Yippeee! Lets celebrate the Fourth! Im stepping it up!


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Fourth of July Pork butts

Fourth of July Pork butts

A trip to Sams club for some pork butt

Rubbed with Salt lick and left over rubs

Into the MAK (last night)for four hours on Smoke and then 215F

This morning

The first one came up to temp around 10am, the last one around 3pm. They were all about the same size.

The last one:

First one to pull

Plated with some made-from-scratch corn muffins

They were excellent. Having four butts in FTC in the same cooler really allows you to extend the time. The one that I put in at 10AM was still at 163F 8 hours later.

The bark was excellent, nice and spicy. The pork pulled easily and was enjoyed by everyone.


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Pork roast with apples... it was a busy day so a quick dinner... took a pork loin and rubbed with thyme, rosemary, sage, threw in a plastic bag with some apple cider for an afternoon soak. Peeled some apples and into a pan with some cider and brown sugar.

the pork roast and the apples in the grill at 275

pulled the pork roast and cranked up the grill to high so that the cider/brownsugar would caramelize

pork slices with the apples, green beans and brown rice with cranberries & pecans

there were apples left over so heated them back up and topped some vanilla ice cream and dusted with cinnamon

fireworks next door are starting, gotta go


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After last weekends comp cook (no calls but did get to final table in brisket and ribs) and grilling for family and friends Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I was more than happy to do a full cook for the wife and I.

Started out by picking some tomatoes from the garden.

Topped these with EVOO, grated Parmesan cheese and grated Italian blended cheese and Chef Geoffrey Michael's Gabrielle seasonings.

I had cut my own rib eyes from a full loin earlier in the week.
Spritzed with EVOO and sprinkled with Texas BBQ Rub Steak Seasoning.

Loaded some ears of corn up with butter and put them in the Memphis first. They needed about 2 hours to cook.

While that was going on thought I'd load it up with some chicken breasts and thighs. Soaked them in a marinade of raspberry chipolte dressing, Head Country Hickory BBQ Sauce, and Weber Roasted Garlic and Herb seasoning.

Put some new potatoes in with onions, EVOO, seasonings, and fresh Arugula. Wrapped it all up in foil and added it to the smoker. After an hour I pulled everything off, laid in the GrillGrates and cranked up the heat. Seared the steaks to medium and topped with some herb butter I made.

Great meal! Wife and I are stuffed!
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Tri Tip Fajitas

Started with two Trip Tips, EVOO, BPS Double Secret Rub, dusting of BPS Little Louies, some cayenne and chili powder.

Grilled on the MAK2 at 275, flipped at 110 IT, moved to warming drawer at 140 IT, heat to high, seared 2 minutes a side, then rested.

Potatoes, onions, EVOO, BPS Desert Gold, melted butter poured on top. Grilled at 400, stir a few times.

Peppers, onions, EVOO BPS Desert Gold, grilled at 400, stir a few times.

Also made hot wings (deep fryer), refried beans, and guacamole. Fresh lettuce from the garden and sliced tomatos.

My plate.


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keeping it simple on the 4th.

i worked today and then my son called up his mom and said he was having 20 ppl over today. what??? so this is what my wife put together.

threw some hot dogs on #63 on smoke and let them get the goodness.


lite off the old kettle.


threw on my grill grates.


filled her up.


meats done. bring on the vittles.



my plate after the kids when threw the line.


they were happy.


it was a fun day.


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Putting my MAK 2 star to the test for the 4th

Saturday we had a big BBQ at the house, we had around 50 friends over. I was a little intimidated as we had a 3 chefs in the group, 1 who trained in France and 2 others that run my favorite restaurtant in town. I started 2 briskets and 2 pork butts on Friday evening. I did 1 butt and 1 brisket in my old tried and true method of Butt Rub dry rub, put on the night before and then mopping every few hours during the cook with a homemade espresso BBQ mop. The other brisket and butt I used TexasBBQ Rub, the night before and no mop. I setup the MAK with a second rack and used my frogmats for the first time.


They went about 16 hours, then FTC until we were ready to serve, they ended up being in the coolers for around 4 hours. Then it was pulling and slicing time:


I have a paranoia about running ut of food, so I threw on 4 Beer Butt Chickens when the bisket and butts come off. Everyone referred to these guys as the dancing girls:


We had a few veggies in the mix. To keep them happy, I marinated and cold smoked tofu for the first time. Seasoned the tofu with a little BBQ rub, them pressed the water out of it over night. I then marinated 1 batch in Wasabi-Teriyaki sauce and the other batch in Soy Sauce and Dark Sesame Oil. Cold smoked for a couple hours then grilled it when we were ready to eat.


We also did Portabello mushrooms, cold smoked for a couple hours, then grilled with Wasabi-Teriyaki.


We did a few other things on the MAK for sides. I roasted tomatillos, onions, garlic, red and green jalapenos, anahiem, poblano and pasilla peppers for a tomatillo salsa. We also grilled peppers and onions for the fajita bar.

After 2 days of cooking, it was time to start eating and drinking, the wife made patriotic jello shots :p


It was an awesome day and the MAK did a super job and the chefs that were on hand loved every bite. We are now talking about a BBQ competition for Labor day!


Cheddarwurst Fattie

I was looking for something different for our July 4th cookout. I thought of those cheddarwurst smoked sausages with cheese in them and the light went off... I bet that'd be good in a fattie!

I mixed up 2 lbs of homemade Kielbasa using ground pork, my spice cure mix & a little cold water. It was bagged up and put in the fridge for a few hours to cure.

The Kielbasa & a layer of sharp cheddar were rolled up into a bacon weave.

I mixed some Oak & Black Walnut pellets for the smoke, the hit the fattie with some Little Louie's w/Black pepper and put it on a 325-350° pit until it reached an I.T. of 165°.

We also made a pot of Homemade BBQ Beans: Sauteed some onion & bacon, added some spices, a few cans of beans, some brown sugar, BBQ sauce & a little Beer. Put on the pellet grill to cook alongside the Fattie.

The beans were guuu-uuud!



It was served on toasted buns with some bavarian style kraut.

They were juicy, smoky and the sharpness of the cheddar with the Kielbasa flavor made them really tasty! The bacon just made it even better. Everybody agreed this was a definite keeper and we'll be doing these again!

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Lemon-Lime Wings

These are a big hit in the summer time and my kids almost always request them for their B'day parties.

Start by making a Lemon-Lime marinade: (lemon & lime juice, sugar, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, garlic)

Wings & Marinade together then into the fridge to get acquianted.

Seared quickly over hot coals... The smell of the lime is intoxicating!

Into a pan with some more marinade...

A packet of Pellets, & hot-smoked for a while at around 350-375°.

Smoky sweet with a citrus zest, they smell as good as they look and taste!

Thanks again!


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After arriving home from Cabo San Lucas and eating plenty of seafood there I wanted some beef. On the way home from the airport, we stopped at our favorite butcher and picked up nice 2" 3lb USDA Prime Top Sirloin.

First rubbed with some extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with Susie'Q Santa Maria seasoning and some extra black pepper.


Fired up the MAK grill to 225 using BBQ Oak pellets and cooked until internal temp of 120. Threw some corn on too.

Once the meat got close to the desired temp, I fired up my Lynx grill to give the steak a nice sear.


A little to well done for me but my wife and kids like it better this way. Turned out very good though.



While I was trying to do some planning for what I wanted to cook this holiday weekend I really couldn't decide so I just did up a bunch of different things. In my mind, a meal like baby back ribs is spot on for a summer holiday. It turns out it was my uncle's birthday so, time for a little get together and share the good food that comes off a MAK.

I wanted to do a little experimenting (gasp!) with different rubs and sauces. The first rack I dusted with Big Bob Gibson's Memphis Dry Rub. The other is used Rudy's Rub.


Meanwhile, I thought they just have to experience the great smokey flavor you get from smoked cheese. So earlier in the day I smoked some cheese for the cheesy potatoes (the baked beans were for another meal).


For sauce, I used Big Bob Gibson's Memphis style red sauce (about 1 1/2 cups) with 3 fresh peaches in the food processor. That sauce went onto the rack with Rudy's. The second sauce (darker) was Cherry BBQ grilling sauce (American Spoon).


Any with it plated and ready to go ...

For desert, I took a well cooked sweet potato and made it into a custard. I cored out a couple of apples, scraped a vanilla bean into the apple and poured in the custard. I topped it with a touch of brown sugar and some chopped walnuts. Here they are off of the MAK.


I finished it by topping it with vanilla ice cream, a sprig of fresh mint, and a drizzle of caramel.


Oh yea, and a birthday candle.

Hope you all had a great Independence Day!
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July 4th Celebration Part 1

As I can only post 5 attachments at a time, this will be divided into 2 posts.

I have not been very active here until now.

The Menu:

Guacamole with Homemade Chips
Smoked Chinese Chicken
Smoked BBQ Baby Back Ribs
BBQ Baked Beans
Creamy Cole Slaw
Steamed White Corn
Grilled Romanesque Zucchini
Shelly’s New York Kosher Dill Pickles
Red, White & Blue Crepes
Iced Strawberry Sun Tea and Fresh Squeezed Eureka Lemonade

We started with Guacamole and Home Made Flour Tortilla Chips. I add diced tomato, onion and Ortega chili to the diced avocado and smash with a bit of mayo to cream the texture. The flour tortillas are cut into pieces and deep fried.


Here's the baby backs almost done, about another half hour to go.


The baby backs were smeared with Agave syrup (a low glycemic sweetener) for the glue and then an ample amount of rub was applied. Smoked at 225° in the DB for just over 4 hours. I basted with my tomato based hot and sweet sauce at hour 2 and hour 3.


The chicken breasts were trimmed of excess rib bone and meat (to become extra crispy chicken riblets tomorrow for me), marinated for a day and smoked at 225° for 3 hours along with the ribs. I removed the skin in the kitchen after the cook. Cooked to an internal temperature of 160° in the thickest part, it rested for at least half an hour and was super moist with no need for any sauce. The marinade flavor added just the right sweetness and tang to the smoked chicken meat.


I picked and then grilled some of our super sweet, ribbed Romanesque zucchini on my Tec Grill.



More in next post.
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New member
July 4th Part 2

I also steamed some fresh picked white corn but not interesting enough to me for a separate photo.

For the cole slaw, I shredded the green cabbage and carrots, adding some diced sweet red peppers to the mix. The sweet and tangy sauce had mayo, lemon juice and sweetener. Left to mingle the flavors over night in the refrigerator.


I made the beans the day before after soaking them over night, then cooked my sauce of onion, garlic, celery, green and yellow zucchini, bacon, tomato, molasses, Dijon, ketchup (only Heinz for me), sweetener, some salt and 1 1/2 cups of my stock tomato and roast vegetable soup puree that I always keep on hand for snacks and other sauce making.

The extra vegetables cook out but add great flavor.


I spent many months developing the Kosher garlic dill pickles I remembered from my childhood. No recipe hints but making your own pickles should be right up there with making your own sausages.


The plated meal.


For dessert, I made crepes, spread some apricot sauce inside and rolled. I made the red strawberry sauce and the blue blueberry sauce. The whipped cream was the white, of course.



I edited this and the above post to replace the thumbnails with the full sized photos. Thanks. Carter, for the know how.
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I see that all of the photos are as thumbnails. Can someone tell me how to insert a full sized photo? Would a link from Photobucket do this as opposed to uploading directly from my computer?

Yes you can insert the image tags from photbucket into your post and they will appear as full size photos. Great looking food by the way, your pictures are great!


New member
The plated meal.


For dessert, I made crepes, spread some apricot sauce inside and rolled. I made the red strawberry sauce and the blue blueberry sauce. The whipped cream was the white, of course.



I edited this and the above post to replace the thumbnails with the full sized photos. Thanks. Carter, for the know how.

Hey, not fair. These are like professionally done pictures. ;) Awesome job.



New member
When you see Shelly's name on a post, get ready for some real eye-candy for food. Great job, as usual, Shelly.



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Ok, I'm about to fall over asleep.. (was up before 5AM to catch a flight to NYC)

Here we go... First, Second & Third:

bflodan - PRAWNS!
BudGarrison - PBR Dancing Girls
383inTheD - Sweet Potato Custard stuffed birthday Apples

Congrats to everyone! I'm going to crash now.. :cool:


Congrats to the winners and to all who entered everything looked amazing! Love the diversity of food, that what makes this contest so cool! Thanks Squirt you had your work cut out for you and tired to boot. A big thank you to BP for keeping the wheels greased on this great weekly contest.
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