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Boss Hogg and the Hog Troff Gang

Who: Boss Hogg (Mark Kennedy)

Concept: Off-site catering, featuring award-winning barbecue

Volume: Boss Hogg feeds 15,000 to 20,000 people a year

Most popular dishes: Boss Hogg's Competition Ribs; Boss Hogg's Iron Skillet Fried Corn (corn, country ham, Oscar Mayer Bacon, green onion, white onion, sugar, jowl grease, butter, bell peppers)

Famous for: Winning 1st place in every category on the national BBQ circuit, including ribs, brisket, coleslaw and potato salad

Famous for saying: "If I can git a fork in your mouth, I gotcha."

Case Study:
Champion Barbecue

A BBQ legend shares his story.

Pitmaster Boss Hogg shares how Kraft helped him become a BBQ champion.

One day, when Mark Kennedy was five, his parents were out caring for his elderly grandparents, his older sister was napping and dinner needed tending to. Just like a lot of great cooks, Kennedy fell in love with cooking while helping his mother in the kitchen. Unlike a lot of great cooks, Kennedy tested his culinary mettle at the age of five, and cooked a family supper that night of fried chicken, homemade biscuits and country gravy. "I'd seen my mama do it—roll the chicken in the flour, make the biscuits, make the gravy, so I did it," says Kennedy, who's better known today as Boss Hogg, a legend on the national barbecue-competition circuit. Apparently, his efforts were pretty well received and his mother added cooking to his chore list. Fast forward three years, and young Kennedy was called to duty once again—this time for an annual church barbecue for 100 guests. "The guy who was supposed to cook got sick," he says. "I said I could do it." And so an eight-year-old boy from the hills of Kentucky cooked ribs, pork butt and chicken over an open fire in the church parking lot. He poked the coals until they gave off just the right heat. He basted the meats with barbecue sauce until they were glistening and perfect. "I knew then that I was hooked on barbecue," he says.

He's been cooking over open flames ever since, taking his famous barbecue across the country and winning awards at every turn: Boss Hogg's winning recipes have even taken him all the way to the World Barbecue Championships in Memphis, where he placed in the top five twice. At one of those events, his barbecue pork ribs beat out 73 domestic and international teams. When he's not competing, he's serving his winning barbecue dishes to his loyal following in Louisville, Kentucky, through his catering company. From corporate events to weddings, Boss Hogg serves crowd-pleasing favorites like pulled pork, beef brisket, and chicken made with Kraft BBQ sauce, coleslaw made with Miracle Whip Dressing, mac 'n cheese, boasting three different Kraft cheeses, and potato salad that features Kraft Mayo Real Mayonnaise.

What makes his barbecue dishes champions?

Boss Hogg has relied on Kraft for more than 40 years. "I've been a Kraft fan my whole life," he says. "To me, Kraft is barbecue." For his winning barbecue sauces, he uses Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce…plus a few proprietary ingredients. "With Kraft, I get a richer, thicker sauce with a deep burgundy color," he says. He also says that Kraft barbecue sauces hold well under high heat. "That's so important! And consistency—knowing that my barbecue base is always going to deliver the same deep flavor and color is really important for recipes on the competition circuit and in the catering business."

Boss Hogg's Business Take Aways

"Kraft barbecue sauces are great for catering. They last a long time without breaking down—even after you add ingredients to them."

"My customers have high expectations about my barbecue. With Kraft, I can deliver the same great results every time."

Secrets from a pitmaster for better BBQ

  1. Use a barbecue sauce that has a thick texture and cooks down with the meat. Inferior sauces will just run off the meat.
  2. To keep protein moist, spray apple juice on it while it's cooking.
  3. Instead of putting water in your smoker's water tray, add more flavor with beer or apple juice.
  4. To get the barbecue flavor beyond skin deep, use a large needle to inject the muscle with either juice or beer.
  5. Know your meat—know how it cooks, how it separates, how to get flavor into the meat.

Boss Hogg's real easy recipes

Capitalizing on the versatility of Kraft barbecue sauces, Boss Hogg created these easy-to-execute base sauces for proteins. "With just a couple of enhancements, these sauces become signature," he says.

Sweet ‘n Spicy BBQ Ribs

Sweet 'n Spicy BBQ Ribs

Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce 1/2 cup
Kraft Hickory Smoke Barbecue Sauce 1/2 cup
Brown sugar, packed 1/4 cup
Honey 2 tsp.
Crushed red pepper 1/4 tsp.
Barbecue rub seasoning 2 Tbsp.
Pork spareribs 1 rack

What makes them so good: "The barbecue sauces won't overpower your meat. Instead, they add balance, deep flavor and good coverage."

Hickory Roasted Chicken

Hickory Roasted Chicken

Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce 1/2 cup
Kraft Hickory Smoke Barbecue Sauce 1/2 cup
Brown sugar, packed 2 Tbsp.
Worcestershire sauce 2-1/4 tsp.
Ground red pepper (cayenne) 1/4 tsp.
Barbecue rub seasoning 1 Tbsp.
Roasting chicken (3lb.), split 1 each

What makes it so good: "That hickory really comes through in this recipe, and it's just a wonderful sweet/smoky flavor on the chicken."

Slow-Barbecued Beef Brisket

Slow-Barbecued Beef Brisket

Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce 1-1/2 cup
Kraft Hickory Smoke Barbecue Sauce 1-1/2 cup
Honey 3 Tbsp.
Barbecue rub seasoning 1/4 cup
Beef brisket (10lb.) 1 each

What makes it so good: "You've got to cook it real slow and keep basting it. The final temp should be 195, so meat is really opened up and broken down."

Barbecue-Glazed Salmon

Barbecue-Glazed Salmon

Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce 1/2 cup
Kraft Hickory Smoke Barbecue Sauce 1/2 cup
Guava juice 1-1/2 tsp.
Lime juice 1-1/2 tsp.
Curry powder 1/8 tsp.
Salmon fillets (1/2 lb.) 2 each

What makes it so good: "The barbecue sauce here really tones down the strong taste of the salmon. I love guava—it's got such a great fruity flavor that works with the hickory. The sauce enriches the meat of the fish real well."

Apple-Honey BBQ Pork Shoulder

Apple-Honey BBQ Pork Shoulder

Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce 1-1/2 cup
Kraft Hickory Smoke Barbecue Sauce 1-1/2 cup
Apple juice 3 Tbsp.
Honey 2 Tbsp.
Barbecue rub seasoning 1/4 cup
Pork butt (9lb.) 1 each

What makes it so good: "The honey and apple juice caramelize, like a candy coating. They're great with the barbecue sauce, making the meat real sweet."

Cook all ingredients (except protein) in saucepan on medium heat until heated through (160ºF). Do not exceed 160ºF. Cool. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Boss Hogg’s Champion BBQ