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Bourbon and Barbecue: The Perfect Pair

It’s no secret that certain foods pair well with certain beverages — just think about the traditional wine and cheese pairing, or bratwurst and beer. But one pairing that’s been gaining in popularity year over year is a uniquely American one: bourbon and barbecue. Pairing bourbon drinks with barbecue is a trend that is growing as quickly as the nationwide craze for barbecue is. Given that September is National Bourbon Heritage Month, it’s a great time to get on board the bourbon and barbecue bus.

If you think about it, pairing barbecue with beer makes perfect sense. Both are traditional delicacies that hail from the Southern United States. Down South, people learn how to barbecue in their backyards from a young age. It is the rare backyard that doesn’t have some kind of smoker in it. When it comes to barbecue, the lower the temperature and the longer the cooking, the better (hence, the name of our restaurant!). In the end, you have a meat that has been slowly smoked into a delicious, tender piece of barbecue.

Bourbon shares some similarities with barbecue when it comes to preparation. Both benefit from very long prep times. The longer you age a bourbon, the deeper and more interesting the flavor becomes. And as with barbecue, the quality and type of the ingredients is as important with bourbon. Just as great mesquite wood in your smoker will produce amazing barbecue, a quality, aged wood cask will help make bourbon intensely flavorful.

After all that smoking and aging time, there is nothing better than pairing a smoky bourbon with a tender hunk of barbecued brisket. The deep flavors of each play off each other in the mouth to make for a sublime meal. In fact, it is the deepness of both bourbon and barbecue flavors that make them perfect for each other. You don’t want to try drinking something light while you eat smoked brisket because a light flavor will be overwhelmed by the earthiness of the meat. Instead, next time you sit down to a plate of barbecue, make sure to pour yourself a beautiful Southern bourbon. It’s a match made in heaven, or the American South.

How to Get that Big, Bold, BBQ Flavor

BBQ means different things to different people. Flavors range from tart and tangy Carolina styles to sweet and spicy Louisiana flavor. Kansas City, Carolina and Texas barbecue styles are some of the most common, and what they have in common is simple — the meat.

Start Slow

Good barbecue always starts with a slow smoked meat. Beef, chicken, pork and even some more unusual meats can decorate the inside of a smoker and, eventually, come out of the pit as a tender and succulent star. Whether you add a thick tomato-based BBQ sauce or like to stop with a dry rub, the key to the best BBQ is all in how you smoke the meat.

Settle in for the Day

Slow smoking meat takes all day. Some cuts might be in the smoker for 12 hours or more before they reach the desired temperature. Cooking at approximately 250 degrees Fahrenheit means it takes a long time to safely smoke meats, but the end result is absolutely worth it. There is no shortcut for tender, juicy, fall-apart smoked meat.

Select Your Smoking Agent

A big part of the final flavor comes from the wood used inside the smoker. Mesquite, pecan, hickory and other hardwoods offer the best smoke and the best flavor. You want plentiful smoke that won’t leave your food tasting ashy or bitter, and the only way to get that is by using hardwood.

There is no one right type of hardwood, as long as you use something that burns slow and hot. Keep in mind that studies show environmental factors are actually more important than the type of wood you use. So, if you buy hickory in more than one place, you might notice some big differences in flavor.

Don’t Rush

Low and slow is the way to cook BBQ meats so they achieve fork tenderness without drying out. At Fahrenheit 250 BBQ, that’s exactly the way meat is prepared — and really the only way to enjoy BBQ. If you rush the smoking, you can ruin the meat. You might wind up with something charred on the outside and undercooked on the inside, or you could take a taste and bite into something that tastes like chemicals.

Dig In

Traditional BBQ calls for a long, slow cooking time over the best hardwoods available (often oak) for a reason — it creates better flavor. After you’ve smelled that rich aroma of the meat slowly smoking, that first bite makes it all worthwhile.

Rib 101: A Q&A With Pitmaster, Jacob Carriker

At Fahrenheit 250 BBQ we have a passion for ribs—slow smoked, fall off the bone they’re so tender, flavor packed, finger lickin’ good ribs. As most people who know BBQ will tell you, BBQ is hard work, and it never gets easier, but you can get better at your slow-smoked techniques. We sat down with our Pitmaster, Jacob Carriker, and got down to business on the tips and tricks that he uses in the restaurant and at home to get his ribs to taste mmm, mmm good.

 

Q: What’s the secret to capturing the most flavor when cooking ribs?

A: When it comes to BBQ, the flavor is created by applying multiple layers of flavor and complexity. First, add a dry rub to penetrate the meat and impart a strong base of seasoning. The dry rub we use at Fahrenheit 250 consists of granulated garlic, granulated onion, kosher salt, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, brown sugar, cumin, garlic powder and chili powder. During the cooking process, the brown sugar caramelizes within in the rub and creates a crust, forming a second layer of flavor and texture. If you are smoking your ribs, the third layer of flavor comes from the wood and smoke. To me, this is the most important layer of flavor – who doesn’t love that smoky taste?  Finally, the fourth layer of flavor is created when the fat renders from the low and slow cooking technique.

Q: Do you use a mop to apply sauce while cooking?

A: It is not necessary, but on occasion, I will use a mop to apply sauce to ribs when cooking at home.

Q: What are the different ways/techniques you can use to cook ribs at home?

A: The best way to cook ribs is to use a real wood smoker. If you aren’t able to cook with a wood smoker, I would suggest using a pellet, chip or wood disk smoker. If you already have a charcoal grill at home, you can get a lot of good flavors. I recommend cooking the ribs with the charcoal offset from the meat in this case. Propane grills can be difficult to work with, but with a little know-how you can, you can create smoke with a wood chip box. The upside with propane or gas grills is that you can control the temperature precisely. My last choice is to cook ribs in the oven. Let’s face it, ribs are meant to be cooked outside!

Q: How do you know when ribs are done?

A: I recommend using a nice thermometer to test the temperature of the meat. My favorite is this one (link “this one” to a good thermometer). You can check the temperature of the meat at any time through an app on your phone. You can also never go wrong with the old school way – pick up the slab and see if the ribs bend. The meat should fall off of the bone with little effort.

Q: Is there a technique you use when it comes to cutting ribs?

A: Flip your rack of ribs length up with the small part of the bone in the air. Then drag your knife against the bone on the right side.

Q: When is the best time to apply sauce?

A: There are two, and ONLY two times. A few minutes before pulling your ribs you can apply sauce on top, or toss them in the sauce after cutting the ribs. At home, I will usually toss my ribs with sauce after cutting them. Our sauce is prepared in-house and has been cooked down, so all of the flavors stand out on their own. There is no reason to cook the sauce again because it will change the flavor.

Q: Are there any other secrets that you can think of?

A: Stop checking your ribs.

Stop letting out the heat.

Let them rest.

Invite friends and family over to enjoy them with you!

 

Think you’ve got what it takes to make fall off the bone ribs at home? We’re here to help you out.

Throughout the month of July, we are offering a complete Make-at-Home Rib Kit. Our kits come with one rack of St. Louis-style ribs (approximately 3 lbs.), one 6 oz. Tin of rub, one 16 oz. Bottle of your choice of BBQ sauce, and Pitmaster instructions on how to prepare your ribs at home.
Order online or give us a call and stop by Fahrenheit 250 BBQ. With your bbq instructions and the tips you learned here, we guarantee your friends and family will start calling you pitmaster, too.

 

Click Here to Place Your Rib Kit Order

This Little Piggy Has a New Happy Hour Menu!

We’re excited to announce that we have a new happy hour menu at Fahrenheit 250! Join us at the Fahrenheit Bar from 2PM to 6PM from Tuesday through Sunday for rotating happy hour and special discounts.

Day-Specific Specials

(2PM – 6PM)


TUESDAY:

A BBQ-centric Taco Tuesday featuring $2 pulled pork or chopped brisket tacos with coleslaw, corn, avocado cream, and salsa.

WEDNESDAY:
This one speaks for itself; $1 Slow Smoked Ribs coated with F250 Rub and a little brown sugar.

THURSDAY:
A Burger Bonanza that Big Hoss would approve of. Enjoy Buy 1 get 1 Free on any of our burgers (Of equal or lesser value).

FRIDAY:
Also known as Frito Friday, $4 for our Deluxe version of a Frito Pie; chili, cheddar cheese, sour cream, jalapeno, onion, and tomato.

SATURDAY:
Enjoy your weekend with half-off appetizers from 2 p.m. –
5 p.m. in the bar.

SUNDAY:
Football Fever has made us delirious. We’ve got Happy Hour all day in the bar.

Sacramento State Discount:
$10 Pulled Pork or Brisket Sandwich with Side and a Beverage Anytime with valid ID

Daily Happy Hour Menu

(2PM – 6PM)


DRINKS

$1 Off All Draft Beers

Well Drinks – 3

Auburn Alehouse Gold Pilsner – 3

FOOD

BBQ Potato Skins – 6
Potato skins with cheddar cheese, pulled pork, sour cream, bacon, jalapeno, corn, and our Signature Sauce

FRIED GREEN TOMATOES – 5

Breaded and fried, with piccalilli relish and jalapeno aioli

F250 WINGS – 5
Choose from: F250 Dry Rub | Signature BBQ
Sauce | Buffalo Style

BBQ TORPEDOS – 3
Your choice of Pulled Pork with coleslaw | Chopped Brisket with pickles and onions | Tri Tip with ceviche

BBQ NACHOS – 6
Your choice of pulled pork or brisket with fresh tortilla chips, cheese sauce, jalapeno, corn, black beans, red onion, and tomato

°Fahrenheit 250 BBQ

Handcrafted BBQ Forged From Wood Fire & Steel