BBQ Pitmaster’s casting video submission

We’re at it again. Al Bowman and I created a “Gangham Style” inspired music video for the 5th season of BBQ Pitmasters on Destination America. This time we shot on location at the Gateway BBQ Store. Store owner, Tim Scheer helped us out with the video. Enjoy!

Code 3 Spices


I met some fans of MLG at the 3rd Annual GrillinFools Barbecue Bash who were also there to compete. Mike Radosevich and Chris Bohnemeier (Smoke N’ Siren’s BBQ Team) came over to my site to offer me some samples of their Q and I was more than happy to try it. The samples were phenomenal and as a result, they won big at the Bash.

These guys were pumped up about their spice rub, so when I had a taste of it, I told them they should bottle it up and sell it. So fast forward later, they enlisted St. Louis based McCarthy Spices to bottle their product and start taking pre-orders by November.

Pork loin

Pork loin

Mike and Chris generously offered to send me samples of their newly named, Code 3 Spices BBQ rubs. I was extremely excited to be one of the few to try their rubs before they shipped out. I received the whole set of 3:

  1. Rescue Rub – An all purpose BBQ rub. Great on anything wrapped in BACON!
  2. 5-0 Rub – A medium step up in spiciness. Great for authentic BBQ like ribs, pork shoulder and chicken.
  3. Backdraft Rub – Spicy rub with great flavor…brisket and chicken wings.

All 3 rubs were amazing. The flavors are more bold than anything else I have in my pantry…possibly competition worthy?



Moreover, Mike and Chris are passionate about giving back to those who risk their lives or have given the ultimate sacrifice on the job to protect others. Proceeds from purchases of Code 3 Spices go to Military and first responder causes.

The results? I have used all 3 rubs extensively and have prepared Q for others who salivated over every bite they took. I highly recommend these rubs and knowing that my purchase will go to a great cause is a win win situation.

To purchase your set of Code 3 Spices, check out

Smoked sausage gyro with Rescue rub

Smoked sausage gyro with Rescue rub

Bacon weave pork loin with Backdraft rub

Bacon weave pork loin with Backdraft rub

2012 GrillinFools Backyard BBQ Bash


At the first GrillinFools Backyard Bash, my first BBQ comp, I sucked. Initially, my ribs and pork steaks placed outside of getting a call and I finished 2nd to last in the appetizer category…horrible! However, scoring errors were fixed to move me up a bit. I returned this year with more experience and higher expectations.

Sadly, I sucked again

3rd Annual GrillinFools Backyard Barbecue Bash at Fireside Hearth & Home

  • Overall – 21st (out of 25 teams)
  • Chicken – 24th
  • Mystery Meat (Tri Tip) – 10th
  • Ribs – 6th



No big deal, I was here for a much bigger purpose…raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project. And a big success it was, raising $3,000 for veterans and their loved ones.

I was also really happy to see many of my BBQ buddies do well at this event. Big Al Bowman (Canadian Bakin’ BBQ Team) and Bill Grenko (Lock, Stock and Two Smokin’ Barrel’s BBQ Team) were winners at the Bash…Bill took GC!

Bill and Don talking Q

Bill and Don talking Q

Al is schmoozing with the customers

Al is schmoozing with the customers

Even more, I met lots of great guys and we talked about our passion for BBQ. Namely, my neighbors across from me…Mike and Chris (Smoke n’ Siren’s BBQ Team). We swapped samples and I immediately took a liking to their tri tip (the mystery meat). Sure enough, they took first place. Great job!

John (Simpson BBQ) had his competition BBQ cherry popped at this comp. Even though he came in DAL (dead ass last), he had the most fun out of anyone…and he made a hell of a bloody mary. I showed him the ropes and offered help, but he was on his own for turn ins. I hope my advise didn’t contribute to his performance.

John and his epic bloody mary's

John and his epic bloody mary’s

The Original GrillinFool, Scott Thomas

The Original GrillinFool, Scott Thomas

There were others who made this contest fun to be at, but the day went to Scott Thomas (GrillinFools). His passion to put the backyard back into BBQ has been refreshing to BBQ enthusiasts who are intimidated by custom built smoker trailers. No one has done it quite like Scott, 25 teams for an unsanctioned event is outstanding and despite the limiting factors to compete.

Honorable mention goes to Ken Moss (Fireside Hearth & Home). The guy just works hard all the damn time and he was a very gracious host. If you are ever in the market for a Big Green Egg smoker grill…see Ken, he’ll hook you up.

Thanksgiving Turkey’s


Last year, I thought about offering smoked turkeys for Thanksgiving. I passed on that idea to focus on competition BBQ. This year, I cooked turkeys for friends and family. I used a recipe I developed from Adam Perry Lang’s smoked turkey.

It goes without saying that the birds turned out wonderful and my customers were pleased. I wish I could have done more, but I lacked the grill space. In any event, smoking turkey’s seems to be a growing trend in it’s infancy. I expect to do even more next year.


Pumpkin Spiced Pork Loin

A Fall treat for me is anything that taste like pumpkin…pie, bread, beer, etc. But have you ever tried pumpkin ribs? It’s amazing…Scott Thomas, author of the Grillin’ Fools blog, created this wonderful rub that reflects the essence of the holiday season.

While Scott has perfected the pumpkin ribs, I’ve had other uses for it such as the Blueberry Muffin Stuffed Fatty. This time, I used the rub on a 2lb pork loin that turned out amazing. Look for yourself…

Pumpkin Spice Rub

1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1 tsp paprika
black and white pepper


  1. Set up the grill for smoking or the 2-zone method @ 250 degrees
  2. Mix all the spice rub ingredients together.
  3. Coat the pork with the rub.
  4. Place pork loin on the cool side of the grill and cook until the internal temp reaches 135 degrees (about 2  hours).
  5. Apply BBQ sauce the last 15 minutes of cooking.
  6. Remove the meat from the grill and onto a  platter to rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Slice and serve immediately.


An extra step to make the pork loin juicy is to soak it in a brine. It makes a huge difference for lean cuts of meat like a pork loin. Here is a simple brine mix I used, it’s excellent with pork or poultry…

  • 6 cups of water
  • 1/3 cup Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup White sugar
  • 1/2 White onion, quartered
  • 4 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 Lime, quartered

Brine instructions

  1. In a sauce pan, bring the water, salt and sugar up to a boil until ingredients are dissolved.
  2. Pour brine into a large container with a lid to seal. Add the rest of the brine ingredients and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. Add the meat to the brine and soak for a few hours or 1 day in the refrigerator.
  4. Dry off the meat with paper towels when ready to grill.

Pork loin in a brine makes it juicy.