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BBQing for the world to see

By on November 24, 2019 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments
Gary Taylor has a back deck full of grillers and barbecues. And now, he has fans of his BBQ videos from across the world due to his posting videos online. Photos by Donna Cassidy

How I decided to share barbecue love on YouTube

By Gary Taylor

Barbecue — the word elicits a powerful image in the minds of many Americans and as I’ve learned, people from around the world. 

For me it conjures memories of my family in the back yard with the old man standing in front of a Weber Kettle demonstrating his cooking skills. 

The smells and sizzle of juicy meat dripping on hot coals blended with the laughter and conversations of our family seemed to forge into fond memories I still carry with me as I’m doing something my father could never have dreamed — and that is creating an online barbecue channel where I share and trade recipes and techniques with viewers from across the nation and around the world.

I think the motivation to barbecue for my parents was twofold. Firstly it was an affordable way to feed our family a delicious meal and have enough for the ever-present friend or neighbor one of us brought along. 

It also became one of their more successful efforts to get us all together at the same time. There was just something about being outdoors that made it somehow special.

I rediscovered outdoor cooking about 15 years ago. As an adult I’ve always had a gas grill on my back porch of some kind or another and still maintain that for certain circumstances — like a quick meal that would not benefit from the flavor of the charcoal or smoke — they are fine. At least you’re outdoors and often with family or friends creating memories.

As my skills improved, I was constantly looking for new ideas and recipes and found YouTube to be a great resource. 

You can peruse different channels literally from around the world and I was hooked! I began to subscribe to channels and found I had an endless list of ideas and recipes to emulate and make my own. 

Then one day after many requests for my secrets it occurred to me, hey you can best share your cooks by making a channel of your own. 

Being a 60-something backyard cook with limited tech skills and a great face for radio I felt a bit intimidated but decided what the heck. So with an old iPad and a little liquid courage I forged out into the online world of YouTube. 

My first few vids were horribly long and poorly edited, but part of any destination is the journey and I welcomed the challenge. 

I set out to put up one video per week and as time went on, got better at not only shooting and editing, but my cooks were improving as well. 

Then I started to actually get a few subscribers, which I admit was a bit thrilling. So on I went and now have more than 400 subscribers, which is small in the BBQ cooking space online but is satisfying. 

I now am part of a very close net community and have made acquaintances from all over the world. We help each other with ideas and comment on videos we enjoy. 

I am humbled and amazed at how this community supports each other and is always willing to help with advice in what could be considered a competitive environment. 

I’ve made many very real friends whom I hope to some day visit in person if retirement ever gets here. 

It has become my hobby and a fantastic way to challenge myself to always try to level up my game. 

I’ve grown in humility and being somewhat of a homebody found a great deal of peace in seeking my own style and crafting my own sauces, rubs and recipes. 

I’m not really sure what my endgame is but I’ve learned more than cooking skills for sure and plan to continue on my quest as long as health permits. 

I’m reminded of a saying I once heard about golf that — modified to barbecue — applies nicely here:

“Barbecue is deceptively simple yet endlessly complicated. A child can do it well yet a grown man may never master it. Every cook may contain unexpected triumphs or seemingly perfect efforts that end in disaster. It is almost a science yet it is a puzzle without an answer.”

I find it to be an extremely challenging hobby that offers unlimited variations and much gratification. It’s fun to do alone or with a group of friends. 

Done correctly and with a little planning, barbecue can be an extremely healthy way to prepare food. Or you can just drink beer and enjoy winging it. Pun intended. 🙂

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