Get Your Pig On

pigThank you for visiting our website where you can find information about our upcoming barbecue competitions and find out what we’ve experienced while delving into this fascinating and delicious sport! Whether competitors come from California, Colorado, North Carolina, Memphis, Texas, Kansas City, or our own South Carolina, competition barbecue seems to be one of the fastest growing sports in the country.

Maybe competition barbecue is about the pride that comes with taking home prize money and trophies, or the euphoria of personal recognition and accomplishment, or the adrenaline rush from the intense rivalry between competing teams. Perhaps barbecuing is more about the camaraderie and fellowship that drives competitors’ to pack up and travel from event to event, weekend after weekend. Whatever their reasons, competitors continue to travel all over the country demonstrating their ability to entice and delight us with their barbecued meats and culinary adventures.

Competitions draw teams from near and far and they often encounter unexpected complications like damaged equipment and unpredictable weather, which further complicates the already tough tasks of producing the best BBQ meats and getting them to the judging tent on time. Despite long hours devoted to tending fireboxes, trimming, seasoning, smoking, boxing, and presenting their entries teams still manage to find time to share some of their experiences, expertise, and enthusiasm with spectators.

As barbecue spectators and enthusiasts walk competition grounds, the smells of barbecue fill the air and the adventure begins. The talent, creativity, and passion of competitors’ lead to mouth-watering sights, aromas, and flavors which reel you in and hook you for life! Come out and meet some of the fine people that travel the competitive barbecue circuit at an upcoming Get Your Pig On Barbecue Competition and find out for yourself what competitive barbecuing is all about. Think PIG, think BBQ, think FAMILY, think FUN, and come have a squealin’ good time with us!!

We are just in the organization phase right now – no dates, no firm schedule, etc. until we drum up interest.

A proposed schedule is on Schedule Page and we welcome feedback to make it perfect.

Some entertainment options are being considered and can be found on our Entertainment Page.

We anticipate various categories and prizes as seen on our proposals on the Prizes Page.

Our thoughts on judging are on the Judging Page.

We are looking for **Sponsors** and our current ones are below. Contact us if you want to see your logo on our home page.

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How to Grill Steak for Every Taste

To the real enthusiast of the outdoors meal, the barbecue grill is about the most happening piece of equipment outside of the house that there could be. And if there’s anything that’s more important than the barbecue grill, it’s the steak that sizzles on top of it. To the recipients of succulent cuts of grilled meats to dig into, it can seem like a great steak just appears on a plate. The hard work that goes on behind the scenes can often seem remote. A steak, for it to gain that special texture and taste means some real careful work done on it going in. Let’s take a closer look at how to grill a steak to perfection.

Learning how to grill is important; but working with the right raw materials is even more so. You need to be able to start with the right cuts of meat that have exactly the right right kind of texture and are likely to cook well. Certain kinds like a round steak, really need tenderizing before they are ready for the barbecue grill. Other than the round steak though, mostly every other cut of the beef is usually perfect for the barbecue grill just as long as you don’t pick a piece with too much gristle or bone.

There is quite a debate that follows barbecue enthusiasts everywhere to do with the question of the fat on a piece of beef. The question of where you stand on how much fat is right has a lot to say about how your beef comes out tasting in the end. Of course, you can trim off a little extra fat if you want to, but other than that, the more fat you leave on the meat the better. The fat will melt in the heat. What it will leave behind is a lipsmacking flavor that there is no getting over. The only case where fat can be a problem is when someone needs their steak done rare. In all other cases, the fat can just melt away and leave only flavor behind.

Learning how to grill isn’t just about buying the right cut of steak and leaving it on the grill though. You have seen all the spices and seasonings that they line up on the store shelves, haven’t you? Finding the best seasonings to rub into your steak can bring out a delicious flavor. If you are using cuts of beef that aren’t as tender as you would like them, you could tenderize them using marinade. Cooking steak means working with very high heat, usually. If you want a well-done steak though, you’ll have to start with low heat. These are directions you can use to throw a real party. Make sure that you start all your steaks at the same time so that the convivial atmosphere isn’t compromised on.

Other Pork Cooking Ideas….

We can’t control the cost of food, so you smart cooks have to be innovative in order to serve nutritious and delicious food, despite reduced buying power. When buying meats, it looks like you’ve got to reinspect those per pound prices. You can’t have chicken every night! Fortunately, pork is a versatile meat which hasn’t gotten entirely out of hand. The pork industry promotes this meat as ‘the other white meat’, to advertise the fact that pork these days is very lean. Here are some ideas for pork recipes that are both easy and inexpensive, with some that are also elegant entrees fit for the gourmet table.

You’ve probably noticed that the supermarkets occasionally run sales on whole pork loin fillets. While they’re at least several pounds, it’s a good buy when you consider how many and diverse family meals you can get out of a $20-25 bulk purchase.

Decide which dishes you’ll be making and divide the meat in portions according to the menu item. For example, if you want three pork loin roasts, cut the meat into pieces of sufficient size for a family meal, then mark and freeze.

Wienerschnitzel is a wonderful German pork recipe, consisting of a 1-inch pork loin chop, flattened to paper-thinness with a kitchen mallet, breaded and fried briefly, just until the edges are crispy. Some people like to dip the flattened chop in milk and then breading. For this dish, cut as many 1-inch chops as you need, lay them between sheets of wax paper in a freezer bag and freeze. Flatten only after defrosting. The traditional dish is usually served with applesauce, but it’s also excellent drizzled with lemon juice and punctured with a fork before eating.

Another excellent pork recipe uses thicker pork loin chops about one and a half inches thick. Broiling gives you a nice, slightly crusty outside which makes a nice contrast to the juicy inside of the chop. While the chops are cooking, make a simple white sauce, seasoned with sage. Pork and sage are good friends in the culinary world.

There’s nothing more tender than a pork loin roast cooked in a slow cooker. You hardly need teeth to eat this succulent and flavorful meat! You can rub the meat with a lemon pepper marinade, a ‘Porketta’ Italian style rub mix or sprinkle with sage and parsley. If you wish, you can make gravy from the drippings.

If you cut your pork roast in a slightly larger portion, you’ve got another dinner from the leftovers. Pork recipes which lend themselves to new and different dishes won’t be viewed with suspicion by the family. They may not even know they’re eating that pork roast. Here are several more easy pork recipes you can make with leftovers from a roast.

Dice the leftover roast, along with some bright veggies. Combine with pasta or rice. Mix with a sauce, cream of mushroom soup or simply top with soy sauce. Pork fried rice is another easy and nutritious pork recipe. For a special touch, mix the meat with barbecue sauce and fry briefly before adding to the rice. Make a noodle, pork and veggie casserole. Again, a soup type of sauce makes the dish heartier. You can also shred the leftover meat and use it for enchiladas or dice it for tacos. Have you ever had a roast pork loin sandwich? These are good as Hoagies, with a little onion, lettuce and dabs of Dijon. Our last suggestion for roast pork leftovers is the inimitable chef’s salad.

It’s easy to see that you can get a lot of meal mileage out of your pork recipes!

South Carolina Barbecue Ribs

When I was growing up in the Mount Pleasant, SC area, the memorial day backyard barbecue was the hit of the summer. My dad would make the most delicious barbeque ribs I had ever tasted. In general, my dad was a pretty light-hearted joke-a-minute kind of day. When he was working the backyard grill, however, he became someone quite different. Suddenly, he was all business. You could talk to him, but if you broke his concentration on the barbecue grill, he would start to tune you out. Getting the meat to just the perfect temperature was his only priority.

I always thought that his barbeque ribs were the most delicious food, not just in the Mt Pleasant or Charleston, South Carolina area, but in the world. They were sweet, smoky, and slightly crunchy on the outside. We would never go out for barbecue ribs when I was a kid, and looking back, it was just as well. As a kid, i never had to find out that my dad made barbeque ribs that were about average at best.

When I first got to taste slow cooker country style ribs, I thought that I had died and gone to heaven. My dad’s barbeque ribs (called Mt Pleasant Special Treats) were all but forgotten the moment my teeth sunk into that moist, succulent meat. I had never heard of a slow cooker ribs recipe before. My dad was strictly a grill kind of guy. Although he used a barbeque ribs spice rub, he might as well have left it off because the flavor barely got into the ribs.

With slow cooked ribs, however, the spices penetrated the meat perfectly. I can’t even explain how good it was! I had heard people talking about the meat “falling off the bone” before, but I had never really realized that they meant it literally. After being smoked for hours and hours, the rib meat is so tender that it dissolve right in your mouth. It was so good, in fact, that I did not even use barbecue sauce. The ribs did not even need it! If I did, my Mt Pleasant friends would have packed my bags and told me not to come back to South Carolina.

What I didn’t know back then was that there was more too those barbeque ribs than using a slow cooker. The actual quality of the rib meat itself makes a big difference. My dad bought his pork ribs at the Safeway, but these ones were from a local, organic farm near Mt Pleasant. You really could taste the difference! You wouldn’t think that it would matter after hours of cooking, but it really did!

Pork Roast in Slow Cooker

– 3 to 4 pounds of pork (Boston Butt is best)
– 4 celery stalks cut into 1 inch pieces
– 6 medium potatoes cut up (if desired)
– Other veggies (if desired)
– 1 can beef broth
– 1 can cream of mushroom condensed soup
– 2 pouches onion soup (Knorr, Lipton, etc.)

Put veggies in cooker
Mix broth, soup and one pack of onion soup. Pour over veggies.
Put pork on veggies, fat side up
Pat pork dry, spread Dijon or regular mustard or BBQ sauce on top
Sprinkle pouch of onion soup on this topping
Sprinkle with garlic (if desired)

Cook 4-5 hours on high
or cook 8-10 hours on low (better)

Barbeque Sauce

Most people love barbeque sauce, and that is not just reserved to those who eat meat. There are many vegetarians who love to use it on their veggies, and they might use just as much of it as those of us who do eat meat. There is something great about the simple, yet complex taste involved with many types of this sauce. It is something that is the subject of contests and awards. Apparently, this is something that most people have in their refrigerator, and many would not want to be without it.

Though there are some great brand-named barbeque sauce out there, there are likely some great ones that anyone can find locally. There is a local brand in Orangeburg, SC that is amazing, and it even has a restaurant of its very own. This can be bought in many stores in South Carolina, so there seems to be plenty of people that love it. One local BBQ connoisseur even sent some of it overseas to Australia, and the word back was that the barbeque sauce was some of the best those Aussie friends had ever had.

Though barbeque sauce is popular, most people use more than they need. For most things, the sauce only needs to be added to the meat a few moments before it comes off the grill. Some like to put coat after coat on chicken and ribs will they are on the grill, but that is not necessary if someone does not want to go to that much trouble. It is a matter of taste really, and either way is fine. Some like to marinate in the sauce before cooking, and the type of meat and the type of barbeque sauce used with determine how well this works out.

The best thing about barbeque sauce is that if there is nothing in the store that works well, anyone can make their own. There are hundreds of recipes for it out there, and anyone can make one from scratch if they have a basic idea of what goes into great barbeque sauce. It might take some time and some experimentation to come up with something great, but it can be done. Just remember to write down what goes into each batch when experimenting, so you don’t forget what you added when you stumble onto something great. It might be nearly impossible to remember the measurements once the sauce is mixed and cooked up.

Smoker for Spectacular Smoked Meat

What makes a barbecue smoker different from a regular grill? Well, you could say is that the smoker was the crockpot equivalent of grilling – It’s extremely slow and the temperatures used are very low. Every outdoor smoker comes with a firebox to put the coals in (unless it’s a model that uses propane or electricity), a cooking rack, a vent that allows you to control temperature and airflow, and a thermometer. To make sure that your food doesn’t turn out too dry, there is even a water reservoir that moistens everything with steam all the time. If you’re buying a smoker, what should you look for?

The ideal temperature when it comes to smoking a piece of meat, is about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Buying a smoker, you want to make sure to go with a model that is able to maintain this temperature practically indefinitely. These are pretty cool temperatures if you compare them to what a barbecue the current temperatures a barbecue has. The great part is you end up with a nice, tender, wonderfully smoky and crispy piece of meat. You don’t even have to know what you’re doing. At such low temperatures, the process is practically novice proof.

Well the first thing you want to know when you by a smoker is that you don’t really need to buy a smoker. If you have a regular outdoor grill, you just need to put charcoal in the fuel pan, light it up, and throw lots of wood chips on them. The heat would be indirect by the time it reached your meat, and there would be lots of smoke. You just need to make sure that there’s a receptacle somewhere underneath for all the drippings.

If you do decide that buying a smoker that’s fully dedicated to the task is best for you, make sure that you choose something with wheels. Smokers are pretty heavy. But what you don’t need to choose store is a stainless steel finish. Not only are these going to be quite expensive, you going to be working hard all the time to preserve the finish.

Before you actually buy anything, you probably want to check your area regulations. If you’re in a condo complex, charcoal-fired stuff may actually be illegal.

Smokers can be moderately expensive. The Bradley Original Smoker is a spectacular device. It looks like a small cupboard. You put your wood pellets in there and get it going. The electric heater burns them up slowly. And there’s enough room in their for food for an entire block party.

The Weber Smokey Mountain charcoal smoker has legions of followers. It comes with a 10 year warranty and it does a pretty spectacular job.