BBQ Road Trip

We tracked down favorite recipes and tried-and-true tips from some of America's leading barbecue experts.

Discover American BBQ Traditions

You can crisscross the country following a delicious trail of smoked, spiced meat — or this summer you can get behind the grill and bring the road trip to your own backyard. To help, we've reached out to some of America's leading barbecue experts for their favorite regional recipes and tried-and-true tips. All that's left for you to do is start those fires!
– Sarah Karnasiewicz

Memphis: Ray Lampe, aka "Dr. BBQ"

"The dry-rub ribs that Memphis has become known for really evolved by chance," explains Ray. According to local lore, they were first introduced in 1948 at a restaurant called the Rendezvous, which remains a Memphis culinary landmark to this day. More About Memphis BBQ

Get the Recipe: Memphis Dry-Rubbed Back Ribs

Texas: Elizabeth Karmel

"In Texas, the old-timers season with only salt, pepper and just enough cayenne to turn the rub a gentle pink," says Elizabeth. "That's the great thing about Texas barbecue: It's all about the meat, just dressed simply and kissed with smoke from indigenous wood like post oak."
More About Texas BBQ

Get the Recipe: Texas Hill Country Market-Style Brisket

New England: Chris Hart and Andy Husbands

"Summer is prime striped bass fishing season in New England," explain Chris and Andy. "So, each year when Chef Chris Schlesinger, our friend and fellow barbecue fanatic, throws a big Fourth of July party, a freshly caught 30-50 pound striper is usually one of the centerpieces."
More About New England BBQ

Get the Recipe: Whole Smoke-Roasted Striped Bass and Rocket Pesto

Kansas City: Adam Perry Lang

"Kansas City-style ribs are known for their sweet, sticky sauce, but my goal is always to build layers of flavor," says Adam. Here, those layers include a piquant garlic marinade, a tangy cider vinegar mop, and a deeply savory spice rub bolstered by brown sugar, paprika, mustard and even hints of ginger. Only then comes the signature sauce.
More About Kansas City BBQ

Get the Recipe: Adam Perry Lang's Sweet and Sticky Kansas-City Style Ribs

Hawaii/Pacific: Zak Pelaccio

"A whole smoked pig is an opportunity to seriously party," says Zak. "That's what I love about barbecue — it's the most social way to cook, with everyone outside having a good time. I crave that relaxed atmosphere."
More About Hawaii/Pacific BBQ

Get the Recipe: Whole Smoked Pig (The Guy)

Kentucky: Steven Raichlen

"I especially love Kentucky barbecue because it is still so localized," says Steven. "Today you can go anywhere and find pulled pork and brisket, but barbecued mutton — I'm not even talking lamb — is pure uniqueness."
More About Kentucky BBQ

Get the Recipe: Owensboro Barbecued Mutton

Chicago: Ardie Davis

"Chicago barbecue is known for two things: spicy rib tips and hot links," says Ardie. Two of the best places to eat them are both on the South Side: Lem's, where pitmaster James Lemon has been hard at work for 58 years, and Barbara Ann's, where an eye-popping homemade hot sauce keeps customers coming back for more.
More About Chicago BBQ

Get the Recipe: Rib Tips

North Carolina: Ed Mitchell

"I was lucky enough to be taught how to cook a whole hog at an early age, when I was just 15. It was a tradition handed down from my grandfather, my father and my uncles," says Ed. True Carolina barbecue is served with a vinegar sauce and is always whole hog, he explains.
More About North Carolina BBQ

Get the Recipe: Ed Mitchell's Eastern Carolina Barbecue Sauce