Chef Spotlight: Nick C. (smokedmeatsunday)
What started as his friends asking “What are you cooking on Sunday?” has turned Nick Coe into a mini-Instagram backyard BBQ sensation. His love for cooking and bringing all of his friends together to share delicious food inspires him daily. He sat down with Dalstrong to talk about the one thing his friends beg for, his favorite new recipe, and why he’d give anything to share one last meal with his great grandfather.
Tell me about your background and inspiration.
I love food. I really believe that food brings people together. That’s why I enjoy it. I have no professional training or anything. But now I’m cooking on my smoker three to four days a week. I just love making great food and also great content that goes along with that.
Do you have a favorite recipe or new discovery?
Yes, two things. First if I’m having friends and family over, for a casual hang or big football game, they’re always asking for wings and buffalo chicken dip. It’s the best thing I make. My friends love the dip. The thing I’m most excited about currently is corned beef brisket burnt ends. They’re unreal. If you like corned beef with a little bit of sweet. It’s pretty awesome.
Do you have a favorite hack or shortcut?
One thing I like to do, let’s say I’m cooking a brisket, I put it on when I go to bed and it cooks overnight. That way I’m cooking while I’m sleeping, buying a few hours of cook time and then the next day, if it finishes a few hours early, I can put it in a cooler to rest until dinner. The other piece of that is people always ask how long it’ll take. That’s not the right question. Always cook for temperature. Every cut of meat is different. One could finish two hours earlier than another. Cooking overnight is key.
When you’re not cooking, what are you doing?
Spending time with my daughter and wife. My daughter is seven, she’s pretty awesome. I love the outdoors where I live in Boise, Idaho. Before I moved here, I ran a fishing lodge in Alaska, so I spent a lot of time outside. I really love fly fishing and waterfowl hunting. Fitness is really important, too. I don’t have that 500 lbs, “belly hanging over the jeans” look. (No disrespect!) I just enjoy working out a lot.
What are three things every kitchen needs?
A massive spatula (not a hamburger flipper). A huge one that you can also use on BBQ. A big cutting board with juice grooves. A big cut of meat resting on a small cutting board doesn’t work. And a good thermometer. I use it every single time I cook. Steak, burgers, brisket — for everything.
Is there a kitchen tool you can’t live without?
The Shadow Black Series 9” Carving Knife and Fork Set. I use it constantly. Great blade, super sharp, very versatile. I can use it for brisket, steak, lots of different cuts.
Do you have any cooking heroes?
No one specific, but I’m always intrigued by people who think outside the box. BBQ tends to be the same stuff over and over. I like to see where people push the limits and do new things. I like combining unusual things. I love different and messy.
If you could cook a meal for one person, who would it be?
My great grandpa Ted. He passed away, but he took me fishing for the first time at five-years-old. He was old even then and passed away when I was young. He never knew how much those trips impacted me, and that I grew up to love fishing. We used to fish for bullheads. I just remember cleaning bullheads with him and having big fish frys. That would be the guy.
What is the one dish that everyone seems to screw up?
Just with BBQ in general, people try to overthink it and instead of just knowing the process and following it. One thing I see a lot, people don’t develop good bark on bigger cuts of meat. If you have a 15 lb brisket. it’s hard to overseason it. I’m going to cover a brisket 50 / 50 with a kosher salt and black pepper rub, and cover it 100%. Then cook at the right temperature. I see people that will season sparsely, but you need total coverage of the rub for the bark to develop fully.
What would be your last meal?
Pulled pork nachos with a cold IPA.
To follow Nick Coe’s BBQ journey, follow him on Instagram, YouTube, or his website www.smokedmeatsunday.com.