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When did BBQ become Main Stream?

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  • Cheef
    Club Member
    • Oct 2015
    • 523

    When did BBQ become Main Stream?

    Just trying to get a handle on other areas of the country.
    I grew up in small town Central Kansas. Not much in the way of restaurants or cafes but NO BBQ joints. Not then and not now.
    First BBQ I ever ate I was close to 20 years old and had to move to the big city (Wichita) to finally give it a try.
    Seems like it was the '90's before I started seeing the BBQ joints opening up in the Kansas area.
    We moved to Kansas City in 1980 and I thought I'd struck it rich!
    Cooking outside was definitely not a thing when I was growing up closest we came was hot dogs over the camp fire.
    Was lack of BBQ joints just an unfortunate circumstance where and when I grew up or did it go mainstream somewhere along the way and become more popular?

  • lschweig
    Former Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 983
    • Oswego, Il

    #2
    I think that it has been around almost forever in the southern states and has slowly made it's way northwards and now is exploding. In greater Chicagoland there used to almost no BBQ places except in predominately black areas and now I spot a new BBQ place all of the time. In the past year alone I know of at least 6 new independent places opening up and they all appear to be busy.

    OTOH ribs have been around this area for a long time, but cooked under the broiler and not smoked.

    Meathead lives in greater Chicagoland and will probably be the most knowledgeable person to ask regarding this area.

    Comment


    • Potkettleblack
      Potkettleblack commented
      Editing a comment
      For Chicago, I believe there was aquarium smoker joints on the south side, then Smoque in 2006, and then explosion. http://www.chicagobusiness.com/artic...okin-hot-trend

    • Potkettleblack
      Potkettleblack commented
      Editing a comment
      And there's no good reason why the aquarium smoker places shouldn't be considered part of the BBQ trail.

    • lschweig
      lschweig commented
      Editing a comment
      Thinking about it some more there are and were any number of BBQ places on the west side of Chicago on Madison St. and Chicago Ave for a long time like Robinson's. Also the Patio has been around for quite a while but it's more fast foody.
      Just be careful when driving in those areas currently.
  • Mosca
    Charter Member
    • Oct 2014
    • 3118
    • PA
    • Large Big Green Egg, Weber Performer Deluxe, Weber Smokey Joe Silver, Maverick 732, DigiQ, and too much other stuff to mention.

    #3
    I think the BBQ shows on TV did a lot to bring it to the mainstream.

    BBQ is easy to get okay at, then becomes hard to get good and great at. And your good BBQ is usually better than whatever Smokey Bones or Famous Dave's near the local mall is serving. So it draws you in through reinforcement of success.

    I've noticed that as the amount of BBQ information on the internet grows, it has started to confirm some basic principles: two zone cooking, reverse sear, etc. I'm seeing less and less advice like rub the day before, let the meat come to room temp before cooking, etc. The best science is becoming mainstream, and quickly.

    Comment


    • Potkettleblack
      Potkettleblack commented
      Editing a comment
      I also think the development of good, commercial, gas smokers has had something to do with the explosion. You couldn't do decent BBQ in NYC until that happened, and now, folks are saying NYC is a BBQ hub on par with the traditionals.

    • Potkettleblack
      Potkettleblack commented
      Editing a comment
      I should note that it's not just NYC food bloggers who don't know the difference either.
      https://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation...ces-to-eat-bbq
  • DeusDingo
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 1141
    • Madison, WI
    • Weber Q320 grill
      Masterbuilt Propane Smoker
      Maverick and thermo Pen thermometers

    #4
    i only notice things after i start doing them so to me it was ~6 months after i got my smoker as a christmas present 3 years ago.

    Comment

    • Atalanta
      Club Member
      • Jul 2016
      • 430
      • Barnsley's Ford
      • Grills: 22" Weber (wood handles) (another Weber on the way), Lodge Sportsman "hibachi"
        Smoker: None yet, part of why I joined
        Thermometer: 10+ yr old Taylor digital thermometer with remote
        Sous Vide: Anovo Imersion Circulator (1st gen)
        Coffee Roaster: Hot Top Coffee Roaster
        Adult Beverages: Fighting Cock Bourbon, Leinny Shandy, Troegs Mad Elf

      #5
      When I was little (back in the last century) my dad built himself a brick bbq like what you see on HGTV now. The only time I can think of no grilling was the 3 years we lived in Philly when my parents split. Being a yankee, we define BBQ as the whole social cookout aspect. Don't know when I first hit a smokehouse, at least 10 years or more ago.

      Comment

      • Lost in China
        Charter Member
        • Mar 2015
        • 409
        • Wenzhou, China
        • 22" Weber kettle
          Slow 'N Sear
          Hovergrill
          Maverick 732
          Thermopop

        #6
        I think a part of it is gourmet "foodie" culture's constant search for novelty. They are easily bored people and wear out on the latest trends quickly. They always crave what's new. Chefs scour the world for the latest nouveau cuisine that nobody's heard of. Barbecue (good BBQ anyway, not that hot dog/hamburger stuff) is relatively alien to the coastal urbanites who comprise the bulk of "foodie" culture. The South and Texas might as well be distant foreign countries for the cultural gulf that separates them from the coasts. Thus the food is unfamiliar and strange and worthy of exploration.

        I give the whole thing 5 years, and we're already a year or two into it. Then they'll tire of it and move on to the next exotic country's cuisine. Some crusading "journalist" will suddenly discover that smoked food is a colon cancer risk and everyone will drop BBQ like a hot potato, leaving just us traditionalists. It can't happen too soon IMO.

        Comment


        • frijolefrito
          frijolefrito commented
          Editing a comment
          So I like to cook and I like to salsa dance. Like in salsa dancing I also want to learn something new or improve on what I know. I wouldn't hate on the foodies I like that people are looking beyond the normal trough feeding. Cooking is deep in my family I love it.
      • Northside Brian
        Club Member
        • Aug 2016
        • 104
        • Fort Worth TX

        #7
        I grew up in Minneapolis and my first experience with BBQ was a place called Rudolphs BBQ in Minneapolis in 1983. It has been in business since 1975.

        Comment


        • Potkettleblack
          Potkettleblack commented
          Editing a comment
          My departed aunt's favorite place, used to go there once a year, every time we visited. Then downtown to the Nanking, as that was my great grandma's favorite place. Much prefered Rudolph's. Went there a couple years ago, because my dad burned his ribs, so we got takeout.

        • Northside Brian
          Northside Brian commented
          Editing a comment
          Nanking was awesome. We would go to Rudolphs for dinner before going to see a play at the old Orpheum Theater.
      • jgg85234
        Charter Member
        • Nov 2014
        • 738
        • Gilbert, AZ (Suburb of Phoenix)
        • *Cooking Equipment
          Kamado Joe Classic in Eucalyptus Table (2016)
          Kamado Joe Joetisserie (2017)
          Weber 22.5" Kettle (K Date Code - 1988) Wooden handles/wood side table
          Adrenaline BBQ Company Slow n Sear #61
          Adrenaline BBQ Company Drip n Griddle
          Weber Smokey Mountain 14.5" (2014)
          *Controllers
          Flame Boss 200
          *Thermometers
          Thermapen MK4 (Red)
          Thermopop (Red)
          Thermoworks TW8060 with grill and meat probes
          *Favorite Whisky - Knockando Speyside Single Malt
          *Favorite Red Wine - Clos du Bois Marlstone
          *Favorite White Wine - Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay
          *Favorite Beer - Budweiser Budvar (Czechvar in the US) frisch vom fass
          *Favorites to grill - New York Strips or Top Sirloins, pizzas are fun too
          *Favorites to smoke - Baby Back or St. Louis Ribs, Pork Butts, Standing Rib Roast, Strip Loin Roast, Tri-Tip, Chicken, Turkey, Pork Loin, Cornish Hens

        #8
        I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and a favorite place for my parents (sister and I got to go along) was Russell's BBQ in Elmwood park. Great pork and beef sandwiches, and pretty good smoked ribs. Russell's opened in 1930. I remember other places on the south side of Chicago that my dad took us to occasionally, but not any names (been a lot of years).

        Jim

        Comment

        • Bob Benhardt
          Club Member
          • Jun 2016
          • 58
          • Burbs outside The Lou

          #9
          The good ones are good and usually far and few between. I know here in the Lou area there is a LOT of BBQ joints but we also have a lot of hipsters and people whom generally don't know what good BBQ is. There are several that I read the reviews of and am floored by the raving about how good they are.

          But I think - as with anything - until you do something well and care about it it all just blends together.

          Comment

          • Obi-Dan
            Club Member
            • Feb 2016
            • 480
            • Jersey Village, TX
            • Smoker: PBC
              Grill: A 20-year-old Webber 22.5" Kettle with a Slow and Sear
              Thermometers: A Maverick ET732, A Thermapen, a few miscellaneous thermometers
              Misc: I just seem to keep buying things.

            #10
            In general regional cooking is becoming something of misnomer. Due to the availability of mass media be it TV or internet we are really becoming homogenized in our cooking. Having grown up in Houston since I was 10 in 1982 I would argue BBQ has always been mainstream. I'd never heard of Tri-tip until a few years ago.

            Comment

            • frijolefrito
              Founding Member
              • Jul 2014
              • 302
              • Right now Minot AFB ND
              • !

              #11
              I grew up in California and I had the pleasure of trying everything. The only thing that seems "new" is the science aspect to cooking. Things like cooking with dry ice, the new bartending/cocktail stuff, and other things like that.

              Comment

              • swong13
                Club Member
                • Jul 2016
                • 49
                • SF Bay Area
                • Steven Wong
                  Rec Tec RT-680
                  WSM

                #12
                I grew up in Southern California in the 50's. Yes...I'm that old. There are 2 restaurants that I remember from those days. One was McDonalds and the other was Chris' and Pitts' Barbecue. Both started in Southern California in 1940. I still remember having ribs at Chris' and Pitts' as a child and barbecued ribs have always been one of my favorite foods. I'm in Northern California now and I am still compelled to check out every new barbecue restaurant that opens. Some have been horrible and some have been very good. Thanks to Amazing Ribs, I now turn out my favorite ribs in my own back yard.

                Comment

                • GadjetGriller
                  Club Member
                  • Dec 2015
                  • 730
                  • Lubbock tx
                  • I have 3 outdoor devices (plus a couple indoor items) Starting with the PBC, Faux Kamado Kooker,(Akorn metal Kamado) & Oklahoma Joe offset grill and smoker. I use the FireBoard WiFi Thermometer. IQ110 (heat control device for akorn) recently acquired a Char-Broil Big Easy TRU-INFRARED 3-in-1 Roaster, Smoker and Grill, I also have A Anova & Joule Sous Vide Wands and The Steakager ( a unit for Dry aging big hunks of meat!)

                  #13
                  Growing up in Texas BBQ has always been a thing! Heck its what I use to ask for for my Birthday Lunch!! The rest of the country and well the world are just now catching on! (just like corn-dogs and Fajita have been around for ever here in West Texas)

                  Comment

                  • EubieQ
                    Club Member
                    • Feb 2016
                    • 33
                    • Cincinnati, OH a.k.a. Porkopolis
                    • Cookers:
                      BGE-XL
                      WSM-22"
                      WSM-18"
                      Weber Kettle-22"
                      DCS-36 (Gasser)
                      Brinkman smoker, circa 1989...R.I.P.

                      Favorite Beer:
                      -A nice, crisp IPA
                      -Any craft brew I have yet to try

                    #14
                    Growing up here in Porkopolis, I used to think our locally famous 'Montgomery Inn' had good Q until I realized it was smothered in sauce to hide the lack of true smoke flavor. I really didn't appreciate good Q until my brother moved to NC in 1985 and started making his own and teaching me the art and science. Now I know the difference and love trying new spots around town (Eli's!) and around the country. Inevitably, friends and I always end up comparing it to my home-grown Q, which is fun.

                    It certainly seems to have gone mainstream in the last few years based on fast food chains (e.g. Arby's) advertising their 13hr smoked brisket (sorry, I'll have to pass on trying that one). I'm fine with the proliferation if it means progressing the science (who doesn't enjoy new gadgets?). And the more folks cooking and sharing their findings (thanks AR), the better my Q gets, at least in theory.

                    Comment

                    • Rlawton79
                      Former Member
                      • Sep 2016
                      • 11
                      • Cincinnati, OH

                      #15
                      EubieQ Elis is my go to when not cooking my own. Not sure your area of town, but if you havent tried Just Q'in, give it a shot. They have a few more offerings than Eli's and its pretty dang good as well.

                      Comment


                      • EubieQ
                        EubieQ commented
                        Editing a comment
                        @Rlawton79 I'm a Westsider but love to try new Q places. Will definitely give Just Q'in a try, thanks! Brisket at Pontiac in OTR is quite tasty as well, Texas style. Walkable for me at lunch...

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