Meet the Pitmasters

“I’m John Markus. I smoke meat.”

That’s how John introduced himself on the conference call we had several months ago to plan our big bbq event.

He plays it simple, but even his Twitter bio – limited to a mere 160 characters – lets you know he’s got a lot going on. And the “Emmy-winning writer, creator/BBQ PITMASTERS, produced playwright, lover of Count Basie, artisanal sausages and more” is going to be here, right at our store in Orleans, this Saturday!

john markus

Cool, right?


For real, John Markus is a downright dynamic guy – and one of the most influential people in BBQ.

But John isn’t fancy about his barbecue. Just passionate. He effortlessly sprinkles phrases into the conversation that makes his love for old style barbecued ribs quite evident. Succulent. Tender. Mouth-watering. Low and slow. Gentle cooking. Kissed by smoke.

As poetic as John can be about his ‘cue, he’s not reluctant to dole out the tips for us at-home grillers. In a recent interview with writer Justin Tejada, Markus gave some tips for mastering the grill – which like his style, are straightforward.  They include getting to know a real life butcher who can get you good meat, bringing said meat to room temp before grilling, and always going with charcoal vs. gas.

And since his technique is “low and slow,” Markus also has some advice on the etiquette of grilling – because after all, you’re in it for the long haul. He reminds us to be polite to the inevitable stream of backseat grillers who will wander by as you’re cooking, anxious to share their wisdom. And while adult beverages and manning the grill literally go hand in hand, there’s no reason to “get stupid.”


Samples of these babies will be ready by 2 p.m. on Saturday.


When John isn’t barbecuing, he’s creating magic for television or the stage. John produced his original All Star BBQ Showdown, and his current hit BBQ Pitmasters. He’s worked on Emmy award-winning TV shows such as  The Larry Sanders Show, The Office, Taxi, and Curb Your Enthusiasm, to name a few. You can also catch John’s latest play, The Empaths, right here on Cape Cod, when it debuts at W.H.A.T. on July 20.

chris hartYou can meet John Markus and his BBQ partner for the day, Chris Hart (a full blown BBQ idol in his own right) at Snow’s this Saturday, June 17.  They’ll be set up early, with demos and freestyle grill advice just for the asking, starting at 9 a.m. Signed copies of Chris and BBQ partner Andy Husbands’ book, Pitmasters, will be available for purchase, plus prizes, raffles, great grill specials and refreshments from Hog Island BeerFuller’s Package Store and Nauset Farms throughout the day. Samples of “the most mouth watering ribs you’ve ever tasted” ready for you by 2 p.m. While they last.



Photo credits: Ken Goodman Photography