Man Fire Food features the inventive ways people cook with fire. From small campfires to creative custom-made grills and smokers, we visit home cooks, pit masters and chefs who are fascinated by fire and food. The smoke signals take host Roger Mooking to Hawaii, wine country in Northern California, New England and the great American South to meet the passionate people who celebrate the building of and cooking over live fire.
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Rad Rigs 08x05
Roger Mooking is on the hunt for the most radical barbecue rigs, and he starts at The Pit Room in Houston, Texas, where special events call for a custom-built trailer that can cook up to 600 pounds of meat. Roger helps load up six whole goats for tacos. In Napa Valley, Calif., he checks out Oak Avenue Catering's custom-made asado grill that can cook a huge side of beef. For a side dish, fermented cabbages are hung on the grill to cook low and slow with the meat. As they wait for this feast to cook, Roger learns how to transfer a tree stump into a flaming stove for boiling potatoes that are then crisped on a hot plancha to complete this feast in the heart of wine country.
Fiery Outdoor Kitchens 08x04
Roger Mooking tames the flames in outdoor kitchens fueled by wood-burning fires. In Solvang, California, the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort is home to 10,000 acres of land with horses, cattle and a bevy of fiery cooking contraptions. Roger helps fire up a meal of juicy beef ribs and grilled chickens for their weekly ranch cookout. In San Diego, Roger visits the outdoor kitchen of caterer Clyde Van Arsdall to slow-roast herb and citrus-stuffed turkeys on the spit while vegetables roast in the oven. Then it all comes together for a hearty soup that's cooked in an antique cauldron rigged above scorching hot coals.
Weekend BBQs 08x03
Roger Mooking visits two Southern California barbecue joints that serve smoked meat specialties on weekends only. First, he meets a husband and wife team running a pop-up restaurant called Moo's Craft Barbecue in their own backyard. He helps load their 2,000-pound smoker with Texas brisket and pork butt for tasty tacos and samples their signature side dishes, Mexican street corn and coleslaw kicked up a notch with tequila. Then Roger finds Calabasas Custom Catering in the parking lot at Jim's Fallbrook Market. He helps caterer Paul Varenchik fire up a big Santa Maria grill to cook beef tri-tip, chickens and baby back ribs, and the waiting customers complete their barbecue plates with crusty garlic bread, macaroni salad and potato salad.
Barbecue and Barbacoa 08x02
Roger Mooking heads to the Lone Star State to meet a family that specializes in two fiery traditions: Texas barbecue and Mexican barbacoa. Pitmaster Adrian Davila of Davila's BBQ shows Roger their massive smoker and shares the secrets to their legendary brisket and spicy beef sausages that the locals call "hot guts." Once smoked, these two meats come together in a Texas favorite, Frito Pie. Then Adrian invites Roger to his family's ranch for traditional Mexican barbacoa. They wrap seasoned lamb in maguey leaves and cook it in the ground before firing up an Argentinean grill to toast fresh tortillas and crisp up the lamb barbacoa.
Roadside 'Cue 08x01
Roger follows the smoke signals to San Antonio where he finds the best roadside barbeque at The Box Street Social food truck. Roger helps build a special metal rig designed to hang meats and cook over live fire and hot coals. They roast racks of ribs, whole chickens and even whole pumpkins which are smashed open and topped with goat cheese, arugula and olive oil. Then over in Santa Fe he visits a food truck that is putting a mouthwatering twist on central Texas-style BBQ. At Smokin D's BBQ Fusion, Roger starts by loading up the smoker with brisket, the main ingredient in their famous Brisket Mac Dilla, a mind-blowing mac and cheese-filled quesadilla, and learns how to make the Smoke Dog, a beef jalapeno sausage wrapped in bacon and topped pico de gallo, avocado, pineapple and habanero mayo. If these dishes don't make you want to pull over, then nothing will!
Smoked Out 07x13
Where there's fire, there's smoke, and some of the most flavorful meat on the market comes straight from incredible smoking operations. Roger Mooking joins the team at Benton's Smoky Mountain Country Hams, a famous smokehouse shipping nationwide from Madisonville, Tenn., to help prepare huge hams for a three-day cold smoke before they're cured for up to two years. Then, he surfs on to Chicago's Calumet Fisheries, an 80-year-old seafood smokehouse, to load up salmon, trout, whitefish, sable and sturgeon. Finally, Roger heads to small town Mamou, La., to a big time smokehouse called T-Boyz. Roger and T-Boy go hog wild on over 500 pounds of Cajun smoked meats that are mixed in with an unbeatable combination of red beans and rice.
Pit Bosses 07x12
It takes incredible talent and a whole lot of practice to achieve barbecue perfection, and Roger Mooking is honoring the legendary pitmasters who make some of the country's best barbecue. He gets cooking with the man who brought barbecue to Brooklyn at Hometown Bar-B-Que, cooking Jamaican jerk baby back ribs and sticky Korean ribs with a sweet and savory Asian influence. Then, Roger is off to Texas to the famous Kreuz Market to get schooled on traditions dating back to their opening in 1900. Then he heads to North Carolina's Skylight Inn, also known as Jones BBQ, to check out their traditional method of low and slow whole hog cooking with a whopping 16-hour cook time.
Insane Inventions 07x11
Roger Mooking says goodbye to the standard grill and celebrates the most elaborate, over-the-top smokers and roasters. First, he heads just outside Death Valley to cook on a true fire-breathing barbecue pit - an 8-foot, 800-pound metal dragon with three separate chambers. Then he lands in Kansas City, Mo., for a test flight in Swine Flew, an airplane converted by two mechanics into a fully functioning barbecue grill, with pork butts and spare ribs cooked right inside the aircraft cabin. Next, Roger visits a Frankenstein smoker in Oahu, Hawaii, that's constructed from an Air Force cargo container, computer fans and pieces of a commercial jumbo jet. Finally, he checks out a converted tool shed used for a Cajun-style whole hog roast.
Five Porktastic Sandwiches 07x10
Roger Mooking is letting barbecue pork sandwiches hog the spotlight. He bites off as much as he can chew at Hoodoo Brown Barbeque in Ridgefield, Connecticut, where they serve a meaty masterpiece loaded with pork belly, pulled pork and shaved pork ribs. Then Roger heads to Bigmista's Barbecue and Sammich Shop in Long Beach, California, for succulent barbecue pork stuffed inside sweetened soft buns. At Pecan Lodge in Dallas, Roger gets a taste of The Pitmaster with brisket, pulled pork and chorizo sausages, and he finds Tex-Mex flavor in a pork burrito with fire-roasted green chili sauce at Lewis Barbecue in Charleston, South Carolina. Finally, Roger visits Top Hat Barbecue in Blount Springs, Alabama, where they've been selling smoky pulled pork shoulder sandwiches with tangy barbecue sauce for 50 years.
Smokin' Sides and Sweets 07x09
No cookout is complete without some outrageous side dishes and crave worthy desserts, so Roger Mooking is putting the main course aside to honor everything that tops off the best barbecue meals. He scrambles up a poblano pepper hash at a Houston hangout, and he checks out a new take on mac and cheese in New York, pressing an entire dish into a mouthwatering Belgian waffle. For dessert, there's an apple hand pie that fits right in Roger's pocket and a peach crisp cooked in a coal-fired Dutch oven on the ground. Finally, a French side dish steals the show as Roger cooks up a fresh veggie summer ratatouille prepared on an outrageous outdoor grill.
Surf and Turf 07x08
Roger Mooking is scouring the country for fiery fresh takes on the beloved classic combination, surf and turf. A Miami chef shows Roger a unique rig he built himself that allows him to roast, grill and saute over hot coals. Roger helps him grill juicy pork packed with adobo-inspired flavors and prepare a seafood-studded paella in a party-sized pan. Next, the classic New England clambake takes a cross-country trip to Southern California where Roger helps steam a bounty of seafood, spicy chorizo and some of the Golden State's best produce in a wine barrel. Finally, at Llano Seco Ranch in Chico, Calif., Roger pigs out on juicy Italian porchetta spit-roasted on a handcrafted rotisserie and succulent oysters basted in the pork drippings.