Tim’s Meats Deli & Grocery, Thunder Bay, ON

Tim’s Meats Deli & Grocery was the first place I stopped on my Canadian Pepperette Quest.

When I first walked in, I could see all the essentials were covered in the aisles of this cozy grocery store. I also saw they carried a lot of local products.

My main concern was the meat. In one aisle and on the checkout counter, there was a decent amount of it.

The real jackpot for meat was in the back where there was a large counter.

In the back, they were working hard to get everything ready for the smoker. I found out the guy holding the big cases of meat was Tim.

Tim told me that they were getting everything ready for the smoker. He said the next morning everything would be fresh and told me to drop by then. You can’t beat fresh meat off the smoker! I was back bright and early the next day when they opened.

When I got there, the store was very quiet. It was only Tim and his assistant there. Tim invited me to the back and then showed me his whole operation.

Tim then took me back to his smoker. It is right behind the store.

When I walked in, I instantly got a whiff of freshly smoked meat.

I was shown the hickory wood chips that Tim uses in his smoker. They came from my native Wisconsin!

Tim grabbed a some of the meat off the rack and then handed it to me to try.

Upon the first bite, I was in awe. The smoke flavor was phenomenal! It tasted as good as it smelled! This is definitely the smoke flavor I’m looking for in meat. It even had a slightly spicy aftertaste. I took a quick picture of the smoker and the rack of meat before we went back to the store.

Tim wasn’t done showing me what he had to offer. He had just made this new breakfast sausage that had cheese infused in it. He cut up a few slices and threw it on the stove.

In the meantime, his assistant showed me some of the other meat they had to offer.

What you see above is a spiral pork shop. Tim got the inspiration when he was at his camp and saw the Milky Way. To all the non-Thunder Bay readers out there, a camp is a very Thunder Bay term. It means cottage or cabin out in the woods. Many people from Thunder Bay retreat to their camps. For Tim, he gets inspiration and hones his craft there.

After seeing what was in the meat counter, the breakfast sausage got done cooking. Tim told me this was the first time he made this, and I’d be the first to try it.

Just like everything else I tried, this was really good! The smoke flavor along with the cheese (and a little grease) made this a great breakfast sausage.

Tim loaded up a bag full of meat and sent me on my way. Being that I came to initially buy only two pepperettes, this was way more than I was expecting! The grand tour was also great!

In that bag was some jerky, pepperettes, and the breakfast sausage I tried. Over the next few days, I tried everything and it all had the same great smoke taste. I can see Tim’s Meats is very big on smoke.

I really enjoyed stopping by Tim’s Meats and getting a behind the scenes view of how everything is made. I found out they process wild game so if I ever find myself hunting up in Ontario, I know where to take it. Even if I’m not hunting, I know where I can get some good smoke-filled meats!

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