Roger Mooking gets schooled by two pit masters changing the barbecue game in Charleston, S.C. Carolina-style barbecue is all about pork and Rodney Scott is the whole hog boss. Roger checks out Rodney's impressive new pit room where whole hogs get cooked low and slow. Rodney then hits the hogs with his secret "
Roger Mooking says goodbye to the standard grill and celebrates the most elaborate, over-the-top smokers and roasters. First, he heads just outside Death Valley to cook on a true fire-breathing barbecue pit -- an 8-foot, 800-pound metal dragon with three separate chambers. Then he lands in Kansas City, Mo., for a test flight in Swine Flew, an airplane converted by two mechanics into a fully functioning barbecue grill. They put airline food to shame with pork butts and spare ribs cooked right inside the aircraft cabin. Next, Roger visits a Frankenstein smoker in Oahu, Hawaii, that's constructed from an Air Force cargo container, computer fans and pieces of a commercial jumbo jet. Finally, he checks out a converted tool shed used for a Cajun-style whole hog roast.
Roger Mooking visits two Texas pitmasters who give breakfast a wake-up call by adding barbecue. Reid Guess' custom-built rigs and smoked meats are on full display at Guess Family Barbecue in Waco, Texas. Reid and Roger fire up a 1,000-gallon offset smoker and fill it with seasoned pork butts and tri-tip steaks. They pull the pork, add it to fluffy pancakes and top with whiskey butter and maple syrup. The steak is seared on hot coals, dressed with chimichurri sauce and served with fried eggs. Then Roger heads to Derek Allan's Texas Barbecue in Fort Worth, Texas, for the signature Brisket Kolaches. Helming the unique upright smokers is Derek Crudgington, an IT systems engineer and self-taught pitmaster. Derek and Roger smoke wagyu beef brisket and stuff the melt-in-your-mouth meat inside soft, pillowy dough with cheese and hashbrowns. They also smoke housemade wagyu beef sausages made from a blend of chuck and brisket and serve the legendary links in breakfast tacos with scrambled eggs, cheese and salsa.
Roger Mooking visits two legendary barbecue joints in Central Texas where just the right amount of smoke and heat transforms the meat into delicious eats. At Kreuz Market in Lockhart, Texas, they have eight pits for cooking, acres of wood for burning and hundreds of pounds of delicious barbecue for stick-to-your-ribs eating. At Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, Texas, third generation pit master Wayne Mueller gives Roger an experience of a lifetime.
Roger Mooking heads to the heart of New Mexico where cooking with fire is taken to new culinary heights with mud and steel. Roger visits Comida de Campos in Embudo, a farm and cooking school where delicious feasts are cooked in cone-shaped clay ovens, where he helps cook pork shoulder. In Bosque, Roger fires up three steel discos and one large jara for two New Mexican pork dishes: carne adovada and carnitas.
Roger Mooking visits two chefs in Texas who created the craziest cooking contraptions and prove that everything's bigger in Texas. Chef Johnny Hernandez designed a massive grill for his restaurant El Machito in San Antonio and it takes fire and food to the extreme. Roger and Johnny skewer every meat imaginable -- chickens, pork and beef sausages, racks of ribs and whole goats. Roger then heads to Vintage Heart Farm in Stockdale to meet Chef John Russ who designed a 7-foot tree made out of stainless steel that can roast food over a wood fire. Roger and John fill the tree with quails and sausages for an outdoor feast.
Chef Roger Mooking goes to Llano Seco Ranch in Chico, Calif., where he and Charlie Thieriot slow roast a 30-pound porchetta. In Sandy, Ore., Roger meets caterers Jaret Foster and Mona Johnson, and assists them in putting together roasted mussels and a crowd-pleasing white bean, chorizo and clam stew.
Roger Mooking has plucked his way through plenty of barbecue chicken, but only the very best birds make this list of his top 5 favorites. One chef shows Roger how to hang up and hand-spin chickens with a device that looks like it belongs in a theme park, and another redefines rotisserie on an elaborate rig loaded with complex cogs, gears and even bicycle chains. A Carolina legend makes Roger's list by dipping barbecued birds in an out-of-this-world white sauce. And a master of Puerto Rican pollo rubs his island adobo mix on crispy chicken that has Roger squawking for more, but it's his Jamaican jerk chicken loaded with Caribbean heat that reaches true poultry perfection.
Roger Mooking heads to the Aloha State, where Chef Lee Anne Wong fires up a custom-made stainless steel unit with local kiawe wood and prepares a tropical feast of beer-can chicken, slow-roasted fruits and vegetables and fresh mahi-mahi fillets wrapped in banana leaves. In Bellaire, Texas, Roger steps into the smoke at Blood Bros. BBQ, where brothers Robin and Terry Wong and their childhood friend Quy Hoang cook up classic Texas 'cue mixed with global flavors. Roger and Quy season and smoke brisket flaps and then cube, sauce and slow-cook the meat for addictive Brisket Burnt Ends. They stuff the delectable nuggets inside soft bao buns with strips of cucumber, scallions and pickled jicama. Smoked St. Louis-style pork ribs are slathered with a sweet-and-spicy Thai peanut butter glaze and finished with a sprinkling of hot chilies.
Roger Mooking searches the Gulf States for tasty artisanal foods kissed with smoke and fire that deliver big flavors. In Austin, a family roasts coffee the old fashioned way -- small batches over a roaring fire. Roger savors a cup and also learns how they use coffee in Texas barbecue. Then it's off to LaPlace, La., for amazing Andouille sausages, smoked sausages and tasso. Roger tastes these Louisiana treats in some New Orleans classics.
Roger Mooking is hanging out with two chefs putting a whole new spin on rotisserie cooking in the great outdoors. At SpringHouse restaurant in Alexander City, Ala., Chef Rob McDaniel has designed a fire-fueled contraption that he and Roger use to roast succulent legs of lamb. In Charleston, S.C., Craig Deihl is the chef and owner of Cypress, a restaurant famous for wood-fired food. Craig also likes playing with fire outside the kitchen, and he's created a backyard-friendly rotisserie that can roast whole strings of ducks and chickens.
Roger Mooking is in the Peach State visiting two self-taught pitmasters who smoke tasty Texas-style barbecue. In Atlanta, Roger hits up Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, which is owned by twin brothers Jonathan and Justin Fox. Roger and Jonathan load up a 1,000-pound rotisserie smoker with briskets and house-made pork and beef bologna. After the meat is cooked, Justin shows Roger how to create their two signature sandwiches: the Texacutioner and the Bologna and Cheese. In Augusta, Ga., criminal investigator Chris Campbell trades his badge for a propane torch on the weekends, when he works as a caterer who serves killer barbecue at Campbell's BBQ Co. Roger and Chris fill up his custom-made mobile rig with seasoned briskets and pork butts. While the hunks of meat soak in the smoke and heat, they cook up a pot of Brunswick stew, a Georgia classic made with smoked beef, pork, chicken, vegetables and barbecue sauce.
Beef is king in Texas, and Roger Mooking visits two pitmasters who are elevating traditional smoked meats with exciting global flavors. In Pearland, Texas, he helps Ronnie Killen season and smoke brisket and beef ribs to serve at Killen's Barbecue. Customers can order the smoked meats by the pound, but Ronnie also combines them in a Tex-Mex dish, Short Rib Tamales with Brisket Chili. Then Roger heads to Houston, Texas, to hang with Khoi Barbecue co-owner Don Nguyen, who holds Central Texas-inspired, Asian-influenced barbecue pop-ups using a 500-gallon smoker in his backyard. Roger helps him prepare Brisket Pho and Beef Rib Nigiri for a pop-up happening at Baileson Brewing Co.
Roger Mooking takes a trip to West Point, Texas, to meet Tink Pinkard. Tink is an outdoor guide, hunter, fisherman, caterer and all-around nice guy. Together they build a barbecue pit out of cinder blocks and prepare Italian porchetta. While the pig slowly roasts over coals, Tink teaches Roger how to fly-fish and takes him to a neighbor's longhorn ranch. It's a wild and delicious adventure that Roger won't soon forget.
Roger Mooking visits New England for two unique food traditions that celebrate family, friends and the community. On the first Saturday of June, the Rotary Club of Essex in Connecticut roasts three hundred pounds of fish that are nailed onto oak boards with strips of salt pork and cooked around a ring of coals for the annual Shad Bake. In Western Massachusetts, Roger meets Neftali Duran who dug a giant hole in his backyard and lined it with stones and bricks to cook goat barbacoa, a classic dish from his hometown Oaxaca, Mexico. Whole cuts of goat are rubbed down with spicy Mexican flavors, wrapped in avocado and maguey leaves and steamed over a pot filled with cracked corn and water to create a side dish called Masita.
Roger Mooking is grilling steaks and chickens in California, and smoking a bounty of seafood in Illinois. High heat for meat and low smoke for seafood. Roger begins in Orangevale, Calif., to meet restaurateur and caterer Steve Dougherty who specializes in Santa Maria-style barbecue. Roger and Steve season tri-tip steaks and chickens with Cajun spices, and then line them up on the racks of a giant portable grill. In Chicago, Roger visits Calumet Fisheries, an 80-year-old seafood smokehouse where he helps fish smoker Javier Magallanes load up salmon, trout, whitefish, sable and sturgeon, and smoke them to perfection.
Roger Mooking is in Florida fanning the flames for something savory and something sweet. Roger heads to Hamaknockers Bar-B-Que in Crawfordville, where a young pitmaster pulls pork with a power tool! Roger comes face-to-face with their signature sandwich, the Hamaburger. In Dade City, Roger meets Steve Melton, a farmer preserving the tradition of making cane syrup in a gigantic 100 year-old kettle over an open fire.
Barbecue is in the blood at two family-run institutions where the dedication for perfecting smoked meats spans decades. Burns Original BBQ in Houston, Texas, is the definition of a family business. Grandpa Roy Burns started cooking barbecue in 1973 on the side to help support his NINE children. Four decades later, over a dozen family members continue to keep the flames burning and the meat smoking. Roger is welcomed into the family and the pit room with open arms. He learns the ropes of East Texas style 'cue - tender chopped brisket, pork ribs that fall off the bone, and football-sized loaded bbq baked potatoes. Next, Roger heads to Poche's Market and Restaurant, which has been a one-stop shop for smoked meats in Breaux Bridge L.A. since 1962. Owner Floyd Poche gives Roger a sampling of their legendary 'cue. Pork ribs, pork steaks, sausages and whole chickens get rubbed down with spicy cajun seasoning before getting loaded into their 40 year old wood-fired smoker.
Roger Mooking is in Louisiana, where smoked meat makes an appearance in many classic Cajun dishes. He meets Chef Nathanial Zimet, who serves North Carolina-style smoked whole hog in po' boy sandwiches at Bourree in New Orleans. Roger helps Nathanial season and smoke a whole hog, and they also prepare Smoked Buffalo Chicken Wings. At Paul's Meat Market and Grocery in Ville Platte, La., Roger helps owner Paul Fontenot fill his outdoor smokehouse with several different kinds of sausages, tasso, pork belly, turkey wings and drumsticks. Paul also shares a family recipe for Cajun Brown Gravy.
Roger Mooking travels across Massachusetts to meet two chefs who are putting a brand new spin on fire-roasted, rotisserie chicken. In Great Barrington, Roger visits The Meat Market, where their mobile kitchen is a collection of metal contraptions fueled by wood burning fires, but the one that captures Roger's attention suspends a flock of chickens around a barrel of fire. On Martha's Vineyard, Roger visits Beetlebung Farm where a young farmer serves a New England feast inside a greenhouse.
Everyone loves sitting in front of a fireplace, but Roger Mooking loves cooking in one: He visits two places in New England that host delicious fireplace feasts. During the winter months, family-run restaurant Salem Cross Inn in West Brookfield, Mass., roasts racks of ribs in front of a scorching indoor fireplace. At Foster's Clambake in York, Maine, a classic New England clambake of lobsters, mussels, clams, corn and potatoes is steamed to perfection in a massive outdoor fireplace.
Roger Mooking attends the 100-year anniversary of the St. Mary Magdalene Church Picnic in Owensboro, Kentucky, where several thousand pounds of meat will cook over 100 feet of fire and smoke. Roger helps volunteers load and light three massive barbecue pits with wood planks, pallets and straw, then it's all hands on deck to prep, cook, flip and mop sauce for mutton, pork butts and chickens. Thousands attend this annual fundraiser, which even has a drive-through for folks who prefer to take their 'cue to go!
In North Bend, Ore., Chef Roger Mooking meets up with Don Ivy, Chief of the Coquille Tribe. Roger and Don roast a school of salmon for a traditional tribal feast. In Los Angeles, Roger visits Andy Ricker, chef/owner of Pok Pok La, who shares the secrets to his famous whole roasted chicken.
Roger Mooking is letting barbecue pork sandwiches hog the spotlight. He bites off as much as he can chew at Hoodoo Brown Barbeque in Ridgefield, Conn., where they serve a meaty masterpiece loaded with pork belly, pulled pork and shaved pork ribs. Then Roger heads to Bigmista's Barbecue and Sammich Shop in Long Beach, Calif., for succulent barbecue pork stuffed inside sweetened soft buns. At Pecan Lodge in Dallas, Roger gets a taste of The Pitmaster with brisket, pulled pork and chorizo sausages, and he finds Tex-Mex flavor in a pork burrito with fire-roasted green chile sauce at Lewis Barbecue in Charleston, S.C. Finally, Roger visits Top Hat Barbecue in Blount Springs, Ala., where they've been selling smoky pulled pork shoulder sandwiches with tangy barbecue sauce for 50 years.
Roger Mooking visits two caterers in the South who specialize in live-fire cookouts. He starts in Chattanooga, Tenn., where Argentine grillmaster Mariano Cebrian has an incredible collection of portable rigs to create live-fire events through his catering operation, Panoram Asados. When he's off the clock, Mariano and his wife, Angelina, light up these creative rigs in their backyard and cook traditional Argentine meals for their family and friends. Roger and Mariano fire up the parilla, a large outdoor hearth, to roast whole cabbages and carrots and char steak empanadas. Large slabs of beef short ribs are attached to metal crosses to slowly cook over a bed of fiery hot coals. In Columbia, S.C., Roger meets Chef Kristian Niemi, who prepares farm-to-table feasts through Honey River Catering. Together they create two cooking stations out of a cinder block pit for a Southern-style surf-and-turf spread. They season and stuff a boneless whole hog with ground pork sausage, sweet peppers, fennel, cranberries and a medley of spices and aromatics to create porchetta that cooks low and slow over coals. On the side, they roast and steam a bounty of oysters with pecan wood smoke thanks to Krisitan's custom-made plancha.
Chef Roger Mooking visits chefs using unusual tools over live fires. In Georgia, Roger meets Erik Niel, a chef that loves to break out of his butcher shop to cook outdoors. And Erik is pulling something out of his hat: over a dozen rabbits cooked rotisserie-style with bamboo poles. In Plano, Texas, Roger visits friend Chef Tim Byres at his restaurant Smoke to take a stab at cooking flank steak and whole chickens on swords.