October 2006

Those of you who have seen Darcy’s posts on the bbqforum know that he is a straight shooter that has no trouble speaking his mind. He is also quick-witted and a believer in the hard work school of achieving success. He gives out plenty of good advice and is quick to say that his way may not work for everyone, but trial and error are the key. He’s also willing to put his money where his mouth is and give back to the  community, such as helping to cook for 1,500 evacuees of Hurricane Katrina. Just don’t expect him to give away all of his secrets, grasshopper. 

Name?  Darcy Hicks, Ring of Fire BBQ Cooking Team

Where From and/or where do you currently live?    Cookson, Oklahoma

Married, kids, etc…?  Divorced, no kids.  Currently looking for a wife with garnish skills.

Profession (even if not bbq 24/7– if you cater, vend, etc please mention)? Professional Land Surveyor, 30 years Volunteer Firefighter/Emergency Rescue, Owner of DH Smokin Custom BBQ & Catering

# of pits and what are they?
JR Enterprises 28”x72” stick burner on a 18’ trailer,
Backwoods Fatboy
Cookshack M160
Ok Joes 16” offset
Hasty Bake
A couple of Charbroil Charcoal Kettles
Homemade Stick Burner

Have you ever made your own pit, if so, how many and what styles? Yes, my first pit was homemade, about 25 years ago when I thought I new what I was doing, I had my first pit built, it was mounted on mobile home axles. It was basically a rectangular box. It cooked good enough though. I got my first ribbon ( 5th place ribs ) with it on my second contest.  

Earliest memory of bbqing– is/was your family involved?  My earliest memory of any serious type of bbqing was with my family. About 25 years ago, my family owned a mobile home park and someone came up with idea for a 4th July BBQ. A good friend of mine Duane Boyd, brought his pit and taught me how to use it. I was hooked. He also taught me the intricacies of cowboying, my roping skills resembled that of Billy Crytal’s in the movie “City Slickers”.  Duane also taught me how to make my first rub, it consisted of lemon pepper and seasoned salt. 

Favorite thing about bbqing?  Making it all come together. Combining raw meat, seasonings, marinades, smoke and heat, finishing sauces, bastes etc and producing a finished product that makes people brag about what they’re eating.

How you found the forum and when (if you can remember)?  I found the forum in 1998 when I was searching for information on competition bbq. I found out about KCBS at the same time.

What was your first pit? My first pit was a homemade rig I had the local welder build. It was basically a rectangular box with an enclosed firebox mounted on mobile home axles.

First thing you remember cooking (doesn’t have to be bbq)?   Nachos

Favorite bbq woods, charcoal, rub, sauce, etc?

Favorite bbq woods are: hickory and pecan

Favorite charcoal: Ozark Oak Natural Lump (although I have done well with Kingsford briquets ).

Favorite rub? That’s easy, its DH Smokin’s new “Rock Yer World” Brisket Rub, due out soon.  I have used different sauces from Head Country, Blues Hog and 4 Men & a Pig and others with success with all of them. 

Favorite/best competition memory (where, when, who with, team name, etc….)? Ponca City, Ok, 2003…my first Grand Championship.
2004 American Royal, Boys from Tornado Alley, Grand Champions
2006 American Royal, Habitual Smokers, Grand Champions
Both teams are good friends of mine and if I can’t win I can’t think of anybody else more deserving to win.

Do you eat bbq in restaurants– if so, where, when, why?   Yes, but I limit myself. There are a few joints that I still like to frequent that can please a competition cooker. One of these is my long time favorite, Wild Horse Mountain BBQ in Sallisaw Ok. Another is Macs BBQ in Skiatook Ok. Mike and Debbie still compete.

Favorite record albums, books, TV shows, movie, etc…whatever you want to include. Rolling Stones, David Allan Coe, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Howlin Wolf, John Lee Hooker, BB King & Eric Clapton.

Favorite non-BBQ Food to eat and/or cook (or thing you eat most often when not eating bbq)?  Cajun baby, crawfish ettoufee, shrimp scampi, gumbo, Cajun crab cakes.

Favorite beer, favorite beer to drink w/ food? Shiner Bock

Favorite BBQForum Thread (can include “what’s an abt?” if you want)? Theres been so many… One of my favorites was when someone posted that he had a question but it got cut off and the only thing posted was “I have a questi”. Me being the smartass that I am posted a reply saying that I had a Questi model 250, stainless steel, stickburner / pellet eater combo. From there the thread blossomed with all the other forum regulars chiming in. I think the latest model was the Questi 2500 that burned rocket fuel.

Least Favorite BBQForum Thread (ditto)? That narrows it down to a few thousand.  I guess my least favorite thread is by those cookers that can’t understand why they didn’t win their first contest. Or the same cooks that want all the secrets handed to them without any of the blood sweat and tears involved. It seems to bring out the harsh reality in my answers to them. I’m not very diplomatic or politically correct. I say what’s on my mind and sometimes get flamed for it.  Hard truth…some bbq cooks have fragile egos and don’t want to hear the truth.

Do you have a web site and when did you start and why?
No site




While he doesn’t post often on the bbqforum, people are probably familiar with Patrick’s work at http://www.bbqlogos.com and http://www.hotspotgraphics.com. In the last few years his work has been popping all over the place with bbq teams, restaurants, and businesses all around the USA and the world. His reputation for speedy, friendly service and his ability to ‘get it’ in a hurry makes him a pleasure to work with. (Yes, he did my logo, too…).

Patrick and family

Name?  Patrick Carlson

Where From and/or where do you currently live? Born in Wichita, KS but raised and still live in Valdosta, Georgia

Married, kids, etc…? Wife, Jennifer; twin boys; Alex and Ben

Profession (even if not bbq 24/7– if you cater, vend, etc please mention)? Full time freelance cartoonist.  Work from home office.

# of pits and what are they? Only BBQing I’ve done is from a 10 year old gas grill from Sears….and I usually burn everything that I try to cook.

Do you eat bbq in restaurants– if so, where, when
Sonny’s  BBQ (don’t kill me)

Favorite record albums, books, TV shows, movie,
etc…whatever you want to include.
  Classic rock, any movie except chick-flicks.

Favorite non-BBQ Food to eat and/or cook (or thing you
eat most often when not eating bbq)?
Seafood!  I love seafood!

Favorite beer, favorite beer to drink w/ food?  No beer.  Coffee!  I love coffee!

Do you have a web site and when did you start and why?

www.bbqlogos.com and www.hotspotgraphics.com  I began drawing when I was in middle school.  Been drawing cartoons ever since…on my notebooks in school, on the bulletins in church.  Drew all the time.  Went to college and got a degree in Early Childhood Education (while trying to have my cartoons published – I chose teaching because it was a good, steady job that would allow me the time to work on my cartoons).  After college, I was a youth director in a local church and then moved into public education teaching 5-8 grade (science, math and social studies)  After teaching for almost 6 years (and freelancing with my artwork on the side) I realized I could make, and was making, more money on the side with my artwork than I was teaching.  So, in October, 2004, I quit teaching and began working fulltime at home with my cartoons and illustrations.  Since then, the business has grown.  I’ve done several children’s books, hundreds of shirt designs, mascots, logos, web graphics.

I actually got into BBQ logos by accident.  I did one logo about 3 years ago and then heard nothing for about a year.  Then I got another logo that was referred to me from the first logo.  Then it just snowballed.  People were referring me all over the place.  But it wasn’t until people began listing my logos on the BBQ forum when the BBQ logos exploded.  I’ve done over 500 logos (that count was taken several months ago – I haven’t made a recent accounting of how many I’ve done)  I will say this, the people I’ve met through the BBQ logos have been the nicest, most down-to-earth people I’ve done work for.  I love meeting people from around the country (and the world – I’ve done BBQ logos for people in Germany and the Middle East!).
I just want to thank all the BBQ’ers out there.  Ya’ll have been great to do business with!  Now, if I could just learn how to BBQ!


In the twilight of the sophomore season, the progression has begun.  What progression you ask?  Moving from a green Newbie, to a “Wannabe.”  When I first volunteered to write this Newbie article, many folks commented that even though they’ve cooked for 2, 5, 7 years, they still feel like newbies because they’re always learning something.  I can’t disagree with that statement.  I think each contest cooked, something registers, something is learned.  But someone who has cooked 6 or 10 or 30 contests?  I find it difficult to say that they are still having the Newbie experience.  
What begins to evolve is a “Wannabe”.  What’s that?  Pretty self explanatory, you want to be at the top of the list.  Top 5, reserve grand champs, grand champions, Royal invites, Jack draws all become items on the wish list.  When you start to sum up how many points you have accumulated for the year, regardless of how small that number may be, you have begun making the transition to a Wannabe.  I can only imagine that the Wannabe in each of us gets worse and worse each year…I wannabe in the Jack draw AGAIN, I wannabe a 7 contest winner, I wannabe a top ten team of the year in each category, I wannabe a repeat Jack winner. 
Wannabe’s are driven, constantly setting and striving to attain that next goal.  But with each goal getting loftier and loftier, the falls become a little harder, a little more painful. But the pain is short lived for Wannabes.  They understand how to bounce back, strap on the cookers, and get back at it as soon as they can.    
Wannabe’s don’t consternate for days prior to a contest the way a Newbie does.  They’ve figured out their system of checklists or notes or mental markers to ensure competition stuff is in order.  Wannabe’s don’t make broad changes to their product from contest to contest.  They instead implement changes in calculated sequences, monitoring how the adjustment plays with the judges.  Wannabe’s know average BBQ.  They know pretty much what their turn-in boxes look like before the meat goes in.  They don’t bother to listen to the CD at the cook’s meeting. And Wannabe’s have learned to respect, admire, and be happy for, the accomplishments and successes of fellow Wannabes out there. 
Some of those fellow Wannabes might have evolved their goals a little further than you.  That usually comes with experience and some success.  For whatever reason, you’ve put these folks in a category a bit higher than yourself.  They cook more often, they have had ongoing success, they seem to be unstoppable.  But you’ve shared stories with them.  You’ve gotten to know them.  They’re good people.  They share most everything, food, beverages, stories, and even advice on how to be a better cook.  All of a sudden, you’re cheering for them as they get their awards…again!  And you do so with genuine enthusiasm. 
Some of the Wannabes are folks you consider your equal.  They cook as much as you, cook on similar equipment, are funded like you are, do their homework like you do, win like you do.  There you are again, cheering for them as they get their calls on Saturday.  Better yet is the gratification you get from hearing them cheer for you as you walk up for your ribbon.   
So, enjoy the Newbie experience.  There’s comfort in knowing you’re still going about things with a streak of green.  That streak never really disappears; it just asymptotically merges into experience.   
So to the Wannabes out there who are going to the Royal Invite, the Jack, or are getting all the calls you set out to get…congratulations.  There’s a lot of us who “wannabe” in your shoes. 
Joey Mac

While he has been a race car driver, a fireman, and a restaurateur, Ed Maurin has become best known for the line of pellet-fueled cookers by Cookshack that bear his name. It may be too soon to say they ‘revolutionized’ the bbq world as we know it, but they certainly have been linked to their fair share of Grand Champions in the last few years.

Fast Eddy in the trailer

Name? Ed Maurin a.k.a. “Fast Eddy”. 

Where From and/or where do you currently live? Kansas City, Missouri. 

Married, kids, etc…? I’ve been married for 27 years and have one boy who’s 23. 

Profession (even if not bbq 24/7– if you cater, vend, 
etc please mention)?
Fire Fighter, BBQ Pit mfg. 

# of pits and what are they? FEC500 and FEC100. 

Have you ever made your own pit, if so, how many and 
what styles?
I pretty much have always made my own pits. I did buy a couple of Traeger units that got me interested in changing the type of cooker I build. 

Earliest memory of bbqing– is/was your family 
1986, went cooking with a fellow by the name of Niel Van Hoosier. 

Favorite thing about bbqing? The way you can change peoples lives by showing them this culture we call BBQ. 

How you found the forum and when (if you can 
I believe it was 1996 when I first just looked at it. 

What was your first pit? A 300 Gallon fuel tank with an offset fire box. 

First thing you remember cooking (doesn’t have to be 
Grilled Chicken.

Favorite bbq woods, charcoal, rub, sauce, etc? Hickory Pellets. 

Favorite/best competition memory (where, when, who 
with, team name, etc….)?
Lakeland Pig Festival, many years. 

Do you eat bbq in restaurants– if so, where, when 
I like to try new places all the time, Everywhere I go. 

Favorite record albums, books, TV shows, movie, 
etc…whatever you want to include.
AC/DC any album.

Favorite non-BBQ Food to eat and/or cook (or thing you 
eat most often when not eating bbq)?
Fried chicken and any kind of fish cooked any way. 

Favorite beer, favorite beer to drink w/ food? Not a beer drinker unless I’m drinking fresh beer in Europe. 

Favorite BBQForum Thread (can include “what’s an abt?” 
if you want)?
Is it the cook or the cooker? 

Least Favorite BBQForum Thread (ditto)? Pellet cookers should be illegal. 

Do you have a web site and when did you start and why? http://www.fasteddysbbq.com/  It was 1998 to showcase my pits.

Note: Photo of Fast Eddy from http://www.mojavehotstuff.com 


BBQ Forum Blog copyright 2005 bbqblog.com and The BBQ Forum
Web page design and hosting by Ray Basso and bbqforumhosting.com Theme Downloaded from www.vanillamist.com