“I’m starting to embrace the barbecue thing since now I’m an adopted Southerner. I’m a ‘damn Yankee’ according to my wife’s family,” said Jason Cyr, who is married to Marietta native Claire Dunaway Cyr, a 1998 graduate of Marietta High School. She teaches at Ford Elementary School in Acworth.
Claire’s parents are Dot and former Marietta Mayor and restaurateur Bill Dunaway. Dunaway, who is retired, owned the 1848 House restaurant.
“I just cook for fun. I’m not trained or anything. When I do barbecue, I try to outdo everyone in my wife’s family, including Mr. Dunaway,” he said.
Cyr received a smoker that was brand new but about 10 years old from his sister and brother-in-law, Dawn and Tom McEachern. Tom is executive chef partner at Capital Grill.
Cyr spent a lot of time researching how to smoke meat.
“It seems like it’s simple, but there’s a lot of science that goes into it,” said Cyr, who is originally from Boston, Massachusetts. A web designer who owns Jason Cyr Designs, Cyr met his wife in Park City, Utah and moved to Marietta when they married. The couple has one daughter, Savannah Adele, born Jan. 18.
“I’ve learned the best barbecue comes from the South. Nobody really respects barbecue that comes from the North. We’re just ‘damn Yankees.’ We don’t know what we’re doing,” Cyr said, laughing.
The first thing Cyr smoked were ribs using a modified recipe from a pit master in Boston.
“I wanted to modify this rub with my own spin and show my Southern in-laws how barbecue is done,” he said.
Cyr’s inaugural batch of ribs was quite tasty.
“I think it was beginner’s luck,” he said.
Feeling a little cocky, the next time Cyr tried more advanced techniques.
“The ribs were edible, just not great,” he said.
The third time was a charm when Cyr smoked ribs last Thanksgiving for the extended family. At 4:30 a.m., Cyr started the ribs with makeshift tin-foil tent on the smoker. Because of the single-digit weather, it was difficult to maintain the temperature inside the smoker.
“It was a lot of work, but the ribs were perfect in my mind. They came out better than the other two,” said Cyr who takes notes every time he makes ribs.
All the barbecue connoisseurs in the family agreed that Cyr’s ribs were great. His brother-in-law, Tom, said they could potentially win competitions.
Cyr eventually purchased a new electric smoker that allows him to cook with more temperature control. He continues to use the foundation from the Boston pit master recipe but adds two ingredients, powdered Worcestshire Sauce and freeze-dried Molasses that gives it a unique flavor.
Cyr makes Memphis-style barbecue with a dry rub only.
“I wanted to keep it simple. I only use this dry rub. That’s all I do. I don’t even baste it while I smoke it,” he said.
Cyr said the perfect ending to barbecue is homemade ice cream or sorbet.
After researching, Cyr made his first batch — a coffee ice cream concoction with chunks of chocolate covered glazed donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts — using an electric ice cream maker given to the Cyrs from Claire’s colleagues when they married.
I always compare every ice cream I have to (Kimball’s) ice cream. When I made my ice cream it was similar consistency. It tasted really good,” said Cyr, who grew up going to Kimball’s Farm in Westford, Massachusetts, makers of top-notch ice cream.
Cyr loves experimenting with flavors. He eventually purchased a second ice cream maker so that he can make more flavors at the same time using different ingredients like Peruvian dark chocolate, Guinness beer, cabernet sauvignon (for sorbet), and chocolate covered bacon.
Cyr is so passionate about his ice cream and sorbets he has created an online store for products and recipes. Visit angrymooseicecream.com for more information.
“I try to go over the top with my (ice cream/sorbet) recipes,” Cyr said.
Jason’s Dry Rub for Barbecue Ribs
*The quantities make a lot of rub, but it will keep for several months if stored in a dry place.
1 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup organic cane sugar
1/2-Cup Blackstrap Molasses Powder
2 Tablespoons Smoked Sea Salt (I use apple smoked sea salt from the Main Sea Salt Company www.maineseasalt.com)*
2 Tablespoons Himalayan Pink Salt*
1/4-Cup Course Sea Salt
1-Cup Hungarian Paprika
6 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
4 Tablespoons Dried Basil
2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
4 Tablespoons Dried Oregano
4 Tablespoons Dried Thyme
4 Tablespoons Dried Onion Flakes
4 Tablespoons Dried Worcestershire Powder
2 Teaspoons Ground Allspice
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
3 Tablespoons Black Pepper
4 Tablespoons Anisas Rosemary Lemon Pepper Mix (found at the Marietta Farmers Market or www.anisassecretsinc.com)
Mix ingredients in bowl. Bring ribs to room temperature. One hour before smoking, coat ribs with Canola oil and apply dry rub to ribs.
*I mix the smoked sea salt and Himalayan pink sea salt and I grind them up in a salt grinder.
Jason’s Sorbet Recipe
Makes 2 pints
2 - 15 ounce can of full fat Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut. Do not use any other cream of coconut; Coco Lopez is the best for this recipe. (Available at most places where mixers are sold such as Kroger)
1.5 Cups of water
1 Cup of Nellie & Joe’s Key Lime Juice (Available at most places where mixers are sold such as Kroger)
Zest of 2 limes
A pinch of Marietta’s own Trammel House Sweets Lime Salt Available soon at rachelssweets.com or email Rachel@rachelssweets.com
1 cup of quartered Nilla Wafers
To make sorbet, follow directions on your ice cream maker. Add Nilla Wafers and zest for the last 2 minutes of churning.