It started with my father's BBQ rib recipe that he created forever ago and wouldn't tell any of us the recipe. My dad had the best ribs I've ever had with the exception of my great friend, Lawyer Jones. I've always been a huge BBQ rib critic and to be quite honest, there really isn't much around Jamboozies for good Texas style smoked BBQ. The turning point for me was last spring while on our annual Myrtle Beach golf trip.

We stopped in Tennessee, Hurley, Chris and myself, to play a round of golf. We pulled up to a stoplight and this amazing smell in the air blew into our van. It was a huge BBQ smoker in the parking lot of an old place that looked like a gas station. I turned to Hurley and told him we needed to try this place after golf. So we did! The place had picnic tables, corn hole games, and some fantastic beef brisket, pulled pork, and ribs. So I asked the guys, "Why can't I do this at Jamboozies?" Both of them thought it was a great idea. So when we returned to Michigan, I talked to my partner, Rose Tocco, about my idea... she loved it too.

Rose researched with the city of Sterling Heights and the health dept on what we would have to provide. And after three months with the city, we were granted our permit to cook outside in our parking lot for everyone to see and smell our delicious Texas style BBQ.

I ordered a small rig, an "Oklahoma Joes" offset smoker to start practicing before we ordered the Goliath. We decided we would wait til spring to launch our new project instead of starting in the winter. I forgot to mention, my father actually gave me his recipe shortly before he passed, so I had a pretty good start on ribs/ However, I didn;t have much experience with pork butts and brisket, which isn't easy at all.


It was roughly June of last year and it was time to start practicing. I started by reading some of the best pitt master's books, watched hundreds of videos, spent hours in chat rooms with pitt masters and chefs who worked with pitt masters from around the country. I got a ton of information and it was time to cook. Let me just say, it's night and day cooking on an offset smoker using logs than an electric pellet or woodchip smoker that you can push a button, set a temp and leave it. On an offset log smoker, the temperature is controlled by hot coals and air flow and must be maintained constantly.

At the beginning, I can't tell you how many briskets, pork butts and ribs we ruined. We thought we knew a lot, but realized we didn't know that much. But with BBQ the one thing I learned is that practice makes perfect... and practice we did. When I say we, I mean myself and Capt Thomas Dangelo. Tom has been with me on every cook we have done since the beginning, I could not have done this without him. We've experimented with all types of woods, a ton of different spices for rubs and sauces, injections, slathers and spritzes, wraps and temperatures... and I can finally say after a ton of practice cooks, we are both so proud of our final product! It is simply delicious and consistent... and I am proud to put my name on it.

Since last summer, we have passed out samples to our customers at Jamboozies and have put our BBQ out for events like Lions games and the Michigan/OSU football game, and the feedback was incredible. Mostly saying, "Bobby you really have something special here!" I have to admit, after 18 years at Jamboozies I haven't been excited about much for a long time, and this project we've been working on since almost last spring has me super excited!

I invite all my friends, family and BBQ lovers to try our new Texas style BBQ... I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Thanks for reading, see you soon!!

-Robert Barbani