What is Kansas City BBQ?

Updated: 2022

BBQ is a regional delicacy, and several famous varieties exist within the United States. From the Carolinas to Texas and back up to Kansas City and Memphis, each area puts its own spin on everything from sauce to cooking methods. Whether you cook the whole hog, just the shoulder, or beef brisket and which kind of sauce you choose largely depends on where you’re doing the barbecuing. See our home page for more information. 

Kansas City vs Memphis 

You can find the name on all sorts of flavorings, meats, and accessories of the grilling world, but what exactly is Kansas City BBQ? It all comes down to the sauce. When compared to other prominent styles, Kansas City style sauces are sweet and thick. The recipe usually includes a base made with tomato and molasses, and you may find brown sugar as well. The sauce is cooked into the meat or brushed on immediately after cooking.

Almost as well-known as Kansas City Style BBQ is Memphis style cooking. Memphis style BBQ uses a sauce that is thinner in consistency, less sweet, and spicier than Kansas City style. Most true lovers of Memphis BBQ either dip the meat in the sauce or pour it over the meat after serving. If you order Memphis style ribs, you’ll find no sauce at all on the ribs. Instead, the rack is rubbed down in a mixture of spices before cooking and served with sauce on the side.

Kansas City Burnt Ends

This unique dish is made from the tips of smoked beef brisket. Usually, the chef carves them off and puts them back into the smoker to get a flavorful char on the outside, hence the name burnt ends. Available at just about every joint that lays claim to the Kansas City name, burnt ends are a must-try treat if you’re new to this style of BBQ. This way of preparing beef is so popular that it has become more than just an entree. You’ll find burnt ends incorporated into side dishes such as macaroni and cheese, poutine, and more. They’ve even made their way into breakfast dishes with eggs.

Kansas City Meats

Down in Texas, BBQ equals beef. However, in Kansas City, almost any meat is fair game. Pork, chicken, and beef are traditional favorites, but fish, sausage, and turkey are commonly smoked as well.

  • Pulled pork gets piled high on a bun and served up alongside macaroni and cheese, potato salad, fries, and more.
  • One Kansas City smoked chicken can make sandwiches, stews, or a spicy chicken salad.
  • With a Kansas City BBQ brisket, you get the delicious main dish plus the famous burnt ends.
  • Kansas City style smoked salmon is served on its own or incorporated into flavorful dips and pates.
  • Kansas City smoked sausage is a hearty tailgating dish.
  • You can spice up the holidays when you smoke your turkey Kansas City style with a deep, rich sauce that will make you forget about the deep fryer for good.

Kansas City’s Best BBQ at Q39

The innovative food stylings of Q39 are what Chef Rob Magee calls “chef-driven barbeque.” Start with a plate of smoked pork belly or bacon wrapped shrimp. Move on to a Burnt End Burger with pickled slaw or a Competition BBQ Dinner Plate. Enjoy a cozy evening with your significant other or bring your children with you; Q39 is a family-friendly setting with a four-item kids menu for children under 10. Come on out and see what sets Kansas City BBQ and Q39 apart from the rest.

Feel free to Contact Us if you have any questions about Q39, BBQ, or Kansas City MO!


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