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    HomeHealthFoodExploring the Best of St. Louis BBQ: Ribs, Sauces, Sides, and Joints

    Exploring the Best of St. Louis BBQ: Ribs, Sauces, Sides, and Joints

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    The St. Louis style of barbecue has been delighting eaters for decades with its flavorful blend of spices and smoky, slow-cooked meats.

    The area’s unique take on barbecue features a variety of cuts of pork, chicken, and beef seasoned with special rubs passed down through generations.

    Whether you’re a fan of pulled pork sandwiches or ribs dripping with sauce, St.

    Overview of St. Louis BBQ

    St. Louis barbecue is a regional style of cooking that has been delighting eaters for decades with its unique blend of spices and slow-cooked meats. Known for its smoky flavor, St. Louis barbecue is typically made from cuts such as pork shoulder, chicken wings, or beef brisket that are rubbed in a special seasoning blend and cooked low and slow over wood smoke. Popular dishes include pulled pork sandwiches, ribs, and smoked sausage.

    History

    The history of St. Louis barbecue dates back to the late 19th century when immigrants from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa brought their own techniques and recipes to the area. The influence of each culture can be seen in the unique flavor profile of St. Louis barbecue, which relies heavily on sweet and savory rubs and sauces made from herbs, spices, and other ingredients. The popularity of St. Louis barbecue has only grown over time, and it remains a favorite in the region today.

    The Meat

    Pork Ribs

    Pork ribs are a staple of St. Louis barbecue, and they’re usually prepared using the low-and-slow method. The ribs are rubbed in a special spice blend that typically includes ingredients like paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, and cumin. After being cooked over indirect heat for several hours, the pork ribs are smothered with a sweet and tangy sauce made from tomato, vinegar, brown sugar, and other spices.

    Beef Brisket

    Beef brisket is another popular cut of meat used in St. Louis barbecue. To make it, the beef is rubbed with a special seasoning blend of herbs and spices and then smoked over indirect heat for several hours. The result is a succulent and smoky piece of meat that can be shredded for sandwiches or served as-is with sides like coleslaw and baked beans.

    Pork Shoulder

    Pork shoulder is a popular cut of meat used in St. Louis barbecue. It’s usually rubbed with a special blend of spices like paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, and onion powder before being cooked over indirect heat for hours until it’s tender and juicy. The pork shoulder is then shredded or chopped to be served as pulled pork sandwiches or accompanied by sides such as macaroni and cheese or collard greens.

    Other Offerings

    In addition to the classic cuts of pork, chicken, and beef, St. Louis barbecue also offers a variety of other dishes including smoked sausage, turkey legs, and pulled pork tacos. Many restaurants also offer dishes such as macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, baked beans, cornbread muffins, and potato salad as sides to their main courses.

    The Sauce

    Tomato-Based Sauce

    Tomato-based sauce is a classic component of St. Louis barbecue. It’s typically made from tomatoes, vinegar, brown sugar, and other spices and herbs that give it its signature sweet and tangy flavor. The sauce is usually brushed on the meats during the cooking process to add layers of flavor and moisture. Once cooked, the sauce can be served on the side for dipping or drizzled over the meat.

    Vinegar-Based Sauce

    Vinegar-based sauce is another popular offering in the world of St. Louis barbecue. This type of sauce is typically made from apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, garlic powder, and a variety of other spices and herbs. The result is an intense and tart flavor that pairs well with the smokiness of the meat. Vinegar-based sauces are often served as a dipping sauce or used to marinate the meat before cooking.

    No matter what type of St. Louis barbecue you’re looking for, there’s sure to be something that satisfies your craving! Whether it’s a plate of ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, or smoked sausage – you can find it all in St. Louis. So grab a plate and dig in!

    Dry Rubs

    While sauces are a popular choice for St. Louis barbecue, dry rubs are another option that can add incredible flavor to the meats. Dry rubs are typically made from herbs and spices like paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, and cumin. These ingredients create an aromatic blend that can be rubbed onto the meat before cooking to give it an extra layer of flavor. Dry rubs are ideal for adding complexity and depth to the taste of the meats without overwhelming the flavor.

    Other Sauces

    In addition to the classic tomato-based and vinegar-based sauces, St. Louis barbecue also offers a variety of other sauces. These sauces range from spicy to sweet and are often used as dipping sauces or marinades. Some popular types of sauce include mustard-based, molasses-based, honey-barbecue, and even beer-infused. All of these sauces add a unique twist to any type of St. Louis barbecue dish!

    The Sides

    Beans

    Beans are a staple side dish in St. Louis barbecue. They can be served up in various ways, such as baked beans or refried beans. Baked beans traditionally involve cooking navy or pinto beans with a sauce made from molasses, brown sugar, and spices like paprika and garlic powder. Refried beans involve frying cooked pinto beans with chili peppers and seasonings for a flavorful side.

    Coleslaw

    Coleslaw is a staple side dish in St. Louis barbecue. It’s typically made with cabbage, carrots, onions, and sometimes bell peppers. It’s then mixed together with a mayonnaise-based dressing that can range from sweet to tangy, depending on the cook’s preferences. The cabbage and other vegetables are finely chopped so that the slaw is flavorful and easy to eat.

    Mac and Cheese

    Macaroni and cheese is another classic side dish in St. Louis barbecue. It’s typically made with a creamy cheese sauce, macaroni noodles, and seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper for added flavor. Mac and cheese can be served as an individual side or layered onto a plate with other dishes for a customizable meal.

    Potato Salad

    Potato salad is a classic side dish in St. Louis barbecue. It’s typically made with potatoes, eggs, onion, celery, mayonnaise, and seasonings like dill and garlic powder. The potatoes are boiled until tender before being cubed and mixed with the other ingredients. This creamy side dish pairs perfectly with smoked meats and offers a hint of sweetness to help balance out the smokiness of the barbecue.

    Other Sides

    In addition to the classic sides that accompany St. Louis barbecue, there are also a multitude of other sides that can be served up as part of the meal. These sides range from traditional favorites like potato salad and coleslaw, to more creative dishes like macaroni and cheese or even baked beans. All these sides can help round out any St. Louis barbecue meal and provide a unique twist to the traditional side dishes.

    Famous St. Louis BBQ Joints

    Pappy’s Smokehouse

    A. Pappy’s Smokehouse is one of the most famous St. Louis BBQ joints in the city. Located in Midtown, Pappy’s has been serving up delicious barbecue since 1994. They offer a variety of smoked meats, including pulled pork, brisket, ribs, chicken, and sausage. Their signature sauces are a fan favorite and come in Original BBQ Sauce and Hot & Spicy BBQ Sauce. Pappy’s also offers sides like coleslaw, potato salad, mac and cheese, and baked beans.

    Sugarfire Smoke House

    Sugarfire Smoke House is another popular barbecue joint in St. Louis. Founded by Chef Mike Johnson in 2012, this restaurant offers some of the finest smoked meats around. From pulled pork to brisket and ribs, Sugarfire has something for everyone. They also offer a variety of sauces like their signature Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce or Honey Mustard Glaze for an extra touch of flavor. Their sides include mac and cheese, potato salad, coleslaw, and baked beans.

    Bogart’s Smokehouse

    Bogart’s Smokehouse is one of the most beloved BBQ joints in St. Louis. Located in The Hill neighborhood, Bogart’s has been serving up delicious barbecue since 2002. This restaurant specializes in slow smoked, tender meats like pulled pork, brisket, and ribs. They use a combination of oak and hickory woods to give their meats a unique smoky flavor and offer a variety of signature sauces to go with them. Sides include coleslaw, potato salad, mac and cheese, and baked beans.

    Salt + Smoke

    Salt + Smoke is a St. Louis BBQ joint that has been serving up delicious smoked meats since 2015. They specialize in slow-smoked brisket, pulled pork, ribs, and more. All of their meats are smoked with a blend of oak and hickory woods for maximum flavor. To add even more flavor to their dishes, they offer several signature sauces such as Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce, Red Wine BBQ Sauce, and a Spicy Mustard BBQ Sauce. Sides like coleslaw, potato salad, mac and cheese, and baked beans are also available.

    Other Notable Joints

    Along with the previously mentioned joints, there are several other notable St. Louis BBQ joints worth mentioning.

    Bandana’s Bar-B-Q offers up classic and unique barbecue dishes like their award-winning ribs, smoked pork, and pulled chicken.

    Tiger Tails Barbeque is another great spot for classic St. Louis barbecue dishes with a Southern twist. And for those looking for something a little different, try out The Shaved Duck for some of the best-smoked duck dishes around.

    Conclusion

    St. Louis barbecue is a classic American tradition that has been around for years. With so many iconic BBQ joints in the area, there’s no shortage of delicious smoked meats and sides to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for classic favorites like pulled pork and brisket or something more inventive like smoked duck, St. Louis has something to offer everyone. With its flavorful sauces and unique sides, St. Louis BBQ is a tradition that’s sure to stand the test of time.

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