The temperatures might be hovering around freezing, but it’s smokin’ hot at one of Rapid City’s newest food trucks.
Owners Aaron and Kaylie Sterud began the process of opening Smokin’ Hot Catering, LLC in November 2014. The couple began serving barbecue dishes during the 75th Sturgis motorcycle rally.
“It really kicked off our business right away,” Kaylie said. “We hit the ground running.”
Kaylie describes Smokin’ Hot Catering’s menu as “rustic.”
“It’s that down home, country, stick to your ribs kind of food,” she said.
Smokin’ Hot Catering’s menu includes classic barbecue favorites such as pulled pork and BBQ chicken, as well as unique items such as BBQ nachos, queso tacos and a Cuban sandwich.
The BBQ nachos are Smokin’ Hot Catering’s No. 1 seller aside from traditional BBQ items, barbecue said. And the queso tacos, which are tacos made in a cheese shell, are also popular. The Steruds make corn bread, baked beans and other sides from scratch, too.
Kaylie said one of the keys to good barbecue smoking is the flavor of the wood. Smokin’ Hot Catering uses hickory and applewood for their meats. It also takes time to smoke a good set of ribs, pork or chicken.
“It’s a labor of love,” she said.
To mix up the menu, the couple incorporates Kaylie’s Kreations, a new twist on traditional barbecue sandwiches and other cuisine. There’s even a hash tag, #KayliesKreations, so satisfied customers can share their favorite items.
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But what makes Smokin’ Hot Catering unique from other food vendors, Kaylie said, is its gluten free, peanut free and tree nut free menu. Kaylie eliminated gluten from her diet four years, but began cooking gluten free for a roommate more than nine years ago.
“I love to cook, so it made it easy to cook gluten free as a business,” Kaylie said. “Having that compassion for people who struggle going out to eat, we decided to eliminate that risk factor for our clients.”
Even the corn bread is gluten free, which Kaylie said has been a huge hit for their business.
The Brookings natives both grew up in the kitchen, cooking with their grandparents and parents. After Aaron and Kaylie were married, the couple purchased their first smoker.
And 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.”
The couple enjoy traveling, and with Aaron in the U.S. Army National Guard, Kaylie said they didn’t want 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 which houses the smoker.
“Massive,” is the only way to describe it, Kaylie said.
Kaylie and Aaron spend a majority of their summer at weddings and other special events, but patrons can get a taste of their food now. Smokin’ Hot Catering sets up each weekend at Lost Cabin Beer Co. on West Omaha Street. The kitchen is open from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 12 to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
For more information on Smokin’ Hot Catering, LLC or to see a full menu, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/SmokinHotFood.