Chicago Style BBQ

Show All Comments

tkrussell's picture

Haven't been to that particular spot, but I'll be back in Chicago next month I'll have to check it out. Chicagoland hood food is the GOAT. The midwest is truly the crossroads of America, you have an authentic and delicious spin on a lot of traditional Black, Italian, German, and mexican foods. Can't wait to go home.

HS
cinserious's picture

The whole city of Chicago is a foodlovers paradise. I've had Chicago style Frank's up by DePaul university. I've had shawarma from 2 different places on Clark st. (Both are 1st-rate). I've been to the all-Italian food market downtown. AND now I've FINALLY had Southside bbq! When I go back, I'm definately hitting up Lem's again and also a couple others down there like Leon's bbq, and Uncle John's bbq!

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

HS
stxbuck's picture

What is “Chicago style” bbq as compared to Carolina, Memphis, or Texas? Eli’s in Cincy is easily as good as any place in Memphis-or anywhere else.

HS
BuckeyeCrusdader's picture

Have you been to Pontiac in OTR?. love their brisket and smoked wings.

HS
stxbuck's picture

No, I'll have to give the brisket a try. Eli's-like Memphis bbq-is all about the hog and that's it

HS
cinserious's picture

Haven't been there but I did try 'Smoke Justice' in Covington thr other day. The hot wings ate the slam and I tried the ribs with only the dry rub and they were spectacular

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

HS
Milk Steak To Go's picture

to generalize: cross kc and memphis.  Ribs and rib tips (pigs were transported to chicago for sale/butchering); thick sweet sauce w/o the KC liquid smoke.

HS
toad1204's picture

Did it have pineapple...   sorry wrong conversation.

The offseason is the longest season.

HS
cinserious's picture

Actually the sauce does oddly contain pineapple juice concentrate LOL

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

HS
cinserious's picture

I'm from Cincy but never tried Eli's yet but hear alot about it. Growing up in Evanston (Cincinnati) I was close to a dank ass bbq joint called Ike's bbq. It's long gone now but I've been searching for 25+ yrs for that style and taste. I finally narrowed my search to Chicago style (specifically Southside). So I knew I had to make the 500 mile journey but kept my expectations down due to so many years of disappointment. The smell was right, the sounds of a dude chopping up rib tips with a butcherknife, the look was right with the red vinegary/peppery sauce, a bed of fries, 2 slices of white bread to sop up the danknes.... within my 1st taste, I went into a food coma. All my Ikes memories came flooding back. It was truly a religious experience. I went right back inside to buy a 1/2 gallon jug of the 'Mild Sauce'.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

HS
cinserious's picture

In short, what separates Southside style from all other regional bbq is the 'aquarium' smokers they use. Wood smokers controlled with a garden hose. Also a thin, vinegary, peppery sauce. A bit of heat and tang to it. Also rib tips and hot links. Also you'll find your ribs/wings/links on a bed of fries with 2 slices of plain white bread on top.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

HS
Zonabuck's picture

That’s North Carolina style bbq. Good stuff. 

HS
cinserious's picture

Yeah, that's always been what I've been chasing after and I will try authentic N.C. bbq if I ever get out that way. Back in the '40s and '50s African Americans migrated to Chicago from the Mississippi Delta region n search of jobs and brought with them music and bbq styles. I want to road trip to the South one day to try it

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

HS
AtlBuc's picture

Although the Aquarium Smokers have a unique look in Chicago, the technique is pretty widespread.  They do look pretty cool, and I'm sure they are helpful in a retail space like Lem's.

Plenty of southern BBQ use steam smokers.  Myron Mixon ells them and uses them for all of his competitions.  I always include a tub if water in my smoker, but I don't have a fancy 'garden hose' version. :)

HS
NorCal Buckeye's picture

How 'bout an Italian Beef sandwich?

My man Meathead from amazingribs.com is from Chi Town. That carries some weight.

HS
MercyTex's picture

It is the sandwich that has its own stance for the customer.  Serious stuff that should be on any beef eaters bucket list and my favorite food (Italian, Polish, Chinese, 'Murican, or other) from Chicago. 

Our people are everywhere, Esto Dignus.

HS
Mostly Gray's picture

Meathead's recipe for the Italian Beef sandwich is a favorite in my household.  The recipe is part of the Amazing Ribs free site and can be accessed though the search function at the top of the page.  

When I lived in Chicago for my first stint in grad school, there was a Rib joint called "Ribs and Bibs."  It was walking distance from my Southside apartment and a favorite when I had the necessary funds to splurge.  Great Food! (though winters sucked!)

HS
NorCal Buckeye's picture

Funny, I was thinking about trying the Italian beef recipe this weekend.

I sent my Mom a Portillos Italian Beef package for Mother's day and she was ecstatic. It wasnt Johnny's, but it hit the spot for the Chicago transplant in Cleveland.

(I don't miss the Chicago and Cleveland winters either)

HS
Mostly Gray's picture

Funny, I was thinking about trying the Italian beef recipe this weekend.

If you can find a good piece of meat (I usually get a center cut Sirloin roast), I think you will be pleased.  Biggest problem will be to find a good quality bread for the sandwich.  

HS
NorCal Buckeye's picture

The bread is key. Also getting some quality giardiniera.

HS
Mostly Gray's picture

Let us know how you liked Meathead's recipe!

HS
stxbuck's picture

True of any sub type sandwich-that's why DiBella's is awesome, and, apparently, every po' boy shop in New Orleans gets their bread from Leidenheimer's.

HS
seltsaC's picture

Lem's is great. Would also recommend Smoke Daddy & Smoque up north. Not the same style as the southside joints but still great imo.

HS
chibucks's picture

i'm a big honey 1 bbq fan as well - 43rd street.

HS
BeatMeechigun's picture

What is "Chicago-Style BBQ"?  I didn't know that existed.  Is that a broader style or is Lem's just marketing that term?

Kansas City, Memphis, Texas, and Carolina are pretty clearly established and well-known styles.

HS
cinserious's picture

Chicago has never really been on the national radar for bbq like the widely known regions you mentioned but there are plenty of different styles throughout the city but the Southside has a style all its own.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

HS
RunEddieRun1983's picture

I've been an avid BBQ enthusiast most of my life and have been smoking BBQ on one level or another for about six years and every time I hear of a new region it sure does make me happy.

Originally it was thought to be Kansas City, Texas, Memphis, and the Carolinas. Now you've got Florida style BBQ, Georgia style (very similar to Florida), Kentucky style, Alabama Q, California Q, and now of all things, southside Chicago BBQ.

Hey, give me all the BBQ. Each region has things that make their style unique in some way. Nothing wrong with that.

Urban Meyer left an incredible legacy. 12/4/18 Ryan Day begins his.

HS
cinserious's picture

My go-to local bbq here in C-Bus is 'RayRay's Hogpit' in Clintonville, its an underground legend here and Owned by a dude from Long Beach California. Hands down best in Columbus. I've tried many bbqs at the annual ribs fest here and nothing even comes close

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

HS
RunEddieRun1983's picture

I've put myself in the disadvantageous position where I've gotten so good at making BBQ, and enjoy it so much that I struggle paying top dollar for good BBQ at a restaurant when I can just make it myself. Same thing with chicken wings. I can't "cook" but brother, I can smoke some meat. 

Dayton doesn't have a ton of high profile and reputable restaurants, so I'm happy to put the time and effort into making it on my own. 

Urban Meyer left an incredible legacy. 12/4/18 Ryan Day begins his.

HS
Nashville's picture

I’m a big fan of all of the different styles, too. There are also micro regions within the broader regions.

I had a really interesting one the other day in Tompkinsville, KY. It’s a little town ten miles off the Tennessee border near Dale Hollow Lake. The style is called Monroe County BBQ and is only common in a 30-40 mile radius of Tompkinsville. They cut shoulders very thin into steaks and dip them in an awesome  thin, vinegary, peppery sauce made with lard. I l went to one of the oldest places, R & S, and I liked the sauce so much I asked to take some home. Apparently that’s a pretty common request. The owner gave me a quart for the huge sum of $4 !. The shoulder steaks ( they just call it shoulder) were very thin, maybe a 1/4 inch. I did like every one else around me and just used my hands and ate around the little bone. I had three steaks  with no sides or bread and could easily have had three more 

I have the sauce in my refrigerator and I’m gonna try and recreate it. I think it would be great to mop on chicken while smoking and also would be great on pulled pork. 

https://barbecuebible.com/2017/01/17/monroe-county-style-pork-steaks/

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/23/dining/monroe-county-pork-steaks-bbq....

"You can never pay back, but you can always pay forward."

HS
Mostly Gray's picture

So when should we arrive and what should be bring?

HS
Nashville's picture

I’ll let you know when I perfect the sauce ! 

"You can never pay back, but you can always pay forward."

HS
Mostly Gray's picture

Best offer I've had all day!

Trying to decide on dinner tonight, have a vacuum sealed slow cooked rack of St. Louis ribs or 1 lbs. vacuum sealed bundles of slow cooked brisket I smoked both over the last weekend between storms.

HS
Milk Steak To Go's picture

St. Louis does something similar with pork shoulder steaks. Grilled, then simmered in beer and BBQ sauce, the grilled to carmelize the sauce (usually Maulls).

HS
Nashville's picture

Yes, I’ve had those and they are similar. These steaks are much thinner though. 

"You can never pay back, but you can always pay forward."

HS
jmmysms's picture

In Billy Joel's words

It's still BBQ to me. 

Any and all of it. Best part is always trying something new.

JMMYSMS

HS
BuckeyeCrusdader's picture

Completely different region but I had smoked elk sausage in Montana a couple days ago.. it was phenomenal. 

HS
Skunk bear blood's picture

I've had BBQ most everywhere I traveled back in the day.  I don't have a favorite style except that the meat should not be served with gobs of sauce hanging on it.  If I had to pick one it would be Arthur Bryant's in Kansas City.  

OFFS

HS
stxbuck's picture

Good point about the sauce. Any good Memphis style dry-rub ribs should eaten/served w/ sauce on the side,imo.

HS
andretolstoy's picture

There is no such thing as Chicago style BBQ. Stop this. Stop this now ... 

If you die before you die, then you won't die when you die. 

HS
tkrussell's picture

It's more about the sauce than the cooking style. There's definitely a Chicago mild sauce that makes it special.  

HS
cinserious's picture

You're exactly right TKRUSSEL! The sauce is the BOSS!

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

HS
xbuceye's picture

I lived in Chicago for 4 years. Had more great food at more great restaurants then I can remember. BBQ wasn't one of them. When the top bbq place in the area was Carsons, the bar was set pretty low.
It's been 16 years since I lived there and there are 1000's of restaurants in the area so I know that there's good bbq there, but I never had any. Not that I looked for it though as I was usually seeking out Italian/pizza, steak, Italian beef or Hot Dog joints.
I watch a lot of the foodie shows where the guys travel to different cities to try different restaurants and I've seen some highly rated bbq places in Chicago. I'd love to try one when we come into town, but probably won't get a chance since we're planning on steaks at Gibsons one night and Italian at one of the Rosebud restaurants the next.

HS
BuckInChicago's picture

Lem’s is great, I wish I took more advantage of it when I was going to school on the south side.  As was mentioned above, Smoque is a totally different style but is definitely worth it (Smoke Daddy is also worthy).  Now that I’m out in SoCal I miss so many Chicago food spots!!

"Football is, after all, a wonderful way to get rid of your aggressions without going to jail for it." Woody Hayes

HS
Even Steven's picture

If any of y’all are ever down in the Charleston, SC area ... head on over to Sullivan’s Island. Home Team BBQ. 

Try the Smoked Chicken Wings, with Alabama White Sauce. 

Good Lord. Those are some darn good wings.

https://hometeambbq.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/aspen.menu_.5.20.19.pdf

HS