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Where does the best BBQ in the USA?

I am conducting a project this summer to travel across America and discover the best dishes, restaurants and food producers. I am writing about all my experiences and posting it up on my site; www.foodgoblin.com

Having researched BBQ in America (it is different entirely to what we mean by 'bbq' in the UK) I have learned that there are MANY different types - e.g. Texas/East and West North Carolina/St Louis etc

Where do YOU think does the best BBQ? And why?

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  1. Texas West BBQ in Sacramento, CA. Their hand rubbed spice blend and slow smoking process produces a mouth watering tender meat that pleases a faithful clientele consisting of folks from all walks of life.
    Check out their web site:

    1 Reply
    1. I'd suggest either a differnt forum here on CH or a diffent website all together.

      Might want to check out www.roadfood.com.

      Jane and Micheal Stern who run the site are well versed in BBQ around the country and I bet you can find 200 places in a hours time on that site to visit if in the country for a few months.

      They re quite accessible via e-mail as well and also host a weekly talk radio show run on NPR, similar to your BBC radio.

      it's not hard finding good BBQ ad nauseum in the states. It's narrowing down the choices of which ones you want to visit and their locale.

      Best of luck.

      Jane and Michael Stern drive around America looking for good food. After meeting at Yale, where they came to study art, they began a collaboration that has yielded over forty books, including the good-eats guide Roadfood, cookbooks Square Meals and American Gourmet, and pop-culture best-sellers Elvis World, The Encyclopedia of Bad Taste, and Way Out West. The Sterns have won three James Beard journalism awards for their monthly column in Gourmet magazine, which takes readers to the best restaurants in small towns and cities all around the country. They are weekly contributors to "The Splendid Table" on Public Radio.


      by state


      by BBQ


        1. Wow! What an ambitious project, sounds like sooo much fun! Be warned, each area of the country feels they do BBQ the "right" way so you will end up with many different opinions. Can't wait to read about your trip...can you pick me up in NJ?


          1. My problem is I think they are ALL delicious in their own ways!

            The Carolina's do whole hogs and their sauces are made with vinegar as the base, the further South you go, I believe, the tomato gets lost and it's basically mustard & vinegar, and so good!

            Memphis does dry rubs, no sauce please, and they are famous for their ribs, you have to go to Memphis, or your project will not be complete.

            Kansas city and St. Louis are the places where the brown sugar & tomatoes make up a lot of their sauce, and it's the most familiar kind of BBQ to most Americans.

            Texas, in so many ways, is an island in itself. They do beef, and practically only beef. Dry rubs and slooooow smoking, sometimes mopped with a whiskey-tomatoey-spicy sauce. If it aint done on a slow smoker, it ain't done right. Try their beef ribs & brisket. It's incredible.

            Hope that helps. Do yourself a favor & go to the states in between, you'll find plenty of great BBQ and people who are proud of it! Happy Trails!

            1. Blimey, FoodG. I suspect you may have opened a can of worms.

              As fellow Brits, even my nephew and I can't agree. He is a big fan of what I think is south western BBQ - ie primarily beef, whereas I wouldnt look beyond Carolina piggy. And, even there, my partner and I can't agree on which sauce style is the best. She likes the sweeter tomato based ones, whereas I'd always go for the South Carolina mustard

              1. You need to go to Texas and try the Texas BBQ Trail.


                Then there is the Texas Brisket Triangle.


                2 Replies
                1. re: James Cristinian

                  And, by way of contrast with Texas BBQ, you might like the North Carolina BBQ Trail


                  1. re: Harters

                    I would love to try North Carolina BBQ, and would have the only time I drove through back in the '80s, but was young and clueless. I will give a heads up to Mr. Wayne Monk of Lexington BBQ in Lexington. We saw a t-shirt on one of the cooking shows with a pig on it, and my wife liking all things pig, I called. I only had Amex and another card they didn't accept, offered to send Mr. Monk a check or money order, instead he shipped us a freebie t-shirt my wife still proudly wears. Thank-you Wayne Monk, a class act. This blog is a good one and touches on pretty much all places BBQ.


                2. All BBQ is good. Well, as long as it is good BBQ. I don't care if it's Memphis, Nashville, South or North Carolina, Kansas City style, Texas beef, California Tri tip, dry rub, wet mop I don't care. I LOVE IT ALL! I live in GA and it's all about the pig. From the rooter to the tooter.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: shnoopy

                    Thank you for reminding me about our own special BBQ here in my adopted state of California. yes, Santa Maria tri tip is Awesome!! Definitely have to try it out here!

                    1. re: shnoopy

                      Agreed -- if I ever find myself in Owensboro KY, I'll be trying mutton bbq, and if I ever get back to North Florida, I'll be looking for goat bbq.