My blog for my adventures with BBQ and Fireworks

My Simple BBQ Rub

May 4th, 2012 | Posted by ripsup in BBQ | Recipes - (2 Comments)

When I first started playing with rubs for my pork butts I usually just threw a bunch of stuff together till it felt right. I had someone ask for my recipe and I really had no clue so this last time I decided to measure things while I made it. This is what the recipe is for right now, I may make some more tweaks so consider this a living recipe. When I first made this I did a double recipe and it covered a 10 lb brisket and 9lb butt and had about 1 cup to spare. You can make a bunch at once and store in an air tight container for up to 6 months if you like.

The Works Simple Rub
1 cups Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Sea Salt (though any should work)
1/8 cup cayenne pepper
1/8 cup Cajun seasoning
1/16 cup Southwest Chipolte spice mix*
1/16 cup black pepper
1-2 tsp Garlic Powder

(1/16 cup = 1 tablespoon, I left in cups because I usually do in multiples)

Just mix everything by hand to break up the clumps and apply to your meat like any other rub.

* – Got this at Sam’s club a long time ago but haven’t seen there lately, I’d assume any dried and crushed pepper spice mix will work as well.

Development Notes:
When I first made the rub the salt was twice what it is now. The outside of the brisket tasted very salty but the pork wasn’t as bad. It could have been the way the meat was cooking that the rub piled up in one spot on the brisket but for now I’m cutting that in half.

Maverick thermistors in hand

October 27th, 2011 | Posted by ripsup in BBQ | Tech - (0 Comments)

Just got my probes in the mail and hopefully will have a chance this weekend to finish the build. Just need to stop by the local electronics store for a couple resistors and a relay and I should be all set.

Alright, another new BBQ place in NWI and I went ahead and gave it a try. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit opened last Friday (July 1, 2011) in Portage, IN and while I tried to get in that day I was unable to because of the long wait. So the wife and I waited a few days and hit it up for lunch on the 5th. This is a chain place so you pretty much know it’s not going to be the best BBQ you ever have but it’s not as bad as some (see my review of Bandana’s, wow they sucked.) So let’s break it down.

First thing you will notice is no real rig, it’s just your standard smoker appliance (as my friend Joanne calls them, a hot box.) While you can still get good BBQ out of these things, it always brings a question to my mind of the hardcore BBQ knowledge of the person behind it and being a chain place I wouldn’t expect much anyways. Now when I went in Friday the line wasn’t that long, but it was taking them forever to get through each person. On Monday, while we were the only people in line, it still took forever to get the food prepared. They have some serious work to do with their staff to streamline the process as the person had to do a lot of unnecessary steps to really get your meat on the plate. It’s hard to explain but you will see when you are there.

They have a bunch of different meats to choose from including your standards like brisket, pulled pork and ribs while also bring in some ham and 2 sausages. Actually looking at their menu online now they actually list a different one (hot links) instead of what they actually has (well say they have as they were out when I was their to my disappointment) a cheddar sausage.

Because they were out of the sausage we got brisket, pulled pork, ham and ribs. The brisket was the best of the 4, we got it chopped and overall it was pretty decent. The ribs were okay, had a good smoke ring but were a little overcooked. Also the meat on the rib was kind of on the skimpy side. Flavor was good in some parts and not in others. Pulled pork was bland and mine had no bark, it could have came out of an oven for all I know. With sauce it was okay but it brought nothing to the table. The ham was not good and I wouldn’t get it again. In the future I’m going to go with the brisket and sausage (my wife loved the brisket by the way.)

For sides I got mac and cheese and the jalapeno beans and the wife got a ceaser salad (yeah I know weird, but she liked it) and the waffle fries. The mac and cheese I think was best of them. The beans were okay, watery which I prefer. They have another bean side I’ll probably try next time with the potato casserole they were out of when we there there. The fries were standard store bought and soggy. The 2 meats also come with bread which I didn’t try but the wife liked. She wished though that they had the cinnamon butter from Texas Coral to go with it because she thought they were similar.

The cost wasn’t to bad overall, a little cheaper then some locally but still on the high side when compared to other food places, but really BBQ generally costs more. The one thing I didn’t care about price wise was the drinks. For a fountain drink it was almost $3 because they give you a “souvenir” plastic cup which just adds to the cost but really gives me nothing in the end.

But the one really nice thing that makes up for the extra cost of the drink….FREE ICE CREAM! :) Sorry, I wasn’t expecting that. It’s pretty good and free if you eat there. Yeah it’s a gimmick but I like it.

So to compare this place to the other latest BBQ place in NWI, Big Daddy’s, it’s really easy to pick a winner. Dickey’s is hands down better then BD’s. I will definitely head over to Portage for my BBQ fix over going 2 blocks to BD’s. To put a number on it I’d give Dickey’s a 7.5 out of 10 which is a solid C but given the local competition it’s currently the best I’ve had around here. I know I need to venture more into Lake County but haven’t had the time. Hopefully soon I can bring you some reviews of those places and give some real competition between these places. Oh, I guess there is a Dickey’s in Schererville and 2 opening soon in Merrillville and Hammond so you can probably get identical BBQ from those places.

If you have tried it please let us know what you think, I love the responses I get in the comments.

*** Update ***
Okay I’ve now been back two more times and got a couple updates. On my second trip I was able to get the Spicy Cheese Sausage and boy they are lucky they didn’t have that the first trip. It’s horrible. Also I tried out the sliced brisket and I have to say it’s better chopped. Same product but the chopping helps to make it a bit juicier overall.

Though some positive differences, both times the pulled pork looked (and tasted) significantly better then the first time. You could actually see some smoke and bark on it. As well, my buddy Wade got the ham and it actually looked good (he said it tasted great to as I didn’t try it.) It was much juicier then the first time. Also, the manager (owner?) walked around talking to customers getting feedback and such and seems to be taking it as he said he has ordered some extra menus for another wall. Overall good steps forward and will definitely be going back again.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit on Urbanspoon

Finally upgraded comments to Disqus

April 25th, 2011 | Posted by ripsup in Tech - (2 Comments)

Just a heads up that I finally changed the comment system over to Disqus. Logged in this morning to see if I had any comments I had missed and had 40+ spam on the newest post. Yeah WP caught them but really don’t want to worry as much about false positives and Disqus is pretty good about stopping them.

Next I just need to move this over to my single maintained WP-MU setup.


Well there is finally a BBQ place in Valparaiso (Wagner’s isn’t BBQ, seriously.) It’s called Big Daddy’s Genuine BBQ (I think to be confused with Big Daddy’s BBQ in Gary that recently won the Steve Harvey 2010 Best BBQ Hoodie Award.) I’ll let that go though if they can show they have some real skill when it comes to BBQ and put out a quality product.

Terracotta smokers on the web

February 2nd, 2010 | Posted by ripsup in BBQ | Tech - (0 Comments)

I love instructables and whenever I get an email from them there is always 1 or 2 cool projects in it that really interest me in some way.  Well today’s email didn’t disappoint and had a nice writeup on someone’s terracotta smoker.

I previously had attempted this myself but the hot plate I picked up didn’t work very well.  It only got up to about 190 so things would take forever.  I then attempted a charcoal version based off something else I had seen but that didn’t work that well and while trying to figure out the right amount of air to allow in I cracked one of the 2 pots.

Though I may be attempting something like this again.  Recently we were cleaning out my wife’s grandparents house and I found a portable electric grill.  The burner on it was significantly bigger then my previous one.  I went ahead and tested it out and I turned it off after the inside got to 250 degrees.  So now having a proper heating element, I now have to pick up an Arduino so I can then monitor the temp and turn the burner on and off as needed to keep the temp I want.

Hopefully this summer will be the time I can jump back on that project.  Will be quite fun and a good warm up for the metal smoker in the future.

Got a taste of my 2 favorite smells

January 5th, 2010 | Posted by ripsup in BBQ | Fireworks - (0 Comments)

Well this article actually was written after last years new years and I never published it.  So here it is.  :)

You always forget how much you love something till you haven’t had it for a while. (more…)


December 27th, 2009 | Posted by ripsup in BBQ | Fireworks | Misc | Tech - (0 Comments)

Well, a new year is coming and I’ve been slacking.

Had a post I wrote last year in January still sitting as a draft and will probably put it up this January.

Overall getting ready to build the smoker i have been wanting to.  Got a nice 1/4 inch steel tube that will be perfect for the main portion.  Still looking for a for the burner portion but that will come.  As well going to pick up an Arduino to help regulate the temp with fans.  Hopefully that will be finished up this summer for some fun times.  If I get that running well then it will probably be time to take a Competition class so I can learn get prepared for giving that a shot, but we will see.

On the Fireworks front, hoping to pick up some nice things this year and finish up some nice racks with the tubes I got last year.  As well will probably use the Arduino on a project related to the firing side of all that.  We will see though.  My mom saw some fireworks related Christmas decorations that she would like to get/have me make.  Being that the ones I found online were pretty expensive I thought why not give trying to make some a shot.  Again the Arduino will come in handy for this.  :)  Will need to find some cheap lights in these after Christmas sale to play with.  Have some other interesting ideas in relation to this as well but those will have to wait for next year.

So what’s getting me back into writing about this?  Well been doing some more social networking for work stuff and getting inspired by those blogging peeps to actually try to keep up with some sort of schedule, even if it’s bi-weekly.  While writing about what I’m doing is always still going to be the main focus, I plan to try and keep my ear to the ground and at least comment on other things going on with both BBQ and fireworks.

As well I plan to talk about some local breweries that are springing up all over Northwest Indiana.  Brews are definitely something that go hand in hand with BBQ.

I will be writing a few articles up about some other local Social Media peeps that have gotten me back interested.

As well from a conversation I had on twitter with a few peeps, I picked up @bbqtweetup and because I think actually having meetups to share and talk about BBQ would be great. While others wanted to have one this January, I’m not sure if I’m ready for that quite yet but next January I think it will be one.  I’m shooting for first one this summer, hopefully with the new smoker completed.

Well here is to a more productive next year.  :)

Playing with Gist

October 13th, 2009 | Posted by Richard Orelup in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Wanting to see how this looks when I embed it on the page.


Well, guess that didn’t do what I wanted anyways.  I thought it would actually embed the actual info instead of just a link to it.  I see little reasno to embed JS on my website that will just create a link so here is just a direct link to it.  That was pretty disappointing overall.

Creamy Mash Potatoes


Okay, I just heard about springpad, which is an online notebook similar to Google Notebook.  I’ve used Google Notebook for a while but it is now in the unsupported list of google apps so I figured I should find something else.  Google Notebook missed a few features I would have really liked to have but it wasn’t a big deal.  So today I saw springpad and decided to give it a try.  While watching the how-to demo I saw it had recipes as a default content type.  So I figured I would give that a try, which it also lets you share your recipes through an embed.  Well this is just me playing around to see how it works. 

Overall not sure if I will use it since it isn’t included in the page so then search engines would not find my recipes on my site but who knows.  

I’ve thrown up my mash potatoe recipe, which is a modified one from America’s Test Kitchen, only because I made it last night and could remember it off the top of my head.