After one man's life threatened to turn ugly.
"I hold tongs but I always use my hands, though."
If it's true that smoke follows beauty, then this is one good-looking grill.
"I just call it the trash can."
While others pay thousands of dollars for elaborate grills, Mark Hyman uses a 55-gallon steel drum.
"Basket in the bottom. Put the charcoal in the basket. Put your chicken in there, just like that. People always laugh at it. 'You going to cook on that? Or is that for trash? I'm gonna cook on that,'" Hyman said with a laugh. "I even call it a trash can. They laugh. They think it's funny. They think it's unique."
But, for Hyman, it took more than timing to learn to grill.
"It was pretty rough for about a year, year and a half."
He lost his job in a plant closing.
"My first thought was, 'What's going to happen to me and my kids? Am I going to be able to make a house payment? Am I going to be able to put groceries on the table?'"
That's when his 55-gallon drum became more than a trash can.
"It was just life-changing for me."
You see, Hyman entered a local barbecue competition and eventually won a state championship which earned him a bid to the biggest barbecue contest in the world, the American Royal in Kansas City.
"You see, that's getting the color I want right there."
Heated competition, with more than 450 teams teams from 23 states and Britain. It was Mark's first world competition and, by mistake, some folks put garbage in his grill.
"Soda cans, napkins and plates."
Others just laughed at his trash can. But, in the end, it was Hyman who was all smiles when the American Royal named him Overall Grand Champion.
"Oh my gosh, we won!"
Hyman also won nearly $12,000 dollars in prize money, which came just in time.
"Paid off several bills, and put a little bit of money back in the bank."
It took a lot of nerve to fire up an old garbage can at a world-class grilling competition.
"You going to cook on that?"
So, maybe smoke really does follow beauty.
"Don't give up. Stay strong."
But, in the case of Mark Hyman, perhaps it also follows guts.
Mark also won a big, fancy grill at the American Royal Barbecue Competition. But he still cooks in his steel drum. If you want award-winning recipes from Hyman, check KOMU.com and click on Sarah's Stories.
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