Smokin' Rays Pork Wings. Photo by Aaron Bristol.

How To Tailgate Like a Pro With Smokin’ Ray Rutenis


This video is part of our “Parking Lot Party” story in the September/October 2017 issue. For more content like this, subscribe to the magazine

Smokin’ Rays Short Rib Sliders

Pork Rib Sliders. Photo by Aaron Bristol.

Shot Rib Sliders. Photo by Aaron Bristol.

Yield – 1 dozen sliders, prep – 4.5 hours, tailgate – 10 minutes

  • 4 lbs. short ribs of beef
  • 4 tbsp. SmokinRays® BBQ Rub
  • 4 tbsp. bacon (diced)
  • 2 onions (chopped)
  • 2 carrots (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ cups beef broth
  • Mini hamburger buns

To cook:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Remove any membranes (or silverskin) from short ribs.
  3. Cover BBQ Rub into the ribs.
  4. Using a cast iron or other heavy wide skillet or pan that is also ovenproof, sweat the bacon until fat covers skillet. Add short ribs and brown on all sides.
  5. Remove ribs and brown onions, carrots then garlic.
  6. When browned, pour off all but a small portion of the drippings remaining in pan.
  7. Add remaining ingredients and bring the sauce to a boil, then cover the pan and transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 3.5 to 4 hours, basting occasionally.
  8. Remove ribs from skillet and let rest. Boil the liquid until thick and strain.
  9. Place in refrigerator until game day.
  10. At tailgate, slice in 2-ounce pieces and warm on grill, brushing with reduced sauce. Serve on small buns with BBQ sauce and melted cheese.

Tip: Chef Ray likes gouda cheese!

Roasted Corn Salsa

Roasted Corn Salsa. Photo by Aaron Bristol.

Roasted Corn Salsa. Photo by Aaron Bristol.

Yield – 10 servings, time – 30 minutes

  • 2 fresh corn on the cob (shucked)
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1 small cucumber (peeled and seeded)
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, roasted (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 red onion (small diced)
  • 3 tbsp. fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. SmokinRays® Herb Citrus
  • As needed SmokinRays® All Mixed Up (optional)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

To cook:

  1. Roast corn in broiler and cool.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and chill in refrigerator.

Tip: Use All mixed up for spicier mix.

Smokin’ Rays Pork Wings

Smokin' Rays Pork Wings. Photo by Aaron Bristol.

Smokin’ Rays Pork Wings. Photo by Aaron Bristol.

Yield – 1 dozen, prep – 15 minutes, tailgate – 15 minutes

  • 1 dozen pork wings (already cooked)
  • SmokinRays® Pork Rub (as needed)
  • 12 bacon strips (thin sliced)
  • BBQ sauce (optional)
  • Toothpicks
  • Pam spray

To cook:

  1. Thaw pork wings in refrigerator overnight.
  2. Cover wings with Pork Rub.
  3. Spiral wrap each wing with bacon and secure with toothpick.
  4. Spray with Pam and cook on grill until bacon is crispy (165 degree internal temp).
  5. Brush with bbq sauce and enjoy.

Gator Jello Shots

Go Gators! Photo by Aaron Bristol.

Go Gators! Photo by Aaron Bristol.

Yield – 16, 2-ounce shots

1st stage:

  • 3 ounces gelatin (flavorless)
  • 1 cup boiling Gatorade (blue)
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) vodka
  • 1/2 cup Gatorade (blue)

2nd stage:

  • 3 ounces gelatin (flavorless )
  • 1 cup boiling Gatorade (orange)
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) vodka
  • 1/2 cup Gatorade (orange)

To make:

  1. Combine the liquor and cold Gatorade and place in the refrigerator so they are a consistent temperature. You should have 1 cup of cold liquid.
  2. Pour the gelatin into a bowl.
  3. Add boiling water, stirring until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
  4. Stir in the chilled liquor and cold Gatorade mix. Add food coloring if you want to enhance or change the color.
  5. To make layers, begin by making one flavor of jello shot and fill cups 1/2 or 1/3 of the way full. Chill these until almost set (about 1 to 1 ½ hours) then add the next flavor.

With this basic recipe your can change flavors and colors to promote your own team.

For non alcoholic substitute the vodka for Gatorade