4 Barbecue Tips from the Pros at BJ’s Barbecue in Sparks

The official Nevada Barbecue Company offers some trade secrets just in time for the world famous Rib Cook-Off.

Since 1986 the family owned and operated barbecue joint has been a favorite spot for locals with a hankering for some finger-lickin’ comfort food. Offering an incredible spread of pork ribs, beef brisket, smoked chicken, shredded pork and Louisiana hot links with classic side dishes including creamy cheddar grits, potato salad, homemade applesauce and more, there really is something for everyone at BJ’s Barbecue. Their original barbecue sauce and spice rub are even gluten free!

Kelly Samfel, daughter of the owners and general manager of the restaurant, consistently receives calls from locals seeking help with their own backyard barbecues. As she is always willing to spread the love of barbecue, here are some of her own jewels of wisdom for perfect ribs at home:

1. Always use indirect heat. Even on the grill. The best ribs are cooked slowly on low heat. Instead of lying on the grill, wrap in foil or use some tried and true rib racks.

2. Wait until cooked before basting with sauce. One of the most costly mistakes in home barbecue is putting the sauce on too early. As sugar is one of the main ingredients in barbecue sauce, it will char and burn and leave your meat tough. Instead, cook with a dry rub and then add the sauce a few minutes before serving.

3. Never boil your meat. Some sources say boiling meat can help it get nice and juicy. This is a common misconception. Boiling leaves your meat flavorless with a funky texture. Not juicy and tender.

4. Turn your grill into a smoker. Nothing beats smoked ribs. As most of us don’t have giant smokers in our backyards, it might seem impossible to get the tender, falling-off-the-bone flavor we have come to know and love at BJ’s Barbecue. But that lovely taste and texture can actually be achieved at home on the grill with pellets sold at any hardware store. Simply wrap the pellets in foil, poke with a few wholes, set the grill on low and just leave for a couple of hours. Some grills even have drawers to put pellets or wood chips in for a grill turned smoker.