Spice Up Your Summer with Soul-Food-Barbecue

Soul-Food-Barbecue is enjoyed all year but is especially favorable during the summer. Summer is the perfect time to test your barbecue-recipe and a perfect way to get together with family and friends and enjoy a backyard barbecue.

If carefully planned, a backyard barbecue party will be the highlight of your summer and if done right, your guests will remember for years to come.

The key element in planning a soul-food-barbecue is the barbecue itself. Good barbecue is prepared the old-fashioned way–on a charcoal grill. Some have mastered the trade while others simply can‘t quite get it right. It takes years to really get it right unless you have an expert by your side guiding you step by step.

Today, many people hire a professional chef to do all the work–from preparing the barbecue-recipe to setting up their guest tables. You could hire a professional chef–for a hefty fee, or ask friends to help out–if they know their way around a grill.

A really good barbecue chef is hard to find and when you find one, he usually just cook at five-star hotels or upscale restaurants where most chefs are employed. AND, if you found one, you may wonder —Is he really a barbecue expert with experience on an old-fashioned barbecue grill? Or does he simply use a barbecue-recipe and prepare barbecue from the kitchen oven?

Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a professional barbecue chef with his soul-food-barbecue recipe give you step-by-step instructions on how to cook barbecue on an old-fashioned barbecue grill–that your guests will RAVE about— At no cost to you?


Wouldn’t it be a cool experience to learn from the best –with over 30 years of experience mastering old-fashioned grilled barbecue–in only a few short steps? ALL in the privacy of your own backyard?

Well, today, you’re in luck.

Today our guest and soul-food-barbecue expert, Earl will give us nine simple step-by-step instructions on how to cook barbecue on a old-fashioned barbecue grill with a simple barbecue-recipe and technique for pulled pork sandwiches.

Earl is most known for his award-winning barbecue pork sandwiches and have served thousands to event goers during festivals, music concerts, and sporting events. He owned a award-winning barbecue catering service and received rave reviews for his hickory smoked barbecue.

Earl has given countless demonstrations on preparing great barbecue pork at State Fairs, World trade shows, and on television segments. We can all learn how to barbecue the right way from Earl’s many years of experience.

Let’s welcome him!

9 Easy Steps to Soul-Food-Barbecue
By Earl Harrell

Hello, my Name is Earl and today I will give you a few simple steps to help you barbecue a pork shoulder and make great pulled pork sandwiches.

Equipment and Supplies Needed
1. 1 (one) Pork shoulder
2. A charcoal grill with at least 19 inches from end to end of cooking space on one level
3. 12 pounds of charcoal
4. Charcoal lighter fluid
5. Stirring object for charcoal
6. Aluminum foil

How to Purchase Pork Shoulder
Select a pork shoulder between 7 to 8 pounds. This is the average size and will accomondate up to 15-20 guests. Choose a pork shoulder with less fat. You don’t want a piece of meat that has too much fat on it.

The texture of the meat should be firm with a grayish pink color. And, always make sure the meat is fresh and the expiration date has not expired.

Some people use seasoning or a rub before putting the meat on the grill. However you prefer, add your seasoning, or make your own (optional).

I use a charcoal barbecue grill and charcoal briquettes as my source of energy.

So, if you’re ready, let’s get started!

1. Pour in a pile 6 pounds of charcoal at each end of the grill. (You need a total of 12 pounds of charcoal).

2. Add enough charcoal starter to cover the top portion of each pile. Let set for 45 seconds; then light charcoal.

3. Allow the charcoal to burn by turning white – about 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Wrap the meat loosely in aluminum foil. Wrapping the meat will help it get done faster and prevent it from burning.

5. Center the meat on the rack of the grill. Close grill cover. When you center the meat, it will allow the meat to cook evenly. Do not put the shoulder directly over the pile of charcoal. The drippings will cause the flame to flare up and burn the meat.

6. Start checking meat after it has cooked for about 5 hours.

7. Stir the piles of charcoal with a metal object.

IMPORTANT: After stirring, make sure the piles remain at each end of the grill and not in the center. This process will help the meat get done faster.

8. Continue cooking and check every hour after the fifth hour until fork tender.

9. When meat is completely done, remove from grill then chop into bit size pieces for sandwiches. Add your favorite barbecue sauce. Serve on buns.

Cooking Time: 8 to 10 hours or until fork tender
Grill Temperature: 230 degrees when grill is closed
Yield: 15-20 Sandwiches.

Follow these easy steps and you’ll be on the road to making great pulled pork.


Thank you Earl for those 9 Easy Steps to Soul-Food-Barbecue.

A soul-food-barbecue menu is not complete without barbecue pulled pork. There’s just something about old-fashioned barbecue and soul food that go hand in hand. However, there are delicious alternatives to using pork. See below:

Alternative #1: If you prefer not to use pork for your soul-food-barbecue , make barbecue turkey legs or chicken. They’re just as good and your guests will enjoy them.


Alternative #2: Add barbecue turkey or chicken to your menu with the barbecue pork. Some guests will prefer the pork to turkey and chicken and vice versa.

Hamburger buns
4 cups chopped pork shoulder
Barbecue Sauce, (see recipe below)

Serving Suggestion #1: Mix pork shoulder and about 1/3 to ½ cup of barbecue sauce together. Fill the bottom half of hamburger buns with meat. Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of coleslaw. TIP: If more sauce is preferred, add to taste. Serve.

Serving Suggestion #2: Fill the bottom half of hamburger buns with meat. Spoon small amounts of barbecue sauce over meat. Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of coleslaw over barbecue sauce. Serve. This recipe can also be served without barbecue sauce.

1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup vinegar
6 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup ketchup
½ small onion, chopped fine
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ cup water

Mix all ingredients together in large sauce pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with pulled pork.

The pulled pork recipe can be served without barbecue sauce. Because the meat is cooked 100% on the grill, the meat is wonderful all by itself.

1 cup light mayonnaise
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
6 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup onion, chopped

Combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and chill. Yield: 6 cups.

8 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped
1/3 cup green pepper, chopped
2 (16 ounce) pork and beans, drained
1/3 cup brown sugar
½ cup chili sauce or ketchup

Fry bacon until crisp, remove and drain on paper towel. Saute onions and green peppers in bacon grease until translucent. Add beans, brown sugar, chili sauce, and bacon. Stir. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until hot. Yield: 8 servings.

Plan a soul-food-barbecue this summer with family and friends. And don’t forget to try Earl’s 9 Easy Steps to Soul-Food-Barbecue. It’s the most wonderful barbecue-recipe I’ve ever had. And I know you’ll love it. Have a safe and enjoyable summer!

Cassandra Harrell is a Soul Food Advisor and recently owned a soul food restaurant and catering service. She has coached one-on-one sessions on preparing great soul food cuisine.

Category: BBQ

7 Easy Steps to Barbecue Chicken

Barbecue chicken is a soul food classic among many African Americans and is enjoyed seasoned mild or hot flavored. Barbecuing also offers an alternative to the traditional pan frying. As you probably remember from reading the History of Soul Food, the slaves grilled their food over an open pit fire and today grilling with charcoal is still very popular. Chicken is also a good source of protein and is certainly a healthy choice.

Today BBQ Expert Earl Harrell has returned to give us step by step instructions on how to Barbecue Chicken. Earl is most know for his outstanding barbecue skills and offers suggestions and tips on making your next cook-out an enjoyable one.

Let’s welcome Earl!

Hello, my name is Earl and today, I will show you how to bbq chicken the old-fashioned way.

Equipment and Supplies Needed
Charcoal Grill – not gas
Charcoal ( about 6 pounds)
Charcoal Starter
Barbecue Sauce

You will need cut-up chicken parts. Before you put the chicken on the grill, marinade or season the chicken with salt and pepper or your usual seasoning. This should be done a few hours before cooking or marinated overnight.

7 Easy Steps to Barbecue Chicken – By Earl Harrell

1. Pour in bottom of barbecue grill about 6 pounds of charcoal. Spread the charcoal evenly in bottom of grill to make one layer.

2. Add charcoal starter to charcoal. Let set for 45 seconds; then light.

3. Once lighted, allow the charcoal to turn white–about 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Place the chicken on the racks directly above the burning charcoal to allow the chicken to get direct heat from the charcoal.

5. Once the chicken began cooking, turn the chicken from one side to the other allowing the meat to cook evenly. Repeat this process until the chicken is done. It will take about 35 minutes to cook the chicken depending on the size of the chicken parts. For chicken breast, it takes about 25 minutes to cook.

6. When the chicken is almost done, add the barbecue sauce to each side to allow the meat to cook with the sauce.

TIP: When the chicken burst or crack in different areas that means it’s almost done.

7. Once done, remove chicken from grill and place on serving dish.

Below are two good barbecue sauce recipes to try on your chicken. This barbecue sauce recipe is very popular.

1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sauce
6 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

In a medium saucepan over low heat, mix the ketchup, brown sauce, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, white vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Blend in the brown sugar and dry mustard until dissolved. Simmer 10 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat, and allow to cool before using on meats.

A sweet, tangy, barbecue sauce. 2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup brown sugar

Place the apple cider vinegar in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Mix in the ketchup, onion, garlic, dry mustard, chili powder, seasoning salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir in the brown sugar. Cook, stirring often, 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce heat, and, stirring occasionally. Simmer about 45 minutes or until thickened. Cool before serving.

Thank you Earl for those wonderful steps.

You know barbecue chicken goes with just about any side dish from fries, from hot and cold vegetables, and salads. It’s not just a picnic food, it great anytime. I enjoy it served with any side dish. I have included a few suggestions for serving barbecue chicken:

Suggested Meal Ideas

Barbecue Chicken
Southern Potato Salad
Baked Beans

Barbecue Chicken
Old-fashioned Cole Slaw
Cob Corn

Barbecue Chicken
Collard Greens
Macaroni & Cheese
Corn Bread

Barbecue Chicken
Black-Eyed Peas
Oven Roasted Potatoes
Corn Bread Muffins

Barbecue Chicken
Seasoned Green Beans
Southern Potato Salad
Dinner Rolls

Barbecue Chicken
Collard Greens
Seasoned Green Beans
Cob Corn
Oven Roasted Potatoes
Southern Potato Salad
Corn Bread Muffins, Dinner Rolls

As you can see, when it come to finding great menu ideas to serve with this popular food, the possibilities are endless.

For more menu ideas, please go to the soul food meals page. There you will get ideas on planning a great meal with barbecue chicken. Have fun!

Category: BBQ

What is the Best Smoker Grill Combo?

Several years ago, grilling and smoking were usually done separately using two distinct equipment. However, with the advent of grill smoker combo, these two processes are now performed by a single equipment. So, nowadays, you don’t need to fret over every time you would need to grill or smoke meat or fish, you simply need to buy one of the best grill smoker combos on the market today.

Choosing the best smoker grill combo, however, isn’t a walk in the park. More often, if you need to zero in on the ideal smoker grill combo, you need to figure out the important factors to consider such as the design of the equipment, its area for cooking, quality of the end results of smoking or grilling, temperature control, its price, and the warranty that comes with it. To facilitate your search for the best smoker grill combo, we have delineated here the top four best smoker grill combos on the market today:

  1. Traeger Texas Elite 34 Grill & Smoker

If budget isn’t an issue for you, you can always settle for Traeger Texas Elite 34 Grill & Smoker. The design of this equipment is perfect with its sleek feature that blends well anywhere. It features a large cooking surface area; thus, this one is ideal for use during big parties. It is quite easy to set up and is easy to use likewise.

The Traegar Texas Elite is powered by electricity and supported by wood pellets. It is capable of 450°F maximum temperature. It also features powder-coated rolled steel that are meant for durability. Moreover, it comes with a three-year warranty.


  • It provides large cooking surface
  • It is easy to setup and use.
  • It is easy to clean.


  • It is bulky enough and heavy for quick transport.
  • Pit Barrel Classic Cooker

The Pit Barrel Classic Cooker comes with more positive reviews on Amazon. It is barrel-shaped that features 8 racks for charcoal cooking. Each of this rack provides 240 square inches of cooking surface.

The Pit Barrel Classic features a stainless steel built that guarantees it wouldn’t rust. This means this smoke grill combo is meant to last long. It is a 30-gallon drum that is coated with porcelain. Thus, it is wear-resistant. It is also designed for cooking up to 300°F.


  • It is very easy to set up.
  • It is solidly built.
  • It is affordable.


  • Its design is simplistic.
  • Woodwind Camp Chef Smoker Grill with Sear Box

Another more expensive option for those who are looking for smoker grill combo is the Woodwind Camp Chef Smoker Grill. You definitely get what you pay for in Wood Camp Chef Smoker Grill. It is large enough to have a large cooking surface area. It is also good for use during large parties.

The Wood Camp Chef Smoker Grill comes with a sear box. It also features a wide array of temperature options (160°F to 500°F).

Its design is well-thought of. Cleaning, therefore, isn’t a problem with this smoker grill combo. Moreover, the grates are solidly built. It also comes with automatic temperature controls that allows you to move around while you use it. The Wood Camp Chef Smoker Grill is definitely the standards in the field of grilling.


  • It features automatic temperature control.
  • It is easy to set up.
  • It comes with a larger cooking area.


  • Its high temperatures are surely high.
  • Pit Boss 71220 Smoker Grill

The Pit Boss 71220 is a Kamado-styled smoker grill that is very efficient in grilling and smoking food. It comes with a ceramic built that is designed for perfectly keeping the heat inside.

The Pit Boss 71220 is capable of stable temperature since it can retain heat very well. It comes with a two-layered stainless steel grate for easy adjustment of heat. it also comes with an exterior thermometer along with a cast-iron damper for easy control of temperature. Moreover, it comes with easy to remove ash removal tool. This egg-shaped smoker grill combo also comes with a 10-year warranty.


  • It is rust-proof.
  • It is easy to transport with its added wheels.
  • Its heat index is easy to monitor.


  • It is very fragile.


The abovementioned four smoker grill combos come with their own pros and cons. However, among the four smoker grill combos, we we definitely choose Traeger Texas Elite 34 Grill & Smoker Combo as our best choice. As mentioned above, it is expensive, but it is surely worth buying. It offers a large cooking surface area, it is easy to set up, and is easy to clean. It is certainly everything that you would look for in a smoker grill combo.

Category: BBQ