Behind the Pit interview with Brad of Salt River Smoke


Ever wonder what the story is behind your favorite Pitmasters and barbecue brands? Now’s your chance to find out.


This month we are focusing on the man who has built a BBQ empire single handedly and has one of the most loyal followings a person could ever ask for, @


Owner Name: Brad Priddy

Age: 27

Location: Chandler, Arizona

Brand Name:  Salt River Smoke

IG Handle: @salt_river_smoke


Has BBQ always been your passion, or did you have a career before?

            I have always loved BBQ, since I was a little boy in Memphis, Tennessee. I had not learned to cook until moving to Arizona and missing that classic southern BBQ. Catering is a new venture to me. Maybe one day it will grow to be my sole focus. As of right now, it is just a side business.


How did you come up with the brand name “Salt River Smoke” ?

            I was looking for some Arizona related inspiration, and the Salt River came to mind. I love paddle boarding on the river and had a great picture that I decided to turn into my logo. You can’t smoke meat without some salt, right?!


What is your most popular product and why do you think that is?

            My pork shoulder is probably the cook I am most proud of. I am constantly amazing people with the fact that no sauce is needed. I have always lived by the motto, “If your pulled pork needs sauce, you didn’t cook it right.”


What is the story behind creating that product?

            My wife actually helped me to create my own rub and injection. We cook so many of them, that practice has made perfect. Now it is like second nature and truly reminds me of Memphis pulled pork.   


Do you have any new products in the works? Can you share any details?

            I am currently working on a recipe for a vegetarian sloppy Joe to cater to those who don’t eat meat. I have been using lentils instead of meat and I am excited to say that even meat eaters will love this.


What do you think people love most about your brand?

            I have had a lot of people comment on my logo and how unique it is, and fitting for Arizona. Even people that are not from here have heard of the Salt River and shared their excitement for my design.    


Do you want to say anything to your fans, followers, and supporters?

            I started this journey through instagram and it would not be what it is now if it was not for my followers. I am beyond appreciative of the love, support, and feedback that I still get to this day. Sometimes it amazes me the way people talk about the way that my page has inspired them, when in reality I have learned so much from them. So I guess I just want to say thank you.          


Do you have any words of wisdom for those who are looking to make a name for themselves in the world of Barbecue?

            Don’t be afraid to get out there and try. No matter how much you try to prepare yourself before you create an instagram or join a competition or whatever there will still be unexpected circumstances. You just have to start somewhere. Even the best Pitmasters are still learning and run into situations they didn’t expect. Just make sure you are having fun, and don’t stress yourself out to the point where you lose sight of that.           


Closing Thoughts:

            I am still an amateur compared to some of the experienced pit masters out there, but I love what I do. I am so grateful to be a part of this BBQ community.

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