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Guest Jeremy Yoder - Mad Scientist BBQ



This is re posted.


Hello, and welcome to reposted. In the next few moments we'll be breaking down the posts that we have found to be inspiring, interesting, or otherwise entertaining. quotes that catch our eye and we feel are worth a deeper look. Thank you for stopping by. Jeremy Yoder is the mad scientist of barbecue. He is a former biology and chemistry teacher from Kentucky who loves smoking meat and enjoying the rewards of a long cook, you can check out his YouTube channel, Mad Scientist barbecue, his videos on how to smoke brisket, how to smoke beef ribs, and even how to run a 500 gallon offset smoker. You can also follow him on Instagram and Twitter at mad scientist BBQ. Thank you so much for joining us today. Jeremy,


Jeremy Yoder

thank you so much for having me on, I really appreciate it.


Andrew

To kick us off, I want to give you a quote I found from an article by Kate Nash, it's called the science of cooking. And she says all good cooks are aware of the chemical reactions that occur during the cooking process, even if they don't fully understand them. However, understanding of basic science behind cooking helps them produce even better results. I love that you have a background in chemistry, I have a background in chemistry, how does this apply to you and your in your cooking,


Jeremy Yoder

right? So I agree with the probe completely. Now, you don't have to understand all the organic chemistry that happens when you see your steak. But you have to know that you want to build that flavor on the outside by Siri. And so you know, people have been cooking forever. And they didn't know all of the probably thousands and thousands of chemical reactions that are going on. But they had to have a basic understanding of the process that's required to create good flavor. So you don't need to be a chemist to make great food. But understanding the science behind what's taking place gives you kind of more tools in your tool belt to handle whatever situation arises. So maybe you're not cooking with the kind of equipment you usually want to cook with. But because of the knowledge that you have, you can adjust it and use the science behind what you want to happen to make you more successful.


Larry

So you were a biology and chemistry teacher before you made the jump to become a big time YouTube star. Why? how did how did that process go for you?


Jeremy Yoder

Okay, so if, if I'm going to sum it up really quickly, when I was teaching, basically, I loved the kids didn't really care for the job. So I was teaching it at a private school in LA and catered to a very kind of exclusive clientele. And there were, I guess, a lot of demands on my time. So I'd have to teach during the day, and then I'd have to do tutoring after school, but for kids from other schools, so I was schools or they're paying, you know, 40 grand a year to go there. They're struggling, they come to see us and you know, we help them do well in their classes. And so it's kind of a grind. And I thought you know, I don't want to do this forever, because I wasn't making tons of money or anything like that. And I was also going to school full time getting a master's degree. And so I just kind of spent hours just kind of, I don't know, beaten down by what I was doing. So I needed a hobby. I got into doing barbecue cuz my thought was meat, good fire. Good. Just gonna be fun.


Andrew

That sounds like a very caveman approach meat good.


Unknown Speaker

Fried.


Jeremy Yoder

You know, I wish I could say that there was some kind of, you know, deep philosophical reasoning behind why I started barbecuing, but it's just simply like me, I like to play a fire. This sounds like a good hobby for me. So I went down to the local hardware store got what I thought was the greatest smoker of all time, it was a combination, like propane grill, and charcoal grill with a smoker box thing. And I thought I'll never need anything else. This is the pinnacle of cooking me and started doing that. Every weekend, then it got to be where I was staying up at night during the week. And you know, making barbecue because I loved it. There's so much fun. And then I was talking to my wife actually about, yeah, it kind of bugs me when I'm watching barbecue videos on YouTube. And people will say things about the science of what's happening that I know for a fact is incorrect. So they'll they'll say something like, you gotta be real careful in my shoes. Raptors are real acidic, you're going through the metal and then thinking, I know the answers are actually basic. I mean, yeah, you want to clean them out. But it's bugged me. And so she said, Well, maybe you should make a video. I was like, fine, you know what I will. And so I started doing the videos while I was teaching and started doing more and more. And I was cooking too much food for my wife and it ourselves. So I started giving it to friends. Then I started getting requests to do events for people. So they say something like, Hey, you can cook for like 300 right? And I thought, No, you crazy. There's no way. And so eventually after getting a bunch of those requests, I pulled the trigger and had a 500 gallon offset made, and I started a catering business. So for the first year of that I would teach during the week so I teach my first biology class at 830. And then I would usually finish up with all the tutoring in about eight weeks. So, and then I would so on a Friday, I would leave. And then I would go cook overnight, do an event on Saturday, cook overnight again, do another event the next day, and then come back to sleep really hard and start the whole process again on Monday. So did that for a year, then I quit teaching, and then just did the catering stuff full time. And then it was actually doing so much of that that made it difficult to do the YouTube. And so I dialed that back, started only doing events because I wanted to. And so now I have well kind of put the brakes on a catering because of the current pandemic and just focusing more on creating the content and pursuing other kind of opportunities with barbecue.


Andrew

So I guess you you just mentioned the pandemic. I'm curious what you've seen with your YouTube channel, or people's interest, and slow cooking and smoking because I know there was everyone knows the sourdough craze hit. But are you getting more engagement during the pandemic as people are cooking at home?


Jeremy Yoder

Yeah, I think I am actually. So I get a bunch of emails. But I've noticed more and more people will say things like, I just started barbecuing in March of 2020. So blah, blah, blah, blah. Can you give me advice on what smoker to get? Or how do I do this? Or do I need to inject a brisket. Or they'll say, I'm going to try to cook my first brisket. So I've noticed that I think more people are getting into it. Because it's something that you can do to occupy your mind. That's why I started actually, you can occupy your mind and then have a great meal at the end of it. And you don't have to go anywhere to do it.


Larry

My sort of love language when I have people over for dinner, when we used to do that in the old days is like food takes a long time, right? I mean, I like to think about the menu weeks before, then I like to buy a cut of meat, then I like to marinate it, then I like to kind of slow cook it. This idea which I think naturally in a way you do because a you're a hunter, so you probably kill some of the food did you actually cook? It's the process that I think Americans have gotten away about loving someone by cooking for them. That takes a long time other than just buying some off the shelf at a store. Right?


Jeremy Yoder

Yeah, no, I Yeah, I agree with that. So the The other thing that I think people don't realize is that when you invest all that time and energy and effort into doing it, when it pays off at the end, it's a much bigger payoff than just oh, I ordered this from Costco and I put it in the oven, and then boom, mac and cheese. So I think that that provides a lot that you missing out on, you know, like genuine enjoyment. Because for me, like, I'm kind of a very simple person, I like to, you know, have a task, I like to complete the task. And then I feel good, like, I just did that, you know, and so cooking gives me a way to to get that done. Whereas, like, for instance, social media stuff, I mean, what what's the task, get more subscribers, it's never complete, it's never something that's done. But with cooking, I get that sense of accomplishment. Not that I'm the greatest cook ever, but I set out to do something, I did it, and then I can feel good about it. And then I can share it with other people.


Andrew

So this might be a bit of a stretch. But I heard you talking on one of your YouTube videos that you were in band, when you were growing up, and you have a science background. And I feel like barbecuing is kind of a mixture of the art of being able to feel it in the science of like how things are reacting, do you? Do you see any connection between art and science? When you when you look at the meat and how you're cooking it?


Jeremy Yoder

Yeah, I think yeah, I think you could you can make that case. Now I don't want to try to make it too highbrow or anything. But there's certain scientific principles that you have to apply when you're when you're cooking, right having the correct or a reasonable temperature. There's science in what goes into the rub. There sucks in how you're burning, fire, all that stuff. But there's also an art because no two pieces of meat are identical. No two cooks are going to be identical. The humidity and you know, ambient temperature isn't going to be identical for one cook to the next. So you have to know how to adjust it. Now there's scientific reasoning that influences how you adjust it. But eventually, when the where the art side comes in is after you've done it enough, you gain like a, I don't know how to describe it. Like for me, I can look at a brisket that I'm cooking and pretty much, you know be within five degrees of what his temperature is. Or I'll look at it No. Okay, I got to jump up to temperature in this pit by 30 degrees. So when you get a feel for it, and I think it's you're bringing some of the art into it, because if it were just science, you plug it into a formula and blah, blah, blah, blah and then this is the answer. Whereas when it actually doing it with you know real pieces of meat and it's not something on paper, you have to develop a sense of where it is where you're trying to get it to and how to coax it along and get it to the end point.


Larry

Just sort of one nuts and bolts question for you, for me basically only, like when it comes to the meat specifically when you're smoking. Does it matter as much like getting your meat from like Costco versus a nice butcher or like your local supermarket does it make that much difference if you spend a gazillion dollars at the high end butcher store,


Jeremy Yoder

it makes a difference but that difference has diminishing returns. So the difference between a select brisket that you might get at Walmart and a choice brisket that you might get I don't know somewhere else. is pretty big. And then when it's really big, then the difference between a choice brisket and a prime brisket is pretty big. So you can go to Costco and get a prime brisket there and it's pretty good. Now you could spend four times as much and get a wagyu brisket. But is it going to be that much better than prime, it might be 1% better than prime,


Larry

I'm not gonna get the wagyu biscuit till I'm a big time YouTube star. So when I get there, then I'm gonna,


Jeremy Yoder

right there enough, but you can get good quality meat and it makes a big difference. And it's worth it I would say up to prime. So if you're cooking choice or prime, when you're doing low and slow barbecue, you're totally fine. Now where that logic doesn't really hold true in my experiences with pork because pork has so much fat anyway and so much connective tissue like a pork but you can get the you know, the cheapest commodity pork butt and cook amazing pork pork. And I've tried I tried all kinds of stuff. I tried heritage breed pork. I've tried like nine and ranch stuff from suppliers all over the country and really the cheap stuff that you can find at your local store is going to be plenty good for pork but what I would say spend the money is with beef. And you know, you can get pretty good stuff at Costco and that's available to most everybody around the country.


Andrew

Jeremy Yoder thank you so much for joining us today. You can check him out on YouTube mad scientist barbecue, Instagram, Twitter, Mad Scientist BBQ. I'm Adrian Keller for Jeremy and Larry sin. Thank you for stopping by




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