BBQ Guide

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

fire-icon begin paragraphHi, I’m Tim Shirley. I’m a Memphis barbecue judge, bar-b-q enthusiast and bbq dad. Join me on my journey as we eat our way through Memphis barbecue and beyond, until there are none left to discover! Select any bbq joint below to begin your journey through slideshows, guides and full articles!

YOU BE THE BBQ JUDGE! Don’t forget my BBQ Reader Reviews page for user reviews and to let me know of your favorite bbq joint anywhere on the planet!

Judging at the “World’s Oldest BBQ Contest” in Covington, TN


View my food journey on Zomato!

My BBQ Travels by Region (Total 287)

Memphis Tri-State Area (228)

  1. 4 Sho BBQ and Hot WingsQuick-Fire Guidefire icon10closed
  2. 10 Bones BBQ (Southaven, MS) closed
  3. A & R BBQ (3rd St)Full Reviewfire icon10 closed
  4. A & R BBQ (Elvis Presley Blvd)Full Reviewfire icon10
  5. A & R BBQ (Hickory Hill)Full Reviewfire icon10
  6. A & R BBQ (Ramill Rd)Full Reviewfire icon10 closed
  7. A & R BBQ (Stage Rd)Full Reviewfire icon10 closed
  8. A Taste of Tennessee BBQ (bbq trailer)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  9. Abe’s Bar-B-Q (Clarksdale, MS)
  10. Alex’s Tavern (Dry Ribs and Greek Burgers)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  11. Alfred’s (Beale St)Full Reviewfire icon10
  12. Alton’s BBQ (Memphis Zoo) closed
  13. Arlington Bar-B-Que Company (Arlington, TN)
  14. Arnold’s BBQ-Full Reviewfire icon10
  15. Babalu
  16. Baby Jack’s BBQ (Bartlett, TN)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  17. Backyard BBQ (Brownsville, TN)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  18. Barbarosa’s B-B-Q & RIBS (Millington, TN)-Full Reviewfire icon10closed
  19. Bar-B-Cutie closed in Memphis
  20. Becky Sue’s Bar-B-Que (concession)Full Reviewfire icon10
  21. Bedrock Market & Café (paleo diet-themed)
  22. Beehive Restaurant (bbq and soul food)
  23. Beignet Café-Full Reviewfire icon10closed
  24. Benny Bob’s Barbecue (Blytheville, AR)
  25. Big Bill Bar-B-QueFull Reviewfire icon10
  26. Big Guns Pit BBQ (Food Truck)Full Reviewfire icon10
  27. Billings Bald Butcher (Covington, TN)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  28. Blues City Café (Beale St)Full Reviewfire icon10
  29. Bob’s Country BBQ
  30. Boss Hog BBQ (Southaven, MS)Full Reviewfire icon10closed
  31. Boss Man Pit StopFull Reviewfire icon10
  32. Bozo’s Pit BBQ (Mason, TN)Full Reviewfire icon10
  33. Brad’s BAR-B-Q (Bartlett, TN)Full Reviewfire icon10
  34. Brad’s BBQ (Moscow, TN)Full Reviewfire icon10
  35. Brad’s Pit BBQ (Oakland, TN)Full Reviewfire icon10
  36. C & J Bar-B-QueFull Reviewfire icon10
  37. Captain John’s Hot Pit Bar-B-Q (Collierville, TN)Full Reviewfire icon10
  38. Cate’s Family Meats (concession)Full Reviewfire icon10closed
  39. Central BBQ (Central Ave)Full Reviewfire icon10
  40. Central BBQ (Downtown Memphis)
  41. Cheers of Millington/Adam Bullock BBQ (Millington, TN)Full Reviewfire icon10
  42. Central BBQ (Summer Ave)Full Reviewfire icon10
  43. Chef TNT BBQ (Food Truck)
  44. Chef’s Downtown Wings & More (bbq on Fri.)-Full Reviewfire icon10
  45. Chicago’Z (Chicago style rib tips and fries)-Full Reviewfire icon10closed
  46. Cisco’s Kid Chicken Co. (Bartlett, TN)
  47. ¡Chiwawa! (smoked brisket tacos) closedQuick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  48. Coach’s Grillz & Bar-B-QueFull Reviewfire icon10
  49. Coleman’s Pit BBQ (Hernando, MS)Full Reviewfire icon10
  50. Coleman’s Pit BBQ (Millbranch Rd)Full Reviewfire icon10
  51. Corky’s Ribs and BBQ (Germantown Pkwy)Full Reviewfire icon10
  52. Corky’s Ribs and BBQ (Poplar Ave)Full Reviewfire icon10
  53. Corky’s Ribs and BBQ (Inside Germantown Kroger)Full Reviewfire icon10
  54. Corned Beef House (bbq on Sat)Full Reviewfire icon10closed
  55. Country Café (Whiteville, TN)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  56. Cozy Corner BBQFull Reviewfire icon10
  57. Crutchfield’s B-B-Q
  58. D’Bo’s Hot Wings/Big Un’s BBQ (Germantown Parkway, Cordova) closedFull Reviewfire icon10
  59. Dixie Pig (Blytheville, AR)
  60. Double J Smokehouse and Saloon (Civil Rights Museum District)
  61. Dr. Bar-B-Q (food truck)
  62. El Gallo Colorado “The Red Rooster” (A Mexican Food Truck in Memphis Smokes and Grills Meats)
  63. Elwood’s Shack (At a Lowe’s Parking Lot in Memphis)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  64. Erwin’s Pit-Roasted Meats (Covington, TN)
  65. Exit 87 BBQ (Jackson, TN)
  66. Family BAR•B•Q and Snack BarFull Reviewfire icon10
  67. Fat Larry’s BBQ (Bartlett, TN)Full Reviewfire icon10
  68. Fillin Station Grille (Southaven, MS)
  69. Flynn’s Restaurant & Bar (Beale St.)
  70. Gene’s Bar-B-Que (Brinkley, AR)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  71. Germantown Commissary (Germantown, TN)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  72. Gilt Edge Café (Gilt Edge, TN)Full Reviewfire icon10
  73. Granny’s MarketQuick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  74. Gridley’s BBQ (Stage Rd, Bartlett, TN)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  75. Gridley’s BBQ (Winchester Rd)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  76. Grill Master Chew (Food Truck-Best Bbq Nachos, Best Rib Tips!)Full Reviewfire icon10
  77. Helen’s Bar-B-Q (Brownsville, TN)Full Reviewfire icon10
  78. High Point Pizza (bbq pizza)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  79. Hog Wild BBQ (concession/catering)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  80. Interstate Bar-B-Que (3rd St)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  81. Interstate Bar-B-Que (Southaven, MS)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  82. Isaac Hayes closed
  83. J & C Fine Dining (Chicago-style bbq rib tips and fries)closedFull Reviewfire icon10
  84. Jack’s Bar-B-Q Rib ShackclosedFull Reviewfire icon10
  85. Jack’s Creek Bar-B-Que (Jacks Creek, TN)
  86. Jerry Lawler Hall of Fame Restaurant (Beale St.)
  87. Jerry Lee Lewis’ Café & Honky Tonk (Beale St.)
  88. Jim N Nick’s BBQ
  89. Jones’ Bar-B-Q Diner (Marianna, AR)
  90. KC’s Southern Style Rice (smoked rib tips from a concessions trailer)
  91. Kelvin’s Bar-B-Q On Wheels (food truck)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  92. Kelvin’s Hot Wings & Grill (Later called Hibbler’s-Cordova, TN) closedQuick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  93. King DJ’s (a welder’s concession)
  94. King Jerry Lawler’s BBQ (Cordova, TN)
  95. King Of Kings Bar-B-Que (food truck)
  96. King’s Palace Café (Beale St.)
  97. Ken Neely’s Hickory BBQQuick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  98. Kream Kastle (Blytheville, AR)
  99. L & L Bar-B-Q and Sports BarclosedFull Reviewfire icon10
  100. L & M BBQclosedQuick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  101. Latham’s Meat Co. (Jackson, TN)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  102. Leonard’s Pit BBQ (Fox Plaza Dr)Full Reviewfire icon10
  103. Leonard’s Pit BBQ (Main St.-Downtown) closedFull Reviewfire icon10
  104. Little Porky’s BBQ (Covington, TN)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  105. Loven Fresh Baking Company and Smokehouse Barbecue (Oakland, TN)Full Reviewfire icon10
  106. Luchessi’s Ravioli & Pasta Co. (bbq pizza and Benton’s Smoky Mountain Bacon)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  107. Mac’s Burgers (a burger with smoked pork shoulder)
  108. Macon Country Store
  109. Malia’s (roadside bbq shack)-Full Reviewfire icon10
  110. Maria’s Cantina (Southaven, MS)
  111. Marlowe’s Ribs & RestaurantQuick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  112. McBride’s Grocery Real Pit Bar-B-Que (Somerville, TN)Full Reviewfire icon10
  113. Mean Gene’s BBQ (Drummonds, TN)
  114. Memphis Barbecue Co. (Horn Lake, MS)-Full Reviewfire icon10
  115. Memphis’ Best BBQ (roadside pit)Full Reviewfire icon10
  116. Millington Pig (Pig On Beale-Millington)closed-Full Reviewfire icon10
  117. Moma’s B-B-Q (Bartlett, TN)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  118. Morris Grocery, BBQ and Deli-Full Reviewfire icon10
  119. Mr. Bar-B-Que (Food Truck)
  120. Mr. BBQ (Covington, TN)
  121. Natural Born Grillers (Southaven, MS)closed-Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  122. Neely’s Barbecue (Jefferson Ave)closed-Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  123. Neely’s Barbecue (Mt. Moriah)closed-Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  124. Neely’s Interstate Bar-B-Que (Winchester Rd.)-Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  125. Neil’s Bar and Grill
  126. Old School BBQ (fair concession)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  127. Old Timers (Millington, TN)Full Reviewfire icon10
  128. Old-Style BBQ (Olive Branch, MS)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  129. One and Only BBQ (Kirby Pkwy and Poplar Ave in Germantown, TN)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  130. One and Only BBQ (Perkins Extd in Memphis)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  131. One and Only BBQ (Timber Creek Dr and Germantown Pkwy in Memphis)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  132. Orange Mound GrillQuick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  133. Papa Chuck’s BBQ (bbq concession)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  134. Pappy John’s (Selmer, TN)Full Reviewfire icon10
  135. Paradise Grill (Atoka, TN)-Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  136. Patrick’s-mesquite-smoked pork ribs-Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  137. Payne’s BAR•B•Q (Lamar Ave)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  138. PC BBQ (golf range ‘que) closedQuick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  139. Pete and Sam’s (bbq pizza)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  140. Pig Out Barbeque & Smokehouse (Nesbit, MS) closedQuick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  141. Pig-N-Whistle BBQ (Bartlett, TN) relocated to Millington, TN-Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  142. Pit Side Grill at Memphis International Raceway
  143. Plumpy’s BBQ
  144. Pollard’s BBQ (New location on Elvis Presley Blvd since Restaurant Impossible)
  145. Pollard’s BBQ (Original Boenshire location)
  146. Pop’s Smokehouse BBQ & Catering (food truck)-Full Reviewfire icon10
  147. Post Office BBQ (Tipton, TN) closed
  148. Quincy’s BBQ (food truck-Shelby Farms)
  149. Rafferty’s (Germantown Pkwy)Full Reviewfire icon10
  150. Ray’s World Famous BBQ (West Memphis, AR)Full Reviewfire icon10
  151. Ray’z Bar-B-Que (AKA Dr. Bar-B-Q)
  152. Reese’s Bar-B-QQuick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  153. Reggie’s BBQ closedin Memphis
  154. Rendezvous Charcoal Ribs and BBQFull Reviewfire icon10
  155. Rendezvous at Autozone Park closed
  156. Rendezvous at FedEx Forum
  157. Rice Burner (Food Truck Offering Smoked Wings and Brisket Fried Rice)Full Reviewfire icon10
  158. Risner’s Steakhouse (Selmer, TN)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  159. River City Bar-B-QclosedQuick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  160. Roadside Bar-B-Q (Proctor, AR)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  161. Roxy’s Grocery (rib sandwich)
  162. Rum Boogie Café (Beale St.)
  163. Sam’s Down South BBQ and Hot-wingsclosedQuick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  164. Schweinehaus (Overton Square)
  165. Scooter’s BBQ (concession/roadside)
  166. Scott’s-Parker BBQ (Lexington, TN)Full Reviewfire icon10
  167. Showboat BarbecueQuick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  168. Sidecar Café
  169. Silky O’ Sullivan’s (Beale St.)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  170. Skipper’s Catfish and BBQ (Southaven, MS)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  171. Slap Yo’ Mama BBQ (Selmer, TN) closed
  172. Smoked Out Championship BAR•B•QUE and DeliclosedQuick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  173. Smokin D’s Pit Stop Bar-B-Que (Millington, TN)
  174. Smoky Bones BBQ closed in Memphis
  175. Smoky City Bar-B-Que
  176. Southern Pride BBQ (Olive Branch, MS)
  177. Sparky’s BBQ (Atoka, TN)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  178. Sweet Pea Truck Stop-(Wheatley, AR)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  179. Tango and Murph’s BBQ closed
  180. Taste of Empire (food truck selling Ribman’s Barbecue)
  181. Tastee Bar-B-QFull Reviewfire icon10
  182. Taylor Made BBQ (food truck)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  183. The Bar-B-Q ShopQuick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  184. The Bar-B-Q Store (Whiteville, TN)closedFull Reviewfire icon10
  185. The Bar-B-Que Pit (Olive Branch, MS)closedFull Reviewfire icon10
  186. The BBQ Shack (Whole Foods)
  187. The Food Shack (rib tips)
  188. The Grille (BBQ Chicken)
  189. The Hut (Somerville, TN)
  190. The Pig (On Beale)Full Reviewfire icon10
  191. The Smokehouse BBQ (Rossville, TN)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  192. Three Little Pigs BBQFull Reviewfire icon10
  193. Tin Roof (Beale St.)
  194. Todd’s Showcase Bar-B-QclosedQuick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  195. Tom’s Bar-B-Q and DeliFull Reviewfire icon10
  196. Tommy Leonard’s BBQ (Horn Lake, MS)closedQuick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  197. Too-Sweet Famous Bar-B-Q Pig Out (roadside pit)Full Reviewfire icon10
  198. Tops BAR-B-Q (3353 Summer Ave)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  199. Tops BAR-B-Q (4183 Summer Ave)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  200. Tops BAR-B-Q (Frayser Blvd)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  201. Tops BAR-B-Q (Jackson Ave)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  202. Tops BAR-B-Q (Lamar)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  203. Tops BAR-B-Q (Marion, AR)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  204. Tops BAR-B-Q (Millington, TN)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  205. Tops BAR-B-Q (Olive Branch, MS)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  206. Tops BAR-B-Q (Poplar Ave)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  207. Tops BAR-B-Q (Rhodes Ave)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  208. Tops BAR-B-Q (Southaven, MS)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  209. Tops BAR-B-Q (Sycamore View/Macon)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  210. Tops BAR-B-Q (Thomas Ave)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  211. Tops BAR-B-Q (Union, Ave)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  212. Tops BAR-B-Q (Winchester Rd)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  213. Ty’s Smokehouse (Bartlett, TN)
  214. Up in Smoke Bar-B-Q
  215. Vaneli’s Deli (brisket on Sat) (Germantown, TN)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  216. Wellington’s Fine Bar-B-Que (food truck)
  217. Westy’s (Ribs and Burgers in a Downtown Memphis Bar, Near the Pyramid)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  218. Wet Willie’s (Beale St.)
  219. Whole Hog Café (Germantown Pkwy)closedQuick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  220. Whole Hog Café (Quince Rd)closedQuick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  221. William’s BBQ (West Memphis, AR)Full Reviewfire icon10
  222. Willie Mae’s Rib Haus (West Memphis, AR)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  223. Willingham’s Bar-B-Q (concession)
  224. Willingham’s Bar-B-Q (restaurant)
  225. Wolf River BBQ Co. (Moscow, TN)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  226. Woodstock Store & Deli (Millington, TN)
  227. Yancey’s (bbq concession)Full Reviewfire icon10
  228. Yank’s BBQ (Blytheville, AR)

    BBQ Travels Beyond the Memphis Tri-State Area

    Alabama (7)

  229. Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Q-(Decatur, AL)
  230. Buttahatchie BBQ-(Hamilton, AL)
  231. Deerman’s BBQ Hickory Pit-(Birmingham, AL)
  232. Dobbs BBQ-(Dothan, AL)
  233. Dreamland Bar-B-Q-(Montgomery, AL)
  234. Dreamland Bar-B-Q-(Huntsville, AL
  235. Sonny’s BBQ (AL)
    Arkansas (9)
  236. Brown’s Country Store and Restaurant-(Benton, AR)
  237. McClard’s Bar-B-Q-(Hot Springs, AR)
  238. Nick’s Bar-B-Q and Catfish-(Carlisle, AR)
  239. Real Deal BBQ (Heber Springs, AR)
  240. Smokin’ In Style BBQ (Hot Springs, AR)
  241. Stubby’s BBQ-(Hot Springs AR)
  242. The Bar B Q Shack (Jacksonville, AR)
  243. The Rib Cage (Food Truck, Hot Springs, AR)
  244. Whole Hog Café-Airport-(Little Rock, AR)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10   
    Florida (2)
  245. Confisco Grille (Wood-Smoked Ribs at Islands of Adventure, Orlando, FL)
  246. Emeril’s Tchoup Chop (Kiawe-Smoked Pork Ribs-Orlando, FL)
    Georgia (1)
  247. The Wicked Pig (Clayton, GA)
    Illinois (1)
  248. 17th Street Bar and Grill-(O’Fallon, IL)
    Louisiana (1)
  249. Voodoo BBQ-(Hammond, LA)
    Missouri (5)
  250. Bandana’s BBQ-(St. Louis, MO)
  251. Danna’s Bar-B-Que and Burger Shop (Branson, MO)
  252. Famous Dave’s BBQ-(Branson, MO)
  253. Outback Pub (Branson, MO)
  254. Rib Crib (Branson, MO)
    Mississippi-Beyond Memphis Tri-State Area (3)
  255. The Shed (Ocean Springs, MS)Quick-Fire Guidefire icon10
  256. Tony’s BBQ-(West Point/Starkville, MS)
  257. Ubon’s Restaurant (Yazoo City, MS)
    Tennessee-Beyond West Tennessee Region (4)
  258. Famous Dave’s BBQ-Franklin, TN
  259. Little Billy’s BBQ (Chattanooga, TN)
  260. Martin’s BBQ (Nolensville, TN)
  261. Sugar’s Ribs (Chattanooga, TN)

    The 3 Other Major U.S. BBQ Regions-KC, The Carolinas, Texas

    Kansas City (10)

  262. Arthur Bryant’s BBQ-Kansas City, MO
  263. BB’s Lawn Side BBQ-Kansas City, MO
  264. Fiorella’s Jack Stack BBQ-Overland Park, KS
  265. Gate’s Bar-B-Q-Kansas City, MO
  266. Hayward’s Pit BBQ-Overland Park, KS
  267. LC’s BBQ-Kansas City, MO
  268. Smokehouse BBQ-Independence, MO
  269. Three Little Pigs BBQ-Kansas City, MO
  270. Wood-Yard BBQ-Kansas City, KS
  271. Zarda’s BBQ-Blue Springs, MO
    North Carolina (6)
  272. Allen & Son Barbeque (Chapel Hill, NC)
  273. Cook’s BBQ (Lexington, NC)
  274. Lexington Barbecue (Lexington, NC)
  275. Skylight Inn BBQ (Ayden, NC)
  276. Smiley’s Lexington BBQ ( Lexington, NC)
  277. Wilber’s Barbecue (Goldsboro, NC)
    South Carolina (4)
  278. Belly’s Southern Pride Bar-B-Q (Lexington, SC)
  279. Captain George’s Seafood Buffet-Includes Smoked Ribs and Pork Shoulder (Myrtle Beach, SC)
  280. Scott’s BBQ (Hemingway, SC)
  281. Sticky Fingers (Myrtle Beach, SC)
    Texas (6)
  282. Big Bruce’s Bar-B-Que
  283. Black’s BBQ
  284. County Line Barbecue
  285. Kreuz’s Market
  286. Rudy’s BBQ
  287. Sonny Bryant’s BBQ

Things Smoked, Grilled or Influenced by BBQ at Restaurants, Butcher Shops and Local Grocery Stores

  1. Canale’s Grocery-(pit charcoal-smoked ham)
  2. Coletta’s Italian Restaurant (“bbq” pizza-Appling Rd. location)
  3. Coletta’s Italian Restaurant (“bbq” pizza-S. Parkway location)
  4. Coursey’s Smokehouse (wood-smoked bacon-St. Joe, AR)
  5. Hog and Hominy (oak wood-fired oven pizzas, smoked foods)
  6. Rod’s Pizza House (smoked beef pepperoni-Hot Springs, AR)
  7. The Butcher Shop (steakhouse where you can grill your own steak over charcoal)
  8. Uncle Lou’s Fried Chicken (smoked sausage at a Memphis Tiger’s game at the Liberty Bowl)
  9. Weldon’s Meat Market-(Hot Springs, AR-wood-smoked ham)

Mexican Grilling

For information about my travels to Mexico, check out my Mexican Grilling page to view photos and articles about trips to taquerias, tortillarias, tortarias, paleterias, mariscos, street food, beach food, and even carne asadas and pescados at the homes of my wife’s family in La Paz, Los Barriles, Acapulco and Mexico City. As I’m able to develop content for that page, you’ll read about banana leaf-wrapped chicken tamales sold right through a kitchen window from a home in Acapulco, cochinita pibil delivered by a postman, potato tacos sold from an old lady in a dark night club alley at three in the morning, cactus tacos, cow’s head meat tacos, fish eyes, baby shark ceviche on a beach, smoked tuna machaca, sun dried beef machaca, Mexican style bacon-wrapped hotdogs sold on the sidewalk in front of the cook’s home and much more. Continue to follow as I add content and feel free to drop me a request if you would like to read about something sooner. Tim


All you need to know about barbecue






Leave a Comment Below

14 Responses to BBQ Guide

  1. Brick

    Tim, I’m so glad I found your wonderful website with all the great reviews. My brother and I, along with our wives, will be visiting Memphis for two days next week and plan on trying at least four different BBQ restaurants. I have just spent an enjoyable two hours going over your reviews in order to decide which restaurants to try. My wife and I were there ten years ago and tried Rendezvous, Interstate, Neely’s (on Jefferson) and Corky’s. We thought they were all very good. We really only care about the ribs and like a definite smoky flavor and substantial bark. After reading your reviews I have tentatively decided to go with the following which I have listed in my order of preference:
    1. Rendezvous (because it’s so famous my brother, who has never been to Memphis, insists on going there)
    2. One & Only BBQ (Poplar & Perkins Ext location)
    3. Central BBQ (the location on Central in midtown)
    4. Cozy Corner
    Then if we have more time:
    5. The BBQ Shop
    6. Germantown Commissary
    7. Payne’s BBQ
    I would appreciate any feedback/advice you can give me, like if you were me, would you reorder the above or delete some & add others? Remember, to us the ribs are the most important. Thank you so much.

    • Tim Shirley

      Good choices Brick. I’d place Germantown Commissary higher up. The Bar-B-Q Shop has been really good for me, and not so good at other times-hit or miss, I’d say. If I knew which direction you were coming from, I might be able to give you some other ideas. If you’ll be coming through Mississippi, you’ll want to stop at Memphis Barbecue Co for the ribs. Ribs here are awesome and smoked meat is indeed the focus, but if you don’t go for a smoked pork sandwich with sauce and slaw (poor you), I suggest that you at least try once as an appetizer, bbq nachos or bbq pizza. It’s part of the Memphis barbecue experience too. If you just know you only want ribs, I got your back. Keep in touch.

      • Brick

        Thank you so much, Tim, for your suggestions. One last question. Would you put Germantown Commissary ahead of Cozy Corner? Thank you again.


        • Tim Shirley

          Hmmmm. Well, here’s the thing. Cozy Corner is charcoal pit bbq (no wood used) and Germantown Commissary is wood-smoked ‘que (wood only). Many pit-masters in competition bbq use both, but these two are at different ends of the spectrum. At Cozy Corner, I’d get dry ribs, with sauce on the side (and oddly enough, I’m not partial to their bbq sandwich). They actually smoke the meats high over a thin layer of coals so that the drippings land on the coals, creating that particular smoke flavor. Germantown Commissary smokes indirectly with wood, creating basically an oven with wood smoke for that particular kind of smoke flavor. Down through the years, I’ve met both competitors and judges in the world of competition bbq who turn their noses at the idea of meat smoked directly over charcoal, calling it “grilling” instead of smoking meat and dubbing it “amateur.” I know this because I’ve been judging bbq competitions for ten years myself. They’re wrong, of course, because the method that Cozy Corner uses is still a “low and slow” method that infuses smoke flavor into the meat, since the meat is positioned high above the coals and only a thin layer is used. It’s a legitimate (and really an old-time) method for barbecue. Grilling is hot and fast (i.e. searing steaks over wood). Whether bbq snobs like it or not, charcoal-smoked barbecue is a thing. As a matter of fact, famous pit-masters, such as Myron Mixon and Mike Mills both admitted to me that they’re dads smoked their meats over the coals, just as my dad did growing up in Memphis. That was back before people “knew better.” Now, indirect smoking is the fad these days and some books have high-jacked the definition of barbecue, regulating it to indirect smoking. But history, culture and practice have dictated otherwise. At home I use a hybrid method to get both types of smoke flavor-wood smoke and meat dripping onto the coals, sending smoke back up. I said all that to say that if you want to broaden your Memphis bbq experience, I recommend you make these very two places a priority. Alternatively, replace Germantown Commissary with Central BBQ, Memphis BBQ Co or One & Only BBQ, as they all smoke indirectly with wood. One & Only is hot with the locals right now. I love it myself and the sauce is one of my favorites. The meats have good smoke too-just know that they use an electric smoker. It sort of takes the artisan craftsmanship out of the process for me. But I suppose it’s understandable in a restaurant setting. Memphis Barbecue Co and Central both represent competition barbecue, since they started as teams (I’ve judged both in competition), who later opened restaurants. Of course, you won’t get quite the same bbq they smoke for a professional competition. But you’ll get close. I suppose Cozy Corner and one of the “competition bbq” restaurants would give you a broader experience, but I’m just so partial to Germantown Commissary for ribs of the wood-smoked variety. OK, a quick word about ambience…Germantown Commissary feels like a cozy log cabin (sort of). Central is a hip college-area spot with a wooden deck-also very popular with the locals. Memphis BBQ Co is a large, open place and feels something like a “roadhouse” style restaurant. One and Only is similar to Central in that it’s a hip, very popular spot for locals (I’d go to the Perkins Extended location). So there you have it-now that I’ve written a full article to answer your question and probably made it harder for you to make a decision! LOL. I wanted you to have intelligent answers that provide a clear picture of what you’re facing. There are so many more interesting bbq spots in and around Memphis, but you’ve found a good selection. If you’re looking for great burgers, pizza, authentic Mexican or unique fine dining options, I can help with those too. I did my culinary internship at Hog and Hominy, where they bake handmade pizzas in a red oak-fired oven (no gas or electricity) and offer both Italian and southern food. The owner/chefs grew up in large Italian families that migrated to Memphis a couple of generations back. They grew up on both Italian and southern food. Their Italian craft butcher shop Porcellino’s is just next door and the original Italian fine dining restaurant Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen with its own herb garden out back is just across the street. Yeah, I know-information overload. Why? I just enjoy this stuff man! lol Take care and ask me anything. Tim

          • Brick

            Wow, Tim, what a fantastic reply. I can’t thank you enough for all the information. You have been extremely helpful and to me it is certainly not an information overload. After our trip I will let you know how our bbq experiences turned out. Thanks again.

          • Tim Shirley

            Any time Brick, and Thanks for reading!

  2. Michael Kurasinski

    Hi Tim Nice job on your reviews. What a jobhuh Eat BBQ all the time. 2 things If you get up to Sturbridge Mass look-up BT’s BBQ. Excellent place. Also my wife and I operate Jammed 4 Thyme food truck here in Connecticut and we are happy to announce we will be serving up BBQ this year. Wish us luck.

    • Tim Shirley

      Michael, I checked out your site. I really like that you guys are serving potato pancakes for breakfast! Haven’t had those since my mom made them for us growing up here in TN. I kind of forgot about ’em. Just reading that on your menu has inspired me to cook some in honor of my mother, who passed this last October. Thanks for that. As far as your bbq, if you read through my reviews, you’ll discover many tidbits about barbecuing from what I’ve learned studying bbq on my journeys, from techniques, to understanding the essence of real pit bbq and how to enjoy it. This year I plan to start filming how-to videos. Stay tuned and take care Jammed 4 Thyme!

  3. Thomas O'Brien

    Hey Tim,
    Where are you my friend? I check in often only to find no new post.
    You started this great blog and got us all interested and now you’ve disappeared.
    I am sure writing a blog is time consuming and a hassle but we would sure like to hear more from you.
    I am interested in a place “Wellington’s Fine Barbecue.” They are located at 4909 Shelby Dr. at Lamar. They operate out of a small trailer and have received some good reviews on Yelp.
    I have yet to make the trek but I hope to soon. Just planting a seed for you but if I make it there before you I will post my findings.
    I hope all is well and hoping you will post again soon.
    Your blog friend,

    • Tim Shirley

      Thanks Thomas. I recently returned from vacation to New York City and have also been spending some time perfecting my own barbecue. I have to keep a cutting edge in the pit. I actually did recently post an article about Memphis Barbecue Co. If you haven’t read it, I would love to hear your feedback once you check it out. Thanks for the tip about Wellington’s. I have also been busy checking out new bbq spots. Notice that my bbq list has grown a little. Mostly, I’ve been focusing on bbq food trucks lately. I’m about to post several of my Quick-Fire Guides as well. I still plan to make it out to the grocery store in Millington soon. Keep in touch bbq brother.

  4. Martee Rule

    Hey this is a great service! Does anybody in Memphis use or know about White BBQ sauce? We make 6 flavors most are based on our Original Anything Sauce-love to hear your opinion, and let more folks know about us!

    • Tim Shirley

      White bbq sauce is uncommon here and I dare say most Memphians aren’t familiar with the mayo based bbq sauce from northern Alabama. I had it with bbq chicken at Big Bob Gipson’s in Decatur, Al. I’ve also made my own, which turned out really good, if I do say so myself. I do know of a place to get it here. Baby Jack’s BBQ in Bartlett, TN (a suburban town in the Memphis metro area) is owned by a guy from AL. They offer a white bbq sauce, which pairs perfectly with their barbecue poultry of course. I did a brief summer internship at Hog and Hominy in Memphis, at that time they served fantastic tamales with “bama sauce.” Eventually, articles will be posted for all of the places I’ve experienced, including the three I mentioned here. Keep checking back for new reviews and photos. ciao

  5. Kenny Whiting

    Hey Tim, wow I am glad to see you are doing good for yourself!! You definitely have my dream passion!! I have ALWAYS loved trying EVETYBODIES BBQ along the roads of our great nation as I have traveled around!! As I am sure you have seen I have made my home in Michigan to be close to my mother! But I still try every BBQ stand or restaurant as I come across them or am informed of them!! I would love to hook up with you sometime and go on a Memphis tour (live) of some of your favorite BBQ. Eats!!! I have one place here in Battle Creek that I have become Great fiends withheld owner (have done a considerable amount of work on his restaurants ) but he hard simply amazed me with his “down home style bbq ” ad well ad his COMPLETELY HEAVENLY greens!!…Hit me up when you can and legs catch up!! Sincerely, Kenny Whiting…phone #269-579-2722

    • Tim Shirley

      Good to hear from you Kenny. It’s been a few years. If you ever decide to swing through Memphis, contact me. I’m always down for some ‘que. What’s the name of that bbq joint in Battle Creek?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.