About Me

I didn't know diddly squat about food. My diet consisted of fast food and frozen dinners. One day at the grocery store, I took the plunge and bought some raw chicken. I was so excited to actually COOK. I thought, how hard can this be? I slapped the chicken on the pan for a few minutes, cut it open, and... it was RAW -- while still quivering with salmonella. I knew that there was much more to learn about food and that I just barely scratched the surface.

Fast forward about a decade, and my love for food has expanded (like my waistline). I'm a self-taught cook who learned by trial and error, lots of practice, and by watching cooking shows -- both online and television. Occasionally, I'll volunteer at a local rescue mission as a chef. I'm known as the "meat guy," because I'm always prepping and cooking either beef or chicken for the lunch service.

If there's one thing that I love more than cooking... it's eating. Growing up in Southern California, I wasn't exposed to very many different types of food. Living in the East coast really opened my eyes. I remember the first time that I ate at Pepe's Pizza in New Haven, CT. After eating takeout and chain pizza restaurants all my life, I was blown away. I love eating out at all types of restaurants -- whether it's a hole-in-a-wall or a 5-star Michelin rated. If there's something new to try, I'll Yelp it!

I've always loved BBQ and backyard grilling, but I never took the time to study the art of low and slow BBQ. I wanted the good stuff, meat smoked for long hours -- not something stuffed in the oven or slow cooker and slathered in sauce. I would eat out, and was always dissatisfied with what restaurants had to offer. I would always drool at all the BBQ joints that I saw on television -- Texas, Memphis, and Kansas City.

So after researching online, I bought my first smoker in May '11 and launched this blog to chronicle my adventures. Since then, I've trained under an award-winning pitmaster, went through 10 hours of BBQ certified judging classes, and judged over a dozen BBQ competitions. But I've only scratched the surface -- there is so much more to learn in the art of low and slow BBQ. Thanks for reading, and I hope you'll follow me along my BBQ journey!

If you're interested in working with The Dirty Smoke, email dru@dirtysmokebbq.com.



  1. Dru,
    Really like your site. Well done my friend. Hope to see you in Mobile, Alabama at next year's NBBQA Conference.
    Linda O

  2. Hi MamaShed, thanks for reading! I'm not sure I can make it to next year's NBBQA conference, but you never know :)

  3. I couldn't find a review of Smoke City Market on your site.

    Have you been?

    This is the place that made me get into real smokin' bbq.

    1. Hi Munkee, thanks for the tip. I'll have to check out Smoke City Market sometime.

  4. Dru,

    I really enjoy your blog and life story up above - trial by fire is the best way to learn.

    Would you be willing to write an article for me? Email me at Jacob@innovating-solutions if so.