By Sara Johnson
“I try to get people away from the things that they think sous vide is only good for, like steaks or egg bites,” says Darrin Wilson. “Yes, it does make steak good and you can make egg bites with it and a couple other things, but it can do so much more.”
Wilson is the founder of Fire & Water Cooking, a collection of digital guides to combining sous vide cooking (water) with barbecue (fire). Starting as a teenager, Wilson worked in restaurants for several years before deciding to pursue another career, but maintained a non-professional interest in cooking. After watching a YouTube video from Greg Mrvich of Ballistic BBQ about cooking brisket with sous vide, Wilson was inspired to begin his own research into the transformative power of sous vide on barbecue. “It just floored me,” Wilson says. “It was the first time I had heard of sous vide, and I got really excited about it and just started delving in.”
In March 2018, Wilson launched his Facebook group on the subject. “I had been part of sous vide groups, and barbecue groups, but there really wasn’t one that kind of was talking about both, sous vide and barbecue together.”
Today, in addition to the Facebook group, Wilson runs an Instagram account, a YouTube channel, a podcast, and a website and blog. Fire & Water Cooking has 8,200 members on Facebook and 3,170 subscribers on YouTube.
Launched last year and currently on its 29th episode, the podcast has featured guests including representatives from Breville | PolyScience and Anova Culinary, as well as AJ Schaller of the Culinary Research and Education Academy (CREA) and Cuisine Solutions. “I kind of gear my stuff more towards the novice, the home cook, the guy who might be just a backyard griller cook that cooks two or three times a week that’s looking to experiment and try new things,” Wilson says.
Wilson’s YouTube channel covers cooking a variety of meats—from black wagyu hanger steaks to beef short ribs—as well as product videos. “I try to bring sous vide down to the level that the novice can understand it, especially when they are using it for something like a brisket or a pork butt, where they are making pulled pork,” Wilson says. “It complements the low-and-slow barbecue because you’re still doing low and slow, you’re just going a little bit lower and slower, and the result can actually turn out better.”