Q & A with Hoss (The Boss)

The Big Daddy’s BBQ restaurant has been steered and powered by Hoss Griggs and his family since 2006.  

For Hoss, Meridian, Idaho has always been home.  He has seen it grow from 6,000 people to over 100,000.  He loves the people and Idaho’s incomparable beauty.  Growing up here he worked as a firefighter/EMT for 4 years, became an innovative radio for 20 years, was a bail bondsman, and a fugitive recovery agent.  These experiences have given him the wisdom to expect the unexpected and to take responsibility for your own actions. He explains, “If I do something wrong I’ll be the first to own it. I think it went a long way to help me learn true customer service.” 

Get to know more about our persistent pitmaster and how he learned to be the one of the best in the Treasure Valley from our Q and A below. 

What got you started in BBQ/Smoked meats?

I had a buddy back in the day that was into and turned me onto it and I had always liked to cook.  He bought me a smoker and started playing around with it.  There was very little success in the beginning, but I’m just persistent.   When I’m interested in something I engulf myself in it until I figure it out.

Who inspired you?

I just always liked to cook.  Seemed like at the time something I was okay at.  I originally owned a bar and did BBQ on the side to help support the bar which grew 100 percent.

When did you decide smoking meats was your jam?

It kind of decided itself.   I’ve always liked cooking for the masses and large groups.  They’ve always dug my cooking.  It’s just super simple and there’s nothing pretentious about it whatsoever.

What was the process?

Trial and error.  More on the latter.  It’s an art form.  You don’t know anything until you’ve tried and failed.  I learned some online and did a ton of research-- reading different ways to do things just to fulfill my need for good Q.  The hardest thing to learn was how to cook on a grand scale… it’s easy to do on a Traeger at home, but cooking for 150 or 3000 is where the experience comes into play. 

Hoss and his wife, Khaseta.

Who were your taste testers?

My family.  My friends.  They don’t pull punches. So if they hated it, they would tell me that they hated it!  In all honesty, they always kinda dug it. Also, everything that I make---I’m cooking for myself.  All the bbq that I do is legit what I enjoy eating.

What did you learn about yourself as you experimented with different ways to BBQ?

I’m stubborn and persistent.

Is there anything you’d do differently in the learning process?

Nope.  School of hard knocks is the best school.  You learn and you truly remember.  I don’t think you learn anything, be it cooking or otherwise, unless it hurts you emotionally or financially you’ll just pass it off.  

Why is barbecue competition/ so fierce?

Because everyone has their own take on how to do something.  There is no wrong way or any right way.  There is THEIR way. Oftentimes it just comes down to personal perception, I guess.   

What’s your take on BBQ culture? 

The barbecue culture is that of fellowship. It’s a bunch of people with like minded ideas that have all twisted it to work in the way they like it. It’s about taking all that hodgepodge of knowledge from friends, family, & guys that you respect and combining that into whatever you’re doing to make your bbq better.   It’s very collaborative in a secretive way.  Does that make sense.

Where is your family from? 

Idaho-- originally from Oklahoma.  My dad’s family comes from a family of 9 kids who decided they were going to move to Nampa from Oklahoma.  They lived on bologna and onion sandwiches on the back of a flatbed truck on their way to Idaho.  

Why did you open up a restaurant and what makes that part so enjoyable? 

Restaurant came about because I didn't have a choice. We’d been catering out of our food truck for a few years and it got to the point where we couldn’t do it anymore out of our 16 foot concessions trailer.  My wife said, “We either get more space or I’m done.” So, I went and got more space and that turned into a little bbq joint which turned into this.  We’ve never made an expansion because we wanted to but because we had to. Really, the most enjoyable part is making people happy. It really is the bottom line for us.  (See video interview) 

What are 3 things people should know about BDB meats?

We stock the best meats we can get.

We never cut corners.

I think the flavors speak for themselves.

Hoss enjoys exploring Idaho on his UTV with family and friends.

What does Big Daddy’s BBQ do better than anyone else in the valley?

Customer service-- it is paramount to everything we do.

When Hoss is not managing operations at Big Daddy’s BBQ on Cherry Lane, you’ll find him trail riding with family and friends on UTVs and enjoying time with his family.  


Meet Kersten Grigg, Your Catering Co-Star

Call Kersten for catering help with your next event in Meridian, Kuna, Boise, or Nampa.

Meet Kersten Grigg.  She is the Swiss army knife of Big Daddy’s BBQ and has been working for the company for more than half her life.  Being a part of the family business helped her learn the catering and restaurant business early and thoroughly. Now she oversees front of house operations, scheduling, training, hiring, bulk orders, full service catering, day to day orders, future orders, and the Big Daddy’s Meatwagon Food Truck.   On top of that, she assists her dad, Owner Hoss Grigg, with Operations.

Besides the simple aspect of thousands of hours of experience, Kersten’s personality and education give her an edge to help make the customer experience from catering to dine-in  top-notch.  So, there’s no wonder Big Daddy’s fans  are fiercely-loyal, repeat customers.

She’s a people-loving dynamo who shines in crazy, stressful environments.  “It surprised me how much I love about the hustle and bustle of the restaurant.   I come to life in a food truck when I’m neck deep in tickets— that’s where my personality thrives and I enjoy being able to make light of a hard situation.”

Doesn’t that sound exactly like the expert you need to talk to when you’re booking an event?

Insight for Catering in Boise and Meridian  

Everyone knows that food brings people together, keeps them connected and is comforting.  There is a reason that it’s the first decision made when planning a get-together.  Ultimately it’s what makes the event, right?

When you’re planning your next party, wedding, or luncheon, keep in mind some of her best tips:

    • Get GOOD food you WANT to eat. Don’t go cheap just  because you’re feeding a ton of people.  Food is not the biggest part, but it is memorable and shares in some of the limelight. Cheap food is going to detract from the entire event. 
    • Choose a caterer you trust.  If you don’t have a caterer that’s doing that for you, then find a different one. If they aren’t going to be open with you and talk about the process you’re going to miss some things or feel under-served. **A lot of the caterers know each other and their reputation.  If you’re looking for a caterer, but not our Idaho Style BBQ, Big Daddy’s BBQ can also recommend some great ones here in the Treasure Valley.  Call us at (208) 898-5924. 
    • Let the caterer guide you through the process. “That’s what I do for our customers.  The process is easy, streamlined, and you only have to talk to me one or two times and you are set.  I’ve learned timeliness and what to ask our catering customers.”  As an event planner, you’ll have a thousand things going on and may not be thinking about the little details. Kersten makes this easier for you by making the whole process short, simple and sweet.
    • Don’t forget utensils and plates.  This is something usually separate if you are not hiring full-service catering.  So, read the contract, make sure it’s covered either way.
    • Chill.  Right now, Kersten’s pep-talk for this season is ”Get off your phone if you need to, hang out, get out of the negativity, let go of the stress.”  Good advice, right?

It takes a special leadership-oriented person to enjoy the high expectations of the job.  The most fun events for Kersten are weddings with a huge variety of personalities, traditions and sometimes drama! 

“Big events are also really cool,”  says Kersten.  “It’s nice to know we are a major reason why people are coming-- often for the free food.  The compliments after when people come up for 2nds or 3rds and say, ‘That’s the best brisket I’ve ever had. That’s the best food I’ve ever had - it makes everything we do worth it!’ ”

Outside of Work

As an Idaho native, Kersten is thankful for this corner of the world. Accessibility, that famous “Boise-kindness” and nearby mountains, lakes, and rivers are some of her favorite things about our state.

When her workaholic mode subsides for a day or two, you’ll find her working out, reading a good rom-com, cooking, and hanging out with her son. She looks forward to experiencing things through her baby boy’s eyes-- like going to the zoo and getting a kiddie pool out for the day.

What is Idaho Style Barbecue?

barbecue vs smoking vs grillingOur state isn’t exactly known for delicious barbecue like Texas, North Carolina, or  Kansas City, but don’t worry!  Our ‘Idaho Style’ barbecue does not mean we smoke brisket inside a giant brown Russet potato.  Nor is it endorsed by any political party and guns are not included.  

However, it does mean our founder, Hoss Grigg, took the best of what he learned from pitmasters before him, and made his own recipe to bring out the most amazing flavor in smoked meats.  Our Idaho Style barbecue has a Texas flare, but we are a montage of styles and all our recipes have originated here in the Treasure Valley, so we keep it “Idahoan.”

We feature 7 different meats-- all of which are dry rubbed with homemade recipes; brisket, pulled pork, ribs, turkey, chicken, spicy sausage, and jalapeno cheddar sausage.  All of these meats and a variety of others -- wings, burgers, pork loin, etc. are SMOKED.

Smoking is a type of barbecuing over low heat that imparts a pleasingly deep and woody flavor typically on big cuts of meat. Barbecue does not mean food is grilled on hot coals and slathered in sauce, but is the method of slow-cooking the meat itself.

Smoking meats often creates a pink center, or ring around the edge of the meat.

Our smoking not only cooks the meat, but browns it and adds flavor.  We use a variety of fruit woods, but mostly apple or cherry.  That means our smoky flavor is very light and almost sweet; but isn’t overwhelming or hearty like a Mesquite or Hickory would be.This process will often create a pink center, or ring around the edge of the meat. This pink color is a reaction from the smoke.  You can always tell how much something has been smoked by finding that defined ring.

The smoking process will often create a pink center, or ring around the edge of the meat.

We offer smoked prime rib on weekends in 8oz or 16oz serving sizes and, both come with two sides of choice!

Because our process is low and slow and can take up to 16 hours to process, it is possible for us to sell out of certain meats.  We can certainly accommodate with advance notice so that you can pick up larger quantities for your football parties, send-offs, baby showers, engagement celebrations, family reunions, poker nights, and no-particular-reason-get-togethers.  Learn more about our catering and/large quantity ordering.

All of our entrees are meat intensive, with a strong emphasis in flavor and ability to be smoked.  You’ll enjoy the homemade sides that give you a chance to break away from the normal backyard fare.

Meet our Pitmaster, Hoss Grigg.

So, come try our Idaho Style barbecue and see what all of the fuss is about.