Barbecue Tips From a Pro – Article from the Lancaster Newspaper

The following article appeared in the Lancaster Newspaper and was posted on Lancaster On-Line on Wed Oct 29, 2014.  Written by MICHAEL LONG.

For several years, Lo’-N-Slo’ BBQ has been a big fish in Pennsylvania’s barbecue pond. The New Providence barbecue outfit — husband-and-wife duo Tom and Michele Perelka — has won the state barbecue title four years running, and is well on its way to a fifth crown.

On Saturday, Lo’-N-Slo’ distinguished itself on a much grander stage, winning the chicken barbecue portion of the 26th annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg, Tennesssee.

The Perelkas beat out 70 teams from across America and an additional 22 international teams from as far away as South Africa to claim the chicken title. Overall, Lo’-N-Slo’ finished 10th in the field.

There may be no one in Lancaster County as well-versed in barbecue as the Perelkas. We asked Tom, the grill master, to give our readers a few pointers. Here’s what he had to say.

Do specific meats lend themselves to specific ingredients?

Salts and peppers always go good with beef, maybe with a little garlic. Chicken depends on your neighborhood: We like to have a sweet type of heat. Maybe a little bit of honey mixed in to give it a different flavor. For ribs, a lot of people like a bold spicy rib with a sweet barbecue sauce. With pork, it’s a tomatoey type of sauce. In our area, people like it sweet.

What do you use for your sweet and your heat?

The sweet is sugars: granulated sugars, raw sugars. We use raw sugar because it doesn’t burn. A lot of people wrap ribs (in foil) with brown sugar. Honey and apple juice, too.

In the heat department, I use ancho chili powder. It’s not offensive. It has a nice smoky flavor. You could put that in any barbecue sauce and mix things in. You can take an everyday barbecue sauce, something as simple as Sweet Baby Ray’s, and you could doctor that up and make one heck of a barbecue sauce.

What advice do you give a novice barbecuer?

Practice: If you’re lookin’, you’re not cookin’. And patience: It’s different than grilling a hamburger or hot dog. It’s all about sitting back and relaxing and letting the cooker do its work.

In the beverage department, what goes well with barbecue?

Beer and barbecue always go together. Nothing beats chicken wings on the grill and some beer. That’s always a fan favorite. A nice red wine goes well with some brisket. Between wine and beer, you’ll never go wrong.

When it’s just you and some close friends or family, what do you cook?

We make a Grilled Stuffed Meat Loaf. The recipe is included in the cookbook “America’s Best BBQ —Homestyle: What the Champions Cook in Their Own Backyards.”