Pit Boss, The National Tailgating League
Mike Hedrick was born on the banks of the New River on the North Carolina Coast. He grew up on BBQ and Pulled Pork was some of his first solid food. After years of growing up as a country boy camping and cooking Mike began Grilling and Barbecuing. After years of cooking for family and friend Mike began his ongoing passion to make the best barbecue in the world.
In his first season on the National Barbecue Competition Circuit Mike's Pit Pirate BBQ Team had an amazing Three Top 10's and a 3rd Place Overall Pork at the National Capital Barbecue Battle on Pennsylvania Ave., Washington DC. Mike is now the proud Owner/Chef of Pit Pirate BBQ and does Catering from 50 to 500 and also Concession Sales and is currently looking for a Restaurant location.
Knowing that serving is more than food Mike organized "Operation BBQ for Our Troops: Walter Reed and collected up donations and and got other BBQ Teams to come and feed 500 of the wounded Soldiers and their Caregivers. When asked by the Assistant Secretary of Defense Health Affairs why he would go to such efforts Mike said “That sir. Seeing the smiles on their faces…the lord says to go and serve, and BBQ is just what I do.”
Mike is currently the Pit Boss and National Spokesman for Pit Crew Barbeque.
Tailgating - How to Light Charcoal Without Lighter Fluid
Barbecue Expert Mike Hendrick discusses how to light charcoal without lighter fluid for your tailgate party.
This expert: 2,045,093 views
Mike Hedrick: Mike Hedrick, Pit Crew Barbecue. We are talking about tailgating and all the different parts of it. One of those parts of it is, well, heat and fuel. Charcoal is the main base. We have a lot of people that do gas grills and that's awesome, specially for speed and then be able to cool that back down. If we are going to use charcoal and lot of people like myself like to use charcoal, you want to be able to get it lit without using lighter fluid. Why? Well, a lighter fluid has a lot of chemicals in there and those chemicals, in my opinion, aren't as good for you once they are cooked in to your meat. You could use the ones that have the already pre-fueled up briquette, but again I think that these still have that fuel in there while you are cooking. So how do you get the charcoal lit without using all that kind of fuel. Well, there are three great ways. My very favorite way is called a charcoal chimney. A charcoal chimney is a device much like the chimney in your house. You are going to load this thing up with charcoal and then what you are going to do is there are holes in the bottom of it. You are going to use just two pieces of newspaper. That's a great thing about this is you have either got some newspapers or something around. Just two pieces of newspaper and you are going to set that down. You are going to use your lighter. You are going to make sure you do this on a safe surface, like in the parking lot or on some grass. If you are doing it on the grass, simply you can get yourself something that you can put it on, so you don't burn the grass. Then you are going to light this, we have filled it with charcoal. What's going to happen is in within about 15 minutes, it's going to just smolder for a little bit and then get there to coal, it's going hotter and hotter until it looks just like a red volcano. If you don't have the newspaper around, a very safe way is these little tablets that you can use. These are fuel tablets .
Different manufacturers make them. You have set down about two or three of these under your charcoal chimney. You just give the package a light and that will go ahead and do that same trick.
Again, about 15 minutes and you have got a lot of very well red charcoals that are ready for staking. My very favorite, I have got to just tell you, is I just love a weed torch. I think that boys down at Texas figured this thing out when they are out there going along defense line and burning the weed, but you can use this thing here for lighten up your charcoal. Let me tell you, it will light up the charcoal.
I think I have a little bit too much fun with it because when you get this thing lit, it's just like a flame thrower and it's a lot of fun, but you have got to be careful with it. I recommend using some safety glasses when you do use that. Then remember that you there to light the charcoal and not just to be chasing off your friends and may be friends of different teams.
So these are some of the very best ways to get your charcoal lit without using the lighter fluid.