Homer’s uses third-generation Southern barbecue recipes

Stan Chaffin prepares collard greens in the kitchen of Homer’s Smokehouse BBQ. (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

Editor’s note: Homer’s Smokehouse BBQ has changed its hours. See updated hours below.

Queen Creek has had many big name restaurants open in the last few months, but locally owned businesses still exist.

Stan and Sam Chaffin own Homer’s Smokehouse BBQ, 1532 W. Ocotillo Road in San Tan Valley, where the couple cooks Southern barbecue favorites low and slow on an outdoor smoker Mr. Chaffin designed himself.

“The brisket sits on there all day, at a real low temperature,” Mr. Chaffin said. “What it does is put a bark on it.”

The brisket cooks anywhere from 18 to 26 hours.

He said most people will take the meat off the smoker and put it in a hot box, but he does not because it will dry out.

Mr. Chaffin has been smoking meat since he was a young child in Alabama, when he would help his grandfather.

And that ultimately was how he decided on the name of his restaurant. Homer’s is named after his grandfather. Inside customers can see pictures of the eatery’s namesake when he was 16 and then again at 90.

“They didn’t have birth certificates. Everything was in Bibles,” he said. “He married her (Mr. Chaffin’s grandmother Deema) when he was 16 and she was 13. We’re talking about early 1900s.”

Life took the Chaffins all over the country, and he took his meats with him via his food truck.

“I’ve done the Final Four in Charlotte, North Carolina, balloon festivals,” he said. “We had the food trailer (in Queen Creek) for a year.”

A sampling of the homemade brisket, mac and cheese and baked beans offered at the Homer’s Smokehouse BBQ menu. (Courtesy of Homer’s Facebook page)

The food truck took four years for Mr. Chaffin to design, but the couple quickly outgrew the trailer.

“We couldn’t do the homemade cinnamon rolls, she couldn’t do her baking on the trailer,” he said. “We couldn’t do other things we wanted to do.”

In October, the couple was able to start renting the building they are in now from Pam Vowell at the Big Tin Cotton Gin. They had been selling barbecue from their food truck at the antique shows.

“I remodeled the whole place,” he said. “It gave us the opportunity to do the things we enjoy doing.”

If you’re looking for Southwestern-style food, you won’t find it at Homer’s.
“I don’t use chilies or jalapeños or anything like that,” he said. “Everybody (in Arizona) has that.”

Now that she has extra space, Mrs. Chaffin can do more baking. She makes honey white bread and cinnamon rolls from scratch.

“You can’t get fresh food out here,” she said. “Everything is processed.”

Sam Chaffin prepares to ice the giant, homemade cinnamon rolls for which Homer’s Smokehouse BBQ is becoming famous. (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

All the recipes are from the couple’s grandparents or great-grandparents. Mr. Chaffin even uses one of his grandmother’s cast iron skillets.

“It’s stuff we grew up with,” he said.

Mr. Chaffin’s grandparents grew everything from tomatoes to watermelons on their 2,000-acre farm in Alabama, he said.

“She (Mr. Chaffin’s grandmother) taught me how to bake pies, fried green tomatoes,” he said. “I could go on and on with all the foods that I learned from her and then my mother,”

The couple has plans to expand their offerings to include homemade sausage in the near future. Sometimes they even cook ribs, if the prices are not too high.

“Everybody’s on a budget,” he said. “I try to get it to where the price is fair for everybody.”

A giant cinnamon roll, homemade at Homer’s Smokehouse BBQ. (Courtesy of Homer’s Smokehouse BBQ Facebook page)

For people who have never visited Homer’s before, Mr. Chaffin said they should.

“Step back in time to when you were a kid.”


Homer’s Smokehouse BBQ is at 1532 W. Ocotillo Road (at Meridian Road), San Tan Valley.
Updated hours are: Open Wednesdays-Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. or until food runs out.
Telephone: 480-440-9734.
Website: https://www.facebook.com/homerssmokehouse/

Arianna Grainey is a freelance photojournalist.

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