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Jun 20, 2002 03:41 PM

Western Kentucky Barbecue.

  • t

I grew up in Murray and will be going home in August on a barbecue mission. I want to stay in the westernmost part of the state so Owensboro and Bowling Green will be out of the picture. My old standbys are Owens in Murray and Starnes in Paducah. Anybody else have any suggestions in this part of the state? I've heard good things about Hill's in Mayfield, Knoth's in Kuttawa, and Leigh's in Kevil. Any other ideas or comments on these places would be much appreciated.

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  1. Peak Bros. Barbecue on Rt. 60 between Hendersonand Morganfield is a standout. It's been there for about 60 years. The mutton is pretty good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: flavrmeistr

      Thanks! The only place I know of in the Jackson Purchase area to get mutton is at the annual Fancy Farm picnic. Alas, that's only once a year.

    2. I heard on FoodTV that Kentucky "Q" is baah. Not for me - I'm an Oink man myself. No way Jose

      2 Replies
      1. re: Chuck

        Actually in Westrn Kentucky, pork is most prevalent. However, in Owensboro and a few other places, mutton reigns supreme.

        1. re: Chuck

          Mutton is big in SOME places in Ky, but really pork is much bigger in my opinion.

          In fact I usually only see it in maybe 1 in 10 BBQ joints that I've been to.

          I live here so I hope I know.

        2. I wished I had gotten to you back in August, but I was born and raised in Mayfield, KY, grad of Murray State University, but now live in Norwalk, Ct. While I was in Mayfield I learned from one of the best pit masters there was in Western, Ky. I will let you know Hill's is not that good of bbq. In Mayfield there is Mid Town in which my brother use to own and I cooked for. I would have to say though, Starns in Paducah is about the best in the area. MoonLight BBQ in Owensboro isn't bad but they specialize in Mutton. Pork is king in western Ky unlike one of your readers said.
          I actually bbq now in Norwalk. CT and I do it just like they do in Western,Ky/Western,TN. People around here say I do about the best around here and that is because I do it right, where most up here learned from a book or watching food network. Contact me anytime at my e-mail address if you have any questions.

          1 Reply
          1. re: RichD

            Rich, I'm originally from Henderson, KY and love Western Kentucky barbecue. I lived in NC for 4 years and was so disappointed in the barbecue there, not to mention annoyed by the people who rave about the bland mushy pork they serve. Anyway, I was wondering if you'd be willing to pass along some tips/recipes for making Western Kentucky barbecue at home.
            I live in MD now and only get back to Kentucky once a year. But my craving for good barbecue comes much more often.
            By the way, the best barbecue I've ever had was in Frankfort. No, not the Pink Pig, which is terrible. Capitol Barbecue. It was run by a guy from Owensboro, I think. His dad was a state legislator many years ago, and the family moved to Frankfort. He stayed and opened this tiny barbecue place. He retired and moved to Florida about 10 years ago, and I was crushed. Haven't had outstanding barbecue since then.

          2. Western Ky is pulled pork heaven. And I have ate all over.(Hill's in Mayfield and Starnes in Paducah-awful) Deno's BBQ in Fulton is the best hands down. Best BBQ sammich I ever have tasted. Melts in your mouth. Ribs are fire as well. He is across from Subway in Fulton, Ky. Open Thurs-Sat. You will never want to eat a BBQ sammich anywhere else again. TS.