Many things in life warrant appreciation. There’s viewing the sunset at your favorite beach, the joy of tasting a new whiskey, or hearing a beloved band at a music festival. But as much as the previously mentioned experiences are indeed enjoyable, there’s really nothing like the sights, sounds, smells, and first bite of really good BBQ. The language of barbecue is one that I’m well-versed in, but even the most knowledgeable tastemaker isn’t too good to learn more.
So where should the curious aficionado go? Instagram.
Social media catches its share of criticism, but there’s also much good that comes from it. And if you need some ‘cue inspiration, IG is a great place to look. From world-acclaimed pitmasters to celebrated authors, you can get the advice and recipes you need to help you fire up the grill, smoker, or fire pit.
Susie Bullock, Founder of Hey Grill Hey
Bullock is the BBQ mastermind behind Hey Grill Hey, a portal filled with delicious recipes featuring the best barbecue and sides you can create from the comfort of your home (and grill or smoker). She’s been a guest on the Food Network, cooked turkeys with Shaq, and is in the Guinness World Record for Longest Team Barbecue Marathon after grilling for 34 hours and 35 minutes alongside Andrew Battistelli and celebrity chef and Food Network star Tyler Florence.
Yep, Bullock is just that legit. Her Instagram page is full of inspiration for the rookie who’s just getting starting in the land of smoked meats to the BBQ veteran who just wants to get a chuckle out of Bullock’s husband, Todd. He has his own hashtag (#TasteTestwithTodd), where his job is to serve as the cupbearer (BBQ-bearer?) of all of his wife’s delicious eats.
Moe Cason, Pitmaster and Owner of Moe Cason BBQ
BBQ, vintage cars, whiskey, global adventures, and memes are the way to my heart — so I’m obsessed with Cason’s Instagram! The pitmaster and entrepreneur posts so much goodness, ranging from his famous slabs of meat to hunting outings with his friends, that you can’t help being engaged. Nicknamed “Big Mo” by his fans and fam, Cason shows the world his approachable, humble, and laidback demeanor.
Despite being this big-time award-winning pitmaster who’s traversed the earth, a contestant, judge, and star on Destination America’s BBQ Pitmasters and BBQ Pit Wars, Cason doesn’t keep his knowledge to himself. From his account, you can gain wisdom about barbecue and life, compelling you to unleash your inner Cason – and who wouldn’t?!
Mary Cressler, Author of Fire + Wine: 75 Smoke-Infused Recipes from the Grill with Perfect Wine Pairings and Founder of Vindulge
Barbecue beef and a glass of red wine are a divine match! And that delicious duo is what Cressler is known for combining. Cressler is the founder of Vindulge, a farm-based lifestyle brand that combines great wine with cooking experiences. She’s partnered with her husband, Sean Martin, to help the world discover the wonders of wood-fired food – with a focus on BBQ and grilling recipes – and wine pairing.
While everyone appreciates a mouth-watering array of barbecue, the experience is enhanced when coupled with the proper wine expression. Cressler’s IG is filled with plenty of BBQ and wine pics to keep you motivated to fire up the grill and try out some new vino.
Danielle Bennett, Pitmaster and Author of Diva Q’s Barbecue: 195 Recipes for Cooking with Family, Friends & Fire: A Cookbook
Viewing Bennett’s IG, you’re instantly drawn in by the balanced blend of BBQ photos (duh!) and her stunning selfies. Bennett, a.k.a. Diva Q, is the former host of BBQ Crawl and one of Canada’s renowned barbecue connoisseurs.
As a world champion pitmaster, Bennett has traveled throughout North America competing in and judging barbecue competitions. In addition to cooking the ‘cued-up IG-worthy masterpieces, Bennett doesn’t shy away from sharing her secret recipes with her followers. So, though there can only be one Diva Q, we can all somewhat attain a fraction of her barbecue brilliance.
Tuffy Stone, Pitmaster and Author of Cool Smoke: The Art of Great Barbecue
As a legendary six-time world barbecue champion pitmaster, French-trained chef, and Barbecue Hall of Fame inductee, Stone’s IG page is full of his international barbecue escapades. Oh, and photos of his pup Weller, presumably named after the bourbon — who gets my vote for cutest dog ever.
Stone isn’t stingy with his rich knowledge. On his ‘gram, he shares recipes, and techniques to create your own sumptuous cuts of meat. And since the chef is also an avid fisherman, you’ll see the fruits of his labor, which will make you smile.
Erica Blaire Roby, Pitmaster and Owner of Blue Smoke Blaire’s BBQ
Before becoming the revered pitmaster she is, Roby first practiced law and became a sommelier. Although her journey to BBQ excellence has been anything but linear (or conventional), Roby was awarded Master of ‘Cue on Season 2 of the Food Network’s BBQ Brawl show.
One glimpse at Roby’s IG shows why she’s garnered praise and, subsequently, fans within the world of barbecue. There you will find “a day in the life of” photos to help you understand the inner workings of being a mother and an exceptional pitmaster. Both aren’t easy roles, and it’s refreshing to see how rRoby’s hard work and devotion have paid off.
Robert Jacob Lerma, Photographer, and COO + CFO of Treaty Oak Distilling
Brisket, bourbon, and beef ribs – you name it, it’s on Lerma’s page. And if anyone can speak to the bold flavors of Texas bourbons and that of the meat terroir of the Lone Star State, it’s this guy. So, if you want to get a taste of Texas without hopping on a plane just yet, Lerma’s IG page serves as the best introduction.
Along with his magnificent barbecue photos are the portraits he’s shot of leading pitmasters across the U.S. The beautiful pictures of the pitmasters capture the grit, zeal, and commitment that a true pursuit of barbecue demands.