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Published: 09 Jun 2016

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Grilling season is officially upon us! As much as Memorial Day weekend is about taking some time off and celebrating the new season, it is also synonymous with eating— preferably something that requires piles of napkins and a paper plate. Since our mouths are already watering for some good ‘ol American BBQ, we tapped one of the country’s most experienced and passionate experts in the field to chat all things meat and sauce. Mr. Dickey has been in the barbeque business since he was a child, working alongside his father who opened the first Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in Dallas in 1941. Today, with over 550 locations nationwide and 75 years in business it’s safe to say Mr. Dickey knows a thing or two about making this your best Memorial Day BBQ yet. Check out his tips below and visit Dickey’s Barbecue Pit at Simon!

What’s your favorite cut to put on the grill for the holiday? 
Many outdoor setups now include smokers as well as grills, and home cooks are discovering the great smoky flavor in their own backyards. When cooking outdoors, my favorite cut to cook is a bone-in 14 to 16 ounce ribeye. It’s the tastiest cut of meat.

When it comes to pre-grill prep, what’s the best way to marinate our cuts? 
The Dickey family has spent 75 years perfecting our recipes and we found that rubs are more useful for large cuts of meat, such as brisket and pork butt. When there’s a good presence of salt in the rub, the salt allows surface and interior fats to melt while the meat is cooking, helping to keep the meat moist.
For a great juicy steak the solution is easy. Create a marinade using soy sauce, inexpensive red wine, and raw garlic or garlic powder. Let the steak marinate for a few hours or overnight. Once you’ve gotten the flavor to lock in, remove the steaks from the marinade, pat dry, season well with salt and pepper, and lightly coat each side with olive oil.

How do you source your meat? What are the most important things to look out for when buying meat?
It’s important that we serve our guests at Dickey’s high quality cuts of meat. We source the best product in the country and track it from the field to the table ensuring a tender and juicy selection for our guests. We consistently work to deliver the highest quality product for the best price in all our stores nationwide. The best cuts of meats can also be found at your local butcher shop.

In our opinion, it’s all about the sauce. Any unconventional flavors or varieties you recommend?
There has been a rising trend in fusion-type sauces where alcohol, fruits, and sriracha are being used, bringing a fresh approach to the traditional way barbecue has been served. Dickey’s has remained true to my family’s recipe for our sauce. We have also stayed ahead of the curve by offering our guests more than one flavor option. All of our locations provide guests the option of pairing their meats with an original, sweet or spicy sauce.

Tell us a little bit of the Dickey’s backstory, you’ve been around since 1941! That is quite a history.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is a true American success story. It was started in 1941 by my father, Travis Dickey, Sr. in Dallas, Texas. I worked from childhood to adulthood alongside my Dad and brother at the original location, which is still open for business and serves as one of the oldest operating restaurants in Dallas, Texas. It was my senior year in college when my brother and I took over the business after my father’s passing, evolving it from a barbecue stand on the corner to a franchised business. In 2006, my son Roland Dickey, Jr. became CEO. He worked his way from general manager to Dickey’s first vice president and now is at the company’s helm as chief executive officer.

Fact or fiction: the best BBQ started in Texas… 
Hands down that’s a fact. We appreciate the other barbecue styles around the country, but believe that you really can’t beat dry rubbed, slow-smoked Texas barbecue.

Do you have a favorite recipe from your cookbook?
Since I live in a high-rise and I’m not allowed to smoke or grill at my home in Dallas, one of my favorite and easiest recipes brings really good barbecue pork ribs from the oven. Most people don’t know you can also make great ribs using an oven — it’s one of my wife’s favorite meals I make for her.

Oven Pork Ribs with Barbecue Sauce
Yields one rack (11 to 13 ribs)
Temperature: 350 degrees F
Cooking Time: 2 to 2 ½ hours

1 rack St. Louis-style pork ribs
3 ounces Rib Ticklin’ Rib Rub
Barbecue sauce
Rib Ticklin’ Rib Rub

Yields about 2 cups

½ cup of salt
1 cup of sugar
¼ cup of paprika
1 ½ tablespoons granulated garlic
½ tablespoons ground cumin
1 ½ tablespoon lemon pepper

Thoroughly combine all ingredients. You can store this run in an airtight container for up to three months.

Set your oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle rib rub over the entire rib rack and use your hands to rub it in. Place your rack of ribs in tin foil in the oven for between 1 hour and 1.5 hours. Remove the ribs from the oven and place sauce over the entire rib rack. Place the ribs back in the tin foil in the oven bone-side down for up to 30 minutes.

I suggest performing what’s called a “break test” for doneness.  Grab the rib rack with a pair of tongs.  If they immediately begin to “break,” (not bounce) they’re ready.  If they are still “bouncy” let them cook for another 20 minutes. Once all of the ribs have passed the “break test,” remove them from the oven, set aside and let them rest for 5 to 7 minutes.

To cut and serve, flip the ribs bone-side up to get a cleaner cut and allow the bones to be more visible. Make a clean cut between the bones.  You should get 11 to 13 ribs from one rack.  Flip the ribs over and glaze them with barbecue sauce and serve hot.  
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