‘Backyard barbecue feel:’ Red Shed Smokehouse serves up ribs, pulled pork on wheels in Grand Forks – Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS — Red Shed Smokehouse, a food truck serving barbecue, opened next to the Wake ‘n Bak’n on Gateway Drive in May, and owner Tanner McShane has been smoking the meat just quick enough to get it out to his customers.

“The biggest seller has been my racks of ribs,” McShane said. “They are selling out fast.”

McShane’s mother- and father-in-law started the business in Hot Springs, South Dakota and had been running it for nearly five years. His father-in-law called him and asked if he would like to take over the business. McShane had helped him manage the business before, but this time it would be all on him to keep it up and running. Now, he and his wife Callie run the business in Grand Forks.

“(My father-in-law) goes, ‘You know, I’m not getting any younger, and this has taken up a lot more of (our) time and gotten really big. Would you be interested in taking over?’” McShane said. “So me and my wife decided we’ll step in and keep it in the family.”

Barbecue has been in the family for many years. McShane got into cooking it with his father-in-law before he ever was involved with the business.

“(He and I) will cook stuff out at the lake, just like that backyard style,” McShane said. “And he actually found this trailer in Harwood, North Dakota, believe it or not, and then bought it, brought it down there, changed it up a little bit and brought their recipes to the menu. And it just exploded, and down there is tourist central. You’ve got Mount Rushmore right next to it, so you’ve got people from literally all over the world coming to him and trying his food, and it just evolved from there, and I kept it going.”

The trailer setup had to be altered to be able to serve food, which included the addition of a grill, warmers, coolers and more.

“It’s not so much different cooking in it, but it’s more of the space that you have to be able to provide different sections of a broad spectrum of a menu,” McShane said.

A full-size kitchen isn’t necessary as long as all the tools needed to make a certain kind of food are available. Keeping the menu simple is key to making sure the restaurant runs efficiently.

Red Shed Smokehouse owners Callie and Tanner McShane.

Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

“Because you’re literally working on a trailer, you don’t have a full-size kitchen,” McShane said. “So, you do what you can do in the back, and you’ve got to keep it simple because you’re running out of space.”

McShane drove to Hot Springs the first week of May to collect the trailer and drive it up to Grand Forks where it will stay indefinitely.

Red Shed Smokehouse consists exclusively of family recipes for each item. The menu includes favorites from smoked briskets and meatloaf, to pork ‘n mac and many dishes in between.

McShane just finished his fourth week at the helm of the business in Grand Forks, and he said he has been selling out each day by 1:30 in the afternoon, just a few hours after he opens.

So, why does McShane and his family prefer barbecue on wheels instead of a brick-and-mortar establishment? Why limit the restaurant to a confined space?

“Character,” McShane said. “It’s something that you don’t see all the time, and it catches your eye. I feel like it’s more of a personal experience when you come here. You’re sitting down, you’re seeing the pit, (it’s) your picnic-style food, you sit on the tailgate or whatever you want to do. But it’s not just walking into a restaurant, and you sit down and that’s it. It’s more of that backyard barbecue feel. It makes you feel like you’re at home.”

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