Chef Spotlight: Misty (Seattle Butcher’s Wife)
With a strong social following on Instagram, it’s hard to believe that Misty Banchero has only been cooking for a little over a year. Her drool-worthy BBQ pics and videos have earned her a loyal, engaged, hungry audience. She sat down with Dalstrong to talk about her inspiration, why ingredients are everything, and what it means to be a “meat man’s wife.”
Your brand on Instagram is “stories of a meat man’s wife.” What’s the story there?
I’ve been married for nearly 19 years and until about a year and a half ago, I let the husband do the cooking. If you can believe that! I baked very occasionally, but that’s it. My husband and his brother own a meat processing plant here in Seattle, and he has always had a passion for cooking for the family. But I started to develop an interest in grilling, inspired by many on IG. I purchased a Traeger grill, and became addicted to it. With COVID-19 and the quarantine, I spent more time doing it and just kept going. I wasn’t trying to create a following — I mean, I still have my “Glam”shot selfie as my profile pic! I just wanted to share the fun.
You also describe yourself as a “Super Mom,” what does that mean to you?
I have three kids ages 24, 18, and 14. When I say “Super Mom,” anyone who has kids knows it takes a village. You do whatever it takes to help them launch and succeed while balancing everything else in life — your own responsibilities and passions. I work in retail during the day and BBQ on the side. It’s a lot to manage. My youngest daughter has been helping me with the social media for Seattle Butcher’s Wife and just got inspired to start her own page (@SeattleButchersDaughter), so that’s been fun to work together on our food projects.
Do you have a particular philosophy about cooking that guides you?
It’s really all about starting with the best ingredients, especially when we are talking meat. I try to use natural and locally sourced — the highest quality you can get. Because of my husband’s business, we don’t use commodity meats. It means alot to me to support local farms when we can. I also have access to dry aged and Wagyu beef. I know high-end, high quality meats may seem out of reach for some. I get that not everyone can do it at every meal. But if you can afford it, it’s worth it. I also believe that work made fun gets done. So always have some fun doing with what you’re doing. I recently made chicken lollipops that were a total pain, but we got everyone involved and made it really fun. Someone trimmed, someone dipped, and so on. So, buy quality ingredients and have fun. If you’re not having fun, you shouldn’t be doing it.
Any favorite BBQing tips?
- Let your meat rest before you cut it! Don’t lose all of the juices.
- Rub your meat ahead of time if you can, about an hour before you use it.
- Always over estimate quantities needed. Don’t leave a crowd hungry.
- Use your thermometer religiously — this is one of the most important tools when grilling meats.
Do you have a favorite BBQ recipe?
If I want to impress, I do my pork belly burnt ends. It’s unique, easy, and so delicious. It’s meat candy, so amazing. You can’t eat too many of them, but it’s such a treat. I get a lot of requests for my white sauce lasagna, which is just classic lasagna with alfredo sauce that I smoke on the grill. I also love skirt steak pinwheels. I love it when my followers re-create my cooks. I always want them to tag me so that I can see their work. That is my favorite thing: sharing and connecting with people. The best part is inspiring someone.
Do you have a kitchen or grilling tool you can’t live without?
Oh, yeah, I have four for specific things: My Omega Series Chef Knife is my every day, it’s big and strong and takes care of all of my basic needs. My Omega Series Straight Boning Knife is my fave for general trimming. And my Shogun Series Filet Knife is my true, all-around favorite. I love the size and the sharpness, it’s the best for trimming briskets. I just did a flap meat trim with it, and took it all off without any waste. I tell everyone to get it. And last, but not least, I do love the Shogun Series Bull Nose Butcher Knife. It’s great for slicing through steaks like butter.
What are your passions beyond grilling?
Now that I’m working from home for the most part, it’s changed. When I traveled a lot for work pre-Covid, I went to the beach a lot. I love to get lost at the ocean, get my feet in the sand, have some down time. It’s my favorite thing. I took my daughter to Hawaii right before this all happened, and I’m so happy we did it.
Is there a spice or ingredient you secretly hate?
I don’t love raw onions, blue cheese, and select mushrooms.
Is there anything that people seem to screw up when it comes to grilling?
This is super simple, but a steak. I don’t even like to eat out — even at nice restaurants — because they’re almost always overcooked. And if they’re not overcooked, they lack seasoning of any kind. I’m always disappointed. So I grill my own, and I’m always happy.
Do you have any cooking heroes?
Angelo, my husband. As I said, he was the one who did all the cooking until recently. I just watched or helped. Now that I’m doing it, I really appreciate his attention to every detail. He makes sure everything is just right before moving on. That’s my greatest lesson.
My social media cooking heros from the beginning that really motivated me to get started would have to be @Divabbq with her straightforward style and easy-to-understand grill tips. And @kendrick_bbq for his down to earth family man approach with easy to follow recipes that looked amazing. I also loved learning from @GirlscanGrill for the outdoor and open fire cooks and @Grillmomma for the variety of grills and high-end eats. Now I follow a ton of people that inspire me daily.
If you could cook a meal for someone (not family or friends) who would it be?
Ken Griffey Jr. He’s our Seattle baseball hero. He has a Traeger and also follows me on Instagram! He’s connected with our grilling community. We’re huge fans. I’d love for him to sit down with my family and treat him to do a BBQ buffet of goodness.
There are so many things! I’d do a rib eye steak smoked and reverse seared with a balsamic glaze. Garlic mashed potatoes. A fresh fruit bowl with raspberries. A glass of whiskey. And Tiramisu for dessert
You can follow Misty’s BBQ journey on Instagram, on Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter. Learn more about her family’s meat business at Mondoandsons.