Award-winning Pitmaster Myron Mixon Talks BBQ, New Book
Myron Mixon is all things barbecue. He’s an entrepreneur. An author. A television personality. A teacher. A restaurateur. A mayor. And, of course, he’s an award-winning pitmaster best known as “the winningest man in barbecue.” Mixon’s reputation precedes him in the barbecue world, and his latest book demonstrates that vast knowledge.
Just released this spring, BBQ&A with Myron Mixon: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Barbecue answers everyday people’s questions about the tasty cuisine. Here, we get a closer look at his barbecue philosophy, his strategy when running for mayor of his hometown and more.
Restaurant Inc.: Why don’t you first tell us about the premise of your new book?
Myron Mixon: [My team does] a lot of social media stuff, and I do a lot of Facetime where I answer questions about barbecue in general. We did several of these Facetimes where people sent in their questions and I answered them live. In this book are a lot of those questions and a lot of the answers I gave. No question was considered stupid or too simple. We did this on and off for an entire year and BBQ&A is the result of our efforts.
RI: Is that the bottom line of what you want to say about barbecue? That it’s a simple thing? Don’t make it complicated?
MM: Barbecue is supposed to be a simple food with simple seasonings and simple flavors that everyone loves, and it’s supposed to be attainable for everyone. It’s not for culinary trained chefs only.
RI: How did barbecue fit into your platform when you were running for mayor of your hometown of Vienna, Ga.?
MM: Back in the day, a lot of politicians who ran for office used to have big barbecues to feed potential voters. I did the same thing. I had a big barbecue right here in the center of town and gave away barbecue sandwiches and asked everyone who came by to vote for me. It worked out.
RI: If you can reveal one secret, how can a chef achieve the perfect barbecue?
MM: Always cook with a meat thermometer. I tell people all the time: White meat chicken, make sure you cook it to 160 F internally. You want to cook [pork butt] at 200 F internally. And beef brisket: 205 F internal.
RI: What are your favorite meats to grill?
MM: I love a great steak. I love a d*mn great hamburger. I can eat hamburgers every day. I love pork tenderloin—especially when I stuff it with sausage and wrap it with bacon. I call that “Triple P,” you’ve got pork sausage, pork tenderloin and pork bacon.
RI: What are some of your favorite side dishes to accompany barbecue?
MM: A new recipe we do [at Myron Mixon’s Pitmaster Barbeque restaurant] is baby back mac and cheese. Take the meat from a rack of baby back [ribs] and fold it into your favorite mac and cheese recipe. Also, my peach BBQ baked beans, which has pimento in them.
Myron’s Peach BBQ Baked Beans