You are sure to get a healthy argument in Kansas City over where to get the best BBQ. Folks in Kansas City tend to be loyal to their favorite BBQ Joint like your dog is loyal to you. One of the BBQ Joints that can claim as large of a loyal following as any in Kansas City is Arthur Bryant’s.
Arthur Bryant was know as the “King of Ribs” and some have called him the most renowned barbequer in the history of barbeque. Arthur got into the barbeque business when he visited his brother Charlie, who worked for Henry Perry who started the Kansas City barbeque tradition. Arthur never left Kansas City and the world of barbeque after this visit. After Henry and Charlie died, Arthur took over the business and perfected the sauce. About the sauce, he once said, “I make it so you can put it on bread and eat it.”
Arthur Bryant’s many loyal fans include New Yorker columnist Calvin Trillin, who once called Bryant’s the best restaurant in the world. Over the years a number of Presidents have dined at Bryant’s, including Harry Truman (the Kansas City areas hometown President), Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Other well known celebrities who have dined at Bryant’s include Steven Spielberg, George Brett, Wilt Chamberlain, Robert Redford and Jack Nicholson.
Bryant’s slow smokes its meats with a combination of hickory and oak woods (Pork Barrel BBQ’s favorite mix of smoking woods) to perfection. Step up to the counter and order a beef sandwich with white or wheat Wonder Bread. The man behind the counter slaps down the bread, puts at least a half pound of meat on the bread and then provides a generous slathering of sauce. There is literally enough meat on the sandwich for two or three meals!!! Don’t forget to add fries, beans and a good helping of pickles and wash it all down with a Boulevard Wheat Beer – Kansas City’s hometown beer.
You’ll find the original Arthur Bryant’s at 1727 Brooklyn Avenue, in downtown Kansas City. In recent years one has opened up at the Ameristar Casino and at the Legends at the Kansas Speedway. Check out Arthur Bryant’s on the web.
If you need anymore convincing just look at the picture at the top of this blog post and try not to drool all over yourself.
Pork Barrel BBQ’s biggest fan in Wyoming is Tyler Gale! Any one and a half year old who understands the value of great BBQ is clearly going to have a bright future and maybe a future investor in Pork Barrel BBQ!
You are probably familiar with Flat Stanley, the paper guy kids from around the world have taken to famous spots and not so famous spots for school projects. We thought it would be fun to see where in the world Pork Barrel BBQ is. If you are a Pork Barrel BBQ fan and are traveling send us a picture of our Pork Barrel BBQ All-American Spice Rub somewhere in the world with a brief description of where in the world Pork Barrel BBQ is.
Our first picture comes from a trip Heath took in March to the United Kingdom. The first picture in the “Where In The World Is Pork Barrel BBQ” series is a tin of All-American Spice Rub at Stonehenge.
Send us your pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many of the best pit-masters can tell when the meat on their smoker is done just by sight and touch. For those of us that don’t have BBQ ESP we have to rely on a meat thermometer. When cooking a pork shoulder, brisket or chicken a meat thermometer is an essential tool for the backyard griller.
Information courtesy the U. S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service
Besides your grill, the single most important BBQ tool you need to be a successful pit-master is a charcoal chimney! What’s a charcoal chimney you ask? A charcoal chimney lets you quickly light your charcoal without having to use any lighter fluid. Ensuring from the start that your food won’t taste like lighter fluid is a good thing!
To use the charcoal chimney you simply place some old newspaper in the bottom and then fill the chimney with charcoal and then light the newspaper through the vents at the bottom of the chimney. A short 15 minutes later your charcoal is ready for grilling!
There are several benefits to lighting your charcoal this way: 1) its faster – you’ll have hot coals in an instant; 2) there is no need for lighter fluid – meaning your food won’t taste like chemicals. Bottom line – you’re cooking faster and it tastes better! Charcoal chimnies cost about between 10 and 20 bucks and last for about five BBQ seasons depending on frequently you use it. Go pick one up today!
The charcoal chimney gets a 100 out of 100 rating for it’s ease of use and ability to allow every pitmaster to throw away their lighter fluid!
Don’t forget to visit Pork Barrel BBQ on the Internet for all your BBQ sauce and dry rub needs.
Today’s Kansas City Star has an interesting article on Kansas City BBQ by Joyce Smith titled Barbecue fans aren’t reluctant to voice opinions. As you can probably tell from past posts, I’m not reluctant to voice my opinion either when it comes to BBQ, especially Kansas City BBQ. I’ve had good BBQ all over America, and occasionally I even run into great BBQ in my travels. In Kansas City BBQ is considered a form of art and the people that sweat over smokers for hours at a time while you’re still in bed getting a good nights sleep take their art very seriously. Next time you are in Kansas City make sure you visit several of the many BBQ joints in the area that don’t just serve good BBQ, they serve great BBQ. We are big fans of the Kansas City style dry rubs and sauces and hope you’ll give our Pork Barrel BBQ All-American Spice Rub a try.
Posted on Thu, Mar. 05, 2009
Barbecue fans aren’t reluctant to voice opinions
By JOYCE SMITH The Kansas City Star
There’s an old saying that in polite social circles one should never discuss religion, politics or sex.
In Kansas City you might add barbecue to the list.
Almost nothing gets barbecue fanatics riled up as a discussion of Kansas City’s best.
Take the recent reports on the closing — then reopening Wednesday — of Famous Dave’s Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que in the Kansas City Power & Light District.
Dozens of readers rang in on The Kansas City Star’s business blog, economy.kansascity. com, with such comments as “it turns out Famous Dave’s is actually better than a lot of KC BBQ places” to “a Minneapolis BBQ joint in the BBQ capital of the world — Kansas City? What a joke.”
But there’s no debate that Kansas City is a barbecue town.
Zagat Survey even selected three barbecue places — Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue, Danny Edwards Blvd. BBQ and Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue — in its list of top 10 area restaurants for 2008.
So this week I stopped at those restaurants, and more, to get the inside scoop from pit masters themselves on what makes great barbecue.
•Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque, Kansas City and Kansas City, Kan.
The technique: “The sauce, the tradition, the way we prepare our meats — slow-smoke it over hickory and oak. The key to barbecue is the pit master. We have three here and all of them have been here over 15 years. We try to prepare it the way Mr. Bryant did 80 years ago,” said Eddie Echols, general manager.
Also on the menu: turkey, sausage.
•Danny Edwards Blvd. BBQ, Kansas City.
In 1980, Danny Edwards went head to head with legendary Gates Bar-B-Q and Arthur Bryant’s. Not only did it survive, it often makes top barbecue lists, right along with them.
“I didn’t worry about what they have, just worried about what I sell,” he said. “You just do your best. I’m the one back here doing the cooking. It really makes me happy seeing all these people at the door every day, even in a depressed economy. They just want a good product at a reasonable price.”
The technique: Juicy slow-smoked brisket using hickory wood.
Also on the menu: Mexican chili, sweet potato fries.
•Famous Dave’s Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que, Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City Power & Light District.
“Minneapolis, that’s where our company is based, but our flavors and our cooking processes and all that came from all over the country,” said Mat Eastlack, general manager of the downtown Famous Dave’s. “Our founder, Dave Anderson, spent 25 years developing his recipes from all over the country — Kansas City, Memphis, the Carolinas, Texas — and so he takes the best from all those areas.”
The technique: Signature rubs, meat smoked for 2½ to three hours, then cooled. The next day it’s brought up to 160 degrees to help break down the fats and loosen the meat up so it falls off the bone easier. It’s charred on the grill, then sauce is added and the meat is grilled until caramelized.
Also on the menu: chicken Caesar salad, catfish fingers, smoked salmon spread, Cajun chicken sandwich.
•Gates Bar-B-Q, Kansas City, Kansas City, Kan., Leawood and Independence
George Gates II calls Gates a specialty house that concentrates on just making great barbecue.
“Barbecue is an art, it’s a feeling,” he said. “Everybody can paint, but not everybody is an artist. That’s what makes Kansas City so great, because you have so many styles of painting — of artistry of barbecuing.”
The technique: The pit has to be at the right temperature with the right moisture. Ribs start off on the bottom of the pit, close to the fire. The meat is seared to keep the juice in, then moved away from the fire to finish.
“Directly over the fire, not indirect, is what gives us our Gates flavor, along with our Gates spices,” Gates said.
Also on the menu: mutton, turkey, yammer pie.
•Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue, Country Club Plaza, downtown, Martin City and Overland Park.
“We really try to focus on the quality of our raw ingredients and preparing all our products fresh from scratch,” said Case Dorman, president.
The technique: Authentic brick pits using 100 percent wood — 60 percent hickory, 40 percent oak — with meat seared at 350 degrees, then moved to a rotisserie smoker to slow-cook and hold the moisture.
Also on the menu: Rack of lamb, seared tuna, vegetable kabobs, entree salads and cheesy corn bake.
•Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue, Kansas City, Kan., and Olathe.
Started as a competition barbecue company, Oklahoma Joe’s opened as a restaurant in 1996.
“There’s a big difference in cooking barbecue in your backyard, cooking barbecue at a competition or cooking barbecue in a restaurant,” said Jeff Stehney, co-owner with his wife, Joy Stehney. “The most important thing when you go from cooking competitively or in the backyard to the restaurant is you obviously have to figure out a way to make money at it … but you do need to stay true to your belief that quality comes first.”
The technique: “Our barbecue rubs are what makes our barbecue stand out. The most important thing is how the barbecue rubs interact with the smoke and the heat,” Jeff Stehney said. “And we use only Missouri white oak to smoke with.”
Also on the menu: Red beans and rice, smoked chicken gumbo, Z-Man sandwich (smoked beef brisket, barbecue sauce, smoked provolone cheese and onion rings).