Hey guys, this is Kevin with BBQBeat.com. Welcome to the first-ever BBQ Beat Podcast Episode! This is an introductory episode in what I hope will be a relatively long-running podcast series with information I hope you’ll find interesting related to BBQ.
Welcome to the very first session of the BBQ Beat Podcast.
It’s taken a lot longer to get this thing up and rolling than I’d planned, but it’s finally here! Thank you so much for your patience.
I’ve received a lot of requests to put the interviews I do with BBQ cook teams and other article topics I’ve written about on the BBQ Beat Blog. Well, it’s finally happening and it’s really cool that you’re here listening with me! Whether you’re on your way to work, at the gym, or doing a test cook at home with teammates, friends, or family, please know that I really do appreciate you tuning in.
Today’s session is going to be a little different from what you’ll get moving forward. I’ll start with a short introduction of who I am, why I started the BBQ Beat Blog, and what the work I do there means to me. I’ll also get into how the show will kind of shakeout and why I’m hosting this podcast in the first place.
So, if you haven’t heard of me before, my name’s Kevin Sandridge, and I have a blog called BBQBeat.com. I started blogging about BBQ about 7 years ago with a site called BBQSmokerSite.com. For about 4 years solid, I ran that site with a lot of passion and a desire to learn as much about competition BBQ as possible.
Then … life got really busy. I was teaching middle school technology classes in things like robotics and tech ed during the day, I’d picked up a job as a mortgage broker on the side, and I was teaching between 4 and 5 evening and online humanities and mythology courses for a local college all at the same time.
Work-life took over, and I was managing to balance it all… BADLY. Something had to give. Though my interest in BBQ remained as strong as ever – the blogging and running around judging KCBS and FBA competitions took a back burner to everything else that was going on.
So – I kept up that crazy work pace for a couple of years. Well, until it ran me so ragged that I finally realized that a life without what I truly enjoy – writing about BBQ and being part of the BBQ world – was no life at all. So in late 2015, I decided it was time for a major course correction.
I bailed on the mortgage industry job, dropped some work I’d started, crazily, in Network Marketing, moved from teaching technology classes by day at the middle school to teaching high school world history classes, pared down my college teaching a good bit, and … most importantly… got back to blogging, judging, and living a life that’s moving closer and closer to a full-time focus on BBQ with each passing day.
OK… so that’s the story – more or less – about my journey in BBQ… but why am I writing about this stuff. What is it that keeps me coming back to the BBQ Beat Blog to write “how to” posts on competition cooking, promote BBQ teams who are just getting their feet wet with their first Grand Championships or Reserve Grands, and share my thoughts and honest reviews about various BBQ smokers, grilling products, and the like?
The answer is simple.
If I can share a story about the good things going on in BBQ, about a cooking method that gives a new team a leg up, about a product that offers value and does what it says it will do… then I’m fulfilling my calling to teach.
All through my life, I’ve been averse to the fog, the haze, the morass of clutter that tends to accompany learning.
In graduate school during my time studying art history and museum studies, I was always cutting through the “academic speak” and getting to the point of things… much to the chagrin of some of my fellow classmates and a few of my instructors.
I’m a man of the people! And I really like meeting new folks… good folks… like the people you find in the world of BBQ.
So I write. I share stories about people who are following their passion and finally starting to see some consistent success.
I maintain the BBQ Beat Blog and I started the BBQ Beat Podcast because I want to do my part to sustain the American Way of Life as it pertains to BBQ and promote all that’s good and blessed to be a part of it.
OK… so that’s why I’m doing all this… in a nutshell at least.
Why I Started the BBQ Beat Podcast
OK. So I want to be sure and cover exactly what you can expect in the podcast sessions that follow this one.
The purpose of The BBQ Beat Podcast is really two-fold:
- The first thing I want to do is to answer the many questions I get from you and my other listeners as possible. I’m not talking surface-level stuff. If you’ve read my blog articles, you know I do everything I can to really pack a ton of solid, useful, and yet easy to follow information into them.I want to do the same thing here. So, in the first few episodes, you’ll hear from product experts in the world of BBQ who are sharing information about what they do. You’ll also hear about food industry professionals who provide some amazing info and tips on how you can WIN in the world of BBQ with everything from competitions, to catering, to product development and marketing.
- The second thing I’ll be doing here on the BBQ Beat Podcast is to take as many of the awesome conversations I’ve had and continue to have with BBQ Pitmasters and Cook Teams, both here in the US and abroad in places like Canada, Italy, England, Denmark, Germany and Prague.
Some of the best talks I’ve had have been during afterhours sessions – just talking with cook teams and other BBQ folks after events, at trade shows, etc. That’s where the magic really happens… with the Whiskey and Beer flowing and all the good story telling (both true and of the mildly embellished variety) going down. So… expect to get some of that going on here as well.
At the end of the day, the BBQ Beat Podcast is here to both entertain and enlighten you. I get to meet a whole lot of good, solid, down to earth, and incredibly talented people doing what I do over at BBQBeat.com, and I can’t wait to share some of what I learn from all these great people with you.
It’s a labor of love, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun, too!
The BBQ Beat Podcast Format
OK – now I want to talk a little bit about the format of the show.
This recording is a little special because it’s the first one, but a normal episode will be like this…
So, it’ll be between 30 and 45 minutes in length. I can’t see any of the podcast sessions going past an hour. If they do, I might be on the hook for some free beer coupons!
I’m going to stick to a few key questions for each guest. That way you guys can get a sense of where my conversations with them go. Each session will be a little different, obviously – as different guests will offer up cool stuff to meander on about a bit.
But – we’ll keep the basic format the same.
We’ll cover news and updates from different competition BBQ teams. I want to focus as much on newer teams not more than a year or two into the game, but we’ll try and get some of the big dogs in the hunt as well.
I’ll also get some BBQ product makers on the line from time to time – focusing on things I think are of value and can really offer up something of worth to you.
Sometimes it might just be me talking about an issue or covering a topic I’ve covered on the blog, but offering it up as an “Audio Blog” of sorts.
Of course, if I travel to see folks in other areas who are doing good things with BBQ – we’ll cover that here too. BBQ Pitmaster interviews at their respective restaurants will likely come into play here. BBQ Road Trip, Anyone???
You guys are going to get this raw and pretty much unedited. My mistakes are going to be REAL easy to spot, and this will force me to do better and work smarter each time out.
It really is my goal to both entertain and educate … and maybe even inspire in terms of bringing on guests who are just becoming successful in an area you yourself are working on… or just me talking solo or with a guest about BBQ related stuff that really jives with where you yourself might in your quest for smokey goodness.
I hope you enjoy the end product of each BBQ Beat Podcast Session as much as I know I’ll enjoy making it.
I make no bones about the fact that I’m doing this because it genuinely makes me feel like I’m being the best version of myself I can possibly be.
The BBQ Beat Podcast – Final Thoughts
This is an exciting time for me. I really feel like I’ve found my place… where I fit in as far as BBQ is concerned.
To bring this post to an end, I’ll close with this…
Just the other day, my good friend and brother in Imperial Polk County, FL BBQ Jason Whitcomb over at Team Unknown BBQ said, “You know man, I’m real glad you’re doing the BBQ blog thing again. We thought we’d lost you for a while there. It’s good to see you got back on that horse again.”
I couldn’t agree more with Jason…. And I couldn’t be happier to be launching this podcast series.
Thanks again for being here… and for listening to the very first session of the BBQ Beat Podcast. Hope to hear from you again soon, and I’ll see you in the next session.