Smoking out the competition

Labour of love: Mustafa (right) and Muawiz smoking meat at their house in Bandar Baru Uda, Johor Baru. — NUR AISYAH MAZALAN/The Star

JOHOR BARU: The movement control order and many hours of watching cooking clips on YouTube led two brothers to sizzle on the business front.

Mustafa Ramadhan Mazlan, 34, and Muhammad Muawiz Mazlan, 33, ventured into making and selling smoked meat in May last year.

Mustafa said they had always wanted to go into the food industry and found the perfect time to do so when the country was put under the MCO to flatten the Covid-19 curve.

“My brother had to quit his job at a fast-food outlet in Singapore after the border was closed due to the MCO. Plus, his wife was about to give birth to their first child.

“Since he had some free time back home, we decided to give it a go, ” he said when met at their house in Bandar Baru Uda here yesterday.

Prior to that, the brothers spent more than 100 hours watching countless clips on YouTube to learn the proper technique for smoking meat.

Mustafa noted that smoked barbecue is a very popular cooking method in North America and is slowly gaining popularity in Malaysia.

They ordered a custom-made smoking pit from Klang to cook the meat.

“We infuse the American way into the smoking of our meat but with a twist of Malaysian flavours; we use local herbs and spices to marinate the meat, which gives it a great taste.

“We usually cook about 20kg of meat during the weekends as the cooking hours are long and slow, ” he said.

They also use mangga wood to smoke the meat, giving it a fruity flavour.

He pointed out that for tenderloin alone, the cooking takes about seven hours while for brisket, it takes between 12 and 13 hours.

He said cooking smoked meat helped to fill up their time during the MCO and earn extra income.

“We market our products through our Facebook page, Smoking Husbands, which has helped us get a lot of customers who are mostly from around here.

“Usually, Muawiz will go around on his motorcycle to do the deliveries, ” he said, adding that they received an average order of 30 packets of meat per week even during the MCO period.

For now, most of the cooking is done at their home and they hope to open a proper restaurant in the near future.

“It would be a dream come true for us to operate our own restaurant specialising in smoked meat, ” Mustafa said.

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movement control order , MCO , smoked meat


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