I visit many internet sites during the day and one of my favorites is Deadspin. It is basically a sports website for people with little time to read or short attention spans. They throw some humor in there as well and break stories about imaginary girlfriends and stuff like that. Last week Deadspin had an article which ranked the best flavors of doughnuts. It is not sports related, but I am a fan of doughnuts so I read to find out if my favorite was near the top. Vital information that I could not live without. Little did I know that if this article was a BBQ contest I would be ostrasized for shiggin. Yeah I am stealing the idea ( thanks Drew Magary ) and writing my own article ranking the BBQ meats. I will list the meat first then give my reasoning as to why it is superior to the meats beneath it.
1. Burnt Ends (Brisket point)- This is my favorite thing to order at any BBQ restaurant. I am from KC what do you expect. Tiny little fatty morsels of beefy goodness. If they were smaller I would swear this is what the fairies used for fairy dust. They are sooooo good. Smothered in sauce with extra bark. You just can’t beat them.
2. Brisket (flat) - If burnt ends were Miss America then brisket is a close runner up. When done right it is better than prime rib to me. The fat just melts in your mouth like butter. Most people will have a brisket sandwich. My question is, Why do you need the bread?
3. Spare Ribs (St Louis Cut) - I specify the St. Louis cut because I do not like eating the rib tips. Too much work for me. I like the extra flavor these ribs provide in comparison to the baby back ribs. Ribs are very versatile. You can have them from spicy to sweet and they are always good.
4. Turkey - I already hear the gasps from the audience. Yes smoked turkey. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I could eat turkey any day of the year. Brine it, inject it, rub it and smoke it. Always good.
5. Pork Shoulder (Boston Butt) - I had never had pulled pork till about 6 years ago. My mom always called it a pork roast and roasted it in the oven seasoned with salt, pepper and caraway seeds. Served with dumplings and brown pork gravy. Wow it was good! When I made my first shoulder I was amazed how much more flavor this cut of meat had when cooked in a smoker. This cut of meat is literally a sponge for flavor.
6. Pork Belly/Bacon - Now this ranks this high on the list because of one thing BACON! When I was five years old, I ate a whole pound of bacon for lunch while my mom was visiting with my dad and his golfing buddy. Kind of a badge of honor I think. I have never had the rest of the belly, but hope to remedy that soon.
7. Tri-Tip - This is a nod to all my California buddies I met at the American Royal last fall. This piece of meat is rapidly gaining popularity across the US. It tastes like the best steak at about half the price. My thanks to El Fuego Fiasco BBQ Team for the Santa Maria spice. I have not forgotten that I owe you some Drapers AP Rub.
8. Babyback Ribs – See spare ribs above. These little guys have just a little less flavor than spares or they would be higher on the list.
9. Beef Ribs – Like brisket on a stick. They are juicy and delicious and we fight over them at Christmas after the prime rib is carved. Smoked on the BBQ they are even better.
10. Chicken - White meat or dark meat everyone loves chicken. The trick is to keep it moist and get some flavor into that meat. It rounds out the top 10.
11. Pork Loin - Living high on the hog as they say. You can roast it whole or divide into chops. Stuff it with apples or wrap it in bacon this makes a great dinner.
12. Ham - Most BBQ joints around KC do not cook a whole bone in ham. They cook the processed ham loaf that you can get in any grocery store deli around town. The process of making your own ham is very long. It takes weeks and even months to get the ham cured and smoked. That being said, it would be nice to have bone in smoked ham at a local BBQ restaurant.
13. Pork Picnic - Incomplete. I have never had a pork picnic. Hopefully some day I will travel down south and have some but until then we will have to rate it an incomplete.
Now, this list is not all encompassing. I intentionally left off sausage and went with the cuts of meat vs combined elements of sausage. If I had put it on the list, it would have been pretty high on the list. It is not good for me and I love it. This is my opinion only and does not represent the views of Drapers BBQ ( with the exception of leaving mutton off the list). You know what opinions are like…everyone’s got one. So give them to me. This post is meant to start a discussion. Please post at the bottom of the article and tell me why you agree or disagree with me. Use our new share buttons and get your friends to sound off on the subject or post it to your favorite Facebook group. Lets discuss this cause I am sure pork picnic is too good to be left in the south and burnt ends are too good to be left to KC.