June 24, 2021

Bill West, Author, Pit Master, Country Music Aficionado

Bill West, Author, Pit Master, Country Music Aficionado
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Want to know the secret to wooing a competition barbecue judge? Or how a mop can win you a James Beard Award? Sit a spell as we talk with my friend, barbecue cookbook author and radio veteran, Bill West.

Click here to check out Bill's Cookbooks!


Other links from the show:

The War of Art  

Rodney Scott's BBQ 

Sconyer's Bar-b-que 

Congaree Gold Barbecue Sauce 


RECTEQ Pellet Grills 


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and I had to drive that trailer home and those rusted out holes on the bottom of the grill were feeding some of the still alive embers and in the darkness behind me I saw trails of little sparks flying off.

Welcome to another episode of Chewing the Fat. I am your host, Big Robb. Thank you so much for tuning in and thank you for the support, the outreach. I really appreciate it as we go on this journey together. And I'm excited to connect with an old friend from Radio Days. He is an author, a country music aficionado, and a really good friend too. Please welcome Bill West from Charleston.

Yeah, you're actually, yeah. Well, you can see me. You can see me. You've got a gift for radio. So I was excited. I heard you heard the podcast from a couple of weeks ago with our mutual friend Dale. And both of you guys have got the voices. It's like, man, I wish I had the pipes, but. Oh, come on, man. You got the pipes, you got the personality. You had a complete package, man. I had such a good time working with you back in the old bull days.

here in Augusta. I still run across one of those great pictures that we have from Sugarland that just, either you shared it or I shared it, but man, we got some good concert shots. Those were some good days and super proud of those days in Augusta. Yeah, it was a lot of fun times. It was fun coming in as kind of the underdog against the country station across the street there.

years having worked there myself. Yeah. Have you worked at the new 105-7? No, no, no. I worked at Kicks for a little while. I worked at Kicks for a little while. So that's why I was across the street there after having... Yeah. And you get to look back with... And I've been in a bunch of real competitive radio situations in my life. That's pretty competitive. And I've gotten since gotten to, I would say be pretty good friends with Tee Gentry and the crew over there. And Chris O'Kelly came to work over in my neck of the woods.

Great guys. So yeah, it was all the fun. We did some we did some crazy stuff What was it there was a the concert at the ballpark Yeah Ice cream check. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I don't know that they still have forgiven me on that one. But Your radio for people listening radio gets pretty pretty intense and we had a fun little ice cream truck We'd go drive around and give out free Mayfield ice cream is the big brand

and South Carolina. And so we marked our spot right in front of the ballpark earlier in the day where there's public parking and pulled right in with the other stations ballpark event and gave away free ice cream to their listeners all logoed out. So that's definitely a highlight of the radio warfare. That was a lot of fun. But what was funny is as competitive as we were,

the station was like, Hey, our mic cable went out. Okay, here we've got an extra one. Oh yeah. It's like, I mean, it's all, all in. Yes. We wanted to win the ratings, but we were all in the same kind of fight. You know, Yeah. Radio is, I also look back very fondly and you'll appreciate that working with this, working in that building and the other building, the other radio station that was in the building that we worked at was WBBQ, which is, you know, just,

there and have heard lots more since. And another guy you should, you should get Bob Raleigh. I don't know if you know Bob, a friend of mine and a mentor of mine who just did a, his own book called a better than digging ditches. That's about all of his years in radio and in particular some, some of the years in that building as well. Is the building still there? Yeah. Yeah. The building's still there on Georgia Avenue. Uh, nobody's in it.

moved out, it's been for sale for a little while, but the building is still there. And it's funny, since you're gone now, we were right next to channel 12, the TV station. Well, the TV station has since moved as well. It's across town. So you've got these two, what were huge media, television, radio stations right there next to each other, and they're just kind of empty buildings now. It's a little sad to drive past. It is a different world,

year has been extra weird with everybody doing shows from home and trying to run a lot of the camaraderie that we were just kind of talking about is being challenged right now. But we're all in the process of hopefully getting back into normal studios and rekindling it all. So hopefully, hopefully it'll all come back. Yeah, absolutely. And I think that's, you know, like I said, when you get the radio bug and it bites you,

There's that energy that you get from being in the studio, from meeting listeners face to face, from going and interacting with the people, like I said, that are in the trenches with you in the same fight, whether they're at your station or they're at another station. There's just something magic about that. Yeah, for sure. Are you, is this going to be, is this your first podcast? Have you done this before or? No, this is the first one. Well, you're well, you were well, because you used to work, and you, didn't you produce

Alabama? I did. A big show down there? Yeah, I did. I worked in Alabama for a while. Patty and Dollar Bill Show. A morning show on a radio station there. And yeah, there's, you know, some of my greatest stories are from working in radio. So, I tried to take that, some of that knowledge, bring it into the podcast. I think that's, as I said in the trailer, the episode zero, that that's what kind of got in my way was I was used to being somebody else's product. I was somebody

their station instead of like, hey, this is all of this is on me now. So I felt all this extra pressure, uh, and putting it on myself to, to make it exactly right or this, that, and the other. I mean, I had a logo created like a year ago. I had theme music a year ago and just, I had a hard time hitting the record button and just doing it. So, so, I mean, it's been fun. Yeah. The, uh, the.

syndrome, but the hesitancy to... There's a book called The War of Art. Pressfield, I think, is the guy that wrote it, but he's got a term for it. It doesn't come to my mind exactly right now, but basically the hesitancy to the resistance to get started, put the pen on paper, to hit record and do it is something that's very real, whether it's called

a writer's block or, or, you know, sometimes it just feels like laziness or whatever. It's very real that, you know, I still fight with. I kind of got, you know, the nice thing was with, when COVID hit, it kind of pushed me. I'd done a string of four cookbooks, one on my own. Then I did three for a publisher. And then I thought I was faced with, you know, COVID. And

furloughs for a few weeks, a couple, you know, at least three weeks. And I thought, okay, I've still got a lot of ideas for a new barbecue book that I've been just been making notes over the years and hadn't, you know, I'm going to do it at some point. But it was one of the things I was pushing, putting off, putting off, putting off. And then COVID came, it's like, okay, this is, there's no real excuse to not do it with the, with the furlough time. So it was great.

of them. So I was really on a roll. So got it done this year and wrapped it all up and got it published by the Hall. Actually got it wrapped up and written by the end of last summer and then got it out by before Christmas. And yeah, I was really pleased. Now going back, revisiting things are kind of getting back to normal, getting back to everyday radio work. And I'm going back, I'm like, wow, this was time well spent. I'm looking at it right now. It's like, that's, there's,

So I'm still excited to share it because I've probably under promoted it just getting back into the Real world after this crazy year. Yeah, absolutely. And I think everybody everybody is it's like a Friend of mine that was on a previous episode said she's working instead of nobody's gonna work to get back to normal that normal is Gone, so it's working to get back to better and I love that phrase that thought process It's like I'm gonna get back to better than it was before it's not gonna be normal ever again

it was before. So having that time, like you said, to concentrate on something you're passionate about. And, you know, and that's, it's, it's a funny thing, but we worked together for years. And I never knew you had that passion for cooking and for barbecue. And I'm a big boy and I like eating and you never quite shared that. I mean, you're a, you know, I would say that's when it started direct towards the, uh, the end of our bully. I think the first hall hog I cooked, it may have been before,

I think the first one was we did a pig picking with Aaron Tippen, who's a classic country singer at whatever it was, one of the fairground kind of places. Actually, I know where I bought my first really big rig grill and first smoker was at our church. They do a big yard sale.

in the Methodist church there. And we, I saw like a, we got in early access and there was an electric smoker, kettle, brinkman. And in general, they're really cheap, but this was like marked for 10 bucks or whatever. It was in great condition. So I snagged that and they had, they must have, I think they had a barbecue team at this church and they had this big trailered barrel steel grill

It wasn't really a smoker, it's a charcoal and it was rusted out of the bottom, but they were getting rid of it. So I think I paid a hundred bucks for that. And I'm sure it was probably worth more than that. Just the steel alone. Right, right. And it took, the first one I cooked and actually I remember after the Aaron Tippen event did the whole hog and it was great. And you know, everybody loved it. It was a fun event. And I had to drive that trailer home.

afterwards and it was charcoal so there were still, it looked like it was all out but it wasn't until I was on the expressway and those rusted out holes on the bottom of the grill were feeding some of the still alive embers and in the darkness behind me I saw trails of little sparks flying off in hopefully didn't cause any problems but flying off which I'm sure could have caused all sorts of problems

Yeah, that was somewhat terrifying. And I'll remember never move a hot grill again. At least not one with roasted holes in the bottom. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I didn't realize how bad it was. And I since even fixed that up and it's right. But so yeah, that that big barrel kind of got me into some of the competition stuff, which I really got more into when I moved a couple months later into and got to Charleston

Carolina barbecue world. I mean, you're talking about Charleston. I mean, and you got, you got Rodney Scott down there. I mean, that is such a great story in and of itself. This, you know, this little shack middle of nowhere, South Carolina. Now, granted, he's got a nice place down in Charleston now, but just a little shack. I was going to say, did you see the video I did with him? No, I haven't seen that. I've got to really go to, uh, just the YouTube video, barbecue tricks.

And this was probably at least a year before he opened up the Charleston restaurant. He alluded to it as at least more than a year, but I decided, you know what, I'm going to go down, take a drive to Hemingway and you know, I kind of read about it and I did and went once with the coworker and then went return with, I brought my wife out there in a camera and did an interview with Rodney and really he gave me a great tour and you can see it and people, there's all sorts of crazy comments on the YouTube video because

because right. He's talking to me and then he pulls out this big five gallon, but mop bucket and you know, full size mop and starts sopping the, the, the hog and it's dripping on the side and everything. It just looks, but people are cracking up because people just, you know, New York people are people in the city. They don't, you know, they see like that dude's using a mop and there's all crazy comments. And he also uses a lot of, it looks like salt. I, I have a feeling it's not salt.

and different stuff, but when you cook a whole hog, you gotta use a lot of salt too. So he, a lot of comments on how much salt he's using for that, for the hog, but it's a great video. I'm real proud of it. Then since then, you know, he's gone on to do some huge things and I've interviewed him in my first book as well, the Barbecue Blueprint, where he shares some of his secrets, not a lot, but some. Well, I mean, and that's, you talk about people making fun of a mop.

James Beard award winner. Absolutely. From, from a nowhere shack, Hemingway, South Carolina, cooking whole hogs with a mop and lots of salt. That's something that nobody else can say. Tell you the truth. Nobody else can say that. One other thing, one other thing I'll say about Rodney, who's become a friend. Every time, whether it be at the Hemingway store when he was in the old store, which I don't think he has any part of anymore. The two times I went there,

I'm not even so sure I had an appointment when I went and interviewed him. I probably said it up. It's been so long now. But even going to his new store, his new restaurant here in Charleston, every time I've seen him working in some form or fashion, whether he's acting as a manager or whatever, but he's been busy. Now he's got a couple different stores. I know he's got one in Birmingham, I think, and Atlanta now.

through COVID, but, uh, you know, it was rough getting through that, but yeah, he's a definitely a star on the stage and he's got a great Netflix special on too with, uh, with, with a interview them for one of those shows. So definitely one of the best. Yeah. And I don't know that Charleston when I first moved here was barbecue central, but it sure feels like it is now. Um, and I, I, I was thinking about this when I was planning on talking to you,

Now one of my favorite barbecue towns now has become an Augusta because my favorite place is Scania's of all time And really that's my favorite barbecue place and I assume he's still Still doing it right. Oh, yeah, they do the you know, they used whole hands. I believe in that, you know, Larry Scania I assume he's still around. I don't know but he's another guy that's always you know, every time I'd go and it's again It's been five six years. I think since that we'd step foot he's always greeting people smiling and

At one point he gave us a tour of the smoking area and it's huge and his technique is pretty cool. I'll never forget he was cooking, he cooks the whole ham, the green ham is what they call it, but the whole ham. So there's all that, you know, a lot of pink meat, so to speak. And he may mix it with some shoulder, but it's just really good. And then he'll let that.

said he likes the hams drip onto the turkey and some of the other things that just really set him apart. So yeah, that's usually what I say is my favorite barbecue place is Scania's. You know, and it's funny when you talk about, you know, Charleston, I don't think of Charleston as barbecue. I think of it as seafood, first of all. Let's think of it as, you know, you got Heimans down there and all the other places down there, but when I moved to Birmingham, before I came back to Augusta and we worked together,

was barbecue Mecca, because I mean, you literally could throw a rock and hit another barbecue restaurant anywhere in the town. Amazing places like Full Moon Barbecue, that's where I got introduced to sliced barbecue. There's a lot of places do chopped and this, that, and the other, and they do that. You can get chopped and pulled in Birmingham, but they will do sliced and they do either outside or inside sliced. Well, I'm a bark guy. So I get outside sliced every time.

out a mouthful of that bark and that meat that's right there. And that's, oh, it's my absolute favorite. Nobody here in Augusta does sliced. No, you know, I can't. Yeah, you know, that's pretty rare. So it's like sliced butt? Yeah. Or shoulder or something? Yeah. Yeah, they take it and instead of just pulling it all like that, they hold and they'll slice it, you know, little, you know, half inch, you know, thick slices and you get a plate of that.

whatever the half pound or whatever, but you either outside, and there are people that like inside slice, so they don't get much of that bark. But yeah, and then like I said, there's just a ton of different places, Dreamland with the ribs. I had like a route where I would go to get the different barbecue that I want. So if I wanted me to- Yeah, where is Big Bob Gibson? Is that in Alabama, the white barbecue sauce? No, they do, yes, they do have an Alabama white barbecue sauce at a lot of the places. A lot of the places have an Alabama white barbecue sauce,

the mayo based and vinegar sauce. And it's different. It's just different than anywhere else. But yeah, man, I love me some barbecue, gosh. And like I said, for you to be a pit master and have not sent me anything dry packed and in the mail or anything, my feelings are getting a little bit hurt. So. You just gotta do it in person. Well, okay, road trip, road trip. Travel's open back up. I'm gonna have to come see you.

But what was that road like becoming a pit master? Like I said, your first one was a yard sale grill, and now, you know? I don't, you know, I'm tracing back my steps, and I do it where the different radio markets I used to work. And I was in Savannah before that. And I do remember, I actually had a gas grill that I worked on just learning how to smoke ribs slowly. And I remember, oh, it takes four hours, you know? And then I got to Augusta

two smokers I mentioned earlier and really learned the smoking part and how simple really it is to make really good barbecue and you don't need a ton of other expensive gear, but you know, you can do it with a regular gas grill and, and take your time. But the secret that I learned was from that electric smoker. And it was, ended up kind of being the subject of my, my, actually the book that I've had that's doing the best is the complete electric smoker

But you just got to hold that temperature low and slow, 225, 250. That electric smoker that I had really just had a low, medium and high settings for, you know, low smoke, medium smoke and high smoke temperatures. And, uh, it just took time. And so I'll use that the heck out of that. And then when I got to Charleston, somehow I, I think the radio got into a

or just about part of the KCBS series. So I got my feet wet meeting some barbecue people and I got connected with a guy who is all in on a real expert, Jack Waybor, who I ended up doing a YouTube series with for a couple of years called Great TV. And I still have the website, gratetv.com

from him and got into some competition. I wasn't nearly as deep into it. What I learned and I dig into this in my first book is, you know, I'm not a real competitive guy. I just like cooking. I like eating. And so having a team and going through all the work, which can be expensive and very time

most of those competitions, they cost some money and it can get expensive for the gear and to invest in the meat. And you also have, usually you got to give up your Friday and it's camping overnight, Friday night to Saturday. And typically, you know, the awards are Saturday afternoon and you know, you're heading out to town and getting back. So I ended up getting into judging a little bit through the South Carolina barbecue network and found like,

My wife MJ likes this too, likes this idea as well. So we did a bunch of competitions and that's a lot less demanding because you get to show up early on Saturday morning, come hungry and you get to have a bunch of great barbecue and still have the good camaraderie. So if anybody out there listening is interested in something like that, I got a full list in the first book, a barbecue blueprint

barbecue sanction groups and there's a ton of them all across the country that people can look into just getting involved. It's usually not very expensive but there's a lot of groups. I'm not sure it's, it may have been a lot busier a couple years ago or a lot more popular but it's still popular. I'm sure COVID took a, you know, put a pause on a lot of stuff last year but there's still a lot of barbecue out there kicking back into gear. It'll probably be an extra busy

I looked before COVID, I was shocked to see, at least in South Carolina, there is a competition, probably two, any given weekend of the year across the state of South Carolina. So there's plenty of competition. That's just South Carolina, not to count, I'm sure, Texas and all the other big barbecues. Kansas City and Memphis and everywhere else, all those big names that you hear about. And we've got one here at Augusta, too.

Banjo-Bacue. I think when you were here it was just starting. They didn't have any type of affiliation or anything like that. Now they're, you know, the KCBS sanctioned. But yeah, so we've got Banjo-Bacue and of course that's a great festival weekend. Where is that? Where is it held? Well, originally they held it at like the Hippodrome here, but it's since,

around a couple of times. I think the Hippodrome was where we did that Aaron Tippen thing. I believe the last time it was up at there's a park in Columbia County, it's the Lady A Park, Lady Anna Bellin Park, named after those folks that were from Augusta. Yeah, yeah. Drop some country music names there, you know, Charles Kelly and those guys. But they've got an amphitheater up there and so there's a big park there. So I believe that's where it was last time. I can't

from last year again because things got stopped, you know, before COVID and all like that. So, but I have seen some Facebook posts and stuff like that about Banjo Ba-Kyu coming back. Yeah, I think that was like the first year because I do remember that being at the Hippodrome and I actually met, I have a picture somewhere with Myron Mixon who's a big barbecue, you know, one of the big stars of barbecue. He's got a bunch of books out. So yeah.

a big barbecue city. I know they've got Rec Tech now, which is a really big brand of a pellet cooker and they stole your bowl logo that we had for one Oh five seven the bowl. It almost looks identical to the one that you can even with back in the day. It does. It does. It looks like they have a really good product to that. So I think that's cool. I watch there. They got a lot of YouTube stuff out all the time. They're constantly putting content out and, and also they're offering like, you know,

in their classes, in their camps, and all that other stuff. So it's not just about, well, I got this grill, what do I do with it? I mean, they'll show you what to do with it. I think the last thing I saw, they either just had a camp or they've got another one coming up and they probably do it several times throughout the summer, I would think especially. Because I mean, this is, I would think this is prime, grilling, barbecuing, getting outdoors and cooking kind of time of the year going into the summer. Especially, people wanna be around the pool or they wanna get together

I didn't want to do that kind of stuff. So, but yeah, yeah. I remember when they started in a little bitty, you look like a little Quonset hut office, and now they have this huge facility that they have just macked out. The pellet cooker, so first book was Barbecue Blueprint, I did them on, second one was The Electric Smoker, and kind of inspired by, they asked me about doing an electric smoker book, I'm like, yeah, that makes perfect sense

that, you know, some people think if it's not, you know, you're not throwing sticks into a fire pot or whole logs, it's not real barbecue. But you know, I learned a lot just using that little electric smoker, getting me into it. So I had a lot of fun writing that book and that, like I said, that's at like, so about at least 60,000 copies already. So the electric smoker book is this book that's doing really well. And then I filed that up because I was also getting into pellet cooking at that time.

point. Um, don't tell the rec tech guys, but I got, had a Traeger and, uh, had done some, some YouTube videos on the Traeger and really, really, I think like that's the sweet spot of like the best of all worlds because you're using real wood. Uh, and actually for a lot of competition, some of their rules is you have to use the heat of wood. And I'm like that, that is okay per like official barbecue rules because it's using real wood.

auger to spit out the pellets into the fire pot. But anyway, I really love the ease of a pellet grill. So I'm definitely easy to sing the praises of a pellet grill. And that was an easy book to write as well, just because I'm a fan of it. So yeah, that was two of the books. And then I ended up, they asked me to do another one with Rockridge Press. And I tried to boil it down real easy and

just make my version of the, of a four dummies type book of, of easy step-by-step, how do you smoke the, the big meats, the brisket, turkey ribs and, and try and make it as, as simple as possible. And so that's the, the, the one from a year or so ago and that's doing real well too. So. And then the latest one is the big book of barbecue tricks, right? Yep. Big book of barbecue tricks just came out right before the holidays and,

It's really the season. I wanted to get it out before Christmas just to, because I know the holiday time is a big time, but now is the real time where people are, you know, Father's Day and buying cookbooks. So it's a cookbook. It's also like a collection of, the reason I wanted to do it was, it's like I had these other books, but on my blog, which is barbecuetricks.com, I'd been trying to do all these little like food hacks, you know,

and things like that. And, you know, I never really focused in too much to really get them cataloged that great. So I took the opportunity to not only do a ton of recipes, like 100 recipes, but the main ones and also try and grab all the little tips and tricks and hacks that can help somebody out and make it a fun read. And as you know, we're doing this on

who during COVID get hold of a couple of big chefs. And there's a couple of YouTuber barbecue guys, Greg Rempe does a podcast called the Barbecue Central Radio Show. I interviewed him, interviewed Greg Mervich from a YouTube website called Ballistic Barbecue. And he like does all these incredible burgers and now he's doing, he does some sous vide, wrote a book on sous vide barbecue. A guy from Meat and Bone,

does some really high-end meets and a guy named James Pysker, who's the founder of Porter Road butchers in Nashville. And they kind of, I got to interview them a little bit via zoom and transcribe the best little tips and bits from them and put that in there too. So I tried to make a lot, put a lot of stuff in there and had a ton of fun kind of compiling it up and feel like, okay, that's a, like, this is a good general.

barbecue if somebody's interested in just barbecue in general, not competition, just doing it for a backyarder. Maybe he's curious of some of that stuff. It's it's a kind of a good book for anybody who's into it. So big book of barbecue tricks. Check it out. And I even did a little bit of artwork, not much. They're kind of sketches, but yeah. But I had a chance. Grill illustrations. Yes, I love that term. Grill illustrations. I had a chance to look at the book. I apologize

dog barking in the background if you can hear that. He's out there playing. But yeah, it's kind of like a Swiss Army knife of barbecuing. It's a really cool book. And some cool tricks in there that I wouldn't even have thought of. And one of them that comes to mind is the s'more trick. The hotspot s'mores. I just thought that was just brilliant. Just something simple but brilliant. You can find the hotspots in your grill as kind of a test,

only warning I'd say I think I've also done that with like biscuit with biscuit do actually probably works better because it's not gonna marshmallow can burn very quick and bread burns super quick so you gotta pay attention but yeah it's nice because you got a little snack afterwards exactly exactly but yeah just really cool with the big book of barbecue tricks speaking of barbecue tricks and you mentioned for the folks that are not looking at competition if

though, as a judge, I'm not saying give all your secrets away, but is there something that you see when it comes across the plate, sits in front of you, either you instantly know it's not going to make it or, and something that you see that you're like, yeah, this is going to be a good bite, just by looking at it. And I'm not talking about all the fancy plating and stuff, but just so you're like, okay, I can tell this is going to be a good bite. Yeah. You know, I would say there's a, it's a tenderness thing for the most part.

So the way one of the judges taught me was if you take a strand thinking pork really, and you can pull like a threaded pulled pork piece, and you give it like a tug between your fingers, you can, tenderness will be like almost like it'll pull apart somewhat loosely like a piece of paper towel, you'll have a lot of different, a lot of little threads, it'll pull apart easily.

looking at judges, you can see them, they'll pull it apart and kind of eyeball that. So getting it to that fall apart texture is what you need. Now, when it comes to ribs, you want that as well. You know, when I do it in the backyard, I like fall off the bone, but one of the things that competition guys strive for is they firmly believe that fall off the bone

overcooked, which, you know, I, I'm telling you, no one's going to complain. If you got fall off the bone ribs in your backyard, they're going to enjoy it. But the competition guys wanted to have just a gentle tug. So it's more of a, a timing thing, but, um, that's why I kind of just like doing it. I wasn't quite as enamored with the competition stuff, but, uh, the other thing that people really like in competition is sweetness. So a lot of the,

and barbecue has got like a sweet sauce typically to help it to help it win. Okay so maybe avoid some of the... you don't want to burn anybody up I would assume. Judges like it sweet yeah don't use a lot of spiciness. Although I love spicy. Same. Same. If I'm putting you know some out that's that's what I want. I am a naked rib kind of guy. I mean you put a rib you

I'm not going to put a lot of sauce on it afterwards. But if I've got some pulled pork or something, and I'm a fan of the taste of the smoke too. I want to taste that smoke. I want to taste that meat. But if I'm going to go for a sauce, it's going to have maybe a little sweet heat or some heat to it. What kind of sauce would you go with at a barbecue place? It's going to be a Georgia style, so it's going to be a ketchup based.

with some hickory and some heat to it too. You know what I mean? Or even black pepper. Even black pepper is a great taste on meat. Oh sure, yeah. Well, most all of my brisket recipes are just salt and pepper. Black pepper and a lot of smoke. But when it comes to sauces, actually I like a South Carolina mustard bay sauce. So pretty sweet, isn't that for you, huh?

I've eaten a lot of South Carolina mustard-based sauce. I like it on chicken. I'm not a fan of it on pork or anything like that, but I do like it on chicken. The mustard on the chicken tastes really good to me. But yeah, for a pork, I'm gonna wanna catch up, or even some of that Alabama white on there, because again, it's a little bit different. It's got the black pepper.

that's just a little bit different, but that's just my personal taste. Although there is a, I have a bottle of mustard barbecue sauce in my fridge right now that was made in South Carolina and I cannot remember the name of it. Probably Bessinger's. No, it's because it's out of Barnwell, right down the road here. It's out of Barnwell. And I can't remember the name of it

They had an orange and they had a mustard, a yellow, and it was named after like a town or something. I can't remember what it was, but I'll put it in the show notes. I'll look it up. I'll put it in the show notes. But it's good because it's not sweet mustardy. It's got some pepper to it. It's got a little bite of like actual mustard, but not like, you know, fringes. Like you're putting fringes on it, but it's good. It's really good. So yeah, I was actually trying to remember.

Little recipes that I tried to figure out but I did do a I've got like a really good Worcestershire based It's called slap your mama barbecue sauce, but it's kind of your wish your base red kind of a sauce that That's probably my favorite, but I do like a mustard sauce I've got that in the in the in the big book of barbecue tricks I kind of kind of try and cover all of those Different at least the main the main sauces, but yeah, I kind of like them all depending on you know

Have you just a vinegar based? I was gonna say have you made a have you made a white barbecue sauce yet? Yep. Yeah, and I like that Don't my wife's not a big fan of it So we had a bit of doing it too much, but you know I can find it a lot more here a couple of places here in town That that do that serve it with chicken wings So that barbecue sauce is from Palmeiro sauce company out of barnwell and it's called the Congaree gold Okay so if you

ThePalmettoSauceCo.com. It's delicious. I'm not a fan of the orange that they had. It was just not, I don't know. I haven't had an orange sauce before, but I have my favorite. I like orange, so I might like it. Well, it's called the Edisto Orange, and I think it's just because of the color of it. But the Congaree Gold was a really good, it's probably one of the first mustard-based South Carolina-style barbecue sauces that I've really liked, so. And then one of the other things that I would suggest to you

listeners if you want to step up something like pork or beef, but more pork is trying some of the heritage breed pork that's out there. And usually pork's not quite as, I mean, on the beef side, people are really talking about Wagyu and really expensive and beef's already expensive enough. But I talk about that a little bit in the book and I've done some YouTube videos

on Wagyu and it's, it's awesome. It's fantastic, but super expensive. Uh, but, uh, uh, heritage breed of pork and I've gotten connected with a butcher box, which they do. They're, they're, they started with beef, but they also do some good pork and that's, you know, it's mail delivery, but they do. And I tried with their just pork chops. I'm like, man, there's something about it that just tastes, it's really hard to describe, but just tastes more, um,

porky, just more rich. And I've come to find that just those, the older breeds, it's not that, you know, our big box stores are necessarily, it's not like, I don't see anything bad with them, but when you go to some of these older breeds that aren't done on a mass farm and they've got some of their, if there's something about it, maybe it reminds us in our, in our farther most reaches of our childhood

And when those breeds were still kind of more popular and the flavor is just, there's something about it that is worth visiting. So that'd be a little trick is try some of the heritage breeds of pork for pork chops and other things. Is there like a specific one that you could? Yeah, Berkshire is the most famous one you'll see. I talk about all the, there's like Duroc, I think is one that one of the guys was talking about in my book.

But, you know, you go to a farmer's market, you'll find some local farms and some of them have different purposes. Like some are good. One of them is really good bacon thing. It's probably hard to find like to get really specific on different breeds. You'd probably be really looking. So just next time you're at a local farmer's market or if you can see, you see a Berkshire or a heritage breed, give it a try.

All right, Bill. So this is the time in the show where we'd like to dive a little bit deeper into how we make it through our life. Everybody's coming off of 2020, and it was just, everybody had to deal with so much stuff that we never thought we'd probably have to deal with in our lives in the middle of a pandemic. But I try to stay positive and upbeat, but I also deal with down days. And so what I like to ask during this segment is,

In your life, how do you stay positive and what do you do to keep the dark at bay? Yeah in general I am a strong Christian. So, you know prayer has become a big part of my life and and you know morning devotional time With some scripture has been a big part. I will say I have since since being in Augusta. So just over the last Ten years, you know after I turned 40 I started realizing I had a

I had an issue with depression and I did, you know, several years ago, I ended up getting to a point where I had to go see a doctor and you know, it never had never was suicidal, but, um, definitely realized, uh, that, that depression and clinical depression is, is a very real thing. And it's, I was happy to see you talk about it with, uh, in previous podcasts,

I think the one thing that helps is actually talking about it. I don't have any answers on how to beat depression. I feel real lucky. I did go to see a doctor about it and did try some different medicines or one medicine and it seemed to work for a while and I'm not taking it anymore. I feel like it's out of my life.

that I have answers, I'd say, you know, talking to somebody about it is, is probably is, is the first medicine. And of course, you know, um, uh, recently talking about a lot of people were talking about, uh, you putting God into the equation. I definitely think that's part of it for me, but I know a lot of people would think that's making that's it's nothing's bigger than that. Um, but that doesn't mean medicine is not a part of it either for people.

I think that there's definitely a part of it that, you know, you know, God would put medicine in your life to, to, to help you fight it. So, um, uh, so definitely find a doctor. Uh, someone told me when I was fighting, uh, fighting it, uh, that had was going through it, you know, find somebody that is also going through it or had gone through it. Yeah. And, uh, uh, they recommended, you know, find something that you find fun. Yeah. And whether it's going to a movie,

funny movie. So I try and do that and just try and keep things fun. But again, I wish I had a better prescription for people because I don't. I'm thankful that I feel like I've beaten it, but I'm wary that it could lurk back. So talk to people. But yeah, but that's the thing is like you're saying is like, you know, you found something,

faith, you found someone to talk to, you reached out. I think for folks to realize that they are not alone, because that is one of the robbers of joy of depression, is that you feel you are the only one going through it. You're the only one that feels like this. You're the only one that gets down on yourself. And that's another reason why I really wanted this podcast to be a platform for,

Everybody has those down days. Everybody has something that they deal with that is not rainbows and butterflies. It's how do you then get back and not stay stuck in that mire and that mud, knowing that there are people in the world that you can reach out to, whether it's a circle of friends, whether it's family, and whether it's professional help. There is nothing wrong with professional help.

There's nothing wrong with... you're not a failure as a human because you had to go to a doctor because the way that you felt, because of the things that you were thinking, because of the actions you scared yourself that you may or may not take. There's nothing wrong with that. Those feelings are valid, but you have to act on them properly.

well, Hey, I could use someone to talk to just if you just listen to me. That's all I'm, that's all I need. And there are, you know, phone numbers and help lines that are out there that you can call. But again, something like this, just talking to an old friend, talking to a, you know, a coworker or a confidant, just finding someone that you can just open up to and be real honest in your feelings. Be real honest with yourself.

And get that out because I think that's that keeping it in that stuffing it down weighs people down even further Because that's gonna make you feel more separated and more alone and more Overwhelmed really I had a I would say I was afraid not afraid but I didn't want to burden my wife I felt guilt about you know about talking too much about it because

want them to feel like they're the blame. But it's also weird because I never really had that experience of depression up until like I said, after I was at least 40 years old. So just I'd say talk to people.

All right, Bill, this is our Fast Five segment. Fast Five, Fast Five. I don't have a theme song, so I'm still working on it. So I just gotta make it a... Pfft, pfft, pfft. I'm ready. I don't know if I got a beatbox in me or not. But this is a Fast Five powered by Pod Deck. So seeing as you are a cookbook author, I've gone to the Foodie Deck exclusively. So I'll be asking you five questions from the Foodie Pod Deck,

if you ever need like conversation starters or anything like that or if you're a podcaster and you need show ideas, check out Poddex. It's a great tool. But I'm going to go ahead and hit the randomizer here and we'll get going with our Fast Five. Standing by. Do you have a family recipe that you've learned to make?

She has, you know, I would say she is the one that helped come up with the recipe that I have for these, we call them smoked onion bombs, but really it's, you take an onion, like a Vidalia sweet onion, you zip the core out, drop a bouillon cube in there, either beef or chicken, cover, you know, cap that off with butter and put Parmesan on top of that to seal it.

of it and it is delicious. So yeah, that would be from my wife's side, but a family recipe. That's awesome. You know, it's funny, my mom used to make something very similar, didn't have the Parmesan on it, but, and we put it in the oven, but yeah, core out of that, you put some, uh, put a bullion in there and just let it go. I'm sure my wife's side ended up, it was being, it was probably an oven recipe, but you know, it's, it's transformed to barbecue. I can imagine that it's so much better in a smoker though.

of flavor that you're putting on that. That's awesome. Alright, question number two.

Cake or pie and what kind?

cake and I like a good carrot cake. Cream cheese icing. That's one of my favorites too. That is one of my favorites. All right. Question number three.

Ooh, what would you want your last meal to be? Oh, boy, let's let's say a bone in ribeye with.

crinkle cut fries. Little steak frite. But you know, I like my coleslaw. So I'll have a really good coleslaw on the side as well. That sounds pretty awesome. Now, are you a- I don't want to go yet. Right. No, no, no, no, no. Are you a mayo-y coleslaw, vinegar coleslaw, musk-y coleslaw? I pretty much can like all of, any and all, but yeah,

Really something really sweet. Like a sweet mayonnaise based is pretty good. That's even KFC is does pretty darn good job with slaw. I was gonna say, I love KFC slaw on like a hot dog. Like if I'm gonna do like a chili cheese dog, chili slaw dog, I go get KFC coleslaw for that. I haven't talked about hot dogs. Yeah, that's another one of my weaknesses. Oh really? Okay, okay. All right, let's try one more here. This is number four.

Which city do you think has the best food? I'm originally born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, so I'm going to, you know, it's going to have to be at Chicago, whether it's an Italian beef, which is really good. My first job ever was working in a little, it was a Greek deli, but it wasn't really, it wasn't like super Greek. It was

They did a good Italian beef and a really good po' boy. So Chicago's got it going on. They have some good ribs too in general up there. Okay. You a deep dish pizza guy then? Definitely. You get it through Chicago? Geno's East would be my go-to for deep dish pizza. Geno's East? I'm going to write that down. So if I ever get to Chicago, Geno's East. Oh man. There's a lot of choices for deep dish, but Geno's is... That's the spot you're going to, right?

Yeah, yeah, that's right. You got a one-day trip and you can only got you only got like six hours You're gonna stop by stop at you. He knows east. That's awesome. All right, and our fifth one here

What is the most exotic meat you've ever cooked?

And did you eat any of that? I won't say, I won't, well, we did frog legs, which is, you know, I don't, some people probably don't even think it's that exotic. And I had my brother-in-law, we grilled some for a YouTube video that we got on at Barbeque Tricks YouTube. But so, and that's okay, kind of chickeny, chicken of the marsh, of the swamp. But, you know,

When I ended up having Lama, there was an event called Bovinova. I went to a couple of years ago and that's probably my most popular YouTube video I did on it. It's got over a million views, but these guys would go out and it was up near Greenville, South Carolina, and they would over a live fire cook the whole cow. And they'd do a bar, a bar, a butterflyed cow. And actually in the video, I think the reason why the video did so well is it ended up catching on fire. So they were hosing it down, trying to put it out.

Um, so it's pretty funny, worth, worth viewing. But, uh, they also did a thing called a barnyard burn where they do, you know, chickens and everything in the barnyard. But they also did a llama. And I, so I tried llama and it was, it was actually pretty decent taste. And I was figuring it would taste gamey or something. It was, it was fairly mild and it was, uh, was decent. So llama or frog, if I'm going off the top of my head. Gotcha. I don't, I, I've had frog legs before.

I don't know that I'm gonna, you know, put that on the click list to get, you know, a weekend or anything like that. But like you said, frog legs are, they don't taste like chicken. I don't care what anybody says. They don't taste like chicken. They don't feel like chicken in your mouth. It's frog legs, but you know, but yeah, but it wasn't bad, but it wasn't bad. Yeah. It's not that even doesn't even seem that foreign. You know, Gator is not that uncommon down out here. There's places that'll do Gator bites and things like that.

Okay, well, Bill, thank you so much for being on the show today. That's it, that's the show. Remind folks where they can find you. It's bbqtrix.com, is that right? B-B-Q-T-R-I-C-K-S, or spell it out, B-A-R-B-E-C-U-E tricks.com. But log on, and I got everything right there, and you can kind of branch off from it. Excellent, and we can find your books on there, I'm sure. So if you're looking for something for a late father's day,

just something for yourself. Check out the big book of Barbecue Tricks, as long as barbecue blueprints. And if you're looking to get a RECTEQ or something like that, they got the Wood Pellet cookbook, and an Electric Smoker cookbook. I mean, so... Yeah, you can find some of those in Target as well as in Barnes Noble. So check it out. Look for it under Bill West and Amazon too. Bill West. And we'll put the links up there in the show notes. And also you can find it at

chewingthefatbr.com. We'll have all the links on there for you as well. Bill, it's so great to connect with you again. Definitely. We'll have to have you on. Maybe we'll do a holiday edition when we get to see if we can do some winter grilling or some winter barbecuing or something like that. But I'd love to have you back on again and stay in touch. Thank you so much for coming on today. Thanks Big Robb. We'll be listening. Awesome. And if you would like to support the podcast, you can also buy me a coffee at the website.

chewingtheFatBR.com. Thanks to Jason Craig for the logo design, Jacob Johnson for all of the theme music, and of course Pod Decks for the great questions in the Fast Five. And we'll see you next time when we'll chew the fat.

Bill WestProfile Photo

Bill West

Author, Pit Master, Country Music Authority

Bill is a country music authority, barbecue enthusiast, and bestselling multi-cookbook author based in Charleston, South Carolina.

He has been the on-air host and operations manager of some of Charleston’s leading radio stations, and has interviewed some of entertainment’s biggest celebrities, including Taylor Swift, Darius Rucker, Paula Deen, Zac Brown, Ryan Seacrest, Brad Paisley, Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, and Alton Brown, to
name a few.

His blog at BarbecueTricks.com and his YouTube channel, have accumulated more than 10
million views and 40,000+ subscribers.

A native of Glenview, Illinois, West is the youngest of six children and has spent the last 30 years in the Southeast playing country music on the radio.

Certified pit masters, he and his wife, MJ, competed in and judged barbecue competitions across
the state for several years before Bill took up writing. Armed with a degree in broadcast journalism from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, he took his first “real job” in sunny Hilton
Head Island, South Carolina, in 1989 (just one week before Hurricane Hugo).

Bill and MJ make their home in Charleston, South Carolina, and have one son, Jack, who is a
gifted fingerstyle guitar player, on track to becoming the next Chet Atkins.

Download Bill’s free Sides & Sauces eBook: https://www.BarbecueTricks.com/sauces-sides-recipes