We couldn’t let May go by without mentioning that it is National Barbecue Month! In lieu of this momentous occasion, we’re going to spice (or sweeten’) things up on the blog to give you something to think about as you plan out your outrageous and amazing Summer.
National Barbecue Month marks the beginning of the real summer season. Americans across the country will be firing up the grill and the outdoor fire pit. In this post you’ll find some fun festivals, recipes, and tips to get you in the swing of things!
4 BBQ Festivals Worth Traveling For
1. Safeway Barbecue Battle – June 21-22
Hosted in Washington D.C., you’ll see 12 blocks of prime real estate shut down on Pennsylvania Avenue. You can catch the streets lined with BBQ vendors offering you their very best!
2. I Love Barbecue Festival in Lake Placid – July 4-6
If you love barbecue, this is the place to be. Starting off on Independence day, the fun will run for two days until July 6. Set in the perfect background, you’ll be surrounded by mountains and lakes and of course, barbecue as far as the eye can see.
3. The American Royal World Series of Barbecue in Kansas – October 2-5
The World Series of Barbecue, quite a title to be bestowed upon any festivity. Well, this is the largest of its kind, boasting over 600 contestants each year. If you’re into competitive cooking, check this one out!
4. The Plant City Pig Jam – November 22
Love strawberries? This is the one for you. The Plant City Pig Jam is hosted in Plant City, Florida and is held in conjunction with the Strawberry festival. Milkshakes and barbecue make for a fat belly!
BBQ Tip: Avoid Lighter Fluid – Lighter fluid contains methanol/ethanol and can leave traces in food. Not only does it taste bad, it pollutes the air in your neighborhood. You can use a chimney starter instead.
Barbecue Recipes that Will Make Your Mouth Water
Burgoo has a little bit of everything in it. Burgoos are cooked and stirred so long that it almost becomes a gravy with corn and lima bean. You can cook up this game stew with venison, rabbit, or even squirrel. Store-bought meats will work too if you live in the city.
- 2 pounds beef short ribs
- 2 pounds lamb shanks
- 2 meaty ham hocks
- 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken
- 1 (4-pound) hen, or substitute rabbit
- 5 or 6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 3 or 4 medium onions, peeled and diced
- 1 pound carrots, trimmed and diced
- 2 green peppers, stemmed, seeded and diced
- 2 cups whole corn, fresh, frozen or canned
- 2 cups diced okra 2 cups lima beans
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 quart tomato puree
- 2 tablespoons salt, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon (freshly ground) pepper
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
- Chopped parsley
Put all the meat in a large pot and add 2 gallons of cold water. Let the water boil and then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Make sure you take any foam off the top and let simmer until the meat is tender and nearly falling off the bones. This should take about 2 hours. Strain out the broth and chill meat and broth separately.
After the meat has cooled, take the meat off the bones, remove the skin, cartilage, and fat. You’ll also want to skim the fat off the top of the broth once it has cooled.
Toss the meat in the broth and let it boil one more time. Add the other ingredients to the pot (except parsley) and keep everything stirring. Once boiling, reduce the heat and let simmer for 4-6 hours.
The meat should come out in thin shreds and the vegetables will be small fragments. Add some zest by chopping up some fresh parsley and sprinkling it in before serving! This recipe serves a crowd of 30!
Charles Kallbreir’s Barbecued Salmon with Bourbon Sweet & Sour Sauce
What You’ll Need:
- 12 ounces fresh Alaskan Coho salmon fillet
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Evan Williams barbecue sauce
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup sweet and sour sauce
- ¼ cup butter pecan syrup
- 5 ounces bourbon
- ½ tablespoon fresh chopped dill
- To prepare the salmon
Begin by sprinkling sea salt on the salmon and refrigerate it for an hour. Take the salmon out and layer it with a thick coat of barbecue sauce. Let it bake in the oven on 350 for 10 minutes. For best results, you should paste the salmon with BBQ sauce halfway through.
To make the sauce, place honey and water in a saucepan and cover on medium heat for 3-5 minutes (stir lightly). Add sweet and sour sauce and butter pecan syrup and stir gently. Continue stirring until the sauce thickens. Add bourbon to your preference. Stir and cook until the thickness of the sauce is consistent.
When you’re done, you can serve the salmon on a platter and add flavor with a spoonful of your bourbon sweet and sour sauce. There’s also a soy-based recipe below.
- Extra firm tofu
- Oil for frying
- 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons parsley flakes
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
Chop the tofu into 1/2 inch slices. Heat the oil to 350 degrees and fry for a couple of minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when tofu slices develop a crisp coating an a little bit of color.
To make the sauce, toss all the ingredients together in a pan and boil. Once they begin to boil, lower the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. This should make about 2 1/2 cups of barbecue sauce.
You can serve this dish with the tofu on tomato focaccia and top it off with your tasty bbq sauce!
1. What percentage of Americans say that cooking outdoors is easier than cooking indoors?
2. What percentage of Americans prefer cooking out over eating out?
(Answers listed at the bottom of this page.)
Must Have BBQ Tools:
According to a poll conducted by the Hearth, Patio, & Barbecue Association, here’s what respondents found to be must have tools for the perfect backyard barbecue.
- Tongs (77%)
- Spatula/Brush (65%)
- Rubs and Marinades (62%)
- Skewers (37%)
- Baskets (20%)
B. 81% of American say that cooking outdoors is easier than cooking indoors.
C. 71% of Americans prefer cooking out over eating out to save money.
Tips to get your backyard ready for the Barbecue season this summer!
- 10 Things You Must Know Before Planning an Outdoor Kitchen
- 12 Tips for Hosting a Summer Party
- Don’t Wear Your Bum out this Summer!
Hearth, Patio, & Barbecue Association
National Barbecue Month Poll
About the Author
Cheryl Khan is a design consultant, writer, and germaphobe. She can be found flipping through design magazines or sitting on the couch eating vanilla swirl ice cream.