Paula: Do you have a spirit animal? Or, more to the point, do you have a Rib Spirit Animal? Mine would be a Memphis-style dry rub made with peppery red spices and a kiss of brown sugar. My go-to technique, two hours over a wood-infused fire followed by two hours in a low oven, works perfectly every time.

Scott: Are you implying that one can have a multitude of spirit animals classified by bone type? Because I am intrigued by that possibility.

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Paula: When I make burgers, I always go for freshly ground meat. If you buy packed meat that resembles a hockey puck, chances are your burgers will have the same dense texture.

Scott: I’ve eaten a few McDensities with cheese over the years and I couldn’t agree more. Freshly ground meat is a must for a killer burger. I’m not afraid to mix in a bit of pork sausage with my ground meat if I’m really trying hard to impress. Why is that so tasty?

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Paula: After a 3-hour drive to the lake, the best quick meal is skirt steak, rubbed with warm Mexican spices, marinated long enough to shuck corn and build a fire, and charred over a hot grill (ideally barefoot), right?

Scott: Of course. With the possible addition that allowing your steak to continue to brine for the extra few minutes that it takes to saber some ice chunks into a glass and pour yourself a whiskey drink can be a real difference maker.

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Paula: Confession: when I was a kid I hated sweet potatoes, because they were usually prepared with other sweet ingredients (brown sugar, marshmallows, etc.). The memory of those cloying, mostly mushy dishes still give me a vague sense of panic. Later in life, when I tasted sweet potatoes roasted with savory ingredients (olive oil, salt, herbs, warm spices), I fell in love.

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Where to buy

Fire & Smoke Society products are now available at Walmart stores and better independent hardware and outdoor stores.

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