Blogger Spotlight: Smoke in Da Eye
July 21st, 2010
02:30 PM ET
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Every weekday, we're highlighting a blogger we think you ought to know about. We can’t be everywhere at once, so we look to these passionate eaters, cooks and writers to keep us tapped into every facet of the food world. Consider this a way to get to know a blog’s taste buds, because, well, you should.

Meet today's featured blogger and blog:
Who: Clint Cantwell, of Smoke In Da Eye
Where: Garden City, New York
Twitter: @SmokeInDaEye

I often get asked what a New York City boy knows about barbecue. My reply? Quite a bit, thank you very much.

The truth is that barbecue has been a part of my life for so long I might possibly have sauce running through my veins. I was born in Texas , spent a couple years living in Kansas City, then went on to marry a woman from Memphis before settling down outside of New York a decade ago. All we need to do is have a couple kids in the Carolinas to make us a true barbecue nation family!

It was shortly after our move to Long Island that I discovered what a thirst (or is that hunger?) there was for insight and advice on true low and slow cooking among neighbors, coworkers and strangers. A few BBQ restaurants had popped up around the area, that red-headed fellow on Food Network was getting people excited about outdoor cooking and tastes in general were turning from gourmet back to comfort.

Thus, Smoke In Da Eye was born - first as a neighborhood block party, then as a competition BBQ team and blog and eventually, as a social media brand. From the beginning, however, the goal was never to sell more sauces or gets more butts into my restaurant. I don’t have either! Smoke In Da Eye has always been about spreading the barbecue gospel among anyone willing to listen.

When I first launched the Smoke In Da Eye blog (a.k.a. A BBQ Nation: The Official Blog of Smoke In Da Eye Competition BBQ Team), it was initially intended to serve as the voice of the team, sharing updates on contests, competition BBQ tips and some recipes. The problem was so many other teams were doing the same thing, and frankly there’s only so much you can say about the four categories that define most contests: pork ribs, beef brisket, chicken and pork shoulder.

My goal soon became to create a home for bigger, badder, bolder barbecue: posts that got cooks of all caliber thinking about how they could push the boundaries of outdoor cooking. Some of the stuff fails miserably ("grilled" graham-crusted, chocolate-stuffed marshmallows that ruined a grill and failed to make it to the blog), some is done for the sheer entertainment value (like a video I made in which I made a vegetarian version of the Bacon Explosion) and some is pretty darn awesome (like a pulled pork lasagna) ... but it keeps readers on their toes! I think of it as Russian roulette with smoke and fire.

Do you read a local or regional blog that you'd like to see featured? Send 'em our way for a chance in the spotlight.

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Filed under: Blog Spotlight • Blogs • Think


soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. streets fashÐbU

    Very well designed posting, and i also likewise at this time comprehended of which a few teams tend to be more willing compared to people (since everyone is special) would share exactly the same notion. I think you will keep this blog working well.

    August 26, 2011 at 10:28 am |
  2. Bigdog

    Nice write up Clint. I've tasted this man's cooking and he knows what he is doing. Great ribs last year at the Royal. Are you going to be able to make this year?

    July 22, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
    • SmokeInDaEye

      Would like to get back this year, just need to go win another contest in the next month to get in to the invitational!

      July 22, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  3. PatioDaddio

    Schweet! Congrats, Clint.

    Hey, where did you get that slamming pink canopy? :-P

    -John

    July 22, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
    • SmokeInDaEye

      It's not pink, it's off-red.

      July 22, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  4. Grim Reaper

    SIDE, entertaining as always. No mention of the Spice Fairy?

    July 22, 2010 at 12:40 pm |
  5. Zydecopaws

    Nice write-up Clint. Way to show them that real BBQ isn't just made in the southern part of the country.

    July 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  6. Tonya

    Found more than a few recipes I want to try on your blog... thanks!

    July 22, 2010 at 10:07 am |
  7. MikeR

    Great write up- clicked on your "pulled pork lasagna" recipe, added it to my "to do list". I'll be following your blog.

    July 22, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  8. Kevin

    Looking good Clint. Where is squirrel?

    July 21, 2010 at 9:24 pm |
    • SmokeInDaEye

      The squirrel is dry aging for fancy burgoo.

      July 21, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
  9. Rudy

    Isn't that the guy who won the 2008 New York State Championship sanctioned by the KC BBQ Society? Not sure, it might be someone else, but I think that's the guy. Killer shoulder. But lose the hat, man, you look like a d-bag.

    July 21, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
    • SmokeInDaEye

      Rudy, same guy but not sure about the d-bag comment. That picture is after 2 days of cooking and kissing judges tails at Memphis in May a few years ago and was the purtiest I looked in any photo I could find. I'd be happy to add you on as my stylist, just shoot me a note!

      July 21, 2010 at 9:23 pm |
  10. Grizalla

    he's cute! Glad to know about him and his blog!

    July 21, 2010 at 7:58 pm |
  11. Noel G

    Smoke in the Eye is always fresh and pushes the BBq bounderies

    July 21, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
  12. P A Hutchens

    BBQ in NYC?

    July 21, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  13. Pigmaker

    Media Whore ! Way to go Clint, cant wait to see the CNN logo on your site. Love, BOBO

    July 21, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  14. dmanburger

    Nice job Smoke in da eye ! look forward to following

    July 21, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  15. Chris

    Love the Smoke In Da Eye site. His Friday Fry Day series is fun and he also takes video at BBQ events interviewing some of the most well respected names in the business. Great site and good dude.

    July 21, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  16. Wilfred Reinke

    Not just a blogger but also active with Twitter too, I enjoy his work

    July 21, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  17. Guerry

    Way cool Clint!

    July 21, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
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