Is it just me or does this time of year just scream, “It’s time for BBQ!”? I’m not sure if it’s the warmer weather or longer days, but there’s something about enjoying the outdoors surrounded by idyllic mountain views, great company and the aroma of a smoky fire that reminds me it’s okay to slow down every now and then and enjoy the little things.

There’s nothing little about my obsession with barbecue, that’s for certain. Growing up, I could tell you my top five dining establishments based on what cut of protein I was craving for that day. However, the ambiance of real wood smoke provides more than just hearty comfort food, especially when combined with an atmosphere the entire family can savor together.

That is what defines success for local catering and concession barbecue business Cowboy’s Dash BBQ. Not only is this authentic barbecue company staking its claim in the Ark Valley by offering a variety of proteins and traditional home-cooked side dishes all done “low and slow” on their own custom smoker, but this family-friendly company also showcases the true meaning of coming together over a delicious meal by being family-owned and operated.

Kirk and Bren Saewert began pursuing their love of barbecue a few years ago, cooking for friends and family, which turned into hosting large parties and catering events at church. Because their approach to barbecue was so unique in this area, they were encouraged to continue pursuing their culinary passion. In 2016, the Saewerts and Cowboy’s Dash BBQ invested in a large custom-built food truck with a custom smoker to take that passion to another level. They can be found in the summer off the highway in Buena Vista, but definitely make it your first stop because their food sells fast!

“Our menu is pretty simple. We offer four different meats and four or five different side dishes. You can get the meat in sandwiches or on a platter of multiple meats. You can combine these items in pretty much any way you want to build a plate of food,” said Kirk.

For me, the simplicity of their menu is what defines great barbecue – letting the meat speak for itself. In this line of work, it’s all about the process. And by that, I mean the willingness to be patient and give it time. Cowboy’s Dash starts with high-quality meat they properly trim and season with homemade rubs. The fire gets going an hour prior to any cuts hitting the rack, using primarily pecan wood.

Once the meat is loaded in the firebox, Kirk says the babysitting process begins. Their pork ribs slow cook for five to six hours, hand-pulled pork cooks for over 12 hours and their beef brisket gets around 18 hours in the smoke. The results are perfectly tender and moist, no matter what you decide to order. I recommend loading your plate up and trying it all. (You can thank me later.)

Cowboy’s Dash BBQ is already signed up to showcase their delicious flavors at this year’s Collegiate Peaks Rodeo, Gold Rush Days and the Rapids and Grass Festival. However, they also offer full-service and self-serve catering for any style of event, where you can see three generations of their family proudly satisfying the masses. For weddings, company or church events, or simply complete meals prepared and ready to go for your next large gathering, you definitely want to remember Cowboy’s Dash next time you are looking to throw a party.

To me, a great meal results from an attention to detail that culminates in a unique dining experience, and those are the meals that really stick with you. The flavors are memorable, leaving diners with happy and satisfied. We spend a lot of time and money on what we choose to fuel our bodies, and I know I definitely want it to be something worthwhile. This barbecue will add pleasure to your day and keep you coming back for more.

“One question we get often is about our name, Cowboy’s Dash,” said Kirk. “You may have heard the old adage, ‘The beginning and ending years on your tombstone are not so important, it’s what you do with the “dash” in between those years.’ We’re fans of Cowboy Ethics/The Code of the West and feel it is a good way to live your ‘dash,’” he said.

For more details about where to find Cowboy’s Dash BBQ, visit their website, CowboysDashBBQ.com.