Sunday, August 17, 2008


BBQ Cousins

Although the most accurate definition of BBQ is that of meat cooked low and slow with wood, the wider colloquial definition is just as valid. For most people, BBQ is anything cooked in the backyard during the summer months. Keeping in mind that our definitions are a bit narrow, I thought that we should take a moment to go over the things that are affiliated with BBQ and the internet resources that support them.


Chili is probably the closest parallel to BBQ that you will find. Even closer to what we consider BBQ than grilling is, Chili has many of the same characteristics as BBQ. Like BBQ, chili has its hard core devotees that have narrow definitions of what ‘true chili’ is. There are chili competitions throughout the nation with governing bodies that sanction the events and employ strict rules for competitors.

Let me know if you have any other resources to recommend, but the best recipes that I have found for chili can be found here:

That is the recipe section for the Chili Appreciation Society International. They also sanction chili competitions, run the prestigious Terlingua International Chili Competition and have a scholarship program.

If you would like to purchase chili instead of making it yourself, I highly recommend Chili My Soul. You can order form their extensive menu and they will ship their chili to anywhere in the continental U.S.

Chili My Soul offers an amazing array of chili that is cooked for at least 30 hours. If you happen to be near their restaurant in California, stop by. If not, start ordering now. You won’t regret it.


Chili’s illegitimate step-brother is the bowl of beans. For your own safety, if you happen to be in Texas don’t conflate the two. Chili and beans are two very different things. For purists, if you like beans in your chili you are no longer eating chili.

Although refried beans are justifiably popular, for our discussion we are talking about a big old cast iron pot of beans. The type of stuff you would imagine would be served on the chuck wagon as cowboys settle down for the night.

Here are a couple of good resources to check out:


To see a BBQ enthusiast without a beer in hand is a rare occurrence indeed. From my own anecdotal research, there seems to be a direct correlation between the likelihood of being a true beer aficionado with being a serious BBQ enthusiast. The chances are pretty good that if you have an array of smokers, you also have home brewing equipment.

If you click on the ‘BBQ Links’ tab at the top of this page you will find a link to the BBQ Brethren and to the National BBQ News forums. They are both great resources. The closest analog in the Beer world would be the Beer Advocate forum. The members of the Beer Advocate forum are a group of knowledgeable, friendly folks who are willing to greet new members with open internet arms.

If you are looking for beer to go with BBQ, I recommend reading our own series of articles on BBQ and Beer pairings. Click on the ‘Pairing’ tab on the left hand column.



The Davis' said...

I don't know why BUT I've found FAMOUS Dave's BBQ to be the BEST spot in Las VEgas so FAR..the ribs,brisket & chopped pork are always RIGHT ON, the beans are the BEST-with link & brisket throughout
AND the ribs falling OFF the bone and 6 different sauces. WASH it all down with a PITCHER of beer-Yummy

Best chili I ever had was at the Madera County Fair in California-HEARTY & spicy Chunks of steak & Spicy as all heck

Eric Devlin said...

Thanks for writing! I have to admit that I haven't made it into a Famous Dave's yet. They have one that is fairly close by. I'll have to make it a point to stop in.