Recently, I signed up for Slap Yo Daddy’s BBQ 101 Backyard Pitmaster class. His monthly class is in such high demand, that you have to sign up 2-3 months in advance. I was shooting for the September class, and there were plenty of spots available at the time. But by the time I sent in my registration, it was filled up! So I got bumped to the October class. I can’t wait.
In between winning awards in BBQ competitions all over the place, Mr. Harry Soo has been building his BBQ brand and empire. He recently launched his own Meat Rub, which comes in original, lower sodium, and added MSG. Harry said his runaway best seller by far is the lower sodium version. Of course, after eating tons of BBQ meat, it’ll make you feel just a little less guilty, right?
Not that I’ve interacted with tons of other BBQ or food “celebs” or public figures, but what sets Harry apart is his accessibility and passion. I won’t meet him in person until his BBQ class in October, but just from exchanging emails, reading his website, and his comments, you can just tell he loves sharing his knowledge and recipes (without giving away all his award winning secrets).
Here’s a link to Harry’s Amazon review on the WSM. He gives his tips on how to season a brand new WSM, and his recommendation on NOT using any water in the pan — simply foiling it will give you better and faster bark on the meat. I actually have been experimenting both with and without water, and the only thing with not using water is that until you’ve got it down to a science, you have to carefully watch the temperature so the WSM doesn’t run too hot.
Ah, the 4th of July. Chances are, you’ll be chowing down on some hot dogs and burgers. Let’s hope you’re not eating some shriveled up and dry hot dog or some overcooked hockey-puck sized burger. I go to an annual homeowner’s association community BBQ, and they have the EXACT same food every single year… for the last, oh decade or so. What do they have? Yep, you guessed it. Shriveled up hot dogs and overcooked burgers.
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the usual hot dogs and burgers. That’s why I’m so happy using the Weber Smoky Mountain where I can smoke meats for TRUE BBQ. Sure, it’s more expensive and takes longer, but there is such a huge satisfaction and self accomplishment when you take that first juicy, tender bite of a smoked brisket. Speaking of, I’ll definitely be smoking some BBQ during the July 4th weekend. I’m already salivating.
Check out some July 4th stats:
Number of hotdogs to be consumed on July 4th: 150 million
Amount of chicken purchased in the week leading up to July 4th: 700 million pounds
Amount of red meat/pork purchased in the week leading up to July 4th: 190 million pounds
Percentage of American households with outdoor grills: 87
Percentage of American households with Weber Smoky Mountains: WAY TOO LOW!
Back on May 31, I posted about the William Sonoma blog teaser on Volt Bro’s BBQ tour. I admit, I haven’t been back until now. It looks like they’ve been pretty busy. There is chock full of mouth-watering food pictures, videos recipes, and first hand insight on some old school BBQ joints — just some great material to read about if you’re a BBQ fan.
There are even recipes for BBQ desserts, along with a recipe on southern corn bread that seems enticing to try (but I’m not too interested in baking). But the recipe I’m most interested is the Carolina-style pulled pork. Another interesting thing to point is their “5 Things to Know About” for BBQ styles — so far they’ve talked about Texas and Kansas City. Good stuff.
As I’m waiting patiently for my next BBQ smoke-out experience (this weekend, maybe?), I’ve been diligently reading up on recipes, researching restaurants, and learning about BBQ competition teams. The OC BBQ Festival is happening this upcoming Saturday June 11th, and I came across SoCal-based Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ team. The more I learned about this team, the more I was in awe of their success.
Normally when you think of BBQ competition teams and see them on TV, they have these huge, shiny customized smokers that cost upwards of $10k plus. Conversely, the Slap Yo’ Daddy team uses a couple of WSM’s and kettle grills, along with a computer system with a fan that digitally monitors and regulates the temperature of their meats. Since starting in ’08, they’ve been winning awards left and right and are the #4 nationally ranked team in the country. They recently were on TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters show.
Pitmaster Harry Soo uses Asian ingredients, spices and flavors, which distinguishes their BBQ from the competition. Many of his competitors are widely popular in the traditonal BBQ parts of the country, do BBQ competitions full-time, and they have restaurants. Slap Yo’ Daddy is from Southern California, have full-time IT jobs, and still hold their own in the BBQ competition circuit. They truly are weekend BBQ pitmasters. Keep up the great work Slap Yo’ Daddy. I will have to try your BBQ real soon.
I was walking around the mall over the weekend, strolled by William Sonoma, and saw a huge poster on the front window — it was sign with the words “BBQ” and two dudes standing in front of it. After squinting for a few more seconds, those two dudes looked like the Voltaggio brothers of Top Chef fame. Interesting… and confusing at the same time. What was the point of the poster? Were they launching their own brand of BBQ tools for the store? Were they going to start doing BBQ demos? When one thinks of BBQ, William Sonoma isn’t exactly the first thing that pops into mind.
So I did some research, and apparently the Voltaggio brothers did a “Fire and Smoke Tour” several months back, sponsored by… who else? William Sonoma. They went on 4-city tour sampling the country’s different types of BBQ. Stops included Wilbur’s in Goldsboro, North Carolina; Oklahoma Joe’s in Kansas City, Kansas; Smitty’s Market in Lockhart, Texas; and Cozy Corner in Memphis, Tennessee. On William Sonoma’s blog, they posted some pictures of their trip, and will share more info as we get closer to summer — prime-time BBQ season.
Not only are they great chefs, but they got paid to travel and eat BBQ at some of the best places in the country. Bastards.