Michigan BBQ Addicts

Walter Johnson

Making BBQ accessible to everyone

Judgement Free BBQ

Having witnessed the unifying effect of family gatherings around the barbecue, as well as the camaraderie within his fire department by similar BBQ gatherings, Walter has long recognized the power of food to bring people together. It is this understanding that serves as the driving force behind his Judgement Free BBQ channel, where he strives to make the art of BBQ accessible to everyone.

Favorite Activity:
Lighting up the grill with good news. You look in your local news paper and find a story with positive news and use it to light up your charcoal/wood. The rest is grilling, chilling, and listening to the jams of my childhood.
Fun Fact:
I used to act and sing on stage in local theater performances prior to starting my BBQ channel. I also sang professionally when working as a Firefighter, singing national anthem for many department led events.
Favorite Dish to Grill:
My best dish would be my pulled pork.
Char-Griller of Choice:
My top 4 choices for Char-Griller's are the Gravity 980, Grand Champ XD, Auto Kamado, and the Flat Iron
I grew up in Oxford, MI and now live in West Bloomfield (35 min outside of Detroit)


Char-Griller Product of Choice

Char-Griller Grand Champ XD

Large space for larger cooks!

Char-Griller Q&A with Walter Johnson

How did your journey start?
I grew up in Oxford, MI with my parents and 4 siblings. Growing up, I watched my dad cook on his Weber Kettle grill. He always tried his best to make us all happy around dinner time. He would make Steak for my mom and him and burgers & bratwursts for my siblings and I. Full transparency, the burgers were not the best, but I knew he did his best to make us happy. Watching my dad enjoy cooking, jamming to music, and enjoy the outdoors was something I would always remember as a kid. After a rough divorce in my early teenage years with my parents, the BBQ's stopped. I would only have BBQ when we went to someone's house or at graduation parties. I didn't get back into BBQ until I was almost 17 years old. I worked at a Fire Department in my late teens into my adult years, and got to try brisket for the first time from a firefighter I worked with. The quality was unlike anything I've had. I wanted to re-create it, but was limited to what I could afford. I would spend so many hours a week watching the big BBQ legends make food online until I could afford my first smoker in 2015.
How was your initial grilling experience?
I bought my first smoker on Amazon in 2015, and was so excited to try my hand in BBQ. The first thing I made was smoked sausage because I didn't want to risk messing up an expensive cut of meat. I'm glad I did because the smoked sausage was over-smoked by 3 hours! After more research on YouTube, and not giving up on myself, the next time I made smoked sausage, it was INCREDIBLE. It always took more than one attempt to make the recipe better, and I treated every cook as a learning experience. It's not a messed up dinner, its an opportunity to learn for the next cook.
What is your main focus for grilling in the coming years?
I started a BBQ channel in 2020 promoting Judgement Free BBQ for people that want to learn. It has grown tremendously over the years, and allowed me to get into contact with Char-Griller to partner up. My main focus is to continue promoting Judgement Free BBQ for anyone that wants to learn this amazing hobby.
Making delicious BBQ accessibile!

Walter Johnson's Favorite Products

Walter Johnson’s Favorite Recipes