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.
In a pit, under a kettle, or in between hunks of heavy metal, Roger's showing off three flame-licking good feasts that are packing high heat. In North Bend, Oregon, cooking with fire isn't a trend, it's a time-honored tradition. Chief Don Ivy of the Coquille Indian Tribe has been hosting impressive salmon bakes for 25 years inspired by the customs of his ancestors. He shows Roger how to roast 200 pounds of salmon on sticks, and they build one of the biggest fires in Man Fire Food history. Then, Roger makes his way to Old Post Office Restaurant in Door County, Wisconsin, where they cook local fish in a cauldron and lights it up with an explosive wildfire. And, in Napa Valley, father-daughter team built a towering outdoor oven in the middle of their family vineyard. Roger helps them bake whole fish in a California King-size salt bed between not one, but two raging fires.
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 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.
Roger Mooking visits the West Coast for two unique wood-fired roasts. Roger heads to Sloughhouse to visit Passmore Ranch, a freshwater, sustainable fish farm, where Roger is challenged to catch a 6ft white sturgeon-by hand! The catch of the day is then stuffed with aromatics and roasted over a large bed of coals. Roger is on the hunt for Santa Maria-style barbecue and heads to the Santa Maria Elks Lodge. In the legendary BBQ Room, Roger helps build a fire in the massive pit and seasons and skewers big hunks of beef.
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!
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 is scouring the country for fiery fresh takes on the beloved classic combination, surf and turf. A Miami chef shows Roger a unique rig he built himself that allows him to roast, grill and saute over hot coals. Roger helps him grill juicy pork packed with adobo-inspired flavors and prepare a seafood-studded paella in a party-sized pan. Next, the classic New England clambake takes a cross-country trip to Southern California where Roger helps steam a bounty of seafood, spicy chorizo and some of the Golden State's best produce in a wine barrel. Finally, at Llano Seco Ranch in Chico, Calif., Roger pigs out on juicy Italian porchetta spit-roasted on a handcrafted rotisserie and succulent oysters basted in the pork drippings.
Roger Mooking visits two restaurants in the Lone Star State that turn traditional Texas-style barbecue into crafty culinary creations. In Fort Worth, he meets pitmaster Travis Heim and his wife, Emma, the power couple behind the popular restaurant Heim Barbecue. Roger and Travis fill a giant steel rotisserie smoker with slabs of briskets. Then, in the kitchen, Emma and Roger build the Heimburger -- two beef patties mixed with brisket trimmings and topped with molten cheese and bacon burnt end bourbon jam. In Tomball, Roger visits one-of-a-kind spot Tejas Chocolate and Barbecue. Owners Michelle Holland and her brothers Scott and Greg Moore fire-roast cocoa beans for chocolate bars and confections and smoke beef, chicken and pork in a 3,000-pound propane tank smoker for classic Texas barbecue. The "three chocolatiers" show Roger how to make their signature mole sauce with their craft bean-to-bar chocolate.
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's on the hunt for lip-smacking barbecue ribs. In Hattiesburg, Miss., Leatha's Bar-b-cue Inn seasons their pork and beef ribs with a mysterious marinade, cooks them in an unusual upright smoker, and finishes them with a top secret barbecue sauce. Roger learns how to make these Southern-style ribs from Brian Jackson, a third generation pit master. And at Hometown Bar-B-Que in New York, Brooklyn native Billy Durney gives his ribs an ethnic spin. The Jerk Baby Back Ribs are seasoned with the earthy, spicy flavors of Jamaica, while the Sticky Korean ribs are glossed with a sweet and savory Asian glaze, and then topped with cashews and scallions.
Roger Mooking follows the smoke signals to two Texas restaurants. At Bin Tapas Bar in San Antonio, Texas, Roger and Chef Jason Dady cook a giant pan of paella flavored with Thai ingredients and cooked over a wood burning fire. In keeping with the Asian theme, Roger and Jason grill up chicken and eggplant marinated in lemongrass, ginger, Thai chilis and fresh herbs. Then Roger heads to Banger's Sausage House and Beer Garden in Austin, Texas which has about 30 sausages on the menu and over 100 beers on tap. Locals crowd the beer garden when the restaurant does their monster feast - Smoke Out Saturday. Chef Ted Prater shows Roger how he roasts a Texas-sized goat in a Cajun microwave and makes vegetable skewers and antelope merguez sausages to complete the Mediterranean menu.
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 is firing up three different rigs to cook a whole hog, racks of ribs and bushels of oysters for the ultimate South Carolina-style surf and turf. He meets up with pitmaster Aaron Siegel and Chef Taylor Garrigan, the culinary masterminds behind Home Team BBQ restaurant in Charleston, S.C. Roger and Taylor light up a burn barrel to make mountains of coals for the pig cooker, which will roast a whole 150-pound hog. During the cook, the hog is mopped with spicy vinegar. Roger helps Aaron smoke 30 racks of pork ribs in an offset smoker and steam clusters of locally harvested oysters in a custom rig. It's a magnificent low-country feast featuring a typical pig pickin' and a classic oyster roast.
The fires glow bright in the Carolinas. Roger Mooking visits Skylight Inn, a family-run restaurant in North Carolina that has been serving whole hog-style barbecue for 65 years. In South Carolina, five friends create an extravagant two-day, meat-filled feast called "Bovinova, Barn Yard Burn." Six hundred hungry barbecue lovers come for the surf and turf paella, roasted chickens, roasted lamb, pigs and the main attraction, a whole roasted cow!
Roger Mooking is going coast to coast for his cookouts, starting with Seattle chef Renee Erickson, who celebrates summer by smoking meats and seafood in wine barrels that have been transformed into smokers. Fresh lamb, Pacific oysters, spot prawns and Dungeness crabs are quickly cooked in these unique wine barrel smokers for a summertime feast at a beautiful farm just outside the city. In New England, nothing screams summer more than a traditional seafood boil prepared right on the beach. Roger visits Island Creek Oysters in Duxbury, Mass., and digs for the tastiest oysters and clams from the beach and builds the perfect pit for a delicious outdoor seafood boil.
Roger Mooking's search for fire and food takes him to Jamaica where Roger makes a beeline for Scotchie's Too, a restaurant famous for cooking jerk over logs set over pits filled with coals. Roger also meets up with local fisherman Dennis Abrahams at Alligator Pond, a beach where boats pull in after fishing to sell their goods. Dennis and Roger start a campfire right on the beach and grill the catch of the day.
Roger Mooking heads to North and South Carolina to visit a couple of old school restaurants that have upheld a long tradition of mouthwatering barbecue for several generations. At Sweatman's in Holly Hill, S.C., whole hogs are cooked low and slow and then pulled and chopped into juicy, meaty perfection. In North Carolina, Roger visits Stamey's Barbecue in Greensboro for their Lexington-style barbecue. Succulent pork shoulders are chopped and piled high on a bun, kissed with vinegar sauce and crowned with slaw.
Roger Mooking visits Faith's Farm in Bonfield, Illinois, for an awesome feast cooked on three different fiery contraptions. Roger helps three chefs orchestrate a festive Latin and Mexican-inspired meal. A whole lamb slowly roasts on an asado cross, boar steaks are grilled on a repurposed windmill, and pig skins are fried until puffy and crisp in a wood burning oven and stove, and then finished with a smoky Mexican chocolate glaze. It's a three-alarm fire for a three-star, farm-to-table spread.
Roger Mooking heads to Hoodoo Brown Barbeque in Ridgefield, CT, where owner Cody Sperry serves up monster-sized meaty masterpieces. Cody serves up "outlaw barbeque," a mashup of styles and traditions with smoke pork butts, pork ribs, pork belly and beef brisket. All that pork comes together in the Hogzilla, a towering sandwich with BBQ ranch dressing, fried green tomato and coleslaw. To wash it down, Roger and Hoodoo Brown Barbecue manager, Chris Sexton make a cocktail called, "The Bloody Trinity," which is topped with smoked meat! Finally, Roger makes his way to Nashville, where Vivek Surti, founder of the VEA Supper Club, cooks up a massive hanging whole rib roast crusted with spices and serves it with grilled broccoli salad and roasted sweet potatoes.
Roger Mooking visits the Jack Mountain Bushcraft School in Masardis, Maine, where owner and wilderness guide Tim Smith teaches him how to create a rustic outdoor kitchen. They build a pyramid cooker out of logs and string, and use it to roast whole chickens and fresh-caught Brook Trout. With the help of a reflector oven, they complete their feast with Sourdough Biscuits.
Roger Mooking is in Puerto Rico where the weather is hot, the view is smoking and the food is "a fuego!" It's his first time visiting Puerto Rico and he's inviting friends along for the ride. Roger begins the eating adventure with fellow Canadian, Chef Chuck Hughes. They'll fill up on pork at La Estacion, a former gas station-turned-barbecue restaurant that's located in Fajardo. Owner and Chef Kevin Roth transformed a truck into a smoker and grill and that's the main star of his outdoor kitchen. Roger and Chuck help build and light a fire, and rub down a whole pig with spices to make lechon, a Puerto Rican specialty. Roger heads over to the other side of the island and meets local chef Tino Feliciano. Tino takes Roger to a popular roadside eatery Rancho Carbon Express. Chickens are stuffed with sofrito, rubbed with adobo and then cooked on rotisseries.
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.
It takes incredible talent and a whole lot of practice to achieve barbecue perfection, and Roger Mooking is honoring the legendary pitmasters who make some of the country's best barbecue. He gets cooking with the man who brought barbecue to Brooklyn at Hometown Bar-B-Que, cooking Jamaican jerk baby back ribs and sticky Korean ribs with a sweet and savory Asian influence. Then, Roger is off to Texas to the famous Kreuz Market to get schooled on traditions dating back to their opening in 1900. Then he heads to North Carolina's Skylight Inn, also known as Jones BBQ, to check out their traditional method of low and slow whole hog cooking with a whopping 16-hour cook time.
Roger Mooking fires up two delicioso Latin-inspired feasts. In St. Augustine, Fla., Roger meets Nick Carrera, a grill master and grill maker behind Urban Asado. They roast whole lambs and vegetables on Nick's asado crosses and asado grills for an Argentinian cookout. In Smyrna, Ga., Roger hangs out with Chef Andre Gomez, the owner of Porch Light Latin Kitchen, who cooks up Puerto Rican classics in his backyard when he's off the clock. Roger and Andre build a rustic cinder block pit to roast a whole pig. While the meat cooks, they make empanadas by encasing shredded braised pork cheeks in a dough made from green plantains, and they shallow-fry them in a pan of oil set over a bed of hot coals.