"There Is No Such Thing as Too Much Barbecue" is a wonderful, poetic ode, a short essay, by Jason Sheehan. It was broadcast by National Public Radio's All Things Considered on Memorial Day, May 29, 2006 as part of their "This I Believe" series. You can read it or listen to it by clicking here.
Below are the best barbecue websites and best barbecue forums, message boards, discussion groups, and mailing lists. Click here to see links to the barbecue associations, clubs, and competitions.
Of course, this is alphabetic, and since people have been known to copy and paste my pages, I need to include AmazingRibs.com in my list. Some guy named Meathead writes mostly about the science of barbecue, grilling, and outdoor cooking, but there's a lot of good info about food, ingredients, and techniques. Even has some vegetable recipes.
- Barbecue Master. Based in NC barbecue country, Cyndi Allison has been writing about barbecue and teaching it for more than a decade. Check out the links to her other websites and blogs.
- Barbecues & Grilling at about.com. Derrick Riches is a self taught cook who has learned a lot and he passes it along in this large and deep reference.
- Barbecuen. Articles and ideas on everything from grills to cooking elk.
- BBQDryRubs. The site is a nice hobby site from David Somerville covering more than rubs. He focuses on Weber gear and the sausage section is good.
- BBQ FAQ. An astonishing compilation of wisdom from scores of serious cue'ers. The only problem is that the mailing list of participants has been dissolved so you can no longer sign up. Also, a lot of the links are broken. Still, the knowledge there is timeless.
- BBQ Sauce Reviews. He likes sauce. Some better than others. See if you fave is on his 5-star list.
- Braai 4 Heritage. In South Africa they call it braai, and everyone barbecues. They even have a National Braai Day!
- Cooking Outdoors. Gary House is fearless as he cooks everything on his grills, even pies and bread. There are sections on barbecue, cast iron cooking, Dutch oven, fire pit, and foil cooking. Lots of recipes well illustrated with photos.
- GrateTV. This frequent video show stars Jack Waiboer, a talented BBQ cook and competitor based in SC, and co-host Bill West (above). They teach tips, technique, tools, toys, secret ingredients, beer drinking, and answer viewer email questions. They know their stuff, and teach it with a smile. That's them above, and one of the gadgets they feature.
- GrillGirl. Robyn Medlin Lindars knows how to cook, and she can do it outdoors. She blogs about her adventures and recipes. Her specialty is making barbecue fun for women. She also cooks on her sailboat! Fun stuff!
- A Hamburger Today. Gently patted together by Robyn Lee, this site is made of prime restaurant commentary, stuffed with burger lore, topped with good humor, and held together with beautiful drippy photographs. She is aided by a handful of burgerphiles who know their stuff.
- Home BBQ. Message boards that discuss just about anything barbecue.
- The Ingredient Store.com. Home of the FAB injections and marinades. FAB is the stuff most of the brisket champs inject (into the meat, not themselves).
- Joy Of Grilling. Nice site with some creative recipes.
- Live Fire Online. Curt McAdams can cook and takes nice pix in Ohio. He focuses on barbecuing and grilling, but often digresses on local foods, markets, baking, and dining.
- Mark Stevens. I met Mark in one of the online message boards and have learned a thing or two from him and his tips. You can too. His home made website has great links, and some good recipes and tips.
- Naked Whiz. This may be the most inaccurate and inappropriate name for a website on the net, but don't let it deter you. This is the go-to site if you have any questions about charcoal, how it is made, and what is the best.
- Nibble Me This. Chris Grove is in Knoxville and he works his Big Green Egg and other cookers hard. He has also written a book about kamados.
- Patio Daddio BBQ. John Dawson brings his analytical IT mind to the patio and tests new techniques, equipment, and recipes with an unusual thoroughness and sharp sense of humor. He also competes. This is one of my faves.
- Postcards from Scotsylvania. Scot Murphy is a very smart, witty, fella, and a pretty good cook too. His blog covers barbecue, gardening, politics, comics, and "ruminations about the universe, occasional whining, snarkiness, stuff like that."
- Real Truck. Accessories and gear for your truck.
- She Smoke. Julie Reinhardt is the author of the book She-Smoke, a Backyard Barbecue Book, and co-owner of Smokin' Pete's BBQ in Seattle. This blog is an extension of the book, the restaurant, and how she rolls with two kids in tow.
- Thesmokering is an informal conglomeration of almost 1,000 websites devoted to barbecue. They include sites with recipes, tips on technique, cookers, supplies, sauce for sale (a lot of them have sauce for sale), and more. Best of all, there is a search engine so you can search on keywords such as "ribs."
- Something Different Country Store & Deli. This is the website of a real old-fashioned country store that happens to be world famous because it is owned by folks that know a lot about barbecue, not to mention food and farming in general. Dad, Dan Gill, is the writer in the family, and his musings, called Dan's Blurbs, are well thought out and researched. Definitely something different.
- Southern Foodways Alliance. Southern cuisine is this nation's most interesting and these guys know ALL about it. All about it. The oral history videos are priceless.
- Tropic Als BBQ Review. Are you a Parrot Head or a wanna be back yard beach bum? Check out Tropic-Al's BBQ Review: a back yard banana republic in the Catskills.
- Virtual Weber Bullet. Chris Allingham's site is dedicated to the use of the Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker (a.k.a. "The Bullet"). There is an amazing amount of really helpful info on barbecue from theory to recipes that can be applied to cookers other than The Bullet. The message boards are visited regularly by lots of knowledgeable people, and I have even seen notices of meat sales at butchers near my house posted there. It is not affiliated with Weber grills.
- White Trash BBQ. The story of a BBQ obsessed Brooklyn guy who dreams of producing award winning barbeque. He competes around the nation in the KCBS barbecue competition circuit, documents his cooks and those of others he meets, and has even been known to post while he is cooking! Fun stuff, especially if you are thinking of getting on the circuit.
There are a number of places on the internet where you can go to get answers to your questions. These forums are discussion groups that are chock-full of recipes, tips, and solutions to problems. You can graze 'til you're gorged.
Of course we think our Pitmaster Club's forum "The Pit" is the best! We are the only one that pays our moderators, and we charge $23.95 per year to join, so, although there are often lively debates, conversation is incredibly civilized and friendly. The pit contains many one hour videocast Pitmaster Seminars featuring interviews with the world's top pitmasters there, and we add a new one every month. There is also a weekly 30 minute audio Pitcast with news from the world of barbecue. The forum has discussions of the world's best BBQ restuarants, recipes, techniques, grills, smokers, accessories, competition barbecue, drinks, a place to sell or trade. Your 24 hour connection to barbecue and the barbecue community.
Here are some others:
- Addicted to BBQ. I haven't been in there in a while and you cannot get in without registering first.
- Ask a Butcher. Not a very active board, but the moderator seems to know his stuff and, best of all, he's posted photos and videos of how to cut meats at home. You know he'll be getting my questions, now that my favorite neighborhood butcher shop has been killed by the big grocery chains and Sam's Club.
- alt.food.barbecue. Google has organized Usenet discussions into an easy to use system with email notifications and browser access. There are numerous food and cooking related message boards. There is another board, alt.food.barbeque (notice the spelling diff). Let's hope they get these two together. Anyone can post and anyone can start a new topic. A bit chaotic, but some knowledgeable people are there. And the management tools are getting better.
- BBQ Bible Board. This active message board is hosted by Steven Raichlen, cookbook author ("BBQ Bible!") and TV host ("BBQU" on PBS). The board is reasonably well organized and easy to use.
- BBQ Brethren. A very large, active message board with a cool logo. Easy to use, with lotsa knowledgeable folks, especially experience competitors. Because of spam problems they don't make their recipe files available unless you register. LOng after I launched my email newsletter named Smoke Signals, they launched one too, so I'm pretty unhappy with them.
- BBQ Source Forums. An nice little forum with a unique feature: Discussion sections on different smoker manufacturers and their products.
- Cookshack Barbecue Forum. Most users of this forum own a Cookshack electric smoker, but much of the discussion is broader than that. There is section for recipes and it contains everything from ribs to Chex mix! This is a very lively and active board with many knowledgeable and friendly users. Cookshack employees drop in to solve problems if needed. You can also search on keywords if you want. There is even a section for chefs, restaurant owners, and caterers. Best of all, when you sign up, the system allows you to set it up so that new posts will be mailed to you individually or in a daily digest, so it has the best features of a mailing list and a message board.
- Egghead Forum. A message board similar to the BBQ Forum in design and structure. Aimed at owners of The Big Green Egg smoker, but discussions range from favorite restaurants to sauces.
- Home BBQ Forums. Founded in 2001, this is one of the older message boards out there.
- Kamado Guru. A forum for kamado owners.
- New Braunfels Bandera Forum. This email list is tailored to owners of this popular smoker, but discussion is wide ranging. Not very active.
- Pelletsmoking.com is for owners of pellet smokers, with direct connections to MAK, Memphis Smokers, and a guest expert, Candy Sue Weaver, one of my favorite experts in the world.
- Smoked-Meats.com is a lively group, with strengths in some areas others lack, cold smoking, sausages, and cast iron cooking.
- Smoke Ring Forums. Garry Howard runs The Smoke Ring, a loose affiliation of hundreds of websites connected to barbecue. This forum has a number of really knowledgeable people visiting it regularly and it's a great place to get rapid answers to your questions. There are sections for recipes, competitions, catering, cookbooks, and much more. Howard also runs the Smoke Ring BBQ List (below).
- Smoke Ring List. This is an email list. You sign up and the list sends you emails from members of the list who send in questions and comments. You can have them sent one at a time, or get them compiled into one email with 20 or so emails in it, called the "digest" format (recommended). I get the digest, and I still get 3-4 digests every day. Some really talented and smart folks participate in this list. The most annoying part is that people tend to copy the entire email to which they are replying, rather than just a sentence or two, so there's a lot of scrolling through mail you've already read while you're looking for new info. Also, members tend to stray off topic a lot, but the camaraderie and obvious friendship they have permeates every aspect. Many of these folks get together offline to cook and drink and swap lies. Then again, there are some feisty types and lame wars erupt occasionally. But even these are fun because the wit and sarcasm is high level.
- Smokey Mountain Smokers Forum. Most of the members own a Great Outdoors Smoky Mountain gas smoker, but there is a lot of good general advice. The ever cranky and crotchety Bill Martin in Hawaii is one of the best gurus on any board, and he is there almost every day.
- Smokin' and Grillin' Barbecue Board. Founded in 2005, this Yahoo! group has enthusiasm and promise, if not a lot of members.
- Smoking Meat Forums. Hosted by Jeff Phillips of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the board is accompanied by a website with lots of good info. Among the better features is a lively section on different cookers.
- Texas BBQ Forum. A nice new forum that's easy to use and has a growing list of real friendly folks partial to Texas.
Radio, podcasts, videocasts
- The BBQ Central Show with Greg Rempe. Every Tuesday at 9 p.m. Eastern, for two hours, the immensely entertaining and opinionated Rempe interviews pitmasters and authors at length in the internet. There is a heavy slant to the competition world. Somehow he manages to squeeze out of them real secrets and tips. Because he is not on a normal "terrestrial" radio station he can spend real time with his guests and cover a topic in depth. If you listen to him you can be ready to compete. You can hear him live, and at the same time participate in his chat room, on the Outdoor Cooking Channel or you can listen to his archives on iTunes, Roku, and by clicking the link above.
- The Outdoor Cooking Channel. Similar to a TV channel, the Outdoor Cooking Channel features live broadcasts and reruns of programs created about our favorite topic. There's Rempe's BBQ Central Show (above); GrateTV with Bill West and Jack Waiboer; Cooking Everything Outdoors Show with Gary House; Cooking With Butt Rub featuring "Bad Byron" Chism; Backyard BBQ and Grilling with Kevin Bevington; Grill Girl with Robyn Lindars; The Smokin Guitar Player with Fred Bernardo; BBQ Superstars with Darryl Mast; Celebrity Grill with JM; Cooking Up A Story from Rebecca & Fred Gerendasy; Championship BBQ with Dennis Stewart; and The Deck Chef with Kent Whitaker. The broadcasts are also available on Roku.
- CowboyCook. Jeff Tracy is dedicated to the Western Lifestyle and has a weekly radio show syndicated on may stations. Click the link to listen in. You might even stumble across a chat with Meathead.