Lillie's Q, Chicago
Chef Charlie McKenna, who has won big on the competitive barbecue circuit, makes five kinds of sauces to go with his meat. His signature dish is baby back ribs rubbed with a secret "Carolina dirt" spice rub.
Doc Crow's Southern Smokehouse; Louisville, KY
Vietnamese brothers Michael and Steven Ton grew up in Texas and cooked in North Carolina. Now they make great barbecue in Kentucky, like brisket with Texas toast. One local perk: a 100-plus whiskey list.
- Four Steps to Great Barbecue
- Best Wines for Barbecue
- Gastronaut Files: Pulled Pork
- Cook Like a Pit Master
- Gastronaut Files: Smoked Foods
- Outdoor Cooking: Grills, Smokers and Infrared Cookers
Bogart's Smokehouse, St. Louis
St. Louis's reputation as a barbecue destination just got better. Skip Steele worked at local institution Pappy's Smokehouse before opening his own place in February. He cooks his pork ribs in an Old Hickory wood smoker, then coats them with an apricot glaze and blasts them with a blowtorch that sounds like a plane taking off. His baked beans are terrific; they cook in the smoker underneath the brisket to absorb the drippings.