All That's Trucking

I Came to an Engine Teardown and Learned About Barbecue

May 14, 2014

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The rolling BBQ weighs about 4,000 pounds. Want one similar to it? It'll cost about $16,000.
The rolling BBQ weighs about 4,000 pounds. Want one similar to it? It'll cost about $16,000.

So what do engine oil and competition pit barbecue have in common?

Shell Rotella is debuting a custom-built BBQ rolling pit grill at Shell SuperRigs this week in Charlotte, N.C., where contestants will get a barbecue dinner Friday night.

Trucking journalists and Shell and Clarke Power Group personnel in Greensboro, N.C., got a sneak peek at the rig as part of the Shell Rotella teardown event.

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Inspired by Shell's relationship with the BBQ Pitmasters show on Destination America, the barbeque pit will be used for industry and customer events. The pit, which can cook enough barbeque to feed 100 or more people, was built by champion barbeque grillers, Pitt’s and Spitt’s.

Houston-based, Pitt’s and Spitt’s has more than 75 years of combined experience designing and fabricating custom competition barbeque trailers, grills, pits and smokers. The Pitt's & Spitt's World Champion Cooking Team has won over 30 barbecue and cooking awards, and Shell Rotella is a sponsor of the team this year.

Shell and Pitt's and Spitt's are practically neighbors, both being located in the Houston, Texas, area, and in the Lone Star State one of the favorite things to barbecue is beef.

My not-so-winning BBQ team
My not-so-winning BBQ team

So I and my fellow journalists from trucking, construction and farming magazines found ourselves divided up into teams to see who could come up with the best BBQ brisket rub. We dumped in salt, pepper, sugar, garlic, onion, cumin, paprika, tasted it, adjusted the seasonings, tasted again, dumped in some more, until we were satisfied. The BBQ pros from Pitt's and Spitt's then smoked them overnight and we got to have a BBQ judging the next day for lunch in a break from the teardown event.

My team tied for third out of four teams (which is either a bronze medal or coming in last, depending on how you look at it), but all the rubs were good and it was a fun experience.

We learned there's really a science behind the seasonings used, although I dare say not as complex as the science that goes into heavy-duty engine oils. (I've become fairly knowledgeable about oils over the years, but I sure do wish at times that I had taken more chemistry in school!)

Robert Smith from Pitt's and Spitt's told the audience that we should always strive to be "the best on the block."

Robert Smith from Pitt's and Spitt's shows off BBQ brisket waiting for lunch in the custom-made Shell Rotella rolling barbecue pit.
Robert Smith from Pitt's and Spitt's shows off BBQ brisket waiting for lunch in the custom-made Shell Rotella rolling barbecue pit.

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Author Bio

Deborah Lockridge

Editor in Chief

All That's Trucking blog is just that – the editor's take on anything and everything related to trucking, with the help of guest posts from other HDT editors. Author Deborah Lockridge's career as an award-winning trucking journalist started in 1990.

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