CWJJ Episode 120: SGA Natural Gas Connect Live: Part 1
June 24, 2022
Effective System Administrator Training
Effective System Administrator Training
July 12, 2022

CWJJ Episode 122: Sharpen the Saw – Grill Masters


Monday, July 4th- Happy 4th of July! This episode has a lot of dad jokes, a lot of tips for great grilling and BBQ, and it will leave you hungry for more. Join us as we sharpen the saw and talk w/ Nick Temple and Matt Purchatzke – and talk all things grilling & BBQ.

Quick Links:

Matt Purchatzke on Linkedin
Nick Temple on Linkedin

Episode Transcript

 [0:00] [music]

Jim Schauer:  [0:24] Good morning everyone. Welcome to this egg‑cellent…See what I did there?

James Cross:  [0:29] Bet he worked on that all week.

Jim:  [0:32] I’ve been waiting for weeks for that…Egg‑cellent episode of “Coffee with Jim & James.” We are bringing you a very special one, as you can see our guest, and the theme of this. James, I want you to lead us in because I have this vision of a saw…sharpening the saw.

James:  [0:50] Yeah. Everybody’s been along for the ride over the last couple of years on this podcast. We did a series on seven habits, and the last habit, the seventh habit is sharpen the saw.

[1:03] We were thinking about how cool would it be to bring different folks on to personify that one because as Steven Covey says, “That habit is the hardest, and what’s funny is it’s the funnest, and the most awesome when you’re doing it right.”

[1:18] We can all agree on that, but it takes intentionality, and us putting time towards it. We thought, “Why not bring some folks on that can help put some meat around it.” Feel so bad even saying that.

[1:35] This episode is sharpening the saw, but a collection of episodes that this one, in particular, is about. I’m not going to label it. It could be anything, whatever that thing is for you, but grilling, barbecue, smoking, you know what I mean?

[1:54] We have two awesome guests today. Jimmy, you want to bring them in?

Jim:  [1:58] I do. Let’s bring in Matt first. Matt, would you mind introducing yourself to the audience and give us a little tidbit of why you’re here today? What that egg‑cellent attributes that you may have?

Matt Purchatzke:  [2:10] Sure. Yeah, absolutely. First off, thanks for having me, guys.

James:  [2:12] No doubt.

Matt:  [2:13] As you said, this is my second time. My name’s Matt Purchatzke. I am the regional sales manager for Northern Plains Distributing, who is the Big Green Egg distributor, basically in the Midwest. I live in Central Wisconsin, and I cover all the way up into the UP.

[2:28] It truly is in my opinion, God’s country. As you guys said, excited to be here. Just be careful, Jimmy, when you start using the egg words, it’s hard to stop. [laughs]

Jim:  [2:40] I know I’ve been doing it for days right now, people are looking at me like I’m nuts.

Matt:  [2:45] I’m excited to be here, and I’m sorry, James, what else did you want me…?

James:  [2:51] No. That’s good for now. That’s good. You better prepare yourself because we’re going to be ‑‑ ready for this? ‑‑ grilling you in a minute.

[3:01] Let’s bring our good friend, Nick. Nick actually has been on many of times, SGA. Remember we had him at the book? Nick go ahead. Please introduce yourself to the audience.

Nick Temple:  [3:14] Nick Temple, business development manager for Rhino markers. We are a Trident Solutions company. All your damage prevention product, needs. I am coming at you live from Tempe, Arizona.

James:  [3:33] Awesome. If you don’t know it, Nick’s an influencer. Basically, I think he went viral on TikTok. He’s probably trending right now as we speak.

Nick:  [3:41] [laughs] Well, we have a fantastic marketing department. I will give you that. It’s definitely not my charm and looks that got us the fame online, but we’ve had some fun success, for sure.

Jim:  [3:57] Well, I just have to jump in here before we get into to the episode and segment. If you have a chance, go to…Nick, where are those videos kept that you’ve done over…?

Nick:  [4:07] They’re all on

Jim:  [4:09] They are some of the funniest videos I’ve ever seen. They are hilarious, and there are…

James:  [4:16] And they get the job done, too. That’s the cool part is it’s still awareness, but it’s in a new way that…I just love it. I love it.

Jim:  [4:23] It’s fun.

James:  [4:25] But this isn’t about Nick. This is a very important subject to me.

Jim:  [4:30] It is.

James:  [4:31] I want to get us into it because we have gathered some awesome folks. I know these two in particular are egg heads.

[4:40] They’re Big Green Egg heads, like myself. That’s kind of cool to have us all in one room. Jim’s the oddball. I think he just cooks on like an old camping griddle or something at his house.

[4:51] No, I know Jim’s basically a chef, too. Him, and Tammy whip up some awesome stuff, but I wanted to jump in, and I think a fun way to kick it off is whether you’re a griller, you smoke meats, or you’re a barbecuer, whatever you want to call it, whatever your thing is.

[5:11] What is each one of your go‑to items? What is Nick’s signature thing? Matt? No judgment anything, let’s hear it. Nick, I’ll just tee you up.

Nick:  [5:25] All right, man. If I had to say, my go‑to thing is I’m more of a griller than a smoker. I am a certified dork. I have three Big Green Eggs,. I know, don’t judge me. My go‑to is a tomahawk rib eye. I like to reverse sear on a tomahawk rib eye. I can get my Big Green Egg up to about 850 when it’s sear time on some hickory or pecan wood.

[5:57] If I had to pick a second, I would say I can cook some pretty mean salmon on my Big Green Egg because my wife doesn’t eat red meat. So I usually have to cook them both, and I can cook you some pretty serious salmon on there.

Jim:  [6:11] Can I ask you a question as a novice like down here in South Florida? It’s usually mahi‑mahi that we’re doing. But anyway, you mentioned grilling versus smoking. A lot of people don’t know the difference. Grilling, barbecue and smoking. Either one of the gentlemen anybody, all three of you jump in, let’s help educate people as to what’s the primary difference between those are.

Nick:  [6:34] Go for that, Matt.

Matt:  [6:36] Basically, how I would interpret it is grilling would be more of your little bit higher temp stuff, burgers, brats, that sort of thing, chicken.

[6:45] Smoking would be something more that you would do at a low and slow and take extended periods of time. For example, doing brisket or a pork shoulder, you’re talking 10, 12‑plus hours where grilling is more of minutes. Let’s cook it, and let’s eat. Then you’re adding smoke flavor, too. If you’re smoking can add some chips for a profile that you don’t get.

James:  [7:08] Things are so versatile now, too, that grilling…I mean, there’s a huge label on grilling, I think, with things like the Big Green Egg and other things. You basically have an oven outside, but you can cook brownies on it. You can do all those things.

[7:21] There’s almost like a third element where you’re just basically cooking normal kitchen food out as well. Some of it’s not grilling, but you can bake out there. You can make pizza, stuff like that, so that’s great. Man, tomahawk rib eye. We have to talk about that a little bit more.

James:  [7:46] Matt, what is your go‑to?

Matt:  [7:49] My go‑to is when I’m at home because I have two little kids. I have a 12‑year‑old son, and a soon to be five year old daughter, and we do pizzas a lot. It’s homemade. We all do pizzas.

[8:02] My kids will just have a great time rolling the dough out themselves making their own little pizzas. We’ll get the Egg up at indirect heat over with a baking stone, and get about 700 degrees, and now it’s my own personal brick‑oven pizza cooker, and cook it in six or seven minutes. It’s fun. I mean, even if you have a bunch of people over, and they can all make their pizzas together, it’s fun.

James:  [8:23] Matt, do you buy your dough, or do you have your own recipe?

Matt:  [8:26] No, I make my own.

James:  [8:31] I’m a big fan of pizza on the Big Green Egg. I have geeked out on that, had some great pizza party. It’s a great party because everybody wants to make their own. I just make a ton of dough, and you can just go grab, and do what you want with it. That’s awesome. Very cool.

Matt:  [8:47] Just something different.

James:  [8:48] What would come in number two?

Matt:  [8:52] For me, for number two, it would have to be because of my wife. She loves steaks, so we sear steaks. Actually, tonight, we got some New York strip thawing out in the fridge right now. We do steaks quite a bit as well because it just crank that baby up, sear it, take it off at temp, and it’s amazing.

Jim:  [9:11] Can I ask a question about the Big Egg? You guys put charcoal or whatever in the bottom of it, get it up to speed. Do you guys then shut it down so that charcoal can be used the next time, or do you have to clean it out every time? That’s a serious question.

Matt:  [9:29] No. I’m sorry, Nick, go ahead.

Nick:  [9:33] That’s a good question. I do reuse charcoal. The key is to not use the really low‑quality charcoal. It does make a difference. I promise you I’m not saying this because Matt is on here, but I have tried them all, trust me. I think the best charcoal is the Big Green Egg charcoal.

James:  [9:57] No free sponsors.

James:  [10:03] It’s a great…No, I do the same. Actually, I say, usually if I’m smoking on it, I’m probably going to clean that out because I’m going to put enough hours on it.

[10:12] If it’s going to be small, there’s going to be a lot to it. If I am grilling on it, sure, I’ll shut it down and reuse that. I might throw a couple of wood chunks on it or something after. It’s a little different.

[10:26] Jimmy, I know you may not be on the level of Nick and Matt. I also know that you have your go‑to things as well. What are some of your go‑to things, Jimmy?

Jim:  [10:40] On the grill?

James:  [10:42] Yeah. You can do whatever you want. I’ll let you.

Jim:  [10:45] One thing, and I am notorious for this, I love pork chops, bone‑in pork chops. There’s just something about them that I just absolutely love. Those on the grill are mine.

[10:57] Again, I don’t mean to…it seems like I’m on a separate island from you all are on the mainland because I also like to sous vide where you put in a bag, and you do that. Then you take it out, and then you put it on the grill just for like 90 seconds just to get that char on it. I’m a sous‑vide‑grill type of guy, doing both that way.

James:  [11:17] I would say I was teeing you up for that answer. I was hoping that’s what you were going to say.

Jim:  [11:22] James, you see us now. I’m going to tee you up. What’s your go‑to, James? What’s the thing? You are in the heart of Texas, you are in the heart of barbecue, smoking, grilling, what’s yours?

James:  [11:38] I have two things as well. The first one I would say, I do a version of barbacoa. I’ll smoke a chuck roast, and get some smoke on it. Then I’ll move it into a cast iron out there, and Dutch oven it in a cast iron. I’ll put green chilies in it, and stuff like that. Then I’ll shred it all, and make tacos for a week, or a day.

[12:03] I do that a lot, and it’s a little bit different, but it’s kind of both because I’ll put a sear on it, and then I’ll make it where you can just basically pull it. I also, I love to do ribs. I know it’s cheesy, and a normal thing, but I like to really try a bunch of different things. I really enjoy that.

[12:24] My family loves it. Everybody loves ribs. You can’t go wrong. I am more on the smoking side. I do a lot of grilling on there, too. I’ve got a propane set up, too, that I use. I’m equal opportunity. I’ll start a fire, and just cook something on a stick. I like all the ways, but those will probably be my two.

Jim:  [12:48] That’s good. One thing I think I’m hearing a theme though, too, is that, and when you think about it folks, this being 4th of July week when this is airing, what also happens during this time of the year is friends and family get‑togethers. It’s always fun to have a barbecue or something as a centerpiece where people gather around.

[13:09] How many times have you been around the griller, or the Big Green Egg, and all of a sudden you look around and there’s 4, 8, 10 people just kind of watching, taking it…but the fellowship that comes from that is intense and that’s the part that I really enjoy.

James:  [13:26] No doubt. I think that’s really why we do it. Deep down there’s something that we’re trying to fill. Just kidding. Hey, guys, I’m going to keep this moving. Jimmy, I’ll let you have the next set, OK?

Jim:  [13:39] Sounds good.

James:  [13:42] We know what your specialties are, your go‑to things. I don’t know how long you all been doing this, and it doesn’t mean Big Green Egg only, anything, how long have you all been grilling, smoking, whatever, I want to hear that.

[13:54] Then second, what are some go‑to tips and tricks maybe that you all have that ‑‑ I don’t know ‑‑ are game changer for you that you would share with the rest of the folks. Nick?

Nick:  [14:06] I would say my grilling and smoking barbecue journey started on a regular charcoal briquette type of a grill.

James:  [14:16] Like a clamshell?

Nick:  [14:17] Yep, you got it. I started there, cut my teeth there. Then my next door neighbor had a Big Green Egg on his deck, and he was smoking some ribs, and I started talking to him. I was like, “Oh, man, maybe I should go down this road.”

[14:33] Then I started thinking about it. I thought, “You know what, this guy is always outside with his kids and his wife, they’re just listening to tunes.” This, you said it, it’s like the centerpiece. I thought, “I’m going to get into that. I’m going to make an investment. I’m going to get into that.” I did.

James:  [14:51] Get into that club, like cult.

Nick:  [14:53] That’s right. I cut my teeth on a different brand, kind of the entry‑level brand, and it taught me some lessons. Then I moved up to the next level brand and it taught me a few more lessons. The main one is, “Go buy a Big Green Egg, quit wasting your time.” I did that. I bought my first one. I love low and slow. If you’re talking about those barbacoa tacos, man…

James:  [15:24] It’s my love language.

Nick:  [15:27] I love low and slow. I have three kids, and we have sports, and all kinds of stuff. It’s tough for me to allocate a lot of time to that, so I typically stick to the grilling stuff at 350‑plus which I consider grill temp, but I respect it, I love it.

[15:49] There’s times like on college football game day, I’ll get up at 6:00 in the morning if I’ve got a pork shoulder. Get that thing in the fridge all night, get that going.

[15:58] It’s funny because when I think of doing a pork shoulder, what I want to make is street tacos, like you’re talking about, the barbacoa tacos. My tip would be like on a street taco for if you wanted to try something like that, and you can do it on a gas grill.

[16:12] My boss, Chris, smokes stuff on his gas grill all the time with the smoker box, piece of cake, but my mom showed me this trick for a really simple salsa that is phenomenal, and all it was was a diced jalapeno, chopped mango, and some onions ‑‑ oh, my gosh ‑‑ on some really good smoked pork. Street tacos with some cilantro. Yeah, it’s legit. My tip is get a Big Green Egg. That’s my tip.

Jim:  [16:47] It doesn’t cost that much more…

James:  [16:49] I guess they are our free sponsors today.

[16:50] Matt, tell us a little bit what got you in, and how long you’ve been smoking, I mean, grilling, and then same question to you.

Matt:  [17:05] Just probably like everybody, I started on a charcoal…a little Weber Kettle grill back in the day, got a gas grill, and had both for a while. I started at my current position selling Big Green Egg in 2017, and that was the first time I ever cooked on one. I didn’t realize how passionate I could get about a Big Green Egg so quickly. It’s been Big Green Egg since 2017.

[17:32] I don’t think there’s any looking back regardless of what I do for a living. It’s amazing. It is extremely versatile, and the food’s incredible like you said earlier, James.

[17:42] Ever since 2017, my family has hosted every holiday for the most part because my family and friends want your Thanksgiving turkeys, your Easter hams, all that kind of stuff. It’s become such a social thing for us all, it’s been awesome.

[18:00] A tip as far as just any outdoor cooking, or really even cooking at all. What really changed my game is just an instant‑read thermometer. It’s amazing. It’s amazing how much…

Jim:  [18:12] Digital? Digital?

Matt:  [18:13] Yes. I have a digital. Egg has four different versions. I have four of the four. Well, I have a digital, instant‑read thermometer, and it’s just no matter how are your cooking, or what you’re cooking on, if you learn to pull at proper temperature, everything you make…

Nick:  [18:29] Such a good tip.

James:  [18:32] I can’t think of how many people you talk to that maybe don’t smoke or do barbecue, long‑term smokes. They’ll be like, “How long do you cook your brisket for?” I’m like, “What are you even talking about? When it’s to temp. Every time.”

James:  [18:47] How long do you cook your st‑…I do eight minutes a side.” I’m like, “I don’t. I take the temperature of it.”

Nick:  [18:54] I pull my steaks off at 117 internal. That’s kind of my sweet spot, right there, and I have a temp pen. I have probably four or five of them, and they’re just the cheapo version, but that is the key. You cannot overcook food if you temp pen doesn’t suck. Pull your steak at 117.

Jim:  [19:15] Let me jump in. I’m going to ask this to all three. James, I want to get you in the mix here, for sure. Given me and who I am, help me to understand, what do you guys hate about…what’s a bad thing about barbecue I should avoid? Give me some tips that I should stay away from. You mentioned some of the good things. What are the things that I should be leery of?

Nick:  [19:41] My advice would be, be leery of the bad charcoal, and try not to use the briquette stuff. I think there’s a lot of chemicals and things in there. With good lump charcoal, there’s no chemicals. It’s all natural, man. That’s my advice.

Jim:  [19:58] Matt?

Matt:  [20:01] That’s great advice from Nick. In regards to the Big Green Egg, you have to make sure you actually don’t use any type of briquettes, or lighter fluid, or anything like that because it actually ruins the ceramics of the Egg. A good, high quality lump charcoal can make all the difference, really.

[20:17] As far as something to stay away from, I wouldn’t say really anything. I would look at it more as a mindset. I talk to so many people when I’m out doing events, and people are just intimidated by smoking, or things that they think a brisket like, “Oh. It’s so expensive I don’t want to ruin it.”

[20:36] Just go. Go buy some chicken, and just do it. Get out of your own head and just go…People always think I’m something special. I’m not. I just have done it. I’m not a trained barbecue guy at all. I just have done it a lot, and just honed my skill. Just get off the couch, and go do it.

James:  [20:54] Get started.

Jim:  [20:56] That’s good. learn by doing is what I’m hearing. James, tell me, what should I avoid in your world? What would that be?

James:  [21:05] I think what Matt said is dead on. Most of us learned by trying out new things, finding what we like, and I just experiment a lot on mine, in different ways. If I was somebody, and I guess this falls almost back into the last question, too. Matt you said earlier, “I’m not a big smoker, as opposed to a griller.”

[21:29] I would say, look for those little…I’ve go a Big Green Egg, so I’ve got one of the little cheater fans that go in the bottom, and it keeps it at temp. So, Nick, you were saying, ” I don’t have the time.” I literally go to sleep, and then I wake up in the morning. I put it on 10 o’clock at night, and it runs. I never put anything in it.

[21:50] I wake up, in about an hour goes off, and I go pull it, and have the best brisket in the world. That kind of deal, so…

Jim:  [21:59] You have that confidence that you start it, let it go, and go to sleep?

James:  [22:03] Again, you’re cooking to a temp. I know when it’s going to stall. I know all those things to some degree. If you trim your meat the way you should, and you’ve done it enough. You have a ballpark, depending on where you’re going to be at.

[22:16] If I put it on at midnight. Then, I can go to bed, and sleep till 6:30, and I can pull that for the next day, then I do that. I’ve got a lot of cheaters like that, but I’m like Matt. Man, try it out, do it. I am not…All right I’m going to be honest, I’m not a mac‑and‑cheese fan. I know that probably will piss a lot of people off. I know, I like steaks.

[22:42] Because all the mac and cheese ‑‑ which this will piss another group off ‑‑ that I’ve ever had was the yellow mac and cheese out of the box, right? Well, I look at this mac and cheese sometimes at these barbecue joints and on the food channel, and I’m like, “Dude, I would eat that,” because I know the ingredients.

[23:01] I know what goes into it. I know it’s good cheese. I know it’s…Then I can put it on, and put as much smoke on it as I want. Then I pulled it, and it was fantastic. Right, it was everything I wanted, so. Just experiment. Get out there, and do it. So, Jimmy, I didn’t answer that question not one bit.

Jim:  [23:18] Oh, that’s right. I went down the story, and now you got me intrigued about this macaroni and cheese on a grill because I’m used to the type where you undo the envelope, and you pour the cheese on it, then mix it with water.

James:  [23:31] I love good cheese. You go research that, and I’ll go buy good cheese.

Jim:  [23:37] I know that sounds really good with that smoke flavor that gets into it. That’s a beautiful thing when you cook from scratch. It really does add to it. You guys are kind of…I don’t know. Would you guys call yourselves all professionals? I don’t want to use the word “snob,” but are you guys at the crème de la crème of the barbecue world?

Nick:  [24:04] I don’t know if I could call myself that, but I would call my kids that, here’s why. You cook a few prime fillets, or a few nice prime rib eyes, and then you show up with the regular stuff. My kids who are…My son’s almost 11, my daughter just turned 9, and then my youngest is 5, they’ll look at me, and be like…

Jim:  [24:26] Oh, really?

Nick:  [24:28] Yeah. That’s the problems. That’s an expensive problem.

James:  [24:31] And when you got to eat, right? You end up somewhere, and they order a steak, and they look at it like, “What is this garbage?” We’ve ruined these children.

Nick:  [24:41] So I’ve created three meat snobs, basically, in my world.

James:  [24:47] You’re not a meat snob until you create a meat snob. I think it’s all right. Matt, are you a snob now?

Matt:  [24:59] I don’t think I’m a snob. I do have preferences, and I do know what I like, and I can parlay off of what Nick was saying to is your family and all that they just get so accustomed to how good the food is off of the Egg that nothing really else compares even when you go to a steakhouse, and pay their prices. It’s like, “Man, we could have done this at home.” You know, bought a good cut.

[25:24] But again, I don’t think I’m a snob, there’s room for everybody, barbecue in general, just outdoor cooking, like we’ve already discussed is just communal in it, whatever you’re cooking on gets the job done, but there are some things that do them better than others, and I just happen to think the Egg is top.

James:  [25:41] Jimmy, I’m going to chime in on this.

Jim:  [25:43] My finger was going right to you, brother, come on.

James:  [25:48] I am not a snob. If we’re going to go to your house and chill, and have a couple of beers, and do the whole bit, I’m in. Sign me up.

[25:59] I’m never going to be like, “I would never eat that burger that way,” or whatever the thing is because I’m like you, Matt. It’s about being there. It’s the communal part of it. It’s the fellowship, I will say when I’m paying for barbecue, I become a snob pretty quick because I have…Barbecue is funny.

[26:19] If you’ve been on any kind of a…at any of these barbecue joints across the US, you walk in, and that barbecue was cooked yesterday, and wrapped in Saran wrap, and sitting there. I get it, but there’s something awesome about cooking your own barbecue, and pulling it, and eating it hot and fresh. It just is good, and everything coming together.

[26:41] You don’t have that option at a lot of these places. Now there are some out there that are fantastic. Believe me, I’ve been to a lot of them, and they are worth it, but the run‑of‑the‑mill barbecue joint in fill‑in‑the‑blank town, yeah, I’ll eat it, but I’ll probably complain, and it’ll be the same complaint like that. I just know there’s better barbecue when it’s fresh. That’s all it is. It’s usually freshness with me.

Jim:  [27:08] I think that’s a beautiful thing. I think the way that you’re putting it, James and gentlemen, too, the ideas that you can cook in the family home, family kitchen, and whether that kitchen is outdoors or indoors, and family and friends are gathering. That’s a really important thing.

[27:22] When you can make something that’s really good, and use great ingredients to make something special, that’s wonderful. I mean, that really is. Let me circle around. James, I want to hit you. You were on a roll there. What brought you to barbecue, James?

James:  [27:37] I think this is our big question, Jimmy. This is the big one…

Jim:  [27:42] Yeah, I want to hear it. What’s your journey?

James:  [27:49] I’ll go way way back, and my grandpa was a chef in the army, or a cook in the army. Growing up, I watched my grandpa basically cook every meal, from breakfast to everything. He was not a griller. I never saw him cook on a grill ever in my life. He kind of put that in me.

[28:12] What I did take from him was prepping, and clean up as you go. All these simple things that now I just take for granted, but he created the love for cooking. Just like Nick and Matt, I started really on a clamshell, a Weber clamshell. No free sponsors.

James:  [28:35] Out in front of an apartment, you know? I’m sure it was a hazard. I would sit, eight hours, sit next to a little clamshell in front of an apartment. I was like, “Man, I’m in.” Then I just kind of upgraded as I went along, but there were years that I lusted after Big Green Eggs. I would just see them, and I’d look at them, and just go, “That’s when I know I’ll make it.”

Jim:  [28:59] How long did it take you to get your first one…

James:  [29:02] When I relocated to Dallas‑Fort Worth area about 10 years ago, I sold all my equipment when I left. That was the bet. I was like, “Can I sell all this and then, maybe, I can get an Egg when I get up there?” That was the gamble I made. Then I got one. I only have one, Nick.

[29:24] Mine aren’t mating yet, but they’re awesome. It was everything I wanted, but honestly, it’s kind of like this stuff. Nick and I met on a golf course one day, and we chatted, and we found out we both use Big Green Eggs. We are eggheads, instant bond, and then we realized our kids were the same age.

[29:51] Even going back to that, the fellowship that was involved in it is what I latched onto. People love to eat. That’s a really easy conversation starter, but to gather people around, and then that pride, just that pride of feeding people and breaking bread. I think it’s just awesome to be able to host people.

Jim:  [30:12] That’s beautiful.

Nick:  [30:13] Well said.

Jim:  [30:14] That’s beautiful. Nick, let’s lead to you. Who or what drove you to barbecue? Where did you passion stem from?

Nick:  [30:22] Yeah, very similar to James. I would say seven or eight years ago I would get towards the end of the week, and if I had had a long week or whatever, I would just be like, “I just want to be outside with my kids. I don’t want to go sit in a crowded restaurant. I want to be outside.”

[30:44] I think that’s the key word, and I think that really plays into sharpening the saw. Just getting back to the core of what we do everything for. I just was like, “You know what? I want to be outside with my kids, and I want to break bread. I want to make something for my family.” That’s kind of how it started on the Kettle grill.

[31:12] Then it really just kind of became our thing. On Friday nights, I want my kids outside whether…Now, it’s here in Arizona, and so my kids are in the pool. I’m on the Egg, I’m cooking dinner for everybody. We have music on, that’s us on a Friday.

[31:32] Depending on where you live geographically, that may be a challenge parts of the year. Even in the winter time, when I lived in Minnesota for nine years, I would be out cooking. We would be listening to tunes inside, doing the same thing, just inside unfortunately.

[31:52] It really became who we are. We bought a travel trailer. As soon as COVID started, my wife said, “Buy a travel trailer because we’re going to be locked down.” I said, “OK,” and we bought one, and we went on our first trip.

[32:05] I had this a‑ha moment where I was like, “Oh, my gosh, I don’t have my Big Green.” I got my Bluetooth speaker, I got an IPA, and I’m like, “I’m out of my element.” Yeah, go ahead.

Jim:  [32:18] What did you do?

Nick:  [32:20] I bought a MiniMax, easy answer. We got the MiniMax, and then it was like every weekend we’re camping, and I have my MiniMax, and I got my tunes, and my kids are outside. That really helped keep everything together. Now that we’re sort of back to normal‑ish or whatever, that’s still our thing.

[32:44] You will find us outside. You will find me on my Egg on a Friday, cooking for my family. That is, honestly…I’m not trying to lead you into your next subject here, but that’s how I sharpen the saw.

James:  [32:57] That was great. You’re basically a caveman, that’s what you’re saying.

James:  [33:01] I like to provide for my family. I love that, Nick. Matt?

Matt:  [33:09] For me, it was probably pretty standard with most people. I just started as a weekend warrior, and just would cook whenever I felt like I wanted burgers, or chicken, or that sort of thing.

[33:20] I really didn’t get into smoking or doing anything else until I started with my company in February of 2017. That’s just when the passion was instantaneous, and since then, yep. The floodgates opened, and now we cook on an Egg easily three to four times a week.

[33:40] There’s times that I’ll be out for the weekend, doing events for work, and I’ll come home and my wife will be like, “Oh, I got XYZ out for dinner.” I’ll be cooking all day, come home, fire up my own Egg, and continue it on.

[33:54] It’s incredible, I can’t complain about it. Now, speaking with what Nick was saying is I do live in Wisconsin, and you can use the Egg year‑round, right? It can be 20 degrees outside or 20 below or 80 degrees outside and the Egg…

Jim:  [34:09] Just go in and out, in and out, in and out.

Matt:  [34:10] Yeah right.

Jim:  [34:11] Yep.

Matt:  [34:11] When it’s 20 below, I’m miserable, the Egg does not care. Now me, I don’t like it, but it’s still worth it to cook on it, and it functions as it should, if not even better in the colder weather actually.

James:  [34:23] Yeah. I didn’t talk about this earlier, but for New Year’s Eve I always do a rib roast, prime rib. It’s always freezing. One year we had an ice storm, and my [indecipherable] . I think it performs better. All right, that was just one last one, Jimmy…

Jim:  [34:44] I want to tell you my story where…

James:  [34:46] That’s what I was about to say, what about you?

Jim:  [34:49] It was more so survival of the fittest. Let me just tell you how I grew up. Quick story. My mom went to the butcher, and got four slabs of baby back ribs, and she said, “We’re going to make ribs.” Put them on the counter, under the paper, right? Beautiful ribs.

[35:06] She took barbecue sauce, raw ribs, and put them all over the ribs, front and back and everything. She goes, “OK, carry these outside.” I’m 10 years old, I’m carrying them outside, and we had the clamshell, right? She dumps a bunch of charcoal in there, lots of lighter fluid, lights it, puts the grill on. One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, and she goes, “Put the ribs on!” I’m like, “All right!”

[35:32] Can you imagine what those looked like after about eight minutes?

Jim:  [35:39] That’s where I…

James:  [35:40] Inspired you.

Jim:  [35:41] I need to learn how to do this a little bit better. That’s a true story. That is an absolute true story. She ruined four slabs of the most beautiful baby back ribs you had ever seen.

James:  [35:51] I’m telling you what, I bet we all have. My first ones, that’s how I prepared them as well. I wrapped them in foil. Then they burnt to the foil because of all the sugar in there. I cooked them for 27 hours, I think. I didn’t know what I was doing. They just pulled right off the bone because they were crispy. We all have those. That’ll be the next one, we tell all our horror stories.

Jim:  [36:17] Oh, I have a lot of those.

Nick:  [36:18] I’m going to throw this out there real quick. Growing up, my mom would make beef ribs sometimes and I would…I don’t know what was going on with the prep, but it just wasn’t the best thing. Pre‑COVID, Texas811 used to be held in San Marcos, and well, my boss, Chris Thome and I took a group of friends to Lockhart, which is the barbecue capital of Texas, if you all don’t know.

James:  [36:47] To go to Black’s?

Nick:  [36:48] We went to Black’s. My good friend, may he rest in peace, Andy Hole, he said, “You got to have their dinosaur bones here at Black’s.” I was like, “Oh, OK.” Which is a beef rib, a Texas‑sized beef rib. It is top five the best thing I’ve ever had in my life. I don’t have the skill to make those.

James:  [37:15] It’s like a brisket lollipop.

Nick:  [37:17] Oh, my gosh, what a great way to explain it.

James:  [37:20] So fantastic.

Nick:  [37:21] It blew my socks off, man. You start talking about ribs, I just got to throw Black’s out there. That’s unreal.

James:  [37:27] Yeah. I won’t keep adding to these stories, but I’ll tell one real quick. In Texas, a lot of people will ask, “Oh, we’re having ribs?” In Texas people will ask, “I really like to cook ribs.” “Oh, do you do pork or beef?” Most people will never touch a beef rib because it’s tough, right? It takes more skill.

[37:51] Everybody can cook pork ribs. Believe me, you can. If you’ve never done it, you can. It’s a lot more forgiving. The beef ones here, man, I’m a big…I’ve had that rib you’re talking about, Nick. So good. All right, Jimmy, I’ve got to go eat something.

Jim:  [38:09] Do you?

Jim:  [38:12] I think this was a great episode. I think it’s fun to get together, fun to talk about just barbecuing, and family and friends, and doing the things we want to do, sharpen the saw.

[38:21] As a note for myself, July 10th will mark 11 years sobriety for me. It’s a very extra special weekend for this for me.

James:  [38:30] Nice.

Matt:  [38:30] Congratulations.

Nick:  [38:31] Way to go, man.

James:  [38:31] Congrats, sir.

Jim:  [38:33] Thank you. It’s just great getting together, and having fellowship like this, and letting people know that it’s all right that all the times that we all talk about business and such like that, it’s great to get together.

James:  [38:42] It really is. Hey, guys, thank you all for coming, and being friends of the show, and being on here again. It always says something if you come back second time, or you’re invited back a second time.

James:  [38:57] No offense to all those that were on once.

Nick:  [39:00] Thank you guys for having me, man.

Jim:  [39:01] Thanks for joining us, gents. Until next week on Coffee with Jim & James, you all stay safe. Take care, everybody.

Transcription by WatchingWords


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