The Big Pinks BBQ food truck may not have a working engine, but its most important asset – its smoker – is better than ever, thanks in part to “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” host Guy Proud.
The truck, which has been parked on Union Avenue in Bridgewater since its engine blew before the onset of COVID, will be on the Food Network show Friday, July 29 at 9 p.m.
Fieri personally recommended Big Pinks BBQ owner Martin Gleason buy a bigger smoker – which now sits in a trailer behind the truck. Gleason enjoyed the advice and filming of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”.
“I’ve watched this show all my life and use it to come up with special sandwiches or learn techniques,” said Piscataway resident Gleason. “It’s kind of an aspiration for me. You see this red car coming and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, I’ve seen this car all my life.’ “
Two Big Pinks BBQ sandwiches will be featured on the show. The first is the Abe Frohman, a homemade sausage sandwich on a potato roll topped with American cheese, onion rings, and sauces — inspired by Gleason’s favorite movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” (Abe Froman, “Chicago’s sausage king”, loses his reservation at a French restaurant to Bueller in the film.)
The other TV sandwich soon to be televised is the Big Pink, a towering eight-inch sausage filled with various truck-made meats including brisket, pulled chicken, pulled pork, and sausage, topped with multiple sauces, of a mixture of four Italian cheeses and onion rings on an onion roll.
“We use a bunch of our different sauces, so every bite is a little different,” Gleason said. “It was pretty funny when Guy tried to eat it – it’s too big for bread.”
Big Pinks BBQ offers 13 different sauces, as their menu is inspired by different cities and flavors across the country. They smoke in a super humid environment to better develop flavors, Gleason said.
Fieri offered advice during the recording.
“It wasn’t just that he tasted the food and said, ‘Oh, that’s delicious. He gave us advice here and there,” Gleason said. “Guy went over some cheese melting techniques and walked us through easier ways to do things. “
Gleason started Big Pinks BBQ with his brother – Michael Gleason, a “big redhead” also known as Big Pink – in 2017 after receiving a smoker’s gift for his birthday in 2015. He then started smoking a lot of ribs and decided to quit his job. as a lawyer to start his own barbecue truck.
Gleason’s friend spotted a scrapped truck, possibly an old hot dog truck, in a junkyard. The owner told Gleason he could have it if he could start it – and sure enough he found the key in the truck and was able to drive it.
Gleason traveled to different parts of the United States and “tried to make the most of wherever we went,” he said. The result has been a massive barbecue menu at Big Pinks, like Texas-style brisket with a simple rub of salt and pepper, and Kansas City-style ribs that are smoked, sauced, and then smoked again.
Fieri’s team knew the celebrity would be in Manville during the first week of April for a charity event at the VFW borough where he would cook meals for the veterans. They came across Big Pinks BBQ, and after an exchange of emails and two days, Fieri was in Bridgewater.
“We were still going back and forth, but that was our general place, so when the engine blew up, we had it towed over there,” laughed Gleason. “In the set, Guy says, ‘I’m in a broken down food truck in New Jersey. “
Look: “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” on the Food Network Friday, July 29 at 9 p.m. Big Pinks BBQ is at 483 Union Ave., Bridgewater; 908-334-5685, bigpinksbbq.com.
Jenna Intersimone has been a staff member of the USA Today Network New Jersey since 2014, having become a blogger-turned-journalist after founding her award-winning travel blog. To get unlimited access to her food, drink and fun stories, please subscribe or activate your digital account today. Contact: [email protected] Where @JIntersimone.