Barbecue Recipes

Tejas Smokers Recommended Barbecue Recipes

(If any of these recipes sound a bit crazy...we suggest you try them first!)

Jim’s Fav: Smoked Baby Back Ribs

I love food, as anyone who knows me will instantly conclude. Slow smoked Baby Back Ribs are near the top of the list of my favs. They are easy to cook. Start prepping them one hour before placing the ribs in the smoker pit. This allows the meat to come closer to room temperature. Take a butter knife and a paper towel and pull the membrane off the backs of the ribs. Season the ribs with your favorite pork rub. Set aside.

The smoker pit should be at 225 degrees and with water in the bottom of the barrel for the high humidity. Think about it…you are cooking with hot, dry smoke going through the pit at a good rate. This will pull moisture out of your ribs. If you keep water in the bottom of the barrel then the humidity is at 100% over the meat. This makes it much more difficult to evaporate moisture out of the ribs. We want the internal fluids to stay there so we end up with juicy, flavorFULL ribs.

Another point, leave the rain cap atop your chimney WIDE OPEN. It is not a temperature control. It is a rain cap. Do all your temperature adjustments on the air vents of the firebox door. We want FRESH hot smoke going through the pit. We do not want any smoke to remain and get stale.

After the smoke coming out of your chimney is clear…just heat rising or maybe thin, wisps of bluish streams of smoke…the pit is ready for the ribs. Smoke them for 2 ½ hours. That is enough smoke. Then pull them out and foil them. They go back in the smoker pit, all foiled, for another 2 ½ hours after you foil them in five separate groups which you can mark: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

The reason for this is that the in the last 25 minutes you will un-foil Groups 2, 3, 4, and 5 and let the ribs sit on the foil while you baste them with, for example:

Let the ribs sit in the hot pit for 20 to 25 minutes so that the sugars in the glaze will caramelize and form a thin delicious crustiness on top of what will be otherwise a falling-off-the-bone-good rib.

Present these ribs at your table and be sure to label them. The women may not be amused if they unknowingly discover the heat in Group#5.;) Take note of what they like and what they did not care for so much. The next time you cook ribs make further variations on what they DID like. You can zero in on what your family and friends really like and THIS will be YOUR special secret recipe. Keep the secret recipe a secret. It will make you famous in your hood.

Group 1 will always be your control group so you have something constant to compare to. Maybe your family likes the pineapple and brown sugar the best…why not do it again and with variations like the addition of: a half teaspoon of Soy sauce, or a tablespoon or so of Maraschino Cherry juice? This is how you grow quickly as a cook! Run a control group and make variations. The control group is the secret to your growing as a cook quickly. Apply this method to EVERYTHING you cook. If you are smoking pork butts, do two or more. One is done the same way every time. The other(s) is with your test variation. This works.

Enjoy, Jim Bannerman

Barbecued Shrimp‬ New Orleans style!

A great dish that is prepared with the heads and tails on to hold in the maximum amount of moisture and flavor! Courtesy of Chef Bryan Slaven, from "The Texas Gourmet"

SERVES: 2 to 3 as an appetizer or 2 for a dinner portion


12 raw jumbo (or the largest you can find) Gulf shrimp, unpeeled with heads and tails left on (If you prefer to peel the shrimp, go ahead and remove the heads and peel back to the tail, leaving the tail on)

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 ½ tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper

½ teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon thyme

¾ teaspoon Texas Gourmet’s Searing Spice

3 Tablespoons of Texas Gourmet’s Brazos River Barbeque Sauce

¼ teaspoon salt

1 medium sized onion, diced well

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of water

3 teaspoons minced fresh garlic (3 cloves)

1 tablespoon of Tabasco sauce

4 Tablespoons – White wine (chardonnay or pinot grigio is good)

1 lemon, seeded, and reserve the rind and set aside

1/4 pound (1 stick) of cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch slices


(1) Sauté the onion and garlic in a skillet with the olive oil over a medium flame until clear and softened, then set aside.

(2) Place the shrimp, Worcestershire, spices, and 1 tablespoon of water in a heavy 10-inch sauté pan. Squeeze the juice from the lemon over the shrimp and add the rind to the pan.

(3) Over high heat, cook the shrimp while gently stirring and occasionally turning the shrimp. After about two minutes of cooking, the shrimp should start turning pink on both sides, indicating they are nearly half cooked.

(4) If the shrimp are jumbo sized, add 2 tablespoons water to the pan.

(5) Reduce the heat to medium-high and continue cooking as you gradually add the cold pieces of butter to the pan. Add the sautéed onion and garlic in with the shrimp, then stir in the butter pieces until they are incorporated into the pan juices, the sauce turns light brown and creamy as it simmers, and the shrimp are just cooked through. Now add the wine, the Brazos River Barbeque Sauce and Tabasco sauce and stir well.

(6) The remainder of the cooking process will take about two minutes total if the shrimp are extra-large and about three minutes if they are jumbo sized.

(7) Serve immediately with hot garlic bread for sopping up the sauce and plenty of paper towels.

Bon Appétit! ‪ ‎New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp‬

Courtesy of Chef Bryan Slaven, from "The Texas Gourmet"

Thanksgiving Turkey

Melt 2 sticks of butter in a saucepan; add 2 oz. garlic juice and 2 oz. onion juice. Inject mixture with syringe in all parts of turkey. Option: If you like a beautiful, crispy skin then melt some butter and inject just under all the skin on the turkey. Place turkey in barbecue pit smoker on cooking sheet or foil at 200°F for 12 hours. If you inject the butter under the skin and plan to foil the turkey then un-foil for one hour at the end to allow the skin to crisp up a bit. Enjoy a great turkey !

Hound's Spare Ribs

Start a fire in the firebox. While you wait for the fire to reach temperature, wash and dry a rack of untrimmed spare ribs. With a butter knife lift a corner of the membrane on the bone side and grasp with a paper towel. Pull off the membrane. Rub the rack with whatever rub you prefer and cook bone side down in the barrel until the ribs crack when folded end-to-end, about 6 hours @ 225°F. Editor's Note: If you want to cook a large quantity then use a rib rack(s). (Barbecue pit recipe was courtesy of Cuchulain Libby, who was a wonderful barbecue chef and friend, a.k.a. "Hound").

Tejas Dove

Remove breast meat from breastbone of dove. Season meat with garlic salt, black pepper, and paprika. Wrap breast around ½ of a jalapeno pepper, then wrap with a slice of bacon and pin with a toothpick. Place on smoker at 225 °F forapproximately 1 hour until done. (You may substitute quail for dove.)

Tejas Meat Rub

Blend well the following ingredients and store in a closed container:

1/8 cup salt      1/8 cup chili powder      1/4 cup garlic powder
2 Tbsp cumin      1/4 cup paprika      1 Tbsp red pepper
1/4 cup coarse ground black pepper
Rub meats liberally with Tejas Meat Rub prior to cooking.

Jack's Mojo Chicken

Spatchcock chicken (cut the backbone out, making two parallel cuts in the bird's back). Mash the bird flat to break the breastbone. Mix all other ingredients as marinade. Marinate chicken 24 hours in refrigerator. Reserve marinade, boilthoroughly and serve as sauce over chicken and basmati rice as a side dish. Grill chicken indirect on a medium-hot fire,

starting breast down for 10 minutes, then breast up until done. Cook until legs move freely in the joints.

1 large broiler chicken      1/2 cup fresh lime juice      6 tbs olive oil      2 shallots, minced (or 1 large yellow onion)      2 tsp
grated lime peel      4 tsp dried oregano      4 large cloves garlic, minced      2tsp ground cumin       3 tsp salt      1/2 tsp ground
black pepper      1/2 tsp red pepper      (Recipe courtesy of Jack  Curry, a talented barbecue pit chef.)

Home Made Venison Sausage

Cube venison and smoker bacon ends in equal parts. (Smoked bacon ends may be found at just about any butcher shop). Grind, alternating venison and bacon ends. After grinding, spread out meat and add seasoning. You may season with garlic, sage, or any sausage seasoning you desire. Most butch shops sell packages of sausage seasonings. After seasoning, knead into meat. Then with stuffing attachment on grinder, stuff into casing in desired lengths. You may also make sausage patties. Wrap in butcher paper and freeze until ready to smoke. When ready to smoker, place sausage in smoker at 200°F and smoker 2-3 hours until done.

Tejas Blue Ribbon Brisket

Liberally season an untrimmed brisket with Tejas Meat Rub after first coating it with Worcestershire sauce or any mustard. Wrap in foil and leave the brisket in the refrigerator overnight. Allow the brisket to come to room temperature while filling water reservoir in smoker and bring temperature up to 200°F to 225°F, (200°F gives better results but takes longer to cook). At 200 degrees you cook for one hour for each pound of brisket. Remove foil and place brisket with the fat side down on far end of smoker away from firebox. (The extra fat gives more protection to the center flat part of the brisket.) After four hours smoking, remove the brisket and wrap tightly with foil. Finish off cooking with the brisket foiled. Cook until the you can twist the strands of meat on the flat easily with a fork. Don't forget to let your brisket (and ANY large piece of smoked meat) rest for one hour before you start carving. This rest period is IMPORTANT. It allows the internal juices to redistribute and firm up the structure of the meat. The result is awesome and well worth the extra hour. Just place the wrapped meat in a dry styrofoam chest or wrap it with a couple of towels and leave it on the counter. The difference is amazing.

Fosco's Famous Asian Flank Steak

1/4 cup soy sauce 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger and 11/4 pound flank steak. Whisk first 5 ingredients to blend. Place steak in a heavy duty Ziploc bag and add the marinade. Let stand 1 hour at room temperature or refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally. Prepare grill (medium-high heat). Grill the steak about 5 minutes per side for rare. Transfer steak to platter; let stand 10 minutes. Thinly slice steak across grain. While steak is standing drain marinade into small saucepan and bring to boil. Thicken with arrowroot if desired. Pass marinade as sauce. (Recipe courtesy of Jay Couey)

BOB's Special Rub

Here's a pretty good and simple rub that I like. Mix equal parts of whole: Jamaican allspice, black peppercorns, pink peppercorns, white peppercorns, green peppercorns, and coriander. Grind the mixture directly onto your choice of meat for the day (I particularly like it on a shoulder or spare ribs) in generous amounts. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Barbecue the meat. Several hours later, enjoy. (Recipe courtesy of BOB, a friend of Hound)

Mike Holy's Chicken

Many years ago, my friend Mike Holy (an Aggie) taught me how he cooked some marvelous chicken. Make a basting sauce of 1 stick of melted butter, juice of two lemons and 3 TBS salt. Light your grill up with wood and/or lump and cook the bird parts indirectly. Baste chicken pieces with this mix every 15-20 minutes or so, turning and rotating the pieces each time until the juices run clear. Takes about 4 beers (1hr 30 minutes, give or take) and it took me several tries to learn how, 'cause I kept forgetting. (Recipe courtesy of Jack Curry).

Smokey Burgers

Season ground meat with garlic salt, black pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Form into patties and place in middle of smoker at 225°F for approximately 1 hour. By smoking the burgers rather than grilling them your burgers will retain more flavor and stay juicy.

Hound's Citrus Brined Chicken

Prepare the brine:      1 gallon water      1 cup Kosher salt or 1/2 cup table salt      juice of 3 oranges      juice of three limes      juice of three lemons      rinds from same      1 sliced white onion       1 head of garlic, crushed stems from a bunch of cilantro,      chopped serranos to taste, minimum of 4 rough ground cumin and coriander 2 Tbsp each      1/4 cup chili powder or any ground chile you prefer      (1/4 cup onion powder is optional)       (1/4cup garlic powder is optional)

Place the bird(s) and plenty of brine solution in a ziploc bag(s) and leave refrigerated overnight prior to cooking. A cooler works fine also. I use a 5 gal beverage cooler for all but the biggest turkeys. Frozen soda bottles or ice can be used to keep the cold. {8 lbs of ice= 1 gallon of water} An hour before cooking take the bird out and thoroughly wash it down with cold water for at least 30 seconds. You can place aromatics like garlic heads, apples, citrus in the cavity of the bird for the cooking. I like also to place orange slices between skin and meat. Smoke rear end of chicken toward the fire for 45 minutes/lb @ 225°F until the thigh is about 170°F. You can rotate as necessary to avoid charring. Cooking this way will result in inedible skin, but juicy chicken. If you like the crispy skin then place the chicken near the firebox. This works for either chickens or turkeys. If you eliminate the brine (salt and water) the rest of the recipe makes an excellent marinade for grilled chicken. (Recipe courtesy of Cuchulain Libby, a.k.a. Hound.) (Editor's note: this method sounds crazy and the brine looks terrible, but IT WORKS! You won't believe it is chicken. Flakes apart like fish. You must try this and it works on turkey.)

Grilled Chicken

Halve the chickens and sprinkle with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Season with garlic salt, black pepper, and paprika. Raise the fire grate in the firebox to the direct grilling position. We recommend using a mesquite charcoal. When coals are white, place chicken on the firebox grill for 5-7 minutes per side. Do not overcook...the chicken will dry out.

Fosco's Cedar Planked Salmon

1 TBSP vegetable oil 1 TBSP prepared white horseradish 1TBSP soy sauce 1 or 2 garlic cloves minced (or 12 if ya really like garlic) 1/2 tsp kosher salt 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper 1 to 2 lb thick salmon filet 1 untreated cedar plank big enough to fit the salmon on but small enough to fit on the grill. Soak the plank for at least 30 minutes prior to putting salmon on the grill. Prepare grill at high heat. Mix oil, horseradish, soy sauce, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl and brush on skinless side of salmon. Place plank on grill rack over fire for a few minutes to get it smoking. It is the smoke from the burning plank that gives the salmon that oh so smoky goodness. Once plank is smoking nicely place the salmon skin side down on the plank and cook covered for 20-25 minutes. Keep an eye on it. If the plank flares up just spray it with some water. Cook until salmon flakes easily with a fork. Serve the salmon with grilled asparagus and watch your girl swoon! This is one of my favorites. (Recipe courtesy of Jay Couey).

Apple Turkey

Inject turkey with apple juice concentrate (large can of frozen). Season cavity with your favorite seasoning (I use Rudy's Turkey Rub) and then stuff cavity with quartered apples. Rub turkey with same seasoning. Smoke over apple wood (or use apple smoking chips on pecan) at 225 °F for about 40-45 minutes a pound. Best to place turkey in an aluminum roasting pan as the apples really put out the juice. You can use this to baste periodically. (Recipe courtesy of R. Hauser.)

Jack's Hot Smoked Salmon

There are two methods for smoking salmon - cold smoked (in smoke under 90°F for days, or hot smoking, which is really cooking with smoke). Hot smoking produces a cooked, flaky fish that's got plenty of smoke flavor. It's easy and quick to hot smoke and while there are many methods, including brining, here's a way to produce a fine product fast. Run your smoker up to no more than 220°F using a mild wood for smoke (avoid mesquite and hickory). I prefer alder or bay, pear, apple, pecan or maple. Dried grape vines are also excellent. Smoke whole salmon fillets with the skin on, flesh side up. Bring the fish to room temp for at least an hour before smoking, to allow a pellicle to form (the fish will look glazed and sticky on its surface). Season it with salt and pepper (be generous). Place the fillets in the smoker indirect for about 1:30 to 1:45. It's done when it flakes easily with a fork and it's just as good cold as it is hot out of the smoker. (Recipe courtesy of Jack Curry).

Smokin Joe’s Italian Style Smoked Pork and Roasted Potatoes

3-4 pound boneless pork roast, 3 (lg) or 4 (sm) baking potatoes, 2 onions, 1 Green or Yellow sweet pepper, 1 Jar of Roasted Red Peppers, Olive Oil, Oregano, Rosemary, BBQ Rub of: Paprika, Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Oregano and Rosemary.

RUB: First prepare the BBQ rub with the ingredient shown above. Paprika, Pepper, Onion and Garlic powders are roughly equal measures, ie, tablespoon or so. Add salt at about half measure, and the Oregano flakes and dried Rosemary leaves last and stir well.

ROAST: Coat the Pork Roast with a light coat of quality olive oil, rubbing in by hand. Generously cover the pork roast with the rub, until it has a nice thick layer of seasoning on it. Place the roast in the smoker, and smoke cook until about 170 degrees. Remove and let roast "rest" covered with foil for 30 minutes before slicing. Serve with potatoes and Red Pepper Sauce, recipe below.

RED PEPPER SAUCE: Open jar of roasted red peppers, put into food processor and puree until liquid, but pasty. Pour into small cast iron skillet, and add Olive oil, and generous helping of Oregano flakes. Cover skillet with foil, place in smoker for one hour. Stir occasionally, and after an hour, remove the foil, to allow a little smoke in. Cook another 30 minutes or so, if desired. Remove the pepper sauce when hot and well mixed and cooked.

ROASTED POTATOES: Scrub and wash the potatoes in running water with a brush. Cut into bite sized pieces, then add to cast iron skillet. Peel and cut onions or slice them, add to skillet. Wash, trim, and cut the green or yellow pepper, into short strips, and add to the skillet. Coat the vegetables with some virgin olive oil, add minced garlic. (How much garlic? A lot. There is no such thing as TOO much garlic) Hit them with some salt and pepper, use spatula to mix them all about in the skillet getting everybody coated with oil. Cover the skillet with foil, and then add the skillet of potatoes to the TOP shelf of your Tejas Smoker. (What’s that you say? You don’t HAVE a TOP SHELF? Time to buy a larger Tejas Smoker!!!) Roast the potatoes for somewhat close to done, remove the foil covering, and let them assume some smoke. These potatoes taste great with some of the red pepper sauce on them! Have some nice red wine with the above meal, and have a cappuccino after dinner!