From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kansas City barbecue refers to the specific
inner city style of barbecue that evolved
from the pit of Henry Perry in the early 1900s in Kansas City, Missouri,
Missouri. The Kansas City Metropolitan
is renowned for barbecue. Kansas City, Missouri has more than 100
barbecue restaurants and is known in Missouri as "world's barbecue
capital." There are large, well attended barbecue cooking contests, the
two most notable being in nearby Lenexa, Kansas and at the American Royal.
barbecue is characterized by its use of different types of meat (including
pulled pork, pork ribs, burnt ends, smoked sausage, beef brisket, beef
ribs, smoked/grilled chicken, smoked turkey, and sometimes fish) along
with its sweet and tangy sauces which are generally intended for liberal
use. A majority of restaurants also offer a spicy variety of the staple
sauce. Ribs are mostly pork, but also come in beef varieties and can come
in a number of different cuts. Burnt ends, the flavorful pieces of
meat cut from the ends of a smoked beef or pork brisket, are a popular
dish in many Kansas City area barbecue restaurants. Kansas City barbecue
is also known for its many side dishes, including a unique style of baked
beans, french fries, cole slaw, and other soul food staples.
In 1977, Rich
the efforts to nationally market a more suburban version of barbecue sauce
called KC Masterpiece (which is now owned by a division of Clorox).
Efforts by Arthur Bryant's and Gates to export Kansas City barbecue beyond
the metro area have not been as commercially successful, although the two
do market their sauces to travelers at Kansas City International Airport.
traces its barbecue history to Henry Perry, who operated out of a
trolley barn at 19th and Highland in the legendary African-American
neighborhood around 18th & Vine.
slow-cooked ribs on pages of newsprint for 25 cents a slab. Perry came
from Shelby County, Tennessee near Memphis and began serving barbecue in
1908. The style of Kansas City and Memphis barbecue are very similar,
although Kansas City tends to use more sauce and a wider variety of meats,
including pork, beef, chicken, sausage, and turkey. Perry's sauce had a
somewhat harsh, peppery flavor.
restaurant became a major cultural point during the heyday of Kansas City
Jazz during the "wide-open" days of Tom Pendergast in the 1920s and
Henry Perry was Charlie Bryant, who, in turn, brought his brother, Arthur
Bryant, into the business. Charlie took over the Perry restaurant in 1940
after Perry died. Arthur then took over his brother's business in 1946,
and the restaurant was renamed Arthur Bryant's.
Bryant's, which eventually moved to 1727 Brooklyn in the same
neighborhood, became a stomping ground for baseball fans and players in
the 1950s and 1960s, because of its close proximity toMunicipal Stadium,
where the Kansas City A's played their home games during that period.
In 1974, Kansas
City native Calvin Trillin wrote an article in New Yorker Magazine
proclaiming Bryant's to be the best restaurant on the planet.
new-found fame, Bryant did not change the restaurant's very simple decor,
which consisted of fluorescent lighting, formica tables, and five-gallon
jars of sauce displayed in the windows, even as Presidents Harry Truman,
Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan stopped by.
Bryant died of
a heart attack, in a bed that he kept at the restaurant, shortly after
Christmas of 1982. The restaurant is still open. The sauce and restaurant
continue their success.
Presidential nominee John McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin, ate at
Arthur Bryant's in the days leading up to the 2008 Presidential Election.
In 1946 Arthur
Pinkard, who was a cook for Perry, joined with George Gates to form Gates
and Sons Bar-B-Q. The restaurant was situated initially in the same
sauce does not contain molasses, and the ingredients, as listed on the
bottle, are: "Tomatoes, vinegar, salt, sugar, celery, garlic, spices, and
pepper. 1/10th of 1% potassium sorbate preservative added." It is
available in "Original," "Hot," or "Sweet and Mild" varieties.
expanded its footprint in a more conventional way, with restaurants all
displaying certain trademarks -- red-roofed buildings, a recognizable logo
(a strutting man clad in tuxedo and top hat) and the customary "Hi, May I
Help You?" greeting belted out by its employees as patrons enter.
opened restaurants throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. Gates
also sold barbecue sandwiches at Kauffman Stadium during Kansas City
Royals home games and currently at Arrowhead Stadium during Kansas City
Chiefs home games.
Rich Davis capitalized on the inner city reputation of Kansas City
barbecue to form KC Masterpiece, which evolved from his "K.C. Soul Style
was sold to the Kingsford division of Clorox in 1986 and now claims to be
the number one premium barbecue brand in the U.S. The KC Masterpiece brand
tastes actually sweeter than the classic Bryant's and Gates sauces.
Davis has held
KC Masterpiece barbecues on the White House lawn for Presidents George H.W.
Bush and George W. Bush.
the History Channel, Dr. Davis bucked the trend of KC BBQ restaurants by
developing his sauce first, then creating a restaurant. The History
Channel states that the usual trend is to develop the restaurant first,
then develop the sauce (as with Bryant's and Gates). The History Channel
also states that KC is the crossroads of the BBQ community (due to the
early influence of railroads), and also states that the sauce of the
restaurant is the most important feature of KC BBQ.
When Davis sold
the rights to his sauce to Clorox, he announced plans to build a franchise
of barbecue restaurants. Although new restaurants were indeed built in
major metropolitan centers across the country, all of the KC Masterpiece
restaurants have since closed, with the Overland Park, KS location being
the last to close in 2009.
The Kansas City
Barbeque Society (KCBS), with over 10,000 members worldwide, is the
world’s largest organization of barbecue and grilling enthusiasts. KCBS is
a nonprofit organization dedicated to "promoting barbecue as America's
cuisine and having fun while doing so."
nearly 300 barbecue contests across the U.S. each year and offers
assistance to civic and charitable organizations with producing these
events. The KCBS has developed a set of rules and regulations that govern
all official KCBS competitions.
educational programs, consultation services and civic organization
presentations to help spread the gospel of barbecue. The mission of the
Kansas City Barbeque Society is to celebrate, teach, preserve and promote
barbecue as a culinary technique, sport and art form.
To slow cook meats over the heat of hardwood and/or charcoal at a
temperature of 200 to 375 degrees
A liquid mixture, usually tomato-based, sweet and sour, with spices. Apply
to meats during the final minutes of cooking. Can be served on the side as
a dipping sauce or condiment.
Baby Back Ribs / or Loin Back Ribs
A cut of ribs from the pork loin, usually weighing around 2 pounds per
somewhat charred pieces of brisket ends that cannot be sliced. A prized
menu item from some area restaurants. Also referred to as "brownies."
A finishing sauce
applied to meats during the final minutes of barbecuing.
Long End Spare Ribs
first six ribs from the breast bone on back.
A liquid mixture
(usually an acid, oil, and spices) used to soak meats prior to cooking.
A cotton mop used to
baste meats while cooking.
The cooking unit used to barbecue. May be a closed container, cement or
brick structure, or even a hole dug in the ground.
The breast bone
at the top of a slab of spare ribs.
A dry marinade; a
mixture of dry spices added to meats to impart flavor.
Short End Spare Ribs
last seven or eight ribs in a slab of spare ribs.
Small chips of
wood, usually fruit wood or hard wood used to impart smoke flavor to
barbecued meats. Soak in water before using.
*Source: Kansas City Barbeque Society, copyright