WE ALMOST HAVE A KITCHEN

After about 6 months of working hard every weekend, we finally almost have a kitchen.  It has been a lot of hard work but so worth it.

We began with just an idea and a garage.  We talked to the health department, building department, zoning and neighborhood committee.  We got permission and the OK from all of them.  We drew out plans, got permits, hired contractors where needed.  We framed, we wired, we plumbed, we hung drywall and taped it, we painted it.  We made dirt and cleaned it up.  We bled and cursed and laughed and joked….  and finally we are getting down to the final stages of finishing up our kitchen.

We still have some painting to do, some lights to hang, and we still need our plumber to plumb all the sinks.  BUT.. we are so close.  There is light at the end of the tunnel and I am so excited.

It won’t be too long now and we will be finalizing recipes for our MAC and our BACON.  We will begin building our website and putting together our marketing campaigns.   Keep your eyes open for more updates.

In the meantime here are some pics of our progress.

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THE SMOKEHOUSE

SmokehouseMy brother and I finally put our heads together and started a build.  We are also putting a full blown kitchen into part of my garage just for curing and smoking meat and making awesome mac ‘n cheese! (in fact plumbing was run into the space yesterday)….WOOT!

 We designed the smokehouse so that the floor of the smokehouse is at exactly the same level as the door into the kitchen.  Eventually we will have a covered walkway between the kitchen and the smokehouse.  This way, we can load up racks with meat in the kitchen and just roll it straight into the smokehouse.  Easy!

 

Firebox:  I converted a 55 gallon drum into a firebox using a kit you can purchase at a hardware store.  I lined the inside with fire bricks. (purchased on craigslist for $15 and then power-washed, inside and out)

THE FIRE BOX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Floor:  We decided to raise the floor of the smokehouse up onto concrete footings.  The floor is made out of 2×6 untreated lumber and wrapped in aluminum flashing to keep it protected from the weather.

 

THE FLOOR

Framing:  We framed the walls with 2×4 lumber (untreated) from the local hardware store.  In one of the pics you can see how the door of the smokehouse will line up with the door of the kitchen.

 

FRAMING

 

 

We’ll be able to walk right out to the smokehouse.

 

Door:  I picked up an old closet door for $10 bucks and some old pallets for free.  I decided to face the old door with pallet boards and then treat the exterior facing boards with marine grade poly (spar varnish).  The inside of the door is lined with 1/4″ untreated plywood.

 

FREE PALLETS = DOOR.  YES!

Walls:  We found untreated cedar fence slats at the local Home Depot for $2.49 each and grabbed up a bunch of them.  We also grabbed a few 2×6 cedar boards and used a table saw to slice them up into 2″ wide strips.  We used the cedar pickets and cedar strips to do a board and batten wall design. (got that idea from this site!!  THANKS!!)

Roof:  I had some old tin roofing out in my barn.  The roof is 1/2″ untreated plywood covered in the tin roofing.

 

Eventually there will be storage under the overhang.

 

 

 

 

Inside the house.  Ain’t it perty?

Almost there:  We still have a few things to do, like add shelving under the overhang for storage of wood, etc.  I have run smoke through it a couple of times and it drafts well.  I think I need to add a damper to the chimney to control the flow of smoke out of the house.

I am also thinking about getting a programmable PID controller and hotplate so that I can have better control over the internal temp when I need it.

Here are some current pics.

 

 

Won’t be too long now before we can start smoking and selling bacon!!

KEEPING YOU POSTED

MACnBACONKEEPING YOU UP TO DATE on what has been going on for the last few months.  My brother and I have decided to jump in, take the risk, and start our own business; MACnBACON, LLC.

My brother makes awesome mac ‘n cheese and I have been making some of the best bacon available for a while now.  So, our goal is simple… ‘To make the best gourmet mac ‘n cheese and the best tasting bacon anyone has ever eaten.’

OK, maybe the goal is not so easy after all, but we truly want to serve the absolute best products we can.  Everything we make will be scratch made from only the best ingredients.  The bacon is dry-cured using an old school method straight from the farms of rural America.  We have even invested in building our own smokehouse so that we have control over every stage of the curing and smoking process.

TARGET DATE:  We are shooting to start selling in early spring of 2016.  We will sell on our own website, at local farmers markets and swap meets, and from the door of our kitchen, located out in the sticks of Missouri.

WHAT HAVE WE BEEN UP TO LATELY:  During our free time, when not at our 9 to 5 jobs, we have been building out our kitchen and smokehouse at my house in Union, MO.  We are converting a portion of my garage into a Health Department approved and inspected kitchen and building our smokehouse.

CHANGING UP THE FORMAT:  I am changing up the format of this blog to keep everyone up to speed on the progress of out new venture.  So, check back often for updates on where we are at with the kitchen build, the smokehouse build, with the website and, most importantly, when that awesome bacon and mac ‘n cheese will be ready to order!!!

A NEW ADVENTURE

Today I had the pleasure of meeting with two great guys from the Franklin County (Mo) Health Department.  They came out to look at my home, specifically my garage, to tell me if my idea of turning my garage into an inspected kitchen would work.

See, my brother and I have been dreaming of starting our own business.  I have always wanted to do a business selling old school, dry-cured, artisan bacon and other smoked meats like sausages and maybe even different styles of bacon from around the world.  My brother, Tim, is big into gourmet mac n cheese.  He makes some sinfully good dishes out of those noodles and cheese.  So, we have the idea to open a business selling mac and bacon.  We even reserved the domain http://www.macnbacon.com.  🙂

The first step is deciding where to build out the space to prepare our mouth-watering creations.  We decided that since we both work full-time jobs, it would be best, for now, not to rent a space but to build out a kitchen at my house so that we can cook on the weekends and sell online and at farmer’s markets here in Missouri.

Today was successful.  The tentative approval was given to move forward.  We are just waiting on the results of a water test (I am on well water so we have to be sure it is safe for the business) and then we are good to go.

So, I will be posting our progress as we form the business, build out the kitchen, launch our website and start selling.

Wish us luck!!!