When you’re putting together the menu for your barbecue restaurant, your focusing on all the different meats, rubs, sauces and cooking styles that you love the most. You’re adding your own special ingredients and special touches to the side dishes so they stand out from the competition.
Of course you can’t think about only the foods you love the most – you’ve got to think about what your perspective customers want, too. While you may prefer baby back over spare ribs, or fatty brisket over lean brisket, you’ve got to be inclusive to the masses.
One South Dakota eatery is taking inclusiveness to the next level. Smokin’ Hot Catering, in Rapid City is firing up a gluten free, peanut free and tree-nut-free menu.
Co-owner Kaylie Sterud began cooking gluten free for a roommate more than nine years ago and then eliminated gluten from her diet four years ago. But that didn’t make opening a BBQ joint any more difficult, she told the Rapid City Journal. Instead, it gave her a unique focus and more specific goals to work toward in the kitchen.
“I love to cook, so it made it easy to cook gluten free as a business,” Sterud said. “Having that compassion for people who struggle going out to eat, we decided to eliminate that risk factor for our clients.”
Even the cornbread is gluten free, which Sterud said has been a huge hit for their business.
Kaylie and her husband Aaron both grew up in the kitchen, cooking with their grandparents and parents. After Aaron and Kaylie were married, the couple purchased their first smoker. What started out as a hobby, soon quickly turned into a business venture.
“There became a demand among our friends and family to cook for larger events,” Kaylie said. “Once we started having wedding requests we thought we should start a catering business now.”
With Aaron in the U.S. Army National Guard, Kaylie said they don’t really have the desire to operate out of a brick and mortar store. Instead, the couple drives their business — a 36-foot trailer — to weddings, festivals and other special events. The trailer has a 19-foot enclosed commercial kitchen and an 11-foot open-air porch that houses the smoker.
Smokin’ Hot Catering sets up each weekend at a local brewery – Lost Cabin Beer Co. – where they serve gluten and allergy-free barbecue from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 12 to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
Looking for more gluten- and allergy-free barbecue ideas? Check out the list below.