Who is Head Cook Harry?

Slap Yo Daddy BBQ is the love child of TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters Head Cook Harry Soo. Preparing a bucket list of wishes to do before kicking the bucket, he started competing in 2008. And the rest, as they say, is history.  Slap Yo Daddy BBQ, one of the top-ranked Kansas City BBQ Society teams in America, was chosen among over 5,000 professional teams to appear on TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters Season One in 2010.   In the Season Finale, SYD stunned the nation by defeating all the teams in the show including two BBQ World Champions in the winner-take-all Rib Throwdown in Texas.

Awarded California Team of the Year 2010 & 2011; Arizona Team of the Year 2010 and 2011; 2010 Grand Champion in Langley, Canada; 2012 Hawaii State Champion, 2012 British BBQ Champion at Cartmel, UK; 2010 3rd ranked Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS) team in the nation;  1st KCBS Ranchers Reserve National Brisket Cup 2010; 1st KCBS Ranchers Reserve National Beef Cup 2011; 2012 KCBS Chicken Team of the Year and winner of over 30 Grand Championships including a history making 1st place in all four meat categories in the 2009 Way Out West BBQ Championship has proven this BBQ team knows their stuff.

He’s received many awards including Reserve Grand Champion in Kansas City in 2009 amid 162 of the best teams in the nation at the Great American BBQ and 80+ first place finishes in various categories and countless 2nd, and 3rd place finishes. Clearly, Slap Yo Daddy BBQ are masters at the grill, so you’ll just have to check Harry out for yourself.

The Slap Yo Daddy two-man team was formed in 2008 and is made up of Head Cook Harry (member KCBSIBCA, and CBBQA, and certified KCBS BBQ judge) and Assistant Cook Mark. By day, Harry and Mark work at information technology jobs in a Dilbertesque existence.  On weekends, they love to cook and hang out with friends and family.  In 2010, Benny joined the team as Mark left to spend more time with his wife and family.  In 2011, Harry became a one-man team as Benny returned to cooking on his team as Funtime BBQ.

How did Harry get started?

Our entry into the competitive circuit was purely by chance.  Harry had been fascinated by BBQ contests on Food TV and his co-worker Janice had asked him to help out with the annual fund raiser for the African American Association at work.   So for the past several years, Janice helped Harry serve BBQ brisket to several dozen co-workers, many of whom were African American with roots in the South.  They received many compliments including, “This is the best BBQ I’ve eaten.  You should enter a contest”.

Nothing happened until early 2008 when the movie The Bucket List starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman was released.  Harry’s co-worker Teri suggested that they prepare a bucket list of wish things to do before “kicking the bucket.”  The caveat being that, in addition to your own list, your fellow co-workers could add “stretch” goals for you with activities that would be a challenge given your particular personality.  Two of Harry’s stretch goals were 1) compete in a BBQ contest and 2) attend a comedy class and do a stand-up act.  Harry began competing in BBQ contests in March 2008 and substituted #2 in February 2008 by being a backup dancer for Janice during their company’s Idol contest and winning first place (see video – Janice is lead singer, Teri is in the middle, Harry is on the left, and another co-worker Brian Rosellen is on the right).

How did you come up with a name like Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ?

There is a saying in the south, where Janice is from, that when you eat something you like, you want to go slap somebody.  That’s how they coined their team name. The meat is so good, you want to slap someone.  Since Harry is a single Dad, the team name became Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ.

What was your BBQ journey like?

Janice, co-workers, and friends continued to help Harry fine-tune his many disastrous BBQ cooking attempts on chicken, ribs, and pork until the BBQ was edible.

Harry joined the California BBQ Association in March 2008 and found many supportive mentors including Kristin, Bentley, and Thom who encouraged him to enter his first contest.  After joining the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) and with little equipment and a lot of chutzpah, Harry persuaded his childhood buddy Mark to come along for the thrill ride.  Amid the many mishaps (see Blog), they won First place in chicken and Reserve Champion on their first outing and were immediately hooked by competition BBQ.

What is competition BBQ?

In competition BBQ, the meat is cooked low and slow around 225 degrees for up to 12 hours and submitted for blind judging in 9” X 9” white Styrofoam containers.  Four meats are turned in by each team: chicken, ribs, pork, and brisket.  BBQ contests have to be sanctioned before points are counted towards the California Team of the Year (TOY) or Rookie Team of the Year (ROY) awards.  The two major sanctioning bodies are the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) or International Barbeque Cookers Association (IBCA).   A sanctioning body is like the PGA for golf.  KCBS is the larger body based out of Kansas City and turn-in trays typically have lettuce and parsley as decorations (see banner photos).  Turn in for chicken is at noon and the other three meats follow after each half-hour (KCBS Rules).  The IBCA, of Texas origin, favors turn in trays with just the meat on foil (aka Texas lettuce; see banner photos) and turn ins are done every hour starting at noon for chicken and ending at 3 pm for brisket (IBCA Rules).

Where is Harry Soo now?

After about a third of a century building data centers in Los Angeles, Harry is turning the page in 2022 to the next chapter of Travel, Food, and spreading BBQ Love!  There will be more barbecue collaborations, BBQ classes and clinics, BBQ philanthropy, documenting the history and current state of BBQ throughout America and the international scene, filming YouTube recipes and Vlogs, answering your barbecue questions, helping patrons on Patreon.com/HarrySoo, and working on more amazing rubs and sauces.

NOTE: Slap Yo Daddy is not affiliated with or related to Slap Ya Mama. Please contact us if you have any questions.

35 Comments on “About”

  1. I'd like permission to use your recipes in cookbooks for single and Handicapped. You would be listed in the credits, and any cookbooks you offer will also be mentioned (suggested for purchase).
    Thank you,

  2. tried to order your competition hot rub for your umami brisket recipe but was denied. my zipe code is 19901 (dover de), that's in the usofa,wuzup?


  3. I love to cook, am good at it and would like to work with you. I am recently retired 3 days.

    1. Hey Michael:
      Congratulations on your retirement!
      Come by and say hello at the various events I'll be at (see my Schedule page).
      Thanks for your offer to help but I have assistants already for my classes and for my events.

  4. Hi Harry,
    This is Randy Butler. I worked with you at MWD. I have retired & have been working on perfecting my smoking skills. I placed an order from soup base for 5 lbs of your rub.
    Just checking in …
    Keep up the good cooking !
    Thanks , Randy

  5. What a fabulous history you have, huh? Phenomenal! Loved you on TLC's BBQ Pitmasters and say hi to chicken hat Harry. What a great opportunity you have given to everyone for this sweepstakes. You are number one – anyone winning this sweepstakes is one very lucky person! Thank you – Good luck to all.

  6. Hey Harry…I enjoyed reading about your journey,and look forward to trying your grilled corned beef recipe. Be back to let you know how I did…lol Take Care

  7. I found you on YouTube looking for ways to smoke brisket Your video presentation was far, far superior to others (who spend way, way too much time jabbering about nothing). Not a moment was wasted but all so informative. When I got a glimpse of your porch and the various BBQ setups I was hooked. My kind of guy. When I read your story on this website I'm hooked to SYD solid like a big bass. I'm a 66 yr old retiree in Glasgow, Missouri who will BBQ at the drop of a hat. I've no desire to enter any competitions but so, so love the time spent outside tending a smoker or grill. I am a subscriber to your videos and hope you will be in my area so I can visit you at a competition. Thanks so much for the lessons and please keep them coming. All the best…..

    1. Thanks Jim for stopping by. I'm in your age range so an old fart (I speak for myself) like me just wants to give away my secrets of winning as I can't take it with me when I checkout! Please keep spreading BBQ love.

  8. Harry I really enjoy ur videos and I'm looking forward to seeing u again in kc at the nbbqa this year. My name is Mark Wheeler my personal team is the dirty old blasters but I am also a member of the shed bbs team

    1. Hey Mark, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I'm vacationing in Paris this week so will miss the 2019 NBBQA. Maybe I'll see you next year. Cheers, Harry

  9. Hi Harry,

    I’m just new to BBQing and I seen your YouTube video “brisket basics” and you were using what looked like a pressurized spray bottle. Are they sold on your site, I didn’t see them when I looked.

  10. Very informative and a pleasant read. I was just wondering what are Harry's origins. Country of birth and so on. Thanks for sharing your pit master secrets and I wish you continued success in all your endeavors.

  11. Harry,

    I have really enjoyed your videos lessons for BBQ. I am trying to master the brisket, and have came along way since my first attempt! I really enjoy the process, and wanted some feedback on a couple of questions I have.

    1. When I have opened the foil pouch on my brisket and let it cool to 170 (which took about 45 minutes), and then wrapped it in a towel and placed in a prewarmed coleman cooler , I have has a hard time keeping the brisket warm and still letting the brisket rest at least 2 hours. The brisket wants to drop below 140. Just wondering how you are keeping your briskets warm after letting it cool to 170 before putting it away?

    2. Do you like foil better than butcher paper for brisket? I assume so, because you use it mostly in your videos.

    1. Put into 140F oven instead of your coleman cooler. Use foil when you use a 10 oz mop. Butcher paper is not watertight until the oil soaks into it

  12. Hi Harry,
    I love to BBQ and have seen you before at the Long Beach BBQ cook off. And watched your you tube videos.
    I have the same dreams of someday competing as a lot of people tell me I should. Who knows.
    I recently went into a BBQ store and bought a bottle of your all propose rub. I have to admit that it is the best rub I have ever used. Good job bro!!!! I look forward to trying your other rubs and sauce. Keep up the good work!!! All the best to you!!!

  13. Hey Harry, used some of your tips and tricks for chicken at a comp this weekend. Skin scrape, trim, game changer brine, my own championship chicken scratch and my blackberry BBQ sauce.Got a walk to the stage, 2nd out of 40 teams at the Pig in the Park BBQ competition in Dublin GA. Thanks for all you do for the BBQ world and your community outreach.

  14. Harry, I have watched your videos on Youtube. You say that the rookie (me) uses too much smoke. I was wondering what type of pellets you use in the Weber Smokefire pellet grills. I am planning on purchasing one and would love to look less like a rookie. Thanks.

    1. I have been using GMG Gold Blend for 12+ years and they work well in my GMG and SmokeFire. You can see the smoke ring in my videos.

  15. Hi Harry,

    I've only just subscribed to your channel, & watched a few of your videos, very well done.

    QUESTION: how would you off-set smoke cook a beef brisket, so it falls apart & you use a forlk to pull it apart ?

  16. I met you (I assume it was you) at the recent Sportsman show in Puyallup Washington and I bought a bottle of the Hot Burn BBQ sauce, as I am always trying different sauces and usually disappointed, I only bought the one. I was completely floored at the taste! Its wonderful! I going to search this site…if I can order it, I definitely will.

    I really would put this $%&# on everything.

    1. Hey Phil, thanks for your kind words. I, like you, have tasted lots of hot sauces which focus on heat but not flavor. I designed Hot Burn to have four phases – Flavor (3 seconds), Burn (3 seconds), Numb (3 seconds), Fade (6 seconds). Rinse and repeat. You can find my products on https://slap-yo-daddy-bbq.myshopify.com/
      Please share your find with your Hottie Friends!

  17. I was interested in BBQ but I was afraid to pull the trigger on any kind of smoker until I came across your Weber Smoky Mountain videos. You gave me the confidence to make the purchase, run my first smoke, and win my first rib competition! I have tried many of your rubs and have never been disappointed. Thank you so much for sharing your love and BBQ knowledge with everyone!

    1. Hi Jeremy.
      Congratulations on your win in your first rib competition!
      Thank you for your kind words. Harry’s classes range from newbies like me to competitors and KCBS judges and everyone is always welcome to come and get great food to eat and learn how to how to make great BBQ for friends, family, or their first competition.
      Please keep us informed of your future competitions and successes. Keep spreading BBQ love!

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