Here we are again. The Doctor has a little request for you who write to me with questions on where to find something. Please indicate where you are located. It will help me a lot in trying to locate a source for you.

Let's get to the patients:

Turkey Novice writes: Dr. John! I have a 2-burner gas grill and want to grill a turkey. The turkey is frozen and store bought. I have no idea how to grill a turkey. Please advise.

Hey Turkey Novice: Best I can tell you is to go back to and look up my article from 1999 titled "Turkey Time." I think that will get you pointed in the right direction. Good luck and thanks for writing.
Dr. John

Lin writes: I read a lot about what judges look for in "red chili" but what do they look for in competition "green chili"?

Hey Lin: We don't do much green chili around here. We do make a little for personal use now and then. I would assume fixin' competition chili verde would be like chili rojo. First thing is to not to offend anyone. Don't get it too hot with the peppers. The judges don't want to find anything strange looking in it, such as gristle or big chunks of vegetables. You want it to smell good. A late addition of a little cumin helps there, added about thirty minutes before turn-in time. An old boy who ought to know told me that if you mix up a little fresh lime juice and some dark brown sugar and add about a tablespoon to the pot just before you turn it in, it perks the whole thing up considerable.

Be sure and get enough salt in your chili. Usually takes more than you think it should have. Try some of your chili over-salted, and then taste it the regular way and you can taste the difference.

Hope this helps. Thanks for writing.
Dr. John

Louis writes: We are going to have a little Pig Roast for the neighborhood -- about 150 forks dropping by the driveway. Where can I find a dressed pig in the Dallas/Richardson area? How many pounds of dressed pig per person?

Hey Louis: Check with the butcher at your big supermarket. He should be able to find a whole hog for you. For Texas appetites, I would have one-half pound of dressed hog per person. Thanks for writing.
Dr. John

Betty writes: Hi. We are the new owners of a very large smoker. I would really like some info. How long do you leave mullet in a brine before smoking? How long do you smoke them? We cooked 20 pounds of chicken and 4 Boston butts and they turned out great, 3 hours for the chicken and 4 hours for the butts. Also, do you know of a place to buy seasonings in larger bottles?

Hey Betty: My information on mullet says the filets should be in the brine about 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Then you rinse and dry them before they go on the smoker. If you are using the whole fish, I would think about doubling the time. Mullet filets should be done in about an hour at 150 degrees in the smoker. At 200 degrees, about 45 minutes. Of course, when they flake easily with a fork, they are done. For spices, try They are an old, reliable Texas firm. Thanks for writing.
Dr. John

Steve writes: Hey Doc, my name is Steve and I need a BBQ recipe for an eye of round beef roast. I can't eat roasts from the oven anymore. It has to be BBQ.

Steve: Sorry about being so long in getting back to you. Tourist season just opened and I'm trying to bag my limit before they get spooky. That round is on the lean side so you are going to have to apply baste as you barbecue it. Start off seasoning it up as you like. About every 45 minutes give it a good mopping with the following.

Mix this all together in a non-reactive pot and simmer about 30 minutes. Keep it warm. This ought to do it. Good luck and thanks for writing.
Dr. John

Tvandefife writes: We would like to deep fry a pork loin using our turkey cooker. How long should it take to deep fry a 2.5-pound roast?

Tvandefife: Oh Gosh. Not having done this, I'll just have to give you my best guesstimate. The oil should be 350 degrees. Make sure the meat is up to room temperature before you start frying it. I would flour it, dip it in beaten egg and then pat bread crumbs all over it. Or flour it like chickenfried. You can go without the coating if you like.

I would say check it after five minutes. It's not going to take very long. Make a small slit with a sharp knife. If it's still pink in the center, give it another couple of minutes. Let me know how it works out. Thanks for writing.
Dr. John

Tammie writes: Hi, I saw you give some advice about a half beef, ok. I am looking at cooking a whole beef. I can't find any recipes on the web or in books so I need some help. I have cooked several whole hogs. That was not a problem. We get up early to prep and get it in the cooker. If you can help please email me back. Thanks.

Tammie: Check out: You'll find a lot more there than I can tell you. Thanks for writing.
Dr. John

Dug writes: I am told I should marinate the chicken breasts I'm cooking for a barbecue this weekend. I'm new to cooking and I don't know where to start. What is marinating and how do I do it? We like our chicken really really hot.

Hey Dug: Mix this up:

Wash your chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. One hour before you get ready to cook, put the chicken and the marinade mix in a big enough zip-lock plastic bag. Squish it around so it gets all over the chicken. Let it set at room temperature for the hour. Remove the chicken and put it on the grill. Save the marinade in a bowl and every time you turn the chicken, give it a brushing with the marinade. The marinade tenderizes the meat with the acid and adds flavor. In the future you may want to experiment with different spices in the mix. Thanks for writing.
Dr. John