accessories-001Pizza was invented in Italy and perfected in America. Hamburgers were invented in America but given a really German-sounding name. Indeed, it’s quite possible that no culinary tradition is more thoroughly American than barbecue, with its different variants creating intense arguments and even more intense blood pressure issues across this great land.

The practice of smoking meat over an open fire has been around for as long as people have known how to summon the flames and needed to eat meat, but almost certainly, it was the good old United States of America that perfected it – and continue to perfect it.  It’s an art – anything that is marinated and slow-cooked for anywhere between three to 14 hours has got to be an art, there is color and delicateness and an ecstasy involved in the process and consumption. There are centuries in the making, and recipes handed down from generation to generation, and it’s so good it very often doesn’t even need to be packaged, because it is truly of the people. I personally love it. I remember last time during our trip to Circle N Maze we did it in the evening and we enjoyed a lot.

What’s more American than firing up the grill on a three-day weekend during the summer? For a change of pace, save the charcoal and hit the road for some of the nation’s best barbecue offerings.

From Memphis-style dry rub ribs to the sticky goodness of slow-smoked Kansas City BBQ, every nook of the country has its own preferred way of preparing the summer staple. And picking a favorite style is a bit like being asked to pick a favorite child: they’re all so different but so, so good at the same time.

Head to the Plains for some of the nation’s most celebrated barbecue. Kansas City barbecue is known for being slow smoked, usually with hickory. And while the city makes use of just about every cut of meat, Kansas City is perhaps best known for its burnt ends — the ends of beef brisket that have higher fat content and cook longer than the rest of the cut for a delicious, crusty flavor.