Primal Beef Roasts Q & A

Beef Prime Rib, KC-Strip Roast and Beef Tenderloin

Q: What are the most popular roast for smoking & grilling

A: Prime Rib Roast: This is perfect for slow smoking and then using the reverse sear method to finish. It has just the right amount of marbling to give it tenderness and flavor.

A: Beef Tenderloin: A very lean boneless single mussel roast with almost no internal fat, it is a very firm and tender cut that also works well on the smoker and finished on the grill.

A: Kansas City Strip Loin Roast: The newer primal beef cut is a lean boneless strip loin, it makes a firm tender roast that can be cut into steaks after being smoked and grilled.

 Q: How Many pounds should I buy for a beef roast dinner?

A: I suggest 8oz of meat per person averaged between adults and children.

Q: How can I make sure my Beef roasts turns out well”

A: Most important do not overcook it! Smoke/Grill the roasts to the recommended internal temperature and use a good meat thermometer for accuracy. Let the roasts rest for 5 to 10 minutes outside the smoker, then server it. Don’t hold it for too long: it will dry out.

Beef Temperature Guideline 

BBQ Smoking times including finishing on the grill (reverse sear) for the last 5 minute to crisp the outside bark.  BBQ Smoking temperatures are maintained between 250 -275 degrees using Good-One Lump Charcoal and either peach or cherry wood to enhance flavor.

  Cut                     Weight         Total Time     Remove from Smoker/Grill 

Prime Rib

                         4-6 Lbs. (2 Ribs)  

Medium Rare                                  3-Hours                            125 Degrees

Medium                                           3- ½ Hours                      135 Degrees

                      6-8 Lbs. (4 Ribs)   

Medium Rare                                 3- ½ Hours                      125 Degrees

Medium                                           4- Hours                           135 Degrees

                     8-10 Lbs. (6+ Ribs)  

Medium Rare                                 3- ½ Hours                     125 Degrees

Medium                                           4- Hours                          135 Degrees


                   7-8 Lbs. (Whole) 

Medium Rare                                 1- ½ Hours                    125 Degrees

Medium                                          1- ¾ Hours                     135 Degrees

                    4-5 Lbs. (Center) 

Medium Rare                                  1- ½ Hours                   125 Degrees

Medium                                            1- ¾ Hours                   135 Degrees

KC Strip Roast    

                       8 + Lbs. (Whole) 

Medium Rare                                   4 Hours                       125 Degrees

Medium                                            4 ½ Hours                  135 Degrees

                     4-5 Lbs. (Center) 

Medium Rare                                   3 Hours                      125 Degrees

Medium                                             3 ½ Hours                135 Degrees


Smoked Full Beef Tenderloin Recipe:  (Reverse Sear Method)




  • 1 whole beef tenderloin, trimmed of all visible fat and silver skin stripped
  • Kosher salt
  • Three Little Pigs All Purpose Rub & Memphis rub
  • 1/2 cup tri-color peppercorns, crushed with a rolling pin
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed


Preheat  The Good-One Smoker to 250  degrees F.

Place the tenderloin on a smoker and add 2 chunks of cherry wood. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt and Three Little Pigs All Purpose Rub, which will deepen the savory flavors.

Press the crushed peppercorns all over the surface of the meat. Insert a meat thermometer and place in the smoker until the beef registers to 125-130 degrees F for medium-rare/rare. Beef will probably cook in 1 to 1 ½ hours depending on its temp before it goes in the smoker.

While the meat is smoking, melt the butter with the garlic in a small skillet, and allow the butter to slightly brown. Remove the garlic and discard.

Remove the meat when it’s done  and dust with Three Little Pig’s Memphis rub and place on hot grill until outside is seared to liking, then pour the garlic butter over gently (it should sizzle when it hits the meat). Cover the meat loosely with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Chris Marks -CBBQE (Chief BBQ Expert) Three Little Pig’s Rubs & Sauces/Good-One Manufacturing


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What is a Brine? and How does it Work ?

What Is Brine?

Brine is a salt solution made by mixing salt and water, usually about 5 to 8 percent salt by weight. Some recipes include sugar and other ingredients to add flavor to the meat being brined, but a basic brine is a salt-water solution.

How Does Brine Work ? 


Here are three major functions accomplished by brining —and reasons to try it.

Meat absorbs some of the liquid: When a piece of meat is soaked in a brine solution, that solution is slowly drawn into the meat, and even though some of it is inevitably lost during cooking, it still makes a big difference. Since the meat starts out with more liquid within, it ends up juicier and moister when cooked.

 Muscle fibers are dissolved: Highly concentrated salt solutions will cause proteins to precipitate (essentially forcing them to aggregate with each other and clump together). On the other hand, a low-concentration salt solution has the opposite effect and can increase protein solubility and allow more proteins to dissolve. So, brine helps dissolve some of the muscle fibers, which helps to reduce the toughness of meat.

Muscle fibers and meat proteins denature: A salt solution can denature proteins, essentially unfolding and unraveling them. As they unfold, water works its way in between these proteins so there is more water in between the meat proteins as the meat cooks. This results in a more tender cooked meat.

Why Brine?

Brining was originally used for food preservation in the pre-refrigeration era. However, there are two solid reasons why you should brine your meat in this century: flavor and texture. Brining infuses the meat with savory, flavors, all while tenderizing it to butter-soft texture.

Wet Brine:

The basic ratio for any wet brine is 1 cup of salt to 1 gallon of water. If you’re feeling fancy, throw in some smashed garlic cloves, peppercorns, or citrus — also smashed. Another general rule of thumb is to leave your meat in its brine for roughly one hour per pound — never brine your meat more than the prescribed amount, the proteins break down too far, turning it into unappetizing mush.

Dry Brining:

Dry brining is technically a misnomer. The term “brining” implies a liquid, and dry brining could more accurately be categorized as a rub, seasoning or a “cure,” for your meat. However, the result is quite similar. By coating your meat in a salty mixture, it both re-distributes moisture and pulls the seasoning deep into the meat. Dry brining is also a clean, simple seasoning option if you don’t want to fill your fridge with large containers of submerged meats, for some reason



Marinade Vs Brine

Brines are a great way to add moisture to meats and marinades are a great way to add flavor.

Marinades don’t add a lot of moisture to meat, but they can add lots of flavor, and make meat more tender Marinades are sauces with an acidic base (like vinegar, citrus, or wine). The acid in a marinade breaks up the structure of the proteins in the meat. Water (from the marinade) gets caught between the proteins, and makes the meat seem more tender.

Marinades only work on about the outside ¼ inch of the meat. Not a lot of liquid will get into the meat, but a lot of flavor will be absorbed on to the meat. Marinades are good for smaller, more tender pieces of meat like chicken breasts, steaks, and pork chops. Soaking meats too long in marinades can backfire on you, the meat can start to dry out and get very tough.

Chris Marks CBBQE  (Chief BBQ Expert) Three Little Pig’s BBQ Rubs/Sauces & Good-One Smoker/Grills.

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Pitmaster Profiles: Chris Marks



Pitmaster Profiles: Chris Marks of Three Little Pig’s Rubs/Sauces 

CBBQE -Chief BBQ Expert for Good-One Manufacturing 

  FireCrafts  Pitmaster Profiles Series , a Q&A series with some of the biggest names in BBQ.

 Maybe it’s the no-nonsense demeanor—the stout frame and no frills mustache that portray a certain seriousness. Or maybe it’s his willingness to tell it like he sees it. Either way, you’d be forgiven for pegging Chris Marks as a staunch traditionalist; the type of purist that believes BBQ begins and ends with the proteins turned in at competitions. Such assumptions, however, would be a mistake.

In reality, the 8-time American Royal Grand Champion is one of the most personable guys in BBQ, easy to talk to and quick to share tips and techniques. In fact, next to cooking with family—he learned from his father and now cooks alongside his son—teaching might be what brings Chris Marks the most satisfaction. Hosting BBQ classes around the world (he did a tour of Australia earlier this year), he gladly passes on his extensive knowledge to backyard beginners, aspiring pros, and anyone who shares his love of BBQ. Here is a link for the BBQ Class’s scheduled for the  first 1/2 of 2017.

Oh, make no mistake about it, Chris Marks has strong opinions, particularly when it comes to the growing use of technology in BBQ. However, those opinions are more of an indictment against the smokers that need help than the gadgets themselves. Because, ultimately, quality is what defines Chris Marks’ view of BBQ: A quality cooker and ingredients will produce quality food and quality time with friends and family. Those core beliefs are reflected in the products he stands behind—his widely acclaimed Three Little Pigs Sauces and Rubs and The Good One Smokers, some of the best built and most versatile smokers around (the Open Range was named one of our 3 Best Smoker Grills.

In our Q&A with Chris Marks, we took the opportunity to ask about his experience around the pit, as well as the past, present, and future of BBQ.

What is your first BBQ memory?

My first memories of BBQ were when I was 5-7 years old and my father and next door neighbor built a brick grill. We would have BBQs every weekend in the summer and then during the fall and winter for the Chiefs games. We were tailgating back in the 60’s in KC.

How did you get into BBQ and when did you start?

My father Larry Marks (Boss Hogg) retired from Hallmark Cards and needed a hobby to keep busy and we created the Three Little Pig’s BBQ team to compete in the newly formed Kansas City BBQ Society in the late 80’s.

Who did you look up to when you were first starting out?

Our BBQ mentor was Paul Kirk (Baron of BBQ). My father took classes from Paul on how to get started in the world of competition BBQ.

What was your first smoker?

Our first smoker was a cheap side-offset barrel smoker. The firebox broke off during our first BBQ contest in Raytown, MO.

What do you most enjoy about BBQ?

I enjoy meeting people from all over the world who have the same passion as I have for BBQ, [as well as] the continuing friendships after classes and events. I love hearing the success stories after a student goes to a class and his family and friends say what a great product he or she is producing now.

Favorite thing to cook? Eat?

My favorite protein to cook is beef ribs and I love to eat a well-smoked and flavored baby back slab of ribs.

What’s the best BBQ you’ve ever had?

Best commercial BBQ I have ever had is from Q39 in Kansas City. They can produce the same quality every time. When Friends come in, that’s where I take them.

Who was the person you were most excited to meet in your BBQ travels?

Steve Raichlen. He is the person I look up to as the BBQ pitmaster/entrepreneur who really [brought attention to BBQ and grilling] with his public TV show and his book The BBQ Bible. He has done great job branding and marketing across the world and continues to have a presence 10 years after kicking off his BBQ show. Steve is not the traditional BBQ pitmaster, he has a very educated approach and presents easy-to-use methods and techniques.

What are a couple of the “Best” BBQ Books and Websites for the beginners?

I like books that are more to the “Science end of BBQ” Because you understand the science behind smoke you eliminate most the beginner mistakes that Brother-Laws have been preaching for 10 years.

Science Of BBQ Books:  

The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling, Meathead Goldwyn

Cooks Science:  Cook’s Illustrated 

 Great Overall BBQ Books:

America’s Best BBQ: Ardie A. Davis and Chef Paul Kirk

The Art of Beef Cutting: A Meat Professional’s Guide to Butchering and Merchandising:  Kari Underly

Flavorize: Great Marinades, Injections, Brines, Rubs, and Glazes: Ray Lampe

Diva Q’s Barbecue: Danielle Bennett

BBQ Reference Websites:

Amazing Ribs BBQ SiteAmazing Ribs

BBQ is bigger than ever, with more newcomers taking it up each week. Do you have any tips for beginners just starting out?

Don’t get caught up in the TV hype and be careful with “YouTube University.” Understand the science behind BBQ smoking and make it You with your own personal style.

Do you have any horror stories that will make a newbie feel better about their first big mistake?

One of our best horror stories is that at our first contest we used green hickory, because that’s what we were told by a BBQ professional (my uncle). The meats were all black and tasted like a railroad tie.

You’re an 8-time American Royal Grand Champion. How has competition BBQ changed over the years?

It has changed to the point where teams are looking for every advantage they can to separate from the pack, but all the teams seem to be doing the same thing and using the same products that everyone else is using. But I guarantee the teams that win week after week are not using the same products. We are also seeing more high-end sponsor’s that are supporting teams across the US, becoming very NASCAR-like. Time will tell what this will do for the backyard guy who is trying to compete. Hopefully, competition BBQ will not end up with 25 corporate sponsored teams competing weekly across the US.

Backyard vs competition: Do you enjoy one more than the other? How does your approach differ?

I prefer working with the backyard guy who is working on simple methods and techniques and wanting to up his game and understand the science.

There are a lot of products hitting the market that make cooking BBQ easier (pellet grills, automatic temperature controllers, WiFi capabilities, etc). How do you feel about technology making its way into BBQ?

I come from a technical background, with over 25 years of experience in IT security. I feel that if you have to add temperature controllers to smokers then the smoker manufacturer needs to re-evaluate the design. As a customer, spending $4,000 on a smoker and then having to spend another $500 for electronics to make it work seems insane to me. I work to keep it simple. If you need to have all kinds of electronics to monitor the smoker, there seems to be a confidence issue with the smoker. Pellet cookers are sold on the ease-of-use, but can never get the “Real Pit” flavor that a charcoal/wood pit can produce. Also, temperature controllers, WiFi capability and pellet cookers all require electricity, which will always add another layer of complexity and possible failure at the worst times.

You cook on Good One Smokers and have a professional relationship with the company. They make unique smokers and are a brand many people may not be too familiar with. What drew you to them?

The Good-One brand has evolved on a true design of thermodynamics—on how air and heat flow and how to control it and maximize charcoal burn for long cooks. We work on making the smokers easy to use, clean and maintain. Good One Smokers are USA made, with USA steel, built from a ground-up design that’s based on engineering, not what I can find at a junkyard (Steel Pipeline, propane tank).

Your Three Little Pigs sauces and rubs get rave reviews. What made you want to put out your own line?

The sauces and rubs were a spin-off of what we had used for years on the competition circuit. They were created in honor of my father and mother after they passed away.

Some people have a very strict definition of BBQ that aligns with the half dozen items you’d find at a traditional BBQ joint. Others see it as an evolving style. What’s your definition of BBQ?

BBQ is ever-evolving across the world. As we become a smaller world with the internet, we can see the different style and methods from Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico and Japan. My definition of BBQ is to make it personal and cook to your family and friends.

What is the future of BBQ?

I think the future of BBQ is going to have more of an international flair, with the ability to merge the different styles, flavors, and techniques to form a new style of BBQ.


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Enhanced Commodity Pork VS All Natural Pork for BBQ Grilling

     Enhanced Commodity Pork VS All Natural Pork

                         “What is the difference?”

                  BBQ Grilling and BBQ Smoking 

Enhanced pork definition is the process of adding non-meat ingredients to fresh pork to improve the eating quality of the final product where eating quality is defined as the juiciness, tenderness and flavor of pork

Modern Commodity pork is so lean and therefor somewhat bland and prone to dryness if overcooked, many produces now inject their pork products with a sodium solution. So-called enhanced pork is now the only option in many BBQ Restaurants, big box and supermarkets, especially when buying lean cuts like tenderloin, baby back ribs and pork loin.  You will always know if injections are added by reading the ingredient label on the package.

Flavor agents are added to pork to provide alternate flavor choices for consumers. Flavor agents also can be used to mask undesirable flavors from other ingredients such as potassium lactate or sodium lactate. Flavor agents can range from the addition of fresh ingredients, dehydrated ingredients, ground spices, spice extractives or oleoresins.

Enhanced pork is injected with a solution of water, salt, and one or more of the following: sodium phosphate, sodium lactate, potassium lactate, sodium diacetate, and varying flavor agents, generally adding 7% to 15% extra weight. While enhanced pork does cook up juicer (It is pumped full of water) when BBQ Grilling or BBQ Smoking, the texture is almost spongy and the flavor is often very salty. I prefer the genuine natural pork flavor like Compart Duroc and prefer to brine the leaner cuts to keep them juicy.

Note:  Enhanced pork loses 6 times the moister when frozen and thawed compared to a Natural Pork like a Compart Duroc pork.

                                          “All Natural Pork”

                                 Spotlight:  Compart Family Farms™

Compart Duroc Pork “The Black Angus of Pork”

Compart Family Farms™ promises an “All Natural,” mouthwatering, rich flavored pork, with superior tenderness and natural juiciness. Bright reddish pink in color, Compart Duroc contains a higher percentage of intramuscular fat (marbling) and a higher pH . These unique attributes translate into a more tender, juicy and flavorful dining experience. This selection of pork enables you to enjoy fresh pork in its natural flavor and juice, without injecting or pumping.






Redder is Better
Although pork is known as “the other white meat,” in its raw form dark pink to dark reddish pink is the most desirable color to look for when buying pork. This has caused some confusion for the consumer, because all pork turns white after being cooked. Darker, reddish raw pork will typically be juicier, more tender, and have a higher pH than lighter colored raw pork. These characteristics are essential for superior eating quality.






Compart Family Farms™ has conducted  extensive research and development to create a proprietary Compart Duroc feeding program. This feeding program optimizes both the pig’s performance and its meat quality. This, coupled with raising the pigs in comfortable, environmentally stable facilities, reduces stresses that adversely affect muscle quality.

 Dry Aged Pork?

Compart Family Farms™ has also introduces a “Dry Aged” Pork, brings a new level of tenderness and robust flavor to pork. Unlike ordinary pork, our pork is more heavily marbled, creating a juicier dining experience, yet it’s still 96% lean.

Pork traditionally has not been dry aged. Dry aging, along with favorable muscle pH and the marbling qualities of the Compart Duroc product, elevates pork to a whole new level!

Compart Family Farms™  Duroc Dry Aged Pork is an exciting new approach to enhance your pork dining experience.



Three Little Pig’s BBQ Recipe 

World Champion Smoked  “All Natural” Pork Tenderloin



  1. Mix powdered garlic, black pepper, ground ginger, ground mustard and salt ingredients together. Trim the pork tenderloins. Generously cover with spice rub. Wrap in bacon strips. Pack in the brown sugar in either a zip-lock plastic bag or a half-pan catering tin overnight.
  2. Place the tenderloins on the smoker at 250 degrees while adding two small chunks of wild cherry–flavor wood. Remove from smoker when 155 degrees is reached internally and let sit for 10 minutes, then glaze with Three Little Pig Competition BBQ Sauce and then dust with the Touch of Cherry Rub.


Chris Marks – Chief BBQ Expert -Good-One Manufacturing.

More information on BBQ  or Three Little Pigs Rubs/Sauces e-mail Chris Marks at 







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Tutorial on Pork Ribs Cuts

Tutorial on Pork Ribs Cuts


Baby Back Ribs:   The most popular of all pork ribs, Baby Backs are the most lean and tender.  These types of ribs are located at the top part of the rib bone that is connected to the spine (backbone), just below the loin muscle.  The name “Baby” is derived from the fact they are shorter than spare ribs, and “Back”, because they are nearest the backbone.

Butchers make Baby Back Ribs by cutting them where the longest bone is, around 6″ from the spine.  The meat on top of the bones is tender and delicious.  Depending on how they are butchered, Baby Back Rib racks weigh about 1.75-2.5 lbs and will normally have between 10-13 bones per rack.  Baby Backs can be grilled, barbecued, roasted and smoked. They are typical to the northern region of the U.S. and Canada.

Spare Ribs: Rib starts from the end of Baby Back Ribs and extends to the end of the rib bone.  Spare Ribs are bigger with more meat between the bones than the top of the bones
and are a little tougher and fatter, but much richer in flavor.  Spare Ribs average 10-13 bones per rack weighing between 2.5 – 3.5 lbs. They can also be grilled, barbecued, roasted and smoked.

St. Louis Ribs in the St. Louis area who wanted a better rib cut than they were receiving from big meat packers at the time.  St. Louis Ribs, or St. Louis Style Ribs are Spare Ribs with the rib tips cut off where a lot of cartilage and gristle exists with very little meat.  “Pork Ribs, St. Louis Style” officially became an official USDA cut standard NAMP/IMPS #416A in the 1980’s. Spare Ribs and St. Louis Style Spare Ribs are found on grills and smokers in the southern states of the U.S.



Rib Tips   Rib Tips are found at the end tips of the rib bone. They are the by-products of St. Louis Ribs where butchers cut the tips off the end of the ribs into strips with a saw. Even with little meat and a lot of cartilage and gristle, Tips are rich in flavor due to the presence of bone and higher fat content.  People generally either love them or hate them.



Country-Style Ribs   You may be surprised to know that Country-style Ribs are not cut from the rib cage but from the front end of where the Baby Back Ribs are near the shoulder blade.  They are the meatiest variety of ribs and are perfect for those who prefer to use a knife and fork rather than eating with their hands.

Rib Chops & Roasts:  Bones are also used in other types of butcher cuts.  Rib Chops are produced where the loin meat is kept attached to the bone and portion cut into a chop.  The end of the rib bone can also be exposed to create a “French Cut” Rib Chop.  A Crown Roast is created when instead of cutting the loin into chops, it’s formed into a circle and tied to look like a crown.  Crown style roasts are seasonal holiday favorites.




Three Little Pig’s  BBQ Championship Ribs

 Simple No-wrap Memphis dry rib recipe






DIRECTIONS · Heat Smoker 250 degrees using Good-One Natural Lump Charcoal, add 2 chunks of either apple or cherry flavor wood once the charcoal is ready to go. ·Select (4) Slabs of Pork Ribs, Strip membrane off back of each rib to guarantee tenderness. Liberally coat yellow mustard over both sides of the baby back rib, this will act as a tenderizer and a bonding agent for the rub. · Meanwhile, coat both sides of the ribs with the Three Little Pig’s rubs. · Place ribs in a vertical rib rack for 4-5 hours depending on your smoker, ½ ways through the cook rotate the 180 degrees in the rack this will guarantee an even cook. · Once the meat has pulled back from the bones, use a toothpick to check tenderness. · Remove from Rack and place flat on the smoker and apply a light coat of Three Little Pig’s Touch of Cherry rub to finish.



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Cherry Smoked Mac & Cheese

                       Cherry-Wood Smoked Macaroni & Cheese 











The Smoker is The Good-One One Open Range

Recipe Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus 1/4 cup (1/2 stick), divided
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Three Little Pig’s Competition BBQ Sauce
  • 2 teaspoon Three Little Pig’s Championship BBQ Rub
  • 4 ounces aged white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 ½ cups sweet corn nib lets
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 pound jumbo elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
  • 8 ounces Colby cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 cup cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Panko (Japanese-style) breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs


1. Heat the smoker to 250 degrees.

2. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large, heavy-bottom pot over medium heat. Whisk the flour into the butter until thoroughly combined to form a roux. Slowly whisk in the milk, then the half-and-half. Whisk in the mustard, barbecue sauce, salt and pepper.

3. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook, whisking constantly, 8 to 10 minutes to develop the flavors. Whisk in the white cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. Stir in the corn, and parsley, then remove from heat.

4. Stir in the cooked macaroni, then the cubed sharp cheddar and Colby cheeses. Spoon the macaroni and cheese into a buttered 13-by-9-inch baking dish.

5. Melt the remaining one-quarter cup of butter in a small sauce pan. In a medium bowl, combine the cracker, Panko and unseasoned breadcrumbs with the melted butter. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the macaroni and cheese.

6. Put baking dish on smoker and apply 1 single piece of seasoned Wild Cherry flavor wood for 30-45 minutes to absorb the sweet cherry smoke.

7. Pull off smoker and finish in the oven at 350  for anther 20-30 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and browned on top. 

Chris Marks CBBQE (Chief BBQ Expert)  Three Little Pig’s BBQ Sauces/Rubs & Good-One Smoker/Grills

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Three Little Pigs BBQ recipes BBQ Parfait

Three Little Pigs Sauces & Rubs

BBQ Parfait

BBQ Sunde in a jar




Directions for Pork:


Mix all ingredients in Catering pan and place in smoker for 2 hours to cook and absorb smoke and charcoal flavor.


  •  1/3 cup white vinegar
  •  1/4 cup sugar
  •  1/4 cup vegetable oil
  •  2 teaspoons salt
  •  2 tablespoons grated or minced onion
  •  1/2 medium-sized green cabbage, shredded or 6 cups shredded green cabbage

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate until needed for Parfait.

Parfait Directions: 

In either a Parfait or Mason Jar start with a layer of pulled pork , a layer of beans, a layer of coleslaw and fill up to top finish with a topping of Three Little Pig Competition BBQ Sauce and top with a cherry and serve with a pickle spear.


Chris Marks CBBQE (Chief BBQ Expert) Three Little Pig’s Sauces/Rubs & Good-One Smokers

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An interview with Eight-time American Royal BBQ Cookoff Grand Champion Chris Marks

Chris Interview

It’s not every day when I am able to sit down with an eight-time grand champion of the American Royal BBQ Cookoff in Kansas City. A while back, I had the pleasure of speaking with Chris Marks, chief cook of the Three Little Pigs  barbecue team, while he was visiting Bloomington.

Marks was in town to offer support to our favorite hometown barbecue joint,Short Stop Food Mart, and to give cooking demonstrations and share recipes. He also brought along some things Hoosiers wouldn’t see unless they’re traveling, such as alligator.

Marks also is the winner of more than 40 national barbecue competitions, including at the Jack Daniels World Sauce Championship.

The Kansas City native was introduced to barbecue at a young age by his father Larry — known as “Boss Hawg” – who created the Three Little Pigs team. “He was a great backyard barbecuer,” he recalled.

It all began when his father received a smoker as a present after retiring from Hallmark in 1991. Soon, Larry entered a local contest and won his first ribbon. The family incorporated the team the following year.

“My Dad more or less was the ‘promotion guy.’ He was the guy walking around doing all the talking,” Marks said. “Me and my Mom were in the background doing all the cooking and it worked very well that way.”

The Marks’ are friends with the “Baron of Barbecue,” Paul Kirk, and after Larry took one of his classes about smoking, the family never went back to grilling.

The younger Marks got his first taste of victory in 1993 in McLouth, Kan., beating out about 35 teams. “The excitement nearly caused my Dad to have a heart attack,” he remembered.

But competition barbecue is different today, Marks noted. Back then, there were no consistent standards and specifications for the judges to follow. Judging was more subjective and based more on personal preferences about tastes.“There was no judging training back then,” he said. “You better know how to cook well, because the judges just came off the streets. If they didn’t like it, you were toast.

“It would be interesting to see how the some of the teams that are doing well now would have done back 10 years ago.”

You may also have seen Marks on television programs such as “Taste of America” on the Food Network and “BBQ Battle” on the Travel Channel. He is fond of those largely unscripted shows which really showed how barbecue is done. “It was just smoke, no mirrors,” he added. “And it was an absolute ball.”

More recently, he’s observed that producers of some barbecue-themed shows are more into perpetuating stereotypes than really showing how it’s done. Shortly before we spoke, Marks had been in discussions with a network but was dropped from the project because he and others “weren’t Bubba enough.”

“We weren’t what they were looking for and they ended up putting on a guy on who cooked on a half-drum with overalls and beard and he flipped ribs,” he told me. “It about the perception out there.”

Today, Marks doesn’t compete very often. He is the face and chief consultant of Good One Manufacturing brand of smokers and grills – which has more than 75 dealers around the country — and also sells natural lump charcoal, rubs and sauces. He travels with his wife around the country teaches at more than 60 BBQ Boot Camps last year.

The recipes for Three Little Pigs’ rubs were developed by his parents and the sauces were created as tribute to his father. Rather than one rub for all kinds of meats, his gluten-free rubs are separately designed for beef, pork and poultry.

They sell three different sauces.“It started out as my hobby and I turned it into a job,” Marks said. “I love what I am doing and I love teaching.”

Much of what is written about barbecue focuses on particular states and regions, such as the Carolina’s, the Deep South, Texas, Memphis and Marks’ home town of Kansas City. But with the growing popularity of barbecue nationwide, Marks has seen it migrating to new places where new regional flavors have been added.

For example, out West, in Arizona and California, he’s seen the pit flavors, but instead of tomato and vinegar-based sauces, people are using marmalade’s and other fruit glazes.

“You build a great flavor profile and then you put on it what you like,” he said. “It’s about the person. That’s what I teach and that’s what I want people to understand … You’ve got to develop your own style, you’ve got to make it personal.”

Marks is a purest. He prefers natural woods and charcoals over gas and wood pellets. He also understands why people in other regions may knock anything non-traditional.

“It all about adapting,” he said. “The great thing about Kansas City is we do all styles. We do them all and we really don’t care. Some other places, I tell you, they won’t budge but it’s their loss.”

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World Champion Smoked Pork Tenderloin

Three Little Pig’s BBQ 

World Champion Smoked Pork Tenderloin

Deer Tenderloin

Spice Rub 

  1. Mix all the spice rub ingredients together. Trim the pork tenderloins. Generously cover with spice rub. Wrap in bacon strips. Pack in the brown sugar in either a zip-lock plastic bag or a half-pan catering tin overnight
  2. Place the tenderloins on the smoker at 250 degrees while adding the Three Little Pig’s Touch of Cherry Rub on the Tenderloins, and than add two small chunks of wild cherry–flavor wood. Remove from smoker when 155 degrees is reached internally and let sit for 10 minutes. Then glaze with Three Little Pig Competition BBQ Sauce.

Chris Marks (CBBQE) Chief BBQ Expert Three Little Pigs Sauces & Seasonings/GoodOne Manufacturing


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Smoked Chicken Cordon Bleu Meatloaf

Smoked Chicken Cordon Bleu Meatloaf

Smoked Chicken meatloaf


  • 2 lbs ground chicken
  • 6 -12 ounces Italian seasoned breadcrumb
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 ounces smoked ham, sliced
  • 6 slices of Swiss cheese
  • 2 cups Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • ¼ cup of Three Little Pig’s  All Purpose Seasoning


1.  Mix ground chicken, bread crumbs, eggs, 2 cups of Parmesan, Three Little Pig’s All Purpose rub, mix well.

2. Take half of meat mixture and build loaf. Then layer the middle first with 6 slices of ham, than on top of the ham layer 6 slices of Swiss cheese, then repeat same layer again.

3. Top with remaining meat mixture and press around sides of pan to enclose the layers.

4 Wrap with bacon if you like.

5. Prepare your smoker for cooking at 225°F to 250°F. If you are using a smoker, be sure to have enough wood chunks to produce smoke for about two hours. Once the smoker is ready.

6. Smoke the Chicken meatloaf for two hours or to 165 degrees.

7. Brush Three Little Pig’s Competition Sauce over Top for added flavor.


Chris  Marks (CBBQE) Chief BBQ Expert Three Little Pig’s BBQ Sauce/Rubs & Good-One Smokers/Grills



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