Chef Spotlight: Jabin P. (postalbarbecue)
Charcoal-obsessed pitmaster Jabin Postal says his BBQ obsession took off after his children were diagnosed with food allergies. Combining necessity and passion, his mission became creating the best food experiences he could for his three boys. He sat down to talk to Dalstrong about the power of simple cooks, his best “cheater BBQ” recipe, and why he prefers a flamethrower to light his charcoal.
Tell me about your background and BBQ inspiration.
I’ve always loved BBQ. I grew up cooking. We had this old propane grill, and I fell in love with the idea of cooking over fire, manipulating it to make delicious food. When I bought my first grill, memories came back to me, that love for cooking over fire sparked again. I only knew propane, so I started checking out recipes on YouTube and discovered how easy charcoal grilling was. Being in Canada, I didn’t see a lot of charcoal grills, so it took me a while to get into charcoal. But when I did, it was a game changer. I only cook with charcoal now. It didn’t really take off until I had kids though. They had allergies, they couldn’t eat a lot of different types of food. We couldn’t eat out or eat packaged stuff. I had to be fresh, and I had to know all the ingredients. I decided to make them the best BBQ so they could have this great experience of food and flavor. It was both necessity and passion.
What’s your best advice for cooking BBQ?
We want to be complex, and you can get some great flavors and results with complexity. But there’s power in simplicity. Don’t ever forget the basics.
What’s your favorite go-to recipe for your kids?
They always request ribs. I’m reluctant because we’re always out adventuring, so I do a faux pulled pork. It’s smoked pork loin that takes under two hours. Slice it as thin as you can and build it like pulled pork, then stack with coleslaw. It’s the cheater’s pulled pork.
What are your passions beyond BBQ?
I have three boys, and I’m a single dad. I’m also one of four boys. My life has always been lots of boys. When I’m not cooking, we’re at the lake, the river, the skate park. It’s not just for them, it’s for me, too. I’m skating with them, getting my board out, learning new tricks. I’ve been skating close to twenty years. I just got back from a skate and surf trip. Anything that we can do to get out and be active.
You seem to have an adventurous approach to life. Is it the same with cooking?
No, not at all. The way I cook to teach is instructional. I want to teach people from beginning to end. That’s the simplicity. If something is cooked right, it’ll taste amazing. I want to deliver a video tutorial that comes across well and has spot-on quality. My approach is more of a tutorial, maybe not as adventurous as other people’s content. So in personal life yes, but for my cooking channel, no. I’m more minimal in visual and teaching.
What are the cooking tools you can’t live without?
My cutting board, and my knives come first. Then the ingredients. A super-sharp Dalstrong knife is essential. The Shogun Series Chef Knife is my favorite addition to my setup. The newest thing that I’ve been enjoying that’s become a part of my process is using a flamethrower to light the charcoal. It saves twenty minutes of time. And I can’t live without my digital meat thermometers. Most people don’t utilize them as much as they should, so people are always over or under cooking. One of my favorite accessories is my Slow ‘N Sear, which is perfect for both low and slow cooking as well as hot and fast with exceptional searing capabilities. Also, it makes for easy cooking and clean up on the grill.
You say you’re not adventurous ... but you use a flamethrower to light the grill?
Yeah, maybe I am! I use one made by GrillBlazer. It’s a plastic handgun replica with a silencer barrel on the end. It’s about fourteen inches long, and I connect it to a 1 lb propane bottle. It shoots like a 4 ft flame, and gets the coals raging hot in seconds.
Who are your cooking heroes?
When I got into BBQ specifically, I watched a lot of BBQ pit boys: Malcolm Reed and Roel Westra of Pitmaster X. They have really inspired me over the years. I’m not into any really big names. I also like some of the smaller YouTube channels like The Cooking Cop and Babe, Cooking with CJ, and Canadian girls Maddie & Kikki along with a number of others. I follow the type of cooking I like and want to share it. I prefer down-to-earth tips and visuals to help do things right. I’d love to just hang out with those guys and cook with them.
When you’re not skating or grilling, where are you?
I own a video production company, so it crosses over a bit with my cooking and the BBQ space in general. I do cinematic wedding films, video marketing for local brands. BBQ brands are looking for content, so I help with that.
If you could cook a meal for one person, who would it be?
I’d cook for anyone. If someone wanted to come to my house and just wanted to eat, I’d happily cook for them. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich and famous or Joe Blow down the street. If it could be anyone, it would be my mom. I never got to do that final cook for her. She’d be the one I’d want to cook for the most.
What would be your last meal?
A full platter of BBQ (ribs, pulled pork, all of it), pizzas, and curries (especially butter chicken to mix in some Indian cuisine). And last, but not least, a hazy IPA.