St. Louis BBQ sensation to be featured on Food Network show

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Barbecuing has become so big for James Boatright that he recently had to quit his day job to meet his international demand. The pitmaster known as "Big J" joined KMOX to talk about his recent appearance on a Netflix show and preview his next venture with the Food Network.

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Boatright says he became hooked on cooking "anything over a fire" when he was just 5-years-old. He saw his dad and uncles dig a hole in the ground and then cook an entire pig in the home-made BBQ pit.

Now he's become one of the top pitmasters in country, after finishing in the top 10 of a national competition for a spot on the Netflix show "The Great American BBQ Showdown." Although he didn't win, he performed well enough to be invited on another competitive cooking show, "Fire Masters" on the Food Network.

He tells KMOX's Charlie Brennan and Amy Marxkors that he recorded the show in Canada recently and it's set to air this spring.

He's become so busy in his career that he had to stop working as a security guard at the Riverview Gardens School District’s central office in north St. Louis County. He says his last day was in November.

Now, he's launching a new website for his Boatright's BBQ brand, where he'll have information about upcoming cooking classes, host community events, offer tours, sell merchandise and more. You can learn more on his Facebook page:

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