Tuck retired from the F.B.I. in 1978 and then had more time to devote to doing the Steakfry’s. He continued to put on Steakfrys for the F.B.I. functions after his retirement as well as other law enforcement agencies around the state of Arizona. Between the F.B.I. and Shrine, Tuck had a bunch of different guys that would help him cook. He named his crew “The Burn’t Biscuit Bunch”. Tuck continued to run the Burn’t Biscuit Bunch until 1988, when he turned over the business to some of his younger members of the bunch.
At this time the name was changed to “Burn’t Biscuit Cookout Company”, to more reflect what we do. Though the name was changed, the foundations on which Tuckey started the business remain the same. The people that Tuck cooked for were friends of his and he wanted them to remain that way. So he used quality food, cooked on-site, and kept the price reasonable. Today, our goal is to keep up Tuckey’s tradition. We still proudly serve many of the same people that knew Tuck, and that’s the way we want to keep it.
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Burn’t Biscuit Cookout Company was originally started by longtime valley native J. Vernon Tuckey. “Tuck” as he was known to his friends, started the business while he was in the F.B.I. in Phoenix (1942-1978). The F.B.I. held training sessions at the Ben Avery Shooting range north of Phoenix. Back then the shooting range was about an hour from civilization, so they needed to take about 3 hours for lunch. Tuck was not one to take or allow a 3 hour lunch break. So Tuck put together a menu of Ribeye Steaks, Coleslaw, Fruit Salad, Cowboy Beans, and of course his “Dutch oven Biscuits” and with the help of the other agents they cooked lunch at the shooting range. The “Tuckey Steakfry” was born. Tuck and his agent volunteers did numerous other F.B.I. events like retirements, special occasions and the F.B.I. N.A. retraining session every year.
During this time Tuck was also a member of the El Zariba Shrine, and he and some of his friends in the shrine would do steakfrys for shrine functions. From these Shrine functions the term “Burn’t Biscuit” originated. The biscuits were cooked in dutch ovens over a charcoal fire. Being a Shrine function, libations were being served and consumed. And so, a good time was being had by all, including the cooks. As a result, the combination of fire and libations did sometimes resulted in “Burn’t Biscuits”. After a few of these functions, the cooks all started wearing a “Burn’t Biscuit” on a chain around their necks while they cooked. The “Tuckey Steakfry” idea caught on with members of the Shrine and Tuck was being asked to cook for more groups and parties than he could accommodate.