BBQ, BBQ Humor

Hot dogs or legs??

hot dogs or legs

With BBQ season off got a great start. Well at least at the Tillett household it is. Ok I admit BBQ is always in season around here. But I digress, What I was going to say is time to bust out the dogs, sausages and brats.

Just to get you guys in practice to make sure you are ready and can properly identify stuff. I put for this simple little text.

Hot dogs or legs??



Big Red - From The Butcher, History, Meat Cutting

Ron and Judy Tillett – Family History

The Tillett Brothers where born and raised in central Washington. Judy Tillett is the daughter of Scandinavian immigrants. Judy’s father Oscar Brandt (Oscars Fish Fix’ns) Owned a tire shop in Selah Washington. The Brandt’s Tire was just a block away from where Ron and Judy Tillett opened Upper Valley Meats in 1963.

Ron Tillett was born in Iowa and and had 8 siblings. It the late 40’s coming out of the great depression, his dad Vurnace Tillett loaded the family and all their belonging in the Buick and headed out West to Washington State to work in the Apple Orchards. It was a tough life and Ron grew up learning to work hard.  Several of the Tillett boys learned the trade of farm butchering and cutting meat.

In the 1960’s Ron and his brothers opened Upper Valley Meats a meat shop downtown Selah Wa. There are so many great stories of Steve and I as we grew up around this business in the farming communities of central Washington. I loved going to all the farms and ranches and hanging out with people who where genuine down to earth people.

One strong memory I have is of the big 55 gallon pickle barrel in the front of the meat shop. Those where the most amazing pickles. They seemed to be as big as my head. Well I was only a kid.

I also remember the smoke house in the back of the meat shop. The smell was amazing. Hams, beacon and sausage links hanging from the rafters. Yum Yum!!

Ron Tillett was passionate about the meat business and was always teaching others the trade. Ron had many apprentices many of them are still in the business.

Ron also wrote a book about cutting and processing your own meat. His working title was From The Farm To TheTable. He wanted to share where he know. The notes, writings and research where extensive. There was only one thing that kept him from realizing this dream. In my opinion it was timing. This was all before the age of desktop publishing and it was a tough road to getting something like my dad had designed. It required 100s of photos and illustrations. Ron was not an illustrator or a photographer. Remember this was before digital cameras. The cool thing is he had so much great content. I am so excited that I will be able to share some of his knowledge and insights through Tillett Brothers’ BBQ content. My dad would be happy his ideas are being shared.


BBQ, Recipes, Rubs and spices



This Alabama-style White Barbecue Sauce has a tangy flavor that is a great addition to grilled foods.

This is will be one of the kids favorites – fantastic grilled flavor


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup vinegar (preferably Apple Cider)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Prepared Horseradish (or Cayenne Pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • *Salt and pepper to taste 


1. Mix ingredients together (it is best to refrigerate for at least 8 hours before using – but will be ready to use immediately).
2. Brush lightly over chicken, turkey or pork during the last few minutes of grilling.
* This barbecue sauce is also great as a dipping sauce so set some aside before you start grilling to serve on the table.

*** TRY smaking on some of Steve Famous Rub before grilling – WOW

Enjoy! ~mojo


BBQ, Big Red - From The Butcher, Recipes, Rubs and spices

Big Red’s – Spicy Dry Rub

BIg Reds Spicy Dry

This is my Father Ron Tillett’s (AKA Big Red) Spicy Dry Rub

  • 1/2 cup freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Use on your favorite meat 60 minutes before grilling. Store any extra in an air-tight container, making sure to keep dry. Makes 2 1/4 cups.


Enjoy, ~mojo

BBQ, Recipes, Rubs and spices

TRY THE WHOLE CHICKEN ON A CAN METHOD – in the South this is known as “Beer In The Butt Chicken”:



– in the South this is known as “Beer In The Butt Chicken” Well you know what I call it then. It’s got a nice ring to it.

Enjoy, ~mojo

Here are the simple steps:

  1. For the Chicken on the Can method you will need 1 can (12 ounces) NON-diet soda (Dr. Pepper offers a great flavor, however you can use any soda)
  2. Remove the upper grill rack and see if the whole chicken fits standing up in the grill with the lid down. –> If the chicken fits, remove chicken and set an open can of NON diet soda (pour out half of the soda first), on the grill. Stand the chicken over top of the can, so the can is in its inner cavity of the chicken. If grill only has one level or cooks hot, use double-thick aluminum foil underneath chicken.
  3. Grill 20 minutes per pound, or until done.*If the chicken doesn’t fit standing: Cut it up, cover it with the Steves Famous Dry Rub, and grill it without the soda. Turn chicken every 5–10 minutes, until done.
  4. To check doneness, squeeze chicken to see if juices run clear. If you aren’t satisfied, cut it open to check for doneness.

Makes 3–5 servings

This Dry Rub is Fantastic on CHICKEN, BEEF and LAMB as well! – This stuff is amazingly universal.
    * 1 Tbs coarse salt (Kosher, NOT pickling salt)
    * 1 Tbs sugar
    * 1 Tbs celery salt
    * 1 Tbs brown sugar
    * 1 Tbs garlic salt
    * 1 Tbs ground black pepper
    * 2 Tbs paprika

Steve’s Famous Rub will soon be available for purchase : Rubs & Spices Coming Soon!



Mak’n Bacon

I have been fix’n to smoke up some bacon and I ran across this great video Curing and Cold Smoking Bacon the Old Fashioned Way. Some of my earliest memories involve bacon. Well watching my dad smoke bacon in his meat shop in Selah Washington back in the 60s. The smells of smoked meat is my favorite. I’ll be sharing some of my Dad Big Reds smoke house recipes, tips and tricks in the future.

Here is the video that inspired this post and got me obsessing (again) about bacon at 9PM.


Curing and Cold Smoking Bacon the Old Fashioned Way By Tim Farmer – Tim learns all about how to cure and cold smoke a pork belly to make some of the most delicious bacon with his friend Jay Caskey.