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About Northern Smoke BBQ | Dennis Stevens Pitmaster

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smoked bbq, bbq, food truck, catering, barbecue, Michigan, 48433, Best BBQ, Best CateringBorn and raised in Southeast Michigan, my passion for barbecuing started at an early age. The smell of the grill lighting up was a sure indication of summer, family, friends and good eats. As the seasons passed, I continued developing my cooking methods, working with different spices and developing my own BBQ sauce.

After years of honing my skills, I thought I had barbecuing mastered. In 1998, I moved to Memphis, TN and it was there I was introduced to authentic, southern style BBQ, and realized, that I still had much to learn. The true art of cooking low and slow, enhancing flavors by utilizing blends of spices, and the tug of war between dry rub and sauce. I started to experiment, changing my cooking methods from direct heat to indirect heat. This method led to my current cooking style, in a wood burning reverse flow smoker. It’s the blend of hard and fruit woods that adds that natural smoke flavor to each of my meats.

Northern Smoke BBQ evolved from 20 plus years of ideas, serving family and friends, and my passion to share my BBQ. My wife Karen and I rolled the dice in June 2016, starting our first location in Michigan City, IN. Why Michigan City, IN? We were living in the area at that time and came upon a good opportunity to partner with a restaurant that was located within the concessions building at Washington Park, right on Lake Michigan.  This provided us a small space with low overhead that served us well as we learned the business.  During the off season, we continued to develop our plans and work on more recipes. The start of the 2017 season added some challenges. The Michigan City, IN location wasn’t available and trying to find a new location with short notice wasn’t working. We decided to move towards more catering and private parties. The business plan continued to develop that summer when the thought of a food truck was born.  February, 2018 presented me with an opportunity to buy a truck. This wasn’t a food truck, but a 1988 Chevy Mac Tool truck that I spent the next 5 months stripping down and building into my ideal food truck. I gave myself an opening date of June 2018, which was a very tight timeline.  It’s no easy task designing, securing building materials, completing electrical work, installing ventilation, meeting all the regulatory codes for the fire and health departments, obtaining the necessary licenses and permits, finding staff and then finding events to participate in! Not much barbecuing going on during this time.  Finally, I made it through, but not without the help of some friends in the food truck business. My first event was small, but successful. The truck ran well, my staff was on point, the food was delicious, and the feedback was all good. With the truck finished, all the red tape covered and my first event under my belt, I was back to doing what I loved - barbecuing and serving my food to people.

smoked bbq, bbq, food truck, catering, barbecue, Michigan, 48433, Best BBQ, Best CateringShortly after opening in Indiana, family obligations required me to relocate back home to Mt. Morris, Michigan, just north of Flint. We found a spot to set up the truck fairly quickly and were back up running and serving BBQ. The communities around Genesee County were inviting and very supportive. We moved around for a bit until we landed at the Flint Farmers Market. We continued to build our following, serving other markets, events, parties and even an apple orchard. We continue to build momentum with every customer served.

Over the years I’ve been asked why do you love BBQ? I have a hard time selecting one thing that drives me to spend hours and hours smoking a variety of meats. How do you choose? Stepping back in time, using cuts of meats that used to be thought of as inedible, but are now considered delectable, lighting a fire, smelling the wood burning, creating the heat and smoke for added flavor, seeing the transformation from raw meat to picture perfect mouthwatering BBQ is part of it.  It’s also standing around the smoker sharing stories, having conversations about whatever topic arises, sharing recipes/tricks of the trade and the best smack talk you’ll ever hear amongst BBQers.  At the end of a long cook, there is nothing more satisfying then watching your customer take that first bite of BBQ, nod or shake their head while smiling, then going back for another bite, whispering to themselves “damn this is good”! All of this combined keeps my fire burning for creating the best BBQ!

Why the name Northern Smoke BBQ?

My wife Karen and I love to spend time in “NORTHERN” Michigan.

We only use wood to cook with creating that “SMOKE” flavor.

I Love “BBQ”

NORTHERN SMOKE BBQ

Contact

Northern Smoke BBQ

7120 Stanley Rd. Flushing, Mi 48433

dennis@northernsmokebbq.net

Phone: 219-386-6898

Opening Times

You can call, text or email anytime, I will respond to you on my next opportunity.

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