Blog

  • Black Friday and Cyber Week Deals

    Saddleback BBQ is excited to announce that it will be offering our customers a variety of Black Friday and Cyber Week Deals! Here are the details:

    Black Friday - Codes Valid Through November 26th Only

    • BOGO Sauce
      • Buy a bottle of one our signature BBQ sauces and get a second bottle for free! 
      • Choose between our Sweet & Savory and Michigan Mustard.
      • No limit on how many times you can use this code.
    • BOGO 50% Apparel
      • Buy one of our pieces of Saddleback apparel and get a second for piece 50% off.
      • No limit on how many times a customer may use this code. 
    • Brisket Class
      • Get 35% off a Brisket Class with Saddleback Matt. 

    Cyber Week - Codes Valid Nov. 29th - Dec. 5 Only

    • 25/15
      • Spend $25, get 15% off. 
      • Applicable to all BBQ Products.
    • 40/20
      • Spend $40, get 20% off. 
      • Applicable to all BBQ Products. 
    • 60/25
      • Spend $60, get 25% off.
      • Applicable to all BBQ Products.
    • 75/30
      • Spend $75, get 30% off. 
      • Applicable to all BBQ Products. 
    • There is no limit on how many times customers may use these codes. 

    **Link to all our BBQ Products**

  • Darrell's Market Newest Addition

    Darrell’s Market in Mason recently expressed interest in a display shelf for our sauces. Our talented employee, Jacob Spare, was up to the task. He has this beauty finished in no time!

    Make sure to check this out next time you visit Darrell’s.

     

  • Gorman Market - BBQ Sauce

    Say hello to our sauces newest home, Gorman’s Food Market in Lansing!

    Thank you to everyone over at Gorman’s for being so accommodating.

    Which local store should we check out next?

     

  • Our Sauces are now at GFS!

    Our sauces are now on the shelves of three Gordon Food Service stores! If you’ve been following our page for any time, you know getting our products into a national retailer has been one of our biggest goals. This is our first major breakthrough! There’s a chance if all goes well we could be on the shelves of GFS stores across the country.

    We have a 60-90 day trial period to prove there’s demand for our BBQ Sauces. This means in the coming months if you purchase a bottle of sauce from GFS, not only will you be buying a delicious product, you will also be helping us attempt to achieve our goals.

    Our mission is to display that Midwest BBQ is as good or better than any other barbeque. That is why we so prominently display the map of Michigan on each of our bottles. We want people everywhere to notice the prominence of Michigan’s BBQ scene.

    Thank you, everyone, fingers crossed.

    The addresses of the three GFS stores we’re in:

    5912 W Saginaw Hwy, Lansing, MI 48917

    454 E Edgewood Blvd, Lansing, MI 48911

    1851 Newman Rd, Okemos, MI 48864

  • Sauce Rebate!

    Buy any two bottles of Saddleback sauce and receive a $5.99 credit to use at either saddleback location!

     

    To redeem the the credit, take a photo of our receipt and go to this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfovh-_Ntklp3LTALyZOyDNNU5zA7A_KMf08HqtazcdVzdPZg/viewform

    (this rebate has now expired)

     

     

     

     

     

  • Saddleback BBQ - BBQ Classes

    2021 Event Schedule 
    
    DATE: Sunday, July 18th
    CLASS: Brisket School Saddleback Owner, Matt Gillett, shares his knowledge on smoking brisket  
    MENU: Brisket, Baby Back Ribs, off-menu items 
    LOCATION: Undecided, dependent on the number of participants. 
    TIME: Undecided
    PRICE: $215 
    TICKETS: Order Now! To order, click the link, select May 22nd for the date, look under "BBQ Products"

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    Past Events 

    DATE: Saturday, May 8th
    CLASS: Saddleback BBQ School 
    Saddleback Owner, Matt Gillett, goes over his BBQ philosophy while serving plenty of BBQ food
    MENU: Baby Back Ribs, Brisket, a Platter of off-menu items
    LOCATION: Saddleback Okemos - Butchers Room
    TIME: 11:00am - 1:00pm
    PRICE: $215
    
    TICKETS: Order Now! To order, click the link, select May 8th for the date, look under "BBQ Products"

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    DATE: Saturday, May 22nd
    CLASS: Brisket School 
    Saddleback Owner, Matt Gillett, shares his knowledge on smoking brisket 
    MENU: Brisket (Pellet Smoker & Reverse Flow), Baby Back Ribs, and a platter of off-menu items
    LOCATION: Saddleback Okemos - Butchers Room 
    TIME: 11:00am - 1:00pm
    PRICE: $215
    
    TICKETS: Order Now! To order, click the link, select May 22nd for the date, look under "BBQ Products"

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    More Classes Coming Soon - Sign up to our Text Alerts to receive updates! 

     

     

     

  • Meater+ Thermometers

    Meater+ Bluetooth Thermometers

    Saddleback recently started selling these thermometers! We choose to go with Meater for a few reasons. Bluetooth thermometers are quickly taking over in the world of thermometers. They’re easy to use, you can check the temp of whatever you’re cooking right from your phone, and they have specific settings for almost every meat you could think of.

    • 165ft of Range
    • Easy Bluetooth Connection
    • Internal Temp.
    • Ambient Temp.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Are my MEATER probes dishwasher safe?

    Yes. We have been testing and have found no issues with durability or safety when it comes to putting your MEATER probes in a dishwasher.

    We still recommend hand washing your probes to get rid of any stubborn debris.

    Can MEATER function as a deep fry or candy thermometer?

    MEATER should not be used as a deep fry or candy thermometer. This will damage the probe and void its warranty.

    Should I be worried that my MEATER probe keeps disconnecting?

    The MEATER probe uses Bluetooth to communicate to either your smart device, MEATER+ charger or MEATER Block.

    With all wireless technology, but especially with Bluetooth, there are limitations on the range, especially if you are cooking with heavily insulated cooking appliances.

    You should be able to get a minimum of 10ft from your probe in the open air, but certain smokers / grills and ovens (the thicker the material and the fewer gaps for the signal to escape) will cause range to decrease.

    If you find that your MEATER probe is disconnecting, don’t worry, the MEATER app has been built to handle all types of disconnections, which means, when you do reconnect your cook will update, and carry on as normal.

    Towards the end of your cook, we recommend keeping the connection active so you don’t miss any important notifications.

    Why is my MEATER probe no longer connecting?

    If you have used your MEATER Probe before, making sure the square metal end is clean is very important, as this is where the probe makes contact for charging.

    Residue and grime from previous cooks may even look barely visible, which means that your probe may not have been charging since your last cook.

    We recommend mixing some baking soda and vinegar on a sponge to give the ambient square end a good clean after every cook.

    On the charging base itself, you could also see a build up of dirt or soot on the silver spring, which can impact the charger from properly connecting to the probe. It is advisable to give that silver spring a clean as well.

    If you are still having trouble, we recommend restarting your mobile phone or tablet and making sure no other household devices are connected to your MEATER Probe.

    Double check permissions:

    iOS: From the Settings menu on your device, navigate to Privacy > Bluetooth and ensure that the toggle next to MEATER is switched on.

    Android: From the Settings menu on your device, navigate to Apps > MEATER > Permissions and make sure that location permissions are enabled specifically for the app.

    If you’re using a Samsung Galaxy device specifically, navigate to Settings > Biometrics and Security and check that Location/Find My Phone is turned on.

    Why is my MEATER+ charger just flashing red when I take out the probe?

    When your MEATER+ charger starts to blink red, it means that it has lost its Bluetooth connection to its probe.

    Due to recent changes in the app, you might notice that when you remove your probe from the MEATER+ charger, it starts blinking red straight away, but appears as connected within the app itself.

    Don’t worry, your MEATER+ is not broken. This just means that your probe found a stronger connection with your smart device. Once your smart device is no longer in range of the probe, your MEATER+ charger will automatically take the connection.

    To avoid this, remove the probe from the MEATER+ charger before you open the app. This way it will blink green from the start.

    Blinking red and not showing as online either way?

    Your probe might not have charged properly. We recommend scrubbing the contact points before leaving in the charger to charge properly. You can find more information here.

  • How to Bottle a BBQ Sauce for Retail Sale

    How to Bottle a BBQ Sauce for Retail Sale

    From Production to Shelves – A Handy Cheat Sheet

    Throughout this blog, we’re going to cover each step of taking a product to the retail space. Please revisit this blog whenever you are uncertain of the next step. We speak only about what we have real experience in, we hope this will make the information extremely practical.

    Bottling our bbq sauce was something we always wanted to do. Truthfully the reason we hadn’t done it sooner was not for lack of effort. We had reached out to over 50 co-packing companies. The answer we were continuously given was that our order size was not going to be worth their time. We’ve now figured it out and hope to help anyone attempting to take a product from production to shelves.

    THE PRODUCT

    There’s no reason to go through the long grueling process if you don’t have a product that people want to buy. It’s not enough to have friends and family tell you it’s a good idea. Get out there, let strangers try it. We had a bit of an advantage here. We’re a restaurant, we have new customers coming in every day giving their input on our BBQ sauce. We felt fairly comfortable that we had something worth selling and that there would be some demand for the product.

    Since most people don’t have this advantage they often skip this step. Please don’t do this, this is possibly the most important factor separating success and failure. Craft a simple prototype, don’t spend much time on this, you’re just going for a Minimum Viable Product. This way outsiders can give their input. You can see what features people enjoy and which are frivolous.

    KICKSTARTER/FUNDRAISING

    There are other options that will serve a similar purpose, this is just the one that we’re familiar with. It’s a fairly simple platform to use. The setup for a project takes less than a day and the payoff can be huge.

    • Video – going over what motivated you to make this product, your background story, what you will use the money for.

    • Attractive Rewards – for people that back you. You can do several tiers for different levels of backing (ie a different rewards for $5 pledged than for $100).

    • Setting Your Goal – This is important, specifically for Kickstarter, if you set your goal to $10,000 and you reach $9,999 you don’t receive a single dollar. There’s really no reason to make your goal something you don’t think you can comfortably hit. There are no rules to how much you can go over. For example our goal was $4,500 and we raised over $16,000 (Humble Brag).

    • Promoting Your Campaign – This is crucial, you need to use whatever existing audiences you have and all social media tools to your advantage. Post about the campaign on Facebook and Twitter. Use your business page (if you don’t already have one you can make one in less than 10 minutes) to talk about the campaign. Boost your posts to audiences interested in topics similar to your product.

    NUTRITIONAL TESTING

    This portion of the blog is specific to food products

    Once you have a product you’re confident with you need to have it tested in a lab. There are companies that offer these services as well as most universities. We’re lucky enough to be down the street from the largest university in Michigan.They tested the PH level, shelf stability, and nutritional breakdown. This is all mandatory before taking your product to retail stores. This step can seem daunting, but the company or university will really guide you and take the difficulty out of it. The most difficult portion was getting MSU a recipe to the gram, it needs to be uber specific.

    PRODUCTION

    This step took the longest. There are seemingly infinite companies out there offering these services. Not to mention the fact that you could produce the product in house and potentially save money. If you’re going to produce in-house make sure you’re bargain shopping. Buy used, compare many prices, and don’t be scared to barter. We chose, for now, to have the production done out-of-house. This way we save labor and are able to save money since we currently don’t have the necessary equipment.

    If you’re going to hire a production company, this is cold calling, you truly just need to pick up the phone and start dialing. You should weigh options, get a sample from each company, and pick whichever company best suits your situation. Remember if you find a company but are unhappy in the future for any reason you can always find a new production facility or do it yourself.

    MARGINS

    The retail world is a game of pennys. Everything you can do to shave from your cost helps. There are several techniques to finding ways to save on cost. You’ll likely be working with several different companies to produce your product. Every company you work with should be viewed as an opportunity to save money. You can shop quotes from other companies and use the quotes to leverage better deals.

    Another technique is to try to find cheaper materials, shop around the market and see if there are better options. It should be noted if organic or biodegradable resources play into your brand you won’t have as much wiggle room here.

    Buying in bulk, this is one of the most popular ways to cut your margins, it’s also one of the riskiest. If you don’t know you’ll have continuous demand for your product and you order in bulk you could be left with a warehouse full of product nobody wants. You could also buy in bulk and have legislation change requiring you to make changes to your current product. This can be very costly and time consuming. With that being said there are absolutely benefits, you’ll probably save money per unit, you won’t have to worry about reordering, and you’ll save on shipping.

    LABELS

    Once you figure out how you will produce your product you need to find a labeling company. This not only means finding someone to produce the labels but most likely, designing your labels. It’s important that your labels stay on brand. One great idea is to give a shout out to your local community, these are the people you have to thank for your opportunity to go on this journey. Give the labeling company some ideas and see what they come up with. Don’t spend too long on this. You may be enticed to order way more labels than you need to “save money”, I would recommend against this. Do a smaller order of labels, that way if you think of a way to improve the label down the road you won’t be sitting on tens of thousands of labels customers don’t love. They’ll need your nutrition label, which you should already have from the “Testing” step above, and a UPC which we’ll go over next.

    UPC/BARCODE

    This step goes hand in hand with the labels. You’ll need barcodes on the labels to sell them at the retail level. This again seems more difficult than it is. Go to www.gs1us.org, all in all it might be a 30-minute project and cost around $250. Send the information you receive from them over to your labeling company and they’ll put your barcode on your label.

    Finishing

    At this point, you’ll have all the necessary steps complete. That’s it. We hope you use this document as a guideline in the future.