We started our group in the summer of 2016, and have had such a great time watching it grow. We have seen many people become members and enjoyed watching the posts of delicious bbq creations.

There are so many members that contribute such great pictures and videos, and we are thankful for each and every one of you.

The goal of the group is to help all become the “Hero” of their families by cooking delicious and nourishing meals.  We have recognized some members this year that we could not help but name “Hero of the month” due to how much they participated, posting pics and descriptions, answering members questions and basically making this such a fun and interactive group.

Now it is time to share with you our pick for “Hero of the Year 2017”.  We had a tough time choosing, but I think you will all agree, there are a couple of members that really stand out.

From the beginning of the group, one member has been the joker of the group.  He always tries to share and encourage others through humor.  Brian Disney once referred to these hilarious posts by saying “you’ve been Bentonized”.

Don Benton is such a great example of what this group is about.  He cares about others, and even when he is facing challenges, offers words of encouragement, help and humor.  We asked Don a few questions about what BBQ means to him.

(Don’s responses)

Who was your biggest influence for BBQ?

Most definitely my father, we barbecued every weekend mainly on Saturdays occasionally on Sundays. During the summer months it may be 3 times to 4 times a week. My mom didn’t like to cook, she did great side dishes. But pot roast in a pressure cooker was her expertise, so you can see why Dad cooked.

How old were you? All my life

Who introduced you to BBQ?

Again my father (both my parents)former West Texans, my Dad grew up on a cattle ranch, so there was no fish aka seafood (I take that back maybe an occasional pond catfish) but we’re talking beef, beef steaks mainly top sirloin and beef ribs and roasts, AKA prime rib to!

Who is the biggest supporter of your cooking?

Mostly my family, my boys always like me to bbq especially for their friends. If we didn’t go to for pizza with their sports teams we barbecued. When they played Varsity Sports we always had one team dinner at my house a year. Usually tri-tips. We have a lot of good memories about certain kids, not only how they played their sports,but how they, ate, and ate and ATE!

What is your favorite heat source to use?

I definitely love charcoal cooking again. Had a black Weber kettle when we first got married +37 years ago. Then life got in the way and it was easier to use propane and Grill. Thankfully met up with you all, and sir Rob Bower online and here I am.           

What types of wood do you use for smoking?

I’ll also use some Cherry, Apple, lots of Mesquite for most fish and cedar planks, on salmon.

What kind of sauce do you like best?

My go-to sauce is my dad’s, it was fresh garlic pressed,  Fresh squeezed lemon, olive oil and thyme with salt and pepper, heated, We used it as a bast. ALSO… Now I have a cabinet full of sucklebusters and I get my monthly allotment through the mail, of many different special spices and woods.

What are some of your favorite foods to eat other than BBQ?

Unfortunately I think my favorite food is everything except Brussels sprouts. But I don’t eat like I used to I literally don’t have much of a storage space anymore (in my body) haha.

What do you like to cook indoors when the weather is bad?

Fortunately I live in Southern California so we can cook year around, but cold rainy night there’s nothing better than my special grilled cheese sandwich and some type of soup.

What is your favorite thing about grilling or smoking?

My favorite thing about grilling and smoking is actually solitude, you wouldn’t know it from this site, but I like a lot of quiet time I used to travel a ton, be gone a long time away from my family and those days are gone. Thank God..

How long have you been cooking bbq?

As said I’ve been cooking since I was standing next to my dad 62 years I guess. He demanded a lot from me I was his only son. But I know he was pretty crazy about me. He was not the type to tell you. But I will ever be thankful for him,  OH… I just remembered one big moment! You know how nowadays everybody goes out to a fancy restaurant for rehearsal wedding dinners? My dad cooked T-bone steaks for about 30 people on the day before my wedding, doesn’t get any better than that! plus all the sides from Mom, she was Dad Rock.

Thank you for sharing this Don!

There is no doubt that people’s lives have been enriched because of you, I know I am better off.

Member Demyer York shared this about Don,

@Don Benton is a true friend… he reached out to me when I was lost and proved to me that there is a way forward… Don inspired me to maintain my positive energy and passion for BBQ when I feared that it was in its final chapter… We are very much alike and I am more that grateful that I can call him friend… Thanks to BackyardBBQHeroes we were able to connect… The group is more than a coagulation of folks the like to Heat That Meat… it’s a family… I appreciate all that the group is and I hope it continues to grow and spread happiness and positivity… The World needs more Heroes… @Don Benton is my Hero…

 

That is what this group is all about, an atmosphere where we feel like family. And treat each other with the utmost respect.

 

There is a phrase that has gained some popularity in the group this year, one that I bet most of the group will recognize.  I remember seeing it in posts occasionally, then quite a bit more often.  It seems as though this phrase really means something special to members of Backyard BBQ Heroes.

“Heat that meat”…

No surprise, Demyer York is our other Hero of the year.  He has added such a level of excellence and genuineness to the group.  We are so thankful that Demyer began to share his awesome BBQ creations with us.

We asked Demyer to share with us a little about his background, this is what he said…

Hello, my name is Demyer York. I am 33 years old, and I’m from a small town outside of Houston called Fulshear Texas. I am married to Kimberly and I have 2 children, Seth and Simone who are 7 and 5. I am a Chief Petty Officer in The United States Navy, in which I have been serving 10 Years.  My biggest influence for BBQ is my whole family. I can’t pin it to a single person because I learned so much from everyone. Many different styles and techniques, and from them all I have my own styles and techniques. My love for pits definitely came from my grandfather. He has had many over the years and still has 4 in his backyard right now. He would always say when asked, “Why do you have so many?” “Because every pit doesn’t cook the same and every meat can’t be cooked the same.” I believe that myself. I have been messing around with BBQ for as long as I can remember, but my first memory of actually cooking from lighting the fire to putting the meat on the plate was when I was 11 and I got my very first pit for my birthday. I made hamburgers and chicken wings. Those are still 2 of my favorite things to cook. Growing up my family would have to large get togethers, on New Year’s Day and on the last Saturday in July for the Family Reunion. Those events would usually be 2 days of smoking on at least 20 pits. All of the men of the family would get together and argue about who was going to make the best brisket. It was always just talk because it was all sliced and mixed together. All talk, no real competition. You know how it is when you get a bunch of men together with music, beer, and Barbecue. It was so cool to go from watching to standing in front of my own pit contributing to the food for the gathering. I credit these events to my Uncle Charlie. He was the lead in organizing all of these events. He passed away when I was 21 in 2007, and that was the end of the get togethers and that’s when I stopped Barbecuing for a while. That was also when I joined the Navy, which is what caused me to stop Barbecuing. I got back into it in 2010 when my wife got me a smoker for my Birthday. Yeah, those two events had just about any meat that you could think of some store bought mostly homegrown or hunted. We raised chickens, hogs, and beef. The beef was our primary source of income. With that being said, we didn’t have a lot of money; but we made what we had count. It was always exciting to see what wasn’t going to fit in the freezer when we dressed an animal. Whatever didn’t fit was Barbecue. My Number One Fan is My Uncle Charlie’s Sister, My Granny. My Granny has been promoting my Barbecue since I started cooking. She still tells me every time I call her that I should be cooking for a living. She says that is where my passion resides. With every visit to Texas she has meat ready for me to heat. When I went for Mother’s Day this past year, she had 20 pounds of wings and she said to me “show these young boys how to make The Pimp Strut.” That’s where that saying comes from. Heat That Meat comes from my Grandfather. Every time he would be getting ready to Barbecue, he would ask everyone that he saw, “guess what I’m about to do?” “Heat That Meat, that’s what I’m about to do.” When I talk to him, he will always ask me when was the last time I Heated That Meat. He usually asks me about 10 times per conversation. He is 96 years old and his mind isn’t as sound as it always was. My Grandparents raised me, so we are very close. We had Pecan Trees everywhere. I would go out every fall and gather pecans to take to market. We also used the trimmings from those trees as firewood and fuel for Heating That Meat. It is my favorite wood to use to smoke with. For the longest time, I thought that it was the only wood that was good for cooking. I know better than that now. It’s still my favorite though, even though I do prefer different wood for different meat. Nothing cooks pork like a good apple and cherry mix. Until I find something better anyway. I’m not real big on sauce. Sauce on meat growing up meant that the meat wasn’t prepared well. I don’t carry that belief today. I think that some people make the meat and the sauce to go together. I favor the spicier sauces. I just like the heat. I don’t know why, but I do. I’m not a fan of the Alabama white sauce though, that’s because I don’t enjoy mayonnaise. I always try it though when its available, because I was raised to never say that you don’t like something; instead say that you haven’t yet had it in a way that you liked it. I think that it has a lot to do with being from Texas but other than Barbecue, I enjoy Cajun food and Mexican Food. Backyard BBQ Heroes is quickly pulling me out from under a rock and I’ve been inspired to try lots of new things. I have yet to be disappointed. Indoor cooking is not fun. It feels like a chore. I do it, but I don’t like it. My favorite thing to cook inside is breakfast. You name it; if it’s a breakfast item I will make it for dinner. I have figured out how to make just about everything that I Barbecue in the kitchen, less the smoke flavor. Cooking outside is very comforting and calibrating. I say calibrating because being outside and just looking at the trees move with the wind, or the leaves change, or simply the sunset; proves that I’m not in control. Not only does observing nature prove that I’m not in control, but also that everything in life happens in seasons. Some seasons are good and some seasons are not so great, but if I don’t give up or die it will always be beautiful again. I enjoy experimenting with the way that I set up my hot spots and how I position my meat. Mostly I enjoy the enjoyment that my family has when they eat what I prepare. I also like that it’s a challenge. It’s not easy at all to Barbecue if you think about it. I also split my own wood and that also makes me happy to see that my work on the wood turns meals for my family to enjoy. Barbecuing is a timeless skill that could be life saving. We don’t know what tomorrow looks like, but I’ll tell you what; if there is a way to make fire and an animal to kill then I will be feeding my children. For me it’s really all about Family. We Heat That Meat To Eat That Meat. The only time in my life that I wasn’t Barbecuing was when I was away from family and single. I got married and picked up right where I left off, just in a different state with a new Family. Rarely do we get out there and start a fire to feed just ourselves. It does happen, but most of the world only Barbecues for special occasions and celebrations. I celebrate everyday that I have a loving family to come home to.

We all do well to remember that, “I celebrate everyday that I have a loving family to come home to”. Thank you Demyer!

Be encouraged, you are among friends in this group.  If you are just starting out with outdoor cooking, or you are a seasoned chef, you are welcome to participate with us in this adventure.  We strive to be encouraging and helpful, offering constructive answers when someone asks how to prepare and cook something.

I am truly thankful each and every day that I get to be part of this with you all.  When the difficulties of life overwhelm, cooking out for family and friends is such a great way to decompress and relax.  Our “Heroes of the Year 2017”, Don and Demyer, you are such great examples of what makes this so special, thank you.

BBQ Heroes of the Year

We all do well to remember that, “I celebrate everyday that I have a loving family to come home to”. Thank you Demyer!

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