Monday, October 10, 2011

Review: Slap Yo Daddy BBQ Pitmaster Class

By Dru Chai

I felt like a giddy grade school kid, eagerly awaiting snack time of graham crackers and milk. Only this time, it was brisket, pulled pork, ribs, tri-tip, chicken... the list goes on. I had waited about 3 months just for Harry Soo's BBQ pitmaster class (and even wrote about it on this BBQ blog), so I sure as heck could wait another few minutes. But after 6 hours of talking BBQ nonstop, I was about to faint. My stomach had been eating itself up.

Harry Soo's love for BBQ is infectious. You can feel it by the way he talks about BBQ and his techniques--the way he demonstrates how to properly trim the excess fat from a brisket, the way he shows you how to properly check if the bark has hardened using a fingernail, or the way to properly load up the charcoals using the Minion method. There's a reason why he uses a particular ingredient, and it's through his own research and blind taste tests over the years. In person, he's exactly the way I've seen him on television--humble and willing help anyone out.

Within just a few years, Harry's Slap Yo Daddy BBQ competition team has racked up awards all over the country. I wondered, just how does he do it? For Harry, BBQ is the ultimate stress reliever from the real stress of his day time job. I couldn't agree more--it's just you and your thoughts, the meat, and the smoker. Only this guy travels thousands of miles around the country and enters BBQ competitions to compete against some of the best pitmasters in the world... and wins.

As a BBQ enthusiast and writer of a BBQ blog, I learned a few tips, hints, and tricks. Sometimes, it's the little things that make a big difference. For the BBQ newbie who's just starting out, Harry covers a lot of material in just a short amount of time -- it could be overwhelming, but Harry is easy going and down-to-earth. There are no dumb questions in his class. For those who have had prior experience, the class focuses on techniques for someone who's interested in entering a real BBQ competition. Harry said that many of students go on to enter competitions and end up beating him. Now that's the ultimate compliment.

Ready to spread BBQ joy

Harry really loves his BBQ
Harry showing us how to properly trim the fat off a brisket
Harry's family of WSM's

Harry explaining how to light up his smoker
The Minion method
Using lots of foil is good
Ready to eat what we made - finally!