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May 14, 2001 05:06 PM

Smuggling Barbecue

  • b

I'll be in Memphis this weekend for the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, and I'd like to smuggle some barbecue to the 'cue-deprived folks back East. Anyone have any experience with long-distance barbecue transport? Do I buy it ahead of time and freeze it, or do I get it at the last minute and hope it survives the three-hour flight intact? Do certain foods travel better than others? Is Tupperware okay, or do I need something a little more industrial? And how do I resuscitate the smuggled 'cue once I get it home? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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  1. I'm no expert, but i'd get some tight fitting tupperware, buy the cue at the last minute, let it cool a moment, then seal it in the tupperware. (sealing while too hot could trap the steam and make it mushy over time) Take on plane (carry-on) and try to ignore it for three hours. When you get it home, put on a baking sheet and cover. gently heat (300-350). (If it's not covered, it may dry out in oven)

    Eat. Lick fingers. sigh.

    There shouldn't be a big risk of food poisoning, but make sure you ask the BBQ guy for the freshest. The worse would be to buy some chicken that's been sitting around lukewarm for 5 hours and then eat it another 5 hours later. ask for it as fresh as possible--- even set your order ahead of time to ensure freshness.

    2 Replies
    1. re: andy huse

      I dunno about the three hours plus in Tupperware--sounds like salmonella fest to me. What about bringing a whole box of heavyduty freezer bags. Bag the items (in case of ribs, cut in a couple pieces), zip securely and put in a cheapy styrofoam cooler with blue ice (frozen,natch.)Easy to transport and will keep the 'cue cold--and you out of ER.

      1. re: berkleybabe
        Jennifer Fish Wilson

        I think Berkeleybabe's on the right track with the ZipLock bags. My friend flies Doug's BBQ from California to NY by turning Doug's beans into Bean Blue Ice (fill a gallon ziplock bag with the beans and freeze it.) The beans keep the rest of the ziplocked BBQ fresh and safe. (I'd double bag everything to avoid a mess.)

    2. I ship fresh venison, sausages, barbecue, etc. to friends all over the country and have always had success using the following method:

      First, don't worry. Barbecue is a way of preserving meat through the use of smoke and spice. Leave it in your car for a day in the sun, worry. Otherwise follow these instructions.

      Second, pre-freeze the product you're going to ship for 24hrs or more.

      Third, use styrofoam insulation and case in a cardboard box.

      Fourth, pack with DRY ICE against the carefully wrapped product, inside the styrofoam container. Blue Ice won't cut it for very long. UPS will ship this every day they ship, or it can be checked on an airplane.

      This method will generally keep product frozen hard for about 48 hrs., maybe more.

      1. Perhaps you know this already but just in case: many of the "established" bbq joints in Memphis (and elsewhere) sell their wares online and/or will ship for you from their kitchen to yours.

        This still doesn't help to smuggle bbq fest grub, but at least helps you look out for the bbq-deprived in a pinch.