Talkin' Turkey and BBQ at Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill

It's time to think about Thanksgiving
and preparing the turkey and sides.

Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill
was kind enough to invite me to their

Flame, Smoke, and Turkey
'When BBQ and Thanksgiving Collide'

 Chef Alex Benes,
Wood Ranch's Sultan of Smoke,
gives us prep/cooking tips
and prepped a turkey for us.

NOTE:  Wood Ranch doesn't do turkeys for Thanksgiving.

 Chef Alex showed us how
to cut out the backbone and
butterfly the turkey.

After injecting the bird to keep it moist,
a rub was spread on and will be
cooked breast-side down.
All of the juices will run down into the breast,
keeping it juicy.

 Through the magic of television,
well you know what I mean...

The turkey is done!

 Chef Alex breaks down the bird for tasting,
which was really good and moist.

The best part was sampling the bird with 
the smokey gravy.

Now that the demo is over,
time to sit down and sample 
some of Wood Ranch's specialties

See What Jay Eats...

I started the evening out with a
Raspberry Ranch Lemonade.

Cruzan raspberry rum and lemonade.
(not your typical lemonade stand beverage)

I love that they use fresh squeezed citrus
in their cocktails and you can taste the brightness.

 Fresh Guacamole & Chips

Was just talking to someone about fresh
guacamole and this one did not disappoint.

 Famous Shredded Onions

Nice and crunchy,
a great starter.

Burnt Ends and Mac & Cheese
on the same plate!

Can it get better than this?

Burnt Ends are from the point half of a smoked brisket.
This is a Kansas City traditional BBQ menu item,
and for me, the best part of a smoked brisket.

I would have been happy with this plate of 
burnt ends and mac & cheese,
but we continue to move on with more...

Pulled Pork Sliders
topped with cole slaw.

If you follow me on Instagram,
you know I love pulled pork,
this was a very good slider.

Tri-Tip Sliders

I'm torn at this point, tri-tip is one
of my favorite cuts of meat,
but really love pulled pork.

Either way, wasn't disappointed.

Yes mom, I ate my veggies too...
Tuscan Kale Salad

with watermelon radishes, green beans, golden raisins,
carrots, toasted pumpkin seeds, chives, cauliflower,
Parmesan, and balsamic vinaigrette.

I love kale and this was a great salad.
Loved all of the texture, as it wasn't just all kale.
Lots of crunch, loved the raisins,
and a simple vinaigrette to round it out.
I would order this salad again.

 Chef Alex introducing the Brisket Burger 2.0

Chipotle-cherry BBQ sauce, Shredded Onions,
with tomato, pickle, and lettuce,
on a toasted sesame-seed bun.

Brisket Burger 2.0

It was a good burger,
loved the crunchy onions with it.

House-Made Vegan Burger

Lentils, bulgur, cashews, leeks, 
with avocado, lettuce, tomato, pickles
on a toasted honey-wheat bun (not vegan).

With all of the meat and BBQ Wood Ranch serves,
they do make a great vegan burger patty.
It's hard to make a veggie patty great,
this was a winner.

St. Louis Ribs

Dry-rubbed & smoked 
with BBQ sauce on the side.

A great tasting rib.

The Certified Angus Beef
Short Rib

A Pecan smoked short rib
with a nice glaze and choice of sauce.

I'm trying to remember if I've had a smoked
short rib before?
It was very tender and flavorful,
one of my favorites of the evening. 

All-American Baby Back Ribs

A classic and done well here.


Grilled to perfection
and one of my favorites cut of beef.

What's great entrees without 
sides to match?
Lauren's Favorite Mac and Cheese

Who doesn't love mac and cheese?
Especially with BBQ!
It isn't a fancy one, it's just good...

Fiery Green Beans

Green beans with a kick.

Smashed Sweet Potatoes

Butter, brown sugar, honey and more,
my favorite side of the evening. 

I can see why a lot of people order during the holidays!

So by now, we're stuffed
and Chef Alex said,
(These gems are made in house daily)

"Simple 6" Key Lime Tart*

 Just six ingredients,
by using good ingredients, that's all you need
to make something great.

 Pumpkin Cheesecake

Would you expect anything else for Autumn?

The Best Cheesecake*

Graham cracker crust, raspberry sauce and whipped cream.

Warm Chocolate Cake*

Flourless Guittard chocolate cake, hand-candied pecans,
with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.

Mom's Deep Dish Peach Cobbler*

Freestone peaches, whole grains, brown sugar, cinnamon,
served with vanilla ice cream.

Since the weather in Southern California is still warm,
it's hard to get into the Autumn season, esp with
Halloween and Thanksgiving fast approaching.
But, it was good to get in some turkey tips and
have never thought about butterflying a turkey,
will have to try it.

Now when I think of Wood Ranch BBQ and Grill,
I will have to think of the grilled items more.
I usually order baby back or St. Louis ribs,
but the brisket burger 2.0 and grilled tri-tip were
really good.  It's hard to find a vegan burger
that tastes good and this house-made one is very good.

Now that I have a better view of the other items
on the menu, I will be back to have more of 
my favorites from tonight!

See what my co-foodies had to say:



There are multiple Wood Ranch locations in Southern California
and one opening in Virginia in 2015.
For a location near you, find it HERE

Thank You!
Alex Benes
Kevin Diamond
Jennifer Evans Gardner
Wendi Shapiro
Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill

NOTE:  I was an invited guest of Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill
and thank them for the invitation and hospitality.
All comments and opinions are strictly my own.

The pictures didn't turn out as well as I would've liked,
but the food was much better than the pics turned out.

Photos by Jay Terauchi
* - photos courtesy of Kristie Hang
Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi


Unknown said…
Excellent! Alex is so creative! Thanks for the Certified Angus Beef (r) brand mention too!

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