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Recipes & Stories

RECIPES by Carl the Cook

St. Louis Ribs

Pull membrane off back of Ribs. 
Cut any heavy fat off the meat side. 
Put a medium coat of John Boy & Billy’s Chicken Rub on front and back of Ribs – let sit for 30 minutes.
Put a heavy coat of John Boy & Billy’s Pork Rub on both sides of Ribs – let sit for 15-30 minutes.
Put in smoker or grill at 240°.
Cook 1 ½ hours.
Wrap in foil – put a piece of foil on flat surface, then put a heavy coat of brown sugar, squeeze butter, honey and more John Boy & Billy’s Pork Rub.  Then put Rib meat side in brown sugar mixture.
Repeat for the bone side, then wrap tight in foil in back of smoker. 
Allow them to cook another 1 ½ hours until internal temperature reaches approximately 200°.
Pull out of foil and place back on smoker.  Apply a heavy glazing of John Boy & Billy’s Glaze (see below) – cook another hour.
Note:  Prepare glaze 2 days before you plan to cook Ribs. 

John Boy & Billy’s Glaze:

1 bottle John Boy & Billy’s Original Grillin’ Sauce
12 oz apple butter
12 oz pepper jelly


Beef Brisket

Choose a 15 pound Beef Brisket that is flexible 

Rinse the brisket off and trim the fat cap to ¼ inch

48oz Beef Broth
16 oz Water
3 TBSP Beef Base
3 TBSP John Boy & Billy Chicken Rub
*Prepare the injection at least 24 hours before you plan to cook
*Inject the brisket, let it sit for 1 hour before you apply the rub                     

Put a light coat of black pepper
Put a heavy coat of John Boy & Billy Chicken Rub
*Let brisket sit for 1 hour after applying rub

Cooking Processes

Heat smoker to 250 degrees and maintain that temp for entire cook
When brisket reaches internal temperature of 160 degrees, wrap
Brisket in foil, place back in smoker until the internal temperature
Reaches 200 degrees. Remove brisket from smoker and place it in a cooler for 2 hours to let it “rest”

Gas Grill
Turn off two burners and set the temperature to 250 degrees
Place brisket over the 2 burners that are turned off.
When brisket reaches internal temperature of 160 degrees, wrap
Brisket in foil, place back on grill until the internal temperature
Reaches 200 degrees. Remove brisket from smoker and place it in a cooler for 2 hours to let it “rest”

This is the method I used on “BBQ Pitmasters” Television Show when I won the title of 2014 NC BBQ Pitmaster
Offset heat – Charcoal on one side and brisket on other side
Maintain heat at 250 degrees
When brisket reaches internal temperature of 160 degrees, wrap
Brisket in foil, place back in smoker until the internal temperature
Reaches 200 degrees. Remove brisket from smoker and place it in a cooler for 2 hours to let it “rest”


John Boy & Billy Pork Butt BBQ

by Carl the Cook

 1 - 7.5 lb Pork Butt (Cheshire Pork from Heritage Farms)

 Butt Injection
(Prepare the injection the day before cooking)

3 Cups - Apple Juice
3 Tbsp - John Boy & Billy Pork Rub
1 Tbsp  - John Boy & Billy Chicken Rub
5 Tbsp - John Boy & Billy Eastern NC Sauce
1 Tsp - Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbsp -  Franks Red Hot Sauce
1 Tsp -  Accent
1 Tsp -  Salt

1 16oz bottle  - John Boy & Billy Eastern Sauce
1 19oz bottle - John Boy & Billy Sweet & Mild Grillin’ Sauce
Mix together

The Cook
Inject the butt, let sit for 30 minutes
 Rub a good coating of John Boy & Billy Chicken Rub on the butt and let sit for at least 30 minutes
 Rub a good coating of John Boy & Billy Pork Rub and let sit for at least 30 minutes
Cook at 250 degrees until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, then wrap and put back on cooker 
until internal temperature reaches 195 degrees.  Pull off cooker and put in pan and 
let rest for at least one hour wrapped in a blanket or put in a clean cooler
Shred or pull meat to desired consistency

Sauce meat using John Boy & Billy Eastern Sauce & Sweet & Mild Grillin’ Sauce


 Grillin' Stories

 RiverFest 1999


Time flies doing what you love. Hard to believe but my very first cooking competition was 12 years ago, the 1999 RiverFest BBQ Competition & Festival in Decatur, Alabama. I've learned a tremendous amount in a short period of time and continue to have even more fun year after year. While it's true I simply love to cook,  the real truth is it's the people that make it special. They say enjoy the journey. I have loved every single mile of it and none is more special than my very first contest and a character who defines the word "friend" and the spirit of BBQ-ing. His name is Blind Dawg.

 The RiverFest was my very first KCBS sanctioned event and I wasn't green, I was clueless. But my heart was in it as I drove the 13 hours down to Alabama. All I knew is it was a "BBQ" competition so I took what I had, my finest tools… my basic, plain ole charcoal grills, all 4 of them in fact. There I was, with my "toolboxes" as I've come to call them, in a VAN, "DOWN by the River!" I had already landed the John Boy & Billy connection and we had been making The Grillin' Sauce for nearly 3 years. So here I came, "Carl the Cook" rolling into town ready to rock. Boy was I in for a "smoking!"

 The Contest required us to cook brisket, pork, ribs and chicken. I pulled in with my 6 x 12 trailer and parked beside a guy they called, Blind Dawg. The word was out and Blind Dawg, being a seasoned, serious cook was waiting to meet the radio Legend himself, Carl the Cook. I arrived 2 days early, thinking I would get a feel for exactly what I had gotten myself into. Dawg and all the folks welcomed me with open arms as they sized me up and waited for my "rig." They all assumed I had some massive trailer cooker and a team of folks as my entourage that would roll into town any minute.

 The next day, Blind Dawg said, "Man, it's time to set up. Where's your Grill?" I replied, "You're looking at it, Hoss." They ALL died laughing, falling all over the ground in complete disbelief. Dawg looked me in the eye and said, "You ain't never done this before, have you." That would be a "nope." He asked to see what I had. I showed him my toolboxes. Direct heat. "We use in-direct heat, son," Blind Dawg informed me. He asked to see my brisket which I proudly pulled from the cooler. He took one brief look at it , said "this ain't no damn brisket, this is a tire-chock," and then heaved the entire chunk of cow into the Tennessee River.

 Blind Dawg called his butcher and told him to send out 2 proper briskets. Wouldn't even let me pay for it! He walked me around the grounds, looking at the different cookers and asked me to tell him how I was gonna compete with the limited tools I had. I informed him I would make a heat deflector with a piece of cardboard covered in tin foil and have my coals on one side and meat on the other. Here's the kicker. Dawg said, "I'm gonna be there to help you." And he was.

 Blind Dawg helped me properly dress and prep the chicken and various cuts of meat. He watched over me like a father would a son as my crash course in competition BBQ-ing heated up. I suppose I made that trip for more than one reason. Like most of us, we're always learning whether we realize it or not. Out of 63 teams I finished 13th overall in my very first competition. I made the trip down with my toolboxes and instincts. But i came back with  a sense of sharing and brotherhood from a group of complete strangers. Blind Dawg and I have remained good friends and I think about that first experience nearly every time I fire up a grill. Like a nice bed of coals it warms you right up. With a lot of help from my new BBQ-Brothers I placed well in my first contest and learned what this kind of cooking is all about…family & friends. That is the Secret to Happy Meat! Gather round the Grill & Getcha some Hoss! And when you do, like Blind Dawg did, share it. Anything less is like a bad brisket on the bottom of the Tennessee River.


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