Fueled By Bacon


How lucky can one Grill Master be?  Last Month I hit the Nascar- BBQ’d pork jackpot.  Smithfield, who sponsors the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) car driven by Aric Almirola, asked if I could attend the Daytona 500 and do some grilling demonstrations that focus around their products. 

What they didn’t tell me is that I would be grilling with the team, hanging out with THE KING—Richard Petty, and truly be living the dream of every Nascar and BBQ fan alive.  I have watched this race many times while grilling with Smithfield products, but I had no idea what I was in for.

The red carpet was rolled out for us, or at least in my eyes it was.  I was at the track Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and like a little kid at a candy store, my eyes were bigger than my stomach! 

We took a tour of the RPM team’s trailers and cars, met the team, grilled with the #43 team’s official Chef and true Grill Master—“Spanky”,  grilled with THE KING—Richard Petty and his family, hung out with Aric, and even witnessed a world record set by Matthew Stoney, who ate 182 pieces of bacon in 5 minutes.  This weekend was definitely fueled by bacon.

My portion of the weekend got even better. I conducted four grilling demonstrations that focused on the perfect way to grill ribs, pork shoulder, pork tenderloin, pork chops, and bacon.  Each class was about 30-40 minutes long and had great participation from the audience. 

What amazed me about the weekend was not only how great the people were, but how many barbecue stories were shared and how grilling was such a staple at Nascar events.  

Here are my tips to grill pork—“Fueled By Bacon”


  • Grill them on a low temperature to 150-160 degrees, double wrap them in foil, and put them back on the smoker until they reach 190 degrees.
  • Sauce them at 190 for another 20 minutes before taking them off the grill and enjoying them.

Pork Shoulder:

  • Grill it at a low temperature to 150-160 degrees, double wrap it in foil, and put it back on smoker until it reaches 195 degrees.
  • Let it rest in a dry cooler for 1-2 hours, then pull it apart or shred it, add your favorite sauce, and enjoy.

Pork Tenderloin:

  • Grill it indirect for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees until it reaches an internal temperature of 135-140 degrees.
  • Then, sear for 2 minutes on each side.
  • Finally, let it rest for 5-10 minutes, slice it against the grain of the meat, and enjoy.

Boneless Pork Chops:

  • Grill at medium to medium high heat 3-4 minutes per side for chops about 1 inch thick.  
  • Final internal temperature should be about 140-145 degrees.
  • Let them rest, slice against the grain of the meat, and enjoy.

Bone in Pork Chops:

  • For bone in pork chops, grill bone side down first for 2-3 minutes so it heats the bone to help cook the meat closest to the bone and center.
  • Grill 2-3 minutes per side and take off the grill at 140-145 degrees.
  • Let them rest, slice against the grain of the meat, and enjoy.


  • Grill at medium direct heat, 400-425 degrees, for 3-4 minutes per side directly on the grate.
  • Remove when crisp.
  • Add to a bloody mary, burger, or simply enjoy plain.

Smithfield products are some of the best pork products I have worked with. When I BBQ, I want consistency with my food, grills, bbq rubs, and my final products. 

I love brands like Smithfield because they pay great attention to these steps and also make it really easy to grill things to perfection because of their quality.  Although the #43 car didn’t win that weekend, it wasn’t a complete loss because they are fueled by BACON and will be ready for the next race!

So, make sure when you are headed out to your favorite track, you take things to another level by keeping those Weber grills fired up all weekend long and keep them FUELED by BACON!