Hillsborough's Ribs Within takes home the bacon
Special to NJ Press Media
Doug Keiles always brings home the bacon, even from the World Food Championships. Keiles, of Hillsborough, is the pitmaster and captain of the Ribs Within BBQ Team.
Competing at the World Food Championships in November in Las Vegas, Ribs Within won $4,000 and second place in the Bacon World Championship. During the course of the contest, Keiles presented his signature dish, filet mignon stuffed with jalapeno cream cheese, wrapped in bacon.
The World Food Championships was filmed and will be aired on television as part of a six-episode series in the spring on the A&E family of networks.
“That dish is kind of a slant on a jalapeno popper, which is a cream cheese-stuffed jalapeno wrapped in bacon,” Keiles said.
His team has won a number of awards and has been competing in the barbecue circuit for 11 years.
“We compete in the barbecue circuit in chicken, ribs, brisket and pork, and some contests have extra categories, like the bacon category, and we will compete in that, too,” Keiles said.
He added that his wife, Laura Keiles, wasn’t working on the team for a number of years, but that she joined the team for the Las Vegas contest.
“We had a great time. It was a really fun event,” he said. “Here we were competing against professional chefs, and I am just a backyard guy from Central Jersey who loves to cook. As a family, we are mostly gluten free, so we tend to eat more meat than we probably should. We eat a lot of meat, and a lot of vegetables, too.”
He said he had no formal training in food preparation but has always loved to grill.
“Our team has won a lot of awards, grand championships in barbecue and grilling, and we’ve won lots of trophies,” he said.
Keiles appeared on Food Network’s “Chopped: Grill Masters” in 2012.
He also has a catering business that he runs from his house. He caters graduation parties, birthday parties, football tailgating events, corporate parties, weddings and more. Menu items include brisket, pulled pork, barbecue chicken, slow-smoked ribs and a homemade bacon menu, including bacon sliders, bacon chocolate truffles and bacon rice crispy treats, to name a few.
Keiles said his seasonings have Caribbean and Asian tones with a zesty Cajun kick.
“I also developed the recipes at the former R.U.B. Hut, now called Grub Hut, in Manville,” he said, adding that he sells his own line of rubs and seasonings through his website, www.ribswithin.com.
“We make our own bacon, and it’s amazing,” he said.
He uses his own rubs and brine and fresh pork belly from Lancaster. Another specialty he makes is an “Elvis without the peanut butter. It’s Amish banana bread, jam, our bacon and bacon jam, and I brulee it.”
“I am always trying different things,” he said.
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