Go Southern This Summer With 5 Alarm Backyard BBQ
You know when you watch the Food Network and the host manages to pull off some amazing summer barbeque feast, complete with decadent dishes like smoked brisket, saucy spareribs and pulled pork, along with some solid sides … all inside of an hour-long show? Yeah, well, it actually doesn’t work that way in real life. But you knew that.
Good barbeque takes a loooong time – like all-day long – and usually requires equipment we don’t have and probably don’t want. (Since, honestly, we’d rather splurge on a new Vitamix than an outdoor smoker.)
Enter 5 Alarm Backyard BBQ & Catering founded by Curtis Barnes, a guy who has years of experience feeding a seriously hungry crowd – the Englewood firefighter has been cooking his signature barbeque for his firehouse comrades for years. “I started using the guys at the firehouse as my ‘test dummies, to see if I was doing it right,” he says. “And they were receptive to it.” After completing some barbeque classes to up his game and becoming a certified BBQ competition judge with the Kansas City Barbeque Society, the Teaneck resident launched his service in 2011 to bring authentic, Southern-style BBQ to us Jerseyites.
Six years in, 5 Alarm’s business is booming as locals look to the barbeque aficionado to cook up feast we can’t always get around here. “I’ve learned from pitmasters in Georgia, Kansas City, Boston, and tried to incorporate it into my ow style,” says Barnes, who usually spends about seven hours cooking a brisket or whole pork shoulder over pecan wood he has sent up from Virginia.”
5 Alarm caters everything from Super Bowl parties to family reunions to corporate events and, of course, summer backyard barbeques. Barnes usually requires a 30-person minimum and rates start at around $23 a person for two meats (in addition to the pork and award-winning brisket and ribs, he also does a mean BBQ chicken) and two sides ranging from coleslaw to baked beans to macaroni salad. The sky’s the limit though, and you can add on from there, tacking on basic stuff like hamburgers and hot dogs for the kids, shrimp skewers for your pescetarian friend, and a variety of starters that party-goers can pick on as the festivities get going, including wings, fruit platters, and cheese plates. 5 Alarm even does a whole (150-pound!) hog extravaganza that can feed 80 people.
And if you’re looking to get even more into the barbeque spirit, you can pay to have Barnes and his team cook onsite. “Some people like to see it in motion and the smoke and everything,” he says, “so we can definitely do that.” You won’t be able to pretend you made it all yourself, in that case, but c’mon, were you really fooling anyone to begin with?
5 Alarm Backyard BBQ, 201.503.4360, www.5alarmbackyardbbq.com