Day 1: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Barbecue

There are many tips and tricks as well as tools of the trade that competitors and pitmasters use quite often to get the best results. We’re going to let you in on a few that we use quite often to get things going. We’ll start with the essential, and that’s fire.

Vegetable Oil and Paper Towel Fire Starter

So there are quite a number of methods for starting a fire including shorting out a car battery, gasoline and matches, dryer lint and a lighter, and so on, but these tend to be dangerous and/or extremely bitter in flavor. I’d like to share our favorite method which is odorless and doesn’t make your barbecue taste bitter.

About 10 years ago or so we were competing in a whole hog and shoulder competition and it was cold outside. Fire was not only necessary for cooking, but to stay warm. Luckily our good friend Jonathan Conley came prepared. He showed up with a gallon Ziploc bag full of folded squares of paper towel soaking in vegetable oil. We simply took one out, crumpled it into a mound about the size of half a baseball and set it under the charcoal chimney. All that was left to do was light one of the paper corners on fire and wait about 15 minutes for perfect white-hot glowing coals.

Use With Caution: Built in Handheld Thermometer

Seriously. Use this with caution. We’re not liable for you doing something dumb and burning yourself. Now that we have that outta the way, here’s a neat trick for at a glance slow smoking of larger meats. Ideally we like to smoke pork shoulders, butts, or even a whole hog at 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit and most of the time our built in chamber thermomometers work, but just like the old saying of Murphy’s Law goes, if it can happen it will. That’s never more true than when you depend on thermometers and they’re broken and/or miscalaibrated and you’re trying to check the heat of your smoke box.

Let’s say your instruments all break. Don’t sweat it. If this happens to you, a handy trick is to palm test the smoke chamber. Now, don’t go trying to palm the firebox. If you do, that’s not on me and your mom should have spent more time teaching you common sense, but alas, you’ll figure it out. The palm test is when you don’t want to open the smoke chamber and lose all the heat, but you want to know confidently that you have enough heat to cook with. It’s simple. Slowly approach the chamber with your palm open. If the heat is too much to bear even before you get close to the smoke box, your cooking too hot and too fast and need to choke down your stacks or your firebox air supply to cool down the fire. If you get to the surface with your palm and you’re able to comfortably place your hand on the surface for a considerable amount of time, then your fire is too cold and you’re on a slow pace to get done. The perfect amount of time to place your hand is to firmly apply your palm for a second or two before it becomes too uncomfortable and burns you. This is usually a decent enough heat to keep things rolling although you’ll want to phone a buddy and get something a little more accurate to read the temp.

All in all it’s a quick trick to keep you rolling, especially if you’re cooking overnight and thermometers aren’t readily available for a few more hours.

 

Turbinado Sugar

Ever see a Boston Butt that looked like the inside of a chimney? Overdone, carburized, burnt to a crisp? We’ve all been there, but what if I told you that all of them aren’t burnt that bad? Would you believe me? What if I told you there is a way to reduce the chances of over caramelization and blackening of the bark on your smoked cuts of pork and still have a sweet flavor? Would you want to know what that is? Sure you would.

Our main rub, Rub Beautiful, is made of Turbinado sugar just for that reason. Turbinado sugar is raw cane sugar before it has been processed, bleached, or had molasses added to it like brown sugar. Most people will confuse it with brown sugar, but it is in fact the mother of all sugar. The reason it is so much better for a finished bark on your barbecue is because it hasn’t yet been processed and has a higher threshold for crusting and turning black under high heat. In fact, when mixed with paprika or chili powder in your rub base (not unlike Rub Beautiful) it will give you a beautiful brick red color during the caramelization stage of smoking the meat. It makes for a beautiful finish and wonderful taste that’s not overpoweringly sweet, not crunchy or burnt, and defintely not bitter. It’s a neat trick that’s sure to please your next barbecue audience whether in competition or in the back yard.

Other Quick Tricks

  • No prep table? Easy, use a truck tailgate and some aluminum foil.
  • No wind for the firebox? Use a shop fan.
  • Dirty grates and no brush? Heat em up and ball of a wad of aluminum foil to scrub them with using a stick.
  • We’ll do a whole separate blog post on aluminum foil and duct tape.

365 Days of Barbecue

Good afternoon friends and family! I wanted to let you all know that JimQuessenberry.com is having its best year ever and to reward all of you for being our friends and fans, we’re going to be journaling our adventure one day at a time with our 365 Days of Barbecue blog.

Topics will always be about barbecue but with some different takes and twists on subject matter. We will continue to share recipes along the way so that you can get the most out of your barbecue experience with us. We hope that you find the blog to be informative and engaging as well as honest.

Let’s get started witha few newsworthy posts happening the past few days.

We’re on Amazon!

View our seller profile here. Our four top sellers are listed including our brand new Sauce Beautiful Gold. Of course you can always order online here at the website as well. Either way we’re excited to offer our products to a wider variety of customers.

We Just Made A Batch of Everything!

With the success of being featured on a few YouTube series and the announcement of Amazon, our Winter to Spring transition wiped us out of product. We’ve been fortunate to have higher than last year sales early in the year and have had to continue hitting the kitchen as often as possible to keep up.

Be sure to sign up for our various coupon mailing lists and subscribe to our blog for 365 Days of Barbecue

This is my passion!

You know when you are growing up and everyone asks you, “What do you wanna be when you grow up?” As a kid, I remember thinking, I want to be a farmer, a cook, or a Ninja Turtle.  The first two choices were because I looked up to my dad, he wore those two hats, and of course I knew I couldn’t really be a Ninja Turtle I had no way to obtain Mutagen, It was just something to entertain my friends and I as a kid. I was distraught when all of my friends quit playing Ninja Turtles and began being Power Rangers. At some point, our pretending to be mutants and super-heroes faded and my friends and I got into liking girls and being competitive in sports instead. I even began to tear down the awesome TMNT wallpaper border in my bedroom for fear that I would get made fun of if my brother’s friends came over and saw it. Little did I know that being a nerd would ultimately become cool.  Lee and I grew up as kids that played outside making forts in the nearby creek, but also had a love for video games.  Our love for video games started with our dad’s Commodore 64. Dad was always into technology. His interests in computers set me and my brother on a path that would eventually lead us to our careers. We tore up a lot of computers, and made some expensive mistakes, but we learned the ins and outs of computing.

Farming became a bust for Dad in the 90s as it was for many small farmers. You couldn’t make a living on it anymore. So, that was out for me as well. I don’t think I was really that interested in the first place. So, I knew then what my real passion was. It had transcended through all the years of my interests and hobbies. I remember being just 3 or 4 years old and standing in a chair next to the stove helping dad cook our BBQ sauce. He would call me his “little saucier”.  Mom being the very crafty woman that she is came up with the original packaging of the first gen Sauce Beautiful. The first gen jars were a lot like the throwback labels we still use in our retro gift basket, but first gen jars were quart sized Mason jars with a picture of the iconic caricature of dad holding the world champion trophy stuck on the front, and actual black watch plaid tied onto the top as a dome cover. It wasn’t until later we had the labels made to look like the plaid.  Lee and I grew up marketing this sauce and cooking along side our mom and dad.

The mid to late 90s were not quite as fun, we had financial issues, and other family issues, that ultimately led to our brand new hobby sauce business having to go out of business. No need to relive that here, except to say that through it all Lee and I held on to our passion to make our sauces and rubs for those friends and family lucky enough to know we were still boot legging it to make ends meet. Also, there weren’t many nights we would cook a meal inside. We had a Radio Flyer red wagon with a Weber Smokey Joe in it. Dad would send Lee and I to pick up groceries, Lee to drive and me to pick out the good veggies and meat for grilling. Needless to say we got a little grill time in.

Fast-Forward through the years, Lee and I both took our interest in computers and got degrees in Computer Science, It was a long road, and very hard at times, but through it all, our passion to cook and make sauces and rubs shined through. I smoked a whole hog for my junior prom. We catered the end of the year party every year at our apartment complex when we moved to Jonesboro to go to college. We even built our first barbecue sauce selling e-commerce website as a project for our software engineering class.

As you may already know, after college Lee and I decided to pick back up were we as a family had left off so many years ago, and start making our sauces and rubs commercially as well as competing in contests. We have had some bumps in the road, but we have picked up a few trophies of our own and made some good friends and fans along the way.  The journey doesn’t end here, I see the successes and the pitfalls we have had in our last few years resurrecting our brand, and no matter where the road may take us I will never give up, because This is my passion!

Thanks for Reading!

Michael Q



Grill Masters Club: January 2018 VIP Jim Quessenberry BBQ!

What Is the Grill Masters Club?

The Grill Masters Club is a “flavor of the month” monthly subscription box that is sent to members once a month containing niche and prize winning barbecue and grilling products. It’s the perfect way to sample a broad range of uniquely crafted products that you would have normally never had the opportunity to sample. For us, it’s a unique way to introduce our products to hundreds of new people.

Here are a few past examples including our friends at Big Bob Gibson in Decatur, AL.

Preparing the Unprepared.

Jim Quessenberry BBQ Ships a Ton of BBQ Sauce
This is literally a ton (2000 lbs) of BBQ sauce with a whole lot of spice on top.

Several months ago we reached out to The Grill Masters Club to break the ice and get involved with them as a potential outlet for our products. They asked us to send some samples and wait for a response. We sent them our original Sauce Beautiful and original Rub Beautiful in their packaging and held our breath. After putting them to the back of our minds and focusing on other opportunities, we nearly forgot that we reached out to them. Then with the weight of the holiday season bearing over everyone, we got an email from The Grill Masters Club requesting 500 of each product. We prepared for the cook and got the ingredients ready to go for 500 units to complete the order, or so we thought. As soon as we were ready to finish bottling the last bottle of each product, The Grill Masters Club contacted us requesting 700 units total. During our initial run of 500, we reached out to John Auker of The Delta Cuisine in West Memphis, TN to schedule another cook for the following weekend. We scheduled the cook and prepared for an additional 200 units each. I jokingly replied to the email and suggested that they order 1,000 altogether!

After a few days, we got another email needing 100 more units for a total of 800. At this point, 1,000 wasn’t a joke anymore. I suggested an additional 50 units be tacked on just in case there was an increase in sales for Christmas, and we agreed to 850. The weekend was scheduled and we continued to produce what was asked of us.

But Wait! There’s More!

We bottled, packaged, and wrapped 850 jars of sauce and 850 bottles of spice and put them on a palette to pick up so that they could be delivered to The Grill Masters Club warehouse in Greenville, SC. Literally as soon as the palette was picked up by our delivery contractor, another email came in requesting 100 more units! It was pure madness and we loved it! Luckily we bet on the strategy to produce 1,000 units and the product was ready to go. The only drawback was that we ran completely out of labels for sauce! We usually purchase labels in bulk but this was a single 1,000 unit hit and the better part of the roll of labels we had left! In fact, we had to get a short run two days before Christmas of 100 labels. Thankfully Art Advertising in Jonesboro, AR was able to grant our Christmas wish and the scramble to label the last 100 jars of sauce was in the bag.

 

Jimq Label Design 2018
We have a slightly updated new label design for 2018. It was rushed into production because we ran out of labels!

Clown Car To The Rescue!

So the old saying goes, “That ship has sailed,” and so it had and was on its way to South Carolina, albeit 100 units shy of 950. Luckily for us, our trusty clown car was fresh off of an oil change and looking for a new purpose in life. Jeff and Patrick loaded up the clown car with the last 100 jars and bottles and took a trip across Northeast Mississippi to see family and then on to South Carolina to deliver the final payload. We’re thankful for their last minute Hail Mary pass completion and determination to succeed in fulfilling the seemingly never ending demand set forth by The Grill Masters Club.

Special Thanks

Thank you to Aaron, Steven, Tom, Brandon, Gil, Wesley, and Kayla for your contributions in making this order happen.

January 4th is The Cutoff for Jim Q Fans

Be sure to put your order in before January 4th for a chance to become a member of the Grill Masters Club January 2018 Box. There are no obligations and you can cancel at any time. Our box will ship out on January 7th. After Jan 4th, subscriptions will start in the February shipment.

BBQ Smoked Meatloaf

SAVE 35% UNTIL   MONDAY 12/4/17                              ENTER CODE: CYBORG          


Sauce Beautiful - Original &
Rub Beautiful

1 cup fine fresh bread crumbs (from 2 slice white bread)
1/3 cup whole milk
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium celery rib, finely chopped
1 medium bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1.5 tablespoon Rub Beautiful
1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck
1/2 pound ground pork (not lean)
2 large eggs

Garnish: 1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions

1. Fire up smoker or Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
2. Soak bread crumbs in milk in a large bowl.
3. Cook onion, garlic, and celery in butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Cover skillet and reduce heat to low, then cook until bell pepper is tender, about 5 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and stir in Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, Rub Beautiful. Add to bread-crumb mixture then add to onion mixture along with beef, pork, eggs, and parsley and mix together with your hands.
5. Pack mixture into a 9- by 5-inch oval loaf in a 13- by 9-inch shallow baking dish or pan. Let sit in refrigerator for 1 hour to firm up.
6. Remove from loaf pan and place in smoker until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of meatloaf registers 155°F, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
7. Sauce with Sauce Beautiful, sprinkle parsley on top. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Sauce Beautiful - Original
Rub Beautiful

We Haven’t Blogged In A While, But You Probably Didn’t Notice.

Hello! Yes, I know it's been a while and I am sorry for the delay in posts. We've been extremely busy the last several months and most of you have kept up with us on Facebook, which would have me worrying about you all if we were only getting single digit likes and shares, but there are people that enjoy a good introspective look into our barbecue business through our blog, so I thought I would give you all a nod and say thanks. Thanks.

Let's see, what have we done since July 4th? Well we won third place in chicken in the Downtown Jonesboro State Championship BBQ Contest and sold a couple hundred gallons of sauce and rub. We clowned around, promoted Patrick, bought some Maypop tires for the clown car, prayed for Lynn and Ryan during the hurricane that hit the Florida Keys, listened to the new Flatland Funk Donors album, dropped the old radiator out of the clown car, drank a few beers, watched football, shot rifles at the range, made hundreds of gallons of bbq sauce, sold some sauce to some friends and family, made our youngest of fans happy, played stupid games, won stupid prizes, and worked our normal jobs.

We also upped our supply at Cregeen's, collaborated with Travis McAlister, and put some new dishes on the menu for you all to enjoy if you're in Jonesboro. For real though, go eat the Quail Sliders there. My god man. They're insanely tasty and are paired with our Alabama style white sauce.

All in all it has been a pretty good summer and we're happy to continue making our great products with you all. Now here's a picture of Michael hanging out with Alf for all of you to collectively say "awwww" to yourselves. Enjoy.

Celebrating Amerexit 241! Happy Birthday USA! Free Samples Update!

We ran out of free samples again! This time we limited our engagement to the United States only because our friends from across the pond got a little too excited and nearly put us in the poorhouse to cover shipping of the 75 whopping orders to the UK! Thank you to all who participated. We are currently developing some ideas on freight shipping via ocean transport that may be slower, but ultimately more cost efficient to get our goods across the pond.

This time we had nearly 600 people sign up for free samples! We can only realistically cover about 200 of those in the near future with 50 being our short term goal in the coming week. Samples will be packed and shipping out on a first come first serve basis as early as this weekend and we will continue to ship in groups of 10-20 each month until we get each and every one of you something to taste. You can bet your bottom dollar we won’t be opening ourselves up to another large free sample campaign for at least a year or more, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a good deal on our products!

Use the code AMEREXIT at checkout and get 20% off of your entire order!

While our friends across the pond settle into their newfound independence via BREXIT, we are here to remind them that we will be celebrating our exit from the British Empire for the 241st consecutive year with copious amounts of alcohol, fireworks, and barbecue. We hope that each and every one of you has a safe holiday and we look forward to supplying you at least for the rest of the summer with the best barbecue sauces and rubs!

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