Maintenance of Your Big Green Egg

big green egg

Pitmaster Johnson loves cooking on his Big Green Eggs, but before delicious steaks, ribs or pizza can be served…the Big Green Egg needs some maintenance.

After visiting with family last weekend, it occurred to us, not all Big Green Egg owners are familiar with the extent of maintenance needed to maintain your Big Green Egg investment.


A Big Green Egg owner makes a LIFESTYLE INVESTMENT with the purchase.



To produce such delicious quality food, a pit master must first learn to take care of his investment.

To understand how your BGE has been constructed; see our article

Purchase the right tools for the job

Here is a list of some basic items a Big Green Owner should have to properly maintain his smoker…

metal ash bucketAsh bucket – this is ideal for catching the ash which is scraped out of the bottom of your egg.

You can use the ash tool, which should’ve come with your egg purchase.


Grill brush to thoroughly clean the grill grate before every cook.

We like to use the grill brush after the smoker is at a warm temperature.

After cleaning with the grill brush, make sure to use a paper towel and olive oil to lubricate the grates, which prevents the food from sticking.

Ash tool for Big Green EggAsh Tool (with egg)

Use this to scrape out ash through the bottom vent door.

Consider buying a small wet/dry vac to speed up removal of the ash.

We keep one of these 1.5 gallon vacumns in our cook trailer. It cleans up wet or dry issues.

Consider buying a cover for your Big Green Egg if exposed to the weather elements for long periods of time.  This will help extend the life of your vessel.

Smokin J's Barbeque Big Green Egg

Before every cook session

Pull out the used lump to make sure all the ash has filtered down to the bottom.

Clean out the bottom compartment and remove all ash.

Refill with larger lump pieces on the bottom, with smaller lump pieces on the top to advocate good air flow movement.

Incorporate flavored smoking wood in layers as you add your lump.

Use a reputable lump charcoal to mitigate excess ash..

Once egg is warm, scrap the grate with your grill brush

Every 3-4 cooks

Take all anatomy pieces out of the egg and remove all ash.

Big Green Egg Maintenance Smokin J's Barbeque

If you cook anything with excess fat and you did not utilize a drip pan, the plate setter may need to be scraped, removing excess grease.

If you grill brush came with a scraper side, use that or you can use the ash tool

Before prime cooking season – summer of course

Examine and monitor the seal for wear.

Monitor fire box for cracks – it can happen but the egg is functional despite cracks


Never use a water hose or water to clean ash from inside your BGE

Never use lighter fluid inside your egg.

Never pull an egg, if on casters,  always use equal balanced leverage around the egg to move it.

Never burn paper in your BGE

Your Big Green Egg works based on good air flow. Maintaining and keeping the egg clean will encourage good air flow, therefore produce optimum heat.

We hope these tips help you maintain and keep your Big Green Egg for your lifetime.  We value our Big Green Eggs so much, we consider them a treasure to passed down to the next generation of pit masters.




















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Friends and Family at BBQ and Brews

BBQ and Brews CantonHad a great weekend at the 2nd annual Barbecue and Brews Canton Festival.   Promoter and organizer, Gary Lamb knows how to put on an event.  His lives by his mantra, “promote it and they will come.”

Over  15,000  people attended the two-day festival which included music, craft vendors, plenty of food and a Georgia Barbecue Association’s sanctioned competition.

The weather cleared out on Friday afternoon to a beautiful, although unusually warm May event.


Just Blowing Smoke O'Henry's BBQ

Friends, Family and Barbecue

Doug and I want to truly thank our friends and family for visiting us throughout the event.  Although Smokin J’s Barbeque did not compete in this event, we enjoyed judging the great samples the teams cooked up.

The judging was not easy. Teams competed in pork loin, pork shoulder, pork ribs, brisket and whole hog.  Doug and I judged multiple categories this weekend, even whole hog.

For the whole hog competition, teams must include three distinct types of meat from the hog – the ham, loin and shoulder, in each turn in box.  Plus, they must include enough meat to feed 4 judges to a table.  Each judge must sample a portion of each type of meat. If a team includes sauce, they must sample each type of meat with each sauce.  I counted over 20 bites I tried, just from the whole hog box itself.

That is alot of meat.

Whole Hog is a Different Kind of Monster

Fifteen teams competed in the whole hog category on Saturday.  Not only did each team build a “blind” turn in box (which means the judges did not know which team turned in which box), but also, each team was visited by three individual judges at their cook-site.

Teams had to greet each judge and explain their method of smoking their hog.  Each judge had to see the hog on the smoker and taste different samples from the hog.  Only certified Memphis Style Judges were allow to do the onsite judging.

rub shakers que

Rick Godfrey explains Rub Shakers Que whole hog process to the judge.

jack's old south

Winnest man in BBQ, Myron Mixon explains his method to judge, Greg Hoyt.










Doug cooked up some delicious chicken wings Saturday night, while our friends were worrying about their whole hog cook.

It was such a great weekend of fellowship.

Thanks Terry and Beth McCoy for stopping by.

Doug taking a break from the BIG GREEN EGG to talk to friends.

Thank you to Stewart, Debra, Jeff, Gordon, and Mary for visiting with us.

D.C. Webster and Mary Dowda visited Saturday AND Sunday – just couldn’t get enough BBQ



















“And the winner is…”

I cannot explain how difficult it is to win a Georgia Barbecue Association event.  It truly is an incredible feat.

Reserve Grand Champion – received the highest cumulative score in all three categories (loin, pork, ribs) during the preliminary round.

Grand Champion – received the best overall score of any three categories in the final round.

Champions for the day….




Pork Loin Pork Ribs Whole Hog
1 We Want Que Bubba Grills Hold Your Horses Rub Shakers Que
2 Jack’s Old South Diamond D Cooking Team Lang BBQ Smokers Diamond D Cooking Team
3 Rub Shakers Que Jack’s Old South Southern Hogs Rescue Smokers
4 Southern Hogs Lang BB Smokers Captain Jacks Freedom BBQ Bubba Grills
5 Hootie Que Hold Your Horses BBQ We Want Que Vienna Volunteer Fire Dept.









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Cartersville’s Hidden Gem: Appalachian Grill

BBQ & Brews Cartersville logSmokin J’s Barbeque will be judging this weekend’s (March 31 – April 1, 2017) Georgia Barbecue Association sanctioned event in downtown Cartersville, Georgia.  Sponsored by BBQ & Brews, this will be a family event featuring great food, music and fun.

Click here for address and festival info

Please, if you decide to attend the festivities, make sure to visit some of the locally owned businesses.  One of Cartersville’s hidden gems is a great steak restaurant, Appalachian Grill.


Here is a review written by freelance writer, JoAnn Johnson.

Appalachian GrillAppalachian Grill in Cartersville, Georgia

Located just 40 minutes northwest of Atlanta, Cartersville can lay claim to one of the most quaint, romantic steak house restaurants in this area. The Appalachian Grill offers all standard cuts of beef (rib-eye, strip, filet, and sirloin) prepared in their own special way, with signature flavor and spices. Also on the menu are various fish and pasta entrees, with a small kids menu available.
However, the steaks are what most patrons come for. The rustic, mountainous charm presented in this small, cozy restaurant nestled in downtown Cartersville is an unsuspecting delight in suburbia.
The lighting is quite dim in the dining room; however, the bar area is bright but not spacious. On a good Saturday night, it can get down right crowded; plan accordingly. Waits can last up to an hour, but reservations are accepted. Mainly booths align the walls of the dining room, which are covered in a grayish stone façade; complimenting the Appalachian theme. Guest are seated by the hostess, during my visit, a waiter (Scott) immediately asked for our beverage of choice. A moderate wine list is available, as well as a limited bar.

Pictured are recent chef specials.

Slammin' Catfish
Slammin’ Catfish
Mesquite Smoked New York Strip
Mesquite Smoked New York Strip

Food at The Appalachian Grill

Most entrees are accompanied by a sensible salad, a portion that would satisfy some as the meal. Topped with dried cranberries and served with fish-shaped sweet cornbread; The Appalachian Grill can call these one of their signature offerings. Appropriately staggered next was our Cajun Popcorn appetizer. Crawfish, battered and lightly fried as “popcorn portions;” it was excellent. Very light and two sauces for dipping, a Cajun chipotle honey sauce and a standard cocktail sauce; they were unlike anything I have tasted before. Both sauces complimented the crawfish, very well.

The Blue Cheese New York Strip and the “Oscar Steak” were cooked to perfection. Each steak was severed with lump crab meat (no imitation stuff here), potato of your choice and vegetables. The asparagus with the “Oscar” was crisp, but savory – delicious. The baked potatoes on both entrees could’ve been cooked a bit longer because they were only slightly warm in the center. Nevertheless, the meal was delightfully prepared; dessert was out of the question. Only 4-5 items were on the dessert menu; however, daily specials are offered.

Charm, proximity, hospitality and excellent food make this steakhouse a pleasure. Although a bit more expensive than most chain steak restaurants; The Appalachian Grill is one of my favorites. A couple can have a three course meal and each a glass of wine, or two, under one hundred dollars.

The Appalachian Grill

14 East Church Street

Cartersville, GA 30120


Reservations accepted.

All major credit cards accepted.

Consider dining at Appalachian Grill if you are spending the day in Cartersville, Georgia.
















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Smokin J’s Barbeque at Eggtoberfest 2016

Smokin J's Barbeque at EggtoberfestAnother Eggtoberfest is in the books for Smokin J’s Barbeque.  This was our 9th Eggtoberfest in the last 10 years.  We missed one year due to a Georgia Barbecue Association event taking priority.

This year Smokin J’s Barbeque used the event as practice for some pork loin testing.  We tried several different flavor profiles and asked attendees for comments.  Surprisingly, most agreed we need to add more heat to our profile.  We had great positive feedback on our sauce, which we have been tinkering with.  Overall, it was a great opportunity to get some honest opinions.


What is Eggtoberfest?

Eggtoberfest is an annual celebration for the ceramic smokers’ enthusiast.  Big Green Egg lovers from all over the world attend. Although various “Eggfest” occur throughout the country, this is the only event, directly coordinated by The Big Green Egg and has been held repeatedly at Stone Mountain Park.

Cook’s registration starts several months before the traditional October event.  First enrolled, first on the list.  Cook teams pay a deposit for the opportunity to showcase their “egg” skills.  Teams consist of a pitmaster and his teammates.  One egg per pitmaster is assigned.

Enrollment for the cook count is cut off at 200.  Pitmasters are reimbursed their $50 deposit, the day of the event.  Big Green Egg provides the vessel, lump, table and 2 chairs per pitmaster.  Cook’s must bring all their own prep items, food and serving utensils.

Guest paid $45.00 this year to attend.  They mingle around the event, eating the free food and learning pitmaster tricks.  Most attendees want to learn techniques from the Big Green Egg alumni.

Day of Eggtoberfest

Cook teams are allow entry to the event only 90 minutes ahead of the guest.  Attendees must pre-purchase tickets, no walk up tickets are sold.

Professional egg-demos are scheduled by celebrities such as Dr. BBQ,

Eggtoberfest 2011 Smokin J's Barbeque meets Dr. BBQ

Smokin J’s Barbeque meeting Dr. BBQ

Drink tickets are given to attendees and coolers are allowed.  It is a great celebration for the “Egghead” community.

Smokin J’s Eggtoberfest Weekend

Smokin J’s Barbeque decided to spend the entire Eggtoberfest weekend at the beautiful, wooded Stone Mountain Park Campground.

The campground has various amenities included with your stay at the park, however, most park attractions do require an additional purchase.  Check in facilities are large enough to accommodate larger rigs and was a quick, simple process.  Unlike most smaller campgrounds we have stayed at,  Stone Mountain provides no assistance in locating your assigned site, nor assistance in parking your RV.

Don’t have an RV?  No problem. 

Stone Mountain has other opportunities for your weekend getaway. Yurt sites,
large RV rental campers already onsite,
including fire rings, picnic tables and grills at every site.  No pets are allowed in the RV rental campers.

Over 200 campsites are available and surprisingly, the campground is a peaceful, quiet environment.  We stayed in a “premium site,” which included, water, electricity, sewer, cable and trash pick up.  With off season rates at a very reasonable $48.00, we may consider going again.

Click here for Stone Mountain Campground Map










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Arthrogryposis Mini-Meet Up

Arthrogyposis Multiplex Congentia

Smokin J’s Barbeque had the pleasure of cooking up a couple of pork butts for our Arthrogryposis family.  This “Mini-Meet Up” usually occurs twice a year, once in the summer and once in the fall, for those affected by Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita.   Attendees use this gathering to keep in touch with each other, let the kids play together and discuss topics surrounding this underfunded birth defect.

Arthrogyposis Multiplex Congentia Arthrogyposis Multiplex Congentia Arthrogyposis Multiplex Congentia







Arthrogyposis Multiplex Congentia



Most of the discussion surrounds the annual AMC conference, this year to be held just outside Las Vegas, Nevada.  AMC members, from around the world will gather at this yearly event to attend workshops, discussions and let the AMC kids enjoy the friendships they have formed with their AMC friends.

The conference is 100% funded by donations to

What is Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita?

AMC is usually diagnosed during pregnancy.  It is a condition in which a joint is permanently fixed in a bent (flexed) or straightened (extended) position, completely or partially restricting the movement of the affected joint.  If this type of congenital contractures occurs only in one body area, it is not referred to as arthrogryposis but rather an isolated congenital contracture, the most common being “clubfoot.”  However, when arthrogryposis affects two or more different areas of the body, it may be referred to as arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC).

The joints of the shoulders, elbows, knees, wrists, ankles, fingers, toes, and/or hips are also commonly affected.  The condition will not worsen over time, however, it is necessary to seek treatment to prevent further impediments of the joints.

Although statistics show this disorder affects 1 in every 3,000 births, research cannot determine an exact cause. AMC is thought to be related to decreased movement in utero, which can have multiple causes. In many cases of AMC, the exact underlying cause of the contractures cannot be identified.

AMC Mini-Meet up

Arthrogyposis Multiplex CongentiaAlthough a very hot summer afternoon, the AMC kids were eager to visit the playground.  The Greenville Rec Center in Taylors has a handicap accessible playground, complete with a wheelchair ramp, small slide and platform large enough for adults to accompany their child.  The first all inclusive “Boundless Playground” in all of South Carolina! The playground is specially designed to provide play opportunities for children with disabilities.

A big thank you to Jessi Spring for arranging this Mini-Meet Up, whose wonderful daughter Sadie has Arthrogyposis.  Very special thanks to Ani Samargian, founder of AMCSUPPORT.ORG and Board of Directors member, whose daughter, Abby was born with Arthrogyposis.  Both these women strive to uphold the vision of AMCSUPPORT.ORG, of which Ms. Samargian founded, to provide information and support to families around the world, who before Abby’s birth had very little resources about AMC.


The whole reason Smokin J’s Barbeque is proud to be a part of this wonderful organization is the brightest light in our lives, Abigail.  Our granddaughter was born with Arthrogyposis and is the most warm-hearted, determined little girl.

Arthrogyposis Multiplex CogentiaCompared to many birth defect organizations, Arthrogyposis gets very little attention, therefore, very little financial support.

If you are a shopper to, you can help Arthrogyposis Multiplex Congentia with each purchase you make. Instead of your normal login to Amazon (; go to

You will use your normal email and password but will be prompted to choose a registered charity, of which Amazon will make a donation, based upon your purchase.  Please choose:

Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita Support

Or you can donate at

Your support will help provide educational materials to soon-to-be-parents regarding the diagnosis of arthrogryposis multiplex congenita and help provide resources for parents to find therapists, doctors and treatments for AMC.  Most fundraising dollars go towards the annual conference which brings together children and adults living with AMC, to educate them on new research, tools and sharing experiences with fellow AMCers.








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Barbecue Smoked Up The Mountains

smoke up the mountainsIt was a successful weekend for Smokin J’s Barbeque!  Seeing our barbecue family always makes for a good weekend, but for the first time, we heard our name TWICE during awards…

7th Place Loin

7th Place Pulled Pork

pork and loin 7 pork

Friday evening began with the ritual, cook’s meeting, where the facilitator of the Smokin Up The Mountains event, Gary Lamb presented us with a gift basket.  The much appreciated gift was for being the first competition team with a paid submitted application.  Containing Reformation beer, glasses, chips, a stained glass pig and a painted sign with our team name.  bbq sign

This was a special competition for Smokin J’s Barbeque because our son, Chris joined our team for this event.  He was such a great help.  He learned right away how to inject and the true meaning of “layers of flavor.”

We want to congratulate a special few competitors on their calls at the event.  The Georgia Barbecue Association is like a family, but a few people, you seem to get to know a bit better than others.  We really appreciate their support and friendship.


daddy o

Daddy-O’s BBQ was #2 overall for pulled pork

rub shakers que

Rub Shakers Que 5th place for pulled pork

Although Smokin J’s Barbeque finished 16th of 26 teams, we learned a great deal and will improve our game for the next competition.  Despite our ribs being perfect when they came off the pit, they did not have the tenderness needed for a win, but the box sure as hell was beautiful, thanks to pitmaster Doug…


We personally would like to thank our personal friends for visiting us during the competition.  Your encouragement and support really help us through two days of very little sleep.  Despite the event being a barbecue competition, we eat very little the days of the event.

Thank you……

  • D.C. Webster and Mary Dowda
  • Micky Echols
  • Steve Boyette
  • Stewart & Debbie Hatcher
  • David & Amanda Bryant (and Amanda’s parents)
  • Jim Talmadge











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Hearty Beef Ribs on the Grill

Hearty Beef Ribs on the Grill

Doug loves beef ribs, better than pork because of the red meat flavor.  He says, “it is like your a caveman ripping the meat off a large bone.”  Grocery shopping for the weekend, I was surprised to find large beef ribs at my local Publix.  Packaged in small amounts, perfect for two people, I could not resist surprising Doug for a Friday night meal.

Back Beef Ribs

Raw beef ribBeef ribs are from the upper, back of the cow.  Typically containing the same meat you would find from a ribeye steak.  The meat is between the bones. These are rather larger (6″-8″ long).  Since most ribeye steaks sold boneless, it leaves the back rib bones available, to be sold separately. The bones usually slightly curved, with very little meat on top and a strip of meat between them.  If the bone shows through on the rib, these are called “shiners,” a barbecue term.

Secret to these ribs

Prep beef ribsDoug usually smokes pork ribs on our Big Green Eggs; however, when we have beef ribs, we prefer them on the gas grill.  Yes, I know GAS GRILL?  Nothing wrong with using a gas grill when cooking at home and needing a quick cooking method.

For these ribs, I decided to use a soft flavor profile rub. I really wanted the beef flavor to shine.  I removed the ribs from the refrigerator and store package. Prior to applying the rub, I allowed the ribs to sit on the counter for about 15 minutes, trying to bring the surface of the meat to room temperature.

I put about 4 heaping Tablespoons of rub in a separate glass container.  On each rib, I thoroughly coated with the rub.  Applying a pretty thick application, then slightly dusting off excess.  I placed all ribs in an air-tight Tupperware container and placed back in the refrigerator for approximately 5-6 hours, prior to grilling.

Victory Lane RubVictory Lane Nutty Pecan BBQ Dry Rub

[jbox color=”red”]A sweet nutty BBQ blend that’s great on pork, beef, chicken or fish! Guaranteed to wake up your taste buds! Heath Riles’ barbecue products are used by top MBN and KCBS competition BBQ teams[/jbox]

Cooking ribs on the grill

Removed the rubbed ribs from the refrigerator to allow them to acclimate to room temperature – which is as important here, as if you were cooking a steak – see article – Acclimate for a good steak.

Prep the gas grill by turning up all burners to high to get the grill HOT!.  Once the grill is hot, turn down outer burners to high and middle burner off.  Take your olive oil damped paper towel and gently smooth oil onto grill grates. This will prevent ribs from sticking when you sear them.  Now, place your ribs over the lit burners, meat side down.  Close grill and allow them to sear for about 1-2 minutes.  Watch your grill because the ribs contain fat and could spark a flare up.

Once seared on both sides, turn burners down to medium.  Put ribs back on meat side down.  Baste on your sauce of choice to the bone side, which should be upward.  I place my sauce in a small cast iron pan, directly on the grill burner that has been turned off.  Once bone side is sauced, close lid and allow meat to cook for about 5 full minutes.

Return, turn ribs over to put meat side up.  Baste on sauce to meat side.  Close lid, allow meat to grill for 5 more minutes.  Continue to turn ribs and baste one more cycle.

After final application, temp meat with a thermometer.  I cooked our ribs to 130º.

Remove ribs and sauce from grill.  Tent with foil and allow to rest for 7-10 minutes.

I served our beef ribs with my homemade cole slaw.  It was a crisp, fresh counter balance flavor to the rich, sauced ribs.

Ribs and slaw 1.Ribs and slaw 2.

Empty beef ribs.

No meat left on them there bones – yum!








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Moonshine Creek Campground

Forest River VengeanceAfter our wonderful experience at family operated KOA Travelers Rest campground, see my summary at; Doug and I were looking for another family operated campground in the Blue Ridge Mountains for a quick getaway Forth of July weekend.  Moonshine Creek Campground is a quiet, clean and a comfortable location fitting the bill perfectly.

Moonshine Creek Campground Amenities

Shower Moonshine Creek campground Bath house Moonshine CreekProviding 91 shady campsites, the family operated campground has long term leases on several of these sites, however, there are sites available even for those larger rigs, like ours.  The majority of sites have full hook ups (sewer, water, electric) and cable for a small additional fee.  Not all sites provide 50 amp electric, so make sure to specify when making your reservation.  Fire rings and picnic tables are at each site, even at the many tent sites.  Each tent site has a small roofed shelter, campers can place their tent under, although, I saw many using this sheltered space to sit under, placing their tent to the side.  Tent campers rest assure, there are sink stations throughout the tent area, as well as a large clean bathhouse with showers and laundry facilities.  A small store, with ice and propane fuel purchase is available.

Retreat and Relax

Moonshine Creek CampgroundThe gravel road throughout the campground is wide and has an ample turn for larger rigs.  Doug and I took several walks around the campground. The road is packed down and provides good footing for an after dinner stroll.  Several small bridges and pathways are along the small creek flowing throughout the campground, leading to a small pond.  The sound of trickling water looms over the entire property.

Soco Waterfalls

Located approximately one hour west of Ashville and one mile from a Blue Ridge Parkway entrance, Moonshine Creek is convenient to those wanting to visit several of the attractions in the western North Carolina mountains.  Doug and I drove over to Cherokee, NC to visit the Indian Reservation shops and to hike Soco Falls , just off Hwy 19.  Only a 50 yard hike from the very small pull off parking area, Soco Falls is well worth the visit.  A large observation deck is about halfway down the steep terrain to the bottom of the falls.  The pathway is small, slippery and not for those with severe knee issues.  Large rocks have been placed for the steps down to the observation deck, which Doug had to help me maneuver, especially since it had rained and made the trail very slick.

Stopping at several glorious mountain view overlooks, the Blue Ridge Parkway is the most scenic drive in the Eastern United States.  I recommend taking turns driving because there is so much to “oh” and “ah” over, it can be treacherous for an easily distracted driver.  Doug and I encountered a medium sized black bear, while on the parkway. He scampered away before I could get my camera to click a photo, but it was so exhilarating, seeing a black bear in action, from the security of the truck.

Camping Food

Chicken wings

Chicken wings on the Big Green Egg. Basic pecan rub. Allowed them to acclimate. Smoked. Delicious.

Big Green Egg burgers

Bacon and caramelized onions for camping burgers on the Big Green Egg.

Big Green Egg ribs

Beef ribs with salt and pepper. Smoked on the Big Green Egg.



























Only one Negative

Not every campground can be perfect, there has to be at least one thing that is negative.  I am honest and state my opinion only; however, I do have to advise campers staying at this highly recommended campground, if you have a low riding camper, such as as our fifth wheel, be extremely careful entering the campground property.  The driveway off the road is rather steep and our rear jacks on the camper hit the asphalt as we climbed the hill.  It bent both of our rear jacks and we had to replace them before we could even set up camp.  It was not a problem upon leaving.  Just make sure you do not make a sharp turn entering and be aware if your camper sits low to the ground.

Moonshine Creek Campground  2486 Dark Ridge Rd.  Sylva, NC 28779



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Top 10 Tailgating Essentials

NFL Preseason Football

20160611_110717kicks off today, so I thought we would examine the essentials of a good tailgate party.

I love BASEBALL, NASCAR AND NFL FOOTBALL AND I love tailgating!  It is even better when you can take all the comforts of home with you to the tailgate event!  I have tailgated out of the back of my car; froze under quick tents; been under sweltering heat and in the snow! Now that I have moved closer to Darlington Speedway, the “track too tough to tame,” I am hoping to have the opportunity to tailgate with our camper at a Sprint Cup Race.  Nevertheless, there are some essentials every tailgater NEEDS to make his party the best.  So I have accumulated my top 10 list of tailgating essentials.

Remember to arrive at least 4-6 hours before the sporting event so you can make sure to have plenty of prep, cooking and clean up time.

These are just general ideas…



If I provide the tunes, I try to bring music from several genres so all my friends will have something they like.


My favorite is Corn-Hole.  I bought Doug an Atlanta Falcons board and we love the football theme.  Click the image if you would like to BUY this corn-hole game.


Of course, I would be wearing my favorite Peyton Manning jersey or my Tony Stewart hat.  You need to have all your team’s trinkets, mats, banners and tents displayed to show your pride. falcons shirts.


Someone is gonna get hurt…even if they stub their toe.  Make sure to have aspirin for someone feeling a bit overwhelmed.


Good idea to keep ice in a designated cooler, separate from drinks or food.  After the game, an empty cooler can be used for storing dirty dishes.


Beachside PunchClick here for Beachside Punch recipe
A variety of drinks should be available;  water, soft drinks or adult beverages.  Pack your food separate from drinks.


Includes all paper plates, napkins, utensils, napkins, paper towels, etc.


A good policy is to prepare EVERYTHING you can ahead of time and make things you can eat with your hands.  Don’t get gourmet here.  You will appreciate the simplicity during the event.

2016-06-11 03.37.252.  COOKING DEVICE

Of course, I recommend the BIG GREEN EGG, however, it is ridiculously heavy.  Therefore, unless you can pull your cooking device on a trailer…keep it simple.  Even a small charcoal grill will work.


If you don’t have the friends and family to tailgate with; there is no point in tailgating.









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Georgia Barbecue Association 2016 Banquet

The Georgia Barbecue Association closes another season with its year end banquet for 2016

IMG_1849As some of you may know, Doug and I relocated to South Carolina last fall.  Because of the distance and Doug opening a new branch, Smokin J’s Barbeque was only able to participate in three competitions this year.  The level of competition is so high in the GBA, only participating in three competitions doesn’t really give you a good shot of the top 10 in the Team of The Year challenge.

However, we really enjoy the family atmosphere the GBA provides and we felt obligated to return to the end of the year banquet to greet and see our GBA cousins.

Good Food and Good Friends

Guests. Guest 2.It was great to see our friends and fellow competitors.  Repeating as the banquet host was Healy Point Country Club.  They provided us with good food and an incredible chocolate cake!  Cocktails and conversation, which any good pit master would enjoy, kicked off the evening before everyone was seated for the actual awards.

Jim Sewell did a great job as master of ceremony and the GBA President Danny Meadows distributed door prizes, banners and of course checks to the top teams.

Rescue Smokers Dominates the 2015-2016 Season

Rescue Smokers winsPit Master Robbie Royal’s team, Rescue Smokers cooked in 14 contests during the season racking up:

  • 36 top ten finishes
  • 9 First place finishes
  • 3 Reserve Grand Championships

That is DOMINATION.  Robbie Royal stated he was “humbled,” by the accolades and is looking forward to the season about to begin.  Competitors had better be ready because Rescue Smokers doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

Smokin J’s Barbeque looks forward to cooking in at least 3 competitions this season, 2016-2017, and judging a few as well.


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