Porky’s Pulpit: America the Ugly?

A new item for the ever-growing You Can’t Make This Sh*t Up file: Jihawg Ammo is “infused” with pork to intensify the fight against “Islamic terrorists”.  The website of this “clever” business describes the ammo as follows:

“Jihawg Ammo is certified ‘Haraam’ or unclean. According to the belief system of the radical Islamist becoming ‘unclean’ during Jihad will prevent their attaining entrance into heaven. Jihawg Ammo is a natural deterrent to radical and suicidal acts of violence.

Our Porcine Coating… is infused with the highest quality pork product made right here in…the great state of Idaho.

We at Jihawg Ammo hope you will stock up on Jihawg as a natural deterrent to the ever growing threat of radical Islam and Sharia Law…”


Oy vey, where to begin?  I first thought this website was an ingenious piece of satire, a creation of The Onion or some such tongue in cheek, faux-media outlet.  However, as far as I can tell, this is the real deal.  And by real deal I mean idiotic as hell and produced by people with pigs feet for brains.  I sincerely hope the concept is just a joke gone too far, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen someone from Idaho with a sense of humor.  (Ok, that Idaho comment was a joke… I think.)

3XL--Black Jihawg T-Shirt--"Put Some Ham in MoHAMed"With stupid, offensive products like Jihawg Ammo (and racist t-shirts such as the design pictured at left) available for sale, it’s no wonder a small number of people of various backgrounds want to blow us up.  Sheesh.

Maybe I’m overreacting but this one just rubs me the wrong way.  There are more than enough right wing, gun wielding crazies in this country as is.  Perhaps I should be happy some of them will waste their hard-earned money on greasy bullets.

Happy Independence Day, folks, and may your 4th of July celebration be full of joy and free of hate.

SAAS Puts the Spice in Sauce

SaasOne of the perks of being a world-renowned* barbecue blogger is occasionally getting free stuff in the mail.  Usually the bounty is barbecue cookbooks but sometimes its edible.

Recently the good folks at  SAAS Hot Sauce sent me samples of their two fiery and flavorful hot sauces, Original Flavor and Onion & Garlic.  I am still struggling to figure out why these seemingly competent folks would bother to mail their sauce all the way from the, ahem, barbecue capital of Upper Montclair, New Jersey to North Carolina.  Regardless, I feel compelled to say some kind words because they deserve a plug.

Both SAAS sauces I sampled are really, truly excellent.  And, in case you wondered, my kind words can’t be bought for $10 worth of hot sauce.  (Ten bucks worth of beer on the other hand… .) The sauces have a thin consistency that works well as a flavor enhancer at the table or as a marinade, if applied cautiously.  They are generously spiked with habanero peppers, among other ingredients, so they are seriously HOT and have a deep, layered flavor profile.  (I sampled the “spicy hot” varieties, not the mild ones, so cannot comment on the latter.)  If you enjoy heat, give ’em a try.

A word of caution: I don’t think the SAAS spicy hot sauces belong anywhere near traditional barbecue–their flavors are simply too strong–but the sauces would work nicely for spicy chicken wings, adding heat/flavor to Asian cooking (a hipster alternative to the now ubiquitous Sriracha?), and so on.  If you live in the New York area check out SAAS’ sauces at a local grocer, or anyone can order online.

Thanks for the sauce, y’all.  Now can someone please ship me a whole hog for a change?


*Spambots from other countries sometimes visit my website.

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Sons Grow Up to Be… This Guy

File this under “So Sad It’s Funny.”  CBS Charlotte reports that Salisbury Police apprehended a man employed by a local barbecue restaurant for peeping on his mother-in-law.  What’s funny about that?  Well, it was the glorious stench of barbecue that helped police catch the criminal.

According to CBS Charlotte, the victim “told police that she smelled barbecue coming from outside her home. Knowing her son-in-law works at a local barbecue restaurant, she grew suspicious.”  I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that the victim would prefer her son-in-law not refer to her as “mom.” Just a hunch.

You can’t make this stuff up, folks.  God bless America and its muckraking journalists.

Hebrew Hog Holiday Cards

The latest item I’ve added to the BBQ Jew store is here just in time for the holidays: a Hebrewific holiday card.  Eat your heart out, Hallmark, you couldn’t touch this greeting card if you named MC Hammer your CEO: http://www.zazzle.com/hog_sameach_holiday_card-137983403322988292

Special thanks to Dale Volberg Reed, co-author of Holy Smoke, for her clever “hog sameach” turn of phrase, which inspired this card.  Dale, I officially proclaim you an honorary BBQ Jew for life.  (And, yes, membership has its privileges as you’ll get 10% of my sure-to-be-huge net sale proceeds for this card.)

Chili Garlic Week 2011, Baby!

I know it seems like only yesterday that you last had a huge blowout of a chili garlic celebration, but in case you’ve forgotten it’s that time of year again. That’s right, according to the good people of Cholula Hot Sauce, October 24th marks the start of National Chili Garlic Week.  Woo hoo, let the chili-garlicky good times roll all week long!

What the heck is National Chili Garlic Week?  And further more what does it have to do with BBQJew.com?  I can’t answer the first question, but the answer to the second is that I agreed to mention the week in exchange for 2 free bottles of Cholula Chili Garlic Hot Sauce.  Yes, I am that easy to bribe.  (Truthfully, regular Cholula is one of my favorite Mexican hot sauces so I couldn’t resist the freebies.)  I also received a list of “fan favorite recipes” from the folks at Cholula, including this one for Chili Garlic BBQ Sliders:

1 pound cooked, shredded or pulled chicken or pork

2 tablespoons Cholula Chili Garlic Hot Sauce
1 cup BBQ sauce, regular flavor [Editor’s note: “regular flavor”?]
5 slider buns (or small dinner rolls of your choice)
Guacamole – optional [Editor’s note: this must be the Spanish word for coleslaw]
1 sliced red onion

1. Combine 2 tablespoons Cholula Chili Garlic Hot Sauce with 1 cup BBQ sauce.

2. Combine meat and sauce together in a saucepan, heat & stir on medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Assemble sliders on the bun, top with a dollop of guacamole & sliced red onions.
[Editor’s note: Optional Step 4. Pray for forgiveness from the Barbecue Gods.]

If you live in the United States and are intrigued by National Chili Garlic Week, check out the “Twitter party” on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. EST at http://twitter.com/#!/cholulahotsauce.  If you live outside the U.S., wait for your own damn nation’s chili garlic week, we don’t have enough to share.  According to the letter I received along with my free hot sauce, the party features “recipes, cooking tips and telling ‘mildy offensive’ tales of garlic-passion cuisine.”  I have no clue what that means but I plan to find out and urge you to do the same, or you can send me a couple bottles of your own favorite hot sauce and I’ll pretend this whole Cholula incident never happened…

Dizzy, Smokey and the Gang

This weekend I spent some time doing something I rarely do: actually cooking barbecue instead of just eating it and writing about it.  Who was my muse for this barbecue session?  Although she remains nameless thus far, my muse was without a doubt my new Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker, which I purchased a few weeks ago.  Some BBQ rub that fell into my hands was another motivator.

I can’t say enough good things about the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker, despite the needless “e” in the name (it’s the Smoky Mountains, folks!).  At any rate, the WSM is well built, affordable, and holds heat well.  I cooked during a rainy, 70-some degree day and used just one batch of charcoal, which lasted me from 10:45 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. with plenty of charcoal left at the end. Better yet, temperature control was quite simple and I stayed between 225 and 275 degrees with minimal tinkering.

If you’re looking to upgrade from a basic charcoal grill or, gasp, gas grill to something better for the relatively low, steady temprature preferred for barbecue then this cooker is a terrific choice.  Also, you can educate yourself on the ins and outs of the cooker at The Virtual Weber Bullet, a terrific instructional website that features everything from recipes to ways to customize your cooker. (AmazingRibs.com is not focused on the Weber Smokey Mountain, but is also a tremendous resource, and includes a buyer’s guide, which is where I found out about the WSM in the first place.)

Aside from wanting to give my new WSM a test ride, my other motivation for cooking barbecue yesterday was found in the spices I’d recently received in the mail.  As I’ve mentioned before, one of the benefits of being a barbecue blogger is the ability to get ahold of free samples of barbecue-related products.  The good folks at The Dizzy Pig Barbecue Company in Manassas, Virginia sent me a sampler pack of their fresh-ground rubs–11 types in all, including traditional rubs like Dizzy Dust all-purpose BBQ seasoning and more exotic ones like Pineapple Head, which is sweet and spicy and meant for grilling fruit.

I tried out several of the rubs while cooking and was impressed.  Honestly, I think it is easy and fun to make rubs at home, so rarely purchase pre-made products, but next time I do I will certainly consider Dizzy Pig.  The product tasted very fresh and the blends of spices worked well.  Check out the Dizzy Pig online or send them an email at info at dizzypigbbq.com if you want to learn more.

The Wild World of BBQ Blogging

One of the more fascinating aspects of barbecue blogging is the number of unsolicited messages I get from folks pushing their (sometimes) barbecue-related products. From BBQ sauce companies to grill stores to cookbook publishers, I get several emails a week seeking to drum up publicity for whatever it is they are selling.  I can only imagine what a less obscure blog with more readers must receive in PR-mail.

Among my recent favorite messages to reach my inbox are these two gems:

“Dear Porky,

How about a post on refreshing beverage savings ideal for summer? ALO Drink, the #1 ready-to-drink aloe vera beverage in the U.S. natural market, is offering a 50 cent coupon when you Like ALO on Facebook.


Made with real aloe vera pulp and juice straight from the aloe vera plant – never reconstituted from powder, ALŌ Drink contains 25% aloe vera pulp and juice content, is naturally full of vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids, and is completely Free of preservatives, artificial colorings, artificial flavors, emulsifiers or thickeners. Available in exotic flavors like mangosteen and mango or pomelo, pink grapefruit and lemon, ALŌ extracts only the desirable inner aloe pulp by using a hand-filleting method, instead of including the non-nutritious green outer skin as part of its blend.

More information can be found at www.alodrink.comPlease let me know if you have any questions or need any additional information.”

Well, I guess my first question would be what the heck does this drink have to do with barbecue?  I honestly can’t think of a drink I’d be less likely to consume while tucking into a plate of BBQ than aloe vera juice… unless I burned my tongue on a rib. That said, I am duly impressed that ALO Drink is the “#1 ready-to-drink aloe vera beverage in the U.S.”: I mean, there is more than one such drink?  No wonder people thing the end times are near…

“Hi Porky,

I thought you and your readers might be interested in participating in the following Facebook contest!  Wild Planet, a leader in sustainable canned seafood, is giving away three cans of premium tuna in their signature lunch bag to celebrate World Oceans Day! To win, simply describe your favorite Wild Planet product in five words. Never tried Wild Planet? Use five words to say why you want to! The contest runs through June 8th. Submit your entry on the Wild Planet Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/wildplanetfoods

Get your feet wet, but don’t worry about going too deep. If you have any questions, or need any additional information, just let me know.”

Okay, let me get this straight: you are asking a BBQ blogger to write about canned tuna? And the grand prize for the contest is three cans of tuna in a lunch bag? Wow. I think I’ll stick to my tried and true approach to sustaining tuna: leave it in the can and eat a pit-cooked pig instead.

Ah, the wonders of capitalism in the age of blogging.  Now if only more folks would start sending me samples.  After all, aloe vera juice sure would pair nicely with canned tuna.

BBQ Jew’s 2010 Holiday Gift Guide

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year/With the hickory coals smelling/And the pit masters telling you, “Barbecue’s near”/It’s the most wonderful time of the year/It’s the pork-porkiest season of all.”  Or at least it could be if you make sure your holiday shopping list includes some of these gifts:

  • Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue. If you don’t own this book yet, shame on you. You’ll certainly learn more about barbecue reading this book than wasting your time on silly websites like BBQJew.com.  
  • Join “The Fun Tribe”.  For 35 tax-deductible dollars a year (less for students & seniors) you can give the gift of membership in the NC Barbecue Society–known to some as The Fun Tribe,  for reasons that remain a mystery to me despite being a dues-paying member.  NCBS promotes North Carolina’s barbecue culture, sends out a monthly newsletter and offers classes and other special events.  As their website says, “It is time we step up as a state and rightfully claim what many of us have known for a long time, that North Carolina originated barbecue (it’s a Noun), we produce the BEST and we are the Barbecue Capital of the World.”  Amen!
  • BBQ Jew Ornaments. Yes, the rumors are true: Hanukkah is over.  You may not have even known it was here. But rest assured that these BBQ Jew ornaments are for Christmas trees AND Hanukkah bushes. Phew.
  • Long distance pork. Do you know any down on their luck folks who, gasp, don’t live in North Carolina and therefore can’t find good barbecue?* If so, send a styrofoam cooler to their doorstep to say, “I care about your health and well-being enough to ship you frozen meat through the mail.”  I linked to the website of the NC Barbecue Company, a newcomer to the cutthroat (?) mail-order BBQ world (I’ll be sharing more about them on this site soon). You can also use King’s venerable Oink Express or call your favorite local joint to see if they ship–some do if you ask real nice.
  • Other BBQ Jew merch. T-shirts, onesies, fridge magnets? Yup, yup, and yup. The BBQ Jew Store has everything your heart desires and quite a few things it does not.
  • Local pork. Maybe your family and friends are lucky enough to live in North Carolina and smart enough to buy their own ‘cue. But don’t give them too much credit, you know them better than that.  Buy them some barbecue in case they don’t have the sense to do it themselves. Better yet, see if your local joint sells whole shoulders. Many joints sell shoulders around the holidays, and nothing says “happy holidays” like a big ol’ hunk of slow-cooked pork.
  • An education in swine. The NCBS offers barbecue judging and cooking classes, including weekend getaway “Boot Camps”. The Kansas City Barbecue Society offers classes too, including an upcoming judging class in Lexington, NC in February.
  • Sauce. Are the options above too expensive or complicated? Well, if you live in NC, just head down to your local grocery store and buy some North Carolina barbecue sauce. Of the brands that are fairly widely distributed, I highly recommend Scott’s, a classic Eastern-style sauce with serious hot pepper kick to it. (Scott’s is available online too.) And don’t forget a bottle of Texas Pete, the condiment that accompanies the sauce at most barbecue joints throughout the state.

*Texans and residents of Owensboro, Kansas City, Memphis and other such places need not be concerned. I know you good folks have palatable barbecue too, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit and other such atrocities notwithstanding.

Porky’s Pulpit: Taking Social Netporking to the Next Level

Perhaps it was inevitable. I have resisted the Land of Twitter for years because it seems an inherently shallow and useless place. But then it hit me like 140 characters worth of bricks: shallow and useless are essential descriptors of BBQJew.com.  With my excuses torn to shreds, I’ve decided to dive headfirst into the Twitter pool dip my hooves into the Twitter hog waste lagoon.  Follow me @BBQJew and I’ll do the usual quid pro quo and follow you too.  Of course, I don’t yet know exactly what any of what I just said really means, but who cares, it’s just Twitter.

Oh, and I should mention that I’ve yet to invite friends to follow me on Twitter so I have exactly zero followers as I write this post. I must say, it was a bit discouraging when I clicked on the Find People link on my Twitter profile and received this message: ” Sorry, we’ve temporarily run out of recommendations for you. We’re out there looking for more right now. Please check back soon!”  Run out of recommentations before making any at all? Jeez.

Decorate Your Christmas Tree the BBQ Jew Way

Need I remind you, my fellow BBQ Jews, that Christmas is just a few weeks away?  If you are like me (i.e., a Jew who married a wonderful Christian woman who feels the holidays are not complete without a sap-stained tree dropping needles on the floor) or even if you’re not, it’s time to buy your Christmas tree.  And you know what’s cool about Christmas trees?  Ornaments, that’s what.  But not just any ornaments. I can tell that you’re a pretty cool guy/gal because you are reading this blog.  Because of that, I know for a fact that only BBQ Jew ornaments will do your Christmas tree justice. 

As luck would have it, you can buy BBQ Jew ornaments here. So what are you waiting for?  Break into your piggy bank (no pun intended) and get your money ready to spend on ornaments at the  BBQ Jew Store .  All major credit cards are accepted and operators are standing by, but Hanukkah gelt is not accepted.