The Blue Smoke Barbeque Story

A born Texan, Kevin Loustaunau thought making the authentic smoked barbeque he grew up on would be easy. He was wrong.

For nearly 15 years, Kevin spent much of his free time cooking BBQ for friends and family in Bozeman, trying to recreate Texas-style BBQ from memory. He got hooked on trying to make it right, but he never could.

That all changed on a short stay in Austin, Texas in early 2014. While eating at House Park Bar-B-Que, the city’s oldest BBQ joint, Kevin offered to work there for free if owner Matt Sullivan would teach him everything he knew about cooking barbeque.

Matt agreed, and Kevin quickly learned the key to the whole process: Cooking with 100% wood, using the right kind of wood, and burning clean smoke the whole time. Depending on the cut of meat, smoking it took anywhere from 8-14 hours, and someone had to tend to the wood about every 45 minutes. It was hard work, but it was worth it.

Justin Koller stands in front of the Blue Smoke food truck. Come find him next to Bozeman Brewing on N. Broadway Ave.

Justin Koller stands in front of the Blue Smoke food truck. Come find him next to Bozeman Brewing on N. Broadway Ave.

Kevin started casually sending photos from his work at House Park back to friend Justin Koller, a chef in Bozeman who was also interested in BBQ. It was just a hobby for Kevin, but when Justin suggested that they team up and start serving woodsmoked BBQ out of a food truck in Bozeman, he couldn’t say no.

Determined to fill Bozeman’s void of 100% woodsmoked barbeque, Kevin and Justin bought a food truck and had a smoker built in Houston. In December 2014, they officially opened Blue Smoke Barbeque, named after the clean smoke required for cooking. When the smoke has a clear or blue tint, you know you have it right.

Blue Smoke embraces the history and cooking techniques of central Texas-style barbecue while using local ingredients for a distinctly Montana flavor. The wood comes from Texas, as well as the Gallatin and Flathead Valleys; ingredients are locally sourced; and all sides are made from scratch.

The Blue Smoke Barbeque truck lives in Three Forks Montana, and also travels around Gallatin Valley for event catering services. If you’ve never enjoyed the tender, juicy wonderfulness of 100% woodsmoked barbeque, do your taste buds a favor and come on down!