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Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book – Memorial Day Menu

Recipes and Secrets From A Legendary Barbecue Joint

Chris Lilly, a world champion pitmaster and executive chef of Big Bob Gibson’s in Decatur, Alabama just published “Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book”.  Loaded with beautiful photos and recipes, this is a must for any serious BBQ-er.

My Memorial Day weekend will include 2 recipes from this book – Memphis Dry Ribs and chicken with Big Bob’s White Sauce.

Memphis Dry Ribs

I’ve cooked dry rub ribs before, but they are always… well, dry! Then I saw Chris Lilly on the Today show, pulling his Memphis Dry Ribs off the grill, and dunking them into vinegar and water, and finishing them with more rub, and thought THAT’S what I’m going to do next.  Here’s the video of Chris on the Today show – (the ribs are near the end at the 3:00 minute mark).

Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q White Sauce

Apparently, white bbq sauce is unique to Northern Alabama. I first found this recipe in Peace, Love and Barbecue by Mike Mills, but this version by Chris is probably more current. (He admits there are many versions of this recipe floating around.)

People raised in Decatur, Alabama, know that barbecue sauce is supposed to be white… For years and years the restaurant’s early-morning cooks closely guarded the white sauce recipe… hundreds of cooks have passed through the pit-rooms of Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Q, so I don’t think you can describe this recipe as “closely guarded” anymore… There is now a large number of “authentic” versions of Big Bob’s original secret recipe… this is one of my favorite examples. – Chris Lilly

Makes 4 cups:

  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 2 tsp prepared horseradish
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp (kosher) salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and blend well. Use as a marinade, baste, or dipping sauce. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

MOINK Balls (Moo-oink)

We’re also doing a big batch of MOINK Balls. Cocktail size meatballs, wrapped in bacon, dusted with a favorite BBQ rub, grilled or smoked, then glazed with a pepper jelly at the end. Candy from the grill! More to come.

What are YOU cooking this weekend?

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  1. Best ribs I have ever had were at the Rum Boogie Cafe in Memphis, TN. So good, in the 2 days were stayed there, we went there twice. The Infamous Rendevous Restaurant was closed both days, but my friend and I were not disappointed in the least. I love my ribs wet, but it is interesting to see the vinegar/water trick at the end of the dry ones. They both looked good.

    Brian, your tips on the bbq have paid off for me. I bought a rib stacker and made me some ribs last week for my tenants and myself. When I saw the flame shooting high into the air I panicked and thought the ribs were beyond burnt. I flipped them in their individual row, noticing how black they had gotten. In the end, they were some of the best tasting ribs I have every experienced, and the girls loved them too. I very much surprised myself.

    I used Ole Ray’s rub, then once I flipped them, I added Sweet Baby Ray’s Original bbq sauce. I used hickory wood chips too for the added flavor. Not sure what impact the wood chips had in the taste, but if the results are this good, I would not think of changing anything. Thanks man. I need to talk to you soon, I got some stuff to discuss. When you get a chance ring me up.

    Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

    1. I am so happy you got your ‘cue on! And thanks for the comment.
      Will call soon.
      Happy holiday to you too.

  2. I just picked up a copy of the book last week. You’re absolutely right about the need for this book to be in any serious BBQ-er’s library; the pictures are gorgeous and the recipes make you want to run out and start cooking, even if you just got done eating.

    As for the MOINK, it must be the new Memorial Day tradition. I cooked up a large batch for the gang today, and managed to do it while balancing all the other grilling for about 30 people on two Smokey Joe Platinum grills. It must have been good; it all disappeared as fast as I could take it off the grill… 🙂

    Paul Haights last blog post..Memorial Day Memories and MOINK

  3. Curious, did you ever get around to trying the memphis dry ribs? I made a batch yesterday and they were a touch salty. I’m thinking next time I’d try cutting the salt to 1 T from the 3 his recipe called for. Just curious to see if it was just me.
    Chris’ last blog ..Fourth of "Que-ly" Weekend

  4. Does your BB BBQ book has the Decatur BB Brunswich stew recipe in it?
    If so, How much is it ? Where is it available?
    If not -can I get one-?

    Can I order 1 gal B Stew -in 8 -2 cup plastic containers -frozen and shipped to an address Tuscaloosa Al ?
    Or could someone coming to a game bring me 1/2 gal of stew?
    I want some-
    Better yet, why don’t you open a Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ here in T town?

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