As this is the last blog for 2018, I thought it appropriate to recap the amazing year I've had working for REC TEC Grills.
REC TEC Academy
I'm finding it hard to put into words how unreal of an experience REC TEC Academy was...
Thursday May 3 rd to Sunday May 6th is all a blur of thin blue smoke. We cooked over 80 briskets, 160 racks of ribs, 64 pork butts, 400 pounds of Atlantic salmon, 800 pounds of chicken wings, and 160 pounds of marinated skirt steak using 32 RT-680s, 32 RT-380 Bullseyes, and 1 very large Chuckwagon! The weather was perfect, and the beer was always cold and refreshing for that 2:30 break. The food, the concerts, and most importantly, the camaraderie, was second to none! For me, the week really hit home after the academy was over. I caught up on some sleep and got to take a few minutes to catch up on all the social media posts, pictures, and tags from the event. I got to meet not only all those awesome academy attendees, but all the guest pit masters from across the country as well. Still to this day, people make references to REC TEC Academy, and I look forward to the next experience and to hopefully meeting all of our REC TEC family!
Papa Joe's Banjo-B-Que
As most might know, my background is not in sanctioned BBQ events.
In fact, I had never participated in a KCBS or IBCA event prior to Papa Joe's Banjo-B-Que. The week leading up to the event was full of anticipation, and I need to tip my hat to Jim and Jan Burg with Killer B’s BBQ for their mentorship and friendly trash talk building up to the festival. I have competed in professional culinary events and competitions all over the country, and internationally, representing the United States in Lyon, France. Cooking for me is calming. I get into a flow, cutting, chopping, butchering, and seasoning… It's like a dance where you just get into a groove, and before you know it, everything falls into place. But this time, the time constraints were foreign, the process of boxing competition meats was strange, and the fact that no one was watching you and judging your kitchen score for sanitation and waste was just befuddling! The weather was awful, as it rained in the days leading up to the festival. By the time all the rigs were staged at Evans Towne Center Park, there was a large mud bog and stench that filled the area. I was fortunate enough to have seasoned BBQ vet Carlo Casanova by my side, and I felt that we entered very solid food. When all the scores were tallied, we placed 2 nd overall in the Pork Butt category. If you followed us on social media, you were witness to a side competition between Jan Burg and myself. A gumbo showdown was proposed during Academy, and was settled at this event. It was a close race, but in the end, Jan prevailed.
Gators, Guns, and Grills
The best adventure while living the #RECTECLIFESTYLE was absolutely the weekend at Ray’s hunting club, Fort Wood.
We had planned for a great Funday Friday in Bartow, Georgia, but mother nature had other plans. The rain was torrential and man was it cold! But we made the best of it and fried up some gator, grilled up some venison, and enjoyed a few cold beers. Okay, maybe more than a few... Guns were shot, deer were killed, and at the end of the evening when we all made it back from our hunt, we made a delicious green chicken curry with lemongrass basmati on none other than the REC TEC Matador. Not your traditional hunting club meal; I know they're all still talking about that one! The following day, Ben, Jody, David Wright, and myself all traveled to the hallowed grounds of the Hazelhurst Country Club for our very first SCA cookoff event. Wow, what great people we met, and a huge congrats to Peggy Grimes for winning 1st place! She took home the REC TEC bounty along with a golden ticket to the World Food Championships after cooking on her REC TEC Trailblazer. Jody narrowly beat me out in our side bet, beating me by 2 spots and showing why he is truly the REC TEC Grills expert!
In closing, 2018 has been very good to me.
I joined the REC TEC family full time in June, and I'm grateful for every email, DM, and phone call from all of our great customers around the globe.
One of the most rewarding feelings is seeing all of you post pictures of amazing looking food that has been cooked on a REC TEC. I wish everyone the happiest of holidays and the most prosperous of New Years, so top off your hoppers and bring 2019 in with a bang… Or better yet, with a really good smoked meal!
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These items are great additions for any of our existing products, from lids for your Matador, to extenders for your WiFi controller.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Greg Mueller is a WORLDCHEFS-certified master chef, and the Director of Culinary Innovation at REC TEC Grills. He has over 18 years of experience and is knowledgeable in all things food and cooking.