Pellet Envy’s Rod Gray on cleaning, cooking and competing

With bigger fields than ever and the very human element of different judges’ palates, it’s tough to consistently come out on top in barbecue competitions. Somebody just forgot to tell that to  Pellet Envy.

The Kansas City Barbeque Society’s 2009 Team of the Year is fresh off being named Grand Champion at the Smoke on the Water competition in North Little Rock last month. 

“We would like to be known as very consistent cooks. I just want a well-balanced piece of meat — a little sweet, a little salty, a little spicy,” says Pitmaster Rod Gray, who together with wife Sheri makes up Pellet Envy.

When we caught up with Gray, he was preparing to head out to Smokin’ In The Creek in Sugar Creek, Missouri, which Pellet Envy has won two years in a row. And while most of us won’t be competing on the blacktop this weekend, it’s the time of year to put fire and smoke to meat again. So we asked Gray for advice on what to do after wheeling the grill from the garage out to the deck. 

“If you’re like me, you probably put your stuff away dirty. You never have time to do all the right things,” said Gray.

Check and check. Before you fire up your grill, he recommended a thorough “once a year type” cleaning.


the grates off your grill. You can then either use the pressurized

water hose at a do-it-yourself car wash or spray them with cooking

spray and place them in a large plastic trash bag overnight. In the

morning, rinse the grates with your backyard hose or wipe them down

with a damp cloth.

Categories: Dining, Food & Drink