Ehrmantrauts ready for barbecue season
Summer is the season for sizzling on the grill, and Tyler and Colter Ehrmantraut of rural Wadena are prepared for the second annual North Star BBQ circuit.
Last year, they took second place. They made it to the championship round in Nisswa and were behind the first-place winner by two points.
The first round of the rib circuit is today (Saturday, May 21) at the Pine Cove Inn. At 3:15 p.m., the contestants start serving to the public at $1 per rib.
The father-and-son team has run TC Backyard Bar-B-Q for about four years. They offer their service for events like weddings, graduations, anniversaries and parties, and they have cooked for benefits around the area.
Colter, an eighth-grader at Verndale School, balances TC Backyard Bar-B-Q with class and extracurricular activities: football, basketball and baseball.
"It's kind of tough," he said, adding that it helps that most business is in the summer.
He was about 10 years old when they started TC Backyard Bar-B-Q, and his dad taught him everything.
Tyler Ehrmantraut is no stranger to the culinary business: he drives full time for Mason Brothers and makes sausage at SuperOne.
He is training Colter to take the reins, and when he is old enough to get his driver's license, he may get his own barbecue rig so they can cook for two events at once.
Tyler said their most popular item is pulled pork, which is also his and his son's personal favorite.
The flyer advertises, "We can roast whole hogs, turkeys, beef brisket, chicken, pork loins & pork butts. All prepared with our homemade spices and BBQ sauce."
"Whatever is a piece of meat," Tyler said.
"Potatoes sometimes," Colter added.
"Between me and Colter, we put together our own rub, and we put together our barbecue sauce," Tyler said. "No store-bought stuff."
Tyler said his favorite aspect of the business was cooking for and meeting different people and making a good product.
They are looking forward to the rib contest and plan to use charcoal from their sponsor, Royal Oak out of Georgia.
For barbecue enthusiasts, the website www.northstarbbq.com lists the other dates and locations of the circuit: June 18 at the Eagle Bend Fire Dept., July 22 at the Garrison VFW which is a whole hog competition, July 30 at the Fifty Lakes municipal liquor store and bar, Sept. 3 at Pine River Legion and Sept. 24 at Nisswa Square which is the Grand Champion Cook Off.
All the rib circuit events are open to the public.
"You can follow us around all year if you want," Tyler Ehrmantraut said.
TC Backyard Bar-B-Q can be contacted at home at (218) 632-5813 or cell (218) 639-1641.