Eric Stuart has a passion for BBQ. Using his smokers, Stuart creates meals for family and friends while exploring the wide variety of methods and flavors available through barbecuing. A bail bondsman by trade, Stuart also takes advantage of living in the southern Appalachian mountains spending time with his family outside and hunting in season. During football season, Stuart times his barbecuing to allow him to kick back and enjoy the games.
When did you first get into BBQ?
Well, growing up we always grilled out on the weekends and I guess it started from there. I really started getting into using the smokers back in late 2016 and early 2017.
What drew you to it?
The awesome foods and being able to play with all the different flavor profiles.
And what is your favorite flavor profile?
I personally enjoy the sweet rubs with a spicy sauce, so sweet heat.
When you are getting ready to BBQ, what are your must-haves?
Oh man, my must haves? That would have to be a good pair of tongs, Whiskey Bent BBQ rubs, my DemerBox for the tunes, and I’m pretty much set.
What is your favorite thing to BBQ?
Tough question, but I’m gonna say pulled pork. So many dishes can be made from it; it’s very versatile.
What do you like to make with pulled pork?
Oh man, pizza, nachos, quesadillas, just to name a few. The pizza and nachos are my top 2.
Where is your hometown? And how does it influence your passion for BBQ?
I live in Jasper, Georgia, it’s about sixty-five miles north of Atlanta. It’s a small town, maybe 5,000 people, lying in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. There’s not really a whole lot going on or much to do without traveling, so it gives me time to continue to practice and try to perfect my recipes.
How does BBQ enrich your life?
Honestly, we’ve become spoiled as a family. We used to love to go out and have dinner, but now we stay in and eat a lot better. I enjoy the feeling of feeding great food to family and friends—seeing their reactions and hearing them talk about it.
What is one thing you've learned about BBQ that surprised you?
How big the BBQ community is; it’s mind-blowing how many people have an interest in it.
Do you have any advice for folks who are interested in BBQ?
Don’t rush it—take your time and trust the process. Good BBQ comes from bad BBQ.