The Four Elvis BBQ Cooking Team

Back in the fall of 2003, all the employees of this fast moving freight train of a company I work for, Nisus Corporation, took a company sponsored cruise to the Bahamas.  As part of the entertainment, we thought it would be fun to partake in a little karaoke.  Five of us brave souls decided to form a group to sing “Wild Thing”, “Rocky Top” and another “You make my heart melt” song.  We christened ourselves the Four Elvis’.  Yes, I know, there were 5 in the group; but we count better than we sing.  Or was it the other way around?  Either way, we received a standing ovation, not for our talent, but for the ending of the song.   

The Four Elvis’ moniker stuck; hence the name of this site and the charcoal BBQ cooking team.  Yours truly is King Elvis and the others are Elvis Juniors.  I am also the Head Chef as I have the hat and apron that says so.  We make good Q.  That’s a given.  Do we make the best? That’s hard to say because for each person that says you are the BEST of the BEST, there are 10 more that’ll consider it no better than bilge water.  No one will concede the King Pig title.   

Oh sure, people take a lot of pride in their bbq. They boast about their secret rubs, famous marinades, special ingredient in their famous bbq sauce, their cooking techniques and not just the type of wood they use but which forest it actually derived from.  Stupid people.  That’s small potatoes.  Face the facts!  It takes a lip-smacking pile of shredded shoulder or a rack of tongue-tickling ribs so good, your momma will slap herself.  

Barbecue can generate an unprecedented amount of goodwill, but it can also ignite bitter feuds. Perfectly civil and otherwise upstanding ladies and gentlemen will forego debate entirely, roll up their starched sleeves, and take to the sweltering streets brawling like drunken guttersnipes over issues like, "Chopped or Pulled?" We Southerners have behaved in this irrational fashion since a group of seafaring Spanish roughnecks discovered that certain Native Americans liked to slow-roast their meats over an open flame -- a technique they called "barbacoa."

In this modern world, the question of who deals in the bestest 'cue is infinitely debatable since the dish changes drastically from state to state, town to town, and in some cases block to block. In Virginia and the Carolinas, barbecue consists of roasted shoulder chopped and mixed with a thin (wussified if you ask me) vinegar sauce. Texas barbecue is almost all beef ribs or brisket, and the fire it is cooked over is fueled by hickory, mesquite, or oak wood only -- no charcoal allowed. Kansas City is famous for its chargrilled spareribs and burned-to-a-cinder brisket pieces (they call 'em brownies; I call 'em yuck). From ribs to shoulder to brisket; from family gathering to political event; from coast to coast and from time immemorial, barbecue has been the unquestioned king of not-so-fine-dining. And Memphis, Tennessee, the home of the blues and birthplace of rock-and-roll is Mecca, the Holy See of sweet, smoky hawg-flesh.   We rule the rib-roost. Amen.  And we have Graceland.  Nuff said.