Justin Goodman is all about precision. Whether in his work as the vice president of analytics for a marketing and advertising firm, or through his passion of BBQ, getting numbers and data correct is not just important, it’s necessary.
“I’ve adopted the method for precision,” the California-native says. “The science of BBQ has always interested me, and I try to be precise in all of my recipes.”
Goodman, who shares his culinary creations on his Instagram page @ElectricMice, was not always a fan of social media. He’s had his page for years, but it was private, and he really just used it to share food pics via Instagram Stories with friends. That was until last year when the pandemic shut the world down. Goodman, who used to spend half his time on the road for work, suddenly had a lot of free time.
“BBQ helped me fill the time,” he says. “So, I made my profile public and started sharing permanent posts of my creations.”
Then, this July, Goodman decided he had to change some of his indulgent eating habits.
“Mathematically speaking, the scale said I was obese,” Goodman says. He wanted to continue BBQing, but he knew he had to lose weight, so he decided to try Keto, a low carb diet that focuses on fats and proteins. Already known for his precision, Goodman had to get even more organized with what he was putting in his meals to make sure he was balancing his macros correctly.
“It’s cool to have a framework for my meals,” he says. “I get to use data to mold a recipe and, ultimately, track everything I’m eating.”
Using apps like Carb Manager and Google Fit, Goodman logs 100% of what goes into his body. He can share this data through the apps for others who may be interested in seeing his Keto lifestyle. Tracking this meticulously is working. Goodman has lost 34.5 pounds since starting Keto.
“A lot of BBQ people ask me if the transition to keto is possible. It is an easy transition,” he says. “The biggest thing you have to give up is potatoes. Most people in the BBQ community are great candidates for keto.”
As much as he loves the science behind BBQ, Goodman also appreciates the artistic side of what he does.
“While I use data to mold a recipe, I’m still ultimately using my creativity to make the dish, as well as take the photos,” he says. Goodman enjoys eating his creations, but since he’s cooking mostly for himself (his wife is not on the keto diet), he finds the recipe and photo creation to be the most satisfying parts of BBQ. “Creating food and photographing it is my escape.”
Goodman’s love for photography shows through on his page with his captivating food imagery. He takes all of the shots on his cell phone and uses two LED lights, as well as the app Snapseed to edit. Goodman has never taken any professional photography courses. He says he got good at food photography by looking through other people’s images and learning what made them visually appealing. He also tries to participate in photo challenges through Instagram to get out of his comfort zone with food.
“You have to get up close and personal with the food, the food is the star,” he says. “For every picture I post of the food, I probably take 50 to 60 photos.”
Goodman also makes a point to post photos of whole meals he’s eating. He thinks BBQ pages can often be deceiving because they’re so meat heavy.
“Most people aren’t eating like they post,” he says. “We can’t all just eat beef brisket and steak every day, even on keto.”
Besides the recipe creation and photography, Goodman says one of his favorite things about BBQ is the community.
“The Instagram BBQ community is very friendly,” he says. “Especially since we can’t see people as often now, it’s great to have the connections on Instagram. Some of the people I’ve met online are closer than my in-person friends.”
Goodman tested 10 different brands of pellets to find the ones he liked the best. He immediately loved Bear Mountain, as well as the community around the pellets.
“I know a large number of Bear Mountain ambassadors,” he says. “It’s a great community.”
One of Goodman’s favorite qualities about the pellets is the range of flavors.
“I love the diversity in profile flavors Bear Mountain has. And you can actually see, smell, and taste a difference in them,” he says. “Pour different flavors side by side and you can see the difference.”
As Goodman’s page continues to grow, he hopes to keep helping people learn about BBQ and keto. To learn more about him, check out his website and his Instagram page. If you’d like to try out some of his creations, check out his Home Cured Rosemary Bacon recipe or his Homemade Thin Crust Pizza.