Go for flavor: “Season the meat with a dry rub first.” Baker uses a blend of 13 ingredients including chili powder, cane sugar, coarse black pepper and ginger. He puts it on a day before to get the seasoning into the meat.
Be passionate: “I have barbecue in my veins,” Baker says. “If you cut me, you are going to get some sauce.” He and his buddies talk barbecuing like “a woman would discuss a Prada or Louis Vuitton purse,” he says. “We talk about smoke rings and types of woods.” He even loves the smell. “I can’t think of a better cologne than to have an applewood smell on me.”
Skimp on the sauce: Baker doesn’t bring out the sauce at his restaurant until guests ask for it. “We are trying to educate,” he says. “What I am trying to get people to do is smell that aroma, smell that applewood, dip it in a little bit of sauce and take a bite.”
Keep an eye on your guests: “You know it’s good when the people that are eating aren’t talking,” he says. “That’s a sign of great barbecuing — you hear absolute silence.”