Food Truck Friday: Bob-A-Q

Bob-A-Q is a food truck that does it for the love of the smoke.

Bob Bissell and his wife Sheila started the trailer in 2021. But Bob started smoking meat back in 2007 on his dad’s old smoker.

“We did a family reunion with it,” Bissell said. “And everybody’s like, well this is really good. Maybe you should try to do a little bit more.”

He kept experimenting and just gave the results away at first. Then he started doing grad parties and weddings, and it kept growing.

“Pretty soon, I was home every weekend smoking, so I told my wife, why don’t we have a food truck?” he said.

He convinced her, and Bob-A-Q was born.

“Now we’re doing all the way from mid-May to mid-October. About February, our schedule is full,” Bissell said. “And we both have full-time jobs, so we do that during the week, and then we do this on the weekend. So it’s seven days, all summer long.”

They don’t take any profits out of the truck, and they love to use it to give back to organizations like Ely Little League and the Lake County Rescue Squad.

“People really love food trucks, and the reason they do is when you go to a truck, normally they have a specialty. And they’re really, really good at it,” Bissell said.

His hickory smoker can cook 500 pounds of meat, which would serve about 1,000 people. It burns cherry wood. Bissell will get up in the middle of the night to check the meat and put new items in.

“To do good barbecue, you have to do it the right way. You have to take the time and get up and do the things. Everything cooks at different rates, and so everything goes on at different times,” he said.

Sheila Bissell makes the barbecue sauce recipes. They have three: sweet, “Minnesota spicy,” and Bob-anero (habanero).

Bob-A-Q can be found on Facebook and on Food Truck Tracker. They’re going to many of the big Northland festivals this summer, and can also frequently be found at Castle Danger Brewing or the Country Inn in Two Harbors.

“I got meat and salt and pepper and smoke and fire. What else does a guy need?”