Lumber Jack Grill Master: Mike Lester

Lumber Jack Grill Master Mike Lester
Lumber Jack Grill Master: Mike Lester

🍗 The BBQ Mac from Chilliwack

Meet Mike Lester – Lumber Jack Grill Master. 

Mike Lester (aka 250NorthernBBQ on Instagram and Facebook) grew up in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia in a town called Chilliwack. 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 Coordinator for a large Land Surveying company called GeoVerra. It sounds like a cool gig, as he’s been able to travel all over BC, exploring the most beautiful places it 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). 

Mike is co-host of the popular Instagram talk show: The EhBC’s of Canadian BBQ with his co-host Brad @Cdndrumsmokerandco.

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 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 addicted to BBQ is now low and slow and the art behind it all. From fire management to wood choice the whole process to me is very therapeutic! 

What’s the most unique thing you’ve grilled or cooked? 

I would have to say the cook I did with beef cheeks is to date the furthest thing from my “norm”. I loved this cook and the textures and richness that came from the beef cheeks was next level! 

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  a little squeeze is ok) it was a moment of pure happiness and a feeling of success.

Lumber Jack Grill Master Mike Lester
Lumber Jack Grill Master: Mike Lester 3

What was one of your most memorable cooks?

My mom recently celebrated her 70th birthday, she requested a peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake. So after talking with Reg @pokerbrat_bbq (the king of smoked cheesecake) I set out to create my mom’s wish. It came out perfect and to see mom enjoy it made the work behind it all worth it. I should say I hate baking but absolutely loved this cook.

What are you cooking these days?

I am always playing around with ideas, from the norm to the obscure. I have recently started doing cooks for charity. Last month was pulled pork sandwiches where we raised close to $800 in 2 hours, next month will be briskets and beans. Being able to give back to my community is amazing and getting to do what I love while doing so makes it that much more special for me. 

What is your favourite thing to cook? Pasta

I love the process of making sauces from scratch, choosing the proteins and veg to add with it, and matching it with a nice bottle of wine. I have only made my own pasta from scratch once but it is something I hope to do more moving forward 

What’s your favourite Lumber Jack Pellet flavour?

 While I do use them all, I use Char Hickory and Pecan the most. 

Who are your BBQ idols?

From a social media stance that is a long list. I am blessed to call many amazing bbq talents friends. Outside of social media however I would have to say Tootsie Tomanetz, the 86 year old pitmaster at Snow’s BBQ in Texas. Her story, her smile, her work ethic and knowledge are all captivating. The very top of my bucket list is to get to Snows and eat her BBQ and thank her for not only inspiring me but 100s of other bbq enthusiasts worldwide.

What’s your absolute favourite thing to grill?

Dino bones hands down. The process of this cook is what it’s all about and the bite at the end is all the award a guy could ask for.

Do you have any good tips for BBQ beginners?

Experiment with flavor, ask questions, don’t be afraid to take culinary risks because from those risks sometimes come the most amazing meals of your life. Most of all however, just live in the moment of the cook, feed your friends and family because nothing brings us closer than a good meal and excellent conversation.

If you don’t already, be sure to follow Mike @250northernbbq on Instagram and Facebook to see what creative stuff he’s cooking up!

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