5@5 - Rack up on rib pointers
June 26th, 2013
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

We're positively slab-happy it's summer. There's something inherently appropriate about spending the longer, sunnier days at a picnic table, unabashedly attacking a rack of smoky, pink-tinged ribs with the exhilaration of 300 Spartans.

Perhaps no one shares that sentiment more than Myron Mixon, champion pitmaster, cookbook author and chef/owner of the Pride & Joy Bar B Que restaurants in Miami and New York City.

His pointers for remarkable ribs will stick with you long after you've finished reading. Pro tip: Don't forget the wet naps.

Five Tips and Tricks for Mouthwatering Ribs: Myron Mixon
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Filed under: 5@5 • Barbecue • Grilling • Grilling • Make • Smoking • Techniques & Tips • Think


A compendium of grilling greatness
May 24th, 2013
04:30 PM ET
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Some people maintain that Memorial Day officially marks the start of grilling season and Labor Day, the end. Those people, for the most part, are wrong. Some folks maintain the flame in snowdrifts up to their thighs. Others won't haul out the hibachi until late September because it'll finally be cool enough to cook outside without wilting like a hothouse gardenia.

So what we're saying is, so long as our spatula isn't actively frozen or melted to our hands, and monsoon spray does not prevent us from lighting a charcoal chimney, we're going to be outdoors, putting flame to food and quaffing a cold beverage. Why don't you just come along and join us?

Catch up on the rest of our great cookout and picnic tips below, and if you run into a sticky grilling situation - we're here to help. Share your burning questions in the comments or Tweet us @eatocracy and we'll have your festivities back on track in no time.

Achieve Grilling Greatness
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Filed under: Grilling • Grilling • Help Desk • How To • Labor Day • Memorial Day • Smoking • Techniques & Tips


Eat This List: 5 slices of barbecue wisdom
January 28th, 2013
02:15 PM ET
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This is the seventh installment of "Eat This List" - a regularly recurring list of things chefs, farmers, writers and other food experts think you ought to know about.

Last week, I found myself hanging out with five whole hogs, three briskets and a whole lot of barbecue legends (and their faithful disciples) near some fire pits in freezing cold Murphysboro, Illinois. We'd congregated there for the second annual Whole Hog Extravaganza and BBQ MBA program, and when I wasn't stuffing my mouth with some of the best pork and brisket on the planet, I was slamming it shut and soaking up what these venerable pitmasters had to say.

Here's a taste.
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Take a stab at a slab - an intro to ribs
September 3rd, 2012
11:00 AM ET
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Here's the cruddy thing about ribs: you can spend hours upon hours lovingly seasoning, basting and smoking a rack to melting, knee-knocking perfection, and at least one of your guests is going to be sitting there thinking, "Well, if I had been manning the grill, I would have..."

Fine. They get to host next time. Meanwhile, rest assured that there are as many ways to prepare ribs are there are meat-loving lunatics with nothing better to do than to spend four or more hours slaving over a hot grill. You're not going to please everyone, but if you follow these basic guidelines (and add your own touches along the way), there's an awfully good chance you'll at least please yourself.
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Don't bungle your burgers, don't screw up your steak
July 4th, 2012
02:45 PM ET
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We've all seen, smelled, eaten and regretted some mighty bad grilling mishaps over the years, and it's always such a shame. The meat is juuust a little overdone, under-seasoned, inedibly dry, or even reeking of creepy chemicals. With just a few tweaks, dinner would have been a winner.

This will not happen again. Not on our watch. Here is some of our best advice over the past two years.
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Filed under: Grilling • Grilling • Smoking • Techniques & Tips


Risk a brisket on the grill
May 28th, 2012
12:30 PM ET
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I've never had any complaints about my brisket. That could be because no one is especially keen to rag on the crazy-eyed lady wielding a hot pair of tongs and giving out free meat, but I'd like to think that it had at least a little bit to do with quality.

Burgers, hot dogs, steaks and chicken are cookout classics for a reason. They're crowd-pleasers and (with a little care) relatively un-screwuppable. They're a safe bet, but for maximum impact, only a giant hunk of meat will get the job done.

Consider the brisket. It's a big ol' flat, cut of beef from the chest of a cow, and it's the stuff of Texas legend. It's bone-free and takes a fairly long time to cook down under low, slow charcoal heat, but every last stomach grumble is worth it.

While many weekend grillers think this sort of project is best left to fifth-generation Texas pitmasters and smoke-soaked competition barbecue acolytes with big, schmancy smokers, a succulent brisket is achievable in your backyard grill.

Really. I promise. Here's how.
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Filed under: Barbecue • Favorites • Grilling • Grilling • How To • Ingredients • Meat • Smoking • Techniques & Tips


Achieve grilling greatness - tips, recipes, advice and inspiration from professional chefs and backyard masters
May 25th, 2012
06:00 PM ET
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Some people maintain that Memorial Day officially marks the start of grilling season and Labor Day, the end. Those people, for the most part, are wrong. Some folks maintain the flame in snowdrifts up to their thighs. Others won't haul out the hibachi until late September because it'll finally be cool enough to cook outside without wilting like a hothouse gardenia.

So what we're saying is, so long as our spatula isn't actively frozen or melted to our hands, and monsoon spray does not prevent us from lighting a charcoal chimney, we're going to be outdoors, putting flame to food. Why don't you just come along and join us?

Catch up on the rest of our great cookout and picnic tips below, and if you run into a sticky grilling situation - we're here to help. Share your burning questions in the comments or Tweet us @eatocracy and we'll have your festivities back on track in no time.
FULL POST

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Filed under: Grilling • Grilling • Help Desk • How To • Smoking • Techniques & Tips


Brining: seriously, stop stressing about it
November 14th, 2011
09:05 AM ET
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Wow, do people get their wattles in a wad about brining. It's probably partly because we're all still traumatized by the powdery turkey of our childhood Thanksgivings. It's also because people enjoy having extra things to fuss over 'round this time of the year.

But really, it's not that complicated and whether you opt for a dunk or a rub, roasting, smoking or deep-frying, it's bound to add some extra moisture and flavor to your meat. You'll just have to find something else to stress about. Sorry.

What is brining?
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Filed under: Feature • Holiday • Holidays • HolidayShopping • How To • Make • Recipes • Roasting • Smoking • T Minus • Techniques & Tips • Thanksgiving


Lemonade basics - with a few funky twists
July 3rd, 2011
03:00 AM ET
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Easy peasy lemon squeezy! Mixing up a refreshing batch of classic lemonade is as cinchy as opening a carton, stirring in some powder or thawing out some concentrate, right?

Well, those may be decent options in a pinch, but no pre-packaged product comes close to the magical meld of freshly-juiced lemons, simple sugar syrup and water. It may take a little extra time and effort, but the result is a wickedly delicious elixir that will spoil you for all other citrus-flavored sugar waters for many summers to come.

Once you master the basic method below, stir things up a bit by adding in your favorite fruits, liquors, and even a hint of wood smoke. Read on.
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