Getting Educated Lake Pleasant, Az
news - BBQ News 2007

Getting Educated

Teaching, Assistant, Student

Lake Pleasant, Arizona



We have been asked many times to teach a class about BBQ but I had real reservations about doing it. Seems to me I would want to learn from one of the big names that have been around a long time. The other concern was that people say they would come to a class put on by QN4U, but would they actually pay and show up? I did not want to be embarrassed. California had a steady stream of Big Name Guys teaching here and lined up into next year so why would someone want to come to ours?

When we were approached by Mike Reiman and Thom Emery about teaching a class in Arizona to a group with real interest I decided to give it a shot. I knew we could not really advertise it because Dr BBQ had a class coming up in California and I definitely did not want to detract people from taking that class. In fact I encouraged his class. I was going to focus more on beginners wanting to do competitions in Arizona. As it turned out Dr BBQ’s class was full and we had 19 students, all from Arizona except two who have never cooked on a smoker. That made me happy-no embarrassment.

I really had to think out how to present this class and target the cookers who had signed up. We did a basic walk thru of a contest and threw in some of what we consider to be QN4U secrets. The class turned out to be a success. The students told us they really came away a better bbqer and definitely had more confidence to do competitions. This was one of the most rewarding experiences in bbq for me.


DR BBQ, Ray LAMPE, asked for us to come and help him at his class in San Jose and we were honored. I had taken his class a couple of years ago and it contributed heavily to all of the success that QN4U has had. DR BBQ class has a lot of information on how to go about winning a competition and he really lays it out there for everyone. The more experienced cooks could look at how to adapt what they learned to their style and the newer guys could serve up bbq that would push them ahead of a lot of cookers. I really enjoyed this experience, helping everyone and not having to do anything else. Smitty of Smitty’s Smoke Patrol really put together a nice setting for this class and worked his butt off making sure everything was just right. 


Finally, talking of big name bbqer's. There is no bigger name right now that Mike Davis of Lotta Bull BBQ and he was going to teach a class! Well I knew I had to be there. So first I had to convince my lovely bride that once again “this was an investment in our future”. She did agree that this was probably a good thing and said “yesss”, very slowly. I made reservations very quickly.

So I was off to Lynchburg, TN to get educated by Mike and Debbi Davis. There were a lot of good bbqer’s at the class. I guess that didn’t surprise me. Mike and Debbi walked us through the Lotta Bull contest process from shopping to box turn ins. What struck me the most was how organized they are in their approach. It made sense as much as they are on the road and as many contest that they do. That is what I took back and will try to apply to QN4U’s process. As for the silver bullet magic to bbq-yeah, they told us that too. LOL