“I was absolutely sold on Bear Mountain pellets the first time I tried them. They’re the only brand I use now because they truly are the best quality smoking pellet on the market.”
Pat Maddock likes to call his love for BBQ a hobby. His wife Christine calls it an addiction. Regardless of the semantics, it’s clear when you meet Maddock that he has a love for anything and everything that can be cooked on a grill or in a smoker.
“No matter the month, no matter the time of year, it’s always time to BBQ,” Maddock says. The Washington native first learned the tricks of the trade from his father, who was also an avid barbecuer. “Dad used to say, ‘Anything you can cook inside, I can cook outside.’ Learning from him, BBQ really got into my blood.”
Maddock spent the first two decades of his adult life serving in the Air Force. He likes to joke that he had the most non-military job in the military: a radio DJ on the American Forces Network.
“It wasn’t any different than a commercial radio DJ,” he says. “I was there to give listeners a laugh as they drank their morning coffee. I just did it in a blue uniform.”
Because the American Forces Network broadcasts overseas, Maddock and Christine spent a good portion of time in Europe. They raised their three kids in several different countries, including Turkey, Germany, and Greece.
Throughout his military tenure, Maddock recalls barbecuing in some less than ideal conditions, like when he cooked for 100 or so men in a few feet of snow in the middle of Alaska.
“No matter where we were in the world, BBQ was with us, and it still is today,” he says.
When Maddock retired from the military, his family settled back in his hometown, University Place, Washington. He’d participated in several chili competitions while serving in the military and found one to enter at home. At the event, a fellow competitor told him about the Pacific Northwest Barbecue Association (PNWBA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and enjoyment of barbecue in the Pacific Northwest. He invited him to an event the next day where they smoked around 100 pork butts. After that, Maddock was hooked. He’s now been involved with PNWBA for more than a decade and is the vice president of the Board of Directors.
Maddock loves PNWBA because of the members and the charitable work they do. The organization also introduced him to the world of BBQ competitions. Maddock and Christine make up the MADDOG’S BBQ team and have entered competitions across the Pacific Northwest and the entire country. From the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour in Arkansas to the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Tennessee, the team has competed consistently over the past decade, bringing home several grand championships. Maddock says Christine is the primary member of the team.
“She’s not large, but she’s certainly in charge,” he says. “We have a great time. Competitions are a lot of work, but she is extremely supportive. I couldn’t do it without her.”
Although the last year has been different because of COVID, they are participating in some smaller competitions over the next couple months that are closed to the general public. Maddock is disappointed the competitions won’t have an audience but looks forward to the day when events return to normal.
“Watching people at competitions react to the food is a thing of beauty,” he says. “I don’t care if it’s a 70-year-old or a 7-year-old, watching the look on their faces when they take their first bite is addictive.”
Outside of competitions and his work for PNWBA, Maddock brings his love for BBQ to the family table. His three kids all live close by, so he gets to see his eight grandchildren often, cooking them up delicious meals to enjoy together.
“It’s a whole family addicted to BBQ,” he says.
Maddock first heard about Bear Mountain when shopping for another brand of pellets at his supply store. The employee suggested he try the Hickory flavor. Maddock says the true hickory aroma from the pellets hit him immediately after starting the grill.
“The smell and the flavor just amazed me. It still does,” he says. “I was absolutely sold on Bear Mountain pellets the first time I tried them, and that was about six years ago. They’re the only brand I use now because they truly are the best quality smoking pellet on the market.”
Whether we call him a professional hobbyist or a BBQ addict, we fully support what Maddock and the MADDOG’S BBQ Team are grilling up. To follow some of his BBQ adventures, check out his Facebook page.