Pork Butt Paradise BBQ Team is now in effect for this most recent edition of the BBQ Beat BBQ Team Spotlight! As you can tell from the information shared below in this interview, these guys are NO FUN at ALL! Right off the bat these guys rank highly among dudes I would have loved to hang out with in college. Read their answer to question #1, and I think you’ll agree!
Again, if your team fits the bill, please email me via the contact page here on The BBQ Beat or message me via my Facebook Page. I’d love to provide some publicity and share some of your stories of BBQ love with the folks who read this blog.
Pork Butt Paradise BBQ Team – Sterling, MA
1. What’s the background of your team – where did you meet up, how did you start, etc. Don’t be afraid to elaborate here. Folks love a how we got started story!
Pork Butt Paradise BBQ Team is made up of David Daigle (AKA Pork Butt) and Ian Paradise (AKA Paradise). We went to the same college – Pork Butt in Electrical Engineering Bachelors/Computer Engineering Masters and Paradise in Music/Sound Recording Technology.
Paradise was on the Ski team with Pork Butt’s friend. A pretty solid group of friends formed including those on the ski team, along with a few others, which spanned a number of disciplines.
The group would go camping every year in the mountains. This was real deal camping, no bathrooms, no electricity, no water except the stream. The cooking was solely over a campfire comprised of wood we found (or cut down…shhhh). The cooking while camping progressed every year and eventually everyone was putting out pretty stellar meals on just a simple campfire. So much so that we couldn’t go without attracting a number of bears.
Pork Butt had started a BBQ team with a work friend (Chicken Legs) that ran a couple years. The team ended due to Chicken Legs’ family obligations. Pork Butt then ran a year solo and after reached out to Paradise thinking he may be interested in competing. Paradise bit (sucker) and the new team was formed in 2014.
2. What do you guys cook on? Has your setup changed over time or are you still rocking your original smokers?
Pork Butt Paradise started on a Humphrey’s Queb’d Beast, a WSM (Weber Smokey Mountain) and a kettle grill. This was changed this year to a Humphrey’s Qube’d Beast and a Humphrey’s Weeble. Picking up the Weeble really helped this year as it was easier to deal with than a kettle and a WSM.
(Editor’s note: Do you SEE the snow these guys are smoking in?)
Can’t say enough good things about the Humphrey’s smokers. They are really well built and the Humphrey’s are very open to any changes you want to make. We run our cookers on Frontier Charcoal which burns super efficiently giving us long burn times before we have to mess with any type of reload.
3. You guys are starting to get more and more calls, you have at least one RGC under your belt, and things appear to be clicking. What can you most attribute to the improvement you’ve seen since you started?
The 1st season we had to adjust to the new team, new cooker, we weren’t in sync and our timings weren’t down. We adjusted a lot over the 1st season and felt like we nailed things down pretty well towards the end.
Having more cooks together helped us to really get in sync to the point where, when one is doing something the other knows what he needs without anyone having to say anything. We worked some of timings and really tried getting them set rather than adjusting them every week. This allows us to be more consistent and the cook to be more predictable. It also prevents meats from slamming into each other by making sure we only have to work one meat at a time.
Making these adjustments served us well as we’ve had seven contests so far this season with a GC, RGC, three 3rd places, a 5th and a 6th.
4. If you could point to one simple change you made to see improvement in a category, one you feel a lot of new teams make, what would it be?
Simplify where you can and make sure your timings are down. Practice those timings. If you are constantly changing things you can’t get into a rhythm. When your timings are down and you consistently implement them it becomes a little more automatic. You also remove a lot of that stress worrying about what’s next or having to do multiple things at the same time.
5. What competitions do you guys have lined up for the rest of the current BBQ season?
We just concluded our 2015 season at the Riverside Blues and BBQ festival in Greenfield, MA where we took our 2nd Grand Champion award of the year. We had a great 2015 competing in 8 contests. Our finishes included 2 GC, 1 RGC, three 3rd place finishes, a 5th and a 6th. We are already looking forward to the 2016 season.
We’d also just like to offer up a very special thanks to our amazing sponsors: Humphrey’s Smokers and Frontier Charcoal. Oh, and we love interacting with other teams, potential sponsors, and anyone who loves live fire cooking! Please feel free to contact us on our Facebook Page here!
Is Your Competition BBQ Team On the Rise?
I hope you enjoyed reading this interview and that it contains some useful info for you! That’s really the purpose of these posts — to share some of what’s working for folks from teams who are just starting to win consistently with teams who are still getting on track.
If you’re just now starting to see RGC or GC calls and would like to have your team featured here on the BBQ Beat, contact me here so we can see about making that happen!