We probably don’t need to explain to you that America is known as the country of the barbecue. Large grilled burgers, spare ribs and other grill specialties are the calling card of the country. It is therefore not surprising that the country has many different barbecue styles. But perhaps most interesting is the Kansas City-style barbecue. Culy explains everything about it to you!
Barbecue in Kansas City is more than a hamburger from the grill. It’s a method of food preparation that has been making Kansas culinary life what it is since the 1920s. For over a century, people from all over the world have been drawn to the city’s smoky aromas!
Kansas City Style Barbecue: What Is It?
Henry Perry started barbecuing on a back burner next to his car in 1920. He served his grilled food in an old newspaper and his grilling methods became so popular that fans imitated his style and techniques and created their own unique recipes. The Kansas City-style barbecue was born.
Fun fact : if you ask two Kansas residents about their favorite barbecue restaurant, you’ll get three answers. And usually one of those answers is Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que , which has a gas station location. Also very popular: Jones Bar-BQ (don’t confuse the names). This restaurant is the only (!) restaurant in all of Kansas City run and run by two women, sisters in this case.
The most important elements
If you want to organize a Kansas City-style barbecue, it must meet a number of elements. You should have meat in all shapes and sizes: beef, pork and even fish and always (!) keep the burnt ends . The one thing the Kansas BBQ doesn’t do well on is sausages. That’s a bit out of the question.
In addition, the meat – after it has been seasoned with a dry rub of usually only salt and pepper – is cooked low and slow. After grilling, the chefs immediately coat the meat with a generous layer of tomato-based barbecue sauce . By the way, did you know that all current barbecue sauces are all inspired by the original 1920s Kansas City-style barbecue sauce?
In addition to the meat and sauce, the side dishes are also very important (and present). There is always a bowl with baked beans, cole slaw and of course fries. Everything to fill your stomach well!
Difference with Texas barbecue
Chances are that you are familiar with the Texas barbecue, but the Kansas City-style barbecue is still somewhat unknown to you. The biggest difference between the two is in the preparation and handling of the meat.
Texan barbecue is best known for its “ barbacoa ,” Spanish for barbecue. Grilling barbacoa is actually an old Mexican tradition where the meat is roasted in a hole underground, covered with leaves. Today, most Mexicans (but especially Texans) do this above ground.
In addition, the meat is marinated in advance with a dry rub of often only salt and pepper and eaten with a barbecue sauce on the side after grilling. And not only that: the Texans also grill sausages! Something that is out of the question at the Kansas City-style barbecue. Unfortunately they omit the burnt ends.
A piece of Kansas in the Netherlands
This is different with the Kansas City-style barbecue. Here the meat is immediately coated with barbecue sauce afterwards and very occasionally the residents of Kansas do this before grilling. Also special: nothing is thrown away, so the burnt ends are also used. They are even crucial for the Kansas City-style barbecue. No burnt ends, no Kansas City-style barbecue: remember that if you want to do it yourself at home.
Want to try it first? At Pendergast in Amsterdam they serve the most delicious barbecue dishes inspired by Kansas City. At Black Smoke in Rotterdam (the restaurant of Barbecue expert Jord Althuizen) they also know about this style.