Category Archives: Just For Fun

Big Wayner’s Birthday Blowout!

When was the last time you got a gift for someone else’s birthday?  Well if you are one lucky person, you will be getting quite a BBQ package for my birthday.  My Birthday Blowout BBQ Bundle is worth approximately $35 and consists of the following:

So now I know what you’re asking… how do I enter?  Because I want to give you as many chances as possible to enter, I’m going to offer multiple ways to enter:

  • Leave a comment on this blog post — 1 entry, can do this daily.
  • Follow me on Twitter — 1 entry.
  • Become a fan of Big Wayner’s BBQ Blog on Facebook — 2 entries.
  • Subscribe to receive email notifications every time a new blog is posted (can be done under “Email Subscriptions”). — 2 entries.
  • Post “Happy early birthday to @brownkw #BigWaynersBirthdayBlowout” on Twitter — 1 entry, can do this daily.

This contest would not be possible without the BBQ rub and sauce companies being generous enough to contribute to the giveaway!  All of the companies have presences on Facebook and/or Twitter.  If you become a fan or follow them and let me k now that you did so, I’ll throw in an additional bonus entry per follow.

This contest will end at 11:59pm EST on Saturday, August 6.  The winner will be determined by a random drawing.  Only US residents are eligible.

Good luck, everyone!

I Believe…


  • I believe in low and slow.
  • I believe that a good sauce enhances the flavor of meat and does not mask it.
  • I believe barbecue is universally regional.
  • I believe in a good peppery vinegar sauce with my chopped pork.
  • I believe those people in Alabama are nuts for having a white sauce, but I’d sure like to try it!
  • I believe that BBQ people are some of the nicest people ever.
  • I believe that BBQ brings a group of people together like no other food can.
  • I believe in bite-thru skin on chicken.
  • I believe I would like another rib, please.
So what do you believe?

Best Of: July 17-24

Geez, it’s been hot!  Hope you’re all staying cool.  Here are a few links to check out to keep you out of this ridiculously hot and steamy weather:

  • Robyn Medlin Lindars (affectionately known as GrillGrrrl) explains what the big deal is about the reverse sear with this recipe.
  • Paul Height of No Excuses BBQ cooks up some beautiful ribs, now that he has plenty of time to do so.
  • Two of my favorite people are tag teaming to run a contest.  Check out this blog post on how you can enter to win a really sweet Draper’s BBQ gift set courtesy of Kevin’s BBQ Joints.
  • And to toot my own horn, I survived my first pseudo-catering gig

Best Of: July 10-17

As you get ready to watch the Women’s World Cup final, take a few minutes and check out these interesting articles:

  • Check out how our neighbors to the north of us do KCBS competitions, courtesy of this in-depth blog by Wilfred Reinke.
  • We should all follow in the footsteps of the BBQ Grail and just say no to Subway’s BBQ pulled pork sub.
  • Check out this post by Robyn Medlin Lindars (also known as Grill Grrrl — yes, that’s with 3 r’s) about how to do it cave man style… grilling steaks, that is.
  • Wiener Schnitzel?  Yes, please!  This recipe is a guest post on The Dutchess Cooks courtesy of Doug and Biggi Francis of Hogs Gone Wild BBQ.
  • What has the mad scientist/wizard of sauce Tom Porter of Big Butz BBQ Sauce been up to lately?  Check out his latest escapades here.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

KCBS Judging Escapades: SC Festival of Discovery

I was really excited when I found out that I had been selected to judge at the SC Festival of Discovery.  There were several reasons for this…

  1. I knew this competition had been featured on Food Network, so it’s a very well known competition.
  2. As a result of it being a very well known competition, there would surely be some big names in competition BBQ present at the competition.
  3. Who needs another reason?  It’s BBQ!
The competition was the largest that I have judged to date, so I was a bit nervous about it.  My worst fear was that it was going to be absolute chaos and totally disorganized.  However, my fears were soon put to rest.  There were 4 different representatives present (including one member of the Board of Directors), and the event coordinator did a spectacular job keeping everything organized so that we could concentrate on judging.  
Sometimes the entries are hit and miss, and sometimes everything is outstanding.  Today was one of those days where the majority of entries to our table was excellent.  There were a couple of entries that slightly disappointed me, but overall I left very full!
After the contest, I decided to walk around for a bit and try to chit-chat with some of the teams.  Two of the teams I got to talk to for an extended period of time were QUAU and Lotta Bull BBQ.  I’m sure that after a long day, the last thing they wanted to do was to talk to a judge who is also a blogger.  However, both teams were very pleasant to talk with, and I certainly appreciated that!
I’m already looking forward to putting in my application for this contest next year!
The overall top 10 results are below.  You can view the overall results on the KCBS website.
  1. Lotta Bull BBQ
  2. QUAU
  3. Holy Smokes
  4. Pickin’ Porkers
  5. Wicked Que
  6. Killer B’s BBQ
  7. Pig Whisperers
  8. SMOKE THIS
  9. Pack-A-Smokes
  10. Screamin Nite Hog BBQ
 Before I left, I was able to get a couple of photos (although not as many as I wanted).  Check ‘em out below!

Best Of: Independence Day Edition

Whew!  It’s a hot one here in the Carolinas here this weekend.  Hope all of you being hit with the heat are staying cool and hydrated.  If not, take a few minutes, cool off, and check out some of these stories…

  • What are some of the great truths about BBQ?  Add yours to this blog post courtesy of Larry Gaian.  Who knows, if it’s good enough, you may get a prize…
  • My wife pointed me to this really good article on the Charlotte Observer website this morning that talks about some of the NC BBQ joints that still cook the old-fashioned way.
  • Some time back, I wrote a small piece on why members of the BBQ community should embrace social media.  Here is a great piece by Kevin Kelly outlining four different tips to maximize social media presence.
  • The crazy folks at BarBQBoozers got Gary Glen on board for a guest blog post about beef short ribs.  Now I’m getting hungry!
  • Tired of screwing up a good boneless pork chop on the grill?  Check out this easy-to-follow article from Cyndi Allison on how to grill perfect chops every time!

Guest Post: Top Ten Reasons You Had a Cook Out Fail

Today is another first for Big Wayner’s BBQ Blog.  I have been toying with the idea of having guest bloggers on occasion.  Today I’m pleased to bring you today’s post courtesy of my very first guest blogger, Cyndi Allison!

Top Ten Reasons You Had a Cook Out Fail

Cook Out Fail -- Don't Let This Happen to You

Cook Out Fail -- Don't Let This Happen to You

I see the freight train coming, but I usually don’t yell, “Jump off the tracks.”

Everyone has to learn when it comes to grilling, and being the backseat cook out driver can be more annoying than just kicking back and having a good time even when the food is awful.

Sure. If someone does ask (and they do pretty often since I’m a barbecue and grill writer), I will give pointers and help out. And, I always pitch in on clean up, because there is no glory in that, and someone has to do it. The cleaner uppers get invited back. Trust me on that.

After years of grilling, having teen boys, and teaching at a college, I have a pretty good idea of where the major grilling fails come into play. So, here is my top 10 list. If you have sinned as such, don’t feel bad. You are in good (or big) company, but most grilling problems can be fixed pretty easily.

Top 10 Grilling Fails

1.  Cheap Grill

Yes. It can be the grill and NOT you. I can handle most any grill, but some of the low end grills are too shallow or have other issues and are just hard to manage. I’m not saying spend big bucks. You can get a Weber Smokey Joe tailgater for $25 or so on sale, and that will do you proud and last for years for small cook outs.

2.  Lighter Fluid Flood

You may get the charcoal started eventually if you keep adding lighter fluid (or maybe not), but the food will taste like . . . lighter fluid. Buy a $12 chimney starter. It makes a huge difference. Or, you can buy some of the new starter paraffin cubes. Lighter fluid and instant light charcoal are way overrated and often lead to fails.

3.  Massive Amounts of Fuel

You can fill that grill up to the grate with charcoal or crank that gas grill up to high, but very few people really can handle high heat grilling. It’s a high end skill. Use less charcoal. Don’t max out the gas rate. Otherwise, you have burned food that is raw inside.

Don't Try This At Home...  At Least Not Like This!

Don't Try This At Home... At Least Not Like This!

4.  One Big Ball of Fire

Offset is a simple and means that you have higher heat on one side and lower on the other. With charcoal, just put coals over to one side. On gas, use part of the burners but leave an area that is lower or off to let food grill off to the correct doneness.

5.  Gotta Have Grill Marks

The fancy food photographs have raised the bar and ruined a lot of grillers. You do NOT need to have grill marks to have great grilled food. I can mark the food, but I have been doing this a long time. Unless you are publishing a cookbook, don’t worry about perfect grill lines on every piece of food on the grill.

6.  Cold Meat

Throw cold meat on hot grates… what do you get? Stuck meat. Thaw your meat and let it rest 20 minutes or so before tossing it on the grill.

7.  Getting Too Fancy

Far better (and cheaper) to nail hot dogs than to wreck steak or lobster. If you’re new to grilling, try something easy like hot dogs, brats, or thinner burgers. You don’t learn Bach before you learn the basic notes. Don’t try the hardest grill recipe the first time you crank up your new grill.

8.  Bad Food

If you get the low end steak, you will still have low end steak when it comes off the grill. There are ways to grill the cheap cuts, but be sure you know how to do so. Again, it’s better to do something simple and do it right than try to upscale and serve up shoe leather.

9,  Bad Hygiene

Check the food safety rules on grilling. I’m very laid back. But, I was at one cook out where the griller was turning the meat with his fingers. He dropped some food on the ground, picked it up and blew it, and put it back on. That’s pretty over the top. Other things like putting the grilled meat back on the same plate where the raw meat was resting and with raw meat juice on there can also cause a world of hurt and many visits to the bathroom. Keep it clean.

10.  Bad Company

One thing that will wreck a party for sure is if the host is in a heap bad mood. That just puts a damper on everyone. If things do go wrong, order in pizza. No shame in that. Guests will likely pitch in to pay (especially if you’re in the college crowd). No one is perfect. Practice up and treat again when you can. It is the thought that counts. If you roll with it and keep a sense of humor, everyone else will too (or your real friends will).

Be a Happy Host

Be a Happy Host

Those are the problems that I see most often when folks are grilling out. Most problems really are minor though can result in a total grill meal fail. The main thing is: Don’t give up. Learn from any mistakes. Get back on that horse and ride it. You will be a fabulous griller before you know it. It really just takes practice.


I want to thank my guest blogger for today, Cyndi Allison.  Cyndi has been involved with grilling and smoking barbecue for over 35 years.  She is a college instructor, freelance writer, and overall barbecue and grilling expert.  Cyndi is the mastermind behind the website Yes You Can Grill as well as the author at the blog Barbecue Master.

Best Of: June 19-26

With the weekend coming to a close, here are a few must-read items from this past week as it pertains to the world of BBQ and grilling…

  • Check out this guest post for Huck’s Hut written by Doug Francis of Hogs Gone Wild BBQ on how to conquer that bane of every BBQ competition team’s existance: chicken.
  • Jamaican Me Pineapple Burgers, you say?  YA MON!  BarBQBoozers shows you how!
  • Kevin Sandridge of The BBQ Smoker Site is running a series on 4th of July BBQ Recipes written by guest bloggers.  Of particular interest is this recipe for cherry smoked Atlantic salmon written by Shane Draper of Draper’s BBQ.
  • And finally, this one time, at bacon camp
Also, don’t forget about all the contests and giveaways galore that are running right now!  A list can be found here.  If I missed a giveaway, please let me know.

Giveaways and Contests and Prizes Galore!

Summer is in full swing, and so are all the great BBQ and grilling prize giveaways! So as a favor to you, here is a comprehensive list of BBQ and grilling prize contests and giveaways that I know of so far.

  • As I’ve recently posted, Kevin’s BBQ Joints is collaborating with LocalPages.com to give one lucky winner a gift certificate of up to $100 to any BBQ joint in the United States!  Link to the contest is here and is running until July 1st at noon PST.
  • Kevin is also collaborating with Black’s Barbecue in Lockhart, TX for a giveaway.  Prizes include brisket, beef ribs, and an assortment of sauces and rubs.  This contest runs through June 30th, and more info can be found here.
  • Canadian BBQ blogger Wilfred Reinke (aka the Oshawa Ogre) has teamed up with Grill Charms to give away a set of Grill Charms — the Spicy Collection, to be precise.  The contest rules are on his blog.  This one ends on June 27th at midnight EST.
  • Interested in winning $50 worth of BBQ sauce, seasonings, and rubs from Iguana Isle?  Check out this contest courtesy of Man Up: Tales of Texas BBQ.  It ends at midnight on July 4th.
  • Grilling with Rich is celebrating his one year anniversary of being on the Internets with a nice package giveaway.  Details for entering this contest can be found here.  Contest ends on July 4th at 5:00pm (I assume EST).
  • Huck’s Hut is looking for a good slogan for their site, and the best entry gets the winner an 18-piece BBQ tool set and Hydro Blaster Grill Brush.  Think you can come up with a good entry?  You can submit entries here untilJune 29th at midnight.
Know of a contest that I forgot to mention above?  Please leave me a comment below, and I will add your contest!  

LocalPages Fourth of July BBQ Joint Giveaway with Kevin’s BBQ Joints

Over the last several months, my good friend Kevin Kelly at Kevin’s BBQ Joints has hosted some really awesome giveaways.  I have to say that this one definitely takes the cake!  Kevin’s BBQ Joints is teaming up with LocalPages to give one lucky winner a gift certificate of up to $100 to any BBQ joint in the United States?  That’s not a typo.  You read correctly!

So you could be eating high on the hog at Sauceman’s or Midwood Smokehouse (both in Charlotte, NC) or chowing down on some succulent ‘que at Southern Soul Barbeque in St. Simon Island, GA.  Or perhaps you can make a decision as to who has the best BBQ in Austin, TX

The giveaway ends at 9:00am PST on July 1st, with the drawing to take place at 12:00pm EST that same day.  Enter today at  http://kevinsbbqjoints.com/blog/2011/06/17/localpages-fourth-of-july-bbq-joint-giveaway/ and tell him that Big Wayner sent ya.