075 NBBQA Conference – Day 2

NBBQA Conference

075 Conference - Day 2

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This is Episode Nine of Season Six, my U.S. Road Trip Part II. In this episode I once again head to the Marriott in downtown Kansas City again for the second Day of the NBBQA Conference. I have a killer lineup for you in this episode – we’ve got interviews with YouTube BBQ legends, gadget guys, charcoal manufacturing environmental warriors, and a rub manufacturer from California who’s utterly obsessed with Tri-Tip. And so, so much more.

NBBQA CONFERENCE - DAY 2

EPISODE SPONSORS

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Fired Up BBQ offers up the best BBQ for catering & events, and even has a BBQ School – perfect for corporate events!

Dragon’s Breath Charcoal is premium Australian Gidgee Lump Charcoal. Launching soon in October 2019!

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NBBQA CONFERENCE - DAY 2

SHOW NOTES

With Ryan and Shaun from The Smoke Sheet 

  •  The Smoke Sheet is a weekly newsletter about the BBQ scene
    • They include news, events, books, podcasts, videos and more
  • There’s a lot of region specific writing but nothing covering the whole scene
    • The lads met in line at Snow’s
  • NYCBBQ
    • Covers best BBQ in the North East
    • Writing and Photography
    • Blog / Newsletter / Social Media / Events
    • He’s able to curate the best people in the business for the event
    • It’s called ‘Rib King’
  • BBQ Tourist
    • Started because he loves to travel
    • Geared towards people who love travel and BBQ
    • Started out as interactive web maps of BBQ joints
    • His family is in places that have great BBQ so they get to come with him
  • Ryans’s three favourite BBQ places
    • Hayne’s in Memphis
    • Skylight Inn in North Carolina
    • Snow’s in Texas
  • Shaun’s Top Three
    • In NYC – Hometown BBQ in Redhook, Brooklyn, NY
    • Jazzy B’s in Kansas City, KC
    • Franklin’s BBQ in Houston, TX
  • Is the experience more important than the food?
    • Hayne’s is the most low-key experience but they don’t put on a show
  • When visiting a BBQ joint, you have to keep in mind that they may just be having a bad day
  • The best part of their journey is meeting the people and the food is a bonus
  • They’ve had a great time at the Conference, meeting all the people

With Michael from Flame Boss

  •  It’s a great opportunity to meet with passionate and interesting people in the BBQ industry
  • Flame Boss
    • A digital controller for charcoal coolers. Everything from Weber Kettles to custom built restaurant smokers
    • Keeps the temperatures at a more consistent temperature than an oven at home
    • They focussed on not only making something that works, but something that is easy to use
    • Connectivity always had the potential for problems
    • It’s possible to pretend to be airport wifi so be careful in airports
    • They practised perfecting connectivity using Alexa
    • They’ve included instructions in the app to make things as easy as possible
    • It’s a web based connection (wifi)
    • It not only measures temperature, but also controls it
    • When the meat reaches a preset temperature, the temperature will drop to a warming /holding temperature
  • It was only a year from concept to launch
  • They do have some international distribution
    • Last year the international distributorship
    • grew faster than the US distributorship

With Jonathon from Rockwood Charcoal

  •  The food has been a highlight but more than that, the people are more important
  • The NBBQA Conference is very different and so much better than the average trade show
  • They’re based in St Louis
  • St Louis BBQ vs Kansas City BBQ
    • Jonathon prefers St Louis
  • Rockwood is an accidental success
    • It was setup as a tax deduction for his BBQ habit
    • He was a helicopter pilot who sold guns and real estate on the side
    • The charcoal business got faster and faster
    • Now it’s available in 10,000 locations
  • The kinds of woods
    • 100% Missouri product
    • 80% of all charcoal in the US comes from Missouri
    • It’s Missouri Oak
    • Defected wood goes to charcoal plants
    • No tree is ever taken down for charcoal
    • It’s effectively ‘waste wood’
    • No walnut – there are many other uses for it, bowls, gun stocks, and it links differently
    • The way they kiln it, there’s no difference in final product – the way the smoke smells etc
    • The kilning is to reduce the moisture, the liquors and the ash
    • If you can break it apart by hand, it’s charcoal. If not, it’s still wood
    • If it’s in a big chunk, it’s still wood
  • Carbonisation
    • They aim for 80 – 85% carbon
    • Higher than that, it breaks apart and crumbles
    • The BTU is 11,700 per lb
    • If the air is unmetered (like a PK Grill) you control the temperature by the amount of fuel. If the air is metered (like a BGE) small pieces will burn as long as big pieces
  • The wood is aged for 3 months minimum
  • It gets kilned at 1500F for a day to a day and a half
    • Then it takes a week to ten days to cool down
    • Now they capture the emissions, put it in a propane burner to burn off the particulates
    • Fine is 10k per kiln per day for white smoke
    • What goes into the air is clean and clear
  • Any waste (fines) get used as briquetting or for agricultural use
  • Adding carbon to soil is a fantastic use
    • Add the fines to your garden
    • University of Missouri found that it neutralises acidic soil
    • Carbon needs to be in soil to create plants
    • Creates a ‘microreef’ for all the tiny creatures in the soil
  • Their process completes the loop of carbon neutrality

With Joey Machado from B&B Charcoal

  • Joey’s 4th year at the Conference
  • Joey is on the board
  • A key to B&B’s success is the relationships they’ve built from the NBBQA Conference
  • The Conference can save you so much money and so much time
  • The NBBQA Conference is a ‘Knowledge Pool’
  • It’s a ‘Think Tank’
  • If tou don’t have a social media aspect, you can’t grow
  • The Culinary Fight Club
    • Popular in Chicago
  • NBBQA is a group of winners who love to share information because they want other people to be successful too
  • Do you want to be popular, or successful?
  • Ty is Joey’s son who is killing it in the competitive BBQ scene
    • At age 10 – 11 he started cooking on his own
    • He’s been on the Food Network for the Kid’s Championships
    • Now he only does SCA
    • 1st  place in game at SCA
  • If we skip a generation, it will all be lost
  • Australia and New Zealand have the opportunity to learn from the successes of people in the US
  • The B&B Truck
    • Chevrolet Kodiak 4500
    • It’s one step under a semi
    • Super comfortable and super safe
    • He did 100,000 miles in it last year
    • His trailer is 28 ft, triple axle, which can carry bn up to 8 pallets
    • Downtown NYC, Chicago, or Kansas City is not what the truck was designed for, but it is still easy
  • Joey’s 3 top tips for designing your comp trailer
    • Find the style of trailer that’s the right function for you
    • What is your end game? E.g. are you just cooking SCA, are kids coming with you, do you need sleeping quarters etc?
    • The US is now at the point where they winch their trailer smokers go up inside a trailer
    • But, people nowadays are cooking comps on three drums. Work out what you need
    • Look at the vehicle that you have – is it capable of pulling what you have?
    • Can you move it safely from A to B?

With Joey from the Red Meat Lover on YouTube

 

  •  Youtube Channel whose focus is cooking meat made easy
  • They focus on beef and pork, but there is some chicken and seafood in their too
  • They came to the Conference specifically to network with Rockwood Charcoal
  • It all started in College when Joey has to start cooking for himself 
    • He went down to the grocery store and no idea what he was looking at
    • He started buying different cuts of meat and learning what happened
    • The website started to answer questions that he and his friends had about meat
  • BBQ & YouTube
    • It’s the second largest search engine after YouTube
    • They are sharing what they learned from their mistakes and how to avoid the pitfalls
  • What do you need to get started on YouTube?
    • A smart phone
    • An informative / educative approach
    • They have a business partner who is very good behind the camera
  • Having a specialist behind the camera, and editor is essential
  • Having a good script is important
  • You need to be giving viewers something easily understandable but useful and value for their time
  • A good microphone is vital too
  • Some tips and tricks
    • You need to know a bit about what people are looking for
    • See what BBM other videos are out there and working
    • Look for the keywords that they use
    • You can add tags when you upload. Make sure you do this – it’s vital
  • YouTube does not create a manual – you need to figure it out or learn from someone who has
  • 4K videos seem to be performing better at the time of recording
  • They are starting Season 4
  • They’ve only ever uploaded from a desktop. They’ve never done it on a phone
    • They edit sound and add music etc
  • ‘Like Ratios’ are important
    • Make sure you engage with ALL comments etc

With James from Cucamonga Cattle Co

  • It’s his 8th year at the Conference
  • He’s learning a lot and connecting with new people every year
  • The connections with people are what brings him back every year
    • He get’s a chance to meet the ‘Old School’ BBQ guys like that he doesn’t get  to meet in California
  • Kansas City is about the middle of the country so it’s a good meeting point 
  • They are a run & sauce company
    • He has Beef, Pork and Chicken rubs
    • He started with the Beef rub, designed for Santa Maria style Tri Tip
    • It gives a traditional BBQ flavour to TriTip I.e. a Low’n’Slow flavour to Hot’n’Fast cooks
  • He went full time after he lost his job
    • It got so popular that he couldn’t keep up so he went to a copacker
  • Went to his chicken rub, called ‘Prairie Dust’
    • Put the recipe together in 2 hours
    • Sage, Thyme, Rosemary, Celery, Salt, Pepper
    • Works great on vegetables too
    • He’s aiming to make in an ‘all spice’ for general cooking
  • A couple of years later, he added his Pork rub
  • What doesn’t need to be there cooks away
  • Best way to cook California style TriTip
    • Trim all the fat 
    • If there’s a big fat cap, leave ¼ inch on there
    • Get your rub on there
    • Direct grill for 3 minutes with a grill temp of 400F
    • Rotate for grill marks
    • Move to a cool zone if you have the marks you want
    • Aim for medium rare (130F)
    • Slice it thin like sandwich meat against the grain

With Mikey from Man Meat BBQ

  • There was a Kid’s Q class talking about getting the next generation involved 
    • High school BBQ teams are now bigger than football in Texas 
    • More kids now want to go out for BBQ than football
    • The kids learn to make their own smokers, and then how to cook for themselves
    • The kids are really getting excited about it
    • The story about the school BBQ team went viral and got shared more times than the Football team’s posts
    • highschoolbbq.com
    • Kids are gravitating towards the program more than anything else
  • Meet The Masters
    • Junior from Up In Smoke
      • So humble
      • His story is inspiring
    • Myron Mixon told it how it is
      • Can you take a hit and still be in business tomorrow?
    • Junior and Stretch on Big Box Stores
      • Getting into a BBS can actually undo you 
      • The business model is small profits on big churn
      • BBS can decide not to have you next season and having signed an exclusive deal, you’ve lost all your grass roots / Mom&Pop stores
  • Pork Demonstration
    • Started with a whole hog and broke it down piece by piece, showing exactly where each cut comes from and explaining why each cut is popular and where it comes from
  • Podcasting is essentially BBQ University
    • You pick up so much information
  • For restaurateurs, repurposing off cuts is essential
    • Offcuts into sausage, chill, sandwich, etc
    • Could save $40 to $60 per day
  • Mikey’s Best Takeaway from the Conference
    • This is a BBQ family
    • Any one will give you their time to help you with your problem
    • ‘The Rising Tide Raises All Ships’
  • For me:
    • At this conference I’ve learned that the people who are here are passionate about helping other people

With Kyle and Mark from Uncle Bub’s BBQ

  • They’ve been coming to the NBBQA Conference for 21 years
  • Kyle is the Pitmaster and Certified Chef
  • They went to Plowboys, Slaps and Joe’s
  • Logistics is Uncle Bub’s point of excellence
    • They are able to do multiple events in the day and to the outside world it looks seamless
    • ‘UPS would be jealous of our logistics.’
  • They do a lot of wedding catering
    • Mark is the point man, detailing all the services that the company offers
    • 75% of their wedding menus don’t even have BBQ on them
    • Their restaurant can appeal to many different pallets
    • They will take old family recipes from the newlyweds and make them up and serve them at the weddings
    • Two years ago they did a consultation with the bride, groom and the bride’s parents
      • They emailed them the details and came back a month later for the tasting
      • After the tasting Mark found out that the mother had passed away in that month
      • They got the recipe for the Mum’s favourite meal, they did a test cook and served the family a trial meal. The family loved it and ordered it for the wedding catering
    • The food arrives between an hour and thirty minutes before serving
    • They’ll do up to four weddings on a single Saturday
  • They’ve had a Director of Operations for over 20 years who oversees everything
  • The Sales Process
    • Marie the Catering Manager will take the initial calls
    • They only do buffet now, no individual plating
    • She schedules a ‘consultation’ where the client sits with Mark
    • Mark gets all the details, makes a timeline with them, locations etc
    • They then discuss budgets
    • Some caterers put on a cake cutting charge per person
    • Everything is line itemed including gratuity so there are no hidden charges
    • He has a worksheet so he can fill in as he goes and be very clear on pricing
    • They get a free meal on that day, then they come back for a tasting (a second meal)
  • They almost take on the role of Wedding Planners. In fact, Wedding Planners often get in their way
  • They get a lot of corporate gigs resulting from their weddings
  • An average sized wedding is 150 – 200 people
  • Bridezilla Moments
    • Happens quite often
    • Last year they were doing a wedding at a Bride’s house
    • They were grilling Angus steak on site
    • Started raining
    • The Bride and Bride’s Mom were on their case all day
  • More often, the mother of the bride is the worst
    • There was one wedding where they’d been drinking from early in the morning and the Bride’s mother fell out of the bus and face-planted at the wedding site

With Mikey from Man Meat BBQ

    • Mikey had a great day taking classes. He got to take a brisket class with the Blacks of Black’s BBQ
    • Operation BBQ Relief did lunch and did a great job
    • Mike from Code 3 Spices did a great presentation with a lot of honest truth about their journey
    • All of the public speakers were great
    • BBQ is all about helping each other, and even BBQ podcasters can team up and work together
    • Everyone that Mikey has spoken to has been willing and excited to help him
    • I went to a great presentation with Joey Machado, Junior Urias and Peter Shater from Head Country BBQ on Marketing which was incredible
    • The NBBQA Awards
      • Mikey’s looking forward to it as it’s going to be a lot of fun
      • He didn’t know about the digital awards so he didn’t enter

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NBBQA CONFERENCE - DAY 2

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