We're continuing our series of posts to introduce y'all to the many talented pitmasters that help us spread the gospel of WHOLE HOG BAR-B-QUE. In this edition, we're featuring Pitmaster Aaron Frazier, a four-year veteran of the Martin's team. Next time you're in the Martin's Downtown Nashville location, pop by the pit and say hey!
Where are you from originally?
I’m from Chicago. I’ve been living in Nashville now about 9 years.
What brought you here?
I actually came down here visiting…met a girl… had a kid… decided to stay… had another kid. You know, just kept it rollin’.
How long have you worked at Martin’s?
Four and a half years. I started when Pat only had two stores. I opened up the Mt. Juliet store as well as Belmont, then Downtown.
How long have you been a Pitmaster?
Pat (Martin) would tell you two years. But I started cooking’ hogs on day one.
Is that something you did before working at Martin’s?
No, actually, I’ve done everything in the kitchen except for this. And coming from up north, barbecue’s a little different. There’s not a lot of smoked meat, we just grill. Pat turned me on to something new—and it was a better understanding of pig, you know? I didn’t know all those parts of the pig, I just ate it.
What’s something that people may not know about working in the pit?
I think most customers don’t understand when we run out of food. Running out of food stresses people out. They come in, they’ve heard about Martin’s, and they’re like, “Man, I really want some.” Then they get here and they want something we’ve run out of—the reason we run out of something is because we make it fresh every single day. And that’s really the only way to do it.
What’s your favorite thing about being a Pitmaster?
It’s the delight on someone’s face when they taste anything we’ve smoked. It’s like a “wow" factor.
What’s your typical day like?
Hah, I get in and I guess my first thing is checking to see who’s on staff for the day. I check on the meat. I check on the product. Just make sure everything’s ready. That’s about it. After that, we just roll it out, man. We just rock out.
If you could tell people anything about being a Pitmaster, what would you say?
Hmm… anything? It’s hot. It is hot. You gotta be able to withstand the heat. It’s a hot job. Attention to detail and just paying attention. It takes time.
What’s your favorite part of the hog to eat?
Bacon and belly. I love the juicy part of the pig. It’s everything for me.