Myron Mixon Discusses Barbecue and Great Grilling
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Myron Mixon was born with barbecue in his veins.
The celebrity chef, esteemed competitor on the barbecue circuit and judge on Destination America’s reality show “BBQ Pitmasters,” began working at his dad’s barbecue carryout restaurant in Georgia when he was a boy. He learned the art of barbecuing from his daddy, and he from his daddy.
His parents have their own barbecue sauce, Jack’s Old South, and Mixon launched his competition team under the same name in 1996—Jack’s Old South Competition Bar-B-Que Team. He’s a three-time barbecue World Champion and the winner of more than 200 grand championships.
Add to that the cookbooks, Smokin’ with Myron Mixon and Everyday Barbecue: At Home with America’s Favorite Pitmaster, and it’s easy to see why Mixon is a virtual authority on the cooking style.
“Everything I do is barbecue,” says Mixon. “I’m living doing what I love.”
During the summer months, most people get the barbecue bug—though perhaps not as severely as Mixon has it. Homeowners clean off their patios and dig their grills out of their sheds on the first warm days, but after taking a look at their aged grill, suffering with inconsistent hot spots and grimy with years of greasy burgers, they may decide it’s time for a new one. Fortunately, there are a lot of options out there: small or large; residential or commercial; charcoal, wood-burning, pellet or gas.
Many who have enjoyed grilling at home are looking to upgrade or try something new. The next step? Smoking your own meats. Maybe shows like “BBQ Pitmasters” have something to do with that.
“People [who] watch us have a back yard or a patio,” says Mixon. “To some degree they can do what they watch us do—I mean, I can watch ‘Cake Boss’ but there’s no way I can bake a damn wedding cake!”
Mixon has perfected the art of smoking meats. When he does, he’s strictly a “stick-wood burner” because in his opinion “you’re getting everything you can get by burning the whole stick.” His favorite thing to cook is a whole hog.
It was really only a matter of time until Mixon, with his barbecue pedigree, launched his own line of smokers (above). In 2012, the time was right. He teamed up with businessman Rob Marelli to design and manufacture his own line of residential, competition and commercial smokers called Myron Mixon Smokers. “It was a natural fit,” says Mixon. “I should be building and selling my own smokers. I had the designs and the face recognition. He had the facility and the manpower.”
Mixon may be a Georgia boy through and through, but his smokers are pure Connecticut. Myron Mixon Smokers is based out of Waterford, and Mixon says there are plans to open a showroom in Naugatuck in the coming months where customers can see the smokers up close and test them out.
Myron Mixon Smokers use patented Waterpan Technology™—an indirect water cooking system to evenly disperse heat throughout the cooking chamber and lock in all the natural juices. It’s a design perfected by Mixon after years of using similar indirect water cookers. The process tenderizes the meat while it cooks, resulting in truly juicy barbecue.
Myron Mixon Smokers have a product for “all kinds of needs,” ranging from the MMS-36˝ backyard model, which can hold 12 baby back ribs or a 60 pound hog, for $3,595, to the MMS-1500 rotisserie commercial model (above), which contains 24 racks at 18˝x 48˝ each and costs $30,800.
Soon they will introduce their Gravity Feed System to make the art of smoking even simpler. Mixon calls it a “set it and forget it” model that’s a little more user-friendly.
“Barbecue now is the ‘it’ food,” says Mixon. “It just keeps rising and rising. Anything associated with it is almost always a winner.”