If you make your way around Stanchfield, Minnesota, you won’t find a lot of people (population of 118 in 2010). What you will find however, is a beautiful operating farm called, the R&M Speltz LLC Farm. The town is located an hour north of the Twin Cities, Minnesota and is named for Daniel Stanchfield who was a timber cruiser from Maine, logging white pine in the area in the late 1840’s.
The community remains small and rural and is dotted by local farms, a few cafes and a post office. That’s where we found Dr. Ryan Speltz, farmer and veterinarian. He shared his experience on the farm and his Lang Smoker Cooker.
Lang: What got you interested in barbequing?
Dr: I prefer to say it’s my passion for natural self-sustainable farming” that led me to processing our own farm beef, goat, poultry and venison meats. Hence the need to smoke our meats, both our hand processed ones like summer sausage and brats, to straight cuts, and also briskets, loins, butts and legs.
The Lang 84” Fat Boy, always ready to go.
Lang: When did you first purchase a Lang?
Dr: In July of 2019. I purchased the Lang 84” Fat Boy Kitchen on wheels. They customized it for larger wheels to roll better on farm gravel and added extra rack inside for smoking more meats. The 84” will take whole hog, and it also holds about 100 -18” long summer sausages 3” diameter for smoking. The larger barrel on this Lang is ideal for large batch smoking of meats on the farm.
The family in front of a restored FarmAll tractor
Lang: How does your Lang fit in with all the other factors for the farm/family?
Dr: On this self-sustaining farm, the Lang Smoker needs to function in two areas without fail. First, for processing (smoking) our yearly supply of meats. Second, to enjoy mealtime with our family on weekends, graduations, and other events.
Lang: Being on a farm, it would seem you have access to an array of meats?
Dr. We go through a wide menu of meats with our 84. That list typically incudes,
- Venison Summer Sausage
- Beef Briskets
- Poultry whole bird smoking and grilling
- Year supply of Pork Hotdogs, Venison Brats
- Leg of Lamb and Leg of Goat/Caprine
- Pork Butts
- Whole Hog
Stocking up for the year’s supply of food.
Lang: What features do you like best about your Lang?
Dr: The Reverse Flow is a feature that is great; don’t get me wrong, but for us on the farm, it’s also about reliability and supremely strong USA built quality, and this Lang BBQ Smoker has it hands down. My smoker will last my lifetime and that needs to be 40 years… LoL.
Ham and turkey on the grill.
Lang: What are your insights about Lang Reverse Flow?
Dr: When you’re grilling, and smoke flame-up happens, it’s a killer on my meat. This type of offset stick box and flow makes cooking easy and prevents that from that happening. Then when I smoke, the reverse flow allows me to maximize the smoker’s surface area and feel confident all the meat will be smoked evenly, verses being burned on one end more than the other which happens when you smoke on non-reverse flow smokers.
Lang: So, you work as a farmer and a veterinarian, how long have you been a veterinarian?
Dr: Graduated University of Minnesota 1999. Both positions are beneficial to what we do.
Lang: Were you cooking before you started to barbeque?
Dr: Yes, I used Charbroils, Webers, and Old Smokies on the charcoal side, then Electric woodchip burners for smokers.
Clean and always ready to prepare meals.
Lang: How did you go about getting into barbeque cooking?
Dr: Self-sustainable farming! Also, all my uncles are farmers and did their own meats in the old country ways, so I grew up eating their delicious foods and desiring to have them on my farm.
Lang: What would you say makes your barbeque meals unique?
Dr: My thought is that we are not “unique” in our recipes, but the key is that we are consistently good. We smoke meats that supply our large farm family with enough meals to live each year comfortably.
Lang: Can you share some of your cooking techniques?
Dr: We like simple rubs, typically dry rubs with salt, peppers, paprika and such. We do low and slow, most of the time temperatures are not higher than 220 degrees of longer duration.
Lang: What is your main goal when you cook?
Dr: Produce healthy and good tasting meats that can be enjoyed that same night and can also be kept for months in freezers etc.
Lang: What were the pitfalls you didn’t expect when you started barbequing?
Dr: The biggest headache we have dealt with is not having enough grill space. When we had to smoke on electric smokers that are too small, I needed to do multiple batches over days or late into the night. Also, we don’t like flare up or grilling and BBQ hotspots– that really wrecks meats. Lang eliminates all of that! We also found that there are not a lot of resources on smoking larger quantities of sausages like venison summer sausage, brats and such and we like to think the Lang is perfect for all this on a farm.
Lang: What are the favorite meals you like to prepare?
Dr: I love my Summer Sausage all year, but when you say meals, I say I still like a nice leg of goat smoked.
Lang: What type of wood do you favor when cooking?
Dr: We favor hickory.
Lang: Can you share a recipe with us?
Dr: Sure, here’s my Beef Brisket recipe.