From brisket to ribs to sourdough biscuits,Bill Weems cooks with the best of 'em.
The Amarillo, TX, farmer and rancher has a hobby and part-time profession that has garnered him a wall of plaques and certificates, signifying him as a barbecue king and chuck wagon cooking champion.
Weems — always in demand at ranch rodeos, by corporate teams entered in barbecue cook-offs, at picnics and at other functions — has some secret recipes that could rival even Emeril or Paula Deen for down-home cookin'.
He's won more than his share of first-place ribbons at chuck wagon competitions as far west as Scottsdale, AZ. He's held up the winning plaque for first-place ribs at barbecue cook-offs featuring over 100 teams. His chuck wagon spread has even been featured on the Food Network.
“We enjoy the camaraderie,” says Weems, who grows wheat, grain sorghum “and probably corn in 2008 with prices the way they are. It's fun to meet people while you're doing the cooking.”
Special dishes include his famous brisket, beef tenderloin, fallin'-off-the-bone ribs and even smoked salmon, which has won more than one “other meat” category in competition.
His secret for the perfect brisket: “Find one that'snot too fatty so you don't have to do so much trimming.” And for ribs in a competition: “Look for bones that are straight. When you cut them, it looks good for presentation.”
His farm and 250-head Angus ranch is located just east of Amarillo. Part of it is on the rim of Palo Duro Canyon State Park, sometimes called the Grand Canyon of Texas.
“It's a perfect place to host cookouts at the chuck wagon,” says Weems, also famous for mouth-watering dutch-oven-baked breads and cobblers.
Just make sure you bring your appetite and have plenty of napkins.