The Best Collection You Will Ever See – Interview With Festus Porkmeyer

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Today we meet:

Clay Steres





Lexington, KY


Restaurant General Manager

How much time in the group?

Just a month or so ago

How did you hear about the group?

Found on Facebook 

When did you start smoking and why?

I started trying to smoke meat 15+ years ago on a regular charcoal grill with not much success!

When did you start your crazy collection and why?

The collection started actually with BBQ sauces and rubs. I also started to grow some of the hottest peppers on earth and with assistance from my chef, we began to make salsa, pepper jelly, and hot sauce. From there the hot sauce part of my collection really took off and things got out of control quickly!!! 

Do you remember your first hot sauce in the collection?

I do not remember my 1st sauce but the first craft hot sauce I got was from Tom Motta at Allegheny City Farms out of Pittsburgh. Great guy, fabulous company!

Do you know how many hot sauces you have in your collection or you lost track?

Well I have lost count at this time but closing in on 2,000. That being said I have doubles of a good amount of my sauces. I started with just collecting but couldn’t take looking at them and not trying them. 





Tools you use (smokers/grills and more):

I have a Primo Smoker, also have a Gas and Charcoal combo grill with side burner.

What is the most valuable/important tool from your BBQ equipment?

Hands down Primo Smoker took my Smoking game up a couple of notches! 

Favorite cuts + way of preparation:

Love to use Pork Butts, Ribs, and some brisket. I have tried some different methods with my butts from doing nothing other than rubs to brining overnight, to injections, to trying all 3 ways. Ultimately its how much time I have to put into it.

What is your winning recipe?

Simple, my winning recipe is to have fun and drink beer while smoking!

What is the most bizarre thing you made?

I really haven’t gone down that road.

What did you learn from the group?

I’ll be honest I just joined FB after this pandemic hit and have been working more days than usual trying to save some jobs and keep lights on, so I haven’t been apart of the group that much yet. The one thing I can take away from the group so far is the amount of love people have for BBQ and sharing that love with everyone else.

Other hobbies:

That’s it, you got my life in a nutshell, Restaurant work, hot sauce (some BBQ) collecting, and firing up the grill/smoker as much as possible. I also this past year became a big fan of going to Lake Cumberland! 

Message to the nation:

Stay safe and Stay healthy!


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