Local rock star barbecue pitmaster to be featured on Food Network

Yes, I’m not kidding, and no, you’re not seeing a repeat column. Another Kingwood resident will represent Texas and Kingwood on a national television network; that’s two months in a row we have cooking stars from Kingwood on national programs. This time it is on Food Network’s “Chopped.” The show will be featuring best pro pitmasters and our own Sloan Rinaldi will be one of the contestants. The series will run July 31-Aug. 28 and will feature four pitmasters from four states: North Carolina, Tennessee, Kansas and Texas.

Sloan Rinaldi and Karen Boughton at the launch of Texas Q BBQ Sauce at H-E-B.

Sloan, a fourth-generation, award-winning pitmaster, is no stranger to success with her pit creations as well as her famous barbecue sauce. She created and landed a spot in all H-E-B stores about one-and-a-half years ago with her original recipe “Texas Q” BBQ Sauce. This sauce was H-E-B’s top barbecue sauce in sales in 2016. You can find the original as well as her new sauce, “Sweet Heat,” gracing the shelves in all H-E-B grocery stores statewide.

Sloan is not only a Kingwood resident of over 30 years, she is also a local entrepreneur in other arenas. One of her other successful businesses is a local landscape company that she owns. A trivia note … This company was the one that planted all of the graceful live oaks you see on the promenade all up and down West Lake Houston Parkway. But these ventures are not enough for her. Oh yes, there is more.

Not satisfied with being one of the few female pitmasters in the U.S. and owning a successful catering and landscape company, she is reaching out now to open her own brick-and-mortar restaurant. Look for updates on the television program, her sauces, and the timeline of her restaurant on her Facebook page “Texas Q” and at texasq.com.

So, “Please join my barbecue table” as we enjoy some finger lickin' good barbecue and a recipe especially for our readers from Sloan Rinaldi!







Sloan Rinaldi’s Texas Q Competition-Style Ribs


Pork ribs (Note: I always remove the white membrane*)

Store bought Creole seasoning

Yellow mustard

Texas Q BBQ Sauce

Competition-style rub ingredients:

8 oz. brown sugar

1 tablespoon Creole seasoning

1 tablespoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

1-2 teaspoons kosher salt


DIRECTIONS: Slather ribs with yellow mustard front and back. Sprinkle on Creole seasoning front and back. Apply a layer of competition-style rub to front only. Smoke at 250 degrees for four hours. Glaze with Texas Q Original BBQ Sauce and return to pit for 30 min.

Sloan Rinaldi’s Texas Q BBQ Sauce.

* How to remove the membrane: At one end of the rack, slide a dinner/butter knife under the membrane and over a bone. Lift and loosen it until the membrane tears. Grab the edge of the membrane tightly with a paper towel and pull it off. You want it to come off in one whole piece, but it might come off in smaller pieces.

Here is another great recipe. I created this after enjoying ribs at Texas Longhorn restaurant a few years ago…it is a keeper!

Karen’s BBQ Ribs Like Longhorn Steakhouse



4 2-2.5 lb. racks of baby back ribs (membrane removed)

Seasoning for ribs, your choice

2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke

Ingredients for bourbon BBQ sauce:

Texas Q Original BBQ Sauce (1 1/2 jars or sauce of your choice)

3 tablespoons bourbon

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup finely chopped white onion (approx. 1 medium onion)

3 tablespoons minced garlic (approx. 4-5 cloves)

2 cups chili sauce or catsup

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

2 tablespoons molasses

1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce

1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke

1/4 teaspoon tamarind powder or 1 date pitted and chopped (optional)


DIRECTIONS FOR BOURBON BBQ SAUCE: Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, until softened (about five minutes). Stir in all other ingredients and simmer until thickened (about 10 minutes). BBQ sauce is ready to use and can be refrigerated for up to two weeks in a sealed container.

DIRECTIONS FOR RIBS: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Season each rack of baby back ribs generously on both sides with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder or any other seasoning such as barbecue seasoning or Montreal Steak seasoning, seasoning salt, etc. Place two racks, bone side down, in a 12x14x2 baking pan. Combine about two cups of water with three tablespoons of bourbon and two teaspoons of Liquid Smoke. Carefully pour into pan, being careful not to wash off the seasoning. Wrap ribs tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil and place in oven for two hours and 20 minutes. Remove from oven, loosen foil and cool for 30 minutes at room temperature. Drain the liquid, wrap the ribs and refrigerate until ready for grilling (I like to do this one day prior to grilling). When ready to grill, remove from the fridge and let rest 30 minutes. Place racks of ribs “north to south” (opposite of the direction of the grill tray), bone side down on a clean, well-oiled grill at medium heat. Allow ribs to grill about five minutes. Carefully roll entire rack over to continue grilling another three-four minutes. Brush a generous amount of bourbon BBQ sauce on the bone side of the ribs. Turn the ribs again after three-four minutes and brush with more BBQ sauce. Allow the ribs to grill one-two more minutes until the bones sizzle and sauce becomes heated on top. Move the ribs to serving platter and serve with warm BBQ sauce on the side.



Karen Boughton
Author: Karen BoughtonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I grew up in a big, Greek, cooking family. I married my high school sweetheart and soon had three daughters. My husband and I worked in the family’s Greek restaurant, “Zorba’s,” for several years before moving to Baton Rouge and eventually Corpus Christi. There I taught microwave cooking classes for Amana.in studio and on television for three years before moving to Kingwood in the late '80s. I reached out to learn more about regional and international foods, spending 16 years in management in private athletic/dining/country clubs for ClubCorp, where I embraced health and cooking. In 2008 I joined the Tribune Newspapers as food editor, the same time that I became a nutrition advisor and USANA Health Sciences Associate. These two passions have given me better health and the freedom to live life my way.

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