Sharpen your incisors and get to these Northern Michigan eateries for smoked meats perfect at hunting camp or in your holiday charcuterie spread.

Plath’s Meats

2200 East Mitchell Road, Petoskey, 231.348.8100

Swinging open the door at Plath’s tints the early winter breeze with the scent of pork loins, bellies and hams slowly caramelized in a sweet cloud of oak smoke. This month marks the Plath family’s centennial season since Emil Plath, the clan’s young German progenitor, landed in Rogers City with a few bucks and a bulletproof recipe for Kasseler Rippchen, the succulent signature smoked pork loin peddled by the pound in their stores today. The original butcher shop and smokehouse still operates in Rogers City, and Plath’s brought their bacon to a Petoskey location in 2008, attracting devoted carnivores from Traverse City to the Soo. Rightly known for “the best ham in the land,” Plath’s draws from an extensive catalogue of family recipes to produce artisanal bacons, pork loins, poultry and Old World sausages like Metwurst, Braunschweiger and Kielbasa, along with seasonal specialties like smoked leg of lamb.

Gabe’s Country Market

8647 South Maple City Road, Maple City, 231.228.6224

Maple City’s meat mavens smoke up some toothsome jerky, bacon and housemade sausages. Don’t miss the moist honey-cured turkey jerky and garlicky smoked kielbasa.

Buntings Cedar Market

9054 South Cedar Road, Cedar, 231.228.7460

Buntings beckons with the sweet smoky waft of their signature boneless mini hams pulled hot from the smokehouse. Supplement with sausages, cheese and chutney.


407 South Union Street, Traverse City, 231.947.7698

Maxbauer’s stokes an old fashioned smokehouse to complement their myriad of fresh meats. Slice up some smoked bratwurst, lamb sausages or succulent pork loin.

John Cross Fisheries

209 Belvedere Avenue, Charlevoix, 231.547.2532

Freshly caught whitefish, trout, salmon and chubs enjoy an overnight bath in the Cross family’s secret brines and emerge from the smoker deliciously addictive. Don’t miss the hot-smoked salmon and smoked fish dip.

Tannery Creek Meat Market

1210 US-31 North, Petoskey, 231.439.3663

Peppercorn bacon, chickens, chops and intensely flavorful hunters sausage soak up a slow smoke treatment at Tannery Creek, Petoskey’s busiest meat depot.

Get more on Northern Michigan food & drink in the November 2013 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.