Roger Mooking meets up with two mastermind chefs who show off their radical rigs on opposite ends of the country. In Great Barrington, Mass. Roger puts the pedal to the metal on Jeremy Stanton's "Rotisserie Bike," a genius stationary bike that can turn up to 12 spits at once with nothing more than the force of two hamstrings. After prepping a whole hog, an 80 pound beef leg, and a basket of onions, Roger and Jeremy burn some calories while they take turns to keep the meat turning over three open fires. Then, Roger races off to San Francisco where he and Chef Sophina Uong of Mestiza Taqueria cook up a Filipino-Mexican feast on her lean mean chicken machine. Over 30 chickens are loaded onto bamboo sticks and leaned over an open fire.
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 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.
The best place to celebrate the foods of summer is The Place Restaurant, located in Guilford, Conn. The kitchen for this roadside eatery is an outdoor grill, fueled by slabs of local wood. Brothers Vaughn and Gary Knowles take Roger Mooking to the lumberyard for wood and the docks for fresh-caught lobsters and clams for a breathtaking wood-fired New England seafood feast. In Olympia, Wash., the Nisqually Tribe teaches Roger two traditional ways of preparing seafood.
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!
Roger Mooking salutes the country's most impressive and creative female pitmasters, learning a few new roasting methods along the way. A San Francisco chef shows Roger her rig made from plumbing pipes, which she uses to roast her Salpicao chicken coated with smoky, coconut salsa. Next, a Tennessee queen of the 'cue shows him how she smokes a meat more likely to be found in a lunchbox than in a smokehouse. Then, two ingenious women teach Roger ways to smoke shellfish that he's never seen before -- one using wine barrels to build a smoker on site and the other flexing her muscles using nothing but flames.
Roger Mooking's first visit to the 50th state promises big fires and big feasts. Right off of Nimitz Highway in Honolulu is family-run restaurant Koala Moa, famous for whole chickens roasted over fire. Roger and owner Chris Shimabukuro burn wood pallets and unopened bags of charcoal in a thirty-five foot rotisserie trailer and cook up over 100 seasoned chickens. At Ma'O Organic Farms in Wai-anae, Roger meets local chef Bob McGee who roasts half a cow over a custom-built metal grill.
Roger Mooking meets two chefs celebrating South American grilling styles in northern California. At Farmstead Restaurant in St. Helena, Chef Stephen Barber built a "live fire" cook area, for Argentinian Asado, where Roger and Stephen slow cook spring lamb. In Healdsburg, Roger and Mateo Granados, chef of Mateo's Cocina Latina, build an outdoor oven out of bricks and cinder blocks. Marinated whole ducks, pork loins and leg of lamb are placed onto large Brazilian skewers and cooked on top of the oven.
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 gets blown away by not one but two of the biggest metal-clad rigs he's ever seen. In Algoma, Wis., he meets brothers Brad and Aric Schmiling who use a giant cinder block pit and massive metal grates to roast a whole steer. Then Roger heads to Atascadero, Calif. where he meets Jason Elvis Heard, a brilliant engineering consultant who built a record-breaking rig called Mega Pit. Roger and Jason load, it up with 600 pounds of dry-rubbed chicken, beef and pork ribs, and the region's signature meat. If that wasn't enough, Jason shares his take on mac-n-cheese, made with tender chunks of tri-tip and all the BBQ flavors we know and love.
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'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 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 takes a trip to Charleston, S.C., to visit the Big Red Rig, a bright red, double-decker, 30-foot trailer tricked out with two massive smokers cooking traditional pulled pork, ribs and chicken for barbecue competitions across the country. Then, Bone-in Artisan BBQ in Columbia, S.C., is a hugely popular food truck pushing the limits on taste and technique, as well as the definition of South Carolina-style barbecue.
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.
Texas is famous for American barbecue, but today Roger Mooking is making his way through the Lone Star state for live-fire Latin American cooking and to savor the flavors of smoked European-style sausages. Class is in session at the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio and Roger gets a lesson in preparing Mexican-style short ribs cooked in the ground. Elgin is a town famous for their German-style sausages and Roger visits Meyer's and helps prepare thousands of twice smoked sausages.
Roger Mooking's favorite way to devour smoked pork shoulder is in a sandwich. In Grand Rapids, Roger visits the Pit Stop, a barbecue take-out famous for their unconventional yet scrumptious sandwich featuring pork chili, pulled pork, cilantro cream and barbecue sauce wrapped up in a flour tortilla and then cooked on a griddle until golden brown and crispy. For a classic Southern-style pork sandwich, Roger visits Top Hat Barbecue in Blount Springs, Ala. This barbecue institution has been serving their best-selling sandwich the same exact way for almost 50 years. The smoked pork is chopped, dressed with a little barbecue sauce and then piled in a bun.
Mexican food is a favorite of Roger Mooking because of its complex, earthy flavors and tradition of cooking over a wood fire. Roger meets Chef Johnny Hernandez in San Antonio, and cooks regional Mexican dishes in the ultimate outdoor kitchen.
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 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.
Richard McCallister of Marksbury Farm Market invites Roger Mooking to his annual spring celebration in Lancaster, Ky. Richard and Roger season a flock of spring chickens and cook them in a contraption inspired by the grills in Uruguay. Roger contributes a dish to the party: corn on the cob seasoned with coconut oil and an exotic blend of spices. Richard's friend Jim Budros insists on preparing Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler for dessert and transports his 2000 pound wood-burning oven straight from Ohio.
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 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.
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 is on the hunt for the most radical barbecue rigs, and he starts at The Pit Room in Houston, Texas, where special events call for a custom-built trailer that can cook up to 600 pounds of meat. Roger helps load up six whole goats for tacos. In Napa Valley, Calif., he checks out Oak Avenue Catering's custom-made asado grill that can cook a huge side of beef. For a side dish, fermented cabbages are hung on the grill to cook low and slow with the meat. As they wait for this feast to cook, Roger learns how to transfer a tree stump into a flaming stove for boiling potatoes that are then crisped on a hot plancha to complete this feast in the heart of wine country.
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!
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