The Hampton Smoker

What's up wtih what's going down? Does a tree falling on the ocean with no one around make a sound? Barbecue, BBQ, Bar-b-que. It's all in how you sell it.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Do you Q?

I'm a yankee, born and raised. A northerner-- from New York City, no less. To lots of people in our country, that's a reason to be wary of me. There's some prejudice against us folks that remains locked in a timeless hangover of lifetimes past. I'll leave the politics aside. But I was only slightly shocked when someone on a Texas bbq forum saw that I was from NYC and said "He's a Nu Yawkah-- someone get me a rope!" Should I say-- "He's from Texas, someone get a dictionary?" I don't think so.

There are some facets of life away from NYC that appeal to me, and some parts of life in the city I despise. One thing that's undeniable is that it is very, very hard to find good barbecue in NYC. Not impossible, but difficult. In fact, "authentic" bbq--not even talking about food cooked in a trench in the ground, just cooked properly over a small fire with the right woods-- is vanishing in this country for many reasons. Recently, it's been getting a little easier in New York, as new restaurants are appearing that attempt to cook their 'q according to the philosophies, styles and techniques that have made this cuisine one of America's greatest accomplishments. This means that ribs aren't boiled and brisket isn't cooked in a crock pot with liquid smoke.

Look for Dinosaur Bar-b-Que to open uptown, and The Baron of Barbecue, Paul Kirk to open R.U.B. Bar-b-que in the next month or two. Below are some links to New York restaurants, as well as some places to look on the web to find out about the sport of barbecue and why it's getting so darn popular. My restaurant picks are in bold. This is NOT a complete list.

Techniques, Tips, etc..

A look at some grills and smokers

Daisy May's BBQ USA-- Fancy pants chef turns to the q. He also cooks at the Penthouse 'gentleman's club' and has a growing fleet of street carts.

Blue Smoke and Jazz Standard-- A lil more upscale w/ a jazz club downstairs. Pricy-er cue that is regionally diverse in styles they serve.

Virgil's-- Long time stand-by in Times Square-- some love it, some don't. Rumor is that now that there's competition, they've improved the food.

R.U.B. Bar-b-que-- Cookbook author, restaurant consultant and multiple time bbq world champ, Paul Kirk has come to NYC to show how it's done. Opening on 23rd st in the fall/winter of 04.

Dinosaur Bar-b-Que-- Mini-chain w/ outlets in Syracuse and Rochester, the honky-tonkin' biker cookers come to the big city. Live blues is one of their trademarks. Opening uptown on the west side fall/winter 04.

Tennessee Mountain-- Like Virgil's, some call this Soho restaurant some bad names. Some swear by it.

Competition, etc...
Probably the largest sanctioning organization in BBQ is the Kansas City Barbecue Society. Their site is a good place to look for info on how to get involved.

To get recipes, feedback, advice, scuttlebutt and potentially insulted, try the Kansas City Barbecue Forum. There's more information here than you could possibly need.

And lastly, to order a smoker to last you a lifetime (and maybe thensome) try one of these sites. Just be prepared to spend a few grand.

David Klose is making my pit. Some say he makes the Rolls-Royce of cookers.

Gator is plenty nice


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