Yesterday, we talked to Paul Kirk, a/k/a the Baron of Barbecue and executive chef and co-owner of R.U.B., about his new outpost on Long Island. Today, Kirk divulges his best barbecue secrets for when you’re doing the deed at home.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you see home cooks make when they try to do barbecue at home?
They don’t have patience. They keep looking and opening the pit to see how the meat’s doing. Listen, the meat’s doing just fine. All that does is let a lot of heat out that you should keep constant. That’s the biggest thing. And then cooking too hot usually.
Southern food and barbecue are everywhere these days. Why do you think that is?
Well, I say it’s American food and it’s comfort food. It’s social food, you know, because that’s where it started: People gather around for a barbecue. It’s been growing in leaps and bounds. People enjoy it.
Do you have any favorite barbecue spots in New York when you’re not at your own?
No, I really haven’t had a chance to go out. I want to go out to Daisy May’s and Hill Country. I’ve been to Blue Smoke. I’ve been to John Stage’s Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. I really enjoy Dinosaur, but other than that I haven’t had a chance to get out because usually I have a pretty full schedule when I’m here.
You’re working on other restaurants in the tristate area?
Yeah, a couple more. Also, I’m working on a bunch of new cookbooks. I should have two new ones out next year and I may sign a contract on a couple more by then.
Are there ever any trends that emerge in the world of barbecue?
Not so much this year. I think it’s been pretty steady. I think people instead of trying new things, they are just trying to hang on and get through this economy.
What do you like to drink with your barbecue?
I pretty much just drink water.