Welcome to our first BBQ Interview. Our BBQ Interview will profile Barbeque cooks from different backgrounds with different approaches and preferences. We welcome your comments at the end of the interview.
BBQ Interview with Frank Fuselier
Name and Occupation: Frank Fuselier, general counsel of a small energy company headquartered in the New York area.
Location: Harrington Park, NJ (NYC metro area)
Rig/Cooking Gear: Char-Griller Duo w/side firebox
How long have you been barbequing?
Frank: 20 years, more or less, maybe?
Do you cook for: Family/Friends, Competition/Festivals, and/or
Is there another BBQer that has inspired you or, gone out of their way to help? Who was it and what happend?
Frank: Countless TV shows. :)
What do you like most about cooking barbeque?
Frank: My clothes smell like smoke all day.
Your favorite cut of meat to cook, Why?
Frank: Pork shoulder. Pulled pork is almost foolproof, as long as you can control the fire. And the technique translates to the oven very, very nicely (minus the smoke, of course), so even when there are 2 feet of snow on the ground you can get a reasonable BBQ fix.
Favorite side dishes, sauce, rub, charcoal, and smoking wood:
Frank: I’m not a sauce snob. Bulls-Eye is usually plenty fine. I’ve never bought it bottled, but I also love the sauce at Rudy’s in Austin, Texas. I don’t drown my meat in sauce. I prefer sweet tomato sauces over mustard or vinegar sauces.
Favorite side dish is grilled corn on the cob, rubbed with mayo (yes mayo) then, dusted with chili powder and grated parmesan cheese. I learned that recipe from a Rick Bayless TV episode, and it’s the best darn corn you will EVER have and you’ll never look at corn on the cob the same way again. He says it’s an authentic Mexico City recipe.
I follow a typical basic rub recommendation: salt, black pepper, paprika and brown sugar, usually with a splash of onion powder, garlic powder, cumin and thyme (or some combination of those).
I’ve pretty much settled on the idea that regular Kingsford charcoal is really all you need (NOT Matchlight!) I really can’t taste a difference between Kingsford briquettes and lump hardwood charcoal. The lump coal burns faster, hotter and more unevenly, making it harder to maintain a lowwwwww fire.
I’m a woodworker, so I have a constant supply of hardwood offcuts and scrap that I
use for smoke. Any typical American hardwood is fine by me, and I love mesquite smoke a lot so sometimes I’ll buy that in bags. I won’t use exotic hardwood scraps from the tropics, because those often have really noxious oils in them that are irritating and would taste awful (and who knows if they are healthy).
A funny story related to barbeque?
Frank: You mean, other than yapping into the Twittosphere about my brisket just to hear myself talk, then meeting about 10 other twitter people also cooking brisket that day, then ending up giving an interview to one of them for his blog?
Any advice for people new to barbeque?
Frank: Most important thing is to learn how to control your fire. Any idiot can light a blistering hot high fire. Depending on your gear, it can be more tricky to keep the temp low and slow (225-250) all day. Also, there is such a thing as too much smoke. You’ll learn how much your family likes with trial and error. Don’t feel obligated to pile hardwood onto the charcoal the entire time.
Some information about Frank:
SecondLife: I perform very poor acoustic music in Second Life regularly under the
name TonewoodFrank Unplugged. Come listen to me. Even if you think I suck, the people performing before and after me will probably be pretty good and you might get hooked on the SL music scene.
We welcome your comments below