One of the really awesome things about this blog is that we’ve been darn near inundated with people who want to send us product to write up, podcast with us , etc. I was really excited to chat with Bruce Bjorkmen – AKA “Mr Barbecue” last week. Bruce is also the Director of Marketing for Traeger Grills – a company that revolutionalized the barbecue/grilling industry by manufacturing and selling a grill that ran on pellets of compressed hardwoods. More on that in a later post (he sent me one and I LOVE it!)
It’s grilling season and we were excited to connect with Bruce to learn from an expert. We talked about the difference between grilling (direct, high heat) and grilling (lower heat, longer slower approach, less or no direct flame.) We also chatted about some of his suggestions for better barbecuing and grilling. I especially enjoyed his suggestion that you map the temperatures on your grill surface – enjoying a beer between each thermometer placement (he warned that there are over 40 different zones to measure and map, so bring a friend… or a new liver.) All and all he gave us 7 grilling mistakes to avoid.
Bruce gave us a great recipe for Baby Back Ribs with an awesome finishing twist (honey warmed and smoked on the grill) that I am dying to make.
We also talked about the Traeger Grill that Bruce’s company manufactures that is an awesome alternative to charcoal or gas grilling. The Traeger uses compressed hardwood (apple, hickory, grapevine, cherry, maple, mesquite, oak, etc) pellets as the heat source. This provided a cooking method that is more consistent in terms of heat, safer ( no coals to start garbage can fires) and delivers unbelievable flavor to the food. Best of all – since the fire is fed fuel from a hopper, you can literally put meat on the grill and walk away for hours while it cooks “low and slow.” My personal favorite part of the Traeger story is the moment when the founder lost his mind after a huge chicken fat-fueled grill fire and tossed his gas grill off his deck and down a mountain.
Bruce sent me a Traeger for review and you will read about my exploits here soon.
Bruce completely rocked and we’re looking to have him back for more expert advice on grilling and BBQ-ing. He also complemented us on our approach to food that is not snobbish – which was awesome.
You can catch up with Bruce Bjorkman at www.mrbbq.info or check out his radio show “Cooking Outdoors with Mr. Barbecue” on KXL Radio in Portland, Oregon. Bruce and his grilling partner Kim Wallis also run the “BBQ-U” a 6 hour intensive training course in BBQ technique that has been selling out for 15 years.
Enjoy the podcast.