Category Archives: Education

October 2016 Competition BBQ Class

APORKALYPSE NOW COMPETITION BBQ CLASS.
OCTOBER 15TH -16TH 2016

Come experience our winning techniques and recipes in this  full hands on,tell all experience from the 2014 Mid Atlantic BBQ Association Team of the year with  16 Grand Championships under our belt.

PEDIGREE

  • (Cooking for 4 years – 56 comps)
  • 2014 KCBS top 20 Team
  • 2014 MABA Team of the Year
  • 97.7% Win Money Rate
  • 16 Grand Championships
  • 13 Reserve Championships
  • 48 Top 10 finishes
  • 29 1st place Category Wins
  • 198 Calls
  • 5x Participant at the Jack Daniels World Championships
  • 2x Sam’s Club National finalist
  • KCBS 700 Club member
  • KCBS 180 Club Member (3)

This class will cover the full gamut of KCBS style competition BBQ
using the system taught by Pitmaster Michael Fay.
This will be a full hands on, tell all experience , nothing will be held back.

hands-on-2We’ll discuss all gamuts of competition BBQ from A to Z.
We will prepare all injections, rubs and sauces onsite.
Students will trim, prep, cut, box
and sample all 4 of the KCBS meats.
Foundation + Recipes + Techniques = Winning!

  • Cost is $600 per student (spouse $200)
  • Location: 1501 Bayview Drive Havre De Grace, MD
  • Full tell all class: Techniques, injections, rubs, sauces, toys, boxes (no hold backs)
  • Hands on – everyone gets dirty!
  • Class begins at 11am on Saturday and will break for dinner about 5pm (depending on questions) 
  • Sunday the class will follow the complete KCBS timeline formally ending around 2:00 but Michael will stay until all questions are answered.
  • Bulk of the class will be held indoors; cooking will be done on the Aprokalypse Now Competition Rig
  • Due to the class being hands on, class size is limited to 25 students
  • Sign ups close Tuesday October 11h, prepayment is required to reserve a seat.
  • No refunds . If you are unable to attend you can roll over to the next class or discuss your situation on a case by case basis.Class teach 01

Comments from previews Classes

If you are looking at doing a class then this is the one to take. Mike didn’t hold back with valuable tips, tricks and tools of the “trade”. We came away know it was money well spent.”

“What I now tell you is absolutely true. This class taught by Michael Fay is a 100% tell all class. The hands on teaching trimming meats and cutting them for boxing. Plus much more, is unmatched by any other class at this price-point. We have taken 2 other classes by nationally known bbq teams and they don’t even come close to Aporkalypse Now BBQ. We are implementing the entire program for 2015 and expect to have numerous walks with a GC and/or RsvGC.”

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Spring & Summer Competition BBQ Classes just announced

Aporkalypse Now Competition BBQ Class.
May 7th & 8thSOld out
July 16th and 17th

Announcing the next two classes for 2016! The March class sold out so don’t miss these!

Come experience our winning techniques and recipes in this  full hands on,tell all experience from the 2014 Mid Atlantic BBQ Association Team of the year with  13 Grand Championships under our belt.

Pedigree

  • (Cooking for 4 years – 45 comps)
  • 2014 KCBS top 20 Team
  • 2014 MABA Team of the Year
  • 97.7% Win Money Rate
  • 14 Grand Championships
  • 12 Reserve Championships
  • 51 Top 10 finishes
  • 28 1st place Category Wins
  • 182 Calls
  • 4x Participant at the Jack Daniels World Championships
  • Sam’s Club National finalist
  • KCBS 700 Club member
  • KCBS 180 Club Member (2)

This class will cover the full gamut of KCBS style competition BBQ
using the system taught by Pitmaster Michael Fay.
This will be a full hands on, tell all experience , nothing will be held back.

hands-on-2We’ll discuss all gamuts of competition BBQ from A to Z.
We will prepare all injections, rubs and sauces onsite.
Students will trim, prep, cut, box
and sample all 4 of the KCBS meats.
Foundation + Recipes + Techniques = Winning!

  • Cost is $600 per student (spouse $200)
  • Location: 7416 Jervis Street, Springfield, VA (or nearby)
  • Full tell all class: Techniques, injections, rubs, sauces, toys, boxes (no hold backs)
  • Hands on – everyone gets dirty!
  • Class begins at 11am on Saturday and will break for dinner about 5pm (depending on questions) 
  • Sunday the class will follow the complete KCBS timeline formally ending around 2:00 but Michael will stay until all questions are answered.
  • Bulk of the class will be held indoors; cooking will be done on the Aprokalypse Now Competition Rig
  • Due to the class being hands on, class size is limited to 25 students
  • Sign ups close Tuesday March 8th, prepayment is required to reserve a seat.
  • No refunds . If you are unable to attend you can roll over to the next class or discuss your situation on a case by case basis.Class teach 01

Comments from previews Classes

If you are looking at doing a class then this is the one to take. Mike didn’t hold back with valuable tips, tricks and tools of the “trade”. We came away know it was money well spent.”

“What I now tell you is absolutely true. This class taught by Michael Fay is a 100% tell all class. The hands on teaching trimming meats and cutting them for boxing. Plus much more, is unmatched by any other class at this price-point. We have taken 2 other classes by nationally known bbq teams and they don’t even come close to Aporkalypse Now BBQ. We are implementing the entire program for 2015 and expect to have numerous walks with a GC and/or RsvGC.”

“If you are on any fence about taking a class, you will want to be in this one! Like Bill says, hands on for everything as far as prepping, injecting, slicing and dicing! Aside from learning how to cook great, the amount of tips and tricks will floor you! Recipes (and why certain products are used over others) are all there. Very methodical, and he maximizes the time spent in all areas. Be there, or Be square!!!”

“The class was great, from the tell all information, to the nuggets of information, it was very informative. A tremendous value for a hands on, tell all class.”

Sign up online or you can send a check payable to Michael Fay to

Aporkalypse Now Class
C/O Michael Fay
7416 Jervis Street
Springfield, VA 22151

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Full Exposure Competition BBQ Class

Mike_sliceAnnouncing the Aporkalypse Now Competition BBQ Class.
January 24th – January 25th 2015

This class will cover the full gamut of KCBS style competition BBQ
using the system taught by Pitmaster Michael Fay.
This will be a full hands on,
tell all experience , nothing will be held back.
We’ll discuss all gamuts of competition BBQ from A to Z.
Students will trim, prep, cut, box
and sample all 4 of the KCBS meats.
Foundation + Recipes + Techniques = Winning!

 

  • Cost is $600 per student (spouse $150)
  • Location: Springfield Virginia
  • Full tell all class: Techniques, rubs, sauces, toys, boxes (no hold backs)
  • Hands on – everyone gets dirty!
  • Class begins at 11am on Saturday and will break for dinner about 5pm (depending on questions) 
  • Sunday the class will follow the complete KCBS timeline formally ending around 2:00 but Michael will stay until all questions are answered.
  • Yes it’s January but it’s historically been in the high 40’s that weekend. We will have a fully enclosed tent with heaters.

Sign up online or you can send a check payable to Michael Fay to

Aporkalypse Now Class
C/O Michael Fay
7416 Jervis Street
Springfield, VA 22151

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Knife Skills 101 for 9/20 canceled

Hi Folks,

I’m going to have to cancel this weekends knife skills class – I apologize for the short notice. I will reschedule as soon as the issue is resolved.

Again, sorry for the late notice.

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Knife Skills 101 class announcement

Knife Skills 101

Cut, slice, dice and work like a pro!

People have been asking so here it is – Knife skills 101 – Not just for BBQ.
Two classes are in the offering right now;

Brisket slicing

Brisket slicing


Join our award winning pitmaster Michael Fay for a 4 hour class on basic knife skills. While this is not a BBQ or BBQ competition class some BBQ specific techniques will be included.

The class will include demonstration and hands on instruction in:

  • Knife types and selection
  • Knife and cutting board use
  • Care and maintenance
  • Basic and advanced grips
  • Fundamental cuts for vegetables
    • mince
    • dice
    • brunoise
    • bâtonnet
    • julienne
  • Chicken butchery
  • large protein breaking techniques
  • Beef brisket fininshing

Class will run 4 hours and includes lunch.

Students are encouraged to bring their own knives but demo knives will be available.

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Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for that unique something for the outdoor cook in your life? We’ve put together a list of 12 of our favorites for your outdoor / BBQ addict. Look at it this way – BBQ is cheaper than golf and, even if it isn’t, you can’t eat golf balls!

Our 12 days of BBQ list

12. Dizzy Pig Cow lick Seasoning

Cowlick

Not just for BBQ! Cow lick is as at home on steaks, burgers, chops, beef soups, and even chili as it is on Brisket. It’s our go to beef seasoning both inside and outside.
Dizzy Pig Cowlick

11. Savannah Jean’s BBQ Sauce

317ff65c8568381a7e5fdf34a3a065ce_uxn1
New this year from our teammate Todd, Savannah Jean’s is a sweet spicy blend with just the right amount of heat and bite. Look for this to make big inroads in the BBQ world in 2014. Get in on the ground floor!
Savannah Jean’s BBQ

10.  Deep bottle measuring Spoons

Deep_Spoons
BBQ cooks tend to purchase rubs and spices in larger than average containers and there are few thing more frustrating than having your measuring spoon wider than the mouth of the spice jar or not being able to reach into the contents. These spoons solve both problems.
Sur la Table

9.  Stainless Steel Pan Rack

20038_wire_grateNo more rust, no more crust with these 100% 18-8 stainless steel wire racks. They measure 10″ x 18″ x 3/4 so they fit both disposable aluminum pans as well as stainless hotel pans. Completely dish washer safe. No more rust or chrome flakes on your turn ins.
SS Cooking racks

8. 5cc Power Injector

5cc-draw-injectorNot just for competitors! High volume meat injector system that can push up to 5ml of injection with a single squeeze of the handle. Spring loaded to automatically refill reservoir dramatically cutting your injection time.
5cc Injector

7. MAC 10.5 inch Black Ceramic Honing Rod

Mac_black_ceramicThis is the best ceramic honing rod on the market for keeping your knives in razor sharp condition.  The Mac Black Ceramic Honing Rod is an extremely hard 81° Rockwell compared to metal rods (“steels”) at 62° and white ceramic rods at 76°. The rod must be significantly harder than the steel blade so that the softer blade hones when rubbed against the harder rod.
MAC Ceramic honing rod

6. Thermoworks ChefAlarm ®

chefalarm_green_z_aIt seems this one is on everyone’s gift guide this year and with good reason.  Features include: Splash-proof design for commercial kitchens; Uses Pro-Series® temperature probes; Includes Pro-Series High Temp Cooking Probe with cable to 700°F max temp: Optional Pro-Series Needle Probe for thin cuts and Sous Vide: Adjustable high and low alarms; Always-on Min & Max temperatures; Adjustable volume to 92dB (4 settings); Includes count-down and count-up timer; Really big digits and a backlight!;  Available in 9 colors.

Make sure you order the needle probe too – your chicken and fish will thank you.
Thermoworks ChefAlarm ®

5. Wusthof 6inch flexible trim knife

 

4550-FlexThis is our go to trim blade.  This Wusthof Flexible Fillet Knife features a 6-inch blade which is perfect for working fat and silver skin off of briskets, pork butts, and ribs. The blade of this knife is thin and extremely flexible but wider than a traditional boning knife making it easy to work in small areas producing clean cuts.
6inch Trim Knife

 4.  Niedner ECONOFLO FORESTRY FIRE HOSE, 3/4 Inch x 50 Ft.,

Forest_fire_hose

At this point you’re going whuuuut? Fire hose? More people ask us about this at comps than anything else. It’s a flat portable 3/4″ fire hose designed for smoke jumpers.  Here’s why it’s great for BBQ cooks that travel – 50 feet of this hose rolls up into an 8 inch coil and weighs 24 ounces. No more huge coils of rubber hose. Don’t confuse this with the cheap expand-o hose you get at Home Depot or Lowes. This hose is rated for 300 psi service with a burst pressure of 600 psi. More than enough to handle the high water pressure found at a lot of fairgrounds.
FORESTRY FIRE HOSE

3. BBQ Guru CyberQ Wifi

Cyber-wifi-no-adaptorAnother item that’s in everyone’s 2013 gift guide with good reason. Not only does the CyberQ maintain your pit temperature, It also can broadcast the info and control info to your PC, smart phone or tablet via wi-fi.  ANYTHING that lets you get more sleep at contests is a good thing!
BBQ Guru CyberQ

2. Wusthof 14″ Grand Slicer

451736You know it was going to to be on here. We designed it! 36cm (14 inch) radial curved Grand Brisket slicer by Wusthof – A MABA original. This knife is designed for both the professional and hobbyist cook. A 2mm wide blade with a razor sharp 16.5 degree beveled blade effortlessly slices through the softest meats without tearing. The radial curve of the blade and incorporated scallops will cut blemish free slices with ease.
14″ Grand Slicer

1. Remote Tire pressure Monitor System (TPMS)

 

TST_TPMSAnother off the beaten path gift for BBQ cooks that travel and tow trailers. Remotely monitors both the pressure and temperature  of your trailer tires (or any tires really. The system can monitor up to 24 tires simultaneously). Alerts you when either exceed or drop below defined limits so you can take action before you experience a blow out or a hub freeze.
TST 510 TPMS System

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It’s Slicing time!

After 5 months of back and forth development, the prototype of the long slicer I envisioned and designed is here thanks to my friends at Wusthof Cutlery

The new slicer prototype

The knife is a 34cm (14inch) long thin bladed slider 54mm deep at the heel with a radiused cutting edge hollow ground to reduce drag.  The advantage to the radius is that the whole blade edge isn’t engaging the object to be sliced at the same time allowing for even less drag, yet still making a continuous cut with no “saw marking”.

The other plus to the radius design on the blade is that when you make a draw cut (pull the blade toward you) the physiology of  your arm causes your elbow to lift up, causing you to change the angle of attack of the blade. On a straight traditional slicer you either end up cutting with the very tip of the blade or break your wrist to allow the blade to remain flat, reducing your leverage. The radius blade allows you to maintain maximum leverage by not having to break your wrist while the cutting edge still tracks parallel to the food.

Enough with the techno babble — how does it cut?
Like a dream. I had a chance to try it on a few competition briskets and pork butts the other weekend at Que and Cruz and it exceeded all my expectations. It cut hot brisket slices cleanly on one draw without tearing the slice. I was able to separate and slice pork “money muscle” with no stringing.  We even went so far as to cut some already sliced brisket slices in half on the bias cleanly.

The slicer in action

All in all I think it’s a winner. It’s hard enough to hold an aggressive edge yet retains some flexibility in the blade. It’s considerably lighter and thinner than my 14 inch scimitar so it’s less fatiguing if you’re cutting a lot of briskets to boot.

I’ll be talking to the factory about a few final minor tweeks  soon but as of this point I don’t have a price point or release date. I’ll post them as soon as I have them.

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Hanger Steaks

Mmmm Hangers… – Anthony Bourdain constantly praises them, they are starting to pop up on the menus of better steak houses, they are starting to show up in butcher counters, and recently they were a featured item on Food Network’s “Best in Smoke” competition show. With all the publicity lately I though I’d republish this tutorial I wrote a while back.

Personally I think they are one of the best, most flavorful beef cuts out there. Not only that they are inexpensive – whole “packer” hangers can be had for under $2 a pound.

From Wiki: A hanger steak is a cut of beef steak which is said to “hang” from the diaphragm of the steer. (Anatomically the diaphragm is one
muscle, but it is commonly cut into two separate cuts of meat: the “hanger steak” traditionally considered more flavorful due to its proximity to the kidneys, and the outer skirt steak which is composed of tougher muscle within the diaphragm.) The hanger is attached to the last rib and the spine near the kidneys. It resembles flank steak, and is a vaguely V-shaped pair of muscles with a long, inedible membrane down the middle. The hanger steak is not really tender, but has a lot of flavor, and is best marinated and cooked quickly over high heat (grilled or broiled) and served rare or medium-rare, to avoid toughness. Chefs with experience preparing beef kidneys report that the hanger steak’s aroma preserves a trace of kidney.
There is only one hanger steak per animal, and the entire cut typically weighs about 1 to 1.5 lbs (450 to 675g). It is prized for its flavor, and was sometimes known as “butcher’s steak” because butchers would often keep it for themselves rather than offer it for sale. That may just be because there was never demand for it due to the finicky cut (which may take experience to cook). If no one else will purchase it, the business-minded butcher would take the cut home himself.
The hanger steak has traditionally been more popular in Europe. In French, it is known as the onglet, in Italian the lombatello, and in Spanish the solomillo de pulmon. In the United States, it is slowly starting to become popular; formerly, it was not separated as an individual cut. Even today it is usually ground into hamburger in the US.
It is also known as the “hanging tender”, and occasionally is seen on menus as a “bistro steak”.
Its U.S. meat-cutting classification is NAMP 140.

A lot of custom butchers will sell you trimmed hangers for around $5 – $7 per pound, but with a little effort, some know how, and some practice, you can trim whole primal hangers down into really flavorful meat treats in just a few minutes: Here’s how to butcher a whole hanger:

You will need a sharp flexible boning knife and possibly a chef’s knife to butcher a primal hanger. Here’s how a “packer” hanger comes from the butcher: Note the heavy membrane that sits on top.
Top view

Bottom View:

Take your boning knife and work it ( and your fingers) under the heavy membrane to get down to the silver skin and hard fat underneath

You want to remove as much of the membrane and hard fat as possible:

Once all the membrane and most of the hard fat is gone (you won’t get it all) you can start on the outside sliver skin. Silver skin is the shiny inedible membrane. This is much like trimming a whole tenderloin, you want to poke your boning knife under the silver skin, then lift and push the blade at the same time so it slices the sliver skin off the meat removing as little meat as possible:



Close up:

Whole hangers have a thick inedible membrane that runs down the center of the cut. You need to separate the primal into 2 individual steaks along this membrane. Depending on how the primal has been cut, this membrane may run down the center or off to one side. On some primal hangers you will get two complete steaks. On others you’ll end up with one nice steak and one or two smaller pieces; Don’t throw these away! Stir fry, fajitas, burritos and lots of other dishes can be made from these bits .

On this primal, we have the membrane in the center for 2 nice steaks.
Center membrane:

Cutting down the center membrane: You want to try and follow the membrane as it runs through the meat.


Separated:

Once the two steaks are separated, you want to trim the remaining silver skin and the hard fat. Again, you want to work this like a whole tenderloin poking your boning knife under the silver skin and sliding it along the meat with a slight upward pressure.



Removing hard fat:

When you are finished you should have two nice, lean, steaks like this:
Top:

Bottom:

Once you’re done, hangers can be pan seared, grilled, or prepared with any fast, high heat method. In this case we were going to grill them, but Mother Nature intervened and I ended up seasoning them with salt, pepper and a little worcestershire powder, then pan roasting them and making a red wine/shallot reduction sauce. I served them with fresh green beans and corn on the cob.

Hope this helps, Hangers are an tremendous value and an extremely flavorful cut of beef. Give them a try!

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