About The Author

by Kevin H. on March 4, 2012 · 36 comments

Welcome to Extraordinary BBQ!  My name is Kevin Haberberger and I’m going to provide you with the secrets and techniques you need to produce delicious, better than ordinary BBQ. I try to give enough detail for BBQ novices, including a BBQ Basics section, but still offer information that is useful for the backyard pitmasters.  For everyone in the middle – my goal is to take you to the next level – Extraordinary barbeque that will impress your toughest critics…yes, even your father-in-law.

The inspiration for the site has been building for years.  I still remember the first time my dad let me light the paper in the charcoal chimney for the first time.  I was thrilled to “help” him barbeque.  No matter what he was cooking, I just loved watching it all take shape.  I loved it enough to seek out as one of my first jobs, the grill boy at Grant’s Farm.  I worked the blazing hot summers of St. Louis behind a gigantic stainless steel grill cooking hundreds of bratwurst, burgers, chicken and dogs….and loved every minute.

I’ve also always been an excellent student of other grillers.  I love watching and am never too shy to ask questions.  I watch what they do and how they do it – and if there’s something I don’t understand, I ask. I’ve learned a LOT this way.

After creating barbeque on my own for 15 years, there is very little I enjoy more than helping others increase their confidence at the grill, and produce a better final product.  I’ve dried out and burned hundreds of pounds of meat along the way (God bless my family for so often being my guinea pigs as I kept trying), but also learned valuable lessons and skills through experimentation that I want to share with you.

Along with a few of my family members, I am part of a competitive bbq team, SLABS a’ Smokin.   To learn more about how I got into competitive bbq, read on!  My most important team member, and partner in the creation of delicious food, is my wife Patti.  Her recipes and influences litter this site as well.  I’ve never met another person that knows flavors and what goes well with what, better than my wife.

I’m a lucky guy.

 

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric May 20, 2016 at 1:31 pm

Hi Kevin I’m a St. Louis native also ( ok St Charles but it’s all relative), I’m attempting to smoke some pork steaks and I’m using your brine and you techniques that you’ve posted on your website and I’m using my electric smoker. im going to use the steaks like a whole pork shoulder and do pulled pork , do I need to make any changes in time in my smoker ?

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Kevin May 21, 2016 at 7:58 pm

Nope! You should be in great shape cooking the steaks just like shoulders! Have fun!

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Anthony Girardi March 20, 2016 at 7:43 pm

Hi Kevin, I’m going to try this recipe. It looks like the best one I’ve seen. 2 questions. After the 4 hour smoke, what do you figure the average is to finish cooking once wrapped and left in the smoker, and what temp?
Also, you wrap it after the smoke…what is the point of the liquid in the pan if it’s wrapped?
Sorry that’s 3 questions.
Thanks in advance for your help!

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Kevin April 10, 2016 at 7:29 am

Wrap time varies, but probably on average 5 hours at 250 degrees.

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BobbiJo Bjur November 7, 2015 at 6:19 pm

Hi Kevin,

I’m from North Dakotan and stem from that generation that computers were first coming into light and not yet incorporated into our education systems much less our daily lives. That being said, I’ve received three very different degrees; cosmetology; OR surgical nurse; and finally agronomy. I tell you this because I have no idea if this note will reach you. (but don’t want you thinking less of me due my lack of tech skills.

I finally got married to a wonderful man and he wanted me to be a stay at home wife. (He too, enjoys my cooking…) I have just recently begun entering rib cook offs locally (2014 and this year) and didn’t do too bad. I was in middle of the pack both times.

Anyway, I came across your blog, or just a post, or whatever it was. and I was very impressed. Your love for wife shone through, your perseverance for finding an award winning bbq sauce was impressive, your willingness to share even a little bit of your hard work with strangers by giving us tips on how a good base of a stellar sauce or how to get started- is incredible. Thank you for giving us/we novices the encouragement we need to move forward even after we’ve let ourselves down on occasion. (burnt ribs; icky tasting sauce; rubs that are TOO strong; etc.)

My husband is my biggest supporter and fan which means the world to me. We all need our loved ones in our corner even if they can be a little too honest. 😉 (Just kidding-there’s no such thing) If this does get to you or whoever reads these, I’d love to tell you about the event that got me hooked on this past time. It’s for a worthy cause and is growing annually in our tiny community.

My apologies for being so windy but I just wanted to Thank You and tell you that you helped a stranger keep on keepin’ on. Thanks!

Sincerely,

North Dakota Bobbi Jo

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David Potts November 7, 2015 at 8:15 am

Kevin,

Catching up on the old podcast segments. I used to stay on top of it week to week but life (kids) got me behind. I really enjoy it and always have a pen handy to take notes. I’m caught up to the July 5th show, but saw you don’t have anymore posted after that.

Also, taking my virgin voyage on trying brisket coming up this Monday. Planning on using your process on the website. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

David Potts

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Kevin December 9, 2015 at 12:19 pm

Hey David – thanks so much for being a loyal listener to the show! I apologize we haven’t kept up posting the podcasts. I hope to do that soon, but in the interim, you can find the podcasts here: http://www.ktrs.com/the-budweiser-big-bbq-show/

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John Gussenhoven August 4, 2015 at 9:25 am

My buddy and I entered our very first amateur BBQ contest this last weekend. We were competing against each other and 17 other teams. He won second with his chicken with a simple rub and indirect cooking on his charcoal grill. I myself utilized your techniques sans the brine without seeing your website. I made my own rub and BBQ sauce. Smoked the thighs for 2 hours at 225 with tons of apples chips billowing smoke in my Masterbuilt Sportsman smoker. Finished after 2 hour for 1/2 hour on my Char-Griller Akorn Kamado at about 375 degrees, indirect. Last 15 minutes of that time, I dipped in sauce and let caramelize. Some pork loin ribs were going at the same time. Long story short, I won grand champion on my very first contest at the Smokin Down the Highway BBQ in Sublimity, OR. Y’all got a winning technique, kudos to all that try and end up with great tasting thighs. Keep up the good work. The techniques worked fabulously for me.

John Gussenhoven

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Jim Boehm April 24, 2015 at 2:25 pm

Hi Kevin,

I was one of the dads in attendance at your presentation to the Cor Jesu Fathers Club Meeting last year. You got me motivated to do more research on smoking the correct way. With my limited funds (Catholic high school tuition – ugh!) i had to find a way to get a smoker cheap. I had a 20 year old Mini Smokey Joe laying around that I seldom used and decided to make a mini smokey mountain out of it. I tried it out for the first time last week and it was AWESOME! Thanks again for attending the CJA Fathers Club event and for inspiring me to start a new hobby. Send me your email address and I will send you the photos. You will love the St. Louis theme of my smoker! Best regards, Jim Boehm

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Kevin May 7, 2015 at 11:15 am

Jim – thanks so much for the note! I really appreciate your kind words. You’ll have to post those pics to our Facebook page for people to see – or feel free to email me – kevin@extraordinarybbq.com
Thanks again – enjoy cooking!

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Rich March 10, 2015 at 1:14 am

Hi Kevin,
Great blog, glad you posted that article about brisket prices. Those are killing me, just bought a full packer brisket the other weekend, almost $100 (paid about half that not too many years back) – it’s crazy.

Anyway, because of your expertise in this area, I’d love to get your opinion on something me and a friend are building, it’s a gadget to make it really easy to slow smoke BBQ on a regular Weber grill. It pops on the top over the vents, and connects to your phone, it will automatically control the temp, and sends you a notification when it’s done. We just finished a couple prototypes, and it works great (we can do a full brisket for an 18 hour smoke on batteries, and no modifications needed to the grill).

Wanted to get your opinion on whether or not you thought there was a market for something like this.
http://www.smokestackbbq.co

Here’s a video we shot over the weekend of a 15 hour overnight cook of pulled pork: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPEOkoSQxQY

If you have the time, would love to get your thoughts. Thanks!

Rich
http://www.smokestackbbq.co
https://twitter.com/smokestack_bbq

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wilma December 19, 2014 at 3:37 pm

hi,
We just got a smoked chicken(frozen) for the holidays. ado you have a nice recipe and how to”deal” with it?
Thank you somuch and merry Christmas.

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Kevin December 22, 2014 at 10:41 am

Wilma – a whole smoked chicken frozen? Hmm, I’ve never had one frozen. If it were me, I’d warm it slowly in the oven, in a pan, covered, with some apple juice in the bottom of the pan. Oven no warmer than 250 for a couple hours.

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wilma December 22, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Thank you. I did it in the oven and it tasted great. We also got a smoked turkey. how long in the oven do you think?
Thanks so far and a Blessed Christmas.
Wilma

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Kevin January 6, 2015 at 2:37 pm

Wilma – I’d assume the same as the chicken. Obviously the bigger the bird, the longer it will take to warm through. But I’d use the same process.

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Ronnie August 9, 2014 at 6:11 pm

I just smoked a boston butt on my char-griller with side smoker box. It was a 5lb butt and it 6.5 hours. I followed your directions and it turned out absolutely perfect. It was so good that I ate way too much. I varied just a little on the cooking. I left it uncovered for,the first 4 hours and the wrapped it for the last hour and a half. It was juicy and pulled apart so easily. I used your basic rub and wow so much flavor. The internal temp was 205′ just like you said when the bone pulled right out. I can’t thank you enough for all the pictures and directions that you give on your website. P.s. I stole a recipe for a spray for the meat from another site and it made it taste awesome. It was 1 cup apple juice, 1 cup water and 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. Yum

Thanks again,

Ronnie

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Cary Neal June 14, 2014 at 9:19 am

Hi Kevin
I have tried several of your recipes, all with success. I have a question: when the recipe calls for wrapping in foil, would it also work to put the meat in a pan and tightly cover the pan, or must it be tightly wrapped in foil.
Thanks
Cary Neal

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Kevin June 14, 2014 at 9:35 am

Great question Cary and the answer is yes. I actually use a pan to wrap most times because it catches all the juices!

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Cary Neal June 14, 2014 at 11:32 am

Thanks

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Dan May 20, 2014 at 11:47 am

Hello Kevin,
I followed your instructions for smoking a whole chicken and had my first smoking experience I was actually happy with. Thanks for sharing and I can’t wait to try another on of your recipes.

Dan

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David Potts March 12, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Kevin,

Big fan of the site. I am new to the grilling/smoking game. My buddy gave me an old (and by old, I mean ancient) brinkman smoke’n pit for free. Vertical smoker with a water bowl. It has one hole in the bottom. We added a temperature gauge and a vent on top (it had neither). I’ve used it three times with somewhat decent results. Did a whole chicken, some ribs, and a pork butt. Each time it was good, not great. Have a hard time maintaining the temp. It gets to 225-250, holds for maybe twenty minutes, then dips below 200. We add coals/wood, and it spikes to around 300, but doesn’t stay strong and dips again quickly. Seems like we are going through bags and bags of charcoal trying to maintain at 225. Again, I’m new to the game, so maybe this is commonplace. Just looking for some tips. Is this old smoker even worth the trouble?

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Kevin March 16, 2014 at 8:47 am

Hey David – well, you’re using the exact same smoker I started out on! Is it worth the trouble? Well…I think you can produce some great BBQ on those little things, but it definitely takes more work. That, ultimately is why I upgraded my smoker. I felt like I couldn’t walk away from it for more than 30 minutes without adding coal or wood. Don’t worry too much about the temp. As long as you’re in that 200-275 range, you’re fine. You just have to be more aware of internal temps of your meats and under or over cooking them. You have to check things fairly often because of those temp spikes.
Hang in there, keep honing your process, and when you’re ready to upgrade your smoker, shoot me a message and we’ll talk about the best fit for you!

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David Potts February 18, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Me and my buddies took advantage of the break in the weather yesterday afternoon and did a batch of wings – half orange soda and half honey bourbon. Both were delicious. Funny story, my buddies were making the honey bourbon sauce and when they were “finished” making the sauce, were making faces and weren’t sure if it was going to be any good. I saw the bottle of bbq sauce that they had forgotten to add to the mixture, and I told them, “you guys might want to add this. it’s a pretty key component” Needless, to say, that made all the difference. We added a touch of mustard as well and they were delicious. Love the website. Thanks for everything.

David Potts

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Kevin February 18, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Ha! What a great story, David. Thanks for sharing. Glad you had success with the wings yesterday. Man, I love wings.

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Cary Neal October 1, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Hi Kevin

I have recently discovered your website and appreciate the wealth of information. I have already tried several recipes with great success. Question – In your smoked pork butt recipe, you state that after the five hour smoke part of the cooking process, you wrap the butt and put it back on the smoker for 10-12 hours. Am I reading this correctly, or is this total time? I would like to try this recipe later this week.

Thanks for the excellent website.

Cary Neal
caryneal@cox.net

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Kevin October 1, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Hi Cary –
12 hours is hopefully the total cook time. Depending on the size of the butt it can take anywhere between 8-14 hours total.

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Cary Neal October 2, 2013 at 7:24 am

Thanks Kevin
On another subject, I have smoked chickens and turkeys for years with excellent results. Two weeks ago, I used your smoked whole chicken recipe instead of my usual. My wife, daughter, and son in law all said that was the best chicken they had ever had. I plan to do the same thing with the Thanksgiving turkey.
Thanks and Regards
Cary Neal

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James June 10, 2013 at 12:11 am

I smoked for the first time today using your Smoked Pork Butt recipe. I started the day pretty anxious but after running back and forth to the computer checking the directions I calmed down. It turned out great, I used your all purpose rub and it made delicious pulled pork. Thanks very much for a great and easy recipe.

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Kevin June 10, 2013 at 7:00 am

James – that’s so great to hear. You hit the nail on the head – it’s an easy recipe. Once you know the process and the correct internal temperature, making pulled pork is easy and fun! Thanks so much for the feedback – keep checking out new recipes and tell your friends!

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William Hanson May 19, 2013 at 5:51 pm

I followed your smoked pork chop recipe today, and it was delicious. I was using a Cabela’s smoker instead of my Weber.

Thanks!
Will

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Pat May 16, 2013 at 8:48 am

Thanks Karen for your reply. I am going to start looking at smokers and trying some of Kevin’s recipes. Good luck in Memphis. Will watch on FB for updates. Look forward to taking another class also.

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Pat May 15, 2013 at 10:51 am

Hi Kevin, we were lucky enough to take your class on Tuesday at Dierbergs. It was inspiring and now I would like to get a smoker as well. All the recipes were “extraordinary”! Thanks for sharing your passion with us. BTW, I see your last name is Haberberger, are you related to Rose whom I knew at St. Gerard’s ?

Pat Eckhard

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Kevin H. May 15, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Hi Pat! This is Kevin’s sister, Karen, responding actually. Like he talked about last night, he is off to the World BBQ competition in Memphis today, so he won’t be able to respond to people until he returns most likely. Usually cell service is pretty spotty there. He will be very excited to read your comment because I know he had a blast last night. Please do contact him about a smoker. He is very knowledgeable about different kinds and can help you find the best “fit” for what you need. He has a lot of contacts, one being the ad you see on the left hand side about half way down…St. Louis BBQ Store. Ron, who owns the store, is about as nice as they come and can help you as well. If you tell him Kevin sent you his way he’ll be even nicer. ha! 🙂

As for Rose, yes, she is our aunt! Remember how he mentioned his cousin Tim that lives in Memphis who he started all this all with?? Rose is Tim’s mom! Small world!!

So happy you attended the show. He can’t wait to do more! Like us on Facebook, sign up for our newsletter and tell your friends about the site! Thanks Pat!

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Ernesto March 30, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Kevin
I wanted to take a moment to say, Thank You ! I really enjoy your site. I have used your great rubs on chicken and pulled pork, and needless to say, HOMERUN !!! I am 2 years into the smoking game (from home) and love it. Look forward to trying your other great recipes.

Thanks,
Ernie

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Kevin March 30, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Thanks so much, Ernie! I love hearing great feedback and success stories. Keep smoking and let me know if you need anything.

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Andrew September 6, 2012 at 11:24 am

I enjoy the site upgrade! Great video too!

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