Tuesday!

In my part of the world, “barbeque” doesn’t mean “chicken”. Like, if you went to a barbeque and they were serving chicken, people would ask “I thought you said that this was a barbeque”.

Nothing wrong with grilling chicken, of course. I’m a fan of marinating the thighs in spicy mustard overnight and then grilling them the next day.

I don’t call it “barbeque”, though. Not here. Wouldn’t be neighborly.

As such, barbeque refers mostly to pork shoulder but, sometimes, to beef brisket. It’s got a bit of a dry rub on it but the expectation is that you slather it in sauce once it comes to you and it is most likely to be the case that the sauce is vinegar-based rather than tomato-based or mustard-based.

“Mixing it up” consists of serving the above on a baked potato rather than as a sandwich. If you’re mixing it up, beans are appropriate. If you are not, cole slaw is appropriate. Okra as a second side.

I have heard that there are places that do this sort of thing with mutton. I would find myself pleased but confused, as “I thought that they said something about this being barbeque.”

Perhaps they do something different where you live and they call it “barbeque” there.

So… whad’ya got?


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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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32 thoughts on “Tuesday!

  1. According to the New Yorker, Kentucky is the barbecued mutton capital of the world. It’s pretty good, and I have family in Owensboro, but I still prefer pork. And while i am not a sauce nazi, I do have a fondness for North Carolina’s vinegar-based sauces. In our house we also have an love of chicken thighs, heavily seasoned with turmeric, and then chopped for dipping in Alabama White Sauce.

    But my favorite joint in Louisville is a restaurant that serves Kansas City-style beef ribs that make me cry every year on my birthday because they are just that awesome. Served with some really thick baked beans, a glass of Big Red and maybe some banana pudding, and that’s about as good as it gets.

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    • Odd you should mention Kansas City barbecue.
      KC is a steakhouse town– Hereford House, Jess & Jim’s, The Savoy, the Golden Ox, The Majestic, etc.

      In KC, barbecue means Gates’, just like Scimeca’s* means Italian sausage.

      And that’s the big thing about KC barbecue– Italian sausage.
      You can’t go into a grocer in KC without finding Italian sausage.
      It used to be the opposite in St. Louis, that you could go into grocery stores all day long without seeing Italian sausage, but that’s changing.

      In KC, if someone is grilling– and it doesn’t matter if it’s just hamburgers– there will be Italian sausage as well, just in case anybody wants one.
      There’s always sausage on the grill, whatever else is cooking.

      * Pronounced like “Jamaicas,” with an ‘sh’ at the beginning.
      While I’m at it, Berbiglia’s is pronounced without the G.
      The locals won’t correct you. They’ll just wait for you to catch on.

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  2. There is a version of California bbq called Santa Maria Style. Santa Maria is about 30 miles south of the town I grew up in and at the time this regional variation was unknown outside the area. Tritip (originally a local cut) chorizo, pinquito beans, green salad and garlic bread cooked over an open fire. They even talk about it in Texas…

    It goes back to when the area was still a Spanish territory, as it is cattle country, and the flavors and tastes have developed since. It is the single best way to eat beef.

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  3. I find all the regional differences kind of interesting, tbh. I mainly think of the Kansas City style when I think of barbecue, just because that was what the restaurants I was most familiar with served, but I recognize there were other styles. (Don’t care so much for that mustard sauce that is, what? Carolina barbecue, I think?)

    Also I find that beef often doesn’t work up so well when barbecued – or maybe the people I know just aren’t good at barbecuing it. It comes out very dry, and I don’t like dry beef.

    I’ve had very good smoked and chopped chicken barbecue. I would not deny it the name of “barbecue”

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    • filly,
      Yeah, the people you know don’t know good brisket. Ten hours on the grill, and juicy as anything (it’s all the collagen breaking down, I’m pretty sure, plus the fat dripping down)

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      • I wonder if it’s that most of the beef we can buy around here is super lean. I think the good stuff winds up going either to the “rich people’s stores” in Dallas or to restaurants. I almost never eat beef any more because every store I’ve bought it from has been a disappointment.

        And that’s even more expensive cuts.

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        • filly,
          Superlean’s not a good idea, not with brisket. Pastrami, you want the fatty stuff, too.
          Fatty beef is Prime beef (it’s how it’s graded).
          Generally when I’m looking for beef, I want choice because i don’t like all the fat, but it’s not that way with brisket (because you peel the fat off the top)

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          • I have never seen “Prime” beef in the stores here. We are in an economically depressed area and I suspect our distributors just don’t send it. “Choice” is the best we can do, and even then, good “Choice” is hard to find.

            I off and on go vegetarian in protest of how crappy the meat in the stores is even though we are a beef-raising region.

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            • filly,
              I don’t know where you live, but if you’re anywhere near a costco (people drive 2 hours to get to mine), you can buy good choice (best on the market) for a decent price. And you can buy enough for a good few months.

              I go vegetarian during farmers’ market season. Cause veggies are tasty.

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  4. Texas Style BBQ for me (although if I’m ever in the area, I’m trying that Santa Maria stuff).
    I love me some BBQ brisket.
    Sauces are for inferior BBQ.

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  5. Ok, pedantic alert:

    BBQ is ” slowly over low, indirect heat and the food is flavored by the smoking process, while grilling, a related process, is generally done quickly over moderate-to-high direct heat that produces little smoke.”

    So, grilling chicken ain’t in any way BBQ. Using a grill ain’t BBQ unless you’re working in smoking somehow and using indirect heat. That being said, folks ususllay mean “grill” when they say BBQ, such as “come on over, we’re doing bbq this saturday”.

    Pedantic rant off.

    There’s this really good place in Greenville SC that I love. Ah, I do miss the real south. Boiled peanuts, BBQ (brisket or pulled pork or such). While I could make it myself I don’t wish to spend the time sink. The local equivalent to BBQ in my are is “pit beef”. Not the same though.

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  6. I didn’t know that Colorado had a specific barbecue culture; there aren’t a bunch of good barbecue joints here. People are more particular about green chile here in Pueblo (Springs is a bit north for that).

    Smoking makes anything better. I gotta agree with Kimmi: sauces aren’t necessary. A good dry rub makes the barbecue, especially with brisket. Pork country ribs are great as well.

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  7. Most of the BBQ places in New York seem to be Texas BBQ, so a lot of focus on beef brisket but with some pulled pork and other cuts of beef or pig and maybe some chicken. I haven’t seen many restaurants focusing in things like Kansas City BBQ or other styles. When suburban New Yorkers talked about BBQ, at least during my 1980s and 1990s growing up years, it meant grilling meat outside in the yard rather than actual BBQ.

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  8. Here in Western Canada, barbecue is used to refer to outdoor grilling. Not even usually over charcoal, more often over propane or methane. But almost always grilling, rapidly at high heat, just about long enough to drink a single beer before dinner is ready.

    This is wrong.

    Barbcue could involve just about any kind of meat. But. It hasta mean slow roasting, to make a tough cut of meat tender; and there really ought to be smoke – if you’re using gas, you’ll need some hardwood offcuts to throw in or something. Could even be chicken, I guess, in theory, but only if it’s a chicken that’s been kept for years and allowed to run around the hen yard so its muscles become tough, and only slaughtered after it stopped laying. Chickens from the grocery store are, what, 2 or 3 months old? There’s no sense barbecuing them.

    And if you’re drinking beer the whole time while it cooks, you’d better have a buddy to cook in shifts with otherwise you’re going to have to sleep off a hangover before dinner even starts.

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  9. I think I live in a Memphis bbq zone. Hickory smoked pork, spicy dry rub with thin tomato vinegar sauce on side. The oldest establishment founded in 61 by refugee from Little Rock.

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  10. Virginia is in BBQ never-never land. Its not that we don’t know good BBQ but rather that we are holding a long standing grudge-match with North Carolina, and out of spite decided that we would raise as much pork as we could and salt all the BBQ parts for weeks just to make them unusable by North Carolinians. Now, a properly cured and prepared Virginia Ham is definitely a nice thing to bring to a BBQ.

    But, the real word that doesn’t mean what all’y’all think it does is “Pizza.” As a Chicago transplant, I’ve simply resigned myself to the flagrant abuse of the word; whenever people invite us over for “pizza” I just substitute the phrase, “chewy toast covered in tomato paste and sadness” – which is funny, because that’s the same translation for the words New and York when juxtaposed.

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    • “Pizza” is built from the bottom up. At its base, the crust is thin, crispy, and chewy. The sauce comes next, and is spread about the crust almost to its edge. Cheese comes on top of the sauce. Then on top of that, you flavor the pizza with whatever you’re topping it with. There’s nothing sad about it; it’s a delight.

      That thing they serve in Chicago is not pizza. It’s a tomato sauce pie. Make no mistake, an Atkins-diet-annihalating Chicago-style tomato pie is often very tasty and can be a pleasure to eat. It’s just not pizza.

      By the way, what the hell is a “sport pepper”?

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  11. I’m a BBQ multiculturalist with some strong opinions. My BBQ meter is set to “Must be cooked low and slow, wood or charcoal preferred but not necessary if you know what you’re doing. May be dry rubbed, marinated, or sauced before or during cooking. Should not be sauced afterwards unless you’ve mucked it up. May include any or all of poultry, pork, cochon du lait, beef, lamb, mutton, wild game, and sausage.”
    Sweet BBQ is almost always a shame and frequently an abomination.

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  12. The advocates of each regional style of barbeque think theirs is the best. And they’re all right. Here in NYC, which used to be a barbeque desert but isn’t anymore, we don’t have a regional style, though Texas and North Carolina seem to be the most commonly available. I think I’ve had them all except for Alabama white-sauce style and Kentucky mutton, and I’ll eat whatever version you put in front of me as long as it’s good.

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    • The advocates of each regional style of barbeque think theirs is the best. And they’re all right.

      Except for the ones from upcountry South Carolina who insist on putting so damn much yellow mustard in their sauce it might as well be squirted directly from a bottle of French’s. I’m also skeptical right along with you with that vinegared mayonnaise they serve down there in Alabama.

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