Over 3.5 million readers this year!

Electrical Lineman Turned BBQ Pit Master (PHOTOS)

Smoked N Tender owner James Andrews has a passion. That passion is barbecue.

Smoked N Tender co-owner James Andrews pulls a finished slab of brisket from his smoker at the pop-up restaurant in front of Lou Taubert Ranch Outfitters on Friday, June 16, 2017, in downtown Casper. BBQ enthusiast James Andrews and his wife Nichole had recently turned their hobby into a business, which eventually evolved into a popular food truck. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City News File)

Update, Oct. 7: Since this article was fist published on June 16, James Andrews has purchased and completed work on his custom trailer and will now be regularly open for business at 411 S. Walsh, and will be available for special events. Their Facebook page with regular updates and menu is @smokedntender. 

Smoked N Tender owner James Andrews has a passion.

That passion is BBQ, and he’s dedicated enough to sleep on a cot in a pop-up tent set up right in downtown Casper.

He sleeps there to keep a close eye on his custom built smoker that slowly turns slabs of meat into mouth watering culinary delights. The meat needs his attention as he maintains the balance of heat and smoke that he’s perfected over years of trial and error.

During the day, he relies on the irresistible smell of smoked meats to attract people in town for CNFR who might want to stop at the famous Lou Taubert Ranch Outfitters store downtown, where he has set up his stand through Saturday night.

After thirteen years of practice James, along with his wife Nichole, recently decided to turn his obsessive hobby for smoking and BBQ into a part-time business.

He decided to move forward after taking one of his beer smoked chickens into work when everyone seemed to be having a bad day. “As soon as I showed up and we all ate, it changed the whole course of the day”, recalls Andrews.
Andrews describes his version of smoked as “real deal BBQ”. He says the brisket for example is more savory and sweet than traditional Texas BBQ. “We’ve never been to Texas”, proclaims Nichole.

For the time being he plans on keeping his day job as a lineman at Rocky Mountain Power. He is waiting for a custom smoke pit trailer that won’t need as much babysitting as his current smoker. Eventually the Andrews plan on opening a permanent drive-up stand, but until then they are open for events and catering. They’re planning another pop-up tent during the eclipse events as well.

James Andrews carves up smoked brisket at the Smoked N Tender BBQ stand in downtown Casper on Friday afternoon. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)


James Andrews reloads the warmer with freshly chopped smoked brisket in the Smoked N Tender pop up BBQ stand on Friday afternoon in front of Lou Taubert Ranch Outfitters in downtown Casper. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)