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September 07, 2020 3 min read
By Jessica Danger

Well, we made it through the summer of 2020 folks. Traditionally, Labor Day is celebrated with parades! Cook outs! White pants! Mosquito spray by the lake! This year, with social distancing and COVID-19 still wreaking havoc everywhere, Labor Day will look a little bit differently. 

But not for Ryan Hayes, our Resident Meat Expert here at BUBS Naturals.

Ryan is one of the original members of BUBS Naturals. He’s been here since literally day one. He’s the reason we look so good, literally. He’s poured his everything into the look and feel of BUBS, from our website to our social media to our labels to our apparel. If you wear a hat or a shirt and some rando on the street compliments you, that’s all Hayes. (You’re welcome.)

This Labor Day, the only thing Ryan is designing is his backyard lawn chair arrangements. “I’m going to throw some meat on the smoker, fill up the inflatable pool, crack a beer, and hangout with my bubble of friends and family,” he told me.

For Ryan, it’s more than just a meal. It’s the process that gets to him. “I, and probably we, spend a majority of the day on screens. Call it laptops, tablets, phones, or whatever.. we're rarely detached,” he said. “I love barbecuing because it's me and fire.. that's it. It's automated, it's fairly easy to mess up, and it requires my attention. I can't build an algorithm to solve the problem of meat.”

And Hayes detaches with meat often. He’ll drop a picture in the BUBS group chat at 9:00 PM on a Wednesday of him grilling something or smoking something. Next thing you know, everyone is begging him to come into the office the next day. Lots of casual, “What are you up to today, bro?” just hoping he has leftovers. 

But if he drops a pic of him smoking brisket in his Big Green Egg smoker? All protocols are off. We just show up at his door, hungry, fork and knife in hand. 

There’s just something about that damn smoker. “I love legacy brands. I can wax poetic on tried and true legacy brands that I love, but no one wants to read that,” he laughed. “Having done tons of research, my brother-in-law went through a few options and he's who I initially learned ‘smoking’ from, and he had it. That said, it's the best out there. It's needlessly difficult,  nuanced,  and incredibly reliable… and I love every moment of its un-automated, antiquated approach,” Ryan said.

So this Labor Day, as you find a new way to see Summer out and welcome Fall, consider a backyard tradition yourself. Ryan’s pro-tip? Start cheap. “Step 1, give away your shitty propane grill or plugin smoker. Step 2, buy a Weber. Learn how to cook with wood. Charcoal is good, but learn how to cook with coastal oak, red oak, or almond. The tastes and flavors you get from the wood is second to none. You'll turn heads and your family and friends will love you. Plus, you didn't click any buttons or plug anything in, you just worked the fire and the food until you achieved a desired result.”

Simple: Unplug, cook some food, try something new, enjoy your loved ones.

Happy Labor Day from BUBS Naturals.