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The Backyard Chef | BBQ Brisket Country Boy Style!


Photos: Edward Biamonte | Story: Noelle Harman

375 pounds of meat (beef, pulled pork, ham); 12 gallons of baked beans; 10 gallons of Asian cole slaw; and 8 gallons of dirty rice (cooked in a smoker) – it all adds up to a feast for the 600 + guests that are expected to attend the annual Fly-In hosted by Terry Smith and Robert Kinder at Gimlin Airport, conveniently located in Terry’s back yard in Ozark, MO.  Guests can fly, drive, bicycle, or walk to the event.  “However they can get here” Terry comments, “Everyone’s welcome”.


A commercial pilot for over 40 years, Terry ran an air taxi (charter) service out of Poplar Bluff, MO for many years, flew on the fire patrol for the conservation department and for the Sheriff’s department (drug enforcement division).


Terry’s “other” job until he retired 5 years ago, was as a Tax Auditor for the State of Missouri.  His job was to audit the routine business filings and collect money that the business owners owed as a result of the audit findings.  Despite the nature of his work, Terry says “I never really made any enemies.  Some of the people I audited have become friends of mine”.


For the last several years, Terry has enlisted Robert Kinder as the “backyard chef” for his Fly-In Barbecues and other impromptu events.  Owner/Operator of Yellow Jacket BBQ, Robert is a busy man.  He participates in 5-10 Barbecue competitions each year within a 350 mile radius of Springfield, MO, operates his catering business, and – a machinist by trade – works full time for Central States Industrial, a company that manufactures sanitary piping for food and pharmaceutical industries.

Robert’s passion for BBQ has earned him dozens of awards in the 8 years he’s participated in KCBS sanctioned competitions.  His training includes two different schools – School of Southern Barbecue (Memphis Style) 9 years ago and Old School Versus High Tech Barbecue (Kansas City style) 4 years ago.  Robert describes his style of BBQ as a “hybrid of Kansas City and Oklahoma Styles”.  He adds that his favorite meat to cook is beef brisket, but Terry comments “his ribs are really good”.


Terry Smith and Robert Kinder were connected through a friend of Terry’s who was working for a neighbor of Robert’s and happened to smell the barbecue that he was practicing with for an upcoming competition.  He walked up to Robert, asked him about the barbecue and then said “I have a friend that you need to meet”.  He then told Terry “You need this guy to cook for you”. That meeting led to both a friendship and working relationship.  Terry and Robert plan events, collaborate on new recipes, and attend competitions together.  Terry helps with marketing for Yellow Jacket BBQ via his annual Fly-In community BBQ events.  It’s the perfect place for guests to sample the offerings of the “Pit Master” as well as pick up catering menus to use for a future event.


In addition to collaborating on recipes, Terry Smith serves as the main “taste tester”.  Robert brags on Terry saying “he’s really good, and gives honest criticism to help make the product the best it can be”.  Terry also makes ribs and claims his secret is “I go short on the sugar.  A lot of folks like it that way”.

Robert credits his success in catering and competitions to two things – “First of all, you have to have a good piece of meat.  Then, fresh spices are equally important”.  Robert makes his own rubs and barbecue sauce and competes in the KC category of BBQ (chicken, pork shoulder/ pork butt, ribs and brisket).  He does admit to having difficulty when it comes to competing with chicken.  “It’s just a tough category to win” he explains.


Of the competitions Robert participates in, two favorites are Rock’n Freedom in Seymour, MO and the Chest to Chest competition Labor Day weekend in Great Bend, Kansas.  Chest to Chest is an invitational competition is held in conjunction with the county fair, making it an enjoyable weekend for Robert, his wife Tammy, and daughters Lisa and Crystal.  Robert smiles when talking about the competitions.  “You get to know a lot of great people.  It’s a safe place to let your kids run around.  It’s what community ought to be when you’re at home”.  Terry also attends many competitions to support his friend.  “It’s fun. There are no strangers there”.


Robert has logged more than 150 recipes in his computer and says that he may one day publish a cookbook.  He has donated recipes for churches to use in their cookbooks.

Other future plans for Yellow Jacket BBQ include working with schools and non-profit groups on fundraisers.  “We can work together to provide a sale consisting of smoked pulled pork by the pound that can be eaten right away or flash frozen for use at a later date”, says Robert.  “The group can pre-sell (minimum quantities apply) then we fill the order.  The group makes a profit of 1/3 of the sales price and all business stays local”.  For more information on Yellow Jacket BBQ catering and fundraising, contact Robert Kinder at 417-576-4856 or via email at rkinder001@centurytel.net.  To make ribs at home, see below for Robert’s recipes and tips.

Yellow Jacket BBQ Rib-Cooking Timeline

Preheat Pit to 240 degrees.  For indirect cooking

Raw Preparation:  Place slab of ribs, meat side down, on table.  Slide knife under the membrane and against the bone to separate the membrane.  With a dry paper towel, grasp the edge of the thin membrane and pull.  The entire membrane should separate from the rib.

About 30 minutes before cooking, put on your mustard glue (see recipe) and your favorite rib seasoning.  Cook for 3 hours meat side up.

Second Stage:

1 sheet heavy duty aluminum foil about 24” long

1/4 c. apple juice

1/2 c. Yellow Jacket Original BBQ sauce or your favorite sauce

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/8 c. honey

Put the brown sugar, honey, and BBQ sauce on the meat side, and then flip ribs over on the foil.  Cup the foil up, and put the apple juice in the foil and fold closed to seal.  Put back on cooker for 90 minutes

Finishing Glaze:

1 c. Yellow Jacket Original BBQ Sauce or your favorite sauce

1/2 c. honey

Remove from foil and place ribs in the pit, meat side up.  Brush on the finishing glaze and repeat two more times, ten minutes apart.  30 minutes total cooking time.

Mustard Sauce Rub Glue

12 ounce can of flat beer

4 c. Yellow mustard

3 t. Louisiana style hot sauce

1/2 c. brown sugar

1 t. salt

1/2 t. cayenne pepper

Award Winning Rib Rub

1/2 c. paprika

1/4 c. kosher salt, finely ground

2 T. ground cumin

2 T. black pepper

1/4 c. granulated garlic

2 T. cayenne

1/2 c. turbinado sugar, finely ground (sugar in the raw)

1/4 c. granulated onion

Grind kosher salt and turbinado sugar in a spice grinder.  Measure the salt and sugar after it has been ground and mix with the other ingredients.

Award winning Beef / brisket rub:

Olive Oil

1 c. Kosher Salt

1/3 c. Black Pepper (restaurant grind)

1/3 c. Granulated Garlic

The Olive Oil is the glue for the seasonings.  Cook at 225 degrees until an internal temp is 195 degrees (about 45 minutes per pound)

Yellow Jacket Shoulder Rub

¼ c. Granulated brown sugar

½ c. Turbinado sugar (raw sugar)

½ c. Paprika

1/3 c. Garlic salt

1/3 c. Salt

1 T. Chili powder

1 t. Cayenne pepper

1 t. Black pepper

1 t. Oregano

1 t. Ground cumin

1 t. Ground celery seed

Cook at 225 degrees until an internal temp is 190 degrees (about 40 minutes per pound).

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