country and all the songs about tailgates and bonfires, that’s how I grew up; and again we weren’t just burning wood and banging on guitars, we were cooking at the same time.  It’s still fun, love tailgating before a football game, that’s just the way you get your energy going.

Bill:  So what would be on your tailgate menu and what would be on your tailgate play list?
Kix:  Well on my menu, I’m not a complicated tailgater, I don’t want to get into a bunch of difficult cooking, so whatever’s easy.  You know kielbasa and sausages obviously come to mind, bruhwurst are awesome, doing festivals up north in Wisconsin and whatever.  It’s funny, my son and I one day we got on our bicycles and there were bruhwurst stands, we saw like five different ones coming into this one festival we were playing at. I carried bicycles under the bus.  Me and him went riding with backpacks and we got one of every different kind and came back and tested them all out, and I still ordered bruhwurst from that place.  So I think tailgating again should be fun and easy and the cook shouldn’t have to work too hard, like hamburgers I think are kind of a pain because if I’m cooking hamburgers I’m putting cheese and onions and jalapenos and stuff in them.  It’s okay to wrap something in bacon and throw it on there if you want something different, but that’s just my personal thing.  I don’t want to work too hard if I’m tailgating cause something’s going to get screwed up.  And music you know, I like to rock, but there’s some fun mainstays.  I got to have some Steve Miller, stuff like that going in the background.

Bill:  That sounds awesome.  You also cook with some wild game, I noticed I saw one of your post somewhere you were doing something.  Is that your own stuff you’ve brought home?
Kix:  Yeah and I’ve learned a lot from cooks out there in the wild.  I fish in Alaska every year and we do what are called “Shore lunches” to where basically they’ll either dig a hole in the ground or sometime they leave big kettle pots in the woods where we can go find them, and we’ll catch fresh salmon and go back there and they’ll bring enough ingredients, butters and lemons and a few spices and you got to have some Rosemary and Thyme, some stuff like that that you can just dump on.  Brown sugar is great on fish, some people don’t know, and mayonnaise, which I know sounds crazy.  Probably the best natural oil that you can cook fish with if you’re going to just like cook a shore lunch or something like that with trout or salmon and just put mayonnaise all over and it’s just a great oil but it’s easy to travel with if you’re traveling in the wild.  And then on the grill, yeah I’m a big duck hunter and deer hunter, so love all kinds of wild game and there’s a lot of different ways to cook it and a lot of that stuff will be in the book.

Bill:  Yes I was going to say is that I saw duck gumbo on the little right up here.  That’s exciting, that’s a different kind of cookbook and it’s really something exciting to look forward to.  Is it written out already?  Is it completed?   And then…

Kix:  Yeah, we’re pretty much done with it.

Bill:  What was that process like?
Kix:  Well it was really fun.  Donna Britt who produced my radio show, The Countdown, for a number of years, she’s out and she had her own cooking shows out west, and she’s back in Oregon now.  When I was approached with doing this it was fun because I’d already…I’d been working on a book, just stories about my life and things that had influenced me and whatever which I thought was semi interesting is the reason it hadn’t come out yet because it wasn’t real interesting to me.

Any way when I was approached after the steak show about maybe doing a cookbook I thought well maybe it would be fun to put all these stories because so many of them revolved around food and how I grew up and that kind of thing.  So Donna was the perfect person, she’s a good writer and very organized, and I called her up said “Hey you want to help me all this stuff together?”  And she said “Yeah,” and she’s a good cook so she was the perfect person to help organize the recipes and get some great pictures.  And so I think the book will be really fun, it’ll have some good pictures, hopefully some things that I grew up learning that will matter and a lot of fun cooking stuff that I think people who already like doing outdoor cooking might get some new ideas and people that may be intimidated by cooking might read this book and go, “God I can do this,” that’s what I really hope.

Bill:   Well I look forward to seeing like the stories in between too because that’s like I mentioned, the Pat Conrad book,  I loved the personal anecdotes around some of the food recipes and the food stories, and from what you’re telling me it sounds like you might have a little bit of that in there too, which would be really cool.

Kix:  Well good.  I hope so.

Bill:  Alright some quick questions and then I’ll let you run here.  Kind of almost rapid fire you can give me as much or as little as you want.  The best barbecue out there in the United States?
Kix:  The best barbecue?  I’m a big rendezvous fan and Memphis, Tennessee I don’t think you can go wrong if you don’t know much about barbecue. We’ve got a place called Martin’s here, I would say rivals anything I’ve ever had anywhere, it’s for something that’s different, not your traditional barbecue. And they’ve got brisket tacos and a lot of different stuff, but Martin’s is awesome.  You ask anybody in Nashville where the best barbecue is, most of them will say Martin’s.

Bill:  I would, and rendezvous is the top of my list too, so I’ll have to try Martin’s.  Favorite cheese?

Kix:  Favorite cheese?

Bill:  Yeah.

Kix:  Ooh.  Boy that’s a good one.  And again, depends on what you’re eating, that’s kind of like wine, I mean if I’m on lettuce it’s blue cheese but I love like white sharp cheddar cheese if I’m just coming in in the afternoons and putting something on a cracker and having a cold drink at the end of the day.

Bill:  Best place to get a hot dog?

Kix:  Well that would be a baseball park, probably Wrigley Field.  Actually I know my producer’s in there looking at me right now because Dodger dogs are…I’ve heard of Dodger dogs all my life and first Dodgers game I went to I had to get one and they actually are all beef and they taste really good.

Bill:  Alright, so how do you like your steak?

Kix:  I like my steak medium rare.  I think anything past medium you’re wasting it.

Bill:  Your favorite chef, either TV, home, or restaurant?
Kix: Ooh, I got to go with Chef Sichel at Galatoire’s in New Orleans.

Bill:  And finally, your favorite I’d say country song?

Kix:  My favorite country song?  Hank Williams, He Stopped Loving Her Today.

Bill:  Kix Brooks, American Country Countdown and with a new book coming out, Cooking With Kix, The Art of Celebrating the Fall and Outdoor Cooking.  August 30th is the set date.

Kix:  And it’s not Hank Williams, it’s George Jones, He Stopped Loving Her Today, but I was thinking, I Can’t Help It If I’m Still In Love With You, Hank Williams.

Bill:  Okay.

Kix:   But you know that was probably my favorite artist and my favorite song all together.

Bill:  I should’ve caught that one…fellow disc jockey.  And of course the book of course American Country Countdown, every weekend you’ve been doing that since 2006.

Kix:  Yeah I know, long time.

Bill:  We’re getting up… so this is the 10-year anniversary.

Kix:  It is. God I can’t even believe that.  I can’t believe you guys will let me talk on the radio that long.

Bill:  We enjoy it and we love hearing all the anecdotes, and I can’t wait to see the book and get more from you down the road.  Kix Brooks, thank you buddy.

Kix:  Well Bill, thank you.

Bill:  So there you go, Kix Brooks, Episode Two of the Nash Country Cooks Podcast. .  I’m going to leave you with some famous last words today.  Oh and this is a good one from the legendary Nash icon Dolly Parton who once said  “My weaknesses have always been food and men in that order.”

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Whole Lamb BBQ On a Spit http://barbecuetricks.com/whole-lamb-bbq-on-a-spit/ http://barbecuetricks.com/whole-lamb-bbq-on-a-spit/#respond Tue, 26 Jul 2016 00:35:53 +0000 http://barbecuetricks.com/?p=2872 Whole lamb BBQ on a spit for Easter is more than just a meal it's an all day Holiday BBQ celebration.

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CaptureWhole lamb BBQ on a spit is a traditional way to celebrate Greek Easter. But we think it’s an impressive way to do a backyard BBQ whatever the day. So how do you spit roast a 40 pound lamb for your Holiday BBQ feast?  I turned to my friends Pete Stamatis and Nick Hatsus MD and they walk you through the process in this video.

When I asked the guys about filming their cook I actually had thought I missed the opportunity ( I remembered after my Easter holiday). However the Greek Orthodox church celebrates the holiday later- so I was actually right on time. The Orthodox Church continues to follow the Julian calendar when calculating the date of Easter and there is a thirteen-day difference between the two calendars, the Julian calendar being thirteen days behind the Gregorian.

First step is to find a whole lamb and (like a hog) in this Walmart world you might have to search around for a local butcher.   The internet is another option where I saw prices of $5.50  a pound hanging weight. Plus expect a $75 processing charge or delivery.  Expect $275 to $350 for a 40 to 50 pound lamb. You’ll also need to store it cold until you are ready to cook (something to consider).

 

Then secure your spit roaster.  Spitjack is the most popular vendor for roasting tools like these.  They are located in Easthampton, MA and if you can’t get to their store you can get almost everything for the same price here. Their model  CXB55 Lamb, Goat, & Whole Hog Rotisserie handles lamb and any beast up to 55 pounds or so.

Otherwise, you can rent one from a local all-purpose renter such as Taylor Rental. It’ll cost $75 to $100 for the day.

Seasoning on the lamb is done before and during the spit roast (with a baste).   After the lamb is on the spit securely the chef will coat the lamb inside and out with lemon, olive oil and a rub of oregano, salt, pepper, rosemary and parsley.  Recipe below.

Hardwood lump charcaol is preferred and once the coals are covered in a fine white ash set your lamb and spit across the cooking area. Keep the lamb approximately three feet above the hot coals.  During the cook slowly lower, incrementally, the animal closer to the coals – not lower than a foot and a half from the flames. Baste the skin of the lamb occasionally during the cook with a combination of the rub, oil and lemon juice.

For one chef online with a 37 pound lamb. Cook time was 5 hr 20 mins.—and used 55 lbs Kingsford briquettes.
The lamb in the video was 40 pounds and took over 4 hours.  The pit in the video is half closed – with a back to the spit – and that will be faster than a spit that’s open on both sides. Plus weather, type of fuel and wind will play a factor.

Hogs are traditionally cooked to a pull apart temperature of almost 200 degrees Fahrenheit.  With lamb it should be cooked to your liking however you’ll want to hit internal temp of 150 to 160 Fahrenheit (in the thickest part of the thigh. The joints will loosen dramatically when you’re close.  Use a meat thermometer to be sure and then remove from the roasting area and let it rest on the carving table for 10 to 20 minutes before carving.

 

 

Whole Lamb BBQ Spice

Whole Lamb BBQ Spice

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. Salt,
  • 2 Tbsp. Pepper,
  • 1 Tbsp. Garlic powder
  • 4 Tbsp. Oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. Dry mint
  • Zest of one Lemon and one Orange

Instructions

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl and reserve half to combine with olive oil for basting.
  2. Basil, Rosemary, and marjoram are optional (or use the fresh sprigs tied together for a flavorful basting brush)

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New Podcast – NASH Country Cooks http://barbecuetricks.com/nash-country-cooks/ http://barbecuetricks.com/nash-country-cooks/#respond Wed, 11 May 2016 02:24:55 +0000 http://barbecuetricks.com/?p=2768 Country Cookin' and Country music. Two of our favorite things. Join us for the discussion...

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Thanks for taking a look at the Podcast.  **ALSO on iTUNES Here**  I get opportunities to talk to some super interesting country artist as well as cooks from all walks of life.  So I’m happy to start sharing the conversations here.

We’re Off to a great start with a nice chat with Kix Brooks of Brooks and Dunn revealing his “Cookin’ It With Kix” Cook book is on the way.  Take a listen.  He knows his stuff.

Also Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town was completely charming in episode 2. I’ll never think of Cracker Barrel the same way.

Please listen. If you enjoy it please subscribe and rate and comment on itunes and audioboom.

Questions? Reach out – Bill@Barbecuetricks.com

NASH-Country-Cooks-1800x450

Pull up a chair in the country kitchen as we talk country music and country cookin’. Savor the conversation with musicians, chefs, foodies, and country fans as we talk about country food, country music, and the interesting people who create both.

Host Bill West is the Program Director of NASHFM969 in Charleston, SC and is also the founder and resident foodie at the popular food site http://BarbecueTricks.com

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