Avid BBQ Pitmaster Likes to Compete

Avid BBQ Pitmaster Likes to Compete

When you ask BBQ Pitmaster Joe Stout how he first got into barbecue competitions, he'll tell you, "I'm just a cook who likes to compete. I'm no pit master or anything."

However, after talking to Joe, I'm not sure I believe he's, "Just a cook". He's won some major awards up against some of the biggest names in BBQ.

How would you sum up the Saffire grill in 5 words or less?

Stout: Awesome and versatile!

Who would you most recommend this to grill to?

Stout: It's for anyone who likes to grill, smoke or bake.

What are some items you have cooked on it so far? What are some of your favorites?

Stout: Chicken, pork loin, pork chops, lamb chops, steak, moink balls (meatballs wrapped in bacon), stuffed jalapeno peppers and marinated asparagus. I've also recently started to experiment with hi-temperature ribs. I cook on the rack at 275 degrees (indirect heat) and they are done in about 3 hours. My wife says that they are the best ribs she has had yet! I use a dry rub on them and then sauce them about 10 minutes before they are about to be pulled off. I also do not use much sugar in the rub because it can get messy!

What surprised you most about the Saffire kamado grill?

Stout: The biggest surprise was how well it cooks and keeps food moist at the same time. It's also very durable. Some people may think that a ceramic cooker would be fragile, but that's just not the case. And, while the average person likely does not move their grill too often, I move mine all the time. I load it in a trailer, strap it in and it bounces down the road to competitions and haven't had an issue once.

What feature do you like best and why?

Stout: I like the ceramic plate for indirect cooking; it's important for how I use it. The wood chip feeder is awesome! I also like the shelves. Finally, it is so easy to use. I light it and it's ready to use in 20 minutes- everyone has 20 minutes! It's all very self-contained.

What is the next item you plan to cook on the Saffire?

Stout: Chicken of any kind!

As a BBQ Pitmaster, have you used the Saffire in competition?

Stout: Yes. In fact, I had never won an award for chicken. I just could not seem to place. Enter the Saffire kamado. My first time out with the Saffire, I was competing at a KCBS event and I cooked chicken and placed second, it was amazing! I have won several KCBS events on the Saffire as well, first-place and several top-ten finishes, all of them were chicken.

*BBQ Pitmaster Joe's competition name is Back Porch Q

How did you become a competition BBQ Pitmaster?

Stout: I have been playing around with smokers for more than 30 years and decided try it. I have not looked back since and will do about 12 competitions per year.

What is your day job? Tell me a little about yourself?

Stout: Well, I started out working as a farmer on a family farm. We farmed corn and soy beans on 3,000 acres. However, it was getting financially difficult and I decided it was time to go to school. I studied computer science and now I work in IT for the State of Illinois.