🇨🇦 Cooking Canadian with A Canadian’s Cooking
Meet Lumber Jack Grill Master – Daniel Vanson. Posting at @acanadianscooking on Instagram, Daniel specializes in all things cooking. We sat down with Daniel to get a sense of his history, experience, and inspiration.
How did you get into BBQ?
My interest with BBQ started really with grilling and camping. When we would go camping, my mum and I occasionally cooked over fire which I always thought was so cool. Then my mum and I bought a little gas grill when I was a teenager. I would have so much fun cooking up burgers and hot dogs on it. It always made me feel good to be able to put down a whole platter of burgers on game day and we would all enjoy it together. Then later a buddy of mine got a kettle and introduced me to charcoal cooking which is a whole new world that I love. So really, I think what has always drawn me to BBQ is the outdoor element of cooking. It takes me back to when I was camping as a kid and just always makes me feel happy.
What is your favourite thing to cook?
This is a hard question for me because I love the classics – burgers, pulled pork, ribs, and chicken. I really think my favorite thing to cook though is something new to me. I love pushing myself creatively on the bbq. So whether it is a BBQ’d tofu skewer with satay sauce, making vegetarian dishes, or making a classic my own is truly my favorite.You can constantly learn via food, so I like to stay on my toes and trying new things out.
What type of grills do you cook on?
In my arsenal right now I have a gas grill, a flatop, two kettles, a pellet smoker, a fire pit, and a few outdoor burners for deep frying and boils. I hope to one day also add a barrel and a ceramic to learn those styles of cooking.What is the most unique thing you’ve grilled or cooked?
I am always willing to try new things so I’m pretty open to anything. Probably some of the more unique cooks I’ve done were Thai flavoured grilled octopus tentacles, my curry bbq sauce, and shredded cow tongue. But the most unique I would say is I love making roasted pig’s knuckles with apples and fennel. It’s a dish I’ve always loved eating with my dad.
What’s your favourite Lumberjack flavor
Personally I love the Supreme blend for its versatility. It works on essentially everything and just adds so much flavor!
Who are your BBQ Idols
I don’t really have any BBQ idols. I’m really self taught via videos and other pitmasters have shared tons of information with me so I have never idolized a particular pitmaster. My culinary idol though, is Jamie Oliver. His approach to family style cooking, using humbling ingredients, easy to follow recipes, as well as his general style of cooking is very similar to mine. I love how he uses all surfaces to cook on and honestly has inspired me to set up my page the same way.
What is something you want to grill
There are a few things still on my to do list. I would love to do a whole hog one day for a bigger family event. I also really want to do a meat hammer which I still haven’t done.
Do you have any tips for a beginner?
I would have to go back to the Magic School Bus and Ms. Frizzle for my main tip – always be ready to take chances, make mistakes, and get messy. I have messed up many cooks and I have learned from all of them to get to the point where I am today. Also be sure to reach out to others. I have learned from others and I have helped many people. It’s important to go out and look for that information