Get to know the Barbecue Capital of the World
In most circles, meat is a known entity. It is not a mystery. It’s … meat. Whether grilled, roasted, braised, fried or broiled, meat transitions from plate to palette with routine expectations. And yet, when that same meat is barbecued, all bets are off. When that holy trinity of beef, pork and chicken dance with smoke, flavors unfurl that suggest intervention from beyond the clouds.
Call it barbecue, BBQ, Bar-B-Que or just ’cue. Any way you say or spell it, its smoke-infused flavors—redolent of hickory and cherry wood—are like nothing else. It becomes something different, something with extraordinary potential.
And in the same way that Chicago has mastered the hot dog and New York defines pizza, Kansas City’s culinary soul mate is barbecue. The two are inextricable. Forever. Welcome to the ’cue-niverse.
But first, a lesson: in the world of meat speak, there is grilling, and there is barbecuing. To grill is to cook (generally rapidly) over a direct, open flame. To barbecue, by contrast, is to cook slowly over an indirect flame, allowing wood-generated smoke to infiltrate whatever mouth candy the pit master chooses to make.