The dream was born when Brent was living in a small town in southeast Texas and realized there wasn’t any mouthwatering BBQ in the area. He started chasing the dream of being able to provide said BBQ by cooking a countless number of briskets; over 60 in his first year. He wanted a tried and true brisket that would melt in your mouth. He’s always said, “I want you to be able to take your teeth out to eat my brisket!”
Brent was born in Orange, Texas, and cannot recall a day growing up that his grandma or parents didn’t cook some type of meat for him. When his parents would plan family vacations, they never asked Brent what he wanted to eat because they knew what his answer would be; he always wanted to eat BBQ and always wanted to try new BBQ.
Brent tried to lift his catering business off the ground once before. He had a logo, an impressive clientele, and a BBQ pit trailer that he built with his father, with resources inherited from his Grandma Faye. He operated under the name of “Twisted Q” for about 4 years. His attempts to turn his business dreams into a reality were never successful because he didn’t have the right kind of support team.
Brent quit BBQ’ing at the beginning of 2014, against family and friend’s advice. God’s word says that God is the God of the mountains, but He is also the God of the valleys! Brent stayed in a valley until mid-2015. This valley brought him closer to his family, but more importantly, closer to God.
Brent witnessed this valley become a mountain when he moved to Houston and got a new job with new benefits, better pay, and better insurance. That was until his sweetheart forced him to visit a doctor because his heart was beating hard and erratic all of the time. He visited one of the best cardiologists in Houston, Dr. Amish Dave, with the DeBakey Unit at Houston Methodist. Brent endured heart surgery at the young age of 46, due to a genetic condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy with his heart staying in atrial fibrillation 100% of the time.
Brent graduated from Orangefield High School when he was 18 years old and attended college immediately following and received an Associate Degree in Instrumentation. That being said, this field is all he’s ever known. Brent has been an Instrumentation/Electrical Designer and a SmartPlant Instrumentation (INtools) Administrator since he graduated college (for 25+ years). For those reasons, you can imagine why after a 2 week stay in ICU and the hospital, he fell apart when he was told that he could no longer work in refineries.
Here comes another valley. Or so he thought. After much deliberation with his soulmate, they decided to make a huge purchase. Something that Brent dreamt about the last 20 years; a commercial BBQ catering trailer. He finally had the support he needed to create a logo, a business brand, and someone to help turn his small business and his big dreams into an empire.
The business name pays tribute to his old drum smoker that he worked and overworked. This was the smoker that he hauled to the lake one weekend, after being out of touch with BBQ, and cooked for his sweetheart’s family for the first time. He looked in the rear-view mirror at that smoker and said, “Man I hope I’ve still got it and I’m not as rusty as that old rusty smoker!” Our new rig ain’t rusty, but everything Brent learned on that old rusty smoker is used on our new shiny one!
Brent may be known locally for his brisket and his first-place ribs, but The Rusty Smoker doesn’t discriminate against the beans, the potato salad, the cole slaw, and the rest of the fixins’. The Rusty Smoker couldn’t leave any flavor on the table and their side dishes live up to the hype of the BBQ, unlike a lot of BBQ places. Together, Ashleigh and Brent have modified, combined, edited, and tested recipes to encompass the flavor of authentic Texas style “fixins”.