All Posts By

Dan Corbett

Friday is Ribs and Brisket.

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We’re Closed on Saturdays

Today’s Brisket!!! :  https://youtu.be/hD9wL28A43Y

Howdy Folks, we’re cooking Brisket AND Ribs today (Fridays!  It’s a thing!).  You really seem to like our Fresh-out-of-the-Smoker Brisket, and we’re listening to you.  So, Thursday Nights I put on Brisket to have it ready for Friday Lunch.  Friday IS our RIB DAY!, so, of course, we have a dozen racks of ‘fall-off the bone’ Ribs in the Smoker, ready at 2:30.

Since we were at the Pugwash Farmer’s Market most of the summer, and closed the shop to keep costs down on Saturdays, we have evaluated whether or not it makes sense to open Saturdays.  Leading up to summer, it was dead (no customers) on Saturdays.  Covid-19 Isolation and the popularity of cottages were a big influence, understandably.  That said, it was not financially worth it to cook anything or even unlock the doors on Saturdays.

At this time, we’ve been using Saturdays for garden tending, kitchen maintenance, deep cleaning, and a little recreation time.  You can schedule an order for Saturdays if you would like something specific.  Just order online (www.smokedmeat.co) and pay online, or come in and pay in advance in the kitchen.  We’re happy to take care of you, we just don’t want to sit here (or, certainly, prepare food) and not have ANY customers.

My motorcycle:  I LOVE to ride motorcycles.  I picked up a used ‘street and trail’ bike a couple months ago and I am looking forward to enjoying some back-country riding this fall in beautiful Cumberland County.  I am feeling my ‘age’ [take that how you like 😉 ]  It makes me feel young to ride, but makes me feel old when I’m sore.  The attached picture shows the state of the bike after my most recent ‘tumble’.  ‘If ya don’t fall, you’re not pushing yourself…’ (Thank God for safety gear).  I’m loving the back roads, the gravel, Tantramar Marsh, the fall colours, and the smell of fresh air.  It’s truly therapeutic and it reminds me how blessed we are in our geography.  Hope you enjoy your weekend, too.  

Today’s Brisket:  https://youtu.be/hD9wL28A43Y

Did you know we have a Youtube Channel? Here is an example:

The Brisket-Prep Series of Videos:

  1. https://youtu.be/iDTBYs_7OgE
  2. https://youtu.be/vyC3TqGfgCA
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5fwEsnekmI
  4. https://youtu.be/aoGPxyHeAjA
  5. https://youtu.be/5XK3YrXjqF0

RIB Day! RIB Day! (Fridays)

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We use Pork ‘Back RIBs’ for Ribbie Fridays, which are every Friday. They are dry-rubbed using our own signature ‘BBQ Rub’ or ‘Salt&Pepper’
(which includes Salt, Pepper, Onion and Garlic)

We strive for tender juicy ribs and we’re usually successful. We want to see tender and juicy, but not ‘falling off the bone’.

Lunch? We’re working on it.

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We never thought of ourselves as a lunch place – But we’re working on it.

            When we wrote the business plan we were going to operate as a one-person business.  We had originally intended to have a large segment of our sales to other restaurants.  Vacuum-packed, fully-cooked, beautifully smoked products delivered to be used in their specials.  Home Customers could order (in advance), for pickup after 2:30 at the time when many people go pick up their kids at school.  I could do the morning to cook, package, deliver to restaurants, do my ordering, do research, and advertising, and then be open to the public around 2:30.  That lasted about a week.  They didn’t order.

            We thought: In the ‘lunch space’ there is competition from (or familiarity with) all the fast-food places, drive throughs, and a few independent places downtown.  There were lots of ‘soup and sandwich’ places downtown. We have no desire to compete with them.  That is not our business model.  They have location benefits and drive-through’s and people are habituated to them.  As evening places go, two years ago, our choices were ‘Pizza’, ‘Chinese Food’ and ‘Bar Food’.  So we were going for ‘evening at home’ food.  Simple. Honest. Delicious. Food, that people are familiar with, but perfectly cooked, and usually with a twist.

Our understanding is that ‘sit-down’ restaurants with interesting or high quality food (Steak Places, High-End Fancy Stuff, Stuff that is hard to pronounce) require larger centers (like Moncton) in order to have enough people who want to show up for that niche of food often enough for the restaurant to survive.  Prime example: Thai Food (Bankok Food truck) – People love them.  They flock there once or twice a month when they are in town.  It’s a treat!  They are expensive (for what you get, but it’s delicious and not always available.  Truly, a treat, and they are smart to keep it a treat.  So, they move onto the next town (where people are excited they’re back for a treat), and then the next, and the next, until they come back here, and you get a treat.   

If they were available every day in Amherst, their daily sales would drop because their products would be ‘always available’.  It would stop being ‘a treat’.  ‘Not today, I had that two times this week.  Becomes – …’Not this weekend, we had that last weekend.’  Until eventually… ‘I’ve had everything on their menu…  It’s okay.’  And eventually people move on to ‘why don’t we have a good “burger joint” in Amherst?’    I digress.

We wanted to create a food business, similar to the ‘build-your-own’ meal programs but using vacuum-packed high-quality pre-cooked meats, so that your proteins are perfect.  Our vision was having the meat component of your meal, some sides (perfectly cooked veg, gourmet Mac and Cheese, Rice, Garlic-mashed potatoes, salads…) available so that a customer could come in and choose their meat, veg, sides and salad that THEY would like to serve at home.  The customer could take their products home in order to have restaurant-quality food ready in 15 minutes, without using a microwave.  All the packaging problems, the hour of prep-time, and mess associated with ‘packaged dinner programs’ (Chef’s Plate/ Hello Fresh) would be avoided.

Our pre-cooked products are safer because they’re cooked, and the shelf-life is longer because it’s vacuum-packed.  Our side veg sales were so inconsistent we couldn’t predict what to keep prepped.  We want you to have the freshest options possible, so we cook them daily.  But moving back even a step further, we don’t know what supplies to keep in stock (like snap peas, pepper medley, carrots…etc).  If they don’t sell that day, the quality is sacrificed.  So, lately we’ve been sticking to top-notch salads and some side-carbs in the Grab ‘n Go Fridge.  That seems to work for people.  See our upcoming pre-made meal concept in the ‘where we’re going; article. We thought it would be convenient for customers to heat the cooked products on their own time, and eat in the comfort of their home, for supper.  Lunch time is busy for people too, and we’re so thankful that you think of us ALL day.  We literally have customers that come in all through the day.  What a privilege!  So, to make ends meet and to keep it interesting for you, we’ve dabbled in having NOT ON THE MENU lunch specials, hot and ready for lunch.  Soups, Gourmet grilled cheese, Lobster Mac…  I will write another article on this.  We’re so happy to be able to help with lunch and we’d love to have your ideas.  Email us at info@smokedmeat.co and we’ll use your ideas.

Slow Days – Should we just close?

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Just joking.  Everybody has slow-days.  Resilience is being okay with the slow days.  We have a lot of things we can do with slow days including deep-cleaning, cooking in bulk (such as giant batches of brisket soup or BBQ sauce), Testing new recipes, pursuing commercialization of our sauces/rubs, writing CONTENT for our subscribers (that we own, not Facebook), working on our hydroponic gardens, researching better packaging, making signs, advancing an advertising initiative, doing mechanical maintenance, running for specialized groceries, ordering supplies, invoicing… It’s no trouble to stay ‘busy’.

            That said, here are the major influencing factors of a slow-day:  a week before ‘cheque day’, and it rains (or is cold), and there is a pandemic, and Bankok Food Truck is in town, and Facebook is down (or Donald Trump has done something stupid), and school has just started, and a lot of people are out of work, or paranoid to go out…  That’s the kindof day where a restaurant owner earns a stripe.  That’s a ‘bad’ day around here.

            We tend to use those days as an opportunity to switch gears and test-out something new.  Today, for example, we ‘had to’ make Pepper Jelly.  You’ll love it!  We took the time to write out some goals for how we want to help you.  We kept our costs down and our research hats on.  That’s how we grow when it’s a hard day.      

VON Contracts Complete

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We’re done with the VON.

            Phew!  When we started making emergency meals (at cost) at the start of COVID isolation, we wanted to keep people home and safe.  The number of people that stepped up to help their neighbour was inspiring, (through volunteering and cash-sponsoring) and we greatly appreciate it.  Us being able to cover most of our costs allowed us to stay afloat.  That’s the best we could ask for out of this crisis in the food industry.  We are so lucky to have you.  This was an opportunity of a lifetime (to extend our help) and our community did amazing things.  We fed about 37 clients (who needed to stay home), and eventually 36 Maggie’s Place clients for three months!  It worked like clockwork, every day.  Six volunteers (for us) and two staff from Maggies place.

            When we were approached by the VON to make meals for them, they had their regular (24 or so) clients.  They (The VON) had the impression they might take on more clients if they received more funding to keep seniors at home.  The hospital was no longer willing to provide them with meals, during COVID. 

We modified our meals to be compatible with seniors’ digestive systems (that’s a whole separate article) and started providing VON Meals.  Within two weeks we had worked out a weekly schedule for the meals.  The VON then received funding from the United Way to keep many more seniors or community at risk at home.  This was around the ‘stay the blazes home’ period.  With this substantial funding provided by the United Way, the VON could then offer cold-meals across the county.  We scrambled and provided a menu of meals that we could assemble cold, provide microwave instructions, and then have delivered across the county. 

Our meal-program went from 37 clients (who needed to stay home) then we added Maggie’s Place (36 meals), and the VON (24 meals), all hot each day.  That’s 97 hot meals by lunch.  Then we advertised meals to be delivered cold across the county.  That was popular and grew to (up to) 225 meals (prepared cold) after the morning’s hot meals.  For another 3 months. Busy.  That keeps the cost down (per meal).  There were some days we made money, but they didn’t exceed the days we lost money. 

Eventually the cold-meal program funding ran-out.  VON had ‘taken on’ our customers who needed to stay the blazes home (37 of them), and then had their regulars.  The meals went from hundreds per day, to a hundred, to their original 24 as they slowly dropped our customers, who had signed up with us.  The ‘normal’ hot meal program (24 people) took as much grocery-ordering time, administration, organizing, and kitchen-time as 200 meals per day, but for only 24 meals.  When our ‘cold-meal’ contract ended, we were asked to continue to provide the regular (24 hot) meals. We asked for VON to find another supplier but that we would continue on until they had another contract in place. We stopped providing meals on September 18th. We have asked but have not heard who the new meal provider is.

There was a huge learning curve associated with helping seniors, low-income families and those with compromised immune systems get healthy food. 

  • It was incredible to watch citizens work so hard to help others.  Truly and sincerely inspiring!  Thank you for letting us be a part of it.
  • It was surprising that there were/ are only 24 people in the VON ‘Meals on Wheels’ program in Cumberland County.  Does that make sense to you?  It does not make sense to us.   
  • It is surprising that people who live far-away (from their elderly parents) aren’t demanding better care for their parents through government assistance of some sort.
  • It is surprising that more people (from far away) weren’t/ aren’t organizing to have meals provided for their elderly parents, even if through a private program.
  • It is a blessing to have so many resources (to help people with food) in the community but it was surprising that they don’t work together in a strategy.
  • It was amazing how many business owners stepped up and donated for the communities’ vulnerable populations. 
  • It was amazing to see how charitable individuals and small groups were (including teachers, a quilting group, an office pool, a Christmas fund…etc) Simply Amazing.

Thank you so much for the experience. We couldn’t have done it (and learned so much) without community support.

Sampler Boxes?

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Sampler Boxes – Would you buy it once a month?

            We’re trying to make it easy for you to make premium meals and free-up your time.

Lots of people buy our products once per month.  Many are once-per week customers.  Some people are ‘several times per week’ customers.  It’s a matter of our products being easy ‘Go-To’ quality healthy food that saves you time but does not sacrifice quality. 

Our fully-cooked vacuum-packed products last two-weeks before they should be consumed, with no preservatives.  Would it make things easy for you to have a box put together for you with ‘one of everything’ once per month?

Our example is a ‘Family Box’ – $100 (Taxes included)

One Pound of Bacon (in two ½ lb packages)

Two Pounds of Pork Tenderloin,

Four Chicken Breasts,

One Pound of Brisket (1/2 lb packages),

One Pound of Sausage (of your choice),

Two packages of Pulled Pork

            The items in the box are all good for two-weeks (at least) vacuum-packed.  Everything can be left in the fridge or frozen.  We picture the box arriving and unpacked, (let’s say a Monday)… Meal-maker decides …‘let’s have the four Chicken Breasts tonight, Bacon on the weekends, Pulled Pork Sandwiches Wednesday, I’m going to use the Smoked Pork Tenderloin in a pasta Friday (and we’ll have leftovers and sandwich meat for the weekend).  Next week we’ll have the sausages Monday, and the Brisket Wednesday’.  That’s six meals for four, plus bacon!  It’s a matter of cooking your normal meals but with pre-cooked professional-level meats in the meals, supplied by D&E’s Premium Smoked Meats. 

We’re trying to make it easy for you to make premium meals and free-up your time.  We will include recipes.  Thoughts?  Info@smokedmeat.co

Upcoming Changes: Smaller packaging, Premade meals, Add a microwave…

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In the same way as we provide ‘build your own combos’ (Large 3/$35), (Small 3/$25) we have been thinking of ways to make healthy-delicious meals easier for you. 

Our thought is: what if we put together a few ‘staple’ options in slightly smaller packaging and had them on a pre-order basis? (e.g. Brisket-Mushroom soup on Rice, Pepper-Medley with Chicken and Snap-Peas, Small Burrito Bowl,  Tomato-Sausage Linguine, Pulled Pork with Mac’n Cheese, Phad Thai D&E’s Style)  Six options to start?  If anybody reads this far, let us know what you’d like to see.  Delivered to your office or home on a specific day of the week, for free?  No problem.  Just let us know.

As hesitant as we are to microwave food, we know that it’s quick and most people are going to do it anyway.  So, we ‘could’ have a few of our regular meals (listed above) in the fridge, ready to go.  We would put a microwave in our customer-service area for you to warm-up your selection if you’d like.  We made modifications to our cold-delivered meals during COVID-19 isolation, including instructions and making things ‘saucier’ so customers could microwave properly without completely ruining food.  It’s an effort.  If there is interest, we’ll do it.  We care about what the customer wants, and if that’s what will make it easier for you to eat healthy, we’ll do it.  Let us know by email info@smokedmeat.co.

Here are our menus – Today

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This is the link to get to our current menu (s) : https://smokedmeat.co/menu-s/   You’ll see there are three menus 

Our ‘Pamphlet-Menu’ is similar to other small restaurants.  It has our specials by ‘day of the week’, descriptions of our normal sides and salads, and some prices.  We are currently not open on Saturday, so Beef Tenderloin is a special order item.  In fact, for now, we can open Saturday or Sunday if you’d like to pick up something on the weekend.  Simply pre-order and give us a call, please, [(902) 397 4868] during the week to give us a ‘heads-up’ that we have a weekend order.    

The ‘Hospital Menu’ includes directions from the hospital, and gives an overview of our service.  We have had a great relationship with many of the staff at the hospital and many people in town to visit family order from us on a regular basis.  We deliver for free, it’s healthy food and we are available when the Hospital Cafeteria is not.  I will also hazard a guess the food is better and less expensive.  Many Doctors and Nurses work shifts from 7 am to 7 pm.  That is why we stay open until 7:30 pm.  If a health-care professional gets off work after a long shift and wants to eat healthy, we want to be here for them.

The ‘Cater-Menu’ is a starting point in the event you would like help with food for a celebration or a meeting.  Any of our regular items can be ordered for a group-rate (e.g. salad and soup for 20) that includes serving equipment, clean-up …etc.  If it’s not on the cater menu, we will do our best to accommodate your needs.  For example: we have a few more vegetarian and soup options that are not ‘listed’, but new things become available (and seasonal) all the time.  Just give us a call and we will do our best.

When people click on our website, it takes them to our ‘purchasing page’ or shop.  This is intended to be as easy as an ‘order APP’ without you having to download the APP. 

The menu (s) page is located on the top-right of the main website landing page.  We want to make online ordering as easy as three clicks, and we’ve succeeded for most of our primary menu.  You can see it at https://smokedmeat.co – It’s a secure purchasing website where you can stipulate 1) ‘pay online’, 2) ‘pay when you arrive here’, or 3) ‘pay upon delivery’.  If you have any suggestions for our menus or our website, we would love to hear from you.

Wednesday is Chicken Day

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It is Wednesday. As always, we will have fresh Boneless- Skinless Chicken Breasts available after 2:30. Today we’ll also cook some chicken souvlaki.

We’re steadily working away at processing our Garden Gifts. This is Red Pepper Jelly we’re bottling. We’re also doing Red and Green Pepper jelly.

This delicious treat is amazing on crackers with a little bit of melted camembert or brie cheese. MMmmmmmmm!

Then I got hungry and thought hm… I wonder… So I pan-fried a bit of Smoked Pork Tenderloin, added that to a ‘burger bun’, sprinkled some grated cheese cheese on it and voila: Green Pepper Jelly is a treat on a smoked pork loin sandwich.

I will be getting the chicken on, and then I would like to write about senior-care.

Please tell the others about our little posts so they’ll subscribe. We want people to know what we’re doing, but Facebook is not the tool to do it.

It’s Sausage Day! (Thursday)

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Today we made ‘Maple-Sage’ and ‘Cheddar-Jalapeno’ Sausage.

Samples are ALWAYS FREE!

This brings our total variety (today) to four, including ‘Salt&Pepper’ and the familiar ‘Mild Italian’. It’s familiar because it has similar spices to a grocery store mild italian, but the similarity stops there. Ours has tones of Merlot, a much higher quality meat, and Love. Grocery store sausages will never taste the same again. (They taste like sadness and filler)

As you (hopefully) know, we make our sausage from scratch. It’s made with ground pork shoulder, herbs, spices and (in this case – pun intended) Cheddar Cheese. Both of these flavours are very popular. I increased the Maple Syrup content and lowered the pepper (in the Maple-Sage) thanks to customer feedback.

Samples are always FREE. Please come try the product. There is no obligation to buy anything. These cheddar jalapeno sausages (in the picture) give you the flavour of Jalapeno, without the heat (seriously).

We take great pride in quality products, perfectly cooked for you, so it’s easy to eat healthy.