For many of us, the start of summer signals one of the season’s most delicious simple pleasures: barbecue.
Under normal circumstances, getting your fix was as easy as stopping by your favorite barbecue joint or a friend’s backyard party. But restaurant closures and social distancing rules will make upcoming celebrations a bit different this year. Fortunately, you can still enjoy a pitmaster-worthy feast, but from the comfort of your home.
Some of America’s most celebrated temples of smoked meat now ship nationwide, so you can savor authentic styles of regional ’cue—from Carolina to Memphis to Texas—without crossing state lines. At the same time, you’ll be supporting independent businesses that are taking a hit during the pandemic.
“We’ve noticed a huge uptick in people ordering our smoked meats delivery,” shared John Lewis of Lewis Barbecue. “It makes me happy to know that even though people can’t travel right now, I can still give them a taste of our barbecue. To me, barbecue is incredibly comforting and I hope it’s making people smile.”
Indulge in heaps of succulent smoked brisket, fall-off-the-bone ribs, tangy pulled pork and more from some of the finest barbecue restaurants in the country.
Acclaimed pitmaster John Lewis brings his Texas-style ’cue to Charleston at his namesake eatery. A year ago, Lewis started shipping his signature smoked meats—including melt-in-your mouth brisket, turkey breast, pork ribs, pulled pork and beef ribs—across the country over dry ice. The initiative has skyrocketed since the pandemic. Lewis also provides a quick tutorial video demonstrating how to reheat and masterfully slice his brisket. (Pro tip: be sure to add his famous Hatch Green Chile Barbecue Sauce to your order.)
A Kansas City tradition since 1957, Jack Stack offers perhaps the most extensive selection of mail-order barbecue on the market. Ready-to-ship packages feature all sorts of KC-style, hickory-smoked premium meats (from burnt ends to lamb ribs to beef brisket), along with renowned rubs and sauces, desserts, and standout sides like smoky pit beans and cheesy corn casserole flecked with chunks of rich, hickory ham. You can even choose all your favorites to create-your-own super sampler.
The Salt Lick
Barbecue is a way of life in the great state of Texas, and The Salt Lick is one of its most beloved institutions. Since 1967, this family-run establishment has been firing up seriously saucy, mouthwatering ’cue—available for vacuum-sealed delivery to the lower 48 states. You can’t go wrong with the Family Style Dinner sampler: smoked beef brisket, rack of pork ribs, two rings of Hill Country sausage and a bottle of signature sauce.
Award-winning pitmaster Tootsie Tomanetz and owner Kerry Bexley serve up big Texas-sized flavor in the tiny town of Lexington. You can sink your teeth into some of the state’s most highly-regarded BBQ through Snow’s online shop, which offers low-and-slow smoked meats, signature sauces and delectable combos like the Tootsie Sampler: oak-smoked beef brisket, house specialty pork steak and two rings of original or jalapeño sausage.
In operation since 1932, Black’s is the oldest family-run barbecue restaurant in Texas—spanning four generations. Now, the Black family operates several outposts and an online retailer that ships nationwide. Consider a barbecue bundle such as Edgar Black’s Favorites which contains Angus beef brisket, pork baby back ribs and housemade smoked sausages in flavors like garlic and jalapeño-cheese.
King’s BBQ Restaurant
Since 1936, the King family has upheld their legacy for serving outstanding Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue to the masses. Order through King’s Oink Express for champion hand-chopped BBQ pork and other knockout meats, along with down-home sides, Southern desserts and a tangy, vinegar-based secret sauce—the same recipe Grandpa Wilbur King developed more than 60 years ago.
Corky’s Ribs & BBQ
Since Corky’s first hickory and charcoal pit was fired up more than 30 years ago, this local chain has been voted the best BBQ joint in Memphis more than twenty times. Corky’s will FedEx their world-famous ribs, pulled pork, chicken, beef, sauces and seasonings right to your door. A variety of convenient combos offer the whole Corky’s experience—award-winning meats, sides and desserts—to feed both small and large groups of BBQ lovers.
17th Street Barbecue
Founded in Murphysboro, Illinois, in 1985, this Memphis-style barbecue joint—run by champion pitmaster Mike Mills and his daughter Amy Mills—is most famous for its award-winning ribs. The fall-off-the-bone baby backs are slow-smoked over local apple and cherry wood for six hours before being sprinkled with 17th Street’s “Magic Dust” dry rub and coated with flavorful sauce. Order a few succulent slabs, along with pulled pork and tangy pit beans, for an epic at-home feast.
Great BBQ Spots Offering Delivery & Takeout Locally
In Los Angeles, Slab recently debuted a ‘Reheat the Meat’ initiative, offering vacuum-sealed brisket, spare ribs, whole chicken and pulled pork to be picked up at the Beverly Grove location and reheated at home. In Culver City, Maple Block Meat Co. is making its cut-to-order, wood-smoked meats available for curbside pickup or delivery. Be sure the outstanding Texas-style brisket is part of your order.
Down South, famed pitmaster Rodney Scott’s Lowcountry slow-smoked whole hog BBQ can be picked up at his namesake outposts in Charleston and Birmingham. Everything is excellent, but you can’t go wrong with the “Rod’s Original”—tender pulled pork on white bread topped with crispy pork rinds. In Raleigh, standby smokehouse The Pit—founded by BBQ great Ed Mitchell—offers its authentic free-range BBQ pork, Texas-style brisket and even s’mores kits for curbside pickup and delivery.
In NYC? Get your fix at pitmaster Bill Durney’s Red Hook institution Hometown Bar-B-Que for oak wood-smoked meats exploding with flavor, which can be picked up or delivered in Brooklyn. Another Brooklyn BBQ hit, Fette Sau is serving their dry-rubbed, naturally-raised meats, which are sourced from local farms and smoked in-house and sides for walk-in pickup or delivery. Manhattan’s Hill Country introduced BBQ boxes packed with signature favorites and all the fixins’ to feed a family—available for daily pickup, with once-a-week deliveries to Long Island, The Hamptons and Westchester. Across the Hudson, Hamilton Pork brings a smokin’ taste of Texas to Jersey City, with a tempting selection of barbecue ready for pickup or delivery. Don’t miss the addictive Kung POW wings.
And fans of award-winning Franklin Barbecue in Austin are in luck: they can snag award-winning pitmaster Aaron Franklin’s coveted ’cue without waiting on the usual hours-long line! His famous, flavor-packed Texas brisket and other melt-in-your-mouth meats can be yours with curbside pickup.