Sizing up the best cities for barbecue, but you may be surprised

Kansas City and Memphis fall a little short on the top 75 largest cities ranked by the online cooking resource and travel website

ST. LOUIS – People are very proud of their barbecue. You take it personally. Where you grow up usually defines your preferences – in sauce, smoke, pieces of meat, types of wood.

There are grill capitals, places that claim method, flavor, and culture.

The recent attempt to organize, categorize, and rank these sacred landmarks of grilling has been revealed, and the results have been … um, interesting.

The website, alluding to National Barbecue Month, “celebrates this popular pastime deeply rooted in American culture,” and turned to TripAdvisor to get the job done.

Chef’s Pencil indicated right from the grill that it knew it was wading into a dangerously hot sauce. “How to have a great barbecue or where to enjoy the best of the country can quickly become a very heated conversation,” he said.

Oh how quickly the spiral started.

The rules as laid down by Chef’s Pencil: “We analyzed TripAdvisor ratings of all BBQ areas in the country’s 75 largest cities and ranked cities based on their average rating. “Oh right.

St. Louis at No. 8? Yes, but before Newark and Miami. Hey, that’s remarkable.

One of my bosses raged by email, “I can do an hour-long podcast on why Memphis is # 10 insane. AND BABBQFEST WEEKEND ??????? #MyMemphis”

A 5 On Your Side anchor, which will remain unnamed so as not to invite the people of The Big Easy to join its case, intervened: “And I love New Orleans, but what grill are they claiming anyway?”

Then another: “And where is Kansas City? Where was the grill born?”

Isn’t Kansas City the cradle of barbecues? Is it possible the travel agents didn’t try the burned ends? I mean, there is a barbecue sauce named after KC for Andy Reid’s sake, and the flavor is so popular that it’s used on barbecue potato chips.

No offense, but what do Oklahoma City, Wichita and Columbus have that Kansas City and Memphis don’t?

Interesting results (theirs, not ours):

  • New Orleans (1st) and Oklahoma City (2nd) Ranked as the best cities for grilling in America. St. Louis was ranked 8th nationwide.
  • Anchorage, Plano, and Boston are America’s worst grilling cities.
  • Among the 75 largest cities in the country, Orlando, St. Louisand Honolulu have most barbecues per head.
  • Chicago, Los Angeles and Austin are those Cities with the highest number of first-class barbecue areas (rated 4.5 stars and above). St. Louis ranks 7th in this regard.
  • San Antonio, Houston, and Memphis have the highest number of low-rated BBQ areas (rated 3 stars and lower).
  • The Blue Door Smokehouse in Lexington, Kentucky is the best grill restaurant in the country and the best-rated 5-star grill place.

Please see a link to the full report below:

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