Mike Lester - The BBQ Mac From Chilliwack
Every month Croix Valley is on the lookout for barbecue guys and gals with a special set of skills. They're pushing it a little further. They're raising the bar not just for themselves, but for nosy neighbors peaking over the fence. They share pics that make you stop scrolling and say, "whoa..." This month that person is Mike Lester.
Mike Lester (aka 250NorthernBBQ on Instagram and Facebook) grew up in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia in a town called Chilliwack (what a great town name). He eventually landed in Fort St. John, British Columbia, where he's been living with his wife and two kids for nine years.
Mike works as the Field Crew Manager for a large Land Surveying company called GeoVerra. It sounds like a cool gig, as he's been able to travel to all over BC, exploring the most beautiful places is has to offer. When he's not working, he's BBQing. When he's not BBQing, he's camping (but probably still BBQing there too). We asked Mike a few questions about his approach to BBQ and here's what he had to say.
When did you get into grilling, and how often do you fire it up?
I have always enjoyed BBQ but truly got “into it” during the pandemic. Looking for something to occupy my time, I went out and bought my first pellet smoker, followed by my Kettle and from there the addiction has continued to grow.
Name one thing grilling technique you’ve learned over the years that has served you well.
Low and Slow! Prior to using wood to cook, I was your typical gas grill griller and cooked everything hot and fast. Part of what has gotten me so far into BBQ is now low and slow and the art behind it all.
What’s the most unique thing you’ve grilled or cooked?
I haven’t done anything to extreme to date… but I would have to say the Smoked Apple Pie I made was outside the box a little.
Tell us about your most memorable day around the grill.
To date, my first brisket stands out the most for me. Brisket Is what I consider the crowning achievement in BBQ. You spend 12+ hours tending to this beautiful chunk of meat, pull it off, let it rest, and then go in for that first slice. Is it going to be juicy you ask yourself? Is it going to bend? Did I dry it out…etc. When I cut into my first Brisket and the smoke ring was beautiful, the juices came flowing out on their own (don’t squeeze your brisket… you spent half a day to make that thing juicy - why squeeze it all out for a video) it was a moment of pure happiness and a feeling of success.
Last but not least, what are your favorite Croix Valley products?
The Wing and BBQ Boosters for sure are in the top - not just favorite Croix Valley product but favorite product in general.
Croix Valley Grillmeisters get the highly coveted Croix Valley Tumbler, and more! If you're using #croixvalleynation on your posts, we'll find you.