Big Game Hunting photo

I’m not sure what it is about the smoking process that makes a guy want to just pull up a chair, crack a beer, and start thinking. That’s precisely what I did last Sunday, wasting away the afternoon watching the cherry smoke roll out of my Smoke Vault, as I waited for some chicken quarters to finish cooking. What did I think about? Anything and everything, but I really got down to considering just what was the best barbecue I’d ever eaten.

Let me preface this by saying I am far from the last word in barbecue, as I haven’t spent nearly enough time in Texas towns like Lexington, Lockhart, or Luling (not to mention Austin or Abilene). I have enjoyed some good ‘cue in Kansas City at both Jack Stack’s and Gates and Sons (but no Arthur Bryant’s or Oklahoma Joe’s, yet).

However, despite the fact that I’ve never actually eaten it in-state, I have to say my favorite, if I had to pick just one, is that unique blend of mustard and vinegar that makes up the sauce of much of South Carolina. I’ve only had it once, here in Nebraska, in a pulled-pork recipe I adapted from an old copy of Cook’s Country, but it was a revelation of fat and acid and tang.

I know my pick is probably fighting words for some, so let’s hear it. What’s your favorite barbecue?