Cologne: 16.–18.06.2024 #spogagafa

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Interview with BBQ Influencer Harry Soo

"The trend towards outdoor cooking continues"

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As a multi-award-winning BBQ pitmaster and influencer from Los Angeles, Harry Soo is passionate about barbecuing. On the website Slap Yo' Daddy BBQ and on social media, he provides tips and recipes for cooking and barbecuing outdoors. He recently founded his own company for Live Fire Grills with two partners. We spoke to him about current trends, sustainability in barbecuing and the secret of a good BBQ.

Harry Soo at Life Cooking at spoga+gafa 2023. © Koelnmesse

Harry Soo at spoga+gafa 2023 (Image: Koelnmesse)

Current BBQ trend

Harry Soo, what do you think are the BBQ trends for the coming years?

Outdoor cooking is exploding with new equipment choices and manufacturers. Some trends I've observed are outdoor pizza grills, outdoor griddles (plancha), pellet smokers that grill, and international and fusion BBQ (Satay, Brai, Yakitori, Inihaw,).

BBQ and sustainability

Was denken Sie in Bezug auf das Thema Nachhaltigkeit und Grillen?

In puncto Nachhaltigkeit hat die Art des Brennstoffs, den Sie verwenden, unter Umständen großen Einfluss auf Ihre CO2-Bilanz. Wenn Sie zum Beispiel Holzkohle verwenden, sollten Sie darauf achten, eine Marke zu wählen, die Holz aus nachhaltiger Forstwirtschaft verarbeitet. Alternativ können Sie auch einen energieeffizienten Gas- oder Elektrogrill verwenden, der weniger Emissionen verursacht.

What sustainable solutions do you see for current products in the industry?

Manufacturers of barbecue smokers, grills, and equipment have been focusing on sustainable manufacturing practices and their environmental impact. I see more use of recycled materials and sustainably sourced wood in their products, reducing waste and minimizing the use of non-renewable resources. Some are using eco-friendly materials like bamboo or cast iron, which have a lower environmental impact than traditional materials. To reduce energy use and emissions, some are exploring energy-efficient machinery, using renewable energy sources, or implementing waste reduction and recycling programs.

Harry Soo at a barbecue demonstration at spoga+gafa 2023 (Image: Koelnmesse)

Harry Soo at a barbecue demonstration in the Outdoor Kitchen World at spoga+gafa 2023. © Koelnmesse

The secret of a good BBQ

What is the most important thing? Good ingredients?

As a BBQ enthusiast, I'll share the secret to amazing barbecue isn't just in the equipment and ingredients – it's in the pitmaster. That's right – the skill and expertise of the cook are the most important factors in creating truly delicious, mouth-watering BBQ. I often say "It's always the Pitmaster and never the Pit".

Can you explain this in more detail?

Think about it – you can have the fanciest equipment and the best quality ingredients, but if you don't know how to properly smoke and cook them, the end result will be disappointing. On the other hand, a skilled pitmaster can take even the most basic ingredients and turn them into a mouth-watering masterpiece. So if you want to take your BBQ to the next level, it's time to focus on the pitmaster. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, investing in your skills and knowledge will pay off in delicious dividends. With the right techniques and a deep understanding of the art of BBQ, you can create meals that are truly unforgettable.

Harry Soo at a barbecue demonstration at spoga+gafa 2023 (Image: Koelnmesse)

Harry Soo at a barbecue demonstration in the Outdoor Kitchen World at spoga+gafa 2023. © Koelnmesse

What makes spoga+gafa special

What is special about spoga+gafa for you?

The meeting and the energy that is created and can be felt everywhere at the trade fair. The BBQ scene from all over Germany is represented there. For me from the USA, this is very interesting and important to meet up with old friends and acquaintances, but also to get to know completely new ideas and barbecue masters. We swap ideas, watch each other and experience lots of new things ourselves. It's simply fun.