When I went to College in Austin, Tx, I was introduced to fantastic world of outdoor cooking. From eating at the Salt Lick, County Line, or Ruby’s BBQ, my eyes were opened to a whole new style of cooking. Being so inclined, I decided to try my hand at outdoor slow cooking, which in large part also started my journey to invent the Breeze.
Chapter 1. Try outdoor cooking.
Like most enthusiasts, I did some internet searches to learn about outdoor cooking and what cooking units were available. Over a 10 year period, I tried several outdoor cookers, all made by name brand companies, ranging in price from under $100 up to $1500, yet I found them all:
- Hard to use. None of them worked right out of the box (or off the pallet for the big one). They all required trial and error to figure out how to operate the multiple control dampers, add the right amount of fuel, and move the meats around to ensure they cook evenly.
- Ergonomically unfriendly. Some units had heavy doors, required me to put my hands near the glowing fire, or required me to crouch or bend in some odd way to get the units to work.
- High effort. Good cooking starts with having an oven with even and uniform temperatures everywhere in the cooking chamber. None of the units I tried could do this, so had to hover around the unit, and intervene about every 30-45 minutes to adjust a dampers, add fuel, or move the meats around in the cooking chamber.
- Relatively unsafe. Hot surfaces and heavy doors abound. You had to stay alert not to get burned, and given the amount of interaction I had with the units, I usually spent a lot of time in the line of smoke.
- Dirty. Hand stacking or feeding coal. Moving food left and right. Let’s say I never wore my “good clothes” for cooking outdoors.
These experiences inspired Chapter 2: Design a breakthrough outdoor cooker that anyone could use the first time, with little to no instruction or experience, yet cook like a veteran using only natural products as fuel, all with the highest levels of convenience, cleanliness, and safety.
In essence, I wanted outdoor cooking to be fun and safe all while providing the best tasting foods. After 10 years of research, Chapter 2 came to a close as the patented Breeze was born. In 2007, the Breeze design was recognized by Popular Mechanics as one of the coolest inventions of the year and in 2010 this design was awarded a US Patent (7,681,493).
Outdoor cooking is now fun, safe, and enjoyable again. Part of the fun is the fact that I only have to interact with the unit 3 times: when I light it, when I put the food in, and when I take the food out. And the food has the fantastic flavor that you can only get using natural fuels like charcoal or wood.
So my journey now enters Chapter 3: offering the unit to my fellow cooking enthusiasts that are looking to have years of fantastic outdoor cooking experiences. Use it once and you’ll find “Outdoor Cooking Is a Breeze.”