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Pack up the family roadster and hit the highway on the quest for the best BBQ joints!

Summer BBQ Adventures

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Summer BBQ Adventures

Get Your BBQ On During Summer

If there are two things that epitomize summer—it's BBQ and road trips. For those who can't get enough of either, combine the two. Pack up the family roadster and hit the highway on the quest for the best BBQ joints.

Auto Preparation

About a week before your trip, get a full inspection of your vehicle. It's recommended that you get an oil change, balance and rotate tires, check your brakes and fill up on essential fluids. In the southern heat of June, it's imperative that your air conditioner is in full working order. If your A/C is blowing air that isn't quickly cold, the cause is likely either the drive-belt or, most likely, compressor problems or low levels of refrigerant, according to the Avondale Chevy dealership. Once your car is ready to roll, head out to fill up on the most succulent BBQ of the South. 

Where the Wind Takes You 

You won't be at a loss for BBQ destinations. Folks in the U.S. know how to do BBQ, and none of them are too modest to tell you that theirs is the best in the west. With smokehouses in California, Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Maryland and many other states all serving up tasty pork shoulders, ribs and brisket sandwiches every day, your journey can take you just about anywhere. 

Think you have a favorite style already? Keep an open mind. Many a dry-rub purist has been converted to a dripping, sloppy sauce-monger after sampling just the right BBQ in just the right atmosphere. 

Memphis is the Place to Be 

You could start in any direction and end up with some great BBQ on your shirt, but there's one city you can't miss. With two restaurants in the National Geographic's 10 Best BBQ Joints in America, it's hard to argue against Memphis's standing as one of the best BBQ cities in the world.

 

  • First stop in Memphis: Graceland (you can't pass up Elvis' eclectic mansion estate no matter what kind of journey you're on).
  • Second Stop: Neely's Interstate Bar-B-Que has been in business for over 15 years. Years ago, it was ranked second best BBQ in the nation by People magazine. Vogue magazine named it best commercial barbecue in Memphis, as well. Try their famous Bar-B-Q spaghetti dinner.
  • Third: Corky's is a local attraction with a well-earned reputation. When Corky's says they slow cook their pork shoulder, they don't mean for three hours at 350 degrees F. It's cooked in pits—the way it's meant to be done—both open and closed, and slow roasted for over 22 hours—that's almost a full day, y'all!

Texas, In All Its Glory

Texas seems to have made it the statewide mission to corner the market on top of the line BBQ, being dubbed the epicenter of barbeque greatness by Forbes Magazine. From Smoke in Dallas to Goode Company Texas BBQ in Houston, you'll taste the most succulent, flavorful, spicy varieties of meats you could ever hope to find. And with each passing mile and each successive roadhouse, every one has their own cooking method and flavor. 

When eating your way through Texas, be sure Opie's Barbeque in Spicewood is one of your requisite stops. They have all the usuals from brisket to baby backs, but Opie's also goes outside the box with their off the charts juicy prime rib— it's like buttah—and a Tater Tot casserole that would make Aunt Ore-Ida proud. 

It's All About the Atmosphere 

Each BBQ joint has cultivated its own unique culture. You can never accuse a BBQ restaurant of going too far or not going far enough. Whether it's housed in an old tin-roof shack or has the ambience of a Beverly Hills five-star eatery, the surroundings add to the experience. Be sure to take notes as you progress through your summertime BBQ road trip trek because, in the end, only you can decide who truly reigns your King of American BBQ cuisine.

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