Griller Gal Susie Bulloch from Hey Grill Hey started out tiptoeing in the fire by grilling for family and friends on a “propane-powered piece-of-work” that she picked up for free. Now she’s a two-time world record BBQer and recipe developer.
Susie grew up in Utah working in a family restaurant that grilled steaks over a massive grill, but she didn’t break into grilling on her own, until pellet grill manufacturer hired her to develop recipes using their product.
“They dropped a grill off on my porch on a Friday afternoon and told me they needed five recipes a week starting that Monday. So I had to learn a lot about BBQ, and I had to learn FAST. I cooked on that thing constantly and read every book about BBQ I could get my hands on. I was totally hooked within a month and never looked back.”
When she’s brainstorming new recipes, she starts with the main element, such as the protein or vegetable. Then, she determines what flavors in a rub, sauce or marinade will complement that element. She likes to build flavors that combine savory and sweet with a touch of spice.
“Looking for a balance of those main flavors will always result in a final product that complements the smokiness coming off the grill.”
For those new to grilling, Susie recommends starting with recipes that you feel comfortable with and adding in new ingredients or techniques once you build up confidence.
“The more I got to know my equipment and work with different ingredients, the more comfortable I became. Getting a fancy new expensive grill won’t make you all of a sudden good at BBQ if you don’t take the time to practice on it. Challenge yourself to cook on the grill 4-5 times a week, and you’ll be amazed at what grills really are capable of cooking. Anything you can do inside, you can do on a grill.”
As Susie’s confidence grew behind the grill, so did her ambition. She applied to participate in a World Record event hosted by Ball Park hot dogs to break the record for longest barbecue marathon by a team. She was selected and was flown New York City to join the team.
“The entire event was live streamed. I got to meet some amazing people, including Chef Tyler Florence and Food Network’s Executive Chef Rob Bleifer. It was an unforgettable experience. In the end, we grilled for 34 hours and 35 minutes to break the previous record of 30 hours.”
But one World Record title wasn’t enough for Susie. She actually holds a second for participating in the largest grilling class. Over 360 people assembled at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City where Chris Lilly and Weber Grill Master Kevin Kolman provided hands-on instruction for grilling ribs and pork chops on a Weber charcoal grill.
“It was such a thrill (world record attempts always are.)”
What’s next for Hey Grill Hey?
World domination! haha. Seriously though, BBQ judging and starting to compete. Loads of new recipes on my site. Launching my YouTube channel in the summer of 2017. Definitely excited about that one. Defending my World Record title. And eating lots and lots of good food. My dream is my own TV show. I feel like it is such a powerful way to educate, and I think there needs to be more lady grillers in the spotlight to encourage younger generations of girls to step into the arena.
What grills/smokers do you currently use?
My most-used grill is a CampChef Smokepro LUX pellet grill. I’ve also got two Traeger pellet grills and a Green Mountain pellet grill. I’m actually a bit of a pellet grill connoisseur. haha! I also own a Coyote Asado smoker, which I love, and a copper Weber Performer kettle affectionately named the “Ginger Ninja.” We also have a few open fire pits that we fire up on warm summer nights.
What books do you recommend for people who are just breaking in to grilling and BBQing?
- Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto, by Aaron Franklin
- Serious BBQ: Smoke, Char, Baste, and Brush Your Way to Outdoor Cooking, by Adam Perry Lang
- The Barbecue! Bible, by Steven Raichlen
Do you prefer to grill or BBQ? Grill on weeknights; BBQ on the weekends.
Favorite cut of meat to BBQ? Ribs
Sauce or No Sauce? I like interesting sauces.
Favorite grill/smoker? Impossible question. Maybe my classic Weber kettle.
Do you wrap your brisket in foil or paper? Foil
Favorite wood to smoke with? I like blends. Right now, I’m hooked on an oak/maple/cherry combo.