"Hog dogs" cook in the smoker on Wednesday at Fat & Tasty BBQ in Hogback. In addition to ribs, J.R. and Derrick Keeswood also sell other food,
"Hog dogs" cook in the smoker on Wednesday at Fat & Tasty BBQ in Hogback. In addition to ribs, J.R. and Derrick Keeswood also sell other food, including brisket, pulled pork, smoked bologna, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and dessert. (Jon Austria — The Daily Times)

HOGBACK — Jacob Colorow's blue car came to a skidding halt Wednesday afternoon along U.S. Highway 550.

He had just passed mile post 30 when he noticed the florescent green sign with "Hog Dogs" written on it.

"I forgot where you lived," he said to J.R. Keeswood, the owner of Fat & Tasty BBQ in Hogback, after he arrived at the food stand.

Colorow stopped at Fat & Tasty BBQ to pick up a slab of smoked barbecue pork ribs.

"It's really good," he said.

Fat & Tasty BBQ isn't a run-of-the mill food stand. It's run out of Keeswood's home. It often sells out, is open only once a week and, even more uniquely, Keeswood announces the weekly sale through only one medium — Facebook.

Usually, he announces sales two days in advance.

Keeswood's Facebook profile boasts nearly 3,900 friends. Although he plans to establish a business page for Fat & Tasty BBQ, until then, he takes nearly all of his orders for slabs of ribs through his personal page.

Keeswood said he started selling ribs from his house, which is next to the highway, in April. He and his brother, Derrick Keeswood, work together to bring their barbecue to the area.

The idea for smoked barbecue came up during a trip to Dallas in July.

J.R. Keeswood was recovering from major surgery, and he and his family were driving down Lamar Street, exploring the city. They came upon a gathering that reminded them of those in Shiprock — cars parked along the street and people out socializing.

But it was the smell J.R. Keeswood remembered most.

"I could smell that smoke," he said.

Among the people and cars, there were smokers for smoking meat. The Keeswood brothers and their mom put together the cash they had and purchased ribs and hot links from a guy named "Old School."

"We should try making that," J.R. Keeswood said he recalled thinking.

So they did. The brothers' father and uncle made the custom smoker they use. It can fill up to 52 slabs of pork ribs.

The brothers have also since perfected their smoking blend of wood. They use pecan, oak and cherry woods to smoke their meats, but they stick to their Navajo roots when starting the fire.

"To get our fire started, we go back Navajo style — we go cedar," J.R. Keeswood said.

In addition to the custom blends of wood, J.R. Keeswood said the brothers use their own custom dry rub and barbecue sauce.

"We don't put ketchup on our (hot) dogs," he said.

Customers who place orders pay $20 for a slab of ribs and choose whether they want their ribs dry or with barbecue sauce. Fat & Tasty also delivers for an extra $5 per slab. They have delivered ribs as far as Sheep Springs, a 54-mile drive.

At right, Vona Garduno, of Bloomfield, picks up her order on Wednesday from J.R. Keeswood, the owner of Fat & Tasty BBQ in Hogback.
At right, Vona Garduno, of Bloomfield, picks up her order on Wednesday from J.R. Keeswood, the owner of Fat & Tasty BBQ in Hogback. (Jon Austria — The Daily Times)

People who pre-order ribs can come to J.R. Keeswood's house and choose the slab of ribs they want off the cooker precisely at 5 p.m.

"I make them wait," J.R. Keeswood said, noting people line up to choose their ribs.

Though ribs are the staple of the once-a-week food sales, the brothers also have offered brisket, pulled pork, what they call "hog dogs," and, last week, smoked bologna. They also offer sides like fat guy potatoes, mashed potatoes with cheese and bacon bits, macaroni and cheese and desserts.

J.R. Keeswood said he'd like to add smoked mutton, which he has made for family gatherings. He said it's delicious, but the price of mutton is too high to make the venture profitable.

Regardless, he stands by the food that is prepared by Fat & Tasty BBQ.

"Anything we make, it's got to be good. We guarantee it," he said. "If you don't like it, bring it back, and we'll eat it for you."

For More Information:
To findout when Fat & Tasty BBQ is selling ribs, go to facebook.com/biggjr.keeswood or facebook.com/derrick.keeswood and add J.R. or Derrick Keeswood as a friend.
The brothers announce sales at least two days prior.

 

Erny Zah is The Daily Times business editor. He can be reached at 505-564-4638. and ezah@daily-times.com. Follow him @ernyzah on Twitter.