What my Grand Rapids BBQ restaurant would look like…
I stumbled across this great blog; Full Custom Gospel BBQ. The blogger is a Texas-based gentleman. Pretty good ‘que in Texas and he knows his stuff.
The specific post that caught my attention was about the types of smokers used in barbecue restaurants.
I had earlier posted a question on the BBQ Forum, asking what BBQ joints still serve “authentic barbecue”?
I had a variety of answers, but the debate veered to “what is authentic barbecue”?
Well, in my humble opinion, this blog did the best job of answering the question.
Authentic barbecue needs to be wood fired…no gas or electric assist. Period.
The debate wasn’t cut and dry though. It was pointed out that good BBQ is good BBQ…it doesn’t matter how it is cooked. OK…I buy that. But in my opinion, it is not authentic.
My follow up question was, what types of pits do most BBQ joints use? Southern Pride and Ole Hickory were mentioned several times. Rightfully so. Very well made, efficient and modern. Both use wood, with either gas or electric. In the case of Southern Pride, their smokers are used in many of the top BBQ chains in the country (someone told me Slows BBQ in Detroit is Southern Pride-powered, but I can’t confirm).
However, as the Gospel BBQ blog points out, that is probably a good reason to avoid those units! Why be like everyone else?
In the end, the recommended smoker, that is wood only is The Oyler Pit. Made in Texas.
Authentic Pit BBQ
With the recent emergence of a hot BBQ scene in Detroit, led by Slows, I’ve been daydreaming about the possibilities of someone opening a BBQ joint in downtown Grand Rapids. What would this look like?
Well here you go:
Authentic pit barbecue. Wood-fired, no gas or electric assist. Probably the Oyler Pit. Maybe use apple or other local fruit woods.
Standard BBQ fare: pulled pork, beef brisket, St. Louis-style ribs, chicken, hot-links and probably turkey, maybe some lamb and/or salmon. When feasible, meat would be sourced locally.
Side dishes. All made from scratch. NO food service product. Cole slaw, beans, mac and cheese, cornbread, fries. Probably have jars of small-batch pickles and peppers on each table.
Sauce: On the side. House recipe, a few styles: mustard based, thick and sweet, and thin and peppery.
Dessert: Homemade pies, crisps, homemade ice cream (bought locally)
Beverage: Michigan’s finest microbrews, rootbeer, lemonade, ice tea.
Simple setting. Unpretentious.
Lunch: $5.95 – $9.95
Dinner: $9.95 – $14. 95
So, what do you think? Boom or bust?
Disclosure. Although I know, love and am obsessed by BBQ, I have absolutely no experience in the restaurant industry…so it remains a dream.
Tags: authentic pit BBQ
, barbecue pits
, Ole Hickory
, oyler pit
, Slows BBQ
, Southern Pride