BBQ Pitmaster Interviews


Pork Barrel BBQ Interviews Nikki Reser of Reser’s Fine Foods

Pork Barrel BBQ had the chance to interview Nikki Reser of Reser’s Fine Foods at Memphis in May 2011! We’re thrilled to have Reser’s on board as a sponsor of our competition team in 2012!!


The Twelve Day’s of BBQ Christmas – Day Twelve – A Jambo Pit

This is the twelfth in a twelve week series where we are unveiling the Pork Barrel BBQ Guide to a BBQ Christmas, which highlights our twelve favorite Christmas gift ideas for the barbecue lover in your life!

On the tenth day of BBQ Christmas,
My true BBQ love sent to me
Jambo Pit!

There can be no great barbecue without a great pit. In previous weeks we have given you some great recommendations for smaller pits, but if you are a serious BBQ fanatic you need a serious pit! If you are looking for a serious pit look no further than the Jambo Pit! Every Jambo is made one at a time from insulated fire boxes, torque flex axles, chrome wheels, white letter tires, custom coatings and paint to stainless steel hinges, handles and work surfaces – these pits are nothing short of works of art by master pitmaker Jamie Geer!
Jamie, a highly decorated competition pitmaster knows what makes a great pit and how to make them look like a sports car! From the patio model ($375) to the Corvette of barbecue pits, the J-5 ($12,000), every Jambo Pit is guarenteed to perform. So if you truly love your pitmaster at home get them a Jambo Pit and be ready for some tremendous BBQ.
At Memphis in May 2010 we were lucky enough to get a tour of one of Tuffy Stones Jambo Pits from pitmaker Jamie Geer. WARNING – you are likely to start drooling during this video!

We hope you have enjoyed Pork Barrel BBQ’s 12 days of Christmas. May you and your family have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Don’t forget what we recommended in previous posts on the Pork Barrel BBQ Guide to a BBQ Christmas:

On the first day of Christmas, my true BBQ love gave to me A Weber Charcoal Chimney Starter.

On the second day of Christmas, my true BBQ love gave to me A Thermapen.

On the third day of Christmas, my true BBQ love gave to me A PIGTAIL Food Flipper.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true BBQ love gave to me A KCBS Membership.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true BBQ love gave to me some Fruita Wood Chunks.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true BBQ love gave to me A Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true BBQ love gave to me A copy of BBQ Makes Everything Better.

On the eight day of Christmas, my true BBQ love gave to me A Pork Barrel BBQ Party Pack.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true BBQ love gave to me A Big Green Egg.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true BBQ love gave to me A Victorinox Granton Edge Slicing Knife.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true BBQ love gave to me A Pellet Envy Cooking Class.


Pitmaster Chris Lilly (Big Bob Gibson’s) talks with Pork Barrel BBQ at Memphis In May 2011

Heath had a chance to spend some time with Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q at Memphis in May 2011. Chris and the Big Bob Gibson team would win the Pork Shoulder catagory at Memphis in May 2011 and be crowned the overall Memphis in May World Champion!

In addition to being BBQ pitmaster to stars Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman, Chris is the chief spokesman and pitmaster for Kingsford.

If you’re looking for an unusal and new BBQ Sauce check out Big Bob Gibson’s White Suace. Wondering how to use the White Suace? Get a copy of Chris’s excellent cookbook – Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book.


Pitmaster Melissa Cookston of Yazoo’s Delta Q talks with Pork Barrel BBQ at Memphis in May 2011

Pork Barrel BBQ had a chance to catch up with Yazoo’s Delta Q pitmaster Melissa Cookston at Memphis in May 2011 and reflect on Yazoo’s First Place Whole Hog and Grand Championship win at Memphis in May 2010. Yazoo’s Delta Q went on to win the 2011 Memphis in May Whole Hog Catagory and finish in the top 3 overall!


Pitmaster Moe Cason talks with Pork Barrel BBQ at Memphis in May 2011

Pork Barrel BBQ had a chance to chat with pitmaster Moe Cason about his call in the Poultry catagory at Memphis in May 2011.


The Shed BBQ – Brad and Heath Talk Competition BBQ and Best in Smoke

The Shed BBQ – Brad from The Shed BBQ and Heath from Pork Barrel BBQ talk about the Memphis in May BBQ experience. Brad’s Whole Hog presentation with a running hog earned him a top 10 finish at MiM 2011. Brad and Heath talk about the Food Network’s new show “Best in Smoke” with these great BBQ’ers: Brad & Brooke (The Shed BBQ & Blues Joint); Dave Anderson & Charlie Torgersen (Famous Dave’s); Chris Hart & John Delpha (IQue BBQ); Sara Horowitz & Rudy Valdes (Gourmet BeBe); Matt Lang & David Mawhinney (Fette Sau); Chris Lilly & Ken Hess (Big Bob Gibson) with Host & Judges: Bryan Caswell, Reef, Stella Sola, Little Bigs, El Real; Mitchell Davis, James Beard House; Tim Love, Lonesome Dove & Love Shack and Amy Mills, 17th Street BBQ.

For more, see


Bacon Salt Founder Chats With Pork Barrel BBQ

Two distinct and seperate words – Bacon & Salt. I bet that put a smile on your face, but what if they weren’t distinct and seperate? What if it was simply Bacon Salt? No need to wonder “what if” anymore thinks to our friends Justin Esch and Dave Lefkow, founders of Bacon Salt.

In 2007 Justin and Dave held their first Bacon Salt taste test with close friends (we’ve been in that position too and know how exciting and scary those taste tests can be). In short order they were producing Bacon Salt (their first three flavors were Original, Hickory and Peppered). Over the years they have introduced more flavors of Bacon Salt (including Natural Bacon Salt, Applewood, Jalapeno, Mesquite, Chedder and Maple), Baconnaise (a bacon flavored mayo), Bacon Pop (bacon flavored popcorn), and Mmmvelopes (bacon flavored envelopes). These guys are a real inspiration to us and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

Fortuantely, we don’t have to wait long to find out. Pork Barrel BBQ caught up with Justin at the 2011 NASFT Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco last week to find out what new products Bacon Salt has out!

If you’re looking to add some bacon flavor to your next meal you can find a list of stores that carry Bacon Salt here!


American Royal Scrapbook # 1 – Intro and Johnny Trigg!

Baseball and BBQ — both are favorite American past times with celebrated World Series championships. Pork Barrel BBQ just participated in our first “World Series of BBQ” competition at the American Royal in Kansas City, Missouri. This marks the 31st year the best of the best in competition BBQ have made their way to the old stockyards of Kansas City to compete for the title of Grand Champion. Over 500 teams compete in the three-day BBQ competition and this year over 100,000 fans and fellow BBQ lovers came out to show their support, making this the largest and most attended BBQ event of the year!

We caught up with some famous BBQ Pitmasters, like Rod Gray of Pellet Envy and Tuffy Stone of Cool Smoke. And we even had a BBQ cookoff showdown starring our very own Heath Hall and the “Godfather of BBQ,” Johnny Trigg. The crowd enjoyed watching the Kansas City Barbecue Society’s All-American Grill Master Series Competition cookoff as Heath Hall and Johnny Trigg battled it out in friendly “iron chef” grilling competition on stage.

You can check out our behind-the-scenes video footage on Pork Barrel BBQ’s YouTube Channel:

For more special interviews and behind-the-scenes videos of Pork Barrel BBQ adventures, subscribe to Pork Barrel BBQ’s YouTube Channel:


MIM Scrapbook # 7 – Pork Barrel BBQ talks BBQ with Mike Mills from 17th Street Bar & Grill and Apple City BBQ Competition Team

Mike Mills of 17th Street Bar & Grill and Apple City BBQ Competition Team talking BBQ? Doesn’t get much better than that! At Memphis in May, we were next to BBQ legend Pat Burke who introduced us to Mike Mills – his teammate from the Apple City BBQ Competition Team from Murphysboro, Illinois.  Heath talks about several great topics in this wideranging interview – so be sure to watch the whole video to get all your BBQ tips and secrets.  Special thanks to Mike from 17th Street Bar & Grill for taking time to talk with us!  Be sure to check out the amazing book written by Mike and his daughter Amy Mills Tunnicliffe – Peace Love and Barbecue!  “Peace, Love, and Barbecue is an extraordinary behind-the-scenes journey into the world of barbecue with Grand World Champion pitmaster Mike Mills as your guide. Join Mike and his barbecue buddies as they spin a few tales, spill their secrets, and reluctantly part with their prizewinning recipes.  The book is available at most bookstores or on”


MIM Scrapbook # 6 – Smoke in Da Eye – Pork Barrel BBQ talks Competition BBQ with Clint Cantwell from Smoke in Da Eye

Smoke in Da Eye BBQ’s Clint Cantwell talks with Heath Hall about his championship BBQ team, and life as a BBQ and social media guru.  Clint Cantwell does an amazing job on his Smoke in Da Eye Blog of capturing BBQ footage, creating BBQ recipes, and showing what it takes to be successful on the BBQ circuit.  Be sure to follow Clint Cantwell’s blog and visit his Smoke in Da Eye website!   HUGE thanks Clint Cantwell for taking the time to sit down with Pork Barrel BBQ!