I doubt if even Wes Parsons, owner of Pitmaster, one of Carleton Place’s newest meal purveyors, could have predicted the overwhelming response to his custom meat smoker’s output when he opened earlier this year. It’s an omission made even more notable when you consider Wes’ history in the food biz and his never-ending attention to detail.
Pitmaster opened in August and is located on the north side of Hwy 7, just east of the Hwy 15 intersection on the site of the former Cabano Kitchen. For the longest time in recent memory this one-storey building was home to a major cheese outlet. The operator previous to Wes installed a state-of-the-art large mobile food prep trailer onto one end of the building and renovated the interior for diner seating. Wes added his own equipment masterpiece, a 12 foot long smoker with a massive 8 foot meat chamber. His aim was to fill an increasingly growing market need with his take on a traditional southern BBQ menu. From all responses received to date, Wes has hit the mark with searing accuracy.
His locally sourced meat offerings include smoked brisket, pulled pork, ribs, smoked and fried chicken, and wings all rubbed, coated, and cooked to perfection using his own recipes for everything including some heavenly baked beans and great sauces. I dropped by on a recent Friday evening to join other homeward-bound commuters in line for some great take-home treats to soon-to-be happy and filled families and friends. For my famished gang I selected the 4X4 meal combo which included a generous serving of 4 different meats along with 4 sides. I opted for Wes’ recommendations on ribs, brisket, and shredded pork and chicken along with potato salad, smoked pork chili, baked beans, and cornbread muffins served with honey-butter. This $40 value fed three of us to a delightful shade of stuffed with sufficient leftovers for a few BBQ themed weekend breakfasts.
The brisket was smoked to tender and flavourful perfection with just the right amount of crusty bark on the edges and a pervasive smoky hint. Drizzled in some of Wes’s housemade sauces or baked beans, the brisket alone is a great reason for multiple return trips. The ribs offered a similar level of punch and had just the right light touch of resistance to the meat coming off the bone. My son found that the pulled pork and chicken made great wraps when combined with the chili and BBQ sauce. It created a memorable family meal which is exactly what Wes intended when he opened Pitmaster surrounded by his own family behind the counter including cousin and business partner Bronson Bennett.
He noted that his smoker arts were drawing more eat-in clients than he anticipated and that’s probably due to customers knowing they couldn’t make it home surrounded by all those great aromas in the car without digging in. And now, thanks to another example of Wes’ perseverance, Pitmaster meals are available through the local delivery app, Valley Eats. To get this popular service in Carleton Place, Wes had to convince 10 other restaurants and diners to sign up as well. With Wes’ charm this wasn’t a big challenge.
Pitmaster is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 pm to 8 pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 am and on Sundays from noon to 7 pm. They’re closed Mondays and Tuesdays (it does take time to smoke all that meat). You can reach them by phone at 613 914 7150 and check out their menus and reviews at Facebook.com/CP.Pitmaster.
If you and your gang are hankering for some authentic BBQ, Pitmaster needs to be in your dining plans.