Thursday, March 20, 2008

How to Pitch a BBQ Sponsor

This post comes from the BBQ Brethren forums where Ray Lampe (Dr BBQ) was kind enough to post this letter that he had recently used to pitch an event (in this case the American Royal) to a potential sponsor. Ray only asks that you don't use it word for word, but do feel free to borrow from the ideas it contains.

I certainly don't need this right now, but who knows, maybe down the road a bit! One can always hope...


Hi guys.
I just got done with this and thought I'd share. Here's a letter I just sent to a potential sponsor. I met a chef that works with Sponsor X and with his help I hope to get them on board for the American Royal. I omitted their name and some personal info but other than that this is what I sent. Notice that most of the document is about how great this will be for them and what we can do for them. We'll see how it works out. Feel free to use the ideas here, but please don't use this word for word.


March 27, 2007

Hi Todd,
It was great to see you at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. Per our conversation last week I’m sending my thoughts about the possibility of cooking at The American Royal Barbecue this October in Kansas City representing Sponsor X. I think this would be a fun partnership and I’d look forward to working with you on a Sponsor X barbecue sauce as well as recipes featuring Sponsor X for all of our other dishes for the weekend.

The categories we’d be competing in over three days would be:
• Invitational Chicken
• Invitational Ribs
• Invitational Pork Shoulder
• Invitational Beef Brisket
• Barbecue Sauce
• Vegetable side dish
• Bean side dish
• Potato side dish
• Dessert
• Open Sausage
• Open Chicken
• Open Ribs
• Open Pork Shoulder
• Open Beef Brisket

With a little luck and some good cooking we could turn our creations into award winning recipes that many Sponsor X lovers could enjoy. The dates for the event are October 4th through the 7th and it’s held in Kansas City. I look forward to hearing from you.

Ray Lampe

About the event
The American Royal is a month long livestock show and a 100 year old institution in Kansas City. The American Royal Barbecue was added in 1980 and it has since become the biggest barbecue contest in the world. The American Royal Barbecue is the opening event of the American Royal and the season finale for the competitive Barbecue circuit. “The World Series of Barbecue” is spread over 20 acres in Kansas City’s historic Stockyards District, and boasts nearly 500 teams. They’ll be competing in a highly regarded invitational barbecue cook-off, the world’s largest side dish and dessert cook-off and the open barbecue cook-off which draws all of the top competition teams from around the country. Combine this with a barbecue-related trade expo and this is truly a major foodie event. This year “The Royal” as the barbecue is known, expects 75,000 people to pass through the gates for the three day event. Barbecue teams and visitors came from 30 states and a few countries last year and they represented sponsors such as Bayer, Harrah’s, Royal Oak Charcoal, Coors, Budweiser, The Kansas City Board of Trade, Sam’s Club, UNB Bank, Cerner Corp, Sprint and Premium Standard Farms. The teams host big fun parties on Friday night and. a good time is had by all.

About me
My name is Ray Lampe aka Dr. BBQ. I am a cookbook author and product demo chef. I write a monthly column for Fiery Foods Magazine and I am the company chef for the Big Green Egg grill company. My third cookbook will be out in June 2007 from St. Martin’s Press in NYC but my real background is as a Barbecue Champion. Among my many barbecue awards are a handful of top five finishes at The American Royal Barbecue. I am already qualified to cook in the invitational contest this year at the American Royal. You can learn a little more about me at and I can send a full bio if needed.

What we can do
Because of my experience and long relationship with the American Royal I’m confidant we can get a high profile location for our team this year. We would enter the contest under a blatantly plugging fun name such as The Sponsor X Guys or Sponsor X the Bar-B-Q! We can put up any signage we’d like and use our space to promote at will. I’d have to speak with them just in case there was a conflicting major sponsor but that seems highly unlikely. We could hand out samples and recipe cards and have a drawing to collect business cards and contact info. We can host spokespeople or characters or props of any kind as long as it fits within our space. We can also host any VIPs and business related guest for dinner and drinks on Friday and Saturday night. We will use Sponsor X in all of our dishes for all of the contests and with my background and Todd’s recipe skills we will do our best to bring home some awards for the team. The awards would be icing on the cake because we’d have already spent our days promoting Sponsor X to the huge crowd and the media in attendance. There is always a full slate of local and national television on site as well as print journalists. With good advance communication I’m confident The American Royal folks will give us a heads up to all of them and of course we could stir up some of our own with a press release from Sponsor X.

What we need
I’ve cooked at the American Royal many times and I can determine and supply everything we’ll need such as an enclosed tent, a mobile kitchen, fencing, tables, chairs and enough supplies to feed and water everyone in sight for three days. We could not be responsible for supplying the signage but will work with anyone to get the appropriate signs to the event and get them displayed at the site. Of course we’d have travel and lodging expenses for the week for Todd, myself and a few other workers as well as logo’d up shirts hats and aprons. A total budget of $00 would allow us to put on a great show in a first class fashion at The American Royal.


This is some very useful info for anyone working on a pitch to a potential sponsor. If that person is you - all the best!

Friday, March 14, 2008

ThermoWorks – Plug Mount Thermapen – Use any Type K probe. Small and Accurate.

This Thermapen is pretty nice - you can swap out the probes so that you can use the right tool for the job without having to have a full second (or third or...) unit. Not the cheapest piece of equipment, but very handy and fast.

Thermapen with Socket for Interchangeable probes

  • Available with 1° or 0.1° resolution
  • -50 to 1472°F (-50 to 850°C)
  • Quick reading with large LCD display
  • Rotate tip to turn on and off
  • Reads Type K thermocouple probes

Check out our new Thermapen 3 and 7 with interchangeable type K thermocouple probes for complete versatility. Connect our new plastic airline safe probe, a penetration meat probe, or a surface grill probe all with a single Thermapen for fast response and accurate performance. If we don’t have a standard probe to fit your application we’ll make one that does.

With one-handed use, there’s no worry about dangling probe wires or finding a place to set your meter while you position the probe. For the cost of those typical replacement probes, you can buy a new Thermapen and tell your boss how much money you saved.


Thermapen 3:-50°F to 1472°F (-50°C to 850°C)
Thermapen 7:-49.9°F to 199.9°F (-49.9°C to 199.9°C)

Thermapen 3: 1° C or F
Thermapen 7: 0.1° C or F

Thermapen 3: ±1% ±1 digit
Thermapen 7: ±0.7°F (0.4°C) ±1 digit

12 volt MN21 - 100 hours

Type K Thermocouple (not included)

0.5" (12.7mm) LCD

0.75" x 1.85" x 6" (19 x 47 x 153mm)

3.1oz (87 grams)

SEE MORE DETAILS: ThermoWorks – Plug Mount Thermapen.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Freezing and Food Safety

This information is from a USDA website. There is much more than I have posted here so please follow links to the site to get more great information. This is a common area for questions - what can I freeze and for how long? Take a look at the site for a lot of helpful info!

What Can You Freeze?
You can freeze almost any food. Some exceptions are canned food or eggs in shells. However, once the food (such as a ham) is out of the can, you may freeze it.
Being able to freeze food and being pleased with the quality after defrosting are two different things. Some foods simply don't freeze well. Examples are mayonnaise, cream sauce and lettuce. Raw meat and poultry maintain their quality longer than their cooked counterparts because moisture is lost during cooking.

Is Frozen Food Safe?
Food stored constantly at 0 °F will always be safe. Only the quality suffers with lengthy freezer storage. Freezing keeps food safe by slowing the movement of molecules, causing microbes to enter a dormant stage. Freezing preserves food for extended periods because it prevents the growth of microorganisms that cause both food spoilage and foodborne illness.

Does Freezing Destroy Bacteria & Parasites?
Freezing to 0 °F inactivates any microbes -- bacteria, yeasts and molds - - present in food. Once thawed, however, these microbes can again become active, multiplying under the right conditions to levels that can lead to foodborne illness. Since they will then grow at about the same rate as microorganisms on fresh food, you must handle thawed items as you would any perishable food.

Read more! --> Freezing and Food Safety

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Free Preview -

Sawdust Shock: A Shortage Looms As Economy Slows

By Joel Millman

Ernie Johnson figured $100-a-barrel oil was bound to happen someday. But the 58-year-old businessman Missoula, Mont., never thought he'd see sawdust at $100 a ton.

The price of sawdust has soared since 2006, up from about $25 a ton to more than $100 in some markets. Blame the housing slump: Fewer new homes mean fewer trees cut for use in construction, which leads to less sawdust and other wood waste, driving up the price.

Free Preview - 


Folks on a number of the BBQ related forums are talking about this shortage and predicting that the cost of charcoal will be going up soon as a result of the shortage. Time will tell.

Guess this is another reason to move to a stick burner.
Maybe one day I will be one!

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