Illinois vs. California weekend


New member
I wanted to switch things up this weekend. I had a culinary showdown against myself. It was Midwest vs. West Coast. Illinois vs. California. Meatstraviganza vs. Gluten-free. Corn belt vs. Napa Valley. This is how it went.

For Saturday, i decided to stray from the Midwestern staple of barbecued meat. Instead I went with a gluten-free menu inspired by sunny west coast wine country inns. The menu:

Smoked salmon and swai (a vietnamese white fish) with peperoncini tapenade
Brown rice salad with crimini mushrooms, dried cranberries and pine nuts
Tomato basil salad
Melon with black forest ham
Chickpea farinata (better known as crepes, also called socca)
Chilean sauvignon blanc

Let's start with the salmon and swai

Tried a new brine with garlic and brown sugar for a sweet finish


On the Yoder at 250° on the grillgrates


Finished with lemon slices and served with spicy peperoncini tapenade.


The Sides:

Brown rice salad with crimini mushrooms, dried cranberries and pine nuts


Tomato and basil salad, picked today from the garden, topped with fresh mozzarella and balsamic vinegar


Melon with black forest ham


Chickpea farinata (better known as crepes, also called socca), also baked on the yoder for four minutes


All plated up and served with a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc.


Look out Illinois, this was tasty....bring it on.



New member
Ok California, back to the BBQ fundamentals...brisket and beer can chicken....

Sunday started with a the brisket. It was a relatively small one, about 5 pounds.


First I injected it with low sodium beef broth then i coated it with olive oil. Next I rubbed it with coarsely ground black pepper
, sea salt
, granulated white sugar
, onion powder
, mustard powder
, garlic powder
, chili powder
, and a little chipotle.


On the Yoder at 180 for an hour to start that nice smoke ring, then up to 225 for the remainder. After it reached 150°, place it in a pan with a little more broth in the bottom and foiled. Pulled it when it got to 200° on my lightning quick orange thermapen...

Vented then wrapped and rested for a couple hours. Looks good:


Great smoke ring and great spicy bark



So far so good, now for the chicken...


New member
Now for that beer butt chicken (actually this was my first one)

The players


Coated with olive oil then rubbed with sea salt, black pepper, paprika, sugar, dried rosemary, celery salt, onion powder, garlic powder, sage.


On the yoder at 350.


Took it to an internal temp of 165 at the breast then pulled and rested for 15 minutes.


Not bad for my first. Cut at the joints and sliced the breasts, then on the platter for the guests.


Plated up with a nice salad and some mushroom and spinach pasta. All in all, a good looking' plate. Take that Cali!!!


I think it was a draw. Everybody wins!!!


New member
holy cow. what a feast. you obvoiusly have no problem around the grill. 1st rate chow there. 2 thumbs up my friend. nice job. :)
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New member
WOWZERS Buddy!!! That's pretty awesome looking!!!!! Love the way that Brisket look! Very Pretty! Well Done, Sir! I dunno exactly what Chickpea Farnatas are but they look cool and yummy too!!
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