Fanfare for the Common Meal

When I first started cooking, I was fond of the Moosewood cookbooks.  They were filled with fun vegetarian recipes that seemed exotic and cosmopolitan to my southern sensibilities.  It was where I was first introduced to the “magic” of cooking, to the idea that if done right, the whole could be so much more than the sum of the parts.  Who would have thought that broccoli and tofu, when sautéed with a good peanut sauce, could be so delicious?

 

From that beginning, I ventured into other cooking destinations.  Alice and I vacationed in the American Southwest, so I got into Mexican-inspired foods.  I discovered that for some reason, the small apartment we lived in on South Main near the Stadium was the perfect environment for making fresh bread.  I tried my hand at cassoulet (not bad), then pad thai (not good).  I discovered that cooking is a really fun and useful hobby.  There is always some new food to try, some new spice to discover (fenugreek!)  You feel like Magellan when you walk into the kitchen.

 

Then I stumbled across Cook’s Illustrated, a quirky (no photos, only drawings….no idea why) bi-monthly magazine.  The editor looked a bit like Pee-wee Herman and always wore a bow tie in his photo…I mean drawing.  Little did I know that I would be seeing this guy for the rest of my life.  He’s like Waldo…on NPR, on PBS, in bookstores, on the internet.

Christopher Kimball

Anyhow, I remember reading their magazine and finding articles like “The Best Meatloaf” and “Perfect Fried Chicken.”  These were all foods that seemed out of fashion and pedestrian, the types of foods that no one ate any more, the types of foods that I hadn’t seen on a dinner table since I was a kid.  And then, at the urging of my wife, I tried some of these recipes.  And a funny thing happened.  They were good.  Really good.

 

We are all drawn to the “new”, especially when it comes to food and restaurants.   I love finding a piece of candied ginger in my cocktail, or eating a gazpacho that has avocado and fresh corn instead of green pepper and celery.   But there is something to be said for the common foods that have graced our family dinner tables for generations.  And if these foods can be cooked properly and served gratefully, all the better.  This is what we strive to do at Satchel’s.

 

When I think about the patchwork quilt of reasons and circumstances that led me to start a BBQ restaurant at age 45, I have to acknowledge that guy in the bow tie.  He gave me a new appreciation of the simple meals I had eaten as a kid and had since forgotten.  He led me home, and for that, I am grateful.

Keeping Your Food Warm for the Holidays

Chafing DishTis the season of Holiday parties.  And where there is a party, there is often a chafing dish.  For those who are unfamiliar with chafing dishes, they are used to keep food warm (typically in a buffet line).  At Satchel’s we use them all the time for catering events.  If used properly, they are a reliable, portable (no electricity needed) way to keep food warm when you are serving a meal to a crowd.  But beware.  These seemingly innocent looking tools can wreak havoc on your party if not used carefully.

 

Over time, chafing dishes can kill food.  I know that sounds dramatic and disturbing, but it’s true.  If left in a chafing dish for a prolonged period of time, food will dry out and look very unappetizing.  For that reason, always put food into your chafing dish at the last possible moment, and try to organize your event so that it doesn’t sit there for too long.  How long is too long?  It depends on the food.  Baked beans can last for well over an hour.  Meats and mac-and-cheese will dry out quickly, usually in about an hour.  They will still taste good, but it’s not the same as eating it fresh at arrival.   You can always try to freshen it up by stirring in a bit of water from time to time (or in the case of mac-and-cheese, milk), but this trick will only buy you so much time.

 

Also, never use chafing dishes where the fuel (the flame below the pan of food) is directly heating the food.  This will burn your meal in a fairly short period of time (less than one hour).   The fuel should always be heating a pan of water which in turn will then heat the pan of food (like a double-boiler on your stove).  You can easily make your own system by simply purchasing an empty foil pan and using this pan to hold the water.  Then, when the food arrives, carefully place the pan of food into the pan of water.  Will you inevitably put in too much water and make a mess?  Yes.  Relax.  Get a rag.  It’s only water.

 

So keep your food warm for the Holidays.  Just make sure you don’t burn in the New Year!

Some Of My Best Friends Are Vegetarians

When you sell food in Ann Arbor, even BBQ, one of the things you get asked is “What are your vegetarian options?”  In the past our response has always been: cole slaw, potato salad and cornbread.  All good stuff, but not exactly a hearty meal.  This has especially been problematic for those who want to use our catering services since invariably there are a few non-meat-eaters on the guest list.

 

I am pleased to announce that we now have a bit more depth to our vegetarian options.  In the past, we used a bit of chicken stock in two of our heartier side dishes, the mac-and-cheese and the red-beans-and-rice.  Now, after a bit of tinkering, we found a way to maintain the delicious flavor of these menu items (no one on our staff can even taste the difference) without using any meat by-product.  So for those of you who seek to steer clear of meat products and yet somehow find themselves in Satchel’s, simply order a Shelley Plate for $4.  This will get you three servings of any side dish plus a piece of cornbread.   It’s great food at a great price.

 

The issue of vegetarian options touches upon the broader challenge we face at Satchel’s of balancing our mission (we sell good old-fashioned southern BBQ) with the desire to be responsive to our customers.  For example, it has occurred to us that perhaps our customers would like french fries.  Or chili.  Or hamburgers.   The list goes on.  But at the end of the day, this dilutes the whole purpose of our enterprise:  BBQ.  If we try to be all things to all people, we end up being not much to anyone.  So we always ask ourselves, is this consistent with what we do?  Would you find this on the menu on one of those mythical southern eateries that we adore?

 

Which raises some problems with vegetarian cuisine.  The inspiration for Satchel’s derives from BBQ joints down south.  And while these places often offer a “vegetable plate” (creamed corn, baked beans, turnip greens, mashed potatoes, etc.) this is not vegetarian fare.  Bacon, ham hocks, gizzards and necks adorn these plates.   So part of me thinks, “Hey, you don’t go into a Chinese place and ask for tacos. You can’t expect to come into a BBQ place and get vegetarian.”

 

But this is when a mission can potentially become something of a cage.  While we have no interest in trying to compete with some of the great vegetarian restaurants here in town, why not accommodate the occasional vegetarian who agreed to tag along with meat-eating friends to Satchel’s?  Why not throw that poor boy or girl a bone (so to speak) and offer some good old-fashioned southern vittles….which happen to be vegetarian.  Is this such a compromise to the mission?  We don’t think so.  Just seems courteous to us.

 

We live under no illusions that vegetarians will now flock to our doors in droves.  Again, we are a BBQ place and always will be.  But for the occasional vegetarian who meanders into our dining room, we say “Welcome!”  Just please, don’t ask us to smoke any tofu.

Some Friendly Advice to Those Seeking Jobs

help-wanted

 

The last few months at Satchel’s have been busy.  Mark’s Carts.  Top of the Park.  Catering.  And of course, the restaurant.  As a result, we have done a lot of hiring.  Or at least, we have tried to do a lot of hiring.   You see, it’s hard to hire people.  This is partly because we like to be selective.  We want folks who know how to work in a commercial kitchen, who have excellent customer service skills and who are fun to work with.  So it takes time.  But part of the problem has nothing to do with our selectivity and everything to do with the applicants.  To paraphrase a great break-up line, it’s not me…it’s you.  For that reason, I would like to offer some very simple friendly advice to the young people of the world who are seeking employment.

Lesson # 1:  Introduce yourself to the voice mail system on your cell phone This is especially true if you choose to put your cell phone number on your resume or application.  Set up your voice mail.  Check your voice mail.  Respond to voice mail messages on a daily basis.

Lesson # 2:  Answer your phone in a friendly receptive voice.  Young men of America, I am talking to you.  Yes, I know that Eminem and Pit Bull sound very cool, and the ladies seem to dig these guys (at least on their videos).  But no one, and I mean no one, is going to hire you if you sound like a hip-hop artist on the phone.  Don’t mumble and try to sound like you are happy to be on the planet Earth.

Lesson # 3:  Check your email account Again, if you put an email on your resume or application, check that account daily and respond promptly.

Lesson # 4:  Write a cover letter or a cover email.  It doesn’t have to be long, just a quick note explaining why you want the job and providing a brief explanation of why you would be a good fit.  If you have prior experience in the same line of work, mention that.  If you have been a customer of the business and love its products or services, mention that.  Try to make yourself memorable.

Part of the problem here is a generation gap.  As my kids point out, those in their teens and twenties communicate in different ways than those in their forties and fifties.  But the reality is that most employers are old fogies like me.  They do crazy nutty things….like leave voice mails and send emails.  And they live in the innocent belief that the recipients of these communications will reply in like manner.  I am not saying it is right or wrong.  It simply is.

Finding a job when you are young and inexperienced is difficult.  Don’t make it harder on yourself.  Following these simple instructions will greatly increase the likelihood that you will soon be making an honest wage.

Alabama Getaway

Last week, my family and I drove down to Alabama on a mission trip with some members of our church—a highly organized group from First Congregational here in Ann Arbor, led by Reverend Bob Livingston and John and Holly Porter.  We had a great fun week working with a local Habitat for Humanity chapter on some homes for folks who were displaced by the 2011 tornadoes that devastated that part of the county.  I cannot say enough good things about the people on this trip: fun, hard-working and SKILLED.  These people are well-versed in the world of carpentry, plumbing, siding and other dark sciences.  I knew I was with a pretty sophisticated group when one of our gang, when faced with a dead car battery and no jumper cables in site, jerry-rigged cables out of drywall nails and extension cords.  Good news:  it worked.  Better news:  no one was electrocuted.

 

While down in Alabama, my two sons and I visited with family and old friends in Birmingham, where I was born and raised.  And of course, while there, we thought it a moral imperative to sample the local BBQ.  I love one place in particular…Full Moon BBQ.  There are a bunch of Full Moons in the Birmingham area.  The only one I have ever eaten at is downtown on 25th Street.   It’s small and barely noticeable to the untrained eye.  But come lunch hour, the line starts and the place stays busy until closing at 5:30PM (admittedly, a strange closing time, but what can I say…it’s Alabama).

 

The food was great, especially the pulled pork sandwiches served with some crazy relish they call chow chow.  But what struck me most was the wonderful diversity of people that populate a good Southern eatery.  Black, white, rich, poor, banker, carpenter, college kid, retiree….you name it, he or she was seated in an incredibly small, packed dining area.  It was like a jury pool: every walk of life imaginable was brought together by good food in a simple setting.

 

So the boys and I were eating like hogs (folks were waiting for the tables, so we felt some pressure to eat up) when from the table behind me, I heard a group of guys mention Ann Arbor.  I leaned back a bit to hear more and I heard them mention the name of a friend of mine from here in town.  So of course, I turned around and said, “I’m from Ann Arbor and I know that guy!”  Laughs and handshakes ensued.  It’s easy to say, small world, and I wouldn’t disagree.  But the world seems a lot smaller, and a lot friendlier, when you’re elbow-to-elbow with folks eating good food.

 

I went to a ZingTrain workshop a few months back where we spent lots of time talking about visioning.  They really encouraged business owners to take the time to write out in detail where they want the business to be in five years.  This is a big work-in-process for me.  I keep getting lost in the apple sauce.  But one part of the vision is clear to me:  Like the Full Moon, I want Satchel’s to be a place where all sorts of folks from all sorts of backgrounds can sit and enjoy some good BBQ and in so doing, enjoy each other.

 

A Primer on BBQ Sauce

Icing on the Cake?

I am not a big sauce guy.  Don’t get me wrong.  I like sauce.  In fact in addition to putting sauce on my sandwich, I will make a puddle of extra sauce on the plate and mop it up with my sandwich one bite at a time (I do the same thing with mayo when I am eating BLT’s).  So I eat more than my fair share of BBQ sauce.  But to me, it’s all about the meat.  If you get the meat right, making sure it’s tender and flavorful and full of smoke, then making a good sauce is a whole lot easier.

 

Store-Bought 

I know this may sound like heresy coming from a guy who makes all his sauces from scratch, but there are some good store-bought sauces out there.  I like some of Stubb’s sauces, and when I go to a higher-end grocery store, I can usually find something interesting.  I do not like Sweet Baby Ray’s.  It’s just too much like corn syrup for me.  If you end up buying a sauce in the store, read the label.  Do the ingredients look like normal ingredients that you might find in a normal kitchen?  If so, it might be worth a try.  If the label starts out with corn syrup and then lists a long list of incomprehensible additives and preservatives, to quote Lost in Space, “Danger Will Robinson!”  Steer clear.

 

Home-Made

There are lots of different sauces out there.   Most folks around here tend to like a Kansas City-style sauce: a dark sauce with a tomato base and a good amount of sweetness.  Others enjoy less sweetness and more heat, often containing ingredients like cayenne pepper, jalapenos, and habaneros.  Still others (myself included) like a good strong vinegar kick.   Whatever your tastes, you can easily make a simple little sauce once you understand its fundamental building blocks.
The Four Building Blocks of Sauce

Pick up any basic BBQ sauce recipe and its ingredients can usually be broken up into four basic categories:  (1) the base ingredient, (2) the sweeteners, (3) acidic/tangy kicker and (4) herbs and spices.  Varying the proportions of these components determines what your sauce will taste like.  For instance, the Carolina Vinegar Sauce that we serve at Satchel’s has a lot of the acidic/tangy kicker (i.e., vinegar), a bit of sweetener, some herbs and spices and that’s pretty much it .  The sweet sauce has some base ingredient, lots of sweetener, very little acidic kicker and a bit of herbs and spices.

  • The base:  The base ingredients typically include some type of tomato-based ingredient, like whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, ketchup, etc.   I am not a huge fan of using ketchup as my base because…it’s ketchup.  I realize I am in the minority, so let’s just agree to disagree.  If you use canned whole tomatoes in your base (including the juice), that’s awesome; just make sure you allow plenty of time for the sauce to simmer so that the tomatoes break down into a nice sauce (you are basically make a kind of homemade ketchup….just without all the corn syrup and preservatives).  When you make a base, you can also sauté up some onions and garlic and celery and peppers to add to the tomatoes.  This adds depth and flavor.
  • Sweeteners:  Pretty simple.  Sugar.  Brown sugar.  Honey.  Maple syrup.  Molasses.  Some recipes like using soda for sweetener (Dr. Pepper, Coke).  Whatever.  Not my cup of tea, but to each his own.
  • The acidic/tangy kicker:  This is where things get interesting.  Vinegar is the standard ingredient here, but you can try some citrus like limes and lemons (oranges are nice but they provide more sweetness and less kick). Worcestershire Sauce and tobasco also work well.  Finally, mustard is a fun ingredient, especially since there are so many different kinds out there.   What I like about this category of ingredients is that you can just look in your fridge or your pantry and find something weird and unique which might taste awesome in BBQ sauce.   Green curry paste, unsweetened cocoa powder, instant coffee, fish sauce….the possibilities are endless.  You might have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince, but it’s all part of the journey.
  • Spices:  The usual suspects are paprika, black pepper, and chili powder.  I have a bias towards cumin and allspice.  For this reason, I have been branded a Tex-Mex lover.  I can live with that moniker.  Some folks like more fragrant herbs like oregano, tarragon, celery seed, basil, etc.  Brendan on my staff was talking about a sage BBQ sauce the other day.  Sounds interesting.   You get the idea.

 

Make Your Own!  

Using these building blocks, it should be pretty easy to build your own sauce to fit your own tastes.  Here is a quick and easy BBQ to get you kick-started:

  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/3  cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbs mustard
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper

Add everything to a pot and bring to boil.  Then simmer for 30 minutes.  Enjoy!

 

All You Need Is Rub

My first sleep-away camp was the summer after 2nd grade.  Camp Lainey, located somewhere in northern Alabama.  I don’t recall much about the experience other than it was my first introduction to ping pong, a game I still love to play.  At some point, I penned what must have been my first letter home.  Sadly, this letter has now become a famous, enduring part of family folklore.  Describing the dry, hot conditions that we campers were enduing during those two weeks, I wrote, “dust is being kicked up here.”  A young Auden.

Anyhow, one of the things that they served for dinner at Camp Lainey was “mystery meat.”  I think most of us have at some point in our lives come face-to-face with this dish.  Having said that, everyone describes it differently.  It seems that there are countless recipes, each with its own unique look, smell and taste.  The one common attribute is its unknowable (it’s a mystery!) blandness.   The basic culinary concept is that if you slather enough sauce on the meat and cook it for a very long time in an oven, something edible will emerge.  I suspect that cans and cans of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup are involved.

A few years back, it occurred to me that something similar happens in the BBQ world.  Often, BBQ meats are served swimming in sauce, to the point where it is absolutely impossible to determine if the meat is cooked properly.  All cooking sins are washed away in a sea of ketchup and corn syrup.   Sadly, so is the flavor of the meat itself.  This allows the cook to not only hide imperfections in the cooking process but also to buy cheaper cuts of meat.

To which we at Satchel’s say, no thanks. Our meats are served dry rub with sauce on the side.  Lots of folks, when they see our meats being carved cry out, “You’re not going to serve me that burned piece of meat, are you?”  But after one bite, they get it.  The blackened color is simply the rub.  It has a wonderful flavor without a hint of char.

At Satchel’s, we cook simple, recognizable cuts of meat that can be described to any person who is vaguely familiar with the meat section of their local supermarket.  Pork shoulder, beef brisket, slabs of pork spareribs and whole chickens.  Period.  Come see for yourself.

BBQ and Proposal 6

I have decided to dip my toe into the murky waters of politics this year.  I do so reluctantly.  I am fully aware that folks come to Satchel’s for good food and service, not to hear me opine about headlines in the news.  And generally speaking, I avoid controversial discussions like politics and religion and the designated hitter (a terrible idea!)  After all, I am from the Deep South.  I grew up in a society where children were seen but not heard and where everyone avoided broaching any indelicate subjects.  We liked to talk about things like Alabama football and the weather.  And golf.  Lots of talk about golf.

Despite these reservations, I have decided to give away pulled pork sandwich (one per customer) on November 7, 2012 (the day after Election Day) if Michigan votes against Proposal 6.  Proposal 6 is a much advertised (but often misunderstood) proposal that is financed and supported by the Ambassador Bridge Company (the folks who own….you guessed it, the Ambassador Bridge!)

By way of background, an additional bridge to Canada was first proposed back in 2004 but due to opposition from the Ambassador Bridge Company, the proposal stalled in the state legislature.  Governor Snyder is pushing forward with the proposal as a way of increasing trade and commerce in southeast Michigan.  For more background, check out this article.

The Ambassador Bridge Company has come up with Proposal 6 as a way to confuse the issue.  If you vote for Proposal 6, you are making the construction of a new bridge more difficult.  In other words, by voting “yes” on Proposal 6, you are voting “No” on the bridge.  Worse still, the Ambassador Bridge Company has funded an incredibly misleading ad campaign.  Want details?  See this link or this link about the deceptive statements behind “The People Should Decide” ad campaign.  Tired of all these links?  Fine.  Here’s the skinny: despite what these ads say, Canada will pay for the construction of the bridge, and there will be no cost to Michigan taxpayers.  To think otherwise is to think that sometime in the not-too-distant future, pigs will fly.

But again, I am left wondering, why do I care?  Bad decisions are made every year by our governing bodies.  Why get involved on this issue, of all issues?  I don’t have a clear answer on this, but let’s try this on for size.

Proposal 6 is supported by no objective observer.  Literally.  The only folks who support this bill work for the Ambassador Bridge Company.  This is not an issue where reasonable people can disagree.  This is not an issue where the interests of a large chunk of our citizens are pitted against the interest of another large chunk of the electorate.  This is an issue where everyone will enjoy the economic benefits of an additional bridge except one family, the owners of the Ambassador Bridge.  And because they have untold millions to throw at this misleading ad campaign, their narrow interests might win.  So I say, enough.  And if WE win, the pulled pork is on me.

In the past we have always been drawn to issues that divide our state: labor vs. management, Republicans vs. Democrats, etc. vs. etc.  Regardless of how you feel about those big issues, I think most would agree that the divisive nature of the discussion has left our state in worse condition.  So why don’t we start focusing on those issues where we all agree and which will have a positive impact on our state’s economy?

Please vote, and please vote wisely.

California Dreaming

My wife and I recently spent a long weekend in San Francisco where we attended a wedding of an old friend.  We had a great time.  The city is absolutely beautiful.  We walked (and biked) up and down the mountainous streets and tried to use every mode of public transportation available (bus, cable cars, subway and boat).  Best of all, we had a bunch of wonderful visits with friends whom for various reasons have ended up in the Bay area.

But of course for Alice and me, travel is gastronomical.  So while in San Francisco, we ate.  Early and often.  And for those wondering whether we ate BBQ, the answer is YES!  But it was not our choosing.  The rehearsal dinner for the wedding featured catered BBQ, held at an Irish bar, down in the Fisherman’s Wharf district (an area filled with tourists).   I was not optimistic.  But I am happy to report that the BBQ was quite good.  Nice brisket, good pulled pork, a wonderful beans and rice made with black-eyed peas.  Best of all, they served a North Alabama BBQ Sauce, a rarely served white sauce that is heavy on mayo.  Not my favorite, but I love the authenticity.

 

Outside of the BBQ, we had a very nice dinner at a place called “Flour + Water”.  Very chic.  Good ingredients.  Creative menu.  About what you would expect from a hip and happening place.  Portions were….modest.  But hey, that’s ok; I need to lose a few pounds anyway.  What struck me was that we arrived (without a reservation) and had to wait a bit over an hour for a table.  No big deal.  Again, we arrived without reservations, so we have only ourselves to blame.  We were with friends (my niece, actually, and her boyfriend) so we were happy to have the time to talk.  The only problem is that there were no chairs anywhere to sit despite the fact that there was ample floor space.  Strange.  We thought about going next door to a bar but were warned that if we did so, we might miss a chance for a table.  So we stayed, and despite some sore feet, it all worked out well.

 

Another memory:  coffee.  We found a place near our hotel where everyone seemed to go for coffee.  Not Peete’s or Starbucks but a locally owned place called Blue Bottle Coffee.   All good.  But I keep noticing that the line is long and slow.  And for the life of me, I can’t figure it out.  What is taking so long?  Then it comes to me.  They are making each cup of coffee INDIVIDUALLY.  So when you order a cup of coffee, they get out the filter, put in the coffee, take the hot water, and slowly pour the water over the grinds.   Then when that ONE CUP of coffee is done, and the next person steps up to the register and orders (take a guess!) a cup of coffee, they repeat the process.  The result of this Sisyphean system  is a line to order and a line to get your coffee.  Two admissions on my part:  (1) the coffee was very good, and (2) this is how Alice and I make coffee at home.  So I buy into the system.  But as I look at the meandering souls waiting for their caffeine fix, biding their time by staring into their smart phones, I have an uncontrollable urge to yell, “For God’s sake, make a POT of coffee!”  But perhaps this reflects my southern upbringing and my midwestern temperament.

 

Now one conclusion from all this is that the Bay area is simply awash with too much wealth and too little to do.  So residents with means don’t mind waiting in long lines and spending good money on what they believe to be quality products.  Fair enough.  But I think part of what is going on  here is the  food service establishments are desperately trying to create an “experience”.  It’s not really about the food that is on your plate (or the price on the menu).  It’s about the process by which the food got there and the process by which you got to the table.  It’s about watching the seemingly indifferent college student pour hot water over ground coffee beans.  It’s artisinal and the workers are part of an ancient guild, etc. etc.  You get the idea.  I keep thinking that maybe we should do this at Satchel’s:  “A brisket sandwich, sir?  Sure, I will have it right up in about 15 hours after I smoke the meat for your one sandwich.”

 

Here’s the “experience” that we are trying to create at Satchel’s.  We cook good food.  You come pay for good food.  You eat good food.  We say “thank you “.  And you might even say in response, “Thank you.”  It’s a big audacious goal, but what can I say?  I’m a dreamer.

 

What We Talk About When We Talk About Ribs

The literature of barbeque is rich with different techniques for cooking ribs.  Some parboil the ribs first, then put it on a gas grill.  Others cook it in the oven, then move it to the grill.  Still others reverse the technique and put it on the gas grill first, then move it to the oven.  Some wrap it first, then cook it unwrapped.  Others cook it unwrapped, then cook it wrapped.  And there is a famous 3-2-1 method where the ribs are cooked for three hours unwrapped, then cooked for 2 hours wrapped and finally cooked a final hour unwrapped.

 

No doubt there are plenty of merits to all these methods, but I can’t help but wonder if there is not more than a little superstition to some of this.  I am reminded of a very well-regarded cooking magazine (which shall go unnamed) that insists that all barbeque meat be allowed to cool down wrapped in foil, then wrapped again in newspaper.  Why newspaper?  The editors couldn’t explain it, but they insisted it worked.  And having tried it myself, I can’t say with full confidence that it is utter nonsense.  All of which is to say that a bit of mysticism is part and parcel of the art of cooking.

 

At Satchel’s, we try to keep it simple (remember the motto…don’t overthink it….it’s BBQ).  From beginning to end, we cook our ribs with as much hickory as our smokers allow.  No parboiling, no baking, no crock-pot.  We stick to the “low-and-slow” formula that made BBQ a national pastime.  It takes time and patience, but in the end it’s worth it.  We hope you agree.