Q&A WITH BBQ EXPERT ALAN OF AN OREGON FAMILY
You can probably tell by my IG name (@an_oregon_family) and logo that Oregon is my home. I am #bornandraised an Oregonian, and I love this state. The diversity here—people, geography, business—combine to draw out an innovative, pioneer creativity that is uniquely Oregon. I find myself drawn to that which is distinctly Oregon; it both grounds and inspires me.
This inspiration has led me to grill and cook in a way that I hope fills my family’s tummies and spirit. It may not be grand, but it’s real, and it matters to us. Most of my cooks are grilled up on a product born in Oregon, a Traeger Grill. I purchased my Traeger Bronson from Greg and Kim Theim at The Grill Center over two years ago and haven’t looked back. Each time I grill on my Traeger I have an enjoyable experience, and I learn new things about Traegering that I love to share on Instagram, with my co-workers, and with my friends and neighbors. I am inspired by people like Greg and Kim, because I’m reminded that grilling on a product made by passionate folks doesn’t just connect you to great products, it connects you to great people.
I cook for my growing family of four—the toughest customers I’ve ever found! I care about providing them healthy meals—not just once in a while, but every time they sit down at our dinner table. Where their food comes from, and how it’s prepared, is quite important to me.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PARTICIPATING IN THE BBQ WORLD?
While I’ve been grilling most of my adult life, my passion really flared when I purchased my first Traeger grill, two years ago.
Smoking or grilling on my Traeger has changed the way I think about meals, and I’ve become fascinated by how different flavor pairings can create a truly rich, vibrant, fulfilling dining experience. I now find myself drifting off to sleep planning upcoming cooks or contemplating creative ways to delight my family at the dinner table. I guess that’s how I best describe my excitement about grilling great meat—it gives me an opportunity to “wow” my family, to show off my creativity, and to demonstrate how important each of them are to me.
For the past year I’ve taken to sharing my grilling experiences on Instagram (@an_oregon_family). What I’ve found there is a #BBQBROTHERHOOD that inspires and encourages me to do better, and be better. The BBQ world isn’t about any one specific grill or method; rather it is about a shared experience that brings joys to so many people. While I’ve met a few of my BBQ world mates in person, I have met hundreds more through the virtual world of social media, and each inspires me in their own unique way.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A GREAT PORK PRODUCT?
We feed a growing family, so our meat must pass the exacting standards of two ‘meat-picky’ teenagers! We are big fans of pork because of it’s great adaptability and natural lean-ness (is that a word?), it’s quick grill time, and it’s awesome flavor. Our pork needs to be consistent in look, fat content, and texture—if it’s off, our kids will push it to the side.
WHY DO YOU CHOOSE CHESHIRE PORK?
Family is at the heart of everything we do, driving our decisions for school, church, vacation, and yes, meal time. We commit hard-earned dollars to put food on our table; I want to make sure that we are getting met at least half-way in that transaction, so the quality and source of my family’s food is very important to me.
I strive to use local or hand-crafted ingredients whenever possible because I believe that they are fresher, healthier, and make our meals better, and more enjoyable. Ultimately, I believe that quality product made by passionate folks doesn’t just connect you to great stuff, it connects you to great people.
Cheshire Pork fits this description to a ‘T,’ giving our family a tasty, healthy, enjoyable meal every time out...including leftovers!
GIVE US ONE SENTENCE ON WHY YOU LOVE TO BBQ?
I love to BBQ because it allows me to show my family how important each of them are to me.
All photos are curtesy or Alan’s Instagram page, @an_oregon_family.