What is a food truck rally — or Colorado festival of any kind — without good, smoky barbecue?

It’s an American food truck classic.

So, when in Northern Colorado, you don’t want to miss Bigs Meat Wagon.

For this entrepreneur, the first thing was the sauce. Then came the meat—all the meats: pulled pork, pork belly, brisket, chicken and sausage. Find the truck at special events, and he’ll certainly have some exotic meats like those he’s served up at Taste of Fort Collins. Think alligator and ostrich.

Meet Northern Colorado food truck Bigs Meat Wagon

The food truck: Bigs Meat Wagon

Big is: Joe McQuain

Position: Owner/pit boss/dishwasher/circus ringleader

Home city: Fort Collins, Colorado

Bigs Meat Wagon has been around since: 2013

You can typically find the Fort Collins food truck: Tuesdays at the FoCo Food Truck Rally at City Park and Thursdays at the Fossil Creek Food Truck Rally. If there is a festival or an event, Bigs is sure to be there.

This Fort Collins food truck serves up: Barbecue to die for, gourmet grilled cheese—from caprese-style to smoky meat add-ins, and six-cheese mac and cheese.

LISTEN TO WIN: Townsquare NoCo radio stations have your chance to win $50 to spend at the Fossil Creek Food Truck Rally. Listen Monday afternoon to RETRO 102.5, Thursday afternoon to 99.9 The Point and at 3:20 on Wednesdays on K99.

Price range: $3-$30

Bigs does this: For the love of barbecue and believing everyone deserves great BBQ

bigs meat wagon barbecue at Taste of Fort Collins
Sean Leddy

The thing that makes this food truck special: McQuain and team make just about everything from scratch.

What inspired you to start this culinary venture on wheels?

McQuain bottled and sold barbecue sauce at the farmers market, and people wanted to buy the meat he was sampling. This was a lightbulb moment. He discovered that a trailer was the most optimal method to bring the full package to market.

What do you consider your signature dish, and what makes it stand out from similar dishes at other food trucks or restaurants?

Gourmet grilled cheese

bigs offers specialty meats and special events
Sean Leddy

What’s the story behind your most popular dish or dishes?

The sauce took McQuain five years to perfect. The grilled cheese, he says, has saved the business because it has more wiggle room than the meat. Coloradans are not huge “meatheads” like Texans and other barbecue states, where it’s a culture. People will wake up at 6 a.m. to get in line and wait for amazing “Q.”

What’s your unique sourcing story?

The smoked corn comes from Miller Farms in Erie. Joe Miller helped McQuain start with free corn until the food truck started running well.

What’s extra special about your truck/trailer itself?

McQuain built the trailer and bought the smoker and propane tank locally from Schrader’s. It took some time, but it finally came together, he says. “I have had a few other people work on it after the fact, but she is the original and the reason that my barbecue tastes so good.”

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