No shade to South­ern bar­be­cue, but things are heat­ing up north of the Ma­son-dixon line and in the mid­dle of the Pa­cific. Here are the un­der­rated smoke towns you should know about.

Rachael Ray Every Day - - On Our Radar -


Yan­kee ’cue is a lit­tle fancy (think mi­cro­greens sprin­kled on wings) and in­flu­enced by what Billy Dur­ney, owner of Home­town Bar-b- Que (home­town­bar­bque.com), calls “the most mul­ti­cul­tural culi­nary scene in the world.” BBQ fans can find global grub (Ja­maican jerk ribs, Oax­a­can chicken) at Home­town and haute riffs on South­ern stan­dards at Mighty Quinn’s (mightyquinns­bbq.com).


To do Cali bar­be­cue like a lo­cal, you have to go un­der­ground. We’re talk­ing brisket and ribs doled out in non­de­script back­yards at spots like Moo’s Craft Bar­be­cue (moo­scraft­bar­be­cue.com) and Rag­top Fern’s BBQ. “I didn’t re­al­ize how big of a scene we have un­til I got into it my­self,” says Burt Bak­man of Trudy’s Un­der­ground Bar­be­cue (trudy­sun­der­ground­bar­be­cue.com).


In the Windy City, it’s a tale of (at least) two ’cues. On one hand, you’ve got old-school smoke shacks, such as Honey 1 BBQ and Lem’s Bar- B- Q (lem­sque.com), where hot links and rib tips are fired in­side an aquar­ium smoker. Then there are new-wave joints that bring a chef-driven ap­proach to ribs, brisket, and sausage, like Smoque BBQ (smo­quebbq.com).


Hawaii’s cap­i­tal is an un­sung haven for grill lovers, thanks to its is­land cus­toms, Asian in­flu­ences, and main­land sta­ples. Pipikaula ribs have lured folks to He­lena’s Hawai­ian Food (he­le­nashawai­ian­food.com) for 70 years. Or say aloha to ’cue with Far East funk at the Kore­anin­spired Gina’s B- B- Q (gi­nas­bbq .com) and the teriyaki-lov­ing Bob’s Bar- B- Que (bob­s­bar­bque.com).

Clock­wise from top: Home­town Bar- B- Que in New York City, Moo’s Craft Bar­be­cue in L. A., and Smoque BBQ in Chicago

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