Smokin’ Hot Meats
by Tony Reffke
What started out as a hobby with a free smoker has turned into a labor of love for Alex Casey, founder of Who’s the Man BBQ. Every successful artisan needs inspiration and a spark and Casey discovered his in the fires of his smokers. He has worked to perfect his technique until everything was just right through experimentation coupled with ample sampling by his friends and family. Now equipped with two custom 500-gallon custom-built offset smokers, he has set up a mobile trailer to expand his business and bring his meats to the people of the Fox Cities.
It’s no secret that the key to great smoked meat is using high quality, clean smoke and Casey achieves this with maple and oak wood to craft mouth-watering cuts of meat including brisket, pork, whole hog, and chicken prepared, sliced, chopped, or pulled. He serves his meats in a buffet-style accompanied by his delectable sides of homemade beans, smoked mac and cheese, and coleslaw providing a perfect complement to the tender and juicy meat. YUM! Be sure to top your whole hog sandwich with his homemade Casey’s Pig Pickin’ sauce.
Casey starts his process by first lighting a fire in the smoker and then seasoning the meat while he waits for the coal bed to develop. He tells me that holding a steady temperature between 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit is the most important factor in producing desirable, moist meat. He begins spritzing the meat after a few hours and continues this every hour until the process is finished and the fats are rendered throughout the meat. The meat isn’t ready until it develops a good “bark”, the flavorful casing on the meat that forms due to a chemical reaction with the smoke, seasoning rub, and the natural sugars in the meat. When it comes to producing the perfect bark, he informs me that “you’ll know it when you see it”. He finishes the process by resting his meat for at least an hour before serving. He estimates the entire process of smoking a brisket takes 14 to 20 hours, so you know he puts his heart and soul into every piece of meat that cooks in his smoker to provides each customer with a perfect, tantalizing meal.
Who’s the Man BBQ is available to cook on-site at private parties including pig roasts, corporate functions, birthdays, graduations, and sporting events. You can also order select cuts for special events and holidays such as brisket for Thanksgiving, prime rib for Christmas, or corned beef and cabbage for Saint Patrick’s Day. He will provide instructions on how to cut and serve the meat to bring out the best flavor for you to enjoy your meal to the fullest. Find Who’s the Man BBQ on Facebook or Instagram to plan your on-site party or to purchase smoked meats. Watch for him at local festivals, farmers markets, and bars in 2022.