The journey of Frey BBQ began with kitchen experiments ending in bold barbecue flavor. Frey BBQ started with our passion for cooking, especially our love for barbecue. Our dream of having a business centered around the art of smoking and grilling began in our kitchen at home. Over time, our experiments led to the newfound inspiration of experimenting with spices and flavors until, eventually, Downhome BBQ spun off what we call Frey BBQ. We wanted to share these experiences with others who share our enthusiasm for BBQ. Sharing the knowledge of the authentic taste of actual Southern-Style BBQ cooking is what we do today!

BBQ Beginnings

Our journey with Frey BBQ stemmed from a frustration with commercial products. We noticed a lack of bold flavors in commercial products, with excessive sugar often used to compensate for flavor. This was far from the authentic barbecue taste that we cherished. We were on a quest for the unmistakable rich, smoky undertone and a balance of spices that tingled the palate without overpowering the taste of the meat. Our belief is a good BBQ sauce should be an accompaniment, an enhancer, not a mask hiding the star of the show “The Meat” hostage. Thus, we set out on a mission to create products that stood for the true essence of BBQ – bold, flavorful, and memorable.

All the Right Stuff

The challenge that we faced with Frey BBQ was sourcing equipment that could withstand frequent use while also delivering high-quality grilling and smoking. We sought appliances that were durable and resilient and capable of standing up to the rigors of constant, heavy-duty use. However, finding the right balance between durability and performance was not an easy task. We needed grills that could not only handle the demands of frequent use but also create great flavor. This pursuit for the perfect grilling and smoking equipment further fueled our passion and commitment to bringing authentic BBQ to our customers.

Keith, an integral part of the Frey BBQ team and a true aficionado of the grilling arts, embarked on learning BBQ, immersing himself in the wisdom of seasoned pit masters. He studied their techniques for developing flavors, the
artistry in their seasonings, and the science behind their grilling methods. This was not a task Keith undertook lightly; he had a deep respect for these masters of barbecue and saw this as an opportunity to refine and enhance our
offering of Frey BBQ. He observed, learned, and ultimately incorporated these valuable insights into our barbecue preparation process. This hands-on experience immensely impacted our cooking style, bringing it ever closer to the
authentic, robust, and flavorful BBQ experience we continually strive to provide.

Cooking with an Egg

Our pursuit of the perfect grilling and smoking equipment culminated when we discovered the Big Green Egg. This versatile outdoor cooker instantly caught our attention. The Komado-style grill was a barbecue, a smoker, and an oven, all rolled into one giant, green, egg-shaped machine. The Big Green Egg offered the durability we were searching for, and its unique design and construction promised superior heat retention and control. This was the exact equipment we needed to give our barbecue a superior flavor. The moment we laid our eyes on it, we knew that it was going to be a game-changer for Frey BBQ. From that day forward, the Big Green Egg became an invaluable tool in our culinary arsenal, assisting us in creating the perfect BBQ.

Several chicken thighs cooking on a grill with with the lid up and smoke curling around
Signature Recipes

Keith’s dedication to the craft of BBQ did not stop at learning from seasoned pit masters; he enthusiastically started developing recipes of his own. His quest for unique flavors led him to create signature rubs tailored
specifically to enhance the natural taste of the meat. Each rub was a symphony of flavors, carefully selected and proportioned to bring out the best in every bite.

From succulent steaks to juicy burgers, every dish we develop at Frey BBQ now carries a hint of Keith’s magic. We feel this is a testament to our efforts and passion for delivering the most authentic and flavorful BBQ experience.

Kettle full of bbq sauce with  herbs and spices poured in and mixed

Keith’s barbecue journey didn’t end with rubs and seasonings but ventured into the realm of barbecue sauces. He aimed to temper the use of sugar while accentuating the bold, robust flavors characteristic of genuine BBQ.
Keith found inspiration from regional barbecue styles across the United States and sought to pay homage to these in his sauce creations. He developed the following regional sauces using his interpretation of what bold, hearty BBQ should resonate:

  • Kansas City BBQ sauce, renowned for its rich and thick texture
  • Memphis BBQ sauce celebrated for its tangy and sweet undertones
  • Carolina Mustard sauce, famed for its acidic and tangy profile
  • Tennessee Whiskey BBQ sauce, appreciated for its smoky and sweet balance
  • St. Louis BBQ sauce, loved for its sweet and spicy composition
  • Korean BBQ sauce, revered for its Asian spices and distinctive sweetness

Each sauce is meticulously crafted and then simmered to capture the essence of their respective geographic region. It was essential to ensure a balanced flavor profile that would complement, not overpower, the taste of the meat. They are now integral to our menu offerings at Frey BBQ, maturing our flavor palette and enhancing our BBQ experience.

Professional Training

However, we realized there was still a vital element missing – direct, live training with a professional pit master. Thus, in a significant move in 2017, Keith attended Myron Mixon’s Cooking School held in Atlanta, GA. This opportunity allowed him to gain firsthand knowledge, absorb expert tips, and witness the craft of BBQ in an authentic form. This experience solidified Keith’s understanding of barbecue and added another layer to our unique BBQ preparation process. This invaluable exposure to the intricacies of BBQ preparation from a world-renowned pit master was a significant milestone in our journey.

two men standing together for a photo

BBQ Side-Kicks

The Slaw

While meat is undoubtedly the star of the barbecue show, we recognized that no barbecue is complete without its supporting cast – the side dishes. And what could be a more classic accompaniment to a mouth-watering BBQ feast than coleslaw? A well-crafted coleslaw can add a refreshing crunch, a tangy contrast, and a creamy complement to the smoky, rich flavors of the meat. With this in mind, we set out on our next culinary endeavor: to create the perfect coleslaw recipe.

Testing various coleslaw recipes became an exciting exploration of flavors, textures, and techniques. We experimented with different types of cabbage, various dressings, and an array of additional ingredients. We tasted and tweaked, seeking the perfect balance between creaminess and crunch, sweetness and tang, richness and refreshment. Our goal was to ensure that our coleslaw would not only stand up to our flavorful meats but would also enhance the overall dining experience, providing a delicious contrast and a palate-cleansing freshness. Again, sugar was to be tamped down. We felt there were two prerequisites to the perfect BBQ slaw – body and bite. You should never see your cabbage swimming in juice, and a good slaw should always embrace mustard (the real stuff) to give a little heat to the back of your tongue. This will give you a stand-up hardy slaw, perfect for slapping on pulled pork.

Homemade Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sliders with Coleslaw
Homemade Southern Creamy Coleslaw with Mayo and Cabbage in a bowl
The Beans

Recognizing the quintessential role of baked beans in a complete barbecue meal, we set forth to create our own distinct recipe. However, our version isn’t just any old pile of beans. Our beans are hearty and robust, filled to the brim with crisp bell peppers and, of course, generous amounts of smoky bacon. But the real magic lies in the cooking method. We slow-cook our beans on the grill, infusing them with the rich, sweet aroma of Cherry wood smoke. This meticulous process ensures that every spoonful is loaded with a deep, smoky flavor that complements the sweetness of the beans and the savory punch of the bacon. The result is a mouthwatering side dish that pairs beautifully with our juicy, flavorful meats, creating a well-rounded and thoroughly satisfying barbecue experience.

Dish holding baked beans and tri-colored peppers. Ladle sitting beside the dish and a cast iron pot sitting next to the dish with more baked beans in it.
What We Feel BBQ Is NOT

The Sauce Is the Boss: If you see this as a BBQ joint’s tagline, run away! This potentially means the meat is not the star of the show. The cook may be hiding flaws in proper seasoning or smoking by using heavy bold BBQ sauce to mask imperfections in the meat.

Fall Off the Bone: Again, if a BBQ joint uses this phrase in their tagline, run away! You may wonder what’s wrong with tender meat. This type of tender is not desirable in BBQ. The meat of BBQ should not “FALL” off the bone or have a mushy texture. In almost all cases this indicates the establishment has pressure cooked the meat to speed up the cook and smoke time of the meat. This compromises the slow cook and depth of smoke the meat attains, and rich flavor that is desirable in quality BBQ. How do you know? The meat should be tender, bite cleanly away from the bone, but you should still see teeth marks.

This Is Just the Beginning of the Story

We love our BBQ because we appreciate properly cooked and seasoned quality food. We love to experiment with different seasonings that don’t mask the delicate flavors of quality meat but work to elevate it and add to the appreciation of great cuts of a variety of protein. Stay with us at Tall Pines Inn, try our different BBQ plates, and judge for yourself.