Maybe it’s because it’s almost Labor Day, but suddenly, my inbox is flooded with barbecue news.
Not only did I learn this week that three Kansas City ribs were named among the best in the country, but there’s also a big BBQ festival in Derby next weekend, and All Things Barbecue is offering some pretty nifty barbecue classes later this month.
Let’s tackle these one bite at a time, shall we?
▪ The second-best ribs in the country are made in Kansas: At least according to The Daily Meal, a popular website about food and drink. Earlier this week, the site released its list of America’s Best 35 Ribs for 2015, and Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que, located at 3002 W. 47th Ave. in Kansas City, Kan, made the No. 2 spot. The restaurant, formerly known as Oklahoma Joe’s, has ribs that are smoky, juicy, moist, tender and “postcard-picture-perfect, and you’ll most likely find yourself snapping a photo of them before you even take that first bite,” the site said. Arthur Bryant’s in Kansas City, Mo., had the fourth-best rib on the list, and Fiorella’s Jack Stack was No. 11. The No. 1 rib, the site said, can be found at Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, Texas.
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▪ Derby BBQ Festival happens on Sept. 12: The annual festival, which features a cookoff between 50 pro teams from across Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, is from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 12 in High Park, 2801 James St. in Derby. The public is invited to taste the competitors’ creations, and a tasting kit is $5. They go on sale at 10:30 a.m. near the main stage in High Park and entitle participants to six 2-ounce servings of pulled pork. (They sell out quickly, I’m told.) The festival, which last year drew 13,000 people, also will have food vendors, including Brickhouse BBQ, Lynn’s Curbside Cookout, RT’s Hog Pit and more.
The event also will include a Big Green Egg cook off, a bacon contest and a kids chocolate chip cookie contest. (There’s still time to enter. Find info at www.derbybbq.com.) Lucas Maddy and The Kansas Cartel will perform from 11 am. to 2 p.m., and the festival also will include a car show a photo booth and free kids activities. Admission is free, and proceeds will benefit the Airman & Family Readiness Center at McConnell Air Force Base.
▪ Classes with a famous pit-master at All Things Barbecue: The fancy barbecue store at 818 W. Douglas in Delano is offering a classes by “BBQ Brian” Misko from House of Q in Vancouver, British Columbia. Misko won the World Food Championship in ribs in November, and his new cookbook, “Grilling with House of Q,” has been well received. The classes are scheduled for Sept. 25-27. The two that still have openings are Dinner on the Grill with Wine Pairings at 6 p.m. on Sept. 25, and Sunday Dinner with a Barbecue Champion with Beer Pairings at 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 27. Each class costs $75. To register, visit http://classes.atbbq.com.