July Sports ’15

FANFOOD.com this month in sports image 300 x 250

MLB Baseball
MLB All-Star Game
NFL Training Camps
NASCAR
PGA
British Open
Professional Tennis
Wimbledon
Tour de France
FANFOOD 4th of July BBQ Guide
Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest

 

 

As we head into July, we have an event that carries over from June. Wimbledon matches continue with the championships played July 11th & 12th. The 86th MLB ALL-Star Game will take place on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, home of the Cincinnati Reds. It will be the first All-Star game to take place in Cincinnati since 1988 when the All-Star game was played at Riverfront Stadium

Click here to cast your ballot. Voting ends on July 2, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The FANFOOD MLB Section has you covered as always with a list of every Nationally Broadcast Game, the Full Schedule in July – and of course, the MLB.tv FREE GAME of the DAY.

The 4th of July is coming up quick, have you made plans for your BBQ? We have put together a helpful guide to throwing the best party ever, with tips, tricks and recipes for you to use to be the talk of the neighborhood. Also included is the FANFOOD Guide to Smoking Meat, a little something we put together to celebrate our 500th recipe on the website. And speaking of food, don’t forget to tune into the Annual Hot Dog eating contest, and eat your own on the 23rd during National Hot Dog Day, or while running with the bulls.

It’s hard to believe, but the 2015/16 NFL football season gets underway as teams begin preparing as they hold their training camps this month, here you will find the location and start dates for all 32 squads. Also included is a list of the Key Dates of the NFL season.

There are 4 races on the NASCAR schedule in July with the highlight being the COKE ZERO 400 in Daytona.

If golf is your thing, The PGA Tour has some nice events this month. 2015 British Open features top golf pros who will gather in gather in Scotland to compete for the historic Claret Jug trophy and the Open’s huge $1.5 million prize. 2015 marks the 144th British Open, which takes place at the at the Old Course at historic St. Andrews “the holy grail of golf” in Fife, Scotland.

The ATP doesn’t stop after Wimbledon, click here for all the Men’s and Ladies professional tournaments in July.

Finally, if watching men ride bikes is something you are into, the historic 102nd edition of the Tour de France kicks off in July, beginning on Saturday, the 4th. In total, it will be a grueling 21 stages over 3,600 kilometers before riders reach the traditional big finish at the Champs-Elysees in Paris on Sunday, July 26th. NBC Sports Network provides live coverage throughout the race with live television coverage of the dramatic mountain stages on NBC.

Normally a quite month in sports, July has something for every fan.

 

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MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

 

The first half of the Major League Baseball season is nearly in the books and teams will soon begin to gauge where they stand and what needs to be done going forward. As we head into July and near the break the team from St. Louis is the new #1. The Cardinals swept the Cubs to extend their NL Central lead to nine games and swell their winning percentage to .680. Kolten Wong hit another double, and leads NL second basemen in slugging. The next spot in the FANFOOD Top 10 is from Kansas City. No surprise: The Royals lead the majors in Defensive Runs Saved at +40, 11 more than the No. 2 team (San Francisco). Lorenzo Cain leads at +10 DRS, the fourth-best individual total in the majors. In Washington, DC, the Nationals round out the top 3 and since coming off his short DL stint, Stephen Strasburg has 15 strikeouts and two runs allowed in 12 innings. But there is some bad news: Anthony Rendon is back on the DL with a strained left quad.

Each MLB team will be sending at least one representative to Cincinnati, for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game in the coming weeks, but right after that, it’s back to business. Teams needing an additional second-half boost may look to talent in the minor leagues while others will rely on trades before the July 31 deadline. Other teams don’t need as much help, and if they can stay healthy, they should be considered locks to make the postseason this year.

 

Here are the FANFOOD Top 10 heading into July:

 

 

  1. Cardinals
  2. Royals
  3. Nationals
  4. Pirates
  5. Astros
  6. Dodgers
  7. Rays
  8. Giants
  9. Yankees
  10. Cubs

 

MLB on TV Schedule – July ’15:

Here are the Nationally Broadcast Games this month

 
 
Wed, Jul 17:05 PMNew York YankeesLos Angeles AngelsESPN
Thu, Jul 212:10 PMSan Francisco GiantsMiami MarlinsMLBN
Thu, Jul 21:08 PMPittsburgh PiratesDetroit TigersMLBN
Thu, Jul 27:10 PMWashington NationalsAtlanta BravesMLBN
Thu, Jul 27:15 PMSan Diego PadresSt. Louis CardinalsMLBN
Fri, Jul 32:20 PMMiami MarlinsChicago CubsESPN2
Fri, Jul 36:05 PMSan Francisco GiantsWashington NationalsESPN
Fri, Jul 37:05 PMTampa Bay RaysNew York YankeesMLBN
Fri, Jul 37:08 PMToronto Blue JaysDetroit TigersMLBN
Fri, Jul 310:10 PMNew York MetsLos Angeles DodgersESPN
Sat, Jul 411:05 AMSan Francisco GiantsWashington NationalsMLBN
Sat, Jul 41:05 PMTampa Bay RaysNew York YankeesFS1
Sat, Jul 44:05 PMCleveland IndiansPittsburgh PiratesMLBN
Sat, Jul 44:05 PMSeattle MarinersOakland AthleticsMLBN
Sat, Jul 47:15 PMMiami MarlinsChicago CubsFOX
Sat, Jul 47:15 PMMilwaukee BrewersCincinnati RedsFOX
Sat, Jul 47:15 PMMinnesota TwinsKansas City RoyalsFOX
Sat, Jul 47:15 PMNew York MetsLos Angeles DodgersFOX
Sat, Jul 47:15 PMPhiladelphia PhilliesAtlanta BravesFOX
Sat, Jul 49:05 PMLos Angeles AngelsTexas RangersMLBN
Sat, Jul 410:10 PMColorado RockiesArizona DiamondbacksMLBN
Sun, Jul 51:05 PMTampa Bay RaysNew York YankeesMLBN
Sun, Jul 51:08 PMToronto Blue JaysDetroit TigersMLBN
Sun, Jul 58:08 PMSan Francisco GiantsWashington NationalsESPN
Mon, Jul 68:05 PMSt. Louis CardinalsChicago CubsESPN
Tue, Jul 71:20 PMSt. Louis CardinalsChicago CubsMLBN
Tue, Jul 78:10 PMTampa Bay RaysKansas City RoyalsMLBN
Wed, Jul 83:40 PMDetroit TigersSeattle MarinersMLBN
Wed, Jul 83:45 PMNew York MetsSan Francisco GiantsMLBN
Wed, Jul 88:05 PMSt. Louis CardinalsChicago CubsESPN
Thu, Jul 91:05 PMOakland AthleticsNew York YankeesMLBN
Thu, Jul 92:10 PMTampa Bay RaysKansas City RoyalsMLBN
Thu, Jul 97:05 PMSt. Louis CardinalsPittsburgh PiratesMLBN
Thu, Jul 97:10 PMHouston AstrosCleveland IndiansMLBN
Fri, Jul 107:05 PMWashington NationalsBaltimore OriolesMLBN
Fri, Jul 107:10 PMNew York YankeesBoston Red SoxMLBN
Sat, Jul 114:05 PMDetroit TigersMinnesota TwinsFS1
Sat, Jul 117:15 PMWashington NationalsBaltimore OriolesFOX
Sat, Jul 117:15 PMNew York YankeesBoston Red SoxFOX
Sat, Jul 117:15 PMSt. Louis CardinalsPittsburgh PiratesFOX
Sat, Jul 1110:05 PMPhiladelphia PhilliesSan Francisco GiantsMLBN
Sat, Jul 1110:10 PMLos Angeles AngelsSeattle MarinersMLBN
Sun, Jul 121:35 PMNew York YankeesBoston Red SoxTBS
Tue, Jul 147:30 PMAmerican League All-StarsNational League All-StarsFOX
Fri, Jul 172:10 PMKansas City RoyalsChicago White SoxMLBN
Fri, Jul 177:05 PMLos Angeles DodgersWashington NationalsMLBN
Fri, Jul 177:05 PMSeattle MarinersNew York YankeesMLBN
Sat, Jul 181:05 PMSeattle MarinersNew York YankeesMLBN
Sat, Jul 181:07 PMTampa Bay RaysToronto Blue JaysMLBN
Sat, Jul 184:05 PMLos Angeles DodgersWashington NationalsFS1
Sat, Jul 187:10 PMCleveland IndiansCincinnati RedsFS1
Sat, Jul 189:05 PMBoston Red SoxLos Angeles AngelsMLBN
Sat, Jul 189:05 PMMinnesota TwinsOakland AthleticsMLBN
Sun, Jul 191:35 PMLos Angeles DodgersWashington NationalsTBS
Tue, Jul 217:05 PMBaltimore OriolesNew York YankeesMLBN
Tue, Jul 217:10 PMChicago CubsCincinnati RedsMLBN
Wed, Jul 2212:10 PMLos Angeles DodgersAtlanta BravesMLBN
Wed, Jul 2212:35 PMNew York MetsWashington NationalsMLBN
Thu, Jul 231:05 PMBaltimore OriolesNew York YankeesMLBN
Thu, Jul 231:08 PMSeattle MarinersDetroit TigersMLBN
Thu, Jul 237:05 PMWashington NationalsPittsburgh PiratesMLBN
Thu, Jul 237:10 PMLos Angeles DodgersNew York MetsMLBN
Fri, Jul 247:05 PMWashington NationalsPittsburgh PiratesMLBN
Fri, Jul 247:10 PMLos Angeles DodgersNew York MetsMLBN
Sat, Jul 254:05 PMOakland AthleticsSan Francisco GiantsFS1
Sat, Jul 257:15 PMAtlanta BravesSt. Louis CardinalsFS1
Sat, Jul 258:40 PMMiami MarlinsSan Diego PadresMLBN
Sat, Jul 259:05 PMTexas RangersLos Angeles AngelsMLBN
Tue, Jul 288:05 PMNew York YankeesTexas RangersFS1
Tue, Jul 2810:10 PMOakland AthleticsLos Angeles DodgersMLBN
Tue, Jul 2810:10 PMArizona DiamondbacksSeattle MarinersMLBN
Wed, Jul 292:20 PMColorado RockiesChicago CubsMLBN
Thu, Jul 3012:10 PMSan Diego PadresNew York MetsMLBN
Thu, Jul 3012:10 PMWashington NationalsMiami MarlinsMLBN
Thu, Jul 307:05 PMDetroit TigersBaltimore OriolesMLBN
Thu, Jul 307:07 PMKansas City RoyalsToronto Blue JaysMLBN
Fri, Jul 317:07 PMKansas City RoyalsToronto Blue JaysMLBN
Fri, Jul 317:10 PMWashington NationalsNew York MetsMLBN

 

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FULL MLB Schedule – July ’15:

 

JulyGameGame Time
   Wed 1Minnesota @ Cincinnati12:35 PM ET
Boston @ Toronto1:07 PM ET
Colorado @ Oakland3:35 PM ET
Seattle @ San Diego3:40 PM ET
Milwaukee @ Philadelphia7:05 PM ET
Texas @ Baltimore7:05 PM ET
NY Yankees @ LA Angels7:05 PM ET
Pittsburgh @ Detroit7:08 PM ET
Cleveland @ Tampa Bay7:10 PM ET
San Francisco @ Miami7:10 PM ET
Chi. Cubs @ NY Mets7:10 PM ET
Washington @ Atlanta7:10 PM ET
Kansas City @ Houston8:10 PM ET
Chi. White Sox @ St. Louis8:15 PM ET
LA Dodgers @ Arizona9:40 PM ET
   Thu 2San Francisco @ Miami12:10 PM ET
Cleveland @ Tampa Bay12:10 PM ET
Pittsburgh @ Detroit1:08 PM ET
Chi. Cubs @ NY Mets1:10 PM ET
Milwaukee @ Philadelphia6:35 PM ET
Texas @ Baltimore7:05 PM ET
Boston @ Toronto7:07 PM ET
Washington @ Atlanta7:10 PM ET
San Diego @ St. Louis7:15 PM ET
Minnesota @ Kansas City8:10 PM ET
Colorado @ Arizona9:40 PM ET
Seattle @ Oakland10:05 PM ET
   Fri 3Miami @ Chi. Cubs2:20 PM ET
San Francisco @ Washington6:05 PM ET
Tampa Bay @ NY Yankees7:05 PM ET
Cleveland @ Pittsburgh7:05 PM ET
Toronto @ Detroit7:08 PM ET
Houston @ Boston7:10 PM ET
Milwaukee @ Cincinnati7:10 PM ET
Philadelphia @ Atlanta7:35 PM ET
LA Angels @ Texas8:05 PM ET
Minnesota @ Kansas City8:10 PM ET
Baltimore @ Chi. White Sox8:10 PM ET
San Diego @ St. Louis8:15 PM ET
Seattle @ Oakland9:05 PM ET
Colorado @ Arizona9:40 PM ET
NY Mets @ LA Dodgers10:10 PM ET
   Sat 4San Francisco @ Washington11:05 AM ET
Tampa Bay @ NY Yankees1:05 PM ET
Toronto @ Detroit1:08 PM ET
Houston @ Boston1:35 PM ET
Baltimore @ Chi. White Sox2:10 PM ET
San Diego @ St. Louis2:15 PM ET
Cleveland @ Pittsburgh4:05 PM ET
Seattle @ Oakland4:05 PM ET
Philadelphia @ Atlanta7:15 PM ET
NY Mets @ LA Dodgers7:15 PM ET
Milwaukee @ Cincinnati7:15 PM ET
Miami @ Chi. Cubs7:15 PM ET
Minnesota @ Kansas City7:15 PM ET
LA Angels @ Texas9:05 PM ET
Colorado @ Arizona10:10 PM ET
   Sun 5Tampa Bay @ NY Yankees1:05 PM ET
Toronto @ Detroit1:08 PM ET
Milwaukee @ Cincinnati1:10 PM ET
Philadelphia @ Atlanta1:35 PM ET
Cleveland @ Pittsburgh1:35 PM ET
Houston @ Boston1:35 PM ET
Baltimore @ Chi. White Sox2:10 PM ET
Minnesota @ Kansas City2:10 PM ET
San Diego @ St. Louis2:15 PM ET
Miami @ Chi. Cubs2:20 PM ET
Seattle @ Oakland4:05 PM ET
Colorado @ Arizona4:10 PM ET
NY Mets @ LA Dodgers4:10 PM ET
LA Angels @ Texas7:05 PM ET
San Francisco @ Washington8:08 PM ET
   Mon 6San Diego @ Pittsburgh7:05 PM ET
Cincinnati @ Washington7:05 PM ET
Houston @ Cleveland7:10 PM ET
St. Louis @ Chi. Cubs8:05 PM ET
Atlanta @ Milwaukee8:10 PM ET
Toronto @ Chi. White Sox8:10 PM ET
Baltimore @ Minnesota8:10 PM ET
Tampa Bay @ Kansas City8:10 PM ET
Detroit @ Seattle10:10 PM ET
Philadelphia @ LA Dodgers10:10 PM ET
NY Mets @ San Francisco10:15 PM ET
   Tue 7St. Louis @ Chi. Cubs1:20 PM ET
San Diego @ Pittsburgh7:05 PM ET
Cincinnati @ Washington7:05 PM ET
Oakland @ NY Yankees7:05 PM ET
Miami @ Boston7:10 PM ET
Houston @ Cleveland7:10 PM ET
Arizona @ Texas8:05 PM ET
St. Louis @ Chi. Cubs8:05 PM ET
Atlanta @ Milwaukee8:10 PM ET
Toronto @ Chi. White Sox8:10 PM ET
Baltimore @ Minnesota8:10 PM ET
Tampa Bay @ Kansas City8:10 PM ET
LA Angels @ Colorado8:40 PM ET
Detroit @ Seattle10:10 PM ET
Philadelphia @ LA Dodgers10:10 PM ET
NY Mets @ San Francisco10:15 PM ET
   Wed 8Baltimore @ Minnesota1:10 PM ET
Atlanta @ Milwaukee2:10 PM ET
Detroit @ Seattle3:40 PM ET
NY Mets @ San Francisco3:45 PM ET
San Diego @ Pittsburgh7:05 PM ET
Oakland @ NY Yankees7:05 PM ET
Cincinnati @ Washington7:05 PM ET
Miami @ Boston7:10 PM ET
Houston @ Cleveland7:10 PM ET
St. Louis @ Chi. Cubs8:05 PM ET
Arizona @ Texas8:05 PM ET
Toronto @ Chi. White Sox8:10 PM ET
Tampa Bay @ Kansas City8:10 PM ET
LA Angels @ Colorado8:40 PM ET
Philadelphia @ LA Dodgers10:10 PM ET
   Thu 9Oakland @ NY Yankees1:05 PM ET
Tampa Bay @ Kansas City2:10 PM ET
Toronto @ Chi. White Sox2:10 PM ET
St. Louis @ Pittsburgh7:05 PM ET
Houston @ Cleveland7:10 PM ET
Cincinnati @ Miami7:10 PM ET
Detroit @ Minnesota8:10 PM ET
Atlanta @ Colorado8:40 PM ET
Philadelphia @ LA Dodgers10:10 PM ET
LA Angels @ Seattle10:10 PM ET
   Fri 10Chi. White Sox @ Chi. Cubs4:05 PM ET
Washington @ Baltimore7:05 PM ET
St. Louis @ Pittsburgh7:05 PM ET
NY Yankees @ Boston7:10 PM ET
Oakland @ Cleveland7:10 PM ET
Houston @ Tampa Bay7:10 PM ET
Cincinnati @ Miami7:10 PM ET
Arizona @ NY Mets7:10 PM ET
San Diego @ Texas8:05 PM ET
Atlanta @ Colorado8:10 PM ET
Detroit @ Minnesota8:10 PM ET
Toronto @ Kansas City8:10 PM ET
LA Angels @ Seattle10:10 PM ET
Milwaukee @ LA Dodgers10:10 PM ET
Philadelphia @ San Francisco10:15 PM ET
   Sat 11Toronto @ Kansas City2:10 PM ET
Detroit @ Minnesota4:05 PM ET
Chi. White Sox @ Chi. Cubs4:05 PM ET
Houston @ Tampa Bay4:10 PM ET
Cincinnati @ Miami4:10 PM ET
Atlanta @ Colorado4:10 PM ET
Arizona @ NY Mets4:10 PM ET
Oakland @ Cleveland6:35 PM ET
NY Yankees @ Boston7:15 PM ET
Washington @ Baltimore7:15 PM ET
St. Louis @ Pittsburgh7:15 PM ET
San Diego @ Texas9:05 PM ET
Philadelphia @ San Francisco10:05 PM ET
Milwaukee @ LA Dodgers10:10 PM ET
LA Angels @ Seattle10:10 PM ET
   Sun 12Houston @ Tampa Bay1:10 PM ET
Oakland @ Cleveland1:10 PM ET
Cincinnati @ Miami1:10 PM ET
Arizona @ NY Mets1:10 PM ET
Washington @ Baltimore1:35 PM ET
NY Yankees @ Boston1:35 PM ET
Detroit @ Minnesota2:10 PM ET
Toronto @ Kansas City2:10 PM ET
Chi. White Sox @ Chi. Cubs2:20 PM ET
San Diego @ Texas3:05 PM ET
Philadelphia @ San Francisco4:05 PM ET
Atlanta @ Colorado4:10 PM ET
Milwaukee @ LA Dodgers4:10 PM ET
LA Angels @ Seattle4:10 PM ET
St. Louis @ Pittsburgh8:05 PM ET
   Tue 14American League @ National LeagueTBD
   Fri 17LA Dodgers @ Washington7:05 PM ET
Miami @ Philadelphia7:05 PM ET
Seattle @ NY Yankees7:05 PM ET
Tampa Bay @ Toronto7:07 PM ET
Baltimore @ Detroit7:08 PM ET
Cleveland @ Cincinnati7:10 PM ET
Chi. Cubs @ Atlanta7:35 PM ET
Pittsburgh @ Milwaukee8:10 PM ET
Kansas City @ Chi. White Sox8:10 PM ET
Texas @ Houston8:10 PM ET
NY Mets @ St. Louis8:15 PM ET
San Francisco @ Arizona9:40 PM ET
Minnesota @ Oakland10:05 PM ET
Boston @ LA Angels10:05 PM ET
Colorado @ San Diego10:10 PM ET
   Sat 18Seattle @ NY Yankees1:05 PM ET
Tampa Bay @ Toronto1:07 PM ET
Kansas City @ Chi. White Sox2:10 PM ET
LA Dodgers @ Washington4:05 PM ET
Miami @ Philadelphia7:05 PM ET
Baltimore @ Detroit7:08 PM ET
Cleveland @ Cincinnati7:10 PM ET
Texas @ Houston7:10 PM ET
Pittsburgh @ Milwaukee7:10 PM ET
Chi. Cubs @ Atlanta7:10 PM ET
NY Mets @ St. Louis7:15 PM ET
San Francisco @ Arizona8:10 PM ET
Colorado @ San Diego8:40 PM ET
Minnesota @ Oakland9:05 PM ET
Boston @ LA Angels9:05 PM ET
   Sun 19Boston @ LA AngelsTBD
Seattle @ NY Yankees1:05 PM ET
Tampa Bay @ Toronto1:07 PM ET
Baltimore @ Detroit1:08 PM ET
Cleveland @ Cincinnati1:10 PM ET
Miami @ Philadelphia1:35 PM ET
LA Dodgers @ Washington1:35 PM ET
Pittsburgh @ Milwaukee2:10 PM ET
Kansas City @ Chi. White Sox2:10 PM ET
Texas @ Houston2:10 PM ET
NY Mets @ St. Louis2:15 PM ET
Minnesota @ Oakland4:05 PM ET
San Francisco @ Arizona4:10 PM ET
Colorado @ San Diego4:10 PM ET
Chi. Cubs @ Atlanta5:10 PM ET
   Mon 20Tampa Bay @ Philadelphia7:05 PM ET
NY Mets @ Washington7:05 PM ET
Seattle @ Detroit7:08 PM ET
LA Dodgers @ Atlanta7:10 PM ET
Chi. Cubs @ Cincinnati7:10 PM ET
Pittsburgh @ Kansas City8:10 PM ET
Texas @ Colorado8:40 PM ET
Miami @ Arizona9:40 PM ET
Boston @ LA Angels10:05 PM ET
San Francisco @ San Diego10:10 PM ET
   Tue 21NY Mets @ Washington7:05 PM ET
Baltimore @ NY Yankees7:05 PM ET
Tampa Bay @ Philadelphia7:05 PM ET
Seattle @ Detroit7:08 PM ET
LA Dodgers @ Atlanta7:10 PM ET
Chi. Cubs @ Cincinnati7:10 PM ET
Pittsburgh @ Kansas City8:10 PM ET
Boston @ Houston8:10 PM ET
St. Louis @ Chi. White Sox8:10 PM ET
Cleveland @ Milwaukee8:10 PM ET
Texas @ Colorado8:40 PM ET
Miami @ Arizona9:40 PM ET
Toronto @ Oakland10:05 PM ET
Minnesota @ LA Angels10:05 PM ET
San Francisco @ San Diego10:10 PM ET
   Wed 22LA Dodgers @ Atlanta12:10 PM ET
Chi. Cubs @ Cincinnati12:35 PM ET
NY Mets @ Washington12:35 PM ET
Tampa Bay @ Philadelphia1:05 PM ET
Cleveland @ Milwaukee2:10 PM ET
Texas @ Colorado3:10 PM ET
San Francisco @ San Diego3:40 PM ET
Baltimore @ NY Yankees7:05 PM ET
Seattle @ Detroit7:08 PM ET
Pittsburgh @ Kansas City8:10 PM ET
Boston @ Houston8:10 PM ET
St. Louis @ Chi. White Sox8:10 PM ET
Miami @ Arizona9:40 PM ET
Toronto @ Oakland10:05 PM ET
Minnesota @ LA Angels10:05 PM ET
   Thu 23Baltimore @ NY Yankees1:05 PM ET
Seattle @ Detroit1:08 PM ET
Minnesota @ LA Angels3:35 PM ET
Toronto @ Oakland3:35 PM ET
Chi. White Sox @ Cleveland7:05 PM ET
Washington @ Pittsburgh7:05 PM ET
LA Dodgers @ NY Mets7:10 PM ET
Kansas City @ St. Louis7:15 PM ET
Boston @ Houston8:10 PM ET
Milwaukee @ Arizona9:40 PM ET
Miami @ San Diego10:10 PM ET
   Fri 24Philadelphia @ Chi. Cubs4:05 PM ET
Chi. White Sox @ Cleveland7:05 PM ET
Washington @ Pittsburgh7:05 PM ET
Detroit @ Boston7:10 PM ET
Baltimore @ Tampa Bay7:10 PM ET
LA Dodgers @ NY Mets7:10 PM ET
NY Yankees @ Minnesota8:10 PM ET
Houston @ Kansas City8:10 PM ET
Atlanta @ St. Louis8:15 PM ET
Cincinnati @ Colorado8:40 PM ET
Milwaukee @ Arizona9:40 PM ET
Texas @ LA Angels10:05 PM ET
Toronto @ Seattle10:10 PM ET
Miami @ San Diego10:10 PM ET
Oakland @ San Francisco10:15 PM ET
   Sat 25Oakland @ San Francisco4:05 PM ET
Philadelphia @ Chi. Cubs4:05 PM ET
Detroit @ Boston4:05 PM ET
Toronto @ Seattle4:10 PM ET
Baltimore @ Tampa Bay6:10 PM ET
Chi. White Sox @ Cleveland7:05 PM ET
Washington @ Pittsburgh7:05 PM ET
Houston @ Kansas City7:10 PM ET
NY Yankees @ Minnesota7:10 PM ET
LA Dodgers @ NY Mets7:10 PM ET
Atlanta @ St. Louis7:15 PM ET
Milwaukee @ Arizona8:10 PM ET
Cincinnati @ Colorado8:10 PM ET
Miami @ San Diego8:40 PM ET
Texas @ LA Angels9:05 PM ET
   Sun 26Chi. White Sox @ Cleveland1:05 PM ET
Baltimore @ Tampa Bay1:10 PM ET
LA Dodgers @ NY Mets1:10 PM ET
Detroit @ Boston1:35 PM ET
Washington @ Pittsburgh1:35 PM ET
NY Yankees @ Minnesota2:10 PM ET
Houston @ Kansas City2:10 PM ET
Atlanta @ St. Louis2:15 PM ET
Philadelphia @ Chi. Cubs2:20 PM ET
Texas @ LA Angels3:35 PM ET
Oakland @ San Francisco4:05 PM ET
Toronto @ Seattle4:10 PM ET
Milwaukee @ Arizona4:10 PM ET
Cincinnati @ Colorado4:10 PM ET
Miami @ San Diego4:10 PM ET
   Mon 27Atlanta @ Baltimore7:05 PM ET
Kansas City @ Cleveland7:05 PM ET
Chi. White Sox @ Boston7:10 PM ET
Detroit @ Tampa Bay7:10 PM ET
Colorado @ Chi. Cubs8:05 PM ET
NY Yankees @ Texas8:05 PM ET
Cincinnati @ St. Louis8:15 PM ET
Arizona @ Seattle10:10 PM ET
Milwaukee @ San Francisco10:15 PM ET
   Tue 28Atlanta @ Baltimore7:05 PM ET
Kansas City @ Cleveland7:05 PM ET
Philadelphia @ Toronto7:07 PM ET
San Diego @ NY Mets7:10 PM ET
Chi. White Sox @ Boston7:10 PM ET
Detroit @ Tampa Bay7:10 PM ET
Washington @ Miami7:10 PM ET
Colorado @ Chi. Cubs8:05 PM ET
NY Yankees @ Texas8:05 PM ET
LA Angels @ Houston8:10 PM ET
Pittsburgh @ Minnesota8:10 PM ET
Cincinnati @ St. Louis8:15 PM ET
Oakland @ LA Dodgers10:10 PM ET
Arizona @ Seattle10:10 PM ET
Milwaukee @ San Francisco10:15 PM ET
   Wed 29Kansas City @ Cleveland12:05 PM ET
Detroit @ Tampa Bay12:10 PM ET
Pittsburgh @ Minnesota1:10 PM ET
Colorado @ Chi. Cubs2:20 PM ET
Arizona @ Seattle3:40 PM ET
Milwaukee @ San Francisco3:45 PM ET
Atlanta @ Baltimore7:05 PM ET
Philadelphia @ Toronto7:07 PM ET
San Diego @ NY Mets7:10 PM ET
Chi. White Sox @ Boston7:10 PM ET
Washington @ Miami7:10 PM ET
NY Yankees @ Texas8:05 PM ET
LA Angels @ Houston8:10 PM ET
Cincinnati @ St. Louis8:15 PM ET
Oakland @ LA Dodgers10:10 PM ET
   Thu 30Washington @ Miami12:10 PM ET
San Diego @ NY Mets12:10 PM ET
Atlanta @ Philadelphia7:05 PM ET
Detroit @ Baltimore7:05 PM ET
Kansas City @ Toronto7:07 PM ET
Chi. White Sox @ Boston7:10 PM ET
Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati7:10 PM ET
Colorado @ St. Louis7:15 PM ET
NY Yankees @ Texas8:05 PM ET
Chi. Cubs @ Milwaukee8:10 PM ET
LA Angels @ Houston8:10 PM ET
Seattle @ Minnesota8:10 PM ET
Cleveland @ Oakland10:05 PM ET
   Fri 31Detroit @ Baltimore7:05 PM ET
Atlanta @ Philadelphia7:05 PM ET
Kansas City @ Toronto7:07 PM ET
Tampa Bay @ Boston7:10 PM ET
Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati7:10 PM ET
San Diego @ Miami7:10 PM ET
Washington @ NY Mets7:10 PM ET
San Francisco @ Texas8:05 PM ET
Chi. Cubs @ Milwaukee8:10 PM ET
NY Yankees @ Chi. White Sox8:10 PM ET
Seattle @ Minnesota8:10 PM ET
Arizona @ Houston8:10 PM ET
Colorado @ St. Louis8:15 PM ET
Cleveland @ Oakland9:35 PM ET
LA Angels @ LA Dodgers10:10 PM ET

 

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MLB All-Star Game

 

When: Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Where: Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati
TV channel: FOX beginning at 7:30PM ET

 

 

It’s the Mid-Summer Classic — as the best players from the American League and National Leagues face off to do battle in July.

Who selects the All Star team? Online voting among players AND fans begins just before mid-season.

This year, AL and NL All-Star teams will be unveiled in early July.

That’s when top picks from both leagues are chosen at mlb.com — in a flurry of voting to see whose favorites will do battle on a level playing field of baseball greats in pitching, hitting, and fielding.

 

 

 

 

>> Click Here for the Official Link 

 

VOTE NOW: Select this summer’s All-Stars

Cast your ballot now to send the game’s brightest talents to the 86th All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on July 14. Vote up to 35 times exclusively online. VOTE NOW »

 

When all the votes are in, the 86th edition of the MLB All Star Game will take place on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, home of the Cincinnati Reds. It will be the first All-Star game to take place in Cincinnati since 1988 when the All-Star game was played at Riverfront Stadium.

Televised nationwide on FOX, pre-game hoopla begins at 7:30PM ET on July 14th. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage.

Leading up to the big game is the biggest baseball fan event on the planet – the MLB All-Star Fanfest. Meanwhile, watch for more information, and updates on other events and happenings surrounding one of the biggest games on the MLB summer calendar!

 

 

 

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NFL Training Camps

 

We have entered the quietest time of the NFL calendar — the break between the offseason programs and training camp. Teams in the NFL assemble in late July to officially begin the march toward the 2015 season. Next up, Training Camps.

Training camp is where it all starts and when teams begin forming the group of players that will take them through the 2015 season. As camps unfold and teams slowly dwindle down to their 53-man rosters. Training camp is used in several different ways. New players and coaches use it to acclimate themselves to new teammates and systems. For younger players, it serves as a period of evaluation; for veterans, it is time to round back into form. Training camp is divided into several different components. The first is scrimmages. These are pseudo-games where teams run nearly full games’ worth of plays. Sometimes, two practice sessions are held on the same day. This concept is referred to as two-a-days. Other parts of training camp include drills, meetings with coaches and other players at one’s position, weight training, and pre-season games. The latter half of training camp leads directly into the exhibition season. More and more teams are practicing close to home. In fact, 20 out of 32 NFL teams hold camp at home. Here are the practice locations for all the teams in the NFL along with the start dates.

Here are the practice locations for all the teams in the NFL along with the start dates.

 

TeamSiteLocationDate
AFC
Baltimore RavensUnder Armour CenterOwings Mills, Md.7/29
Buffalo BillsSt. John Fisher CollegePittsford, N.Y.7/31
Cincinnati BengalsPaul Brown StadiumCincinnati, Ohio7/24
Cleveland BrownsCleveland Browns FacilityBerea, OhioTBA
Denver BroncosPaul D. Bowlen CentreDove Valley, Colo.TBA
Houston TexansMethodist Training CenterHouston, TexasTBA
Indianapolis ColtsAnderson UniversityAnderson, Ind.8/1
Jacksonville JaguarsFlorida Blue Health FieldsJacksonville, Fla.TBA
Kansas City ChiefsMissouri Western State UnivSt. Joseph, Mo.8/1
Miami DolphinsMiami Dolphins FacilityDavie, Fla.TBA
New England PatriotsGillette StadiumFoxboro, Mass.TBA
New York JetsSUNY CortlandCortland, N.Y.TBA
Oakland RaidersNapa Valley MarriottNapa, Calif.TBA
Pittsburgh SteelersSaint Vincent CollegeLatrobe, Pa.TBA
San Diego ChargersChargers ParkSan Diego, Calif.7/30
Tennessee TitansBaptist Sports ParkNashville, Tenn.7/30
NFC
Arizona CardinalsUniv of Phoenix StadiumGlendale, Ariz.7/31
Atlanta FalconsAtlanta Falcons FacilityFlowery Branch, Ga.TBA
Carolina PanthersWofford CollegeSpartanburg, S.C.7/31
Chicago BearsOlivet Nazarene UniversityBourbonnais, Ill.TBA
Dallas CowboysRiver Ridge Playing FieldsOxnard, Calif.TBA
Detroit LionsDetroit Lions FacilityAllen Park, Mich.TBA
Green Bay PackersRay Nitschke FieldGreen Bay, Wis.7/30
Minnesota VikingsMinnesota St Univ, MankatoMankato, Minn.7/26
New Orleans SaintsThe GreenbrierWht Silver Springs, WV7/29
New York GiantsTimex Performance CenterEast Rutherford, N.J.7/30
Philadelphia EaglesNovaCare ComplexPhiladelphia, Pa.7/25
St. Louis RamsRussell Athletic CenterEarth City, Mo.7/27
San Francisco 49ersMarie P. DeBartolo CenterSanta Clara, Calif.TBA
Seattle SeahawksVirginia Mason CenterRenton, Wash.TBA
Tampa Bay BuccaneersOne Buccaneer PlaceTampa, Fla.7/31
Washington RedskinsBon Secours CenterRichmond, Va.7/30

 

 2015 NFL Training Camp Links:

NFL.com

SB Nation

CBS Sports

Bleacher Report

 

 

 

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 NASCAR

 

Here is the NASCAR Full Schedule – July ’15:

 

 

COKE ZERO 400 POWERED BY COCA-COLA
SUNDAY, JUL. 05 / 07:45 PM ET
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
NBC

Track Detail

Preview

 

QUAKER STATE 400 PRESENTED BY ADVANCE AUTO PARTS
SATURDAY, JUL. 11 / 07:30 PM ET
KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY
NBCSN

Track Detail

Preview

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE 301
SUNDAY, JUL. 19 / 01:30 PM ET
NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
NBCSN

Track Detail

Preview

 

CROWN ROYAL PRESENTS THE ‘YOUR HERO’S NAME HERE’ 400 AT THE BRICKYARD
SUNDAY, JUL. 26 / 03:30 PM ET
INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
NBCSN

Track Detail

Preview

 

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PGA Tour – FedEx Cup

 

The PGA Tour is the organizer of the main professional golf tours played primarily by men in the United States and North America. It organizes most of the events on the flagship annual series of tournaments also known as the PGA Tour, as well as the Champions Tour (for golfers age 50 and older) and the Web.com Tour (for professional players who have not yet qualified to play in the PGA Tour), as well as the PGA Tour Canada and PGA Tour Latinoamérica.

Originally established by the Professional Golfers’ Association of America, it was spun off in December 1968 into a separate organization for tour players, as opposed to club professionals, the focal members of today’s PGA of America. Originally the “Tournament Players Division,” it adopted the name “PGA Tour” in 1975 and runs most of the week-to-week professional golf events on the tournament known as the PGA Tour, including The Players Championship, hosted at the TPC at Sawgrass, the FedEx Cup, and the biennial Presidents Cup. The remaining events on the PGA Tour are run by different organizations, as are the U.S.-based LPGA Tour for women and the other men’s and women’s professional tours around the world.

The Highlight of the Tour in July is the British Open.

 

Here is the Full PGA Schedule – July’15:

 

JUL 2 – 5The Greenbrier Classic CBS
The Old White TPC, White Sulphur Springs, WV • Purse: $6,700,000
JUL 9 – 12John Deere Classic CBS
TPC Deere Run, Silvis, IL • Purse: $4,700,000
JUL 16 – 19Barbasol Championship GOLF
RTJ Trail (Grand National), Auburn/Opelika, AL • Purse: $3,500,000
JUL 16 – 19The Open Championship ESPN
St. Andrews GC (Old Course), Fife, SCO • Purse: $9,200,000
JUL 23 – 26RBC Canadian Open CBS
Glen Abbey GC, Oakville,Ontario, Can • Purse: $5,800,000
JUL 30 - AUG 2Quicken Loans National CBS
Robert Trent Jones GC, Gainesville, VA • Purse: $6,700,000

 

PGA links:

PGA Tour.com 
CBS Sports
Golf Week 
Fantasy Tip Sheet

 

 

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2015 British Open

In the UK, it’s simply called The Open — the world’s first established golf championship tournament begun in 1860. Today it is one of the hottest tickets in the world of sport.

This year, as always, the British Open will feature top performances by golf pros who will gather to compete for the historic Claret Jug trophy and the Open’s huge $1.5 million prize.

2015 will mark the 144th edition of the British Open, which takes place at the Old Course at historic St. Andrews “the holy grail of golf” in Fife, Scotland from Thursday, July 16 to Sunday, July 19, 2015.

The mid-summer golf classic will be broadcast live on ESPN and ABC

 

2015 British Open TV schedule: 
THURSDAY, JULY 16
First Round
4:00 AM, ESPN
3:00 PM ABC
FRIDAY, JULY 17
Second Round
4:00 AM, ESPN
3:00 PM, ABC
SATURDAY, JULY 18
Third Round
7:00 AM, ESPN
3:00 PM, ABC
SUNDAY, JULY 19
Final Round
6:00 AM, ESPN
3:00 PM, ABC
all times ET

 

2014 British Open rewind

The Royal Liverpool Golf Club played host to he 2014 British Open which marked the return of golfing great Tiger Woods (a three time winner of the British Open in 2000, 2005, and 2006) in his first major golf championship of the year. His big comeback was not to be, however, as Irish champ Rory McIlroy came roaring down the links to steal the headlines, and the championship title.

 

 

 

British Open Links: 

 

The Open Championship - The official site of the 2014 British Open with ticket information and online purchase, video highlights, a daily photo gallery, player biographies, feature articles and historical timeline.

BBC Sport | Golf - You name it, and the Beeb’s got it , including the latest updates and television and video highlights, player interviews, photo galleries and interactive games, British Open history and trivia, official rules, golf lingo, travel guides, and don’t miss the tongue-in-cheek A-Zee Guide to the British Open for American Visitors.

The Open Championship - Check out news and scores, top stories, interviews and features from the official PGA site, along with video clips, an in-depth history of the championship, a profile of the course, and more on the claret jug trophy.

The Open Championship – Wikipedia - The complete overview including historical highlights, future dates and venues, photos, related references and resources, and a list of winners from 1860 to the present.

 

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Professional Tennis

 

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the national governing body for the sport of tennis and the recognized leader in promoting and developing the sport’s growth on every level in the United States, from local communities to the crown jewel of the professional game, the US Open. Established in 1881, the USTA is a progressive and diverse not-for-profit organization whose volunteers, professional staff and financial resources support the singular mission. The USTA is the largest tennis organization in the world, with 17 geographical sections, more than 770,000 individual members and 8,000 organizational members, thousands of volunteers and a professional staff dedicated to growing the game.

 

 

Professional Tennis Schedule – July ’14:

 

Jun 29 – Jul 12

ATP/WTA Wimbledon

Wimbledon, Great Britain

 

Jul 12 – Jul 18

WTA BRD Bucharest Open

Bucharest, Romania

 

Jul 12 – Jul 18

WTA Collector Swedish Open

Bastad, Sweden

 

Jul 12 – Jul 18

ATP Tennis Championships

Newport, United States

 

Jul 19 – Jul 25

WTA Istanbul Cup

Istanbul, Turkey

 

Jul 19 – Jul 25

ATP Croatia Open Umag

Umag, Croatia

 

Jul 19 – Jul 25

ATP SkiStar Swedish Open

Bastad, Sweden

 

Jul 19 – Jul 25

WTA NURNBERGER Gastein Ladies

Bad Gastein, Austria

 

Jul 19 – Jul 25

ATP Claro Open Colombia

Bogota, Colombia

 

Jul 26 – Aug 01

WTA Baku Cup

Baku, Azerbaijan

 

Jul 26 – Aug 01

ATP Suisse Open Gstaad

Gstaad, Switzerland

 

Jul 26 – Jul 31

WTA Brasil Tennis Cup

Florianopolis, Brazil

 

Jul 26 – Aug 01

ATP BB&T Atlanta Open

Atlanta, United States

 

Jul 26 – Aug 01

ATP bet-at-home Open

Hamburg, Germany

 

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Wimbledon

 

The top men’s and women’s tennis champions appear on court to do battle at the annual Wimbledon championships in London in 2015.

New this year? After years of debate surrounding the timing of Wimbledon they’ve finally made the change – pushing up the schedule by a week to give players a proper rest between the French Open at Roland Garros and the grand slam tournament in the UK.

So that means instead of the traditional third week in June, this year’s scheduled matches at Wimbledon kick off on Monday, June 29 leading up to the women’s final on Saturday, July 11 and men’s final on Sunday, July 12, 2015.

For the first time since acquiring exclusive rights to the event, ESPN will present the entire first week of Wimbledon on the primary ESPN network. ESPN is scheduled to air coverage from 7:00 AM-4:30 PM ET on each of the first five days of competition, with an 8:00 AM-4:00 PM window scheduled for the sixth (July 4).

In previous years, ESPN shared coverage of the first week with ESPN2 and even ESPNEWS. This year, ESPN2 will not air a telecast until the second week, when it supplements ESPN’s Centre Court coverage with action on Court 1 and the outer courts.

 

2015 WIMBLEDON TV SCHEDULE ON ESPN AND ESPN2

Wimbledon begins June 29 on ESPN.

2015 Wimbledon Schedule on ESPN Family of Networks

Subject to change

Start (ET)End (ET)NetRound
Monday, June 29
7:00 AM4:30 PMESPNEarly Rounds Day #1
Tuesday, June 30
7:00 AM4:30 PMESPNEarly Rounds Day #2
Wednesday, July 1
7:00 AM4:30 PMESPNEarly Rounds Day #3
Thursday, July 2
7:00 AM4:30 PMESPNEarly Rounds Day #4
Friday, July 3
7:00 AM4:30 PMESPNEarly Rounds Day #5
Saturday, July 4
8:00 AM4:00 PMESPNEarly Rounds Day #6
Monday, July 6
7:00 AM5:00 PMESPN2Round of 16
Court 1 and outer courts
8:00 AM3:00 PMESPNRound of 16
Centre Court
Tuesday, July 7
8:00 AM1:00 PMESPNWomen’s Quarterfinals
Centre Court
8:00 AM4:00 PMESPN2Women’s Quarterfinals
Court 1
Wednesday, July 8
8:00 AM3:00 PMESPNMen’s Quarterfinals
Centre Court
8:00 AM4:00 PMESPN2Men’s Quarterfinals
Court 1
Thursday, July 9
8:00 AM1:00 PMESPNWomen’s Semifinals
Friday, July 10
8:00 AM2:00 PMESPNMen’s Semifinals
Saturday, July 11
9:00 AM3:00 PMESPNWomen’s Championship
Sunday, July 12
9:00 AM3:00 PMESPNMen’s Championship

 

2014 Wimbledon recap 

There were upsets aplenty at the 2014 Wimbledon championships as reigning French Open champion Maria Sharapova was sent packing

She was joined by men’s favorite Rafael Nadal, who also crashed out following a huge upset loss against unseeded Nick Kyrgios of Australia.

In the women’s final, it took all of 55 minutes for Petra Kvitova to defeat Eugenie Bouchard to claim the Ladie’s title.

Meanwhile, Roger Federer made it all the way to the men’s final only to be defeated (again) by Novak Djokovic after a drama filled, nearly four hour match.

 

Wimbledon Links:

Wimbledon.com - Check out the official site with the latest headlines, video, feature stories, photos, plus ticket information & prices for ticket packages and accommodations, visitor and museum info, directions for getting there, along with Wimbledon history, records and stats.

BBC SPORT | Tennis - The Beeb Online as only they can do it, with reports from center court at Wimbledon, player profiles, video clips, photo galleries and the television schedule for BBC 1 and BBC 2.

ATPtennis.com - The official site for men’s professional tennis with video & audio reports from Wimbledon, scores, standings, feature stories & interactive head-to-head comparisons.

WTATour.com - The official site of women’s professional tennis featuring Wimbledon player profiles, rankings, feature stories, a photo gallery plus a FanZone with an online shop, free wallpaper and related downloads.

Guardian Unlimited Sport | Tennis - All the latest news and commentary from Wimbledon Stadium. Keep up to date with the most recent headlines on who’s in and who’s out.

Wimbledon – Wikipedia - The free online encyclopedia with historical color commentary and info on men’s and women’s singles and doubles champions from 1913 to the present.

Wimbledon party ideas and recipes:

How to Throw a Wimbledon Party - Check out the complete menu, along with ideas for invitations, planning and decorating

Wimbledon Cup Recipe - Get happy with the traditional Pimm’s, gin, cream and mandarin juice cocktail to celebrate the day. And for you Yanks, translate ‘double cream’ to heavy cream.

Poached Salmon with Cucumber-Dill Sauce - Another traditional recipe at Wimbledon, washed down by at least a bucket of strawberries and ice cream.

 

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Tour de France

An international petelon of world-class bikers embark on the road to Tour de France glory when the historic 102nd edition of the Tour de France kicks off on Saturday, July 4, 2015.

With a scheduled start in Utrecht, Netherlands, this will be the sixth time the Tour de France starts in the Netherlands after having last hosted the start in Rotterdam in 2010.

This year, the first stage travels from Utrecht to Antwerp and then into Leige, Belgium before continuing on into France for the major part of the race.

In total, it will be a grueling 21 stages over 3,600 kilometers before riders reach the traditional big finish at the Champs-Elysees in Paris on Sunday, July 26, 2015.

As always, the 2015 Tour de France will cover a route ranging from pleasantly flat to treacherously steep and mountainous. That includes an infamous muscle-burning climb through Mont Ventoux and the traditional bumpy ride through cobbled Paris-Roubaix.

 

2015 Tour de France on TV

NBC Sports Network is the official broadcaster throughout the race with live television coverage of the dramatic mountain stages on network NBC.

 

 

 

2015 Tour de France Map

 

click to zoom

 

Click  Here for the Stages Schedule

 

 

All about the Tour de France

Maurice Garin was the winner in the first race held in 1903.

The first Tour de France was arranged by French newspaperman Henri Desgrange as a publicity stunt for his paper, L’Auto in 1903. The race featured 60 riders covering more than a 1,000 miles and was a huge success (L’Auto’s circulation rose from 25,000 to 65,000.)

Except for two World Wars that stopped the race in its tracks, the Tour de France has been held almost every year since.

And while spectacular scandals have rocked the race of late (see: Lance Armstrong), the Tour de France has been no stranger to poor sportsmanship over the years. In fact, rampant cheating by riders and rioting by fans — by those who favored one bike rider over another — was reported during the early races held more than a century ago!

Today, almost 200 riders make up the 22 teams that participate in the world’s biggest annual sporting event covering some 2,000 miles. Throughout the race’s 21 stages, the team leader (the strongest rider), is protected by other members of the team through stretches of terrain that vary greatly from flat, to hilly, to extremely steep and mountainous.

Along the way, riders are rewarded with color-coded jerseys. The green jersey signifies who’s the fastest sprinter, and the white jersey goes to the youngest biker, usually an emerging star under 25. The red-and-white polka dot jersey is awarded to the “King of the Mountain” or best uphill climber. Near the end of the race, the overall leader in total time gets to wear the coveted yellow jersey, and to claim victory (as well as the €450,000 euro prize money) as he crosses the finish line in Paris.

 

Tour de France Links:

BBC Sport | Cycling - Complete news coverage including feature articles, video clips, photos, a complete Tour de France rider list, rider and team profiles.

Yahoo! Sports – Cycling - The latest Tour de France news off the wires of AP, Reuters, and more plus feature stories, photo gallery.

Bicycling.com - The cyber version of the print publication with feature articles, special Tour de France coverage along with the latest updates, standings & photos, plus more on general cycling tips, online forum, related links.

 

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FANFOOD 4th of July BBQ Party Guide

 

Whether you’re lighting up the grill on the 4th of July or waiting for the weekend, a good BBQ takes planning. So, if you’re having a few friends over and enjoying some cold ones to celebrate the 4th, start getting your game plan together now. Of course, if you’re like us, you don’t just want to throw a good BBQ, you want to throw the best damn barbecue the free land has ever seen. Here’s how to do it:

When cooking for a large gathering make sure you prepare something for everyone. Throw on a couple of Hot Dogs for the kids while you are grilling the rest. In fact, try getting the kids fed first to alleviate their hunger for summer foods and let them finish off with some flag fudge.

 

Cooking and Recipes

When putting together a meal decide the best way to prepare the dishes quickly and easily. Start off with some great appetizers for the grill or other appetizers.

If you want tradition then you need a good recipe for Potato Salad, Cole Slaw or Barbecue Beans. There are over 250 recipes on this site for you to choose from to create a great menu for your 4th of July Party.

 

 

FANFOOD RECIPES

 

Appetizers | Marinades | Rubs | Chili | Vegetables | Sandwiches

Pizza | Meats | Sauces | Breakfast | Desserts | Holiday | Drinks |

Equipment & Technique |

 

Vegetarians at a BBQ? 

If you or some of your guests are vegetarians you can still do some 4th of July entertaining, only vegetarian style. Vegetarian grilling can be more than just veggie burgers, but you will be a success if you make them from scratch.

 

Desserts

Remember to cool things off with some Frozen Delights or go the extra mile with Italian ice cream. There is a lot you can do with desserts like a nice dish of dirt, Summery Fruit Candies or a margarita pie.

 

Drinks

Don’t forget the iced tea, or even the iced coffee. Coordinate your drinks with the meal and the season. A nice Sangria will go great with grilled foods. There are also a lot of cool, refreshing summer cocktails you can choose from. You might even what to check out some patriotic drinks for this July 4th. Of course no great cookout is complete without beer. What you need to make this even particularly patriotic is a good selection of beers. Refresh your knowledge of all things whiskey. You will know what you are talking about.

 

FANFOOD BBQ Tips & Tricks:

Here are some tips that will ensure you’ll be the perfect barbecue host

  • Keep all your barbecuing tools handy – tongs, chopping boards, insulated gloves, brushes ect. Have a plan to light your charcoal, and don’t use lighter fluid, nobody wants to taste it. Always use natural charcoal free of additives.
  • Never mix together different raw foods (i.e. fish and chicken) in the same marinade. Always keep in separate containers. Use separate chopping boards and utensils for handling raw and cooked foods to prevent cross-contamination
  • Remove meat and poultry from the fridge an hour before cooking and leave covered in a cool kitchen until required. This will help bring the food back to an ambient temperature, and will result in a more succulent cooked result.
  • Always know how many guests you are expecting and make sure you are seated near to the kitchen. This means you won’t be barging past your guests when going to and from the house.
  • Keep plenty of iced water handy – particularly if you’re barbecuing on a hot day. If you stick with the beer or wine your guests will soon be dehydrated (and you maybe too tipsy to tend the barbecue).
  • Prepare dressings for salads and marinades for the barbecue in advance to be one step ahead of yourself. You can even make your very own mayonnaise. Meat & Poultry will benefit from marinating overnight in the refrigerator rather than for an hour just prior to barbecuing, so do as much preparation ahead of time as possible.
  • Have a good link to a weather website, preferably one with live doppler radar, so you know what is coming and when.
  • If you’re having a barbecue at night, don’t forget to consider the lighting.
  • Check with your guests if they have any special dietary requirements.
  • Burning citrus candles is a great way to keep the bugs at bay and stop them biting your guests, especially if you’re serving any sweet food or drinks.
  • If you’re having an afternoon barbecue, make sure there’s plenty of shade to avoid sticky sun burnt guests.
  • Pork, sausages, burgers and chicken in particular, must always be cooked through to the center. It might look cooked on the outside but can still be raw in the middle. Check by piercing the thickest part with the point of a sharp knife. If the juices run clear then the meat is ready. Any sign if pink juices will require further cooking. Get yourself a digital thermometer, it’ll come in handy, trust me.
  • Be aware of wind direction and the proximity of neighbors when placing your BBQ.
  • Clean your charcoal barbecue after each use, once the grill has cooled down – a wire brush and warm soapy water is all that is needed – little and often is secret. Your gas barbecue can be cleaned by simply burning off the grill for 10 minutes. Have a plan for your used charcoal.

 

Schedule a couple of days to go shopping for the items on your lists. Here is a simple countdown to take you through the final two weeks leading up to the big day.

Two Weeks Before:

- Confirm your guest list, order your beef if fresh and give out specific assignments to guests that are contributing meals.
- Finalize your shopping lists.
- Inventory your table and kitchen supplies.
- Make arrangements to borrow or rent any items that you lack.

One Week Before:

- Purchase wine, beer, soft drinks.
- Shop for non-perishables.
- Select music.
- If using frozen meats, plan the day to begin to thaw. The rule of thumb is to allow one day for every five pounds of meat.
- Make a plan for cleaning your house, particularly the rooms that will likely be seen by guests. De-clutter the messiest rooms first.

Two Days Before:

- Purchase all perishable ingredients.
- Begin cleaning and chopping any vegetables for the dips and side dishes.
- Bake and freeze any pies or other desserts that can be frozen.
- Prepare recipes such as dips, marinades, sauces. Make a written plan for cooking your meal.

One Day Before:

- Clean the bathroom, dust and vacuum all rooms guests will be using, especially the dining room and kitchen and back deck.
- Set the table if you are setting up a buffet; take out all of the serving pieces.
- Finish preparing and bake your pies.
- Prepare and refrigerate salads.

Day of the Party:

- Ask someone to pick up any bread or rolls or ice you may need.
- Finish preparing appetizers, first courses, and/or side dishes.
- Turn on your music.
- Take fifteen minutes before guests arrive to freshen yourself and relax.
- Welcome guests.
- Start Cooking
- Set out the food, and count your blessings!

Preparing a BBQ doesn’t need to stressful. Many dishes can be prepared many hours in advance of the meal. Some preparations benefit from sitting for a time before being served. Even if the whole dish cannot be completed early in the day, the preparation of the ingredients can be. Ingredients can be cleaned, cut, blanched, and otherwise made ready for their final cooking.

Plan Ahead

If you decide what to cook early, have all ingredients on hand, and cook some of the meal ahead of time, you can save yourself a lot of stress. On the day before you can make your pies, and prepare and refrigerate salads.

Simplify Cooking

If you can take shortcuts, take them. For example, you can buy pre-made dips, and marinades, and bake pies purchased from the store.

Try Fewer Side Dishes

It’s a lot of fun to have a feast, and there are many creative recipes this time of year, but if you cut down on side dishes, you can save yourself quite a bit of time and effort. Just pick a side and vegetable or two, and make a lot of them. This way, while there’s less variety, there’s plenty of food.

Let Others Help

Another fun way to simplify your meal is to let others help with the side dishes. If you’re having other people come, you can just let everyone bring a side dish or dessert while you supply the meat. If you’re only cooking for your own household, you can let everyone in the house be responsible for one side. This lets everyone feel good that they’ve contributed to the joy of the feast.

Final Tips

Try to relax and enjoy your guests. Accept help when it’s volunteered – you don’t have to do it all by yourself. Remember that everything doesn’t have to be perfect to build those long-cherished memories. Many times it’s the little imperfections that nestle into the warmest spot of your heart.

 

Perhaps more important than hosting a BBQ, observing the 4th evokes a special feeling of pride and patriotism, celebrated with 4th of July fireworks shows, parades and displaying the American flag.

After all, it was patriot John Adams himself who declared in 1776 that the 4th of July should always “ be commemorated ….with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.

 

 

BBQ Sauce 101
Kansas City Sweet Sauce
South Carolina Mustard Sauce
East Carolina Mop-Sauce
Lexington Dip
Tennessee Whiskey
Kentucky Black
Texas Mop-Sauce
Alabama White Sauce
New Orleans Barbecue
Memphis Dry Rub & sweet BBQ
Hawaiian Huli-Huli

 

There are several regions which have evolved their own unique barbecue and sauce styles, often influenced by the available meats and their ethnic origins. They are not all sweet and red! Their flavors and history are fascinating. They are also the subject of much controversy and vilification between regions, each claiming authenticity. Some break down regional styles into microcosms reminiscent of wine appellations, claiming “authenticity” in one state and fraud in another.

 

BBQ Sauce 101

 

To most Americans, barbecue sauce is red and sweet and smoky and it comes from a shelf near the ketchup. To those who travel and would rather lunch in back of a rickety shack under a shade tree rather than under the golden arches, barbecue sauce comes in a rainbow of colors and flavors, and most tied to the area of origin and its ethnic roots. Indeed, barbecue sauce is a cultural phenomenon.

In the eastern half of North Carolina barbecue sauce is practically transparent with cayenne pepper flakes that flurry in it like a snow globe. In western half of the state it is practically pink going on garnet from ketchup. In much of South Carolina it is yellow from mustard, popular with German settlers. In many dingy brown joints of Texas it is close to brown from meat drippings with big chunks of green peppers and other flotsam in it. And in a corner of North Alabama it is white with black pepper flecks. In Memphis the “sauce” often comes from a shaker and is no more liquid than the paprika that is its backbone.

To the cook, barbecue sauce is alchemy. It is downright fun to make. Standing over the pot adding a dash of this, a pinch of that, taking a taste, adjusting, tasting, and adding something else makes one feel like a wizard. To add a personal flair to your next cookout, serve your homemade sauce from a jelly jar and be prepared to take a few bows. If you feel ambitious, serve your guests a choice of several sauces and repeat what you read here.

American barbecue sauces owe their differences to their colonial histories and can be divided in three basic categoriesvinegar basedtomato based, and mustard based. Then there are at least 11 distinct classic American regional barbecue sauce styles and infinite variations (if we stretch the definition of “sauce” to include Memphis dry rub).

* IMPORTANT NOTE: Many sauces contain sugar and can burn quickly, so the secret is to hold off on the sauce until the last 10 to 15 minutes. 

 

FANFOOD TOP 10 BBQ Sites:

 

  1. amazingribs.com
  2. bbq.about.com
  3. thesmokering.com
  4. smokingmeatforums.com
  5. live.charbroil.com
  6. patiodaddiobbq.com
  7. barbecuen.com
  8. grilling.com
  9. livefireonline.com
  10. weber.com/weber-nation

 

MORE FANFOOD BBQ Links

 

FANFOOD BBQ Rules
FANFOOD Tailgating

 

BBQ Links Archive

 

BBQ Pit Boys

dee jays smokepit – smoking wood guide

The BBQ Brethren

BBQ Dry Rubs – A weber superfan site

Cooking-Outdoors

Joy of Grilling

Grilling 24 x 7

Grill Girl

Smoked-Meat.com

Grillin Fools

Nibble Me This

Extraordinary BBQ

Amazing(ribs) Temperature Guide

Mission BBQ

Smoker – Cooking

DivaQ

Bar B Clean

Grilling For Heroes

Smoking pit

BBQ – 4 – U Forum

Grill Spot – Parts & Accessories

Kiss My Smoke

America’s Test Kitchen – Grilling (subscription required)

Tri Tip Recipes – Pinterest

USDA Summer Food Safety Tips

Memorial Day “Smokeout”

Pork Rib Primer

Cuts of Beef Primer

Pork Cuts Primer

Franks Red Hot Recipes

Tips for BBQ

 

 

 

 

FANFOOD Guide to Smoking Food

 

Smoking 101
Smoking Woods
How Much Wood to Use?
To Soak or Not to Soak?
Smoking Food on a Gas Grill
Smoking Food on a Charcoal Grill
The Minion Method
Using Charcoal for Long Cooks
Tips for Smoking on a Charcoal Grill
Smoking With Gas and Electric Smokers
Using a Smoking Gun

 

 

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Smoking 101

 

The secret of BBQ is heat, time, and smoke.

The secret of GREAT BBQ and successful smoking is airflow.

You need to bring smoke to the food but you can’t hold it there for too long.

Those who know how to use a smoker will tell you that the key to cooking the best food is to know just how prepare the wood, and how much wood should be added to the smoker once started.

You want the wood to burn slowly at a nice even temperature.

You want to maintain a steady smoke and a temperature between 220 and 260 degrees F. at the surface of the food. Ideally, stay as close to 225 degrees F. as you can.

Tip: Have about 8 whole bulbs of garlic soaking; every couple of hours toss a couple of the bulbs into the burn chamber.

Practice makes perfect, so you may have to experiment a bit.

The smoker needs to be heated thoroughly before you add the food and you will need to watch the temperature while you are smoking the food.

The smoking process takes a few hours and the idea is to create a smoke flavor to the food.

You want to place the food in the smoker chamber with the heat temperature between 180 and 200 degrees F. If you are using a gas grill, you may need to place the food as far away from the heat source as possible.

If using wood or charcoal, you must tend to the heat constantly during the smoking.

Use a meat thermometer to make sure smoke cooked foods are done but not overcooked.

It takes practice to know when to adjust the dampers and the flues to keep the temperature at the right level, but this is the key to succulent smoked food!

Smoke cooked foods look differently than other grilled or oven prepared foods. They may be pink or red when completely cooked depending on the type of wood that is used. For example, smoking with apple wood will make chicken look a slightly red.

Experiment with different woods and meats until you find the right combination for your taste.

 

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Smoking Woods

 

With the large selection of wood available it is hard to know which ones to use. While the traditional BBQ is characterized by the strong sweet smell of mesquite or the pungent flavor of hickory, a whole world of flavors is available. See below

BBQ’s unique flavor comes from cooking with an open fire of charcoal and wood. Enhancing the flavor of the smoke by adding aromatic woods, or herbs and spices, to the charcoal gives any food a distinctive smoked taste.

Each type of wood blends particularly well with certain foods. Below are some combinations that will add excitement to your next meal.

Fruit woods
Apple, cherry and peach wood work beautifully with poultry, game birds and pork. Serve a chutney made from the same fruit to underscore the flavor even more.

Sugar Maple
Sugar maple add a sweet, subtle flavor that enhances the flavor of poultry and game birds. Smoke a pork roast with them for a sensational taste experience.

Pecan
If you like a beautiful golden-brown turkey, pecan is the best. Try it with other poultry products, game birds and pork- for a delicate pecan flavor.

Jack Daniel’s
Made from Jack Daniel’s barrels. Adds a distinctive flavor to beef and poultry.

Woodbridge Vintage Barrel Chips
Made exclusively from recycled 100% American and French Oak wine saturated barrels, which for years have been used in the aging of fine wines. Upon completion of the aging process the five to seven year old barrels are hand selected for recycling into wood smoking chips.

Alder
Long a favorite of Pacific Northwest Indians for cooking fresh salmon, alder chips or chunks impart a delicate, wood-smoke flavor which enhances the natural taste of salmon, swordfish, sturgeon, rainbow trout, and other fish. Also excellent with chicken or pork.

Mesquite
One of the most popular woods in the country, mesquite is a scrubby tree that grows wild in the Southwest. Sweeter and more delicate than hickory, it’s a perfect complement to richly flavored meats such as steak, duck or lamb.

Hickory
The most popular hardwood flavoring in use today, hickory lends a pungent, smoky, bacon-like flavor we associate with Southern-style cooking. Excellent with ham, pork, and beef.

Grapevine cuttings
Traditionally used in the wine-growing regions of Italy and France, grapevine cuttings give a more delicate flavor than hardwoods and are recommended for use with fish and poultry. When used dry, the grapevines produce a quick burst of heat and then smoke lightly to permeate foods with their sweet, wine-hinted flavor.

Herbs and Spices
The uniquely fragrant flavors of rosemary and basil give new life to grilled poultry and fish. Garlic cloves, citrus peels, cinnamon sticks and whole nutmegs can be added to the fire. Water-soak all herbs and spices, dried or fresh, before adding to coals. The seasoning should smolder and smoke, not burn, to a crisp.

Guava Wood
Guava wood has a subtle, semi-sweet aroma. The cut wood is seasoned naturally under the Hawaiian sun for 9-12 months, then hand-split, chipped and packaged to retain maximum flavor. Whether grilling or smoking fresh chicken, pork, fish, lamb or beef, guava wood will complement each flavor differently.

 

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How Much Wood to Use?

 

With wood smoke, you are looking for a smoke that is just barely visible.

It is sometimes referred to as the thin blue smoke and is simply that smoke that you have to squint your eyes to see.

It is important to consider airflow when smoking. Good smoke is smoke that is moving around and not trapped inside your smoker!

The way to ensure the smoke is moving is to create a good draft by having an inlet for air and an exit or exhaust for the smoke. This inlet is usually near the firebox area and is sometimes referred to as the intake damper. The exit or exhaust can be a vent in the lid or a pipe protruding out of the top or side of the smoker sometimes referred to as the chimney or stack.

The intake should be at least 1/4 open at all times and the exhaust to be at least 1/2 open to ensure proper air flow.

At any rate, although this is somewhat dependent on the individual smoker, NEVER close either one all the way. You will immediately stop the airflow and the smoke will begin to create creosote on the food and the inside walls of your smoker.

This will most certainly ruin the food for this smoke and future ones due to the buildup within the smoker. If this happens, you will need to thoroughly clean the smoker and re-season it just like you did when you bought it new. Bottom line, keep the air / smoke moving for the very best results.

 

 

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To Soak or Not to Soak? That is the Question

 

There is a reason boats are made out of wood and why we use water to put out fires!

It is conventional wisdom that you should soak wood chips and chunks before using them in a charcoal or gas grill or smoker. All the books say so. All the TV shows say so. The guys over at amazingribs.com experimented with soaking a bunch of different wood, chucks and chips and after 24 hours of soaking , the water barely penetrated solid wood and slightly penetrated the cracks. Most books recommend soaking for only an hour or two. So if the water barely penetrates the wood after 24 hours, what good is 60 minutes?

 

What happens to wet wood on a grill?

 

There’s another good reason to not soak your wood. If you toss dripping wet wood on hot coals, the water on the surface can cool off the coals. But as mentioned above, the key to good outdoor cooking is to control your temperature. The goal is to get to a target temp and hold there.

Let’s say the coals or gas jets are 1,000°F on their surface. If the wood surface is wet the wood cannot heat much beyond 212°F, water’s boiling point, until it evaporates by turning to steam. The temp sticks there.

In a grill or smoker, the wood temp will not rise much above 212°F until the water steams off. After the water is driven off, the wood starts to warm and when the surface hits the combustion point, about 575°F, it begins giving off gases. It can then combust and produce smoke.

You might think you see “smoke” when you toss on wet wood, but it is really steam.

One more reason not to soak. Not all smoke is the same. As said before, the best tasting smoke is practically invisible, thin, and pale blue. Blue smoke is better than white, gray, or black, by far. Blue smoke depends on dry wood and a hot fire.

Tip: Some people have problems with chips catching on fire when they throw them on the coals. To prevent this and improve smoke quality, try making a smoke packet by wrapping the wood in foil and poking holes in the foil. Or switch to chunks. You may have to experiment with the number of holes.

 

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Smoking Food on a Gas Grill

 

If you are adding smoking wood to a gas grill then you need to arrange to keep the wood isolated from the fire. You don’t want the wood to burn too fast and you don’t want the ash to collect in your gas grill. There are several devices on the market for holding smoking wood chips in your gas grill;

The most common is a cast iron box that fits under the cooking grate and above the burners. A “V Shaped Smoker Box” was designed for your gas grill and works great! It has been expressly constructed to fit between the flame deflector bars of most gas grills which provides direct contact with the heat source for rapid heat up and smoke flavor.

This will help accelerate the smoking of your wood chips and save space on the cooking surface and better yet, all the ashes stay in the smoker box keeping your grill clean and ready to go.

There is even a top hinge for convenient refilling.

The secrets of gas grill smoking are indirect heat and temperature control. In order to smoke successfully, your grill needs to have at least two burners, and it should have a temperature gauge.

Here’s the low-down on what you’ll need…

A gas grill with two or more individually controlled burners under the grate, positioned either side-by-side, or front-to-back. You will place your foil wrapped smoking wood over the left-side burner, and your meat on the right side of the grill. (Or wood in back, meat in front.)

A temperature gauge mounted in the lid. It’s important that you know what the temperature is inside the grill.

If your grill has cast iron grates, it’s important that they are seasoned correctly. This will help prevent the foods from sticking as they smoke, and prevent rust from forming. After cleaning the cast iron grate, coat all sides with vegetable oil, and heat them over low heat in the grill for 30 minutes. Brush on another coat of oil before each grilling session.

I know what you are thinking, “Then how do I keep wood chips from catching fire in my grill or smoker?” As we learned in science class, fire needs air, heat and fuel to burn. The way to limit the chips from catching fire too quickly is to minimize the air to the chips. As mentioned before, it’s best to wrap the chips in a foil pouch and then just poke a few small holes in the top of the of the pouch to let the smoke out. If done correctly it will never catch on fire. Place the wood packages directly over the burner you’ll be using, positioned under the grate and directly on top of the lava rocks or the metal shield. Turn the burner on and set it to medium or medium-high. You’ll need to experiment in order to determine where to start with your grill.

When you see your gas grill smoking, place the food on the grate, opposite the smoking wood, and close the cover. Maintain the temperature at 225 F to 250 F degrees until the food is done.

This method works great and all you have to do is throw out the foil packet once it’s cooled down.

Another option is to use wood chunks. With wood chunks you can just place them in a foil pouch directly over a burner just as you would with the wood chip smoker pouch.

The great thing about cooking with smoke is all the experimentation it allows you to do. There all kinds of different woods you can use in different combinations. I suggest you start with oak, it’s a good mild wood that won’t overpower your cooking and will get you started on the journey of cooking with smoke. Now you have no excuse not to try smoking on a gas grill!

 

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Smoking Food on a Charcoal Grill

 

If you’re just starting out BBQ smoking, you might have heard of the term “Minion Method” once or twice. If you’re already familiar with the term and have used the method, you know that it’s far superior to what the manual tells you to do. If you’re serious about smoking your own BBQ and you want to use charcoal as your heat source you definitely want to know the Minion Method.

The Minion Method is basically a way of setting up the charcoal so that it burns longer, more steady, and more consistent. In general, you won’t have to keep adding more fuel during the cooking process, so it’s perfect for overnight cooking sessions. To top it all off, you can start cooking relatively quickly. If done correctly, it should last anywhere from 6-18 hours at around 225-275 degrees F–perfect for the low and slow meats like brisket and pulled pork. The Minion Method is not meant for smoking at temps of higher than 300 degrees F.

 

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Basics of Setting Up the Minion Method:

 

Fill the charcoal chamber to the top with unlit charcoal briquettes

Spread several fist-sized chunks of wood at the bottom (and/or the top) of the charcoal

Fill the chimney starter about halfway with charcoal, light up

When the burning charcoal starts to turn white ash, dump on top of the unlit charcoal

There you have it. The Minion Method.

 

Minion Method of fire control. Invented by Jim Minion, this is a clever technique of maintaining constant temp for a long time by filling the basket part way with unlit coals and then you pour hot coals on top. The hot coals slowly ignite the coals below them and the temperature remains remarkably steady for long periods of time. Jim Minion, a caterer who invented the technique, started by pouring a Weber chimney fill of unlit coals (80 briquettes) into the grill or smoker and buried about three chunks of wood in the pile. Then put 1/2 a Weber chimney (40 briquettes) of hot coals on top of cold coals, and a lump of wood on top. The exact number of coals will vary depending on the brand you use, the smoker, and the weather.

Harry Soo from Slap Yo Daddy BBQ likes to make a “crater” with his Minion Method. He piles as much charcoal on the sides, almost playing a little game of balance, while leaving a hole in the middle. Then he fills the hole with fully-lit, ash-colored charcoal. That way, the charcoal slowly burns from the inside out.

Now of course, as in the case of BBQ Philosophy, everyone has their own ways of doing things. I like to put a few chunks of wood on top of the charcoal, because I feel that the wood flavor penetrates the meat a lot more at the beginning stages vs. towards the end of the smoking process. Since charcoal is relatively cheap, I much rather put more charcoal at first vs. having to end up re-filling down the line.

There are also those with distinct taste buds, who say they don’t like the idea of smoking with unlit charcoal because it gives off a weird taste. They also say that it’s unhealthy because unlit charcoal briquettes has that chemical taste that needs to be initially burned off (thus turning into the ashy, grey-color). Personally, I’ve smoked BBQ in all different methods and I really can’t tell the difference in taste. That’s part of the fun about BBQ — there is no right or wrong, whatever works for you, just go with it.

 

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Using Charcoal for Long Cooks

 

Part of the problem with charcoal is that it starts cold, heats up rapidly, hits a peak, and then slowly cools as the fuel is consumed.

But it is important to keep the temp of your grill or smoker constant. There are several clever solutions. The core concept of them all is that you put lit coals on top of unlit coals, or vice versa, or side by side, and the ignition of the new coals synchronizes with the death of old coals.

They work well with one noteworthy problem. Freshly lit coals put out a lot of smoke, and it is thick white smoke, not the thin blue smoke that makes the best flavor.

 

The fuse method

To light the fuse, known as the snake, C, or U method, you put the coals in a C or U shape, ignite one end, and walk away. It works remarkably well. Here is how it looks on a

Weber Kettle or a bullet smoker.

 

 

There are also those with distinct taste buds, who say they don’t like the idea of smoking with unlit charcoal because it gives off a weird taste. They also say that it’s unhealthy because unlit charcoal briquettes has that chemical taste that needs to be initially burned off (thus turning into the ashy, grey-color). Personally, I’ve smoked BBQ in all different methods and I really can’t tell the difference in taste. That’s part of the fun about BBQ — there is no right or wrong, whatever works for you, just go with it.

 

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Tips for smoking on a Charcoal Grill

 

NEVER use liquid charcoal starter unless you want your meat to taste like lighter fluid!

Monitor temperature by adding 8 to 10 fresh briquettes at a time.

Keep the heat at about 225 F and resist the temptation to constantly peek under the hood. Heat and smoke escape each time you open the lid, sacrificing aroma and flavor while extending the cooking time. Remember, barbeque is a “low and slow” process.

Start with a small amount of wood to see how you like the flavor, then add more for a more intense smoky taste. Don’t overdo it though, and don’t add wood after the first half of the smoking process. Adding wood too late can impart a bitter flavor to the meat and ruin your barbecue, and most importantly, after your food reaches around 150 F, it doesn’t absorb smoke anyway.

Because a pan full of charcoal produces a limited supply of heat, you will need to preserve as much heat inside the cooker as possible. Heat will be lost by removing the lid to check your food, so resist this temptation as much as possible.

Excessive wind will also make the charcoal burn faster, so try to place your smoker where wind is minimized. If necessary, you can build a temporary windbreak to help control the loss of heat created by the wind chill factor. This is important since temperatures must be in the 225 F to 250 F to properly smoke your meat. Remember, as the air temperature falls, the chilling effect of any wind that is present increases as does your fuel consumption.

When smoke cooking large quantities of food, be careful to adjust the airflow vents so that the fire will not cook too hot and burn out too soon. Never close the airflow vents completely unless you want to extinguish your fire. You can monitor your cooking temperature with a temperature gauge inserted in the lid of the smoker.

When cooking large cuts of meats such as turkeys, hams and large roasts, place the food at the far end of the cooking chamber away from the fire. This will allow the food to smoke cook more slowly over a longer period of time. If the temperature begins to decline before you have finished the smoking process, add more fuel until the temperature rises to the desired level.

It might sound obvious, but if you cook with charcoal, you need to have a plan on what you are going to do after the cook. Properly disposing of used charcoal is more than simply sending it to the landfill. You can get much more use out of it and if you BBQ as much as I do, you can save money too.

The first and most important thing you need to do with the charcoal that you use, is to allow the coals to burn out completely and let ashes cool at least 48 hours before doing anything with it.

 

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Smoking With Gas and Electric Smokers

 

There are two types of gas smokers categorized according to the fuel they use. One is propane smoker and the other one is the natural gas smoker. In using a propane gas smoker, you will have the advantage of having twice the energy it can give compared to a natural gas. Propane-fueled smokers are very convenient and portable, but you need to be careful and make sure that the propane tank is situated away from the smoker because the smoker tends to be extremely hot during the operation.

Natural gas smokers, on the other hand, are best and safe for home use since they can just be connected to the natural gas supply in your homes. And the best thing about using a gas smoker is that you are using a clean gas burning fuel, so there will be no worry in cleaning ashes. They are also easy to light and can easily maintain the temperature in a click.

Advantages of a Gas or Electric Smoker

Many people prefer an electric smoker to the traditional wood and charcoal type. It is easier to use and also simpler to start up. There is no need to get the charcoal lit, and the temperature is more even. Many charcoal smokers provide varying temperatures as the coals burn and are topped up. Not only that, but air flow through traditional smokers is not always consistent and you tend to get much wider temperature differences between the bottom and top sections of smokers such as bullet smokers and ovens.

An electric smoker offers more even and consistent heat and airflow, and you tend to get the same results consistently each time you cook. You can set the temperature you want and the thermostat will provide that, and you can also walk away and leave it because there are no coals to burn away and the oven switches itself off after the allotted time.

You can get thermometers or thermocouples that retain the maximum temperature reached in their memory, so you can also check that the proper meat temperature has been reached without having to be there continuously. In that respect electric smokers are generally safer from a cooking point of view.

Some people believe that electric smokers don’t give the same flavor as the traditional types, but why not? You get the smoke and flavor from the wood not the charcoal, and if you use the right type of wood for the meat, such as hickory with pork and ham, or maple for poultry then you get as good if not better results with the electric smoker because the temperature is more even.

In summary, electric smokers are significantly more convenient, offer more regular results day in day out and the flavor and smoke will also be more regular because it is not tainted by the charcoal. The electric smoker is also easier to keep clean and generally healthier because of its ability to maintain a set temperature throughout the cooking cycle.

 

Just Remember, never use a smoker indoors; fumes from the charcoal and wood are toxic. Always follow smoker operating instructions and safety warnings found in the owner’s manual.

 

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Using a Smoking Gun

 

 

The Smoking Gun makes your kitchen and bar creations appealing and unique. There are virtually no other methods that allow you to make such big flavor and aroma differences so easily. The Smoking Gun offers an alternative to traditional smoking methods.

Today turning even salads, chocolate, meringue, sauces, butters and fruit into unique new culinary sensations is possible by adding a measured amount of natural, cool smoke. The Smoking Gun makes adding flavors and adjusting their intensities easy. Your selection of combustibles including various types of wood chips, teas, herbs, spices and even hay and dried flowers is limited only by your imagination. The durable, hand-held Smoking Gun operates on just four AA batteries allowing you to experiment and create signature culinary creations at extremely low cost per serving. Simply fill the Smoking Gun chamber with your choice of combustible, turn it on, light with a match or lighter and apply the smoke where you want it.

There are a few ways to add smoke to cocktails. The first is to use an intrinsically smoky ingredient, like single malt scotch or pimenton (Spanish smoked paprika). Another is to infuse the drink with actual wood smoke.

When choosing your ingredients, aim for smoky spirits. Scotch whisky — the ultimate smoky spirit — owes it distinctive iodine-smoke flavor to peat. Or try mescal, which is made in Mexico’s Oaxaca region by smoking the hearts of agave and other cacti.

A handheld smoker is the latest weapon in a barman’s arsenal, and smoked cocktails are turning up at cutting edge bars from Brooklyn to San Francisco.
According to master mixologist, Dale DeGroff and his book The Essential Cocktail smoke adds a richness, complexity, and depth of flavor that can make a respectable cocktail great and a great cocktail a work of art.

Smoke guns come in two basic models, but both work on a similar principle. You load in the hardwood sawdust of your choice, turn on the fan, and shoot smoke into your favorite cocktail. Excellent just got better.

 

Weapon #1: The Smoking Gun by PolyScience. It looks like a black plastic handheld hair drier. You put hardwood sawdust in the smoke chamber. Switch on the battery-powered fan and light the sawdust with a match. For smoking cocktails and other beverages, a rubber tube fits on the end of the Smoking Gun: simply insert it in the liquid. Cover the glass or bowl with plastic wrap and fill with smoke. Repeat as necessary.

Weapon #2: The Aladin Smoker. Shaped like an upright metal cylinder, the Aladin has a fan in the bottom section, a sawdust holder at the top and a smoke chamber with a flexible plastic hose for directing the smoke.

 

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Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest

 

Every July 4, the eyes of the world focus on Coney Island, NY, for the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest.

The holiday event, which is open to the public and which is sanctioned by the International Federation of Competitive eating, takes place at Nathan’s Famous on the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues in Coney Island, Brooklyn. With an expected audience of 50,000 every year, those seeking good viewing are advised to arrive before 11 am. (For more information, call the IFOCE at (212) 627-5766.)

The Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest has been held at Nathan’s Famous on the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues in Coney Island each year since 1916

At noon each July 4th, a group of 20 steely-eyed individuals line up behind a 40-foot table to begin the 12-minute contest. These competitors, known in the sport of competitive eating as “gurgitators”, may not appear athletic to the untrained eye. However, they are among the finest athletes – with the quickest jaws! – in the world.

Joey Chestnut, Current World Hot Dog Eating Champ

Joey Chestnut of San Jose, California, is the latest champion to win the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest. He most recently took the title by downing 61 dogs and buns in a matter of minutes to be awarded the 2014 Mustard Belt — and the $10,000 grand prize! It was Chestnut’s eighth consecutive win in recent years.

In 2015, watch for Joey and female defending champ, Miki Sudo (who consumed more than 34 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes last year), attempt to defend their titles in the upcoming contest in Coney Island.

 

 

 

 

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