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Introducing the South’s Top 50 BBQ Joints (2016 Edition)

Since signing on as the Southern Living Contributing Barbecue Editor back in 2014, I’ve been traveling the South in search of the best barbecue that the region has to offer. Last summer we published our initial list of the South’s Top 50 Barbecue Joints, and now, with another year’s worth of eating under my belt, it’s time to go back and […]

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A Reluctant Defense of Brisket

Down in Texas, I am sure, legions of barbecue fans are circling the pickup trucks and heating the branding irons, for the folks over at Eater are stirring up trouble. Chris Fuhrmeister, the editor of Eater Atlanta, has laid down the gauntlet and declared that barbecue is one thing and one thing only: “pork that’s slow-cooked with smoke.” Such manifestos are […]

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Classic ‘Cue, Miami-Style

My barbecue travels recently took me down South—way down South, in fact, all the way to Miami, where I had a chance to sample the city’s long, proud barbecue tradition. What’s that? You didn’t know South Florida had a long, proud barbecue tradition? I didn’t either before I started digging into it. As it turns out, locals and visitors alike have […]

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The End of a Savannah BBQ Legend—and a New Beginning, Too

Word came last week that the Southern barbecue world will soon be losing a classic. Johnny Harris Barbecue in Savannah, Georgia, which we profiled in our celebration of A Half Century of Barbecue  and for their rare offering of barbecued lamb, will be closing its doors this Saturday, May 28th, ending a run that spanned more than 90 years. Johnny Harris […]

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Early Airport Barbecue

The period between 1930 and 1960 saw a great flourishing of barbecue enterprises throughout the South, as one resourceful cook after another threw up a canvas tent or wooden stand and started selling slow-smoked meat wherever they saw potential customers. A few of these early restaurants stuck around and are still in business today (including the ones we profiled to celebrate Southern Living’s 50th […]

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Fresh Off the Pit

A round-up of barbecue news from across the South BBQ Sports Betting Heads North It’s now routine for governors in Southern states to engage in friendly barbecue wagers when the football or basketball teams from their respective states square off in a  championship game. (Though I’ve never quite understood how it’s much of a prize for a North Carolina politician to have to eat smoked brisket […]

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Wood or Gas? Maybe That’s the Wrong Question

  Texas Monthly’s Daniel Vaughn, whom I hold responsible for the pandemic-like spread of smoked brisket into previously-pure barbecue regions like the Carolinas, recently posted this picture on Instagram. The fully packed firebox on the Oyler at the Slow Bone. They load it at 2:00 and let it run until 6:00 the next morning. A photo posted by Daniel Vaughn […]

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Boudin: A Houston Barbecue Treat

I just got back from a quick trip to Houston, Texas, and I came away with a couple of observations. First, Houston is really, really big—and by big, I’m not talking about population (though with 2.2 million residents, it is the fourth largest city in the country.) Rather, I’m talking about geographic scale, for the city of Houston sprawls out […]

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A Wine + Food Festival and the Future of Charleston ‘Cue

For most of its 350-year history, Charleston, South Carolina, had no real barbecue tradition to speak of. It wasn’t until the decades just after World War II, when the Bessinger and Dukes families brought their mustard-based sauce and hash and rice down from Orangeburg County, that the city adopted what passed for a local style. Now, though, something new is in the works. In just […]

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What’s In a Name? 3 Tasty BBQ Treats

In the South some barbecue specialties have curious names, and those names can be downright confusing the first time you encounter them. There’s Texas Pete, for example. No, it’s not from Texas, and you’re not likely to find it served next to a pile of brisket on brown butcher paper. Instead, it’s a staple on the tables of barbecue joints […]

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