His dad Jack Mixon owned a BBQ restaurant and from an early age Mixon's father began teaching him the art of barbecue. Myron recalled with a thick southern Georgia drawl, "There's been a Mixon in that county now over 100+ years. Small town, there ain't but 10k people in the whole county. Everybody knows everybody and everybody knows your business, which can be either be a good thing or a bad thing depending how you look at it. I learned how to barbecue when I was 9 years old in my daddy's BBQ restaurant, Jack Mixon's Takeout. Looking back it was a great education for me and one that I embraced, but for my dad at the time, it was free labor,"he laughed."
"We cooked once a week on Thursdays and served on Friday and Saturday, every week. My dad, brother and I would go get the wood on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. We'd chain saw it, split it and start smoking the meat on Thursday," he explained."Now back then I wasn't doing it because I wanted to, or because I had some sort of calling to do it. I did it cause my dad made me do it! In retrospect, I know I didn't realize it then that I was learning something, but I was. I was learning to do pure barbecue without all these gadgets they have now. My dad never used a meat thermometer, he cooked strictly by the feel of his hands, by smell and by sight, looking at the meat. And he taught me how to do that. That was one of the cool things about being brought up in south Georgia. That just the way everybody cooked. Nobody had all these cookers and and such. We cooked on these pits."
Most folks don't realize it, but in addition to being a pitmaster who barbecues meat, Myron is also an accomplished fisherman and knows quite a bit about cooking fish. You see, back in his youth, Myron used to fish regularly with his dad. I asked him to expand on that a bit. He answered immediately, "My dad loved to fish, I mean loved to fish. He made work out of it though. When you went fishing with him you didn't stop. If you were hungry and wanted to eat, you were eating a sandwich with your left hand and fishing with your right. You didn't stop! We caught a lot of fish and he taught me how to cook fish. Not just frying either, he taught me how to smoke catfish and all kinds of ways to cook it. He made fish head stew. Doesn't sound very good but it was delicious."
"Those trips, my dad also taught me and my brother about life. Right from wrong," he remembered, "and he laid down the law with us. He took the belt to us and to tell you the truth, me and my brother deserved every whooping we ever got. I remember one time I got a whoopin and someone told my dad, 'you know, Jack, Myron didn't do whatever it was he got the whoopin for.' My daddy thought for a moment and replied 'Well I know he did something I didn't catch him at so in my book, we're even!' He continued, "All those lessons my dad taught me, in retrospect, everyday that I live my dad gets smarter and smarter. All those things he taught me as a kid when I was growing up, have come around. I wish he'd lived longer, he passed in 1997, so I could have gotten my PHD in those life lessons. One thing I can say," he added, "he never had to bail us out or come get us out of trouble. I was scared of him. Hell," he chuckled, "I was twenty years old before I knew the difference between fear and respect. I thought they were the same thing! That being said, he gave me a great life and work ethic. He's the reason that I now make a living doing what I love."
With his sons when Myron was inducted
into the Hall of Fame, 2014
Among the myriad of products that Myron has available, from his Myron Mixon Smokers & Grills, to his BBQ Sauces, to his cooking school, all of which can be accessed on his website store www.jacksoldsouth.com/store, he has a new partnership with my good friends Mike and Scott Staib from Ergo Chef Cutlery. The new product is called The Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool and it's the first tool to deliver a style and functionality that says “Game On!” I asked him about this unique grilling tool.
"It had to be real," he stated, "something that is authentic and something that I designed. And not just a gadget, it has to be something that really works. This tool, it works! It's got the end on it where you actually can do the flipping of the meat, it's got a great blade like all Ergo's blades, with a sharp edge. The thing that my son Michael loves the most is the built in bottle opener so you can pop the top of your favorite beverage while your grillin'. If you tune in, you'll see I use this on Pitwars and on Rules, we use it on every episode." He continued, "I like the red handle. I was insistent about that. I wanted to make sure that when you looked in you knife drawer, my tool stood out!"
According to Ergo, 'The 3 in one design was specifically developed and tested for easily flipping all your proteins and large veggies on the grill with the patented flipper hook. A good sharp knife is a must to slice up your mouth watering Q, hence we use the “Workhorse” an 8” Chef knife size blade with 7" cut for slicing up your meats and veggies, from prep to serving. The blade is high carbon stainless steel for superior durability, ground precision sharp for perfect slices. It boasts an ergonomic non-slip grip handle over a full-steel tang for strength and balance, so cutting is effortless with ultimate control. Last but not least is the bottle opener, built into the blade to keep you cool, sipping your beverage of choice.'
• Tool Weight: 8.5 Oz.
• Blade & Hook Thickness: .100"
• Blade Height: 2.200"
• Blade Length: 8" w/ Precision Sharp 7" Cutting Edge
• Flipper Hook: 2.750"
• Handle Size / Material: 5-3/8" long / Non-Slip TPR
• OAL: 16.125"
• Blade Material: One Piece Carbon Stainless Steel (5Cr15MoV)
The Price is $29.99 and Ergo is taking Pre Orders now for delivery in October so Order Yours Today: The Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool
|Myron and his son Michael|
I hope you have enjoyed this chat with Myron as much as I did bringing it to you. To find out more about Myron, purchase his cookbooks and products, or follow him on social media just access the links here: Myron's Website, Myron's Twitter, Myron's Facebook, Myron's Instagram
Til Next Time,