With Summer comes barbequing - an American past time of grilling your favorite meats over an open flame with friends and family that's been around for ages. But I bet you didn't know that BBQ in America is broken down into 4 major types: Texas, Carolina, Memphis, and Kansas. Want to impress your friends next time you're a the grill? We're about to teach you all about American BBQ! ..who said you couldn't learn from these lists!
When a BBQ place has it's own Wikipedia page, you know it has to be good. In the center of the BBQ country, Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que has risen to the top of the most famous list. Originally called Oklahoma Joe's, now Joe's Kansas City cooks up 1000 pounds of BBQ deliciousness each day. Winning countless awards and being featured on every food show on television you'll just have to try it for yourself - especially now that you've learned so much about the great world of BBQ!
Happy (and safe!) Barbecuing everyone!!
Alabama BBQ'ing is all about slow cooking pork over hickory wood in the pit. Another thing that's special about Alabama BBQ is the famous white sauce that's put all over the meat once it's cooked. Well the inventor of that famous white sauce (75+ years ago) just happens to be Bob Gibson and this is his restaurant. At Big Bob Gibson's BBQ, you'll have the chance to taste some of the best grilling in Alabama and tell your friends that you ate where white sauce was invented. It's no wonder that even after 4 generations Big Bob Gibson is still a legend!
Pirates and BBQ? Wait.. it actually does make sense. Legend has it that barbeque made it's way over to American from the Caribbean where it was created hundreds of years ago and it's methods often used to feed the pirates of the area. Big Hoffa's Barbeque in Westfield Indiana pays tribute to this with their pirate-themed BBQ restaurant. With swashbuckling and the best BBQ in Indiana you can't go wrong. Most importantly you're learning more history about BBQ! Arghhhh!
If Yoda was a Jedi Knight of BBQ and owned a barbeque restaurant it would be the 17th Street BBQ. Owner Mike Mills (also known as 'The Legend') has won more awards for BBQ expertise than anyone - he is the Michael Phelps of grilling. Four time world champion and three time grand world champion, you just have to taste what all the rave is about. At 17th Street BBQ of Murphysboro in Southern Illinois you have a chance to see what it's all about. With their homemade sauces and rubs you'll just have to judge for yourself!
It's believed that BBQ was first experimented with by the in the South Carolina region when the Spanish introduced the pig to the land. Sweatman's Barbeque in Holly Hill embraces this idea by grilling whole pigs and serving them at the low all-you-can-eat price of $14. Open only 2 days a week, this famous BBQ restaurant (featured on the Travel Channel's No Reservations) also uses another BBQ ingredient that's specific to Carolina style cooking - mustard. Also known as 'Carolina Gold' mustard is used on pork as a sauce to help enhance the taste.
Heading down to the Jersey Shore this summer? Stop by NJ's best BBQ restaurant in Neptune (exit 100 on GSP). Local Smoke BBQ was founded on award winning BBQ and keeps on winning awards over and over again. Started by a BBQ competition team, Local Smoke has collected over 100+ awards including four-time NJ State Champions and the American Royal BBQ contest (what is called the 'World Series' of BBQ held in Kansas City)!
Do you love the barbequed awesomeness of pulled pork sandwiches? Who doesn't - and Eli's BBQ in Cincinnati Ohio has arguably the best one in America. After a full 24 hours of roasting and smoking, Eli's combines the tender pork with fresh cole slaw and a vinegar wash to bring the good people of Cincinnati an amazing BBQ flavor. Best of all, it will only set you back $5.00!
Every restaurant list wouldn't be complete without at least one glitzy, high-end restaurant most likely in Vegas. And on this list it's the Mesa Grill. Owned and operated by celebrity chef Bobby Flay, this southern style cooking restaurant turns out amazing BBQ dishes such as spice-rubbed pork tenderloin and coffee rubbed filet mignon. Located in Ceasers Palace Las Vegas, you'll be sure to get a much different experience here than the pits of the general BBQ restaurant. Be sure to try Bobby's deep dish banana cream pie for dessert!
The 4th major BBQ style in America is from the Carolinas. Many claim that BBQ was invented in the Carolinas and there are 400+ barbeque restaurants in North Carolina alone. With a heavy focus on pork, Carolina style is all about the smoking. You'll find that this style of BBQ has a strong smoke flavor to it, using different types of woods to slowly seep into the meat. If you're enjoying a smokey rib, most likely it's Carolina style.
In Lincolnton (many call the home of BBQ) the are 100 barbeque restaurants alone. Here is where you'll find the Bar-B-Q King who uses massive grills to turn out thousands of pounds of (never frozen) smokey Carolina 'Q'.
During the Civil War, large groups from the southern colinies migrated to Kansas and brought the tradidition of BBQ with them. Kansas style BBQ is often referred to as a mix of the other styles due to it's geographical location of being surrounded by other areas. Kansas style also often focuses on the sauce and has a big importance of the type and quality of the sause on the meat.
One of the top BBQ restaurants in this melting put of barbecue styles is Jet Bar-B-Q drive through. This converted firehouse actually allows you to drive your car inside to pick up your order!
Memphis is the master of pork so you can expect Memphis style BBQ to be about all things pork. Mainly ribs and pulled pork, Memphis style is primarily broken down into 2 preparations, wet (dripping with delicious sauces) or dry (usually in a rub of seasoning with no sauce).
The ultimate Memphis style BBQ restaurant is Jim Neely's Interstate Barbecue in, you guessed it, Memphis Tennessee. With a full multi-award winning menu of anything that's pork, Interstate Barbeque is regarded as one of the best examples of traditional Memphis style BBQ. Not planning to be in Memphis anytime soon - they offer orders with overnight shipping to anywhere in the country!
The first major type of American BBQ is Texas style. Handed down from past generations from Germany and other European countries, Texas style keeps the main focus on the meat and any sauce and rubs are secondary, Often chopped instead of sliced, and primarily beef, Texan BBQ dishes are mainly brisket and link sausage.
One of the most famous Texan BBQ restaurants is The Salt Lick in Driftwood. Here you can sample many of the traditional Texas-style barbeque from their famous circular grilling pit.