Pit perfection: meet Kansas City’s barbecue pioneers

Source link : https://usa-news.biz/2024/04/09/kansas/pit-perfection-meet-kansas-citys-barbecue-pioneers/

Whether it’s a plate scraped clean or a Michelin star, the success of a meal is measured in a variety of ways. But for those in Kansas City, when the late, great Anthony Bourdain chooses a dish from one’s hometown as one of the 13 meals to enjoy before you die, it doesn’t get much better than that. ‘It’s the best barbecue in Kansas City, which makes it the best barbecue in the world,’ the chef and author wrote about Oklahoma Joe’s Kansas City BBQ. 

Kansas City-style barbecue can be traced back to the early 1920s, when Henry Perry started selling smoked meats wrapped in newspaper in the city’s 18th and Vine district, the historic centre of African American culture in the city. Proclaiming himself the ‘barbecue king’, Perry was among a number of Black entrepreneurs forging businesses in the area, at the same time as a burgeoning jazz scene was developing.

Today, visitors can learn more about this history on the African American Heritage Trail or at the American Jazz Museum, before taking the free-to-ride KC Streetcar across Downtown to one of the city’s barbecue institutions for lunch. There are more than 100 barbecue restaurants in the Kansas City metropolitan area, each one showcasing the Midwestern city’s unique style for smoking and dressing meats — from the sweet, thick sauces chefs lather upon racks of ribs to the smoky burnt ends enjoyed for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here, two local experts explain why Kansas City should be on every barbecue-lover’s watch list.  

Chris Stuewe, owner of Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque

Kansas City has a lot of barbecue joints, but Arthur Bryant’s is arguably one of the most famous. Tell us how that came to be.
You could say the restaurant is a direct descendant of the godfather of Kansas City barbecue. Arthur Bryant and his brother Charlie worked for Henry Perry right up until the day he retired, then Arthur bought the restaurant in 1946 and started what we now know as Arthur Bryant’s. If you look on the walls, you’ll see all the famous people who’ve eaten here in the past, from Steven Spielberg to former presidents like Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter.

Is it true Arthur invented the burnt end?
There’s some debate on this, but we believe burnt ends originated at Arthur Bryant’s. Back in the day, he used to take the scraps from the brisket he was slicing for sandwiches and hand them out to people waiting in line for their food. Now, the Kansas City burnt end is a staple on every barbecue menu. 

Arthur Bryant’s has long been a Kansas City staple, famous for meats that are slow-smoked by a combination of hickory and oak woods.

Photograph by Arthur Bryant’s

What else would you recommend from your menu?
The burnt ends have been a favourite since forever, but I’d go with the beef sausage combo with our Sweet Heat sauce, either with fries or cheesy corn and beans. I also think our spare ribs are well worth trying, too. Our rub is made using Arthur Bryant’s secret recipe and our pitmasters do a great job of ensuring everything is cooked consistently.

We make three sauces on si

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Author : usa-news

Publish date : 2024-04-10 03:46:18

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