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Flying G Barbcue
Refugio, Texas


Ira started smoking meats at an early age. His grandfather cooked on the weekends for all the cowboys on a ranch in South Texas in the 40s and 50s. Barbecue was his specialty and, of course, all of the Hands looked forward to slow-smoked brisket over mesquite coals. Ira’s grandfather did it “the old school way” on a brick pit: burning logs down to red hot coals then shoveling them into the pit for his heat source. Partial pieces of these brick pits are still in use today.

Fast forward to Ira’s teen years…His mother opened and operated a barbecue restaurant. Visiting her over summer and holiday breaks, Ira learned by watching her prep and being the “Pit Guy” at night. This started his interest in barbecue and made his skills go to whole new level. While Ira’s mother got out of the barbecue business over the next few years, he kept his passion for the art.

Years passed and Ira would cook for family and friends. Talking with buddies at work, they asked if he participated in competition cooking. After a brief explanation of what that entailed, Ira knew he had to find out more. Ira and his father were into antique tractor pulling, and one of these events happened to be held simultaneously with a barbecue completion down in Floresville, Texas. His father knew that he enjoyed cooking, as Ira often boasted about his skills to him, and so asked him to try it out. His father would cover the cost for Ira just to give him the chance to compete and see what happened.

Running his grandfather’s brisket recipe, the same one that had pleased many in the past, was a crowd pleaser at the competition. After pulling tractors and tending to a brisket all day, Ira came out with a big 2nd place in the brisket category amongst some season competition cooks. That was it: Ira was hooked. Flying G Barbcue Company was formed and the love of this craft has inspired Ira while keeping his life eventful and challenging.


When it comes to competition cooking Ira likes to cook on a Pitts and Spitts off-set stick burner. IBCA judges are everyday people. The wood fire smoked flavor from an offset gives, he believes, a nostalgic flavor that some judges can relate to and results in a better score for their long smoked proteins.

For lighter proteins such as chicken, Ira’s team fires up their Brooks Drum. The popular “UDS” (Ugly Drum Smokers) is a great tool in their arsenal of smokers for a consistent direct high heat.

Keeping up with the modern times is a must, even in the field of the oldest forms of culinary art (smoked meats). This means they also have a pellet smoker in their BBQ collection. “The Grilla Grill pellet cooker is a beast and looks way cool.” It is a conversation starter for sure, mixed with Competition Grade B&B pellet blend along with the grill grates, it turns out tasty steaks. When grilling at 500 degrees F with spurts of sweet smoke from the wood pellets, this Grilla Grill makes a great recipe for smoky tender grilled proteins.

When it comes to satisfying his appetite for firing up the pit, Ira tends to throw down a few slabs of pork ribs.

There are many different ways to indulge on a feast of pork ribs. From the competition-style sweet candy ribs cooked on the grill with a little pull rib and just a dry rub; to Texas-style long, low, and slow 7 hour untrimmed ribs, mopped every hour rib. “However one chooses to enjoy a slab of pork ribs, prepared any one of these ways, will please any folk.”


In the past years cooking and traveling around Texas’ highways, byways, and back roads, Ira met the love of his life, Amanda Mason, who has now become a strong part in the team, and Flying G Barbcue success.

A couple of Ira’s most prestigious achievements include the IBCA’s Annual Members Only Invitational Traveling Trophy. The trophy consists of multiple names of great cooks who have been inducted into the IBCA Hall of Fame and who have inspired and elevated the craft of competition barbecue in Texas. He is honored to have his name next to these individuals on this prestigious trophy.

Along with the traveling trophy, winning Grand Champion at the Shell Rotella Super Ribs Competition and being presented with the Championship Cups on a National Level, is one of my most memorable achievements thus far in his barbecue career.