Best BBQ Joint in Every State – 24/7 Wall St.
Pit-smoked meats have deep cultural roots in many American locations, from North Carolina to Kansas City to central Texas. In the United States, the term “barbecue” can conjure up drastically different images, from the cut of meat and type of sauce to the variety of wood used for flavor. From food trucks to whiskey lounges, the best barbecue spots all have one thing in common: they serve mouth-watering smoked meats.
To assemble a list of the best barbecue spots in each state, 24/7 Tempo reviewed and extrapolated from listings, rankings and reviews on websites including First we feast, eat this not that, Thrillist, Initiated, LoveFood, planet alone, Gayot, Eater, Food & Wineand southern lifeas well as many state-specific sites.
Many of these establishments have a cult following, and their customers are willing to queue for hours to get their slice. Some are only open for a brief window on certain days before selling out. Many are family run establishments that have been passed down from generation to generation, while others are new smokehouses run by enthusiastic young pitmasters. (Backyard BBQ is a whole other thing – basically grilling. It’s the kind that features in these expert advice for the perfect barbecue.)
Each state’s best barbecue spots represent a rich and diverse culinary heritage. Central Texas style barbecue – which has become popular in the United States – is characterized by a dry salt and pepper rub and is heavy on the beef, with sausage, turkey and pork sometimes added to the menu. Beef brisket is traditionally slowly cooked at low temperature over indirect heat, often with oak or pecan wood; and although the sauce may be offered on the side, it is generally frowned upon.
Kansas City-style barbecue, on the other hand, features a sweet, tomato-based sauce slathered with various cuts of meat, including turkey, pork shoulder, beef, pork ribs, and chicken. . Nearby St. Louis is famous for its sweet and gravy-smoked ribs over fruity woods like apple and cherry.
East Carolina barbecue focuses on pulled pork (from a whole smoked hog) with a vinegar-based sauce, while Memphis-style includes pork shoulder and ribs, and can be rubbed dry or brushed with sauce – in either case, hickory wood is often used for its intense smoky flavor. (Local specialties are not limited to barbecue. Here is the most emblematic dish of each state.)
Southern states (including Texas) tend to have the best barbecue spots in the country, but this type of food has become so popular that there are now top-notch practitioners of the art of the pitmaster. from Maine to California, from Washington to Florida.
Click here to see the best barbecue spots in each state