If there is anything that is painfully obvious about South Jersey, and the surrounding area, is it’s complete and total lack of real smoked BBQ. Sure, there is Red Hot and Blue in Cherry Hill, but their ribs were hardly smoked. I also feel like the spice was lazily added on near the end of the cook. There is also Percy Street in Philadelphia, but they’re quite expensive. As a guy whose been smoking meats for the past few years this is something that brings me a lot of sadness. I’ve written this and will continue to write this time and time again forgetting each time I’ve written it. Ha Ha. The point of this point is not to prove my absentmindedness, it’s to show some meat pictures. We’ll post methods another time, but for now we’ll go over a few quick things.
The single biggest myth is that ribs should be fall off the bone. The only thing that means is your meat has been over cooked. I made this mistake for a good long while. It’s very common. It should be tender and come off the bone easily but consistent enough for it not to fall all over the place.
If the BBQ place does not smell like smoke then you’re probably not walking into a very legit place. I’ll make a small case for the big BBQ places like Famous Daves because they reside on a large plot of land. The smaller places have no excuse. Your place should reek of Smoke. Most don’t up here.
The next thing is the red ring. It’s not so evident on Baby Backs. It’s noticeable as all get out on Brisket – check out the above picture. On pulled pork, it’s hard to distinguish. sometimes you’ll get the pork inside the shoulder. Only the outside gets exposed.
Those are three basic’s that are quite important. If it’s missing those, generally i’ll tell you it’s not good bbq. Everything after; like sauce or no sauce, types of sauce, types of wood, etc etc, vary. Given that I called out ALL of South Jersey as well as Philadelphia as not good, I’ll state that I have this dream of opening a BBQ place right here on Haddon Ave in Collingswood. There you’ll be able to make fun of my BBQ like I do others. To be honest, i’m not sure our town is quite ready for a place like that. I mean, given that there are 6 Italian places within a half-mile, the town’s tastes are quite easy to figure out. BBQ probably doesn’t fit. For now, I’ll just have to settle on trips to Florida, or my backyard. One is a little closer than the other.