COLUMBUS - Mike Drinnin and Rick Chochon have mastered the art of the "flip and slop."
For more than a decade the two have used the technique when applying a secret marinade to their signature beef brisket.
It's all part of the smoking process at Boss N Sidekicks Barbecue Co., a partnership formed between Drinnin and Chochon along with their wives Beth and Tracie in 2002 that operates out of quarters at Drinnin Feedlot just north of Columbus. The origins of the company go back even further.
Drinnin began smoking meats in the mid-1990s after he learned the trade from a good friend, who was a Houston, Texas, native residing in Lincoln.
By the late '90s Drinnin had his own smoker and a willing partner in Chochon.
The two began cooking up brisket, serving it at their children's graduations, family get-togethers and friendly gatherings - and the taste caught on.
Soon, requests for the product began pouring in.
"It kind of started growing," said Drinnin, enough so that a catering license was acquired.
Boss N Sidekicks also upgraded its smoker to a unit three times the size, allowing 800 pounds of meat to be slow cooked by the heat of hickory wood delivered from Big Red Sawmill in Palmyra.
The beef brisket is seasoned with a special rub and aged up to 48 hours before hitting the smoker for 12-14 hours, creating a wafting aroma hard for even the nearby cattle to resist.
But, these animals are safe. Each certified-Angus slab comes from distributors specifically sought because they provide locally raised beef.
"We feel that the quality and consistency of that product is better," said Drinnin.
Multiple applications of the homemade marinade during the slow cook - the flip and slop process - help create a crust that melts into a juice before serving.
"It is true Texas barbecue with Midwest beef, cornfed beef," Chochon said.
Other products - chicken, stuffed pork loins, turkey, sausage and ribs - have their own unique seasoning and cooking methods.
While the brisket remains the biggest seller at 4,000 pounds per year, the men say other products are gaining popularity as customers get word of their introduction.
The name Boss N Sidekicks is catching on, as well.
"It's grown each year," Chochon said of the business.
The local barbecue company has gained individual customers ordering meat for parties or everyday dinners, while continuing to cater large open houses, employee-recognition dinners and graduations, which Chochon said is always a busy time of the year.
"A lot of the businesses in town have been good supporters," said Drinnin.
Because Boss N Sidekicks has a commercial reduced-oxygen sealer and walk-in deep freeze, products are always available and ready to be shipped across the country.
"We're pretty much ready to go all the time," Chochon said.
To date, they've sent meat to 20 states, including multiple shipments to Texas, a state known for its barbecue.
"We provide what we feel is a good, consistent product," said Drinnin.
And nearly 10 years after transforming their hobby into Boss N Sidekicks Barbecue Co., Drinnin and Chochon still enjoy cooking together.
"It's a real, true partnership," said Drinnin. "One day he'll be the boss and one day he'll be the sidekick."
For more information on Boss N Sidekicks Barbecue Co., visit www.bnsbbq.
com, call 402-564-2099 or email theboss@