For the LOVE of family and MEAT. Not always in that order.

Let's get to the meat on the bone

The point of a Hustle is not just to feel the satisfaction of accomplishment, it’s about feeding the soul.

The projects you chose to tackle on your own should feel different than the ones you take on at work. Even though a similar level of attention to detail, passion and dedication can be applied, the end result is so much more meaningful when the motivation for the craft comes directly from the heart. This is 100% apparent for Manning the Q, an Instagram account created by two brothers, Jon and Chris

who were later joined by their now dedicated Dad. The family account shows off a shared love for smoked meat, but there’s so much more to it than the mouthwatering meat pics they post. This Hustle is about a nerdy obsession, a surprising form of escapism and the ultimate reward: sharing great food and quality time with the ones you love.

Meat the Manning Men

Meet Dad, Jon and Chris—the men who man the Manning the Q account. Most weekends you’ll find at least one of these three guys shopping the local meat markets and spending hours upon hours brining, rubbing, smoking, wrapping, unwrapping and, eventually, sharing meat masterpieces with their families and the internet. How does a meat smoking addiction become a family Instagram account you ask? Well, it all started with the need for an escape from the everyday. And for Chris and Jon, this was as simple as spending some time in their backyards with a couple Weber Smokey Mountain cookers. With a texting habit similar to two high school besties, it didn’t take long for the over share of meat pics to encourage an upping of the ante with new recipes and smokers. Jon invested in a Traegar Pro Series 34, and in a total tit-for-tat move, Chris did the same. Shortly after the Instagram account was created to document their smoking journey, Dad joined in with a Traeger Century 22.

For the love of meat

If you’re going to ask Jon about his meat smoking process, get ready. He’ll talk your ear off. For something that was originally intended to provide a different creative outlet than the workplace, smoking meat has become more like an obsession than a hobby. By discovering the world of smoked meat, Jon also discovered a whole culture that surrounds it.

“The BBQ community in Edmonton is awesome. I’ve made tons of friends through our account. We share tips and tricks, and it’s really supportive.”

Over the past two years, his knowledge of different meat smoking techniques, communities and competitions around the world has blown up.

Although the meat smoking habit most often takes place on the weekend, the obsession carries on throughout the week. Jon is constantly collecting new recipes, watching how-to videos and shopping the latest meat smoking gadgets. His BBQ Country smoker pellet punch card is always on hand and if he’s left the office for the full lunch hour, you know where to find him. 

Because there are so many ways to smoke meat, we can’t talk about them all. 
(NO JON. WE CAN’T!) But to scratch the surface of how deep the love of meat goes in the 
Manning family, below is the process for each meat smoked on the day of the family
gathering photographed in this Hustle feature.

“Mom always says food tastes best when it’s made with love.
I believe that. The process helps the meat to come out right, but it’s the heart that
motivates us to make something that feeds the soul when we all sit down to eat together.”

When you feed your soul you can be your whole self for the ones you love. You have more to give, and not just in the way of smoked meat. There’s an energy and confidence that comes with having a hobby, or a hustle. The meditative moments when it’s just the man and the meat, the satisfaction of flexing those creative muscles in a different way, and the ability to share the end result with the ones you love make this Hustle a truly rewarding one—not just for the Hustler but for his friends and family (and photographer) too.

Follow @the_hustle_yeg on Instagram for more inspiring stories

Follow @ManningTheQ on Instagram to experience the smoked meat obsession

Nicola Pringle

Page Concept and art direction - Nicola Pringle. Subject: Jon Manning - Advertising Creative Director, Copywriter, and BBQ obsessive. Photography - Bluefish Studios. Thanks to the Manning family for sharing Grandma’s B-Day BBQ with us. Follow the meat on Instagram at @manningtheQ