Funday Friday: A Look Back

Funday Friday: A Look Back

Posted by Jody Flanagan on 24th Jun 2019

Last week, we filmed the 100th episode of Funday Friday!

We made it 100 weeks straight without missing a single episode. That's crazy to me! But then again, nothing is crazy when you work for the fastest growing pellet grill company in America! If you've been following us on social media since our inception, you've been lucky enough to catch our earliest episodes of Funday Friday. However, most of you probably didn’t get to see a skinny Stevie Fredricks, a baby bearded Jody, or Ray with a goatee! Before Funday Friday was a real thing, I was the one holding the camera while trying to keep up with Ray and Stevie. It all started when Ray would bring in food to cook on Fridays. We all had the best time watching him grill and cut up. It really broke up the day and everyone in the office enjoyed it. Keep in mind we only had 6-7 employees at the time. The more we cooked, the more we thought, "Hey, I bet everyone on Facebook would love it too." Going live on Facebook was a very new thing at the time and no one really knew what we were doing except for the cooking. We began filming short demonstrations to show the REC TEC Facebook community. It wasn’t until a few Fridays in that Ray had the idea to brand and consistently film new episodes. As REC TEC began to grow, we were able to hire more employees, which then allowed us to produce better episodes of Funday Friday. Customers began reaching out to compliment the series and expressed that it inspired them try new dishes. For me, that's when Funday Fridays really began to be fun. Looking at Facebook on Saturday and seeing other people grilling what we cooked is when I knew that our live cooking show was turning into a little monster. We added themes, guests, and two professional chefs into the mix. When I wasn’t able to make it, they stepped up and kept the show rolling. As we celebrate the REC TEC lifestyle and 10 years of REC TEC, I decided to compile a few "Top 10" lists for Funday Friday. I really don’t like to watch myself onscreen and I hate to hear myself talk... I get secondhand embarrassment and judge the heck out of myself. Nonetheless, I pushed through the embarrassment, watched ALL 99 episodes, and compiled these lists for you. It was almost impossible to narrow them down because I love all of our episodes. Re-watching them made me even more proud of the team we have here at REC TEC. We would have NEVER been able to make it this far without the whole REC TEC staff. If you haven’t watched any episodes of Funday Friday, these are the ones to check out first!

Top 10 Episodes

These are my personal favorites, in no particular order...

Week 7 - Beer Can Chicken and Cabbage

With some help from co-founder Ray Carnes, we smoked 10 beer can chickens seasoned with different REC TEC rubs. We announced our partnership with our friends at East Georgia Metals in Evans, GA, the awesome company that now manufactures our Beast RT-CMG and Chuckwagon RT-TMG models. It was also an episode of firsts: I told my first dad joke and we held our first giveaway!

Week 36 - St. Patty's Day Corned Beef, Tri-Tip, and Cabbage

My favorite holiday is St. Patrick's Day. So, naturally, our first St. Patrick's Day episode was going to be awesome! We cooked some amazing corned beef and showcased our new Wi-Pellet WiFi Controller. Fun fact: In this episode, Chef Greg made his very first appearance!

Week 41 - Smoked Hash with Ray

Ray brought high energy for this fun-filled episode, where he taught me about hash and Brunswick stew. I still use his recipe to this day! We also cooked up some pork ribs and some beef plate ribs. Man, this was a delicious episode that I highly recommend.

Week 51- Franks and Beans for My Birthday

This episode started with me getting "iced" for my birthday. We cooked one of my favorite comfort foods, franks and beans! To test the capacity of the Bullseye RT-B380, we loaded it up with as many hotdogs as we could fit (81!). Greg gifted me an awesome slicing knife and the REC TEC team got to fill up on birthday cake. 

Week 65 - Jody vs. Becky Steak Cook-Off at Augusta Prep

We were on location at a local high school, Augusta Prep, where I challenged my wife to a steak cook-off. I used a standard charcoal grill and Becky used the Bullseye RT-B380. OF COURSE she beat me and won the hearts of REC TEC nation!

Week 66 - Alligator at the REC TEC Ranch

In this episode, we had a blast hanging out with Ray at his hunting property in Bartow, Georgia. We "shot" a gator and fried it in the Matador, and man was that gator good! The rain couldn't ruin our Funday Friday. We shot guns, drank beer, cooked food, and even blew up the competition... Literally!

Week 72 - Paella and Beef Plate Ribs

One of, if not the most delicious episode, hands down! Chef Greg whipped up some seafood paella in the Matador and we tore into some beef plate ribs. If you've never had plate ribs, I strongly encourage you to go back, watch, add to your grilling bucket list!

Week 84 - Whole Hog on the WyldSide and BFG

Chef John joined me in this episode of Funday Friday. We cooked a WHOLE hog 3 different ways! We also put together a beautiful table that looked just as good as the hog tasted. I still can't believe we fit a 40 lb. pig on the WyldSide RT-A850 rotisserie! Visually, you don't want to miss this one.

Week 87 - Epic Stadium Foods

In another one of my top 3 tastiest episodes, Chef Greg took a pizza taco to another level and I made my world famous funnel cake BLT sandwich dripping with maple syrup. Holy moly, that was an epic sandwich... I'm still waiting for SunTrust Park to add it to the menu!

Week 99 - Father's Day Steaks

The kids joined us for a special Father's Day edition of Funday Friday. John Dillion made his debut and cooked me a delicious ribeye steak. It was a blast having all the kids in the office at once celebrating Father's Day, and I hope to do it again sometime soon!

Guests and Locations

We've had so many great episodes, and there's no way for me to pick my favorite one. 

Again, I’m super proud of them all. I was able to narrow down a list of my favorite guests and locations.

Top Guests

Week 14 - "Ric Flair" as portrayed by General Manager Ben Lesshafft

Week 52 - Nick Dalton

Week 57 - Outdoor Augusta Staff

Week 60 - The GrillGrate Crew and Sally (my sister-in-law)

Week 63 - The Ladies of REC TEC

Week 65 - Augusta Prep Staff

Week 75 - Jan Burg

Week 78 - Matt Lane

Week 88 - Savage Race Crew

Week 99 - REC TEC Kids

Jan Burg always brought the heat (and the pimento cheese)!

Top Locations

Week 49 - Bob Richards Toyota (North Augusta, SC)

Week 56 - James Brown Arena (Augusta, GA)

Week 57 - Betty's Branch (Augusta, GA)

Week 60 - GrillGrate Grill Deck (Atlanta, GA)

Week 65 - Augusta Prep (Augusta, GA)

Week 66 - REC TEC Ranch (Bartow, GA)

Week 79 - Savannah River Brewery (Augusta, GA)

Week 88 - Savage Race (Dallas, GA)

Week 93 - Chef Greg's Outdoor Kitchen (Aiken, SC)

Weel 96 - Papa Joe's Banjo-B-Que (Augusta, GA)

Shout out to Outdoor Augusta for allowing us to film our 57th Funday Friday episode at beautiful Betty's Branch!

Favorite Grill of Funday Friday

This was, by far, the easiest decision to make.

The Bull RT-700 is my pick, hands down. We started Funday Friday with the original RT-680, which later evolved into the Bull. With an industry-leading six year warranty and Smart Grill Technology™ P.I.D. algorithm, it is easily the best pellet grill on the market. It will hold any temperature you set without the fluctuation that the competitors are known for. We've never run out of pellets, even during overnight cooks, thanks to the 40 lb. hopper. That's the biggest hopper for its size and price range. The Bull also comes standard with a ceramic ignition system (rated 100,000 cycles) and an indestructible stainless steel fire pot. The parts that take all of the abuse will last you a lifetime! The stainless steel barrel is a huge selling point for customers because you don’t have to repaint your grill in the future. No sanding or re-painting the front area where most folks drip all their sauces and liquids. You'll be sanding the rust off of a competitor grill in a year or less. That barrel is going to last longer than you! The Wi-Pellet WiFi capabilities allow you to turn your grill up, down, on, or off from virtually anywhere in the world. You can also monitor not only your grill temperature, but the temperature of two different pieces of meat with our two platinum-tipped meat probes that come standard with the grill. If you haven’t already done it, download the REC TEC app and utilize all the amazing features of your grill!

Have you seen the Bull RT-700's new leg design?

Looking Ahead

As we move forward, we will continue to try new things and bring as much grilling information to you as possible. 

We're always listening to the requests from our REC TEC family and always trying new things, so please bare with us as we adapt to a new location, new software, and new technology. Our future Funday Friday episodes will hopefully be more professionally produced, as well as provide the most bang for your buck, just like our grills. We're coming up on the two year anniversary of Funday Friday! Over those two years, we've celebrated birthdays, weddings, graduations, births, and anniversaries. We've gone through some hardships like the loss of friends or relatives. We've poured our hearts into this show and we appreciate everyone who has watched and participated. We hope you continue to watch as we grow and evolve into a Fortune 500 company. I promise we will always put our customers first. Without you, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Thank you for 10 years of REC TEC and 100 episodes of Funday Friday. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jody Flanagan is our resident REC TEC Grills Expert, where he can be seen on all social media platforms, including the weekly Funday Friday program. Jody has years of experience in the cooking industry and enjoys the art of grilling just as much as he loves the REC TEC Lifestyle. 

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