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‘Man Fire Food’ finds ‘Small Packages, Big Flavor’ on Cooking Channel

Roger Mooking with Master Smoker David Rauch on Man Fire Food
Roger Mooking with Master Smoker David Rauch on Man Fire Food
"Photo courtesy of Cooking Channel, used with permission."

On tonight’s episode of “Man Fire Food,” Roger Mooking, chef, musician and lover of all things smoky and delicious, went to Austin, Texas in this episode titled “Small Packages, Big Flavor.’

He met up with Bruce Karnes, the co-founder of Summermoon Wood Fired Coffee. Bruce explained how they built their 19th Century roaster, rather than using modern means. He started the fire and showed Roger how they start with the green beans and roast them at about 500 degrees for about twenty minutes. Once they get the fire started, they use a bicycle type of pedaling apparatus to turn the beans until they are roasted to perfection. Roger was elected to be the pedal roaster of the day. As Roger worked the pedals, the drum went around. The room was hot, and Roger got a workout. As soon as they were done, Justin Terry, the other co-founder helped lift the beans from the roaster. As Roger described, the smell was wonderful, and the beans did announce their doneness. They put them in a chamber to cool them down. Once cooled, they were ground immediately, and all bitterness was gone, as Roger and Bruce enjoyed a delicious cup of coffee.

After the coffee was done, they made a marinade for chicken using cold-brewed espresso. Bruce’s friend Andy Hill brought in his smoker on wheels that he built himself from re-purposed materials. Because the chicken had another hour to smoke, Andy brought along a few briskets for them to snack on while they waited, and immediately got Roger’s attention. Of course, the brisket was marinated in Bruce’s coffee, and everything was smoky and delicious.

When Roger left, he traveled to Louisiana, on the outskirts to LaPlace, where he found Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse Restaurant. David Rauch is the co-owner of the restaurant that has been around over sixty years. Some years back, the entire place burned down, so David built it back up using safer methods to ensure it does not happen again. Inside the smokehouses, the walls are black, because David seasoned each one to get them ready to take on the best of the meat. Roger helped David load up the smokers with Andouille sausage, chickens and turkey necks, and he learned a few tricks too, not to hang the meat directly over the fire, leaving spaces in the racks for just that reason.

In the next smoker, they filled with tasso and smoked sausage. When it was finished, David showed Roger how to recognize when the sausage and meats were done. If they did not come to his exact specifications, they were left in to smoke until done. He then showed Roger their Andouille chips, they slice and fry; Roger called them potato chips with bacon on crack! Then he made a poboy for Roger using mayo on top and bottom of soft bread, then added smoked sausage grilled to perfection, tomato and lettuce, and both Roger and David chowed down on this episode of “Man Fire Food.”