All of this was leading up to the main event — a bacon wrapped, Cajun spiced por

Recently, I was asked to write about the things I barbecue at the house on a weekly basis. Wanting to honor a reader request, and with my wife leaving town for the weekend, I took advantage of the opportunity to have a “Camp Dad” barbecue. “Camp Dad” is any occasion where I get to share some time with my boys, other dads and their kids and do manly activities. My only issue with the request is I don’t usually plan out what I am going to cook in advance. I hit the store looking for inspiration, and I came up with a menu.

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Competition barbecue and “regular” barbecue. Although some folks cook at competitions the same way they cook in their backyards and/or restaurants, the competitors at the highest levels certainly do things differently.

Competition barbecue is often referred to as “one bite barbecue” because the judges typically take one bite and competitors are challenged to insert the most flavor and dynamic taste in that one portion. Judges typically taste dozens of samples during a competition, and the winner must stand out in a very crowded field.

BBQ Stuffed Turkey, pork loin stuffed with boudin and cream cheese, swineapple

I declare barbecue season open for business. This is the time of year when friends and family spend time together in the great outdoors and/or their backyards centered around fun summer activities and their desired cooking apparatus. Many folks incorporate some sort of mixture of meat and fire into their meals during the season.

Pat Bell and Louis Mueller

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Houston BBQ Festival at NRG Park. I bought VIP tickets the day they were released and waited anxiously the morning of the event to set off on I-10 in search of Houston’s best barbecue. There were roughly two dozen restaurants providing a wide variety of smoky goodness. 


One of the fringe benefits of living in the great state of Texas is no matter where you travel, you can find great barbecue. I recently had to make a “Cannonball Run” to the Hill Country to pick up a deer at the processor and, of course, made a few stops along the way. Altering my route in order to go eat barbecue has become the norm.


I just recently finished a judging “blitz” of several local contests and had some darn fine examples of competition style barbecue with only a few that were below par. I wanted to give a little love to the folks at the Winnie Rice Festival for really putting on a fine event and treating the judges well and making sure everyone had a great time. If you ever get the opportunity or have the desire to go judge a contest, the Rice Festival is a great place to start.