Braden grew up in Texas, where BBQ is a way of life, and for more than 30 years he has been pursuing his BBQ passion. Through much trial and tribulation, Braden gained tremendous experience as pit master. Braden continues to refine his skills and began sharing his knowledge and experience with others as a way to pass on the knowledge to future generations.

Rich, the grandson of Italian American immigrants, comes from a family with a deep tradition of cooking, meat preparation and wine making. By the 6th grade, Rich remembers coming home from school to help make over 1,000 pounds of sausage a week with his Mom & Dad. When asked about his childhood, Rich said:

As early as I can remember, I’d help make prosciutto, coppa, ventricina, soppressata, and pancetta. When I left home, I was shocked to learn how unusual my upbringing was. Now, I see my childhood as a sort of apprenticeship. I was being taught lessons my family learned over countless generations. I must have cured, dried, and smoked just about every type of meat or game you can imagine. Goats, pigs, cows, fish, deer, duck, pheasant – you name it, we’d prepare it.

In 2014, Braden and Rich started to combine their collective knowledge and seek out the best products and techniques for meat preparation. “MeatCraft” was born. Today, Braden and Rich want to train the community and future generations in meat/game harvesting and preparation. They would also like to share the absolute best sources of meat, spices and other provisions.  MeatCraft provides members the resources needed to perfect their skills.

they’ve learned about BBQ, cooking and “MeatCraft”. Since then, the guys interest in barbecue has grown with countless cookouts and pig roasts. They had no idea what they were getting into when they opened a small roadside barbecue stand near Cannon Falls, MN.

What’s your secret?

We don’t really have a secret. Good Que is like making any other product. You have to start with quality materials (ingredients) and then spend a lot of time experimenting to learn what works and what doesn’t.

Our Brisket rub is just salt and pepper, but the type of salt and pepper is important. We’ve experimented a different black peppers because each black pepper berry has a distinct flavor. We’ve learned that when we cook to only use the best ingredients that we can afford. We’re not impressed with a lot of rubs out there.

-Braden & Rich

Wood, like a seasoning, that’s what you do. If you cook steaks on mesquite or cook steaks on oak, they’re going to be two different flavors with the same rub because of what the mesquite is giving to flavor that meat. Same with the oak. I treat wood like a seasoning. To me, that’s important. I’ve settled on certain flavors that I like, like post oak and pecan. I use that for almost all my meats. My seafood is a little different. I go a little lighter. I go with the apple. I may go with a cherry. I might go with peach. It all depends. As far as most of my big protein meat, it’s pecan and post oak. I love the combination of the flavors – what it puts on the meat. And that’s the seasoning to me.

How can I start BBQ’ing

Obviously, start with the best quality you can get. Not everybody can or will want to spend the money on a prime or wagyu; but at least get a prime because with beef brisket, the higher quality of meat you get as far as marbling, the better that brisket is going to be period. It’s just a fact. So start with a good piece of meat. And that’s with all proteins anyway.