0 Season Opener

BBQ GURU LOAL SMOKE

When our good friends and sponsored cooking team Local Smoke BBQ told us they needed our help getting a couple of cookers shipped to Las Vegas for the ACM BBQ Throwdown, we knew we had to help. As we prepared to send two Onyx Ovens to Sin City, we realized that Local Smoke doesn’t typically cook on Onyx Ovens. While the Onyx Oven is easy to use, we wanted an opportunity to show them all the ins and outs of the cooker so that they were completely prepared to use it at the competition.

We figured what better way to teach them how to use the Onyx’s at a competition than to cook on a couple of them at a contest. We saw an opportunity on the calendar to do just that at Grillin’ n Chillin’ in Galvinell, Maryland. We named ourselves the Local Smokin’ Gurus and headed south.
Some of the best times in life are spontaneous, and last weekend was no different. The farm setting was one of the most unique locations we’ve ever cooked at. We had a great time with our friends and cooked up a storm on the Onyxs. We combined our talents, techniques and styles and it seemed to work quite well. Local Smokin’ Gurus to Grand Champion with a 1st place brisket, 3rd place pork and 6th place in ribs and chicken.  The weekend was a blast – we truly had a great time and would have gone home happy even if we hadn’t placed.

It gets better. Since Grillin’ n Chillin’ is a Maryland State Championship, our hybrid team gets an automatic invite to the American Royal Invitational in Kansas City and our name in the hat with the other Maryland champions for Jack Daniel’s Invitation.

Not bad way to start off the season.

As the weather gets warmer, will you have all the tools you need to get the BBQ season stared on a good note? Check out our website to get all the tools and recipes you need.

0 The BBQ Widow

The BBQ Guru to Latest News  

Written by BBQ Guru Senior Account Executive Lisa Jo Goetter

lisajo

Working at BBQ Guru, customers are often surprised to hear a woman answer the phone (and even more surprised at my wealth of knowledge about barbecue). This is something I’ve gotten used to. The fact is that while the number of women who barbecue recreationally or compete on the competitive barbecue circuit are increasing, the BBQ community still remains a predominantly male world. A large percentage of the women who call the Guru headquarters are inquiring about products for their boyfriends or husbands. A large percentage of those women make up the group known as BBQ Widows.

BBQ Widows are women (and in some cases men) whose spouses spend more time barbecuing then they do with their wife or husband. Between researching new recipes, trips to find the perfect cut of meat, and weekends spent at competitions barbecuing begins to seem less like a hobby and more like a wedge in your relationship! However, of all the complaints I hear from BBQ Widows, it’s the hovering over the grill that bothers them the most. The obsessing over grill temperature and adjusting dampers over the course of a 6-hour cook-time is the BBQ Widow’s biggest, and most fixable pet peeve.

The fact that BBQ Guru has found a solution for this relationship-wrecker has made us the BBQ Widow’s best friend. Guru products have made grill-hovering a problem of the past. Our line of temperature control devices keep the cook-temp consistent so that husbands can step away from the grill and spend more time with their wives. Last spring, we released another product that has saved many women from becoming BBQ Widows – the Onyx Oven. The Onyx Oven is the first cooker to come with a built-in temperature control device.

So this Valentine’s Day, get your husband a PartyQ or DigiQ and make sure that you don’t become a BBQ Widow yourself. While it may not seem like the most romantic gift, it will allow you and your BBQ loving man to spend more time together.

Finally, if you still are unsure about what a BBQ Widow is, I’ll leave you with a list. You know you’re a BBQ Widow when…

-       Every weekend there is another excuse to barbecue. “I have to cook this weekend – it’s Arbor Day!”

-       Your jealousy of your husband’s smoker is no longer masked

-       The smell of smoke on your bed sheets no longer bothers you

-       You’ve given up trying to find the pepper-shaker amongst the barbecue rubs in your spice drawer

-       You actually know what part of a pig the pork butt comes from

-       Your husband buys you bacon scented perfume for Valentines Day

2012SuperBowlXLVI-1

While Super Bowl XLVI is sure to be an exciting game and is certainly an intriguing rematch of the memorable Giants-Patriots Super Bowl a few years back, it is going to be hard for this Eagles fan to root for either team. Seeing the division rival Giants win two Super Bowls in a short time is too much to bear. Yet the memories of the Patriots victory over the Eagles at Super Bowl XXXIXX are still too fresh to cheer for them either. So while I can’t root for either team, I’ll hope for a good game and an even better Super Bowl Party.

As I advised in Part One of our Super Bowl blog, you should never let the cold weather deter you from throwing a memorable Super Bowl party with sweet barbecue. You’ve waited all season for this game. Sure your team may not be in it, but the game deserves your attention and your guests deserve the best football food there is. I’ve prepared two original BBQ recipes I hope you and your friends will enjoy this Sunday: a grilled pastrami sandwich for New York and smoked turkey legs for New England. The recipes are listed below and will appear in our recipes section on Monday.

Finally, what’s a Super Bowl blog without a prediction? Patriots – 28 Giants – 21. Tom Brady gets his revenge on Eli, winning MVP honors and adding another chapter to his Hall of Fame career. Why all the love for Brady? It was recently revealed that he loves BBQ! (Read carefully, its in there)

RECIPES

Smoked Turkey Legs

Brine

1 c. tender quick salt

1/2 c. brown sugar

1 gal. water (or amount to cover pieces)

3 tbs. of Slabs Birds and Bone BBQ Rub

Dissolve all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat. Pour contents into a 5 gallon bucket and pout ice water into bucket as well. Place a dozen or so turkey legs into the bucket and top with more water. Place bucket into a refrigerator or a cold area less than 40°F

Pre-heat smoker to 225°F and use apple wood for smoke.  Smoke for several hours until the internal temperature reaches 160°F

Let rest for 5 minutes and serve

Grilled Pastrami Sandwich

Ingredients

I like to start with a whole pastrami. (I cook for a lot of people)

Set your smoker to 300° F and roast the pastrami for about 1 hour.

Let rest for 10 minutes and slice thin.

To make the sandwiches:

  • 4 – Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 8 – freshly baked hearth rolls
  • 4 – slices provolone cheese
  • 8 – ounces pastrami, thinly sliced
    Spicy brown mustard
  • A dash of Dizzy Pig Cowlick Rub

Preheat Grill to 350°

Directions

  1. Butter the rolls
  2. Spread the mustard on both sides of roll
  3. Layer the pastrami and cheese to build the sandwich
  4. Sprinkle with a dash of Dizzy Pig Cowlick Rub
  5. Grill for a minute or two on both sides  (until the cheese melts)and serve!

grillinginthewinter

Barbecue is one of the best all-time tailgating foods. The run-of-the-mill tailgate fare will feature hot dogs, hamburgers, and a bag of chips. A well-organized and orchestrated tailgate will feature an impressive spread of delicious barbecue – ribs, chicken, and some brisket. For the serious tailgater, anything else would be uncivilized. Why should your guests expect anything less at your Super Bowl party?

For some reason, the cold weather at this time makes a lot of people think it’s out of the question to serve BBQ at a Super Bowl party or tailgate. In the past, this line of thought was understandable. Even the most avid football / BBQ fans don’t necessarily want to spend the day leading up to the big game outdoors in Lambeau-esque conditions.

The days of constantly braving the elements to check on the temperature of your cooker are long gone. Our line of temperature control devices will ensure that your food is being low-and-slow cooked at the necessary temperature. This will allow you to stay inside your warm home watching the pregame coverage and enjoying the weekend.

As veterans on the competitive barbecue circuit, we’ve seen our fair share of cold and nasty weather. Here are a few insider tips for keeping warm while cooking:

1) Get yourself an ATC! (Automatic temperature control) The BBQ Guru temperature controls allow you to stay warm while your grill/smoker runs at the perfect temperature.

2) Place your smoker on a side of the house that blocks with wind. If this is not possible, use a canopy with sides. This will keep the cold off of you and your smoker!

3) Use the warmth of your smoker to your advantage! Most insulated smokers get warm on the outside but not hot. Stay close to your cooker but be careful not to burn yourself.

Be sure to look out for our blog next week, when we’ll provide New York and New England inspired recipes that will make your Super Bowl party a hit.

Shotgun Fred

Houston, TX and Warminster, PA (January 5, 2012) – Sam Houston State University has received a $25 million pledge from Pennsylvania-based Therm-Omega-Tech, Inc. to support the university’s engineering technology components within the current industrial technology program and to establish a new engineering technology program.

The founder of Therm-Omega-Tech, Inc., is alumnus Frederick Pirkle, who graduated from SHSU with a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial arts in 1970 and a master’s degree in industrial technology in 1974.

The pledge is the largest gift in the university’s history.

“Sam Houston State University students who are getting a technical education are learning skills for life,” Pirkle said. “Those technical skills are critically important for America in today’s world. Americans are hard workers, and we’re smart workers. I want the students who are touched by this gift to be inspired to contribute to the success of this country and be leaders in the world.”

“We are truly honored and deeply grateful for Mr. Pirkle’s generosity to and vision for his alma mater,” said SHSU President Dana Gibson. “This remarkable and unprecedented gift is an investment in the future of Sam Houston State University and will enhance the university’s ability to provide opportunities for students to gain invaluable knowledge and experience in industrial technology.”

“Fred Pirkle is a remarkable man who is providing extraordinary leadership in philanthropy at Sam Houston State University,” said Vice President for University Advancement Frank Holmes. “His contribution through his firm will provide a lasting and transformational legacy for the creation of critical programs to serve the citizens of our state and nation.

“It is an extension of an inventive mind that sees problems as exciting opportunities to create new methods and techniques to make our lives better. Others are certain to follow the example that Fred is setting for charitable giving,” Holmes said.

The gift will provide funding for three areas. A portion will be applied toward the construction of a state-of-the-art academic facility and associated laboratories, including advanced equipment and technology, to house engineering technology and related academic programs. The building will be named The Fred Pirkle Technology Center.

In addition, the gift will support a permanent endowment fund, known as The Frederick L. Pirkle Scholarship Fund, to provide financial assistance for SHSU students enrolled in the engineering technology program.

The donation will also be used to establish The Frederick L. Pirkle Enrichment Fund to provide resources for an academic chair or professorship in the engineering technology program and to support internships for students majoring in engineering technology at SHSU.

“Mr. Pirkle visited the campus a couple of years ago when he came for the ‘Centennial Celebration of Agricultural and Industrial Sciences at Sam Houston State University,’” said SHSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Jaimie Hebert.

“He was so pleased to see that the program from which he had graduated was continuing to change with society and the economy to produce workers who could immediately impact the Texas work force,” Hebert said.

“Mr. Pirkle credits Sam Houston State University with helping prepare him to be successful with his work, and when he came back and saw what a magnificent job his institution was doing to prepare today’s young men and women for careers in industry, it made the connection for him,” Hebert said.

“He let us know at that point, he would do something significant some day to help us with our mission,” he said.

Pirkle grew up in the Texas Hill Country near San Antonio. Following high school graduation, he worked several years as a mechanic before enrolling in Sam Houston State University.

After earning his master’s degree at SHSU, he moved to Houston and taught in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District. He left teaching to work as a sales engineer for Commercial Industries Division and later Eggelhof, Inc. While employed by Eggelhof, Inc., he was assigned to Ogontz Controls in Philadelphia, Penn.

Pirkle left Ogontz Controls and founded Therm-Omega-Tech, Inc., in 1982, to manufacture valves of his own patented design. The company grew to be a leader in the field of manufacturing temperature control valves and devices, gaining worldwide respect across diverse industries. Therm-Omega-Tech freeze protection valves have become the railroad industry’s standard for preventing freeze damage to diesel locomotives, annually protecting billions of dollars of railroad equipment worldwide.

Since then, he has patented more than 20 products, including the BBQ Guru, the first temperature control device for charcoal grills and cookers. His patented products are manufactured in the Therm-Omega-Tech facility in Warminster, PA.  More information is at www.ThermOmegaTech.com and www.TheBBQGuru.com.

The Sam Houston State University Alumni Association recognized Pirkle’s career accomplishments earlier this year by honoring him as a “Distinguished Alumnus,” the university’s most prestigious designation for a former student.

###

Smoked Turkey

You’ve got a lot on your plate this holiday season – gifts to buy for family and friends, getting the house ready for visiting relatives, and of course, preparing your holiday feast. That’s why we at The BBQ Guru wanted to lighten the load a little bit by providing recipes for four dishes to prepare at your holiday gathering this year. There is no need to scan cooking magazines or online recipe sites for the perfect crowd pleasers when we’ve got them all in one place on our website.

Click on the links below for the recipes. And to husbands and wives who got their spouses one of our temperature control devices this year – maybe let them unwrap that gift a day or two early this year. Doing so will allow him or her to spend more time with friends and family instead of hovering over the grill.

From all of us at The BBQ Guru, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

Appetizer: Beer Braised Garlic Shrimp

Side Dish: Cornbread and Oyster Dressing

Main Course: Smoked Turkey

Dessert: BBQ Bob’s Chocolate Cake

0 And the Winner is…

CassOryl to Latest News — Tags:  

Guru Your Tailgate Photo

Drum roll, please. Gus Campanario is the winner of the inaugural Guru My Tailgate Contest with his essay The Ballad of the BBQ Bumbler! His poem was one of our favorites at Guru Headquarters and voters seemed to “like” it just as much. The Ballad received 35% of the total votes!

We commend Gus for his clever wordplay and Shakespearian prose. Your tailgate has officially been Guru’d, Gus, as we bestow upon you the Onyx Oven. May future BBQ poets write psalms about the legendary meats you smoke with this cooker.

Congratulations also go to runners up Kevin Kulp and Brian Corbett with 24 and 18 percentage of the votes.  We applaud your passion for BBQ and tailgating.

For anyone who missed it, here is The Ballad of The BBQ Bumbler by Gus Campanario:

The Ballad of the BBQ Bumbler

Listen my children and you will hear- the sad story of a man you should fear. His name is a legend known far and wide… the BBQ Bumbler is a man from which you should hide. Yes I am that man who knows no fear. Show me the charcoal- but just don’t stand too near. I smoke ‘em and I sear ‘em… my eyebrows I do mean- but you should taste my steaks all juicy not lean! I deserve to not suffer for my art or my meal… an Onyx Oven win would be quite the steal! My tailgating legend will grow within my own mind.. follow the smell of the perfect BBQ and my tailgate you will find.


Guru Your Tailgate Photo

After four weeks of reading over eighty Guru Your Tailgate stories, we’ve narrowed down the competition to twelve lucky finalists and now, we need YOUR help.  Our twelve Guru Your Tailgate finalists need your vote to determine who will win the grand prize: a FREE Onyx Oven.

You can vote as many times as you’d like so get friends, family members, and BBQ fans together to vote and share the BEST tailgating story that you think deserves to WIN.

To cast your vote, visit the BBQ Guru Facebook page at:

http://apps.facebook.com/contestshq/contests/164111/voteable_entries

Post comments and share your voting with your friends.  We’ll reveal the winner on December 5th.  So VOTE and SHARE NOW. Christmas will come early for one fortunate BBQ Guru fan, with their brand new Onyx Oven.  Could it be you?

Smoked Turkey

In theory, Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday for the chef. It’s a time to showcase your culinary prowess while hanging out with family, watching football (The Detroit Lions are actually worth watching this year!) and looking forward to the approaching holiday season. However, to those of you that host the Thanksgiving gathering every year, the holiday scene can seem more like Groundhog Day. No matter how much prep you do, you always end up spending more time in the kitchen then you wish. Before you know it, the day is over and you are left with a stomach full of food and a kitchen full of dishes.

So how can you add a new flavor to Thanksgiving this year? By smoking your turkey! Smoking the turkey gives a distinct flavor that your guests will love. The meat comes out more tender and juicy than it does straight from the oven.   It’s also safer, easier, and healthier for those who deep-fry their turkey.

Of course, smoking a turkey isn’t as easy as following the same directions on the Butterball packaging every year.  But it is much more delicious – and worth it.  So what do you need to smoke a turkey?

  • Start with the smoker. We use the Onyx Barbeque Oven, our very own temperature controlled smoker that can easily accommodate a large turkey.  (You can also use a large grill like a Big Green Egg or Weber Smokey Mountain.  If you’re starting small with a 10-12 pound turkey, you could probably use your regular backyard grill.)  Whatever smoker you use, make sure you use a drip pan to catch all the delicious juices.

Note: Separate the drippings from the fat and use for gravy!

Onyx Oven

  • Choose a smoking wood. Smoking can make food even more delicious when you use wood chips.  I like using apple or pecan for turkey. You can also try cherry, hickory, or mesquite – any fruit woods are a good choice with poultry and Thanksgiving flavors.
  • Select a turkey. The most ideal turkey for smoking, and eating, is one that is fresh without injections or solutions.  Just like any other time you BBQ, the quality of the meat makes a difference.  Of course, frozen turkeys will also work well.  Just make sure they’re thoroughly defrosted before you begin smoking.  This may take days – plan for it.
  • Make a great brine. I will keep this simple. Brining is a great way to ensure a moist turkey, be sure to cool your brine below 40°F and use cold water and ice in your brining bucket. I brine for a total of 8-10 hours.  Here’s a recipe for brine:
    • Ingredients:
      • 1 1/4 cup salt (2 cups Kosher or coarse salt)
      • 1 cup brown sugar
      • 2 lemons squeezed
      • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
      • 2 cloves chopped garlic
      • 1/2 tablespoon ginger
      • Enough ice and water to submerge bird completely in a 5 gallon bucket
      • Preparation:
        • Pour 1 gallon of water into a large pot over high heat. Add salt, brown sugar, and spices and lemons. Bring to a light boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Pour in ice water and stir to combine.
        • Place turkey in a clean, large plastic container (at least 4 gallon). Pour brine over top and fill with ice water to submerge completely. Refrigerate and brine for 1 hour per pound.
        • Thoroughly rinse all the brine from the turkey before cooking.
  • Set your cook temperature. For a 20-pound turkey, you’re smoking temperature really can be around 275 degrees.  It is absolutely critical that this temperature is consistent throughout the 7-8 hours it will take to smoke your turkey (20-25 minutes per pound).  Note: Your turkey may cook faster when brined. One of the best things about cooking a turkey in the oven is the ability to set it and forget it on your oven while you prepare all the fixin’s.  You can still have this – even when you’re smoking!  Our DigiQ and PartyQ temperature controls give you the same predictability and consistency of an oven.  Just set the digital temperature read-out and start in on the mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce.
  • Monitor your done temperature. Smoked turkeys are finished when their internal breast temp is 165 degrees at their coolest point.  Having a good meat thermometer is crucial.  Of course, if you have a DigiQ, you already have one of the best meat thermometers around – and an alarm to let you know when your turkey is ready.  Remember that smoked turkey will look different than an oven-baked turkey.  It will be a little pink and the flesh will be a little smoother.  But if the DigiQ says it’s at temp, trust it and enjoy.

The BBQ Guru products – Onyx Oven, DigiQ, and PartyQ – were designed so that you can smoke your Thanksgiving turkey while still spending time with your family (or TV). Your kitchen won’t be the hottest place in your house from opening the oven every ten minutes. Also, it makes for a great conversation piece as your friends and family will surely be impressed with your new take on Turkey Day.

Try something new this Thanksgiving. You’ll thank me Black Friday.

0 Grand Champions Interviews

CassOryl to Latest News  

Logo

At BBQ Guru, we like to acknowledge success on the competition BBQ circuits. As seasoned veterans of competitive BBQing, we understand the challenges of the season. Winning major competitions is a credit to practice and consistency. It also doesn’t hurt when to use high quality products.

The 2011 Grand Champion of The Sam’s Club BBQ Series and The American Royal Invitational, Tippy Canoe BBQ Crew as well as the 2011 Grand Champion The Jack Daniel’s 23rd World Championship Invitational, Smokin’ Hoggz BBQ both used BBQ Guru temperature control systems in their victories. We caught up with team members Joe Beland and Bill Gillespie and asked them their journey, their success and how The BBQ Guru helped them on the way.

Bill Gillespie, Chief Cook Smokin’ Hoggz BBQ

2011 Jack Daniel’s Invitational Grand Champion

Smokin'Hoggz

How did you get in to competitive BBQing?

I have been grilling/BBQing since I was a young kid helping/watching my dad. I got my first smoker about 15 years ago; it was a Brinkmann Gourmet Charcoal smoker. I got into competitive BBQ from a few guys I used to work with about 6 yrs ago. First contest I went to I walk away with a 4th place call in the cooks choice category, I was hooked instantly.

What kind of cooker(s) do you use?

We currently cook on a Backwoods Fatboy and an 18″ WSM. Before this season we were cooking on 3 WSM’s and Weber 22″ kettle.

How long has your team been competing?

We have been competing since the fall of 2008

Bill Gillespie – Chief cook

Shaune Connolly

Alan Burke

What is your favorite category to cook at competitions and why?

I love cooking ribs, even though they have been our worst of the four categories. I think because ribs are our worst category is why I love cooking them

What is your favorite aspect of the competitive BBQ circuit?

The new friendships that are made at every contest and hanging out with old friends having good times

Tell us the story behind your victory.

Long story short we qualified for “The Jack” by winning Three GC’s, but the one that got us there was the Rock ‘n’ Ribfest in Merrimack NH, it was an automatic qualifier. Fast forward to “The Jack”. Fri morning we arrived in the Hollow about 8:30 AM, we needed to be there early enough to check in by 9 and to have our meat inspected. By 10:30 AM we were ready to start prepping the meat and we were done by 3PM. We finished in plenty of time to say hello to some friends and get ready to line up and march through the center of town for the parade of teams. After the parade we were treated to a team dinner on the top of the hill. We got back to the site around 8:30PM started the smoker and had the big meats on by midnight. Everything going as planned, with one little hiccup during the night, we lost power only for about 15 min. Got up the next morning, and things are looking good. First turn in is sauce at 11:30AM, followed by Cook’s choice 12. Chix is next at 12:30, we were a little behind at this point because the cook’s choice took a little longer to plate, plus we had to use white and dark meat also there had to be seven pieces instead of the usual six. We just felt a little rushed in every category, everything was turned in time and we were happy with food we presented we thought it was what we have been doing the whole year. Awards time, no calls in chicken or ribs, we get a call in pork (9th place) at this point I am extremely psyched; we got a call at “The Jack”. I can go home a happy person. Next was brisket. Again no call, at this point I am just hoping to finish in the top half. They start to announce from 10th on down, they get to RGC and it’s Big Bob Gibsons, I thought cool because they were the winners of the Kingsford points chase which was announced earlier, so at this point I have no idea who it could be. And then the MC says The 2011 Jack Daniels World BBQ GC is from Abington Ma, Smokin Hoggz BBQ. I couldn’t believe it, this is what every competitive BBQ team dreams of and it just happened to us.

What do you credit this seasons’ success to?

To start, this season was beyond anything I could have ever imagined. We took the Ique cooking class last October and were able to take a lot of the techniques learned there and adapt them to our style of cooking. We also bought a new (used) Backwoods Fatboy and spent all offseason learning to cook on it. We just did a ton of practice to get the food consistent to our liking. Looks like it worked

How did you learn about The BBQ Guru?

From being on the BBQ circuit.

What BBQ Guru products do you use and which ones do you like the best?

We started out using a Pitminder but wanted to be able to control two pits so we upgraded to a Cyber Q II. I love it!!!!!

What was life like before having a BBQ Guru control for your cooker?

Before we started using a BBQ Guru Control, we used to get a lot of temp spikes, we were constantly monitoring the temps. Now I sometimes forget to check the temps because the Guru is so good!!

What advice would you give to novice BBQers?

Practice, Practice, Practice and don’t be afraid to ask questions

Joe Beland, TippyCanoe BBQ Crew

2011 Sam’s Club Invitational BBQ Bash Grand Champion

2011 American Royal BBQ Invitational Grand Champion

TippyCanoe

How did you get in to competitive BBQing?

Like most people I started cooking for friends and family.  They encouraged me to enter a local non-sanctioned competition.  In the fall of 2008 we entered that local contest and won the Grand Championship.  A few weeks later we coked our first KCBS event in Sparta Wisconsin.  We finished as the reserve grand champion and the addiction set in.

What kind of cooker do you use?

Right now we are cooking on a Backwoods Fatboy and a Memphis Wood Fire Grill

How long has the Tippy Canoe cooking team been competing?

Just over three years.  (TippyCanoe BBQ Crew – Joe and Kim Beland, Matt and Jacki Hanna, Brian and Tara Bork, Jeff and Steph Beland)

What is your favorite meat to cook at competitions and why? Pork…it has been our strongest category this year and its really the only category I enjoy eating during the BBQ season.

What is your favorite aspect of the competitive BBQ circuit?

The people and the competition.  We have met some of the best people on the planet during this BBQ adventure. About the only thing I enjoy more than cooking BBQ is talking about BBQ and I’ve spent many hours telling tales and hearing stories with people from all over the country at BBQ events.  I’m a competition junky :)   I love the thrill of winning these events knowing you’ve beaten some of the best of the best in the business.

You’ve won two big events this year, The Sam’s Club and American Royal Invitational. Tell us the story behind your victories.

At both events we had nearly flawless cooks.  We hit our marks and our timing was spot on.  In both cases we made very few adjustments and it all came together at the right time.  Our BBQ GURU DigiQ II played a big role in that consistency.  Temperature control is one thing we don’t have to even think about.  We set the Guru and it does its thing!

What do you credit this seasons’ success to?

I’ve had so much help from friends, family, and fellow competitors.  They are the reason we’ve had this success.  I always try to pick up new techniques and methods and make small adjustments to improve our product.  Having the support of my teammates and friends allows me to focus on having the best cook possible.

How did you learn about The BBQ Guru?

I started using a GURU almost immediately after getting serious about BBQ.  I found them online and have used their product for over three years.

What BBQ Guru products do you use and which ones do you like the best?

I use the BBQ GURU DigiQ II

What was life like before having a temperature control system for your cooker?

I like the confidence the GURU gives me.  Prior to cooking with a GURU I was often up in the night to check on the smoker.  Today, I have the confidence to sleep through the night knowing that the GURU will take care of it!

What advice would you give to novice BBQers?

Practice, practice, practice… many flavors and flavor profiles will work in competition BBQ, however, if you don’t cook the meat perfectly every time you won’t score consistently in competitions.  The only way I know to get it right every time is to practice…know what perfect looks like, feels like, and tastes like.