Broads Who BBQ: A Local Champ Wants to Share Her SecretsMay 1, 2012 @ 3:37 pm (Updated: 11:02 am - 5/2/12 )
By Rachel Belle
How many times have you been to a barbecue and all the woman are off to the side chatting while the men are gathered around the grill? Women are finally earning their place in professional barbecue competitions, and one of them is Portland's Lynnae Oxley, who also teaches barbecue classes around western Washington.
"One of the things that I love to do in the class is teach people how to do this and teach 'em some of my secrets. I'm a five time grand champion barbecuer here in the Northwest. I've won grand champions in Canada, in Washington and Oregon. I've been to the American Royal, which is a national event, and I've been to the Jack Daniels World Invitational Champion Barbecue in Lynchburg, Tennessee."
Lynnae stopped by the station to show us what she can do with pulled pork.
"This is a pork shoulder that's been cooked over applewood, from Yakima, for a good 11 hours. This was a bone-in pork butt that we got locally here. Because it cooked so long, this thing is falling apart and that bone just slipped right out."
She does ribs, brisket, chicken; and she does it all right.
"The way we like to do barbecue, we don't like to slather a bunch of sauce on it. We want you to taste the smoke, taste the spices, taste the pork and a sauce should accent it. You go to a restaurant and they have this stuff covered with sauce, you don't want that. They're trying to hide something or they're not that proud of their barbecue. We're really proud of our barbecue. I'm proud of my barbecue and I want you to taste the barbecue before you taste the sauce."
After a lifetime of working in kitchens, Lynnae caught the barbecue bug in 2007, and she's been competing ever since.
"Anybody that's in the barbecue world will tell you, this becomes an obsession. You wake up thinking about this, you go to sleep thinking about this. Your library at home expands and all your cookbooks become barbecue cookbooks. You're online a lot, there are tons of forums, tons of recipes."
Lynnae says she's competing against a lot of men with big barbecue egos, but she admits that she has one too. She's out there to win.
"Women in barbecue are becoming a lot more relevant and a lot more noticed. It's still kind of a boy's game, in a lot of ways, but we don't let that deter us at all. We are out there and we are cooking and chopping and smoking. We know our meat, we know our wood, our smoke, our spices, our smokers. We know the audience, we know the judges, we know what we need to do to craft really good, championship barbecue."
Lucky for us, Lynnae is willing to share what she knows. She talks about cooking the perfect rib.
"The ribs should pull off the bone. They shouldn't just come off the bone. Anything that just comes right off the bone's gonna be overcooked. That's the wrong way of cooking a rib. That denotes that it's been steamed and that's not the right way of cooking a rib. I'm blowing a lot of people's minds by saying that. A lot of people judge a good rib by saying 'Oh, It falls right off the bone.' Well, if I'm at a place and it falls off the bone, guess what, I know it's been steamed and I don't like that."
She says she can teach people to make excellent BBQ on any grill.
"You don't need a big huge pit, you don't need a lot of money. You just need the passion, you need the taste. You don't need a whole lot of experience. You just need enthusiasm, what we call the 'Eye of the Pig,' and we can help you learn that."
Lynnae has a pig with wings tattooed on her forearm, she's obsessed with barbecue, but she admits that she can only eat so much swine. Especially after a weekend long barbecue competition.
"It's usually hot, we haven't really showered in two days, most of us are almost drunk. We are so filled with barbecue that we don't even want to eat barbecue. So the three things that we like to eat after a barbecue competition are ice cream, because we want something cold and creamy. I personally crave pizza. Cheese pizza. Nothing else, cheese pizza is wonderful. Also, some kind of salad that's cold and raw and crispy and crunchy. It's kind of a textural thing."
Lynnae teaches classes around the Pacific Northwest, and you can click here to find more information.
"I'm just taking what I learned on the circuit and teaching people how to do it. I want to spread the love of barbecue, I want people to learn to barbecue, especially women."
Bonneville Media encourages site users to express their opinions by posting comments. Our goal is to maintain a civil dialogue in which readers feel comfortable. At times, the comments can descend to personal attacks. Please do not engage in such behavior. We encourage your thoughtful comments which: have a positive and constructive tone, are on topic, are respectful toward others and their opinions. Bonneville reserves the right to remove comments which do not conform to these criteria.