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Best BBQ Cities

Few topics inspire as much fiery passion as barbecue. The style may vary across the country, but two ingredients remain the same througho...
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Owensboro, Kentucky

Western Kentucky is the capital for unsung mutton barbecue. The naturally tough meat, which comes from a sheep older than a year, is tamed by low and slow wood-smoking and regular applications of a vinegar-and-pepper basting liquid. Once tender, it’s served sliced or pulled, with a Worcestershire-based “black” dipping sauce, or as burgoo, a thick mutton stew fortified with chicken, pork and vegetables. Local classic Moonlite Bar-B-Que Inn has seating for 350 and a 40-foot buffet table with multiple mutton dishes. Old Hickory Bar-B-Que, a nearly 100-year-old family-run restaurant, lets customers order “off the pit,” meaning they’ll slice your preferred portion straight from the piping-hot whole cut.

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