We call it the “Ribslayer.” We used to watch a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and we came up with it with our friends! Actually, we have a new kitty named “Buffy” now! The smoker is a Klose Pit. The best Pit Smokers in the world and it was born in Texas, and we don’t mess with things from Texas.
Would you want to get on the bad side of a 9,000-pound, custom-built, tree-eating, fire-breathing, beast cooking machine? It’s pitch black and 25 feet long. And it’s mean — a special kind of mean that triggers sweat with one look but ultimately brings out the best in whatever it’s up against.
One of the largest smokers in the Portland area, the Ribslayer can cook over 1,000 pouds of meat at a time. Divide that number by chickens and pigs, and you get the idea. Let us Smoke a Pig for ya.
Established in 2001, Ribslayer is known for its flavorful foods and friendly staff. This little diner is what many would call “A Great Little Hole In The Wall” and we wear that badge with pride.
We slow-smoke our BBQ — up to eight hours — over choice woods, like oak, cherry, and apple, for an exceptional taste. It’s honest-to-goodness barbeque flavor that you can’t get from charcoal, pellets or (gasp!) propane.
We hit the meat with just-right seasoning and let it go to work, then keep the fire low and let the savory soak in. Mmmm. Only then can that one-a-kind flavor emerge from deep inside. You’ll taste the difference, in bite after succulent bite. Hungry yet?
Craig and Theresa favor flavor. Great flavor.
They got married for more than love of BBQ, but ask either of them about it and watch their eyes light up. (And then walk away, unless you have a lot of extra time on your hands.)
And they aren’t just enthusiasts, they are experts with the training, resumes and recipe books to match.
In addition to tending the Ribslayer, Craig and Theresa run a full-service catering business — aptly named Haagenson’s Catering — that focuses on fresh, conversation-worthy experiences in and all around the McMinnville area.
For more than 25 years, Chef Craig Haagenson has been creating tastes and experiences people talk about — interesting, complex and approachable food that matches the moment. He believes catered fare should be surprising and surprisingly good, always assembled from the freshest local ingredients, and tasty enough to lift the spirit of the time and place without overshadowing the main event.
His culinary adventures began at San Francisco’s Hotel and Restaurant Program at City College and the San Francisco Culinary Academy where he took extended classes in banquet training as well as the attending CIA’s Napa Valley for BBQ and cheese specialties. His professional experiences have included positions with Red Lion Hotels and Hyatt Hotels; a variety of San Francisco’s South Bay restaurants including Dartanian’s, Le Mouton Noir, Maxi’s Dining Room and The Plumed Horse; and as manager of several showcase accounts for corporate food service giant Sodexho Management Services.
Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Chef Haagenson has followed his dream and blended it with culinary passion and quality ingredients to create what is now, Haagenson’s Catering and Ribslayer BBQ-To-Go in wine country central, Yamhill County, Oregon.