On the forum, most folks probably just know him as ‘mike.’ But if you don’t know him, he runs HawgeyesBBQ.com and TNT Landscaping out of Ankeny, IA. He’s someone who has done alot to foster the bbq community– in particular by carrying and promoting so many projects made by BBQForum.com members– so it made sense to me to start here.

The questions were emailed to Mike and his responses are unedited. I hope to do more of these soon and to revise the questions to try and keep things fresh. As always, send me your suggestions.

Thanks, Mike and thank you readers!

Mike Tucker

Where From and/or where do you currently live?
Originally Oklahoma, Southwest Missouri, and then Iowa.

Married, kids, etc…?
Married 20 years, two Kids, a big black dog, and an iguana. I see a cat from time to time also.

Profession (even if not bbq 24/7– if you cater, vend, etc. please mention)?
President/ founder TNT Landscaping. Operate a 5 acre retail nursery/garden center, along with Hawgeyes BBQ carryout food, and HawgeyesBBQ.com internet sales. Full design & install service. Also have a complete outdoor cooking center featuring all items on our website.

# of pits and what are they?
I retail Horizon, WSM, Big Green Egg. I own a Oklahoma Joe (2), a Big Green Egg, a Ducane Gas Grill, several Webers, and a big Horizon Trailer Mounted Smoker.

Have you ever made your own pit, if so, how many and what styles?
No, i bought a piece of junk fuel tank cooker, and had a fire box added. Sold it soon after. I decided to leave it up to the professionals.

Earliest memory of bbqing– is/was your family involved?
My Dad was big into grilling. We had a nice home in Missouri, with a deck overlooking a lake. The perfect background.

Favorite thing about bbqing?
It’s outside, and a chance to be creative.

How you found the forum and when (if you can remember)?
I was told about it by local cooks around 6 years ago.

What was your first pit?
An Oklahoma Joe Tailgator.

First thing you remember cooking (doesn’t have to be bbq)?
I honestly don’t remember. The most memorable was the frozen pizza that cooked all night (in college). I fell asleep after “studying” too hard. Not a good experience.

Favorite bbq woods, charcoal, rub, sauce, etc.?
Cherry, pecan, lump charcoal. Rubs and sauces are what we sell, so I don’t name favorites.

Favorite/best competition memory (where, when, who with, team name,
1999 World Pork Expos’ “Barbeqlossal”. We were the Iowa Hawgeyes, and won grand champ. Ed Roith and his wife took reserve. She was in a wheel chair. He supported us, and he supported her. I will never forget that day.

Do you eat bbq in restaurants– if so, where, when why?
No. I get enough of my own. Having a carryout shack kind of burns you out.

Favorite record albums, books, tv shows, movie, etc…whatever you want
to include.
I don’t listen to music much anymore. Still like rock when I do. I never really liked to read or follow directions, and I like action movies. Oh yeah, I like the show “Cops”, and Two and a Half Men.

Favorite non-BBQ Food to eat and/or cook (or thing you eat most often
when not eating bbq)?
Pizza, burgers, a good steak.

Favorite beer, favorite beer to drink w/ food?

Favorite BBQForum Thread (can include “what’s an abt?” if you want)?
There have been a bunch. I guess the genuine ones. Some of them never get a response and should. Sometimes it takes someone to say “hey look at this”. Qsis did that with a post about kids. It had to do with a project with Juggy and his father Father. That was one of my favorites.

Least Favorite BBQForum Thread (ditto)?
I saw a couple that hit below the belt. Any post that deteriorates into a personal attack or the threat of “repercussions” has gone to far in my opinion.

Do you have a web site and when did you start and why?
Yes. We have Hawgeyesbbq.com. It was a natural tie-in with our outdoor cooking supply sales.