What is Barbecue? Smoking Or Grilling?
Actually it’s both. While the majority of Americans think of barbecue as the charcoal or propane grill on the backyard patio, the term barbecue has come to mean different things to different people. I wrote this article to help distinguish the differences and provide some guidelines to help you make a more informed decision on what to buy for the job you are trying to do.
The term barbecue basically falls into two main categories:
1) hot & fast and
2) low & slow
The hot and fast method is generally done over direct heat on a grill using charcoal or propane with temperatures that range between 300-500 degrees. This works great for steaks, chops, chicken, and fish, when you want to put a nice sear on the food and effectively seal in the juices. While the food will cook much quicker, you will have to watch it very closely so it doesn’t burn. It also will not pick up near as much smoky flavor. For the most part, this is a very simple and efficient way to cook; leaving you plenty of time for enjoying yourself with family and friends, and that is really what a barbecue is all about.
The other method is low and slow. This is typically done in a barbecue smoker which usually uses indirect heat and temperatures ranging between 200-275 degrees. If you’ve ever been to an authentic Kansas City, Memphis or Texas barbecue restaurant, this is the method used. Meats cooked this way spend anywhere from 2-15 hours over low heat with aromatic smoke from a variety of different wood types, including oak, hickory, pecan or cherry. When you slice into a slow smoked piece of meat you should see a pink “smoke ring” inside, which indicates that the meat was prepared in a smoker and spent a considerable amount of time there!
So the question you must ask yourself is, “what is my goal here?” It depends on several factors, including the type of equipment you have, the amount of time you have, the type of food you plan to cook and the end result you are looking for. If you do not currently own a grill or smoker, you should know that you will spend anywhere from $50-$1500 on a grill and $200 – $10,000 on a smoker. While a smoker only burns wood and charcoal, a grill can be either gas or charcoal. One nice compromise for the average person is the Weber Kettle charcoal grill. This is a great product because it is relatively inexpensive and can work well as both a grill and smoker.
How to Have a Delicious Barbecue Experience
Barbecue tastes good all year round, wherever you are, whether you’re at a New York barbecue restaurant or a South Carolina one. There is certain protocol to follow, however, when enjoying this most American of foods. Read on to learn how to best appreciate good barbecue.
Firstly, don’t worry about how you’ll look bibbing yourself. If you’re really going to enjoy your meat, you may get messy. Expect it and prepare for it. If you feel self-conscious about wearing a napkin as a bib, make sure you have plenty of napkins, or preferably even a wet napkin nearby. If you’re eating ribs, you may have to use your hands, unless the meat is so tender it falls off the bone. Even then you may want to suck the morsels and fat from the bone. This is rude most of the time, but when you’re eating barbecue, society makes exceptions.
Next, let’s talk about your options. Ribs are traditional barbecue fare, and if you’re out at a restaurant, you may consider getting them since they’re so hard to make well at home. Fried chicken is another popular restaurant item, as are BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, wings and catfish. Some BBQ restaurants offer jumbo fried shrimp and beef brisket too. The latter is also tricky to do right in your kitchen, so judge accordingly. Burgers can be satisfying, but remember, you can get a burger anywhere – you’re at a barbecue restaurant – act like it.
Sides are just as important, if not more so, than the meat itself. Corn on the cob is a good vegetable, but even better, are collard greens, turnip greens or ramps, another form of slightly bitter greens, often cooked with pork for flavor. When it comes to carbs, mashed potatoes, potato salad, candied yams, mac and cheese or French fries are all a good choice; it depends on your personal preference. But baked beans and cornbread are, or at least should be, standard in all barbecue meals.
As far as desert goes, if you possibly have room after such a stuff-fest, think pie a la mode, preferably apple with vanilla ice cream. But sweet potato or pecan pies are delicious, as is a good old peach cobbler.
When you work with the restaurant to eat their best items, you will be most satisfied. This article should have helped, and if you have any more questions, draw on the waiter for some Southern Hospitality and advice on what to order.
Elements Of A Successful Barbecue Restaurant Business Plan
I love the taste of good barbecue. There’s nothing else like it. And there are days I sorely miss my big old brick oven that used to turn out the tastiest ribs, chicken and brisket so good you’d want to eat until you couldn’t see straight from the days when I owned my BBQ catering business.
If you are thinking about starting your own barbecue place then the first thing you need to do is put together a killer barbecue restaurant business plan. As good as it tastes, the bottom line is it’s still a tricky business and without a solid plan your are much more likely to end up in the poor house than enjoying meats from the smokehouse.
Just like any other type of restaurant, a BBQ place needs to show that there are enough customers in the area to support the business, that the costs of running the business are going to be less than the business will pull in from sales and that the owners have the experience on their team to be able to make the business a success.
Writing the plan isn’t hard but there is a certain way to do it so that it gets done quickly- don’t make it into a months long process- and contains all the information that the lenders or investors are going to want to see in order to be able to approve it and get you on the road to opening your doors.
A lot of entrepreneurs new to the business think the written plan is where they need to spend their time but although the written plan is important the financial plan is even more so. You have to be able to show that the numbers for the business add up and you will have more than sauce stains on your apron to show for all the work.
There are lots of ways to get it done but if you are looking for something to turn out a professional plan package that includes the written plan, the financials and the presentation all with the least amount of effort in the shortest time then you really should take a look at a restaurant specific software plan package that lets you do everything the right way, the first time and comes with qualified unlimited support and a one year no questions asked guarantee.
And when you do get your place open, please let me know- I’m dying for some good barbecue again!:)
Barbecue Restaurants in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
There are a great variety of restaurants in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Although they are best known for the great barbecue restaurants.
Most people think of Dreamland Barbecue when they think of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Dreamland is one of the great ones and one of the originals. However, there are others. A good list is:
- Bama Bar-B-Q & Grill
- Catfish Heaven
- Eagles Nest
- Golden Rule Bar-B-Q
- Hicks Barbeque
- Hornes Barbecue
- Johnny Rays BBQ Northport
- Mike and Eds Barbeque
- Pottery Grill
- The Foxfire
- Woodrows Pit BBQ
This should be a pretty complete list. There are other restaurants that serve some BBQ but they are not known for their grill in the same way that these 13 are.
If you do ever get a chance to come to T-town for some of our great and envied football or our consistently spectacular gymnastics, make sure that you eat some of the best barbecue in the South.
When choosing a barbecue restaurant in Tuscaloosa, many of the locals tend to choose the smallest and best hidden place. There may be some good logic to this. Since most of them are family run places and the restaurant is located on the same property that their house is located. That must be some really good barbecue to risk putting a restaurant right there on the same land as your home. People tend to take their pork, chicken and beef pretty seriously around here and if you did a bad job, everyone would then know where you live.
Memphis Barbeque – Seven Restaurants in Seven Days
I am a huge Barbecue Fanatic. So one of my favorite places to visit on Earth is Memphis, Tennessee. The home of the Blues is also the home of some delicious Memphis Barbecue.
There is nothing else quite like sinking your teeth into the smokey goodness of the just right ribs at Charlie Vergo’s Rendezvous or enjoying the Blues-backed tangy sauces on Beale Street. If you live for good barbecue it’s hard to go wrong in Memphis because there is a great joint on almost every corner. Your biggest problems you will have will be deciding were to begin, where to go next and not wanting to leave.
Here are my can’t-miss choices for Memphis Barbecue Heaven if you have a week to eat in the Home of the Blues.
I’d suggest beginning at the most storied of all of Memphis barbecue restaurants, Charlie Vergo’s Rendezvous. You enter the restaurant from an alley that’s full of heavenly smells of smoking pork and customers waiting to get a seat. How can you not love a world famous barbecue joint that’s in an alley? The ‘Vous is known for it’s “dry ribs” that use only a spicy barbecue rub and no sauce. Not to worry if you love barbecue sauce — a cold drink of beer with each bite will work just nicely.
The Rendezvous is in midtown near the world famous Peabody Hotel. Head a couple of blocks south to “The Home of the Blues”, Beale Street, and you will find several more excellent restaurants to try. Sitting right across the street from each other at the entrance to Beale are B B King’s and Blues City Cafe. Both serve tangy sweet, sauce covered ribs and pulled pork with a backdrop of some of the best blues music you’ll ever hear. Both restaurants feature full menus, ranging from gumbo to crab. But who cares — we’re here to eat barbecue!
East a bit on Beale, past the Elvis stores, the Blues bars and Fed-Ex Forum, you’ll find Silky O’Sullivan’s. Don’t let the Irish name fool you. Mr. O’Sullivan knows his barbecue. Start your meal with a plate of BBQ Nachos then get down to serious eating with a rack of the ribs. Just be careful with the “Diver!”
Getting out of the downtown area, don’t miss Corky’s and Interstate. Even though both places have gone “chain” and are apt to be full of tourists, both have excellent barbecue and you can pick up a bottle or two of their sauce to take home with you.
On the last night of your stay treat yourself with a trip to the place where the locals go when they want barbecue, Cozy Corner. Michael Stern of “Roadfood” says, “If you have time for just one barbecue meal in Memphis (or anywhere on earth), go to Cozy Corner.” The specialties of this down-home joint are barbecued cornish game hens, barbecued spaghetti and barbecued baloney. All three have to be tried to be believed.
That’s seven day’s worth of Memphis barbecue for a normal person to try or about a day and a half’s worth for the true barbecue Nut. But even if you eat barbecue for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can get your fill in Memphis.