The Kansas City BBQ Tour
Just how much meat can a personal reasonably consume in a day? I headed to Kansas City for a BBQ tour in a whirlwind 24 hours to try and find out.
In 2014, I booked myself a one night trip to Kansas City, not knowing a soul there but determined to complete a KCBS judges course. And you know, sometimes things just end up being quite serendipitous indeed.
Cut forward to the trip (which after an eight hour delay in KCI airport turned into a two night thing), and suddenly I had the best barbecue tour guide anyone could hope for, a multi stop BBQ tour, dined with a BBQ Pitmasters legend and had a wonderful meeting with Carolyn Wells, the lady responsible for establishing the Kansas City BBQ Society. Oh, and contracted bronchitis and completely lost my voice for the first time in my life. It was a pretty hectic 48 hours, y’all.
My tour guide? Mitch Benjamin of Meat Mitch. He’s won a bunch of competitions, and he cooks a ton for celebrity sports people. By all accounts, he should be a real egotistical ass, but he’s pretty much the nicest dude ever. You know what else? He makes a saucesome BBQ sauce & rub called WHOMP, and I highly recommend y’all try it.
Anyhoo, I didn’t have much time and there is a limit to how much I can physically eat (shocking, I know), so we decided to hit up two joints. Mitch took me around to B.B’s Lawnside (probably the coolest looking joint) and Oklahoma Joes (unanimously recommended by my serious KC BBQ aficionado mates and since my trip has now been more appropriately renamed “Joe’s Kansas City”). Yes, neither are the most famous joint in town, but fame doesn’t count for that much when there are better places to eat. Mitch also organised for the Rod Gray (aka team Pellet Envy- Barbecue National Champion and BBQ Pitmasters Champion) to meet us for one of our lunches. I was awkwardly short.
Oh, and I did end up getting that judges certification. Which is just as well, because I was ultimately invited to judge at the American Royal Invitational that same October. Yes indeed, sometimes things just end up being quite serendipitous indeed.
Here’s a pictorial wrap up of my time in KC…
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The humble 'tater salad is given a smoky texture boost by charring the potatoes on the grill and adding some bright, fresh flavors.