There’s also lots of new photos of Community Barbecues in Texas.
ARLINGTON, Va. (February 23, 2016) — The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) and Casual Living magazine are pleased to announce Stan Hays as this year’s winner of the Donna H. Myers Barbecue Leadership Award.
Stan is co-founder and CEO of Operation BBQ Relief, a disaster relief organization that has provided hot meals in 18 states and 28 different locations and served approx 644,938 meals. Founded after the EF5 tornado that impacted Joplin, Missouri, in May 2011, Operation BBQ Relief’s expert pitmasters and volunteers deploy to disaster sites to provide comfort food, compassion, hope, and friendship to those whose lives have been torn apart.
“The stars of the barbecue industry include those who barbecue for the greater good – and Stan Hays and his organization, Operation BBQ Relief, should be an example for all of us,” said Jack Goldman, President & CEO of HPBA. “He has helped build an organization and given a lot of his time to selflessly feed victims of disasters, and we are proud to count Stan as a member of the barbecue community.”
While spreading BBQ Relief’s mission, Stan is also a champion pitmaster and caterer. With his team, County Line Smokers, Stan has won two grand championships, four reserve grand championships, and numerous first place category finishes at Kansas City BBQ Society events. Recently, Stan was the Chopped Champion runner up in the Grill Master Finale on the Food Network.
The award will be presented March 17 in New Orleans, Louisiana during the Big Green Egg Cook-off at HPBExpo 2016.
For more information on the Donna H. Myers Barbecue Leadership Award and this year’s recipient, contact Carrie deGuzman at firstname.lastname@example.org; 703-522-0086 X116. Press can register to attend HPBExpo for free at www.hpbexpo.com.
Reading a new cookbook often sends me running to the kitchen to try out an intriguing recipe. Aaron Franklin has no use for recipes and there aren’t any to be found in his new BBQ book. Instead, after reading Franklin’s Meat Smoking Manifesto I found myself running to the garage and rummaging through the tool chest looking for that carborundum wheel that fits on my electric drill.
Grinding down the rust that kept my barbecue smoker’s firebox lid from closing tightly suddenly seemed like the most important task in the universe.I spent hours with the grinding wheel, wire brushes, lubricants and oily rags getting my 25-year old steel smoker back into tiptop shape.
While most barbecue books (mine included), start with wood and charcoal, and meat and spices; Aaron Franklin’s book starts in the welding shop. Building a steel barbecue smoker from scratch is where barbecue begins for Franklin. And in his view, learning how to tune up your smoker and keep it in good repair may be more important than how you season your meats. (Especially since Franklin’s spices are pretty much limited to salt and pepper.)
Barbecue joint owners will be studying this book intently–Aaron Franklin may single-handedly raise the quality of barbecue in America. According to my family and friends, the quality of my briskets has risen dramatically since reading this book (and switching over to the same sort of USDA Prime grade briskets Franklin uses).
Some of the techniques for barbecue restaurant-sized smokers is difficult to follow at home. Franklin is a purist when it comes to “clean fires.” I can’t burn whole logs and still maintain low temperatures in my Texas offset smoker. And sometimes at home, hardwood charcoal is the right fuel for the job. But that’s a small quibble.
Franklin’s book is not filled with simple tips or easy fixes. There are no shortcuts. In the book, Franklin reveals his very complex method of trimming a brisket before smoking. I have attempted to follow his precise directions using the accompanying step-by-step photos several times, and I still can’t say I got it entirely right. I don’t think I have sliced a brisket as perfectly as Franklin demonstrates either–but I have something to shoot for.
And that’s the value of this book. Following a master like Aaron Franklin around and watching how he does it is bound to improve the way you barbecue at home. I recommend you buy a copy immediately.
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