How did this happen? Well, even I’m not quite sure. I grew up in the Rogue Valley with my family that loved to cook and enjoy all types of food. We cooked everything from fresh vegetables from the garden to a variety of wild game; it all made it to the grill. All year long (even the dead of winter) we had a BBQ…or what I thought was BBQ.
I learned the difference between BBQ vs Grilling after moving to Nashville, TN about 8 years ago. After spending a lot of time with my Nashville “BBQ brothers” sampling many BBQ restaurants, shacks, and roadside stands and picking out what we liked best from each one we decided we now wanted to try true “Competition BBQ”. My first trip to the Jack Daniels International BBQ Festival in Lynchburg, TN was a revelation for myself and my BBQ pioneer and friend, Jay. At the BBQ competition that year we found one of the competitors that won the championship in a previous year. After some serious bribing (with a lot of cash and a bottle of Lynchburg Tennessee’s liquid gold) we finally made the deal…one rack of serious competition ribs! I took out my pocket knife and we began to investigate the many intricate layers of flavor. We smacked, moaned, groaned, and laughed as we devoured them. We had never tried any ribs in any restaurant that came close to these ribs. From that moment on I was hooked on learning how to do awesome BBQ; I just had to have my own smoker and I was set on having one built.