Roger's learning to rig up and roast whole animals with some truly wild techniques. First he'll learn an ancient Argentine method of roasting lamb upright over coals by hanging them on cast iron crosses in the open air. Then he catches a six-foot sturgeon and stuffs it to the gills with fresh veggies for an outdoor feast. Back on land, a South Carolina pitmaster shows Roger his new high-tech rigs, capable of cooking a room full of hogs, ultra low and slow with a thirteen hour cook time.
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 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.
Roger Mooking meets two talented chefs who own two spectacular outdoor cooking rigs. In Miami, Chef Aaron Brooks celebrates Latin flavors with his unique coal-fueled contraption called the Cross Table. Roger and Aaron roast butterflied pork and simmer seafood paella. In Birmingham, Ala., Roger visits Chef Chris Hastings at his restaurant OvenBird. The restaurant is known for its wood-fired kitchen, but Chris's fascination for fire led him to create a one-of-a-kind portable oven. Roger and Chris cook up a meat lover's feast along with the season's best vegetables.
Roger Mooking is in pig paradise, cooking up two whole hogs in two different styles. In New Orleans, Roger visits MOPHO restaurant where Chef Michael Gulotta's Southeast Asian spit-roasted pig is a twist on a classic Southern tradition. In Mississippi, Chef Miles McMath hinges two steel troughs together to make a convenient and quick-cooking oven. Roger and Miles slow-cook a whole hog in this unique rig, and fry hand pies for dessert over an open flame.
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.
Chef Roger Mooking meets with two Southern ladies famous in the barbecue world. In Nashville, Roger has eyes only for the smoked ribs at Mary's Old Fashioned Pit Bar-B-Que. At Helen's Bar-B-Q in Brownsville, Tenn., Roger meets legendary pit master Helen Turner and help her cook pork shoulders, pork ribs and a whole stick of bologna.
Roger Mooking meets two barbecue brainiacs who have mastered the art of marrying heat and meat to turn out top-notch barbecue. Pitmaster Christopher Prieto teaches students the science of smoking and seasoning meats at Prime Barbecue in Knightdale, N.C. Roger helps Prieto season a whole hog with Puerto Rican flavors, and then they smoke it in a North Carolina-style pit using coals made from pecan, hickory and cherry woods. In Glen Allen, Va., Roger meets Tuffy Stone, a classically trained French chef, cookbook author, champion pitmaster and the owner of local barbecue chain Q Barbeque. When Tuffy's not tinkering in the kitchen, he's busy building rigs from scratch, and Roger helps fire up his latest contraption with hickory coals and then hang whole spiced and buttered chickens.
Roger Mooking goes hog-wild at two legendary barbecue restaurants located in America's Barbecue Belt. At A&R Bar-B-Que in Memphis, Roger helps owner Andrew Pillard load racks of St. Louis-style ribs into custom wood-fired pits. Andrew also shows Roger how to make Barbecue Spaghetti, a dish created in Memphis in the 1950s. In Lexington, N.C., Roger visits Bar-B-Q Center, a local institution famous for its chopped pork sandwiches and massive ice cream sundaes. Roger and co-owner Cecil Conrad fire up big brick pits with oak and hickory wood and then load salted pork shoulders to cook low and slow for ten hours before they're chopped and piled onto soft buns. And no trip to Bar-B-Q Center is complete without their famous banana split that weighs a whopping four pounds!
Roger Mooking heads to the South to visit two family-run barbecue joints that have been passing down recipes and rigs for generations. At Smokin' Joe's Bar-B-Que in Townsend, Tenn., pitmaster Zack Peabody honed his barbecue chops under the watchful eye of his grandfather, Joe Higgins. Zack and Joe built a smoker that can cook up to 1,000 pounds of meat, and Roger and Zack arrange briskets and pork butts on its shelves. At Shack in the Back BBQ in Fairdale, Ky., Mike and Barbara Sivells converted an old log cabin into a barbecue restaurant. Roger and Mike load pork shoulders and turkey ribs into the smoker to create two popular dishes: The Hump and Turkey Ribs.
Roger Mooking meets up with a few culinary titans in Tennessee who are swinging for the fences with outrageous rigs. At Wedge Oak Farm in Lebanon, Tenn., he joins Chef Trey Cioccia, owner of Nashville's Black Rabbit, to set up the Burn Tower. On this unique rig, meat, fish and vegetables are hung at varying heights around a metal cylinder filled with hot coals. In Nashville, Roger hangs with James Peisker and Chris Carter, the owners of Porter Road Butcher. Chris shows Roger an old swing set that he transformed into a cooking contraption, and they hang meaty rib roasts and fill a basket with chorizo and kielbasa.
Roger Mooking visits the Lone Star State, where they're taking open-fire cooking to new culinary heights with unique rigs. In Fort Worth, Texas, chef and restaurateur Lou Lambert invites Roger to his ranch to slow-roast whole hogs over oak coals in a massive, custom-built metal rig. Dessert is a sweet treat inspired by Lou's chuck wagon cooking days -- pear and blackberry cobbler crisps baked in Dutch ovens using hot coals from burn barrels. Then Roger heads south to Houston, Texas, to meet up with Eight Row Flint's chef Marcelo Garcia, who gets customers fired up for the Trompo Wagon parked out back. Roger helps him load ten vertical spits with marinated pork butts and chicken thighs to spin slowly next to a triple tier of fire, smoke and heat. While the wheels are turning and the fires are burning, Roger and Marcelo make corn tortillas for tacos.
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.
It's pure carnivore extravagance as Roger Mooking visits pitmasters cooking meat in massive quantities. First, there's no time for low and slow as Roger heads to San Antonio to fire up an altar of meat in over 600-degree heat. He skewers a deep green chorizo verde and Mexican-style cabrito -- an entire milk-fed goat. Next, a Central California robotics engineer shows Roger his latest invention -- a 40-foot trailer with room for 600 pounds of meaty magnificence -- and Roger is introduced to California mac and cheese loaded with smoky tri-tip steak. Then he's off to the Santa Maria California Elks Club to load dozens of heavy-duty rods with 60 pounds of sizzling top sirloin in their legendary barbecue room. Finally, Roger checks out a Louisiana smokehouse with 60 years of history and possibly the Bayou's best sausage. He helps smoke entire shacks loaded with beef sausage, Andouille, whole chickens, turkey necks and Tasso ham to make a truly authentic Louisiana po' boy.
Roger Mooking is going hog wild for the most insane pig roasts in the country. First, he's in Hawaii to roast a whole pig in a traditional underground oven called an imu. The community comes together to cook the pig with glowing hot lava rock and a layer of local vegetation to trap the heat. Next, he meets the sausage king of Texas at the Meyer's Elgin Sausage smokehouse and learns how they stuff and fire up 5,000 pounds of pork sausage in a single day with state-of-the-art technology. Roger heads to Leatha's in southern Mississippi to learn the secret behind their unusual upright smoker that allows pork fat from their ribs to drip right on top of succulent smoked pork shoulder, and finally he visits a true porky hall of fame at Stamey's in Greensboro, N.C. Their incredible cooking chamber houses 10 huge smoking pits that allow them to roast 200 pork shoulders at a time.
Roger Mooking tames the flames in outdoor kitchens fueled by wood-burning fires. In Solvang, Calif., the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort is home to 10,000 acres of land with horses, cattle and a bevy of fiery cooking contraptions. Roger helps fire up a meal of juicy beef ribs and grilled chickens for their weekly ranch cookout. In San Diego, Roger visits the outdoor kitchen of caterer Clyde Van Arsdall of 3 Squares Gourmet to slow-roast herb and citrus-stuffed turkeys on the spit while vegetables roast in the oven. Then it all comes together for a hearty soup that's cooked in an antique cauldron rigged above scorching hot coals.
Roger Mooking visits two Southern California barbecue joints that serve smoked meat specialties on weekends only. First, he meets a husband and wife team running a pop-up restaurant called Moo's Craft Barbecue in their own backyard. He helps load their 2,000-pound smoker with Texas brisket and pork butt for tasty tacos and samples their signature side dishes, Mexican street corn and coleslaw kicked up a notch with tequila. Then Roger finds Calabasas Custom Catering in the parking lot at Jim's Fallbrook Market. He helps caterer Paul Varenchik fire up a big Santa Maria grill to cook beef tri-tip, chickens and baby back ribs, and the waiting customers complete their barbecue plates with crusty garlic bread, macaroni salad and potato salad.
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.
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.
Chef Roger Mooking is spending the day at Jacobsen Salt Co., in Netarts Bay, Ore., one of the largest producers of handcrafted sea salt in America. Owner Ben Jacobsen takes Roger on a tour of the facility, showing him how to smoke sea salt, and then Roger meets with Portland-based chef Carlo Lamagna. Roger helps Carlo stuff a 20-pound halibut with lemon and herbs, encrust the whole fish in salt and roast it over a wood-burning fire.
Chef Roger Mooking sees that everything is bigger in Texas, first meeting Pit Master Levi Goode at Armadillo Palace in Houston. On Levi's custom rotisserie trailer, they roast a 250-pound side of beef. Then at Cured restaurant in San Antonio, Roger and chef/owner Steve McHugh slow-roast a 230-pound hog in a large outdoor cinder block pit.
Chef Roger Mooking is on the lookout for some truly unique rigs. In Colorado, Roger meets Josh Pollack, owner of Rosenberg's Bagels & Delicatessen in Denver, who created an eight-foot steel contraption that can cook up to 1,000 pounds of food. Roger then goes to 44 Farms in Cameron, Texas, where Jason Schimmels shows off their impressive barbecue trailer, but also introduces Roger to their unique 10-foot "tripod grills" where huge rib eye roasts are cooked in rotating metal cages.
In Buffalo Gap, Texas, Roger Mooking meets Tom Perini at his restaurant, Perini Ranch Steakhouse. Roger is put to work lighting up burn barrels for the metal pits, then dessert is baked in a coal-covered cast iron Dutch oven. At Pitchfork Fondue Western Cookout in Pinedale, Wyo., owner Matt David invites Roger to his outdoor kitchen where steaks are skewered onto pitchforks and deep-fried in giant cauldrons.
Roger Mooking finds two chefs in Texas who are pushing the boundaries of whole hog barbecue, where pigs are roasted low and slow over coals before the meat is chopped or pulled and seasoned with sauce. At Banger's Sausage House and Beer Garden in Austin, Texas, Roger and pitmaster Ted Prater season a whole hog simply with salt and smoke it for 10 hours for Carolina-style sandwiches. In San Antonio, Roger helps Chef Pieter Sypesteyn stuff a wild hog with chaurice, a spicy pork sausage typically used in Creole and Cajun cooking. After roasting the hog, they add the meat to a spicy tomato-based stew.
Roger Mooking is in Lockhart, Texas, to meet the team responsible for designing and crafting a monster rig that offers seven different cooking contraptions. Brothers Matt and Caleb Johnson create smokers for chefs and pitmasters across the country through their company Mill Scale Metalworks. They collaborated with local chef Arturo Ramon II of Blanco River Meat Co. on an impressive rig, and Roger helps Arturo roast whole young goats on asado crosses, hang sweet tea-brined Cornish hens and steam whole red snappers stuffed with aromatics.
Roger Mooking visits the Louisiana bayou for barbecue, brunch and a crawfish boil. In Prairieville, La., he helps a husband-and-wife team of caterers prepare baby back ribs, brisket and 200 pounds of live crawfish. Then Roger heads to Baton Rouge, La., to meet a caterer serving barbecue breakfast sandwiches at a local eatery. They season pork butts and beef cheeks for smoking and then pile the meat onto biscuits with fried eggs, cheese and bacon.