Hot Grill on Grill Action: You know the Legend, now here’s the real story.
Hot Grill on Grill Action is made up of four members: the ‘pit master,’ Ryan Amys, the ‘chicken master,’ Matt Frampton, the ‘brisket miser,’ Logan Hendrickson, and the ‘butt man,’ Chris Yelick. Ryan grew up on BBQ—his dad is the pit master of the long-running BBQ team Omaha’s Blowing Smoke. The four friends all loved to cook meat before the team formed, so getting it all together just made sense.
It all started one hot summer’s evening in 2006, when Ryan Amys received a Weber Bullet smoker for his birthday from his father and he and Matt Frampton decided over a couple of cold PBRs to sign up for a local BBQ competition. After 3 or 4 practice runs, the men took the smoker and a couple of lawn chairs to Springfield Days. It stormed horribly that night, but the guys ended up with a first place call in chicken. Thus began the BBQ fever-a cure is yet to be found.
That winter, the novice BBQ’ers decided that although the Weber Bullet was fantastic, they wanted a custom smoker. After countless hours of labor by Ryan and Matt, the lil’ chub was born. It is a stainless steel side by side rig, complete with a roll top door, 3 massive slide-out grates, a 2” thick solid firebox, a water heating tank, dual 4” stainless steel stacks, a Weber kettle grill, custom racks for our canopies and supplies and boasts over 3100 sq cooking inches. In addition to this, they have added a temperature control system from Rock’s BBQ named “The Stoker”. Though they have been eyeballing this unit for years, you might recall that Harry Soo uses one of these on his WSMs. This device allows them to monitor and maintain their temperatures for the rig and the food. They can monitor everything from their laptops, phones and even have updates sent to their Twitter account.
After a decent 2007 BBQ season, Ryan and Matt decided that the team wasn’t quite complete, so they invited their longtime friends Logan Hendrickson and Chris Yelick to join the BBQ team. Logan and Chris readily accepted the invitation, and Hot Grill on Grill Action as it stands today was formed. Before the 2008 season, Ryan and Matt thought it would be a good idea to bring the new members of the team up to speed on how things at a competition go, so all four men spent an entire night running the smoker and cooking meat. During the training process, they managed to blow a large hole in Matt’s driveway with a hot steel invention that didn’t work quite like they had hoped.
2008 was also the year the infamous flabongos were born. Ryan wanted a set for his birthday, and Matt readily obliged by buying regular lawn flamingos and drilling a hole in the bottom and cutting the ends of the beaks off with a power grinder. They were broken in on Ryan’s birthday and have been staples at all competitions since. Along with the flabongos, the rubber chicken was introduced in 2008. It is a now a tradition that someone—and that someone always ends up being Chris—has to be awakened by the obnoxious rubber chicken. Many have tried to ‘smoke’ that chicken, but somehow it’s come out unscathed in the end—every last person had failed.
The team has spent countless hours testing and retesting recipes and rubs. They have tried new inventions–some of them successful and some not so successful—all in the pursuit of perfect, can’t-be-beat barbeque.