Kids Learn REAL Texas Barbeque (HPC: E78)

When you start cooking early in the afternoon and have a professional firefighter running the pit…Mmmmm, mmmm, BEST meat we’ve ever tasted!

Watching this video that my 14-year-old son Paul edited for us brings tears to my eyes, a smile to my face, and joy to my heart. It’s so special to connect with friends around food!

Last summer we had an incredible opportunity to travel as a family around a big part of the U.S., and we’d like to share one of our favorite moments with you: learning REAL Texas barbeque from our friends, the Branch family, who do this competitively! I’m blessed to have gone to high school with Mrs. Branch, and we had the most special time staying with their family.

They treated us to lessons about fire safety, how to grill meat over a pit, how to handle raw meat, and how to treat your parents (for the “Yessir” lesson that I just adore, hit about the 16:30 mark in the video. Show your kids!!).

This process begins the night before the big barbeque, and the meat cooks for HOURS…I wish you could smell and taste the result!

grilling chicken

We put a lot of ingredients on the meat!! I know you’ll never be able to recreate this experience, but in case you’re wondering what all is going on in the video, here you go:

Ribs and chicken:

  • Dry rub (secret competition recipe!)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Lots of mop sauce: rough-chopped red onion and sweet onion, 2 bottles of Italian dressing, a bottle of Worcestershire sauce, a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ, 2 bottles of beer

Ribs only, for the foil packet:

  • Brown sugar
  • Honey
  • Canned jalapenos

Texas Smashed Red Potatoes:

  • Green onion
  • Bacon bits
  • Sour cream
  • Butter
  • At least 5 pounds of red potatoes

Those Brussels sprouts were the best vegetable ever created, y’all — Leah says they’re like dessert! We could never recreate them at home though…

FREE DOWNLOAD: Kid Friendly Recipes

No time to watch the whole video? Here are the notes!

Texas Barbeque Video Time Stamps

  • 0:27: I get asked “when are you going to teach grilling?” regularly from my Kids Cook Real Food members. Honestly, I always delegate the grilling to my husband at my house! But today we’re learning how to barbeque with my friends Bryan and Amanda Branch!
  • 1:40: Preparing the chicken with the Branch’s secret dry rub and Worcestershire sauce. Be sure to have your kids wear gloves when handling raw meat!
  • 2:20: We begin preparing the ribs by removing the membrane and applying the same dry rub and Worcestershire sauce that we used on the chicken. (These are the eagle claw pliers we’re using for the membranes.)
  • 4:00: It’s time to prepare the pit!
  • 4:17: Listen in here for an explanation of direct and indirect heat and how we’ll cook our meat.
  • 5:55: How to prepare and clean your grill.

potatoes on a cutting board

  • 7:29: It’s time to get the meat on the grill! Check out Mr. Bryan’s tip to keep meat from sticking and season your grill.
  • 7:53: Watch as Mr. Bryan butterflies the chickens and then has Paul and Leah each do one. I’ve never even done this before!
  • 9:23: We start the ribs bone up and flip them several times while they cook.
  • 9:39: Next we prepare the mop sauce: red onion, sweet onion, Italian dressing, Worcestershire sauce, beer, and barbeque sauce.
  • 10:24: We will turn the meat and add mop sauce regularly.
  • 10:34: We start prepping the other food while the meat cooks.
  • 10:39: When the bones start sticking out of the ribs they’re almost ready for the next step: wrapping them in foil with brown sugar, jalapenos, and honey. You can’t just sub out the sugar for extra honey to make this more “real food.” There has to be sugar to crystalize. Make sure you wrap well (two sheets of foil on the bottom and one on top) with no holes!
  • 12:17: We continue preparing the rest of the meal. Wow, the oil for those Brussels sprouts is hot!

brussels sprouts cooking

  • 12:43: It’s time to cut the ribs! Slice right between the bones. Paul did great slicing right through the knuckle! Listen in as Mr. Bryan coaches him on how to cut the ribs.
  • 15:52: Look at all this amazing food! Let’s eat! 😛
  • 16:24: Mr. Bryan shares how to score big points with mom and dad! 😉

ribs on the grill

Sooooo…do we use a lot of bottled dressing, Sweet Baby Ray’s with high fructose corn syrup, and bags full of sugar on our meat on a normal day at Kids Cook Real Food?

Well, no.

But when in Texas, do as Texans do! We don’t worry too much about compromising here and there, especially when we have an opportunity for an incredible life experience like this one. I love that my friend Mrs. Branch regularly frequents Yonderway Farm, where the chickens run free and everything is sustainable.

A huge thank you to Bryan and Amanda Branch for hosting, teaching, and letting us participate in this process from farm to pit to becoming family. <3 <3 <3

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