People can be very particular about their BBQ, and sometimes for good reason. Every region does this culinary art differently, from unique sauce blends to rubs to the preferred types of meat.
What is it that makes Kansas City BBQ stand out? Here are some of the city’s favorite dishes to indulge in.
Burnt Ends in Kansas City
Burnt ends are a staple of any BBQ menu in Kansas City. Oddly enough, this delicacy got its start in the scrap heap.
Typically, these edges were trimmed from the brisket because they were thought to be dry and tough. When they weren’t tossed in the trash, they were handed out for free.
Eventually, BBQ connoisseurs realized the potential. The best-burnt end is coated with a crispy, caramelized crust with a fatty center that melts on your tongue.
This is not an easy thing to execute, so it’s worth trying again if you didn’t like it the first time. Once you’ve had the perfect burnt ends, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.
BBQ Brisket in Kansas City
Typically coming from cows, brisket is a cut of meat that’s taken from the chest area. This is a naturally tough piece of meat that dries out easily if it’s not cooked properly.
Because of its texture, brisket benefits from the low and slow approach, which happens to be the usual technique with pitmasters. When using this method, many chefs leave the fatty portion of the brisket attached to help it stay moist.
When done right, brisket is tender, and it’s a KC classic when it’s smothered in sauce.
Ribs in Kansas City
BBQ and ribs are two words that just go together. They can be a messy feat to tackle, especially with sauce slathered generously over the top, but the dish is well worth the sticky fingers.
In Kansas City, you’re more likely to find ribs cut from pigs, rather than cows. While it is possible to dry out pork, it tends to get even more tender the longer it cooks.
It takes an expert to know this exact point of perfection. The result is soft meat that should fall off the bone as soon as you sink your teeth into it.
BBQ Chicken in Kansas City
Chicken often gets a bad reputation as being boring and dry, but in the KC BBQ world, it gets an exciting upgrade. If you’ve ever seen a half chicken on a menu, don’t be fooled into thinking you’re only getting half a chicken.
Instead, the chef slices the poultry in half, so it can lay flat across the grill. Not only does this provide a more even distribution of heat, but it also cooks up faster.
In the end, the bird is juicier because of it. Q39 makes a delicious smoked version that’s paired with a spicy chipotle sauce.
Pulled Pork in Kansas City
A pile of pulled pork can be satisfying on its own, but many locals enjoy the tender meat in between a soft, warm bun. Whether as a sandwich or not, it’s one of the most popular BBQ dishes in any region.
The shredded meat usually starts as pork shoulder. It’s cooked slowly before it’s pulled apart to create this easy-to-eat dish. Thick cuts of pork can become tough, but in this form, the meat can be bathed in enough juices to retain its moisture.
Add the right sweet sauce and you’ve got a winner. If you’re looking for the best BBQ place to eat in Kansas City, Q39 has got you covered. Chef Rob Magee has won numerous accolades for his innovative methods and flavorful variations on the classics.
From succulent burnt ends, to sweet pork ribs, it’ll be hard to pick a favorite. Find the nearest location to start planning your next evening out.