It’s July 4th weekend, and chances are good that you’ll be chowing down on some grub from the grill. For those hosting a barbeque, we asked the grill genius behind BBQ’s smokin’ selections, Dave Daniolowicz, for some tips to impress your guests and family.
If you can't find the time to cook ribs slow and low, stop in at the restaurant Dave owns with his brothers Drew and Darren right on Bloomfield Avenue in Caldwell.
You won’t be disappointed when you sample their ribs, brisket, pulled pork and other barbeque delicacies.
The brothers took third place for their ribs in one of the largest competitions on the East coast: Pork in the Park, in Salisbury, Maryland.
Hint: Don’t keep walking if you don’t see patrons in the restaurant—they’re all out back in the restaurant’s outdoor patio! Also, look for Hog Wild’s BBQ cooker at the West Caldwell summer concert series at the on July 7 and July 14.
What’s the number one grilling mistake people make?
The biggest mistake is overcooking food and drying it out. A good tip is to have a thermometer on hand and use it so you can cook food to a safe temperature without drying it out.
Another mistake is that people use salad dressings for marinades. It’s easy, and there’s nothing wrong with it. You just have to watch the sugar content. Some dressings have sugar in them which burns before the meat is done. Plus, there’s xantham gum in the dressing. It makes it cling to the meat and the next thing you know you’ve got a small inferno for a chicken breast. You just really got to keep an eye on it. You can start on a high heat, then go to low. This way, you get an initial sear and then you can cook the meat properly.
What about the grill itself?
Clean it! There’s no reason to start today’s meal with yesterday’s scrapings. That’s when you get food sticking. Ideally, brush the grill while it’s still hot. Just scrape the grates with the brush right after cooking to prevent stuck-on food.
Also, I take a paper towel once it’s clean, and cool, and rub the grates with olive oil. This seasons the grill and reduces sticking.
July 4th is big burger day—how would you jazz up ground beef for the holiday?
We serve stuffed burgers—our “Porkin’ the Bull” burger is stuffed with chopped, cooked bacon, chopped onions, shredded American and cheddar. You can experiment with different ingredients at home.
Any advice for spicing up other grill fare?
Instead of using plain barbeque sauce, dice some mango, red pepper and scallion and add it to your favorite store-bought bottle. It’ll taste great on fish, chicken and pork. Also, you can take a jar of orange marmalade; heat it in a pan and add ginger and soy sauce. Growing up, I used all the condiments in the fridge to see what I’d come up with. To this day, I’ve got more hot sauces, more flavorings, smoke spices, than I can use.
How did you get into BBQ?
I dabbled in it the last 15 years or so—just in the back yard. We have a family beach house in Delaware and we have a lot of fish fry’s and fried chicken and pig roasts. We never go out to eat down there. Every weekend we’d get about 6 to 8 houses together and we’d cook in someone’s backyard.
Our background is off-premise catering. When the economy took a dive, we decided to try a different direction and it seemed like a fun way to make a living. It’s basically a hobby that got out of control. When my wife saw me back in a 17-ft. smoker down the driveway, she shook her head and said she didn’t want to hear anything about shoes ever again!
Carolina-style sauce or Kansas City?
I honestly can’t answer that question. They’re two different things. It all depends on my mood. I usually go for spicier blends. We make a spicier blend that I’m partial to.
Medium: Culinary arts
Professional or Amateur: Professional
Training: Culinary Institute of America
Style: Touch on different regions of barbeque, from Texas to Kansas City to Memphis.