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Slow Smoked Tips with Pitmaster Jacob Carriker

How to know if your BBQ was ACTUALLY smoked.

We’ve noticed a trend of BBQ restaurants claiming they serve real BBQ, but serve meat that has been baked, braised, boiled, and cloaked in a sickly sweet sauce. In our opinion, this is not BBQ. This is what your elementary school lunch lady regretfully served kids once a week.

We stepped out by the smoker with our Pitmaster, Jacob Carriker, to show you what you should be looking for when you step into a BBQ restaurant and how to spot a phony.  Pro Tip: if you don’t see a smoker, smell that delicious slow-smoked scent that we all know and love or see any wood around… There’s probably something fishy going on.

Did our video make you hungry?

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5 Life Lessons We Learned From Dad

Although we appreciate dad every day, Father’s Day is the one day a year when we want to show him just how much he really means to us. At Fahrenheit BBQ, we honor fathers all year long by integrating the many life principles that our dads taught us into our business. We know that times spent with our family, like fishing trips, vacations, and family dinners, provided us with more than just great memories – dad used these times to teach us valuable life lessons. Our dads’ commitment to sharing his wisdom with us has eased us through the rough times and pushed us onwards to build a successful BBQ business. Our dads gave us more than just a passion for the art of barbecue — he also taught us these five crucial life lessons that formed us into who we are today.

“All Good Things Take Time”

Just like good barbecue, the things in life that we really value tend to also take the most amount of time. Growing up, we always wished that time would move just a little bit faster, whether it was wanting to play with the older kids in the neighborhood or waiting year after year to be tall enough for the “big kid” rides at the State Fair. To this day, I can still hear dad saying, “all good things take time.” When it comes to BBQ, patience is just as important. Waiting sixteen hours to pull off a rack of ribs or brisket sure does seem like a long time, but through the process, we have learned that it’s worth every single minute.

“Always be Prepared”

When we first started Fahrenheit, we underestimated the amount of wood that “The Beast” (our smoker), would consume in order to fuel the restaurant. Being caught flat-footed, unable to fuel the smoker during the middle of the week, brought back another one of those fatherly moments. We could hear our dad saying, “Did you take any time to prepare at the start of the week?”

This lesson always held true on family camping trips where dad would diligently plan, as packing the family car for a weekend in Yosemite was one of the biggest tasks of the week. But without fail, when a lantern went out in our campsite, dad always had an extra mantle to fix the problem.

Always being prepared isn’t an easy thing, but taking that extra time at the start of the week has helped make our restaurant run smoother and is a lesson that we would have never learned if it wasn’t for dad.

“Balance is Key”

Life can often feel like a balancing act—trying to find harmony between work and play. Both add flavor to our lives, but when they fall out of balance they can cause a bit of distaste just like a poorly seasoned rack of ribs. Fathers seem to always know when our lives are out of balance. They tend to understand the different spices or aspects of our lives and know best how to help us come up with that perfect blend.

Dad always said, “There is nothing better than a perfectly seasoned rack of ribs. The balance of sweet, smoke and spice is something to always strive to attain.” As we look back on dad this Father’s Day, we cannot help but think about his wisdom and the valuable lessons he taught us about finding balance in all that we do, including our famous ribs.

“A Little Hard Work Never Hurt Anybody”

When we were born, our dads probably thought that out of all our gifts, we might be missing a few ingredients. Nevertheless, it was their job to shape us into an award-winning recipe to reach our full potential. Our ability to grow, learn and thrive came through the hard work and determination that Dad always showed. From long hours at work to their patient, teaching moments, dads never seem to shy away from the hard work of raising kids.

In our kitchen, cooking items from scratch entails a lot of the same hard work, and although it might be easier to reach for the box of Kraft Mac & Cheese rather than making it from scratch, we have always believed that a little bit of extra work makes all the difference. Our dad imparted these old-world values and solidified our belief in doing things the traditional way at our restaurant.

“When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade”

Every Fall, we would get a cord of firewood delivered to our front yard. And each year, like clockwork, we couldn’t help but dread the amount of work that it was going to take to stack and put away all of this wood. But unlike us, Dad always had a different outlook on stacking firewood. He looked at the task at hand as an opportunity to bond with us, and in doing so, made it a fun experience. Although we may not have loved the manual labor of having to stack the wood, by the time we were done we always had a new memory with our dads, bonding over our differences in music and the way we’d like to arrange the pieces of wood.

Our fathers often tell us, “attitude is everything,” and this has become more evident as we have gotten older. In reality, the only thing we get to control is the way we look at a situation, not necessarily the things that happen to us. When faced with a hard task or a chore that we didn’t want to do as little kids, it was always our Dad’s that pushed us to make lemonade, to find the fun in it and get it done. Just like lemons are tart, sometimes there are tasks around the restaurant that aren’t always enjoyable. We try and work as a team to make the most of every task. It’s amazing how a little bit of sugar, water, and lemon juice can make great lemonade, the same way a little bit of optimism in a task can make it more enjoyable. Our dads always pushed us to see the best in situations and as we were able to do that, we learned to enjoy the struggle.

Our Fathers Teach Valuable Life Lessons

While we will never forget the fun times with our dads, it is these lessons, and many more that he taught us over the years, that have molded us. We use these treasured lessons of patience, preparedness, balance, perseverance, and optimism in everything we do from raising our own families, to treating our customers right, to developing the perfect seasoning for our BBQ. These are the values that will stay with our families for generations to come.

So, to all the dads out there teaching their kids these valuable life lessons and to the grandfathers that passed down these timeless lessons to them— thank you for all you do. From our family to yours, Happy Father’s Day!

Slow-Smoked Tips with Pitmaster Jacob Carriker

Brisket 101: Q&A With Pitmaster Jacob Carriker

Do you want to smoke a brisket at home, but are intimidated by the amount of time and work that it takes? We sat down with our Pitmaster, Jacob Carriker, for a Brisket Q&A where he spilled all the tips and tricks that you need to know before you light up your smoker.

Is smoking BBQ at home not your thing? We can do the work for you. Click the link below to make a reservation for dinner!

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Slow-Smoked Tips With Pitmaster Jacob Carriker

How Do You Prep And Cook Your Brisket?

We’ve been hand-crafting slow-smoked BBQ for a while now, and we think we’ve perfected our brisket.

Watch our Pitmaster, Jacob Carriker, prepare and smoke a full brisket while he tells you the tips and tricks he uses to get the most flavor.

As you can see, brisket takes a lot of time and patience to cook correctly. Is smoking BBQ at home not your thing? We can do the work for you. Click the link below to make a reservation for dinner!

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How to Get Your Smoker Ready for Spring

Creating mouth-watering, slow-smoked BBQ is never easy, but it is always worth it in the end. Of course, the quality and condition of your equipment can make a big difference to the finished flavor. Keep your smoker in tip-top condition by following our simple maintenance checklist.

Check Your Smoker for Damage
If you’re anything like us, your smoker works all year long, but that can lead to serious performance issues if you aren’t careful. A wood or charcoal smoker doesn’t have a lot of fancy parts that can break down. You’ve got your metal box, a place for your fire, racks to hold the food, vents and a thermometer. That’s it. Some smokers also have a water bowl. Check each of these parts before every use. You want to make sure there is no rust, and your vents are firmly secured and rotate freely. Give your thermometer a test drive too. If everything looks like it’s in good repair, you’re ready to get started.

Choose Your Wood Blend
When smoking food, gas, propane and electric options just don’t get the same results. Good smoke flavor comes from a real fire using real wood. According to our Pitmaster, Jacob Carriker, “Fahrenheit 250 uses locally cut and seasoned fruit wood from local farms in the area. Smoking with fruitwood provides a nice flavor to your BBQ.” Seasoned properly, the wood burns at a nice, even temperature, giving you the perfect balance of smoke and heat.

Good Maintenance Means Good Food
You want the smoke to flavor your food, but it should be a woody, clean smoke. Not smoke from rancid grease. A properly maintained smoker will last for decades, so a little maintenance is worth your time. After every use, pull out the racks, scrub them down and dry them completely. Dump out the fire box and give it a wipe down. Clean the vents and wipe off all of the surfaces. Once your smoker is clean, make sure every part is dry and reassemble. Then, cover it with a tarp. Even if you store it in your garage or under a roof, a tarp can help keep dirt, dust, and moisture at bay.

Fire It Up
Once you’ve got everything ready, sit back, relax and enjoy the day. The smoker does most of the work and all you need to do is keep a close eye on the temperature. Ever wondered how Fahrenheit’s meat is always consistently smoked? “The temp in the smoker fluctuates depending on location so we are constantly rotating the meats to come out with a consistent product,” said Carriker. Need a guide on how long to smoke your meat? Below is an estimate of how long we smoke each of our menu items for:

  • Brisket: 16-20 hours
  • Pork Butt: 15-18 hours
  • Tri-Tip: 4-5 hours
  • St Louis Ribs: 6-7 hours
  • Salmon: 1.5 hours

BBQ Rubs vs. Marinades vs. Sauces: What Are They and How to Use Them

Everyone knows that BBQ rubs, sauces and marinades are all vital to cooking tender and flavorful meat. Yet what are the differences between the three, and when is the best time to use each one?

BBQ Rubs

A rub generally refers to a dry spice that is “rubbed” onto the meat before it is cooked. The dry rub seasons the meat while creating a crust that seals all the juices inside. This results in a crispy outside and tender, juicy inside.

Rubs are typically made with salt, sugar and paprika as the foundation of the blend, and then just about any variety of spices and herbs can be added to it depending on flavor preferences. At Fahrenheit 250 BBQ, we dry rub all our meats before smoking them for 16 hours with a simple rub made of salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder.

Rubs are best used when cooking with dry heat as any type of liquid will cause the rub to become sticky. The best way to use a rub is to apply the rub to the surface of the meat before searing on a hot grill or throwing the meat into a smoker.

BBQ Marinades

Similar to a rub, marinades are used to tenderize and flavor the meat before the cooking process. The biggest difference between a rub and a marinade is that the marinade combines dry spices with liquids. The meat must sit in this mixture for up to several hours to allow the flavor to soak in. Marinades work well with meat that dries out easily, such as chicken or pork.

Most marinades combine acids, spices and juices. The enzymes in the juices and the acids help the meat to break down. The spices add flavor. Combine a mixture of acid, oil and juice with spices to create a marinade that will make your meat tender and flavorful.

Marinating meats is typically best when you have a short amount of cooking time and want to infuse flavors into your meats. Since we slow-smoke our meats for over 12 hours at Fahrenheit 250 BBQ, we don’t marinate our meats because that would overpower the rich smoky flavor that makes barbecue so good.

BBQ Sauces

BBQ sauces add flavor and texture to meat during and after the cooking process. BBQ sauces can be used as a marinade or as a dipping sauce for the meat during the meal.

We believe that good, smoked meat can stand on its own, so we serve our meats unsauced and let you flavor them to taste from our selection of four sauces: Signature BBQ Sauce, Spicy BBQ Sauce, Kentucky Mustard and Carolina Vinegar.

Be the Pitmaster at Home

Want to see how it all comes together for yourself? Try one of our Fahrenheit 250 Rib Kits, which lets you make your own St. Louis-style ribs at home. Each kits includes a rack of ribs (about 3 lbs), one pint of sauce of your choice, one tin of Fahrenheit 250 BBQ Rub and cooking instructions.

High-Wheat and High-Rye Bourbon: What’s the Difference?

Bourbon and barbecue are a match made in heaven.

Not only do some barbecue sauce recipes call for a bit of bourbon, but the two complement each other perfectly. Barbecue loves the bold and complex notes that bourbon brings to the table. Sipping a glass of bourbon while licking the sticky, sweet sauce off your fingers is a great way to round out your meal.

However, the type of bourbon you drink can greatly affect your palate. Different types of bourbon can hit various taste buds on your tongue based on their characteristics and what’s contained in the mash bill—the mix of grains used to make bourbon.

There are two main types of bourbon: high-wheat and high-rye bourbon. Both pair wonderfully with barbecue, but you just might want to choose your bourbon wisely.

What Is Bourbon?

Before we jump into the differences, let’s first define what is considered bourbon (as opposed to just regular whiskey). According to Epicurious, “federal standards, issued by Congress in 1964, stipulate that bourbon must be a grain mixture made of at least 51 percent corn, produced in the United States, and distilled to no more than 160 proof, with nothing other than water added to the mixture (aside from yeast). It must also be aged in new, charred-oak barrels, among other requirements.” That is to say, if the mash bill isn’t at least 51 percent corn or it’s not aged in charred oak, then it’d be considered whiskey, not bourbon.

What Is High-Rye Bourbon?

According to VinePair,  a bourbon with a mash bill containing 20-to-35 percent rye is considered to be a high-rye bourbon.

This concentration of rye gives the bourbon a bolder and spicier flavor.

Examples of high-rye bourbon include Four Roses Single Barrel (which currently has the highest rye count, according to VinePair), Bulleit, Jim Beam Basil Hayden and Old Grand Dad.

The best barbecue to pair with high-rye bourbon: You never want your bourbon and your barbecue to compete with each other. If you’re eating barbecue sauce with spicy or complex notes, steer clear of high-rye bourbons. But if your barbecue falls on the sweet and tangy side, you can feel free to experiment with high-rye.

What Is High-Wheat Bourbon?

High-wheat bourbon has a higher percentage of wheat in the mash bill. This bourbon is often smoother, with a milder flavor. According to VinePair, “Wheat tends to impart earthy, grainier notes to the whiskey.”

High-wheat bourbons include Pappy Van Winkle, Maker’s Mark, Journeyman Wheat, Barton 1792 Distillery and Redemption Wheated Bourbon, among others.

The best barbecue to pair with high-wheat bourbon: You can feel free to get crazy with barbecue when it comes to high-wheat bourbon. Since high-wheat has a milder flavor, you can pair with spicy barbecue sauces and sauces with bolder flavors.

How BBQ is a Style of Food that Can Unite and Create a Shared Experience

Family Meals Build Better Relationships

Eating together as a family does more than just help save a few dollars on delivery, so don’t ignore the importance of eating together when you don’t have time to cook.

Family meals help build lasting relationships that have direct impacts on success. Did you know that kids in families that don’t eat together are twice as likely to be truant? Absenteeism leads to lower graduation rates. Spending time together is a big part of being a family, which is why planning a BBQ night is one way to enjoy a family-style meal, even when you don’t have a lot of time to cook.

Low and Slow

Good BBQ takes time. You cook the meat at low temperatures for a long time. When you cook at home, this gives you lots of time to enjoy the process and the final plate. Of course, time is always a precious commodity, so you can always grab your Fahrenheit 250 BBQ meal to go. When you order family sizes, you get dishes to share that still let you enjoy a meal together, without spending the entire day in preparation.

Home for the Holidays

Over the holidays, it is especially important to spend time together as a family. Tons of social commitments and an increasing workload can keep you out of the house. Family meals are often one of the first things to go. When the kids have holiday activities, and mom or dad have office parties, dinner parties and other obligations, it is easy to forget to make family dinner a priority.

That’s where classic American fare that’s already cooked to perfection comes in. A whole rack of ribs and family style sides, like potato salad or mac ‘n’ cheese, can get everyone excited about sitting around the table. Carving up the meat and passing around the cornbread is all part of the atmosphere. A hot meal before everyone breaks up for the evening activities helps keep your entire family on the same page.

Family Meals Improve Academic Success

If the joy of eating a meal around the table isn’t enough to have you planning your next dinner, just remember that kids do better with that extra parental engagement. Adding in family mealtime makes kids less likely to fall into substance abuse and more likely to do better in an academic setting. You don’t need to cook everything from scratch and go for the 1950s home lifestyle, but spending an hour or so talking during meals can do a lot to preserve your family.

F250 BBQ Makes an Appearance on the Food Network!

Being featured on the Food Network is a huge achievement for any restaurant, and when we got the call that Guy Fieri was interested in filming a portion of the premiere of his new show, Guy’s Big Project, at our restaurant we were ecstatic! On Guy’s Big Project, Guy and his team of esteemed production partners and A-list chefs set out to search for all-star talent to lead Food Network’s next big culinary-travel series.

The six-episode journey documents every twist and turn as the hopefuls move from initial pitch and development through network review, with the ultimate end goal of earning a brand-new show on Food Network.

We were so excited to be featured in the premiere episode of Guy’s Big Project on Sunday, November 5th! The episode started out with the finalists picking a restaurant that best represented them and their show idea, where they filmed a 30-second video to convey what their show would be about. Rashad (R.J.) filmed at Fahrenheit 250, as his passion is BBQ and his show idea is called Eat, Sleep, BBQ. The pressure heated up after the 30-second video competition when contestants were asked to whip up a meal that embodied their show idea in Guy’s personal kitchen. One hopeful prospect was kicked off at the end of the episode.

Did you forget to watch or record the episode? Click the link below to re-live our moment of fame!

°Fahrenheit 250 BBQ

Handcrafted BBQ Forged From Wood Fire & Steel