Fast Food

Little Caesars’ New Smokehouse Pizza Is Topped With Beef Brisket & Pulled Pork, A BBQ Lover’s DREAM


There’s a soft spot in my even softer belly for Little Caesars. The idea of getting a deep-dish pizza and a bag of Crazy Bread in less than 2 minutes just warms my heart.

Little Caesars has now gone and appealed to the barbecue enthusiast in me. The pizza chain has added a new Smokehouse Pizza that would turn any meat lover’s head. Lil’ C throws pulled pork, beef brisket, Applewood-smoked bacon, and BBQ sauce on top of a Smokehouse seasoned crust.

The pizza is also caked with a gooey layer of mozzarella and Muenster cheeses.

What’s more impressive is the beef brisket and pulled pork are smoked for 8-10 and 10-12 hours, respectively. The Smokehouse will be available beginning Feb. 27 at all participating Little Caesars locations. From 4-8pm, it will also be a Hot-N-Ready option for customers.

Restaurants Video

You’ll Want To Lasso This Mac And Cheese Stuffed BRISKET BURRITO

When I think Texas-style BBQ, I think of hearty, tender brisket, awesome smoked sausages, and creamy mac and cheese on the side.

Turns out I don’t have to go Texas to get all three of those things at once. I can get them wrapped up and on-the-go in Huntington Park, CA, a Los Angeles suburb.

Instagram user GrubFiend pointed us to Ray’s BBQ and their monstrous Brisket Burrito. This bad boy comes loaded with everything you’d want in a Texas barbecue-inspired burrito. It starts with a mac-and-cheese base, barbecued beans, tender smoked brisket, and Jalapeno-cheddar sausage links that the owner, Rene “Ray” Ramirez, brings in from Texas. The whole thing then gets wrapped into a flour tortilla, creating a monstrous fusion masterpiece of barbecue and burritos, all-in-one.


While this may be a fusion item, it’s based on some of the most authentic Texas-style barbecue in the greater Los Angeles area. Rene “Ray” Ramirez, opened up Ray’s in 2014, and it’s quickly turned into one of the top places to get Texan brisket and baby back ribs in SoCal. It’s drawn comparisons to other famous BBQ places in the country, including Franklin’s BBQ in Austin, which is often considered to be one of barbecue’s gold standards.

Ray’s BBQ is already a pretty popular spot in Los Angeles, and is only open for a few hours a day Tuesday through Saturday. Their official hours are from 10-4, but they will close earlier if they sell out, presenting a unique challenge of trying to get your hands on some Ray’s brisket before it’s gone for the day.

If you go to Ray’s, grab one of these burritos to get the full Texas barbecue experience — all wrapped up in a hefty, handheld smorgasbord of flavor.

Cravings Deals Restaurants

For One Day, Dickey’s Barbecue Is Giving Away A Free Pound Of Meat

Looking for a mouthful of meat? Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is holding a pretty sweet deal on any of their barbecued meats this weekend, reports Brand Eating. For any pound of meat purchased, you can get a second pound for free.

While the meats may vary depending on the location, the restaurant chain offers up to eight types of barbecued meats: chicken, jalapeño cheddar kielbasa sausage, Polish-style kielbasa sausage, turkey, honey ham, pork ribs, pulled pork, and beef brisket.

The deal will only be available on Saturday, Jan. 21. All you have to do is sign up to their mailing list, to which you will receive a coupon for the deal to present on the day of.

You bet your hickory-smoked buns we’ll be there getting a pound of brisket.

Culture Video

North Korean Refugees Try American BBQ For The First Time [WATCH]

We’ve written about DigitalSojuTV in the past. These are the dudes behind such videos as Korean Girls Try authentic Mexican food for the first time and the three iconic types of American pizza for the first time.

While the reactionary videos are no doubt amusing, the popular YouTube channel has decided to dig a little deeper into their newest piece of content.

For their latest, a panel of four North Korean refugees are taken to a restaurant in South Korea where they get to try American barbecue for the first time in their lives. Trying barbecue for the first time is truly a life-changing experience in itself, so the producers didn’t want to give them anything less than amazing, authentic food.

To do so, they tapped pitmaster Augustin Flores of Sweet Oak in Wonju, South Korea. Flores, half Korean himself, is a classically-trained chef who was also taught to barbecue by celebrity pitmasters Harry Soo (winner of BBQ Pitmasters season one), Myron Mixon (four-time barbecue World Champion), and the late Konrad Haskins (BBQ Institute, Texas).

Among the meats they try are pulled pork, a pulled pork slider, beef brisket, burnt ends, beef ribs, Texas-German sausage, smoked chicken, a plethora of classic BBQ sides, and popular sauces. In short, this was a glorious crash course into the world of American BBQ.

As the group eats, they recall stories of life in North Korea and the hardships they had to endure. This includes everything from minuscule rations, eating dog meat, and the possibility of being executed for consuming beef.

Check out the incredibly beautiful video to hear some heartbreaking stories of life in North Korea while learning more about the flavorful culture of American BBQ.


I Tried Smoking Brisket At My Desk Job And Here’s What Went Down

Working at Foodbeast, I get a lot of freedom to be creative and pursue a lot of different passions while I’m on the clock.

One thing I recently discovered I loved was barbecue. There’s something so relaxing about throwing a fat beef brisket and some wood chips into a smoker and letting it sit for an entire day. Finally, once it’s done, the payoff is always worth the wait.


Because weekends are pretty much reserved for loved ones and running errands, I don’t really have much time to smoke some barbecue.

CharBroil hooked us up with an electric smoker a few weeks ago, one of the tremendous perks of working in food media, and I’ve been itching to use it. While a charcoal dude myself, the convenience of having an electric grill in an office space was too tempting to leave untouched. I decided to try my hand at smoking some meat during a full workday at the Foodbeast office.

Here’s how it went down…

8:40 pm (The Night Before)

I come home with two cuts of brisket. After rinsing them off, I throw some whole peppercorns in the blender. I combine the semi-crushed peppercorn with some kosher salt and rub the meat with the seasoning and throw it in the fridge.

After crushing some leftover fried chicken and catching some Monday Night RAW, I set my alarm for the next morning. It’s gonna be a long day.

6:45 am

I arrive at the office, beating the sun by mere minutes. Slept through my alarms.

I throw the meat in the fridge and begin setting up the smoker. Like an idiot, I forget to season the device the night before. Guess I’m losing two hours.

7:17 am

As the smoker sits outside the office burning off its factory fumes, I begin my day by answering some long-overdue emails. There was a struggle with the extension cord and finding a proper adaptor for said cord, but now everything’s set up.

My only concern is that there might be a 30 percent chance of rain between 10-11am. Those odds aren’t too bad, right?


Fingers crossed it’s a dry one today. Sorry, California.

8:22 am

The smoker is still seasoning, I can smell the oils and plastic odors burning off through the door like a pungent scent of what Robot Hell probably smells like. It’s a small price to pay to ensure my meat doesn’t taste bitter. In the meantime, I begin working on my first editorial piece of the day.

Fellow Foodbeast Elie says it’s raining where he’s at. OK, I’m a little nervous.

9:02 am

It started raining. Motherf-…

9:03 am

I create a makeshift cover for the smoker, it only needs to last the five minutes before the cleaning cycle ends. I’ll probably let it cool down inside until the rain stops and kick off the barbecue afterwards.


9:14 am

I take the smoker back inside to cool down, at least until the rain stops. Should be done by 11. Hopefully. As soon as I get back to my second-floor desk, Elie messages us to come to the third floor to work for a bit.


I set my timer for an hour to run back down and check on the weather. Elie smells like stress and Sour Patch Kids.

10:05 am

The smoker is finally preheating and ready to start soon. Marc, our head of video department, is doing some voiceovers so it has to be absolutely silent. Even as I type this, I’m wary of the vein popping in his forehead from the deafening clatter of my keyboard.

Maybe some brisket will cheer him up later.

10:28 am


The meats are in the smoker and the barbecue is underway! It started raining again, but I honestly can’t afford losing more time waiting for it to die down. The cardboard canopy is going back up.

You’re gonna be having beef brisket for dinner, I told myself. I spear the thermometor into the meat and load the wood chips. Today’s weapon of choice: pecan wood.


Elie is busy filming something, so I move my stuff back down to the second floor.

10:54 am

So 7-Eleven has a new breakfast pizza. I decide to walk to the one a couple blocks away and hope they have it. The life of a food writer. I leave Foodbeast developer and barbecue enthusiast, Chris Abouabdo, in charge of the BBQ until my timely return.

11:15 am

Back from 7-Eleven, they ran out of those pizzas, but I’ll be back early tomorrow morning to get my hands on some. On the plus side, Starbuck’s new Sous Vide Egg Bites are in stock and available. Gonna pick some up on my way back to the office.

11:55 am

Smoke’s pouring into the office from the outside. No one’s complaining so far because the smell is pretty delicious. Hopefully they don’t get tired of it in the hours to come.

Also got my first story of the day published. Writing about the most gluttonous things people have done at a buffet really makes me want to take a lunch break.

1:03 pm


The rain is too intense. As much as I’d like some timely BBQ, nothing good can happen from leaving an electric smoker outside in the rain. Moved the smoker back inside, powered it down, and dried it off. To be continued, for now.

2:01 pm

Lost an hour keeping the smoker from getting soaked, but now there’s some blue in the sky. While the tenderness of my meat will DEFINITELY be affected, I’m gonna bump the temperature up a bit to catch myself up.

Now we play the waiting game.

To occupy myself, I edit some photos I took last week for NOODS NOODS NOODS. Before you cry it’s Sodom and Gomorrah over here at Foodbeast, NOODS is simply an upcoming Asian food festival we’re hosting this weekend.

Tickets are still on sale, by the way.

4:01 pm

Got a story up about Starbucks’ Sous Vide Eggs. They were surprisingly delightful. Here’s a photo for reference:


The meat is now foiled up to ensure that the cooking temperature continues to rise. Only a few hours left! All I’ve had to eat today were these egg bites…

6:23 pm

Took the brisket out of the smoker. I was initially going to let it sit for half an hour, but my coworkers could smell the flavorful meat from three floors up and came trampling down the stairs.

They were hungry.


Aforementioned barbecue expert Chris poked the meat with his finger and gave the OK to cut into it.

6:25 pm



6:50 pm

After a hearty dinner of beef brisket, white bread, and pickles, everyone present had a smile on their face and a mouthful of food. Not sure if the meat was actually good, or if they were just starving, but I’ll take the compliments. The meat was a little tough on one of the cuts, but it didn’t matter. My barbecue cravings were satiated.

7:21 pm

Packing up. It was a 12+ hour day, but I had a blast smoking meat at work. There’s nothing that makes you feel more accomplished than toughing out mother nature and ending the day with a belly full of smoked brisket with some of your closest friends and colleagues.


As stressful as this job can get sometimes, days like this help me remember how fortunate I am to have a profession that would let me barbecue in the middle of work like it’s no big deal.

Maybe next time I’ll roast a pig’s head or something.

Culture Video

Watch Irish People Try Hanukkah Foods For The First Time

There are still a few days left in Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights that celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple. To learn more about the holiday festival, the folks over at Facts decided to try some of the most iconic dishes eaten during Hanukkah.

Classic Hanukkah dishes include latke (fried potato cakes), kugel (egg noodle casserole), Hanukkah brisket, and sufganiyah (fried jelly doughnuts). This is arguably one of Facts’ most delicious videos.

The dishes were pretty well-received, probably because the majority of them were deep-fried. Who doesn’t love fried foods? The crunch on those potato latke’s left us salivating.

Check out the video above if you ever wondered what foods are celebrated during the Festival of Lights.

Fast Food

People Are Losing Their Minds Over Little Caesars New Brisket Pizza

It looks like Little Caesars is trying to low key get into the BBQ game, smoking up some brisket and throwing it on their pizza.

These pizzas were spotted in both Texas and Kentucky, as Little Caesars seems to be selling them at $9 for a large, according to Brand Eating.

It reportedly has a dry rub-like seasoned crust, with a smoky barbecue sauce, brisket, pulled pork, and applewood-smoked bacon.

little-caesars-smokehouse-pizza-menu reported that the pizza is part of a Hot-N-Ready deal, so it looks like they might be serving up the brisket just as God intended, under a heat lamp and at an affordable price.

While we can’t imagine Little Caesar’s making a good brisket for $9, it seems like people are genuinely loving it, as evident through Twitter and even Instagram.





You have to excuse our reluctance to believe that the glorious Caesar can put together some decent barbecue, but if people are raving about it, there has to be something to it.


h/t+picthx brand eating

Cravings Culture Features Restaurants

California Is One Of The Most Underrated BBQ Scenes In The Country


I’ve never had the honor of trying the barbecue from Texas, the much-acclaimed cuisine around these Foodbeast hallways, only being in the state long enough to connect to my next flight. Before I set out on that adventure, I needed to take a look at my own home state and understand what kind of amazing barbecue California had to offer.

People like to hype how great Texas BBQ is, and I’m not here to disagree, but the great Golden State can definitely hold its own against the best of them when it comes to smoking meat.

As I embarked on my journey of barbecue enlightenment, I met three pitmasters along the way.

Stoked! California BBQ


Jason Espiritu is the owner of Stoked! California BBQ. I first met him at Smorgasburg LA, a weekly food festival held in Downtown Los Angeles where social media-savvy patrons wait in line for Instagram fodder and ice cream.

Stoked! California BBQ doesn’t have a brick and mortar location, but you can find them on weekends at Smorgasburg LA.

It was blistering on Stoked’s inaugural day. The sun engulfed the long line of patrons, hungry to try the booth’s tri-tip. The heat didn’t deter them, neither did the wait. It was from Jason that I learned of Santa Maria-style BBQ.

Born in the Santa Maria Valley, Espiritu was a part of the fabric of a close-knit community. The area is known for its agriculture – primarily cattle ranches, strawberries, and a fine selection of wine. With a population of about 100,000 people, the valley holds a small town vibe, the kind where it seems like everyone pretty much knows each other.

What drew Jason to the BBQ business was, in fact, the community.

Growing up in that environment, you could look in any direction and see smoke lofting through the air. Get close enough and you smell the meat and red oak whiff around you. Get even closer and you for sure hear laughter and good times surrounding the BBQ pit. Lucky enough to be invited in for a bite? You’re guaranteed a stuffed belly and a happy heart.


As a young man from Santa Maria, Espiritu’s story is similar to many others before him.

Every young man in Santa Maria eventually learns his way around the unique style of a Santa Maria BBQ Grill, so the story of how I got into BBQ is similar to so many others before me. You grow up eating the cuisine that your fathers and family would work together to cook. And eventually you are called on to learn how to split the wood, start the fire, stoke the coals, operate the grill grate, and figure out the proper cooking temperature… until you are finally entrusted with cooking the meat.

They key to the meat, he explains, is timing:

It’s not only about seasoning it properly, but it’s very important to NOT OVERCOOK it. Any resident of our central coast will tell you that a pink, medium rare is key.

There are four things Stoked! focuses on when it comes to their barbecue:

The wood, Red Oak, is native to California and produces a slow burn ideal for the cooking process.

The dry rub, accentuates the flavor of the meat with a simple mix of salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Jason does not use sauce.

For the cut of meat, they use tri-tip because of its particularly beefy flavor and marbling.

Finally, the smoking method utilizes a Santa Maria Style BBQ Grill. It’s an open pit with an adjustable grate that allows you to lower and raise the cooking surface so as to adjust the cooking temperature to one’s liking. When the smoke’s characteristics and flavor are absorbed, you can lower the grate and get a sear on your meat before serving.

Traditional side dishes paired with the meat are pinquito beans (a smaller cousin to the pinto bean, native to central California), garlic bread (to mop up all the meat’s juices), and a strawberry dessert of some sort (as strawberries are a major crop of the area).

To Jason, it’s purpose that drives him. His food is about sharing an experience, evoking an emotion and ultimately making people happy while staying true to the values of his home state.


Jason doesn’t claim his BBQ brings anything different or new to the table. Rather, he wants to be an ambassador to the form of Santa Maria style BBQ that encompasses a rich tradition and history developed in California.

Stoked! California BBQ doesn’t have a brick and mortar location, but you can find them on weekends at Smorgasburg LA.

The Smoking Ribs


Kenny Tran discovered his love of BBQ at the age of 14.

In his youth, his mother drove him to a Food4Less because beef ribs had been on sale for about 50 cents per pound. As the matron Tran went shopping for groceries, she tasked her son with grabbing the beef ribs.

Standing in the meat aisle for what seemed like forever, an elderly lady walked up to him and gave him some words of wisdom:

Oh honey, just grab any rack, boil em for 40 minutes and grill over high heat while basting your favorite BBQ sauce. That’ll get you started!

Tran said he never knew that that moment would drive his life’s passion. Though through refinement, his technique has also grown vastly from the simple boil, grill, and blast with sauce.

Because of emission laws in California, Tran can’t really duplicate BBQ from any other state. His restaurant, The Smoking Ribs, has to work with gas stick burners indoor for commercial or stand alone buildings.

Kenny reserves the traditional pit-smoking style of barbecue for catering events.


To keep his customers engaged, however, the pitmaster does switch out the wood and flavor profiling every quarter.

What sets Kenny apart is his openness to growth, something you don’t see much of in such a traditional style of cuisine.

People in general are smart and always have great new innovative ideas to change or grow. I don’t have all the answers. It’s okay to not have all the answers. I’m still a student of the BBQ industry and business. We all have room for growth. That’s what makes our brand special.

Ray’s BBQ


Ray Ramirez taught himself BBQ to save his life.

It’s about loving what I do and doing it to the best of my abilities.

In 2011, after being laid off from his job as a personal banker, Ramirez was worried he’d fall into depression. He picked up barbecuing as a hobby, something to do to keep him mind busy. Ramirez soon found that he had a knack for it, and started to learn as much as he could about this brave new world.

He began his barbecuing businesses smoking meat in his backyard and, after saving up enough cash, threw everything into a space in Huntington Park, CA.

While initially starting with gimmicky items like the pulled pork or macaroni and cheese burritos, they were quickly nixed to focus on traditional items like brisket and pork ribs.

What sets Ray apart from other BBQ restaurants is the quality of meats he uses. The restaurant is known for serving very high-end meats, like Duroc Pork. Considered the “Angus” of pork, Duroc is specially bred to have a redder tint and more marbling. This means that the pork stays tender and juicy as you cook it, more so than commodity pork.


Ray takes a very hands-on approach to his restaurant, being the only one allowed to touch the pits and smoke the meat. If he’s sick, or decides to take a vacation, the restaurant closes down and you’re shit out of luck.

Ramirez can always be seen making rounds throughout his restaurant, taking the time to have genuine conversations with each of his customers.

You are not going to my shop, you are going to my house. And to me you are not a customer you are family.


Each pitmaster taught me a few things about California BBQ that they’ve learned through their years doing what they love:

Community. Growth. Passion.

One day, I will take that trip out to Texas. There’s already a bucket list of barbecue restaurants I intend to visit and pitmasters I would love to meet. Until that day comes, however, there’s a treasure trove of smoked meat and genuine people right here in California, ready and willing to share a bit of their character, one emblematic smoke ring at a time.

I’ll proudly stand behind you, California. Just keep smoking that plump, delicious brisket.