Ready to know more about San Diego?

Subscribe

Top Chef Thanksgiving Day Tips: Lessons From Brad Wise

Rare Society and Wise Ox’s executive chef is not shy about his un-cheffy way to the perfect bird
Brad Wise, Wise Ox tips
Courtesy of Wise Ox

“People are always like, ‘You’re a chef. I’m sure you’re smoking your turkey,'” says Brad Wise, head chef and owner of Trust Restaurant Group. “But I’ve tried it every way, and I’m telling you that old bag is the best.” 

At his restaurants, Brad jockeys a nightly parade of red oak to smoke and char meats into various forms of yes. But for Thanksgiving turkey, he relies on the good ol’ Reynolds oven bag. 

“I told a friend to try this, and he said, ‘No way,'” Brad recalls. “I said ‘Okay, suit yourself.’ He came back a week later and said, ‘Okay, fine, I did it and you were right.’ It’s perfect. The bag basically bastes the bird in its own fat and keeps it from drying out.”

For this episode of Happy Half Hour, we sit down with Brad at Wise Ox, the butcher shop he took over during the pandemic. The little storefront in North Park is a throwback to the days when people knew their meat guy and could ask for different cuts. Starting in the ’80s, the butchering process was shifted further and further away from public view, and butcher shops were kind of tucked into the back of a larger grocery outlet. 

“I’m from Jersey,” Brad says. “On the East Coast, there are all these little butcher shops where you get your meat. You know the guy, he knows where the meat comes from.”

On the podcast, we pester Brad for all his Thanksgiving tips… and we crush one of the best Philly cheesesteaks in the city.

By Troy Johnson

Troy Johnson is the magazine’s award-winning food writer and humorist, and a long-standing expert on Food Network. His work has been featured on NatGeo, Travel Channel, NPR, and in Food Matters, a textbook of the best American food writing.

Share this post

LATEST EPISODES

Podcast

All the Best Eats at the San Diego County Fair

Listen now

Podcast

Cardellino Owner Brad Wise on Truffles, Caviar & Butcher...

Cardellino Owner Brad Wise on Truffles, Caviar & Butchering

Listen now

Podcast

San Diego's King of Produce

Listen now

Podcast

Is this San Diego's Most Picturesque Rooftop Restaurant?

Listen now

Podcast

Trying Petco Park's Best Food with Don and Mud

Listen now

Podcast

SD’s Secret Sommelier Weapon is at North Park’s Black Ra...

SD’s Secret Sommelier Weapon is at North Park’s Black Radish

Listen now

Podcast

Radio Host Chris Cantore & Chef Tyler Mars Launch New Po...

Radio Host Chris Cantore & Chef Tyler Mars Launch New Pop-Up

Listen now

Podcast

Fast Food Secrets With Jordan Howlett

Listen now

Podcast

Feeding San Diego Rescues 1.2M Pounds of Food a Month 

Listen now

Podcast

Making Wishes Come True With Chef William Eick

Listen now

Podcast

The Beach Boys’ Mike Love Puts Us in a Kokomo State of Min...

The Beach Boys’ Mike Love Puts Us in a Kokomo State of Mind

Listen now

Podcast

Lighting Up the Gaslamp 

Listen now

Podcast

The Story Behind San Diego's Hottest Backyard Restaurant

Listen now

Podcast

Is This the Best Falafel in San Diego?

Listen now

Podcast

San Diego’s Legendary Tony Tee Drops By the Pod

Listen now

Podcast

Feeling Lucky with Jason Mraz

Listen now

Podcast

The Spirits Company Giving Back, One Drink At a Time

Listen now

Podcast

Let Us Eat Cake

Listen now

Podcast

Getting Real With Celebrity Chef Lauren Lawless

Listen now

Podcast

New Episode: 40 Years of La Jolla's George's at the Cove

Listen now

Podcast

The Fishmonger Tommy Gomes Returns With Dry-Aged Fish

Listen now

Podcast

Paradise, Or Something Like It

Listen now

Podcast

The Big South Bay Brewery That Could

Listen now

Podcast

Chef Susan Feniger & Liz Lachman Premiere New Documentary

Listen now

Contact Us

1230 Columbia Street, Suite 800,

San Diego, CA